Welcome to 2013

December 31, 2012

At seventiesmusic we hope 2013 will be a year that exceeds every one of your expectations.

2013

And to kick the year off, here’s a special list; These are the songs that sat at #1 on the UK and US charts on each of the New Year’s days throughout the 1970s.

UK Charts US Charts
1970 Edison Lighthouse –

Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)

B.J. Thomas –

Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head

1971 Clive Dunn – Grandad Tony Orlando and Dawn – Knock Three Times
1972 The New Seekers –

I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony)

Don McLean – American Pie
1973 Sweet – Blockbuster Carly Simon – You’re So Vain
1974 New Seekers feat. Lyn Paul –

You Won’t Find Another Fool Like Me

Steve Miller Band – The Joker
1975 Status Quo – Down Down Elton John – Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
1976 ABBA – Mamma Mia Bay City Rollers – Saturday Night
1977 David Soul – Don’t Give Up on Us Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. –

You Don’t Have to Be a Star (To Be in My Show)

1978 Althea & Donna – Uptown Top Ranking Player – Baby Come Back
1979 Village People – Y.M.C.A. Bee Gees – Too Much Heaven
1980 Pretenders – Brass in Pocket KC & The Sunshine Band – Please Don’t Go

Created with the HTML Table Generator


Is This The Way to Amarillo? – Tony Christie – 1971

December 27, 2012

Is This the Way to Amarillo - tony-christie - 1971Tony Christie’s song Is This The Way to Amarillo was a UK hit single, not once, but twice; first in 1971 before becoming the top selling UK single of 2005.

come dine with tony

Okay, so I didn’t hear this on the radio—but it was on the tele! The girls were watching a UK cooking show called “Celebrity Come Dine With Me.” The first three celeb’s were introduced and, I gotta admit, to call them celebrities was stretching it a little. One had been a member of the cast of a children’s television programme back in the 1970s; another was a drum and bass DJ well-known in his home town of around 300 people, but little known elsewhere; the third was the wife of a well-known footballer, but contractual reasons meant that they couldn’t actually divulge his name; and the final member of the quartet of would-be chefs was, 70s music star, Tony Christie.

And, for the record, the episode was won by the lady from the children’s programme, but Tony came a close second.

a two hit wonder

Tony has sold over 10 million albums worldwide and, in 1971, had two top 20 UK singles. The first, I Did What I Did For Maria, peaked at #2, while the second, Is This the Way to Amarillo reached only # 18, but somehow managed to sell more copies.

What’s more, the song was rereleased in 2005 to raise money for the Comic Relief charity. In the accompanying video, comedian Peter Kay lip-synced the song accompanied by various celebrities including Brian May, Roger Taylor, Shakin’ Stevens, and a number of UK singers and actors.

The song reached #1 on the UK chart and remained there for seven weeks selling over a million copies and becoming the UK’s bestselling single of 2005.

is this the way to amarillo? fax

  • Is This the Way to Amarillo? was recorded by Tony Christie and released in November 1971.
  • Is This the Way to Amarillo? was written by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield and refers to Amarillo, Texas. The reason the town Amarillo was used in the song is because it was the only place name that Neil could find of that rhymed with “willow” and “pillow”.
  • The original title of Is This the Way to Amarillo? was Is This the Way to Pensacola?
  • Is This the Way to Amarillo? peaked at #18 on the UK Singles Chart, but hit #1 in Germany and Spain where Tony is a huge star. The chorus is widely adapted as a chant by football and hockey fans even today.
  • Is This the Way to Amarillo? was rereleased in 2005 and reached #1. In 2006 it was played at the Football World Cup Final in Berlin and by The Central Band of the Royal British Legion on Centre Court at Wimbledon before the start of the Men’s Singles final.
  • In 1977, Neil Sedaka released a version of the song in the US. The title was shortened to Amarillo and it peaked at #44.
  • Is This The Way to Amarillo? lyrics.

is this the way to amarillo? – tony christie – 1971 – video

is this the way to amarillo? – tony christie featuring Peter Kay – 2005 – video

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Brand New Key – Melanie – 1971-72

December 20, 2012

Brand New Key - Melanie - 1971Well, it may not be a Christmas song, but on Christmas Day 1971, Melanie’s, Brand New Key was at the top of the US singles chart.

forgotten but not gone…

I guess a lot of people have forgotten all about Melanie Safka, but back in the early 70s the American folk singer made more than an occasional dent on the US and UK pop charts. Maybe you remember:

  • Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)  [a wonderful song]
  • What Have They Done to my Song, Ma?
  • Ruby Tuesday (a cover of The Rolling Stones song)
  • Lover’s Cross (a cover of the Jim Croce song)

Melanie’s greatest hit, however, was Brand New Key.

Melanie Safka 3song about sex?

Brand New Key is a novelty folk song sung from the viewpoint of a girl with roller skates trying to attract the attention of a boy:

I got a brand new pair of roller skates,

You got a brand new key.

I think that we should get together and try them out, to see …

Some listeners claimed the song contained sexual innuendo with the key in its lock symbolising sex. Melanie’s take was a little ambiguous. She said;

Brand New Key I wrote in about fifteen minutes one night. I thought it was cute; a kind of old thirties’ tune. I guess a key and a lock have always been Freudian symbols, and pretty obvious ones at that. There was no deep serious expression behind the song, but people read things into it. They made up incredible stories as to what the lyrics said and what the song meant. In some places, it was even banned from the radio.

My idea about songs is that once you write them, you have very little say in their life afterward. It’s a lot like having a baby. You conceive a song, deliver it, and then give it as good a start as you can. After that, it’s on its own. People will take it any way they want to take it.

the most parodied song of all time?

There are surely few songs that have been parodied as often as Melanie’s, Brand New Key. Check it out:

  • A UK comedy folk act named The Wurzels released a version called, I Got a Brand New Combine Harvester (Brand New Key). Believe it or not, it sat at #1 on the UK singles chart for two weeks in June 1976. This version of the song was used in the film Evil Aliens.
  • Following the January 1994 attack on US figure skater Nancy Kerrigan, a parody of “Brand New Key” circulated on US radio stations. It was sung from the point of view of Tonya Harding, the attacker. She sang,

I’ve got a brand new pair of figure skates

You’ve got a busted knee;

They’re gonna lock up my ex-husband and throw away the key.

  • With lyrics describing Best Film nominee Pan’s Labyrinth, Minnie Driver sang a parody of the song at the 2007 Spirit Awards. Her lyric went,

I blew a giant frog to smithereens

I got his golden key

  • A Los Angeles pop-punk band named, The Dollyrots covered the song in 2007. It became a favourite when they later toured the UK—because concert goers remembered The Wurzels’ 1976 parody.
  • Los Angeles indie pop duo The Bastard Fairies covered Brand New Key in a YouTube video accompanied by a band of ukulele players.

brand new key fax

  • Brand New Key was written by American folk-pop singer Melanie.
  • Brand New Key hit #1 on the US singles chart on Christmas Day 1971 and stayed there for two weeks.
  • Brand New Key was also known as “The Rollerskate Song” because of its reference to roller skates in the.
  • This was Melanie’s biggest hit. As well as reaching #1 in the USA, it reached #1 in Canada and Australia, and #4 in the UK.
  • Melanie’s version of Brand New Key featured in the 1997 movie Boogie Nights and the 2010 movie Jackass 3D. It was also used on a commercial for Hewlett-Packard printers; and was sung by cast members in the UK television series, Dr Who.
  • Covered a number of times by various artists, the latest cover version was in 2012 by Olivia Newton-John.
  • Brand New Key lyrics.

brand new key – melanie – 1971-72 – video

combine harvester – the wurzels – 1976 – band new key parody – video

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I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day – Wizzard – 1973

December 13, 2012

I wish it could be Christmas Every day - Roy Wood - Wizzard - 1973   It may only have ever made it to #4 on the UK charts (and is not even known in the US) but Wizzard’s 1973 Christmas song, I Wish It Could be Christmas Every Day, is proof that, if you’re going to have one hit song, make it a Christmas one!

christmas again

Yep, it’s that time of year again. I decided I’d share with you whatever was the first 70s Christmas song I heard this year. Of course it was Feliz Navidad. Couldn’t use that one, though—we did that last year.

So, here it is, the second Christmas song I heard on the radio this year… I confess, I’d almost forgotten it existed.

from orchestra to glam-rock

Wizzard were formed in Birmingham by Roy Wood, co-founder of Electric Light Orchestra (ELO). Roy had left ELO after continuing conflict with Jeff Lynne. When you consider the differences between Wizzard and ELO, you can understand why conflicts arose!

Wizzard went on to have three or four hit records including two UK #1’s; See My Baby Jive and Angel Fingers (A Teen Ballard).

The band were pretty short-lived; formed in 1972, split in 1975. Four hit records and two decent albums though – pretty good going for three years.

if you’re gonna write one song…

I reckon, if you’re going to write one hit song, make it a Christmas one because every year you get to sell more records.

Since 2007, I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day has made a little foray onto the charts without even making a physical appearance in the record stores thanks to digital downloads.

So, here’s how Roy and I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day have done in recent years:

  • 2007, #16
  • 2008, #31.
  • 2009, # 45.
  • 2010, # 46.
  • 2011, # 28.
  • 2012 #31.

i wish it could be Christmas every day fax

  • I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day was recorded in August 1973 and released in time for Christmas that year.
  • I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day peaked at #4 on the UK charts.
  • Because I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day was recorded in August, the studio was decorated with Christmas decorations and the air conditioning turned down to its coldest setting. Roy wore a woollen hat.
  • The backing vocals on the record are by The Suedettes, and the school choir from Stockland Green Bilateral School.
  • I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day lyrics.

i wish it could be christmas every day – wizzard – 1973 – video

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Seasons in the Sun – Terry Jacks – 1974

December 6, 2012

Terry Jacks_Seasons in the sunOriginally written in French, Terry Jacks’ 1974 hit, Seasons in the Sun was once close to being named “the worst song of all time.”

what worries me…

What worries me sometimes is the amount of rubbish that must float in my head!  I have neither heard nor thought of this song for years and yet, when it came on the radio the other day, I was able to sing most the lyrics… that is a concern to me!

terry the greenie

Terry Jacks may have been responsible for one of the worst songs of all time but he’s since redeemed himself through the environmental work he’s involved in, in his native Canada.

As a producer, Terry has been responsible for a number of environmental themed short films. One, The Faceless Ones, earned an Environmental Gold Award from the New York International Film Festival.

He has focussed particularly on pulp mill pollution issues in Canada and earned a number of environmental achievement awards.

that song…

Seasons in the Sun was originally Le Moribond (The Dying [Man]). It was sung by a Belgian singer named Jacques Brel. The song is a farewell to relatives and friends, particularly Jacques’ wife. The original French version is full of references to the wife’s infidelity.

The English lyrics were written by American poet Rod McKuen.

seasons in the sun fax

  • Terry Jacks released the English version of Seasons in the Sun December 1973, by March 1974 it had hit #1 on the US, UK and Canadian single charts.
  • Seasons in the Sun sold over 14 million copies worldwide. It was Terry’s one and only hit.
  • Seasons in the Sun was originally released in 1961. It was called Le Moribond, a French song by Belgian singer-songwriter Jacques Brel.
  • Before Terry released Seasons in the Sun it was released by The Kingston Trio (1963) and British band The Fortunes (1968).
  • Terry released Seasons in the Sun only after The Beach Boys backed out of recording it.
  • Seasons in the Sun has been covered by; The Beach Boys, The Fortunes, Bad Religion, Nana Mouskouri, and blink-182.
  • Westlife released their version in 1999 on the B-side of their I Have a Dream single which went to #1.
  • The B-side of Terry’s version was a humorous song entitled Put the Bone In. It was about a woman asking her butcher to put a bone in with her meat order, but was intended to be a sexual double entendre.
  • In 2006, Seasons in the Sun was listed at #5 on CNN list of the worst pop songs ever recorded.
  • Seasons in the Sun lyrics.

seasons in the sun – terry jacks – 1974 – video

le moribund – jacques brel – 1961 – video

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