Three of the best… R.I.P.

April 25, 2013

Recently we’ve said farewell to three men who were a part of the 70s music scene; this week we pay tribute to them.

Richie Havens (January 21, 1941 – April 22, 2013)

Richie HavensRichie Havens had been around almost forever. He was at Woodstock, performed through the 70s, 80s, 90s, and right up until early 2012.

In all that time the closest Richie ever came to having a hit record was in 1971 when his version of The Beatles, Here Comes The Sun peaked at #16 on the American singles chart. He also released covers of Lady Madonna and 10CC’s, I’m Not in Love.

Although never mainstream, Richie was a greatly respected singer-songwriter and guitarist with a unique rhythmic guitar style.

His best known original song was Freedom—a song that came about by accident. He was the first performer at Woodstock and performed for almost three hours—mainly because many of the acts scheduled to perform after him were delayed in reaching the festival location because of traffic chaos. He was called back for several encores and, when he ran out of songs, he improvised a song based on the old spiritual Motherless Child, that improvisation became his well-known song, Freedom.

Richie was an environmental activist and was passionate about educating young people about environmental issues.

Richie stopped touring in March 2012 due to health concerns. He died of a heart attack on April 22, 2013.

Richie Havens – Freedom at Woodstock 1969 – Video

Dave McArtney (5 April 1951 – 15 April 2013)

Dave McArtney 2Readers from outside of New Zealand may not have heard of Dave McArtney, but done this end of the globe he and his fellow Hello Sailor members are rock royalty.

With Dave on guitar and occasional vocals, Hello Sailor formed in 1975, produced two albums, and disbanded in 1980.  They have reformed for the odd concert a number of times since. He was the lead vocalist on Hello Sailor’s iconic hit, Gutter Black.

Dave McArtney 1After Hello Sailor, Dave went solo with Dave McArtney and The Pink Flamingos. A bit of musical whiz, he returned to university as an adult student and completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature, majoring in Renaissance poetry before completing a Masters of Arts (Music) degree 2013.

Dave had battled cancer for some time and died in his home in Point Chevalier, Auckland on 15 April 2013.

Hello Sailor – Gutter Black – 1977 – Video

Storm Thorgerson (28 February 1944 – 18 April 2013)

Storm ThorgersenDark-side-of-the-moon-Storm ThorgersenStorm Elvin Thorgerson (great name!) was an English graphic designer best known for his iconic album cover work, notably the cover of Pink Floyd’s albums and especially, The Dark Side of the Moon.

He also designed covers for albums by:

  • 10cc

Greatest Hits

Mirror Mirror

  • Audioslave

Audioslave

Technical Ecstasy

  • The Cranberries

Bury the Hatchet

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

Mr. Love Pants

  • Peter Gabriel

Peter Gabriel

  • Genesis

…And Then There Were Three…

  • David Gilmour

About Face

David Gilmour in Concert DVD

Houses of the Holy

Presence

In Through the Out Door

  • Steve Miller Band

Bingo!

Let Your Hair Down

  • Muse

Absolution

  • Mike Oldfield

Earth Moving

  • Alan Parsons

Try Anything Once

On Air

The Time Machine

A Valid Path

  • Powderfinger

Golden Rule

  • Rainbow

Difficult to Cure

Bent Out of Shape

  • Styx

Pieces of Eight

Cyclorama

  • Wishbone Ash

No Smoke Without Fire

That’s a pretty impressive list.

Then come his music videos which include:

  • Paul Young – Wherever I Lay My Hat (That’s My Home)
  • Rainbow – Street of Dreams
  • Robert Plant – Big Log
  • Yes – Owner of a Lonely Heart
  • Nik Kershaw – Wouldn’t It Be Good

The Riddle

Wide Boy

Don Quixote

  • David Gilmour – Blue Light

All Lovers Are Deranged

Learning to Fly

The Dogs of War

High Hopes

Storm suffered a stroke in 2003. He recovered but was later diagnosed with cancer, which eventually led to his death on 18 April 2013.

Pink Floyd – Learning to Fly – 1987 – video

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Reflections of My Life – Marmalade – 1970

April 18, 2013

marmalade - Reflections of my life - 1970In 1969, Marmalade had a #1 single in the UK with a cover of The Beatles’ Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da. They followed it up in 1970 with Reflections of My Life, their only US hit single.

nMarmalade 3ow, there’s a few things I didn’t know

          • Marmalade was from Scotland.
          • They formed in 1961.
          • They were originally known as The Gaylords.
          • They changed their name in 1966.

when does a band cease to be?

Marmalade still tours, but there are no original members remaining; kinda weird if you ask me.

reflections of my life fax

  • Reflections of My Life was a #3 UK single and #10 US single. Released in 1969, it was at #1 over the New Year period and so just sneaks into the 1970 charts.
  • By 1971, sales had reached one million. That figure has now doubled and, in 1998, writers Junion Campbell and Dean Ford were awarded a Special Citation of Achievement for attaining radio broadcast performances in excess of one million in the US alone.
  • Reflections of My Life has been used in a number of movies including Inside Deep Throat, the documentary on the life of Linda Lovelace.
  • The lyrics of Reflections of My Life appear frequently in the book, Flying Through Midnight by John T Halliday – a memoir of a Vietnam War veteran.
  • Reflections of My Life lyrics.

reflections of my life – marmalade – 1970 – video

I added this second video after realising the one above didn’t contain the rather distinctive guitar solo which was created by recording a guitar track forward, then reversing it and recording over the top of it… pretty innovative for 1970!

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All Right Now – Free – 1970

April 11, 2013

Free all right nowOne hit wonders they may have been, but Free will be remembered for way more than just their 1970 hit, All Right Now. They were consummate performers known for hard living and hard rock.

from free to keeping bad company

Formed in London in 1968, Free only hung together for five years, but in that time produced one of the best known hits of the 70s.

The band was made up of lead singer Paul Rodgers and drummer Simon Kirke—who went onto form Bad Company—bass player, Andy Fraser, and lead guitarist Paul Kossoff who died from drug-induced heart failure 1976.

go hard-out

Free’s early albums never sold particularly well. The band was known, however, as being one of the best live acts of their era, and they toured nonstop building up a loyal fan base.

Then came their album Fire and Water, with All Right Now tucked in at the very end of side 2. For the first time they had a hit record. They played at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival and were soon selling records by the truck-load – over 20 million by the time they went their own ways in 1973.

accolades

Rolling Stone magazine put Paul Rodgers at #55 in its list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time, and Paul Kossoff at #51 in its list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.

all right now fax

  • All Right Now was released in May 1970, from the album Fire and Water by English band Free.
  • All Right Now peaked at #2 on the UK singles chart and #4 on the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.
  • A 1991 re-release of All Right Now peaked at #8 on the UK singles chart.
  • While only reaching #2 in the UK, All Right Now was a #1 hit in over 20 countries. In 1990, just before its re-release, it was recognised by the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers for achieving over one million radio plays in the US. In 2006, it gained a similar award in the UK but this time for 3 million air plays in the USA.
  • All Right Now has been used in the television show, The Sopranos and appeared in the movie American Beauty.
  • All Right Now has been covered by: Rod Stewart, The Who, The Sweet, Mike Oldfield, Bon Jovi, Christina Aguilera, Ali Campbell (UB40), and Bad Company.
  • Steve Miller said the intro to his 1976 song Rock ‘n Me was a “tip of the hat” to All Right Now.
  • All Right Now lyrics.

all right now – free – 1970 – video

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Heartbreaker – Pat Benatar – 1979

April 4, 2013

Pat Benatar HeartbreakerFrom classical singer to bank teller to singing waitress to rock star; Pat Benatar just sneaks into the list of 70s music by a few months thanks to her 1979 hit, Heartbreaker.

chatting with my bro-in-law

So, I’m chatting with my brother-in-law the other day when he mentions how much he loves the music and voice of Pat Benatar. I think, it would be great to include something by her in the 70s music blog, but you know the rules—I have to hear it on the radio that week!

Well, the rock gods were smiling on us all because the very next morning = Heartbreaker!!

lil’ patti, bank teller!

Patti—as she was known as a girl—became enamoured with singing as an eight year old. Back then it was classical music and theatre. Rock music was completely outside her sphere of listening.

By the time she hit teenage years, Pat had her heart set on attending the Juilliard School, majoring in classical singing—then came the surprise. Pat shocked her family by suddenly changing her mind. She decided classical music wasn’t for her. She dropped singing and studied health education at university in New York instead. Only for a year though.

At 19 years old, she left university to marry her high school sweetheart Dennis Benatar. Pat moved to Virginia with him (he was an army man), and worked as a bank teller.

along came liza

In 1973, Pat went to a Liza Minnelli concert. So inspired was she that she decided to take up singing again—but this time a genre with a little more beat to it.

She was offered a job as a singing waitress in a 20s themed nightclub, and then with a lounge band named Coxon’s Army.

For the next five or six years nothing much happened outside of a divorce and a part in Harry Chapin’s musical The Zinger.

1978

In 1978, Pat signed with Chrysallis Records and, in June and July 1979, she recorded her first album, In the heat of the night—on it was the hit single, Heartbreaker.

Pat went on to win an unprecedented four consecutive Grammy Awards for Best Female Rock Performance from 1980 to 1983. In fact, of the ten Grammy Award ceremonies in the 1980s, Pat was nominated for Best Female Rock Performance eight times,

heartbreaker fax

  • Heartbreaker is featured on Pat’s 1979 album, In the Heat of the Night. It was co-produced by the famous Mike Chapman.
  • Heartbreaker peaked at #23 US Billboard Hot 100.
  • Heartbreaker was named the 72nd best hard rock song of all time by VH1.
  • The only significant cover of Heartbreaker has been by Alvin and the Chipmonks!
  • A parody version of Heartbreaker was featured in US comedy show, My Name is Earl.
  • There is another song named Heartbreaker, performed by The Crystals, that contains the lyrics;

He’s a heartbreaker, hip shaker, troublemaker.

Heartbreaker – Pat Benatar – 1979 – video

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