Take Me to the River – Talking Heads – 1978

June 29, 2016

Talking_Heads_Take_Me_to_the_RiverFor all their brilliance, Talking Heads only once cracked the top ten singles charts in the US and the UK.  The former in 1983 with Burning Down the House, the latter in 1985 with Road to Nowhere.  Take Me to the River was their second top 100 US hit – the first being 1977’s Psycho Killer.

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  • Formed in New York in 1977, Talking Heads were pioneers of the New Wave music scene.
  • Talking Heads 3The band was made up of Chris Frantz (drums), Tina Weymouth (bass), Jerry Harrison (keyboards, guitar), and, of course, the amazing David Byrne (lead vocals, guitar).
  • The band produced eight studio albums, two live albums, nine compilation albums, one remix album, one video album, thirty-one singles and fifteen music videos.
  • Four of the band’s albums appeared on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and three of their songs (“Psycho Killer”, “Life During Wartime”, and “Once in a Lifetime”) were included among The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll – that’s pretty good going!
  • Talking Heads 1Talking Heads officially disbanded in 1991, before Tina, Chris, and Jerry reunited in 1996 for a one-off album called No Talking, Just Head under the name The Heads in 1996.  Without David as vocalist, the band commandeered the vocal talents of a number of artists including, Debbie Harry, Gordon Gano (Violent Femmes), Michael Hutchence, and Maria McKee.
  • These days, David continues his solo career, Jerry is a record producer with work by bands such as the Violent Femmes’, the Fine Young Cannibals, General Public, Crash Test Dummies, and No Doubt to his credit.  Chris and Tina married in 1977 and have been recording as Tom Tom Club since 1981.
  • In 2002, Talking Heads was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  At the ceremony they played, Life During Wartime, Psycho Killer and Burning Down the House.

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  • Talking heads 2For all the great songs written by Talking Heads, Take Me to the River is not one of them.  Take Me to the River was written in 1974 by Al Green and his guitarist Mabon  Hodges.
  • At least three well-known versions exist; Al Green, Syl Johnson and Talking Heads all had hits with the song.  Al Green’s version was, in 2004, ranked #117 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
  • Talking Heads’ version peaked at #28 on the US charts.
  • In 2000, the tune was used in the popular animatronic singing toy Big Mouth Billy Bass. According to Mabon Hodges, he made more money in royalties from that toy than from any previous versions.
  • Take Me to the River lyrics.

take me to the river – talking heads – 1978 – video

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Hold the Line – Toto – 1978

June 22, 2016

Toto Hold the Line Cover 1978From the band that gave us the 80s smash-hits, Rosanna and Africa, comes the 70s hit, Hold the Line – Toto’s first single and a gold record in the US and Canada.

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  • Formed in Los Angeles in 1977, Toto is another of the plethora of bands to rise from the 70s LA music scene.
  • Toto’s original members were session musicians who appeared on albums by such 70s stars as; Steely Dan, Seals and Crofts, Boz Scaggs, and Sonny and Cher.
  • Toto 1Keyboardist David Paich wrote much of Boz Scaggs’ Silk Degrees album.  With drummer Jeff Porcaro, he formed a high school band named, Rural Still Life.  Bassist David Hungate was in Boz Scaggs’ band as did guitarist Steve Lukather.  Added to the initial mix were Jeff’s brother Steve Porcaro on keyboards, and singer Bobby Kimball.
  • The band signed to Columbia Records and immediately started work on their first album.
  • The band’s eponymous debut album, saw three charting singles, Hold the Line, I’ll Supply the Love and Georgy Porgy, and saw Toto nominated for the 1979 Best New Artist Grammy.
  • Toto 2While the band didn’t win the Best New Artist Grammy (that went to A Taste of Honey), the album did win the band a Producer of the Year Grammy.  The band went on to win five Grammy’s in the 70s and early 80s including three for the 1982 hit song Rosanna.
  • After a brief hiatus in 2009, the band continues to tour today.
  • They have released 17 albums and sold over 40 million albums to date.  In 2009 Toto was into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum.

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  • Hold the Line was written by Toto’s keyboardist David Paich and was the band’s debut single.  It featured on their debut 1978 eponymous album.
  • Hold the Line peaked at #5 in the US and #14 in the UK.
  • Two band members have talked about hearing their song on the radio for the very first time.  Steve Lukather said:

I flipped the first time I heard myself on the radio. My mom called me up and said, “Turn on KLOS.” It was the song “Hold the Line,” and I started running around the house in my underwear, screaming, “I’m on the radio!” My wife was cracking up. It was just a thrill.

  • Bobby Kimball said:

I was asleep, I had my alarm clock set for noon because we were gonna do something in the studio, some promo and when the alarm came on there was the radio and “Hold The Line” was playing. And my room was totally black and I was looking for the telephone and I called Paich and I heard him scream, he was living over there with his girlfriend and he was screaming around and falling over trying to get to the radio.

  • Toto continues to play Hold the Line in their live shows.  Meanwhile, Steve played it when he was touring with Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band (2012) and Bobby Kimball plays it during every one of his band’s live performances.
  • Hold the Line was used in the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and appears in the movie Horrible Bosses 2 (2014) and The That 70s Show episode, Magic Bus.
  • Hold the Line lyrics.

Hold the Line – Toto – 1978 – video

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Stumblin’ In – Chris Norman and Suzi Quatro – 1979

June 15, 2016

Chris and Suzi Stumblin InEnglish soft pop singer, lead singer from 70s band Smokie (Living Next Door to Alice), combines with leather-clad American glam-rocker – Chris Norman and Suzi Quatro‘s Stumblin’ In was a hit in 1979.

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  • Chris Norman was lead singer of English band, Smokie who had a 70s hit with Living Next Door to Alice.
  • Smokie became very successful in Europe, especially Chris and Suzi1Germany, a popularity Chris cashed in on with a successful solo career that continues today.  The song Stumblin’ In remains part of his set with various female artists taking on Suzi’s part.
  • Suzi Quatro needs little introduction, the queen of American glam-rock, she is credited with being a major player in breaking the barrier to women’s participation in rock music.
  • Suzi’s first album, self-titled, was released in 1973 – 15 albums have followed with a number of hits such as, Can the Can, 48 Crash, and Devil Gate Drive.
  • She played the role of Leather Tuscadero in the American sitcom Happy Days.
  • Like Chris, Suzi continues to tour and perform today.

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  • Stumblin’ In was written by hit-makers Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn.
  • Performed by Chris Norman and Suzi Quatro, it first appeared on Suzi’s 1979 album, If You Knew Suzi.
  • Stumblin’ In peaked at #4 on the US charts in 1979. It was Suzi’s only US top 40 hit and Chris’ only US top 40 hit apart from the success he had with his band Smokie.
  • Stumblin’ In lyrics.

stumblin’ in – chris norman and suzi quarto – 1979 – video

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Me and You and a Dog Named Boo –Lobo – 1971

June 3, 2016

Lobo Me and You and a Dog Named BooAnother artist who had mega-hits in the 70s and continues to perform today.  Me and You and a Dog Named Boo was Lobo’s first hit, way back in 1971.

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  • Lobo was born Roland Kent LaVoie in Tallahassee, Florida way back in 1943.
  • He had three top ten hits in the early 70s, Me and You and a Dog Named Boo, I’d Love You to Want Me and Don’t Expect Me to Be Your Friend.
  • Lobo’s musical career began as a member of a local band named The Rumours.  The band included 70s musicians Gram Parsons and Jim Stafford.Lobo 1
  • Lobo’s first solo album was released in 1969 under his real name.  His name change came in 1971 – Lobo is Spanish for “wolf.”
  • It was in 1971 that Lobo’s first single was released – Me and You and a Dog Named Boo.  It became the first hit for his label Big Tree Records.  The song featured on Lobo’s debut album Introducing Lobo which was released a couple of months after the single.
  • Lobo 2I’d Love You to Want Me, released in November 1972, became Lobo’s biggest hit reaching #2 in the US and #5 in the UK.  It topped the charts as a #1 hit in Germany.
  • To date Lobo has released 17 albums, the last in 2010.
  • Lobo continues to tour and play gigs – he is particularly popular in Asia.

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  • Me and You and a Dog Named Boo is lifted from the 1971 album Introducing Lobe.
  • Written by Lobo under his real name Kent LaVoie, it reached #5 on the US charts and #4 on the UK charts.
  • Also in 1971, country artist Stonewall Jackson recorded Me and You and a Dog Named Boo.  It was his final Top 40 hit on the US country chart, peaking at number seven.
  • The Brady Kids sung the song on their TV show – an animated version of The Brady Bunch.
  • Me and You and a Dog Named Boo lyrics.

me and you and a dog named boo – lobo – 1971 – video

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