David Bowie – 1947 – 2016

January 11, 2016

David Bowie

One of the true icons of 70s music has died.  David Bowie passed away today after an 18 month battle with cancer.

David’s latest album, Blackstar (represented by a black star) was released just two days ago.

Read the report from David Bowie Dies.

David Bowie – Blackstar – 2016 – Video


Sugar Baby Love – The Rubettes – 1974

February 9, 2015

The Rubettes Sugar Baby Love 1974Another manufactured band, this time from the UK; back in 1974, The Rubettes hit #1 with Sugar Baby Love.

tThe Rubettes 1he rubettes fax

  • In the early 1970s, Wayne Bickerton and Tony Waddington wrote a number of songs only to have them rejected by every recording artist they sent them to.  So, they did what any zealous songwriter would do; they created a band and called it, The Rubettes.
  • The Rubettes had immediate success with a #1 UK hit, Sugar Baby Love.  It peaked at #37 in the US.  They followed that with eight more UK top 40 songs.  They released ten albums, the last being in 1995, although they continue to tour (in one form or another) today.
  • The Rubettes AOn stage, The Rubettes are known for their trademark white suits and cloth caps.
  • By the early-2000s, the band had fractured in a number of ways so that there were two bands touring as The Rubettes.  A court case followed over the rightful ownership of the name (just as it had for The Beach Boys and Spandau Ballet).
  • On 21 September 2014, as part of the Rubettes 40th anniversary, original members, Alan Williams, John Richardson and Mick Clarke returned to the Olympia in Paris, the venue of The Rubettes’ first appearance in France in 1974 when Sugar Baby Love topped the French and European charts

sugar baby love fax

  • SunplusSugar Baby Love was written by UK songwriters Wayne Bickerton and Tony Waddington.
  • It was recorded by The Rubettes in late 1973 and released in January 1974.  It went on to spend four weeks at #1 on the UK charts and peaked at #37 on the US charts.
  • Sugar Baby Love was The Rubettes debut and most successful single.
  • The song was originally written for the Eurovision song contest but Showaddywaddy, the band it was offered to, turned it down.  Wayne and Tony then suggested the demo band release it themselves, on the condition they formed a real band.
  • Sugar Baby Love had something of a resurgence when it was featured in the 1994 movie, Muriel’s Wedding.
  • Sugar Baby Love lyrics.

sugar baby love – the rubettes – 1974 – video

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Alvin Stardust – 1942 – 2014

October 24, 2014

Alvin Stardust, glam-rock star, television and stage artist, has passed away aged 72.

Alvin Stardust

27 September 1942 – 23 October 2014

Alvin 1Bernard William Jewry was born on September 27, 1942. He first appeared on stage in a pantomime when just four years old.  As a teenager he began performing as Shane Fenton.  The Shane Fenton moniker came about in interesting circumstances.

Shane Fenton and the Fentones were an unknown teenage band who, in the early 1960s, sent a demo tape to the BBC. Before the BBC could reply, the band’s 17-year-old singer Shane Fenton (real name, Johnny Theakston) died.  The band decided to break-up.  Soon after a letter arrived from the BBC asking them to audition for a television spot; Shane’s mother asked the boys to stay together to honour her son’s memory.  Alvin was asked to assume the role and name of Shane Fenton.   The band based their sound on The Shadows and had a few hits in the UK Singles Chart

Alvin 2Alvin is best known as a glam-rock performer from the 70s and 80s, with his biggest hits occurring very early in his career: My Coo Ca Choo (#2) and Jealous Mind (#1).

With the shelving of glam-rock, Alvin hit the stage, staring in the UK tour of Godspell and playing Uriah Heep in David Copperfield – The Musical and Sir Billy Butlin in The Butlin Story at the London Palladium. In 2005, he starred as the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

In 2011, Alvin the singer was reborn. He continued to perform up until the illness that led to his death.

Alvin passed away on October 23, 2014, just a couple of weeks before the planned release of his first album for 30 years. He had been diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer and died at his home.

Ma Coo Ca Choo – Alvin Stardust – 1973

Jealous Mind – Alvin Stardust – 1974

Red Dress – Alvin Stardust – 1974 (introduced by… Jimmy Saville!)

Hot Child in the City – Nick Gilder – 1978

April 17, 2014

nick-gilder-hot-child-in-the-city-chrysalis-2Sweet, innocent and poppy – Nick Gilder’s 1978 hit, Hot Child in the City, is about something rather more sinister.

nick gilder fax

  • Born in the UK, moved to Vancouver as a kid, Nick began his musical career as the frontman for a Canadian glam-rock band named Sweeney Todd.  When Nick left the band to go solo, he was replaced by Bryan Adams!
  • Sweeney Todd had one #1 Canadian hit.  Back in June 1976, Roxy Roller sat at the top of the charts for three weeks.
  • Pretty much a one hit wonder, Nick has had a successful songwriting career writing for artists such as Joe Cocker, Bette Midler, and Pat Benatar.
  • Now 62, Nick continues to sing and tour.

hot child in the city fax

  • Hot Child in the City was written by Nick Gilder
  • Lifted from Nick’s second solo album, City Nights, it was released in 1978.
  • Hot Child in the City is about runaway young people.
  • Hot Child in the City hit #1 in both the US and Canada; it barely touched the charts in the UK.
  • The song sounds poppy and innocent but it’s about Nick’s experiences witnessing child prostitution.

I’ve seen a lot of young girls, 15 and 16, walking down Hollywood Boulevard with their pimps. Their home environment drove them to distraction so they ran away, only to be trapped by something even worse. It hurts to see that so I tried writing from the perspective of a lecher – in the guise of an innocent pop song.

hot child in the city – nick gilder – 1978 – video

roxy roller – sweeney todd – 1976 – video

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Devil Gate Drive – Suzi Quatro – 1974

March 21, 2014

Suzi_Quatro_Devil_Gate_Drive_single_coverIf there’s ever been a female star I’ve had a thing for, apart from Linda Ronstadt, it has to be Suzi Quatro, who had two UK #1 hit singles back in the early 70s; this is the 1974 hit, Devil Gate Drive.

suzi quarto fax

  • Born in the USA, based in the UK, Susan Kay Quatro was the first female bass player to become a major rock star. Suzi is often credited with breaking the barriers to women’s participation in rock music.
  • Suzi began playing bass in her sister’s band, The Pleasure Seekers,Suzi quatro 1 back in 1964 – she was just 14.
  • In 1971, she moved to England after being seen by record producer Mickie Most – he had no interest in the other members of the band.
  • Mickie was looking for a female rock singer who could fill the gap left following the death of Janis Joplin. Suzi explains:

According to the Elektra president, I could become the new Janis Joplin. Mickie Most offered to take me to England and make me the first Suzi Quatro — I didn’t want to be the new anybody.

  • Once in the UK, Suzi spent a year living in a hotel while being coached in the ways of rock ‘n’ roll by Mickie.
  • In 1972, Suzi’s first single was released. It bombed, but her secoSuzi quatro 2nd, Can The Can, went to #1 in the UK and Australia. There followed four more hit singles and a string of hit albums.
  • None of her early success was in the US, however. That came in the late 70s after she had appeared in the American sitcom Happy Days. Her subsequent duet “Stumblin’ In” with Chris Norman reached #4 in the USA in 1979. Ironically, it barely dented the UK chart.
  • In all, Suzi has sold over 50 million albums. The most recent was released in 2011. She continues to perform live and continues to present radio programmes.

suzi quotes

In a 2012 interview, Suzi was asked what she thought she had achieved for female rockers in general. She replied:

Before I did what I did, we didn’t have a place in rock ‘n’ roll. Not really. You had your Grace Slicks and all that, but that’s not what I did. I was the first to be taken seriously as a female rock ‘n’ roll musician and singer. That hadn’t been done before. I played the boys at their own game. For everybody that came afterward, it was a little bit easier, which is good. I’m proud of that. If I have a legacy, that’s what it is. It’s nothing I take lightly. It was gonna happen sooner or later. In 2014, I will have done my job 50 years. It was gonna be done by somebody, and I think it fell to me to do because I don’t look at gender. I never have. It doesn’t occur to me if a 6-foot-tall guy has pissed me off not to square up to him. That’s just the way I am. If I wanted to play a bass solo, it never occurred to me that I couldn’t. When I saw Elvis for the first time when I was 5, I decided I wanted to be him, and it didn’t occur to me that he was a guy. That’s why it had to fall to somebody like me.]

In a 1973 interview, Suzi sympathised with many of the opinions voiced by the women’s liberation movement whilst distancing herself from it because she considered that the participants were;

…completely hypocritical. Their leaders stand up there and say, ‘We’re individuals blab blab blab,’ and yet they’re all in a group following like sheep. For me, I cannot put the two together … I’m talking about the masses that follow [the movement’s leaders who get press attention] and who have nothing at all to say. It gives it all a very phoney light. I hope they can find a way to apply it to their own lives, because grouping together takes away the whole idea of Women’s Lib.

Rock critic Philip Auslander says:

Although there were many women in rock by the late 1960s, most performed only as singers, a traditionally feminine position in popular music. Though some women (like Quatro herself) played instruments in American all-female garage rock bands, none of these bands achieved more than regional success. So they did not provide viable templates for women’s on-going participation in rock. When Quatro emerged in 1973, no other prominent female musician worked in rock simultaneously as a singer, instrumentalist, songwriter, and bandleader. Indds that in 2000 Quatro saw herself as kicking down the male door in rock and roll and proving that a female musician … and this is a point I am extremely concerned about … could play as well if not better than the boys.

devil gate drive fax

  • Devil Gate Drive is the second of Suzi Quatro’s two #1 UK singles – it spent two weeks at the top of the chart in February 1974. (She did hit #1 once again – 13 years and 26 days later (as part of the Ferry Aid band in a charity version of the Lennon–McCartney song, Let It Be).
  • Devil Gate Drive was written and produced by hit writing duo, Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman – it was the second number one in a row for the ChinniChap writing and production team, following the success of Mud’s Tiger Feet.
  • Devil Gate Drive featured on the show Happy Days, during season 5, on the episode “Fonzie and Leather Tuscadero, Part II”. Quatro played Leather Tuscadero on the show.
  • Devil Gate Drive lyrics.

devil gate drive – suzi quarto – 1974 – video

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Eight Good Christmas Songs ??

December 19, 2013

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

Okay, we’re moving away from the 70s just for ONE week!  I’ve felt a bit nauseated hearing Snoopy and Feliz Navidad and that one by Boney M every time I go to the mall, so I decided to post eight GOOD Christmas songs – my opinion only!

 Some are from the seventies, most aren’t.  They are in no particular order.

 Now listen up!  I know there will be some I’ve missed.  Feel free to point them out, but no abuse for my choices, okay 🙂

Santa Claus is Coming to Town – Bruce Springsteen

Christmas, Baby Please Come Home – U2

Christmas, Baby Please Come Home – Darlene Love

Fairytale of New York – The Pogues

I Wish It Could be Christmas Every Day – Wizzard

Happy Christmas (War Is Over) – John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band with the Harlem Community Choir

2000 Miles – The Pretenders

Power Of Love – Frankie Goes to Hollywood

(Yep! Came in at #50 on The Independent’s Top Christmas Song list).

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

I Was Made For Lovin’ You – KISS – 1979

October 17, 2013

KISS - I was made for loving youPainted faces, flamboyant concerts, still going strong today; KISS’s, I Was Made For Lovin’ You hit the airwaves in 1979.

there’s only one kiss

Grease paint, flamboyant costumes, spitting blood, flaming guitars, and that tongue! We all know KISS, one of the most prolific bands of the last 40 years.

KISS began life in 1971 under the name, Wicked Lester. By 1973, they had a new name and the line-up that has remained largely unchanged to this very day.

Then came the makeup and costumes. They took on the personas of comic book-style characters: Starchild (Stanley), The Demon (Simmons), Spaceman or Space Ace (Frehley) and Catman (Criss).

the name

The name KISS came about because Ace Frehley had previously been in a band named, Lips. It seemed a natural name progression. Ace came up with the styalised KISS logo with the S’s looking like lightning bolts.

In Germany, however, it looked a little too much like the SS symbol which is banned. Hence, over there, the name is written with the S’s backwards.

gold record but still no #1’s

I Was Made For Lovin’ You was Kiss’s second gold record, the first being Beth. In all, the band produced 20 studio albums, 10 live albums, 13 compilation albums, 58 singles and 15 video albums – they are one of the highest selling artists of all time, but they have never achieved a #1 single in the US. Their highest chart listing is #7; Beth in 1976.

i was made for loving you baby fax

  • I Was Made for Lovin’ You, was released as a single on May 20, 1979 from the band’s album Dynasty.
  • I Was Made for Lovin’ You was KISS’s second gold single and certified gold in the US on August 16, 1979, and in Canada on August 1, 1979.
  • The song was written by professional songwriters, Desmond Child and Vini Poncia, and KISS guitarist, Paul Stanley. Desmond Child said of I Was Make For Lovin’ You,

Paul wanted to write a good disco song and I decided to help him with that. Paul started to write lyrics and chords then I played the song on the guitar and said “OK, we’ll do something to improve this and make it really a good song.

  • Paul Stanley said,

It was a conscious effort on my part to prove how easy it was to write and record a hit disco song.

  • Over 20 bands have produced cover versions of I Was Made For Lovin’ You. Jack Black covered the song as, I Was Made For Sliming You at the 2008 Kids Choice Awards, and some claim the central riff of the song was borrowed by Bruce Springsteen for his song Outlaw Pete, from his 2009 album Working On A Dream.
  • I Was Made For Lovin’ You lyrics.

i was made for lovin’ you – kiss – 1979 – video

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