Radar Love – Golden Earring – 1973

February 22, 2017

golden-earring-radar-love-cover-1973Formed in 1961 and still going strong today, Golden Earring must be one of the longest performing bands in the world – in all those years they have had only one major hit, but it was a massive one – Radar Love in 1973.

golden earring fax

Golden Earring began life in 1961 in the Dutch city of The Hague when two neighbours, 13-year-old George Kooymans and 15-year-old Rinus Gerritsen got together to form The Tornados.

  • By 1970 the band had added a couple of members to become the line-up that remains together today.  Although, other musicians have come and gone over the years.
  • Discovering that there was already a band named The Tornados, the boys changed their name to Golden Earring.
  • By the late 60s, Golden Earring were quite popular in The Netherlands and had had a number of hit records and, in 1969, they embarked on their first US tour.  By 1984 they had completed 13 US tours and played alongside acts such as with Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Procol Harum, and Eric Clapton. Between 1969 and 1984, Golden Earring completed 13 U.S. tours. During this period, they performed as the opening act for Santana, King Crimson, The Doobie Brothers, and Rush.
  • Following the success of Radar Love, the band became stars in their own right and, at various times, had Kiss and Aerosmith as their opening act.
  • Those living outside The Netherlands may not realise the popularity of Golden Earring in their homeland.  They have released 25 studio albums – seven of which have reached #1 on the Dutch album chart (the last in 2012).
  • Add to this 73 single releases of which 42 have made the Dutch Top Ten!
  • Outside of the Netherlands, however, they will be remembered for Radar Love.

radar love fax

  • Radar Love was written by Golden Earring members George Kooymans and Barry Hay and recorded by the band in 1973.
  • It featured on the album Moontan.
  • There were three versions of the song: a 5:07 single, a 3:44 single edit and the album version which went for 6:21.
  • Radar Love, a #1 hit in the Netherlands, peaked at #13 in the US and #7 in the UK.
  • The song has been covered by a number of bands including, U2, R.E.M., White Lion, Blue Man Group, Def Leppard and Carlos Santana.  The White Lion version charted at #59 on the US singles chart.
  • Radar Love lyrics.

radar love – golden earring – 1973

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Take Me to the River – Talking Heads – 1978

August 11, 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, a follow-up to 1977’s Psycho Killer. 

talking heads fax

  • Formed in New York in 1977, Talking Heads were pioneers of the New Wave music scene.
  • Talking Heads In Concert

    HOLLYWOOD, CA – CIRCA 1980s: (From L to R) Jerry Harrison, David Byrne, Chris Frantz, and Tina Weymouth of the Talking Heads perform at a concert circa the early-1980s in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

    The 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 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.
  • Talking Heads 3These 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.

take me to the river fax

  • For 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 – 1974 – video

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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.

 talking heads fax

  • 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.

take me to the river fax

  • 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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Barracuda – Heart – 1977

March 23, 2015

Heart-Barracuda-1977-Single CoverIt’s hard to believe this week’s song is almost 40 years old!  Sounding as good today as it did in 1977, Heart’s hit, Barracuda.

Heart 1heart fax

  • From the US, Heart’s initial success was in Canada – it took some time before their compatriots caught the Heart bug.
  • Founded in 1974 and still performing today, the band has gone through a number of line-ups but at the heart (‘cuse the pun) of each morph has been the Wilson sisters, Ann as lead singer and Nancy on guitar.
  • Heart has sold over 35 million records worldwide, 22.5 million of those in the US. They have had Top 10 albums on the US charts in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2010s.
  • Heart 2Heart ranked #57 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.
  • They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.

barracuda fax

  • Barracuda was recorded by Heart in 1977 for their second album, Little Queen.
  • Barracuda was Heart’s second Top 20 US single – it peaked at #11.
  • In 2009, VH1 named Barracuda the 34th best hard rock song of all time.
  • Heart 3The meaning of Barracuda has been often written about; Ann Wilson says it tells of Heart’s anger towards a publicity stunt instigated by Mushroom Records.  They created a rumour that Ann and her sister, Nancy, were involved in an incestuous affair. The song focuses on Ann’s anger when a man came up to her after a concert and asked how her lover was. It took Ann a while to realise he was talking about her sister.  Ann went back to her hotel room to write the original lyrics of the song.
  • Barracuda was covered by Fergie for the soundtrack Shrek the Third (2007) and is on her album The Dutchess.  It was also covered by Alice in Chains and Gretchen Wilson in 2007, and appeared in the television show, Glee, sung byLea Michele and Adam Lambert.
  • Barracuda lyrics.

barracuda – heart – 1977

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Because The Night – Patti Smith – 1978

June 19, 2014

Patti Smith Because The Night single coverOne of the great songs from the 70s punk era is a Patti Smith/Bruce Springsteen collaboration – from 1978, Because The Night.

patti smith fax

  • Patricia Lee Smith was a key figure in the New York City punk rock movement back in the mid-70s; primarily as a result of her much acclaimed 1975 debut album Horses.
  • In fact, her name is so synonymous with punk that she is called, the Godmother of Punk.
  • Patti was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.
  • She is also widely regarded for her poetry and writing.  In 2010, she won the National Book Award for her memoir Just Kids.
  • Many artists name Patti as their greatest influence.  Artists such as, Michael Stipe, Madonna and Pussy Riot.

because the night fax

  • Because The Night is a collaboration between Patti Smith and Bruce Springsteen.
  • It was first released in 1978, lifted off the album Easter by The Patti Smith Group.
  • It had previously been recorded by Bruce as he cut tracks for Darkness on the Edge of Town.  He didn’t like it so Patti recorded it instead.  Bruce never released it on a studio album but still often sings it in concert.
  • Because The Night peaked at #13 in the US and #5 in the UK.
  • For many years it was included in NME magazine’s list of The Top 150 Singles of All Time.
  • Because The Night has been covered by 10,000 Maniacs (reaching #11 on the US charts), Sonic Youth, Kim Wilde KT Tunstall and the Patti Smith 3Buena Vista Social Club, Michael Stipe (with Bruce Springsteen), U2 (with Patti and Bruce) and The Waterboys.
  • Because The Night lyrics.

because the night – patti smith – 1978 – video

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Making Plans For Nigel – XTC – 1979

May 22, 2014

 XTC Making Plans for Nigel - 1979 - Single coverVirtually unknown outside of the UK (or at least the Commonwealth), XTC epitomise the UK new wave sound of the 70s and 80s.  Making Plans for Nigel, their 1979 release, is perhaps their most commercial song.

xtc fax

  • Together for over 30 years, XTC only performed for six years before retiring from live performance and becoming a studio-based project band.
  • XTC, a UK new wave band, formed in 1976.
  • The guys had only two songs that came close to being hits: Making Plans for Nigel (1979) and Senses Working Overtime (1982).
  • While not commercially successful the band epitomises many of the new age bands of the late 70s and early 80s.

making plans for nigel fax

  • Making Plans for Nigel was from XTC’s 1979 album Drums and Wires.
  • Written by prolific songwriter and the band’s bass guitarist, Chris Moulding, Making Plans for Nigel was released in September 1979.  It peaked at #17 on the UK charts and #12 in Canada.
  • Speaking of the song, Chris says:

Partly biographical, this one. My dad prompted me to write it. He wanted a university future for me and was very overpowering in trying to persuade me to get my hair cut and stay on at school. It got to the point where he almost tried to drag me down the barber’s shop by my hair. I know the song tells of a slightly different situation, but it all boils down to the same thing – parental domination.

making plans for nigel – xtc – 1979 – video


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Love is the Drug – Roxy Music – 1975

November 14, 2013

Roxy+Music+-+Love+Is+The+Drug1975, and near the top of the UK charts is Love is the Drug by England’s best known art rock band, Roxy Music.

roxy music fax

  • Formed in 1971, by Bryan Ferry, who became the group’s lead vocalist and chief songwriter, and bassist Graham Simpson, Roxy Music went on to be ranked at #98 on the Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The Immortals – The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
  • Other well-known band members have included: Phil Manzanera, Andy Mackay, Brian Eno, John Gustafson, and Paul Carrack.
  • In November 1970, Bryan Ferry was fired from his job teaching ceramics because he was caught holding impromptu record listening session. He decided to form a band and advertised for a keyboard player to collaborate with him and bass player Graham Simpson. Other band members joined Roxy Music as a result of those newspaper ads.
  • Earlier in 1970, Bryan had auditioned to fill the role of lead singer for the band, King Crimson. While his voice impressed the King Crimson band members, they felt it wasn’t the right sound for their band.
  • Artists to cite Roxy Music as an influence include: Madness, The Sex Pistols, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Cars, Grace Jones, Kate Bush, Adam Ant, The Human League, Duran Duran, Simple Minds, Spandau Ballet, Depeche Mode, Annie Lennox, and Morrissey.

writing the song

Saxophonist Andy Mackay recalled to The Mail on Sunday June 28, 2009,

Bryan (Ferry) used to work endlessly on lyrics and then deliver them as a live take in the studio, like a conjurer pulling rabbits out of a hat. The most thrilling of these was this song.

Speaking to Uncut magazine in a 2012 interview, Ferry recalled his songwriting process,

Traditionally, I’ve always written alone.  Then, in Roxy, Andy (Mackay) and Phil (Manzanera) started bringing ideas to the table, and I’d say, ‘Oh yeah, I can work with that.’ So that’s how I started collaborating. But I would write the tune and the words and the title and they would generally provide the basic chord sequence. Then I’d try and do what I could do to turn it into something that was unique. We did some good collaborations, especially with Andy, ‘Song Dor Europe’ ‘Love Is The Drug’ stand out.

love is the drug fax

  • Love Is the Drug was released in September 1975 and is taken from Roxy Music’s fifth studio album, Siren.
  • Love is the Drug peaked at #2 on the UK charts and #30 on the American singles charts; that makes it the band’s highest-charting single in the US. In the UK it was surpassed by the 1981 cover of John Lennon’s Jealous Guy.
  • Love is the Drug was kept from the UK #1 spot by a re-release of David Bowie’s Space Oddity.
  • Love is the Drug is one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s, 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.
  • The song began as an instrumental written by Andy MacKay. Bryan added the lyrics.
  • Grace Jones released the song as a single in 1980 but it wasn’t until 1981 that it achieved minor chart success.
  • Love is the Drug lyrics.

love is the drug – roxy music – 1975 – video

love is the drug – grace jones version – video

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