Cars – Gary Numan – 1979

May 16, 2018

Cars GAry Numan 1979Considered an epitome of the 70’s – 80’s new wave genre – Gary Numan’s 1979 #1 hit, Cars.

gary numan fax

  • Born in West London, England, Gary Anthony James Webb was 15 years old when his father bought him a Gibson Les Paul – which he still regards as his most treasured possession.
  • Gary played in various bands, before forming Tubeway Army with his uncle.
  • Gary’s first pseudonym was Valerian – it’s assumed it was a reference to the hero in French science fiction comic series Valérian and Laureline. His choice of adoptive surname is a little less artistic; he choose the surname Numan after seeing a Yellow Pages ad for a plumber whose surname was Neumann.
  • Tubeway Army produced a couple of albums and three or four singles; none of which charted until the single Are ‘Friends’ Electric? Released in May 1979, it took seven weeks to reach #1 on the UK charts.
  • It was only a few months later that Gary released Cars, using his name rather than the band’s.
  • Cars was from the album, The Pleasure Principle, which reached #1 in the UK. A feature of the album was that no guitars were used – instead synthesisers fed through guitar effects pedals to achieve a similar tone.
  • Gary has released 24 albums, the last released in 2017 – Savage (Songs from a Broken World). It peaked at #2 in the UK.
  • Gary is still involved in making music and now lives in California.

cars fax

  • Cars was written by Gary Numan – his debut single as a solo album.
  • Cars was the first single from Gary’s debut solo album, The Pleasure Principle.
  • Released on 21 August 1979, Cars hit the #1 spot in the UK and peaked at #9 on the US singles charts (his only song to make the US top 100, though he had other hits in the UK).
  • In 1999, US heavy metal band, Fear Factory, began to perform Cars as an encore at their concerts. Gary eventually provided the vocals for Fear Factory’s recorded version of the song.  This version peaked at #57 on the UK charts and #16 on the US Rock chart.
  • Other artists to cover the song include: Frank Zappa, using his own lyrics (1980), Nine Inch Nails (2009), and Daft Punk (2011).
  • Cars lyrics.

cars – gary numan – 1979 – video

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Blitzkrieg Bop – The Ramones – 1976

April 8, 2018

Blitzkrieg Bop The Ramones 1976Debut single from Johnny, Dee Dee, Joey and Tommy (not forgetting Marky, Richie, Elvis and C.J.), 1976’s Blitzkrieg Bop.

ramones fax

  • The Ramones formed in New York in 1974.
  • Original members of the band were Jeff Hyman (Joey), John Cummings (Johnny), Douglas Colvin (Dee Dee), and Thomas Erdelyi (Tommy). The guys all adopted the surname “Ramone” although none of them were related.  Dee Dee was the first to adopt the name having been inspired by Paul McCartney’s use of the pseudonym Paul Ramon during his Silver Beetles days.  Dee Dee then convinced the other members to take on the name and came up with the idea of calling the band the Ramones.
  • Like many bands of their genre, the Ramones had little commercial success but are remembered as one of the formative punk bands.
  • In 22 years of playing together—the band split in 1996—The Ramones performed 2,263 concerts, touring virtually nonstop for the life of the band.
  • Over the years, critics have become more convinced of the band’s influence on punk music and rock music in general. Rolling Stone magazine place The Ramones at #26 in their 100 Greatest Artists of all Time list.
  • In 2002, the original four band members, and Marky who replaced Tommy as drummer in 1978, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2011, the group was awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • By 2008, all four of the band’s original members had died; lead singer Joey Ramone (1951–2001), bass guitarist Dee Dee Ramone (1951–2002), guitarist Johnny Ramone (1948–2004) and drummer Tommy Ramone (1949–2014).

blitzkrieg bop fax

  • Blitzkrieg Bop was written by Tommy and Dee Dee Ramone and was the debut single for The Ramones.
  • Recorded in January 1976 and released a month later, the song appeared on the album, Ramones.
  • Blitzkrieg Bop failed to make it onto any singles chart throughout the world. Only six Ramones songs ever dented the singles charts anywhere.  The highest ranking being Baby, I Love You, which hit #8 in the UK in 1980.
  • On the Rolling Stone magazine list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, Blitzkrieg Bop sits at #92. In 2009, VH1 named the song at #25 on its list of the greatest hard rock songs of all time.
  • Blitzkrieg Bop appears in a number of movies including: National Lampoon’s Vacation, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, and Spider-Man: Homecoming. In the UK, it is regularly played before home games at St. James’ Park, home of Newcastle United F.C.
  • The song continues to remain popular at sporting events where “Hey! Ho! Let’s go!” is sometimes shouted as a rallying cry.
  • Blitzkrieg Bop lyrics.

blitzkrieg bop – the ramones – 1976 – video

Sometimes the YouTube links dropout – if this link doesn’t work, please go to YouTube and search for the song – it will be worth it!

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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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