Blinded by the Light – Manfred Mann’s Earth Band – 1976

May 18, 2017

manfred-manns-earth-band-blinded-by-the-light-cover 1976From a track on Bruce Springsteen’s 1973 debut album, to a 1976 #1 hit for English Band, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, Blinded by the Light must be one of the great tracks of the 70s.

manfred mann’s earth band fax

  • Manfred Mann is 76 years old now – born in South Africa, he began working as a jazz pianist and recording music when he was just 19 years old. His first band was The Vikings, rumoured to be South Africa’s first rock ‘n’ roll band.
  • Unable to stomach the apartheid of his homeland, Manfred moved to the UK in 1961, where he joined forces with keyboard player Mike Hugg to form a large blues-jazz band called, The Mann-Hugg Blues Brothers. They signed to EMI who suggested a name change to Manfred Mann.  From 1964 – 1969, the band had a number of hits including: Do Wah Diddy Diddy, Pretty Flamingo and Mighty Quinn.
  • Manfred Mann split in 1969 and Mike and Manfred formed a new band; Manfred Mann Chapter Three. Two albums later they split also.
  • In 1971, Manfred had another go, forming Manfred Mann’s Earth Band which still records and performs to this day.

blinded by the light fax

  • Blinded by the Light is a song written and recorded by Bruce Springsteen. It first appeared on his 1973 debut album Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.
  • Bruce wrote Blinded by the Light because his record company president, Clive Davis, felt the album lacked a potential single. Blinded by the Light and Spirit in the Night were written in response.
  • Blinded by the Light was Bruce’s first single – it did not appear on the charts anywhere!
  • Manfred Mann’s Earth Band covered the song in 1976. It hit #1 in the US and #6 in the UK.
  • Manfred Mann’s Earth Band’s version of Blinded by the Light changes the lyrics. The most prominent change is in the chorus, where Bruce’s “cut loose like a deuce” is replaced with “revved up like a deuce.”
  • Blinded by the Light is used in the movies, Blow and Running with Scissors.
  • Blinded by the Light lyrics.

blinded by the light – manfred mann’s earth band – 1976 – video

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Can’t Get Enough – Bad Company – 1974

November 6, 2016

Bcant-get-enough-bad-company-1974-single-coverad Company, an English band with a great pedigree had their biggest hit in 1974 with their first single, Can’t Get Enough.

bad company fax

  • When English band Free split in 1973, singer Paul Rodgers and drummer Simon Kirke enlisted the talents of Mott the Hoople guitarist Mick Ralphs and King Crimson bassist Boz Burrell to create Bad Company.
  • Add the management talents of Led Zeppelin manager, Peter Grant, and you got a winning combination.
  • Bad Company released 12 albums in all, the last in 1996.  The first three, released in ’73, ’74, and ’75 all made it into the top five in both the UK and US album charts.
  • Their best known singles, Can’t Get Enough, Good Lovin’ Gone Bad, and Feel Like Makin’ Love, remain on high rotate on classic rock radio stations across the world today.
  • Over the decades the band has gone through a number of incarnations and a number of hiatus’s.  The latest line-up, since 2008, features the original band members excepting Boz Burrell.  Although, it was recently announced that, for their latest tour (supporting Joe Walsh) Rich Robinson of the Black Crowes would be standing in for Mick Ralphs.

can’t get enough fax

  • Can’t Get Enough was written by Mick Ralphs.
  • It was recorded in November 1973 and released in August 1974 on Bad Company, the band’s second album.
  • Can’t Get Enough is Bad Company’s biggest hit reaching #5 on the US charts and #15 in the UK.
  • It is, arguably, the band’s most popular song, although Feel Like Making Love must come a close second.
  • Can’t Get Enough lyrics.

can’t get enough – bad company – 1974 – video

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Locomotive Breath – Jethro Tull – 1971

July 19, 2016

 Jethro Tull Locomotive Breath 1971One of my favourite albums back in boyhood days was Jethro Tull’s Thick as a Brick – a concept album that was written and designed to parody the plethora of concept albums that were in vogue at the time.  Not often you hear Thick as a Brick on the radio but I did hear two great Jethro Tull tracks this week – Locomotive Breath and Living in the Past!  The former from 1971’s fabulous Aqualung; the latter from 1969’s, Living in the Past album.  Living in the Past was released and re-released at least four times, 1969, 1975, 1985, and then in 1993 (a rather more up tempo version dubbed, Living in the (Slightly More Recent) Past).

Jethro Tull 1jethro tull fax

  • Active from 1967 through until 2012, Jethro Tull was a rock band formed in Bedfordshire, England.
  • Starting out as a blues band, Jethro Tull’s sound became unique when they began to meld elements of British folk music with hard rock characterised by the flute of lead vocalist Ian Anderson.  Other founding members were, guitarist Mick Abrahams (who, wanting to move in a hard rock direction, was replaced for a few weeks by Tony Iommi who formed Black Sabbath and was subsequently replaced by the fabulous Martin Barre), keyboardist John O’Hara, drummer Clive Bunker, and bassist Glenn Cornick.
  • Within two years of forming, Jethro Tull hit #1 on the UK album chart with Stand Up (1969) – a blues album not reflective of their later style.
  • In terms of success Jethro Tull made it! Over 60 million albums sold, including 11 gold and five platinum albums.
  • The band continued to tour until late 2011 although their last recordings were from 2003.  In 2014,Ian announced that the band was “finished.”

jethro tull trivia

  • Jethro Tull 2Originally playing a mixture of blues and Motown covers, the band initially had trouble getting repeat bookings so they took to changing their name frequently so clubs would book them without realising who they were.  Names used included, Navy Blue, Ian Henderson’s Bag o’ Nails, and Candy Coloured Rain.  Band names were invented by their booking agents’ staff, one of whom, a history enthusiast, eventually christened them Jethro Tull after the 18th century agriculturist. The name stuck because they happened to be using it the first time a club manager liked their show enough to invite them to return!

locomotive breath fax

  • Recorded between December 1970 and February 1971, Locomotive Breath first appeared on Jethro Tull’s 1971 album, Aqualung.
  • Locomotive Breath didn’t enter the charts until 1976 peaking at #62 on the US singles chart – despite that, it remained one of the band’s most popular live tracks.
  • Locomotive Breath has a long, rather wonderful, bluesy piano introduction and an equally wonderful flute solo halfway through.
  • Ian Anderson wrote Locomotive Breath endeavouring to create music that resembles a train chugging along.  The term “locomotive breath” refers to the steam exhaust from a steam locomotive with the song employing the imagery of an impending and unavoidable train wreck as an allegorical portrayal of a man’s life falling apart.
  • Locomotive Breath has been covered a number of times, notably by Styx on their 2005 album Big Bang Theory. 
  • A Swedish rock band, formed in 1995 by Janne Stark, has taken its name from the song.
  • Locomotive Breath lyrics.

locomotive breath – jethro tull – 1971 – video

living in the (slightly more recent) past – jethro tull – 1993

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The Logical Song – Supertramp – 1979

July 8, 2016

Supertramp The Logical Song 1979A difficult band to label, chocked full of keyboards and saxophones – Supertramp were one of the distinctive sounding bands of the 70s and 80s.  More an album band than a single band, they did find success with their 1979 single, The Logical Song.

supertramp fax

  • Supertramp formed in 1969 and were originally known as Daddy.  By the time of the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival, they’d changed their name to Supertramp – a name inspired by the William Henry Davies book, The Autobiography of a Super-Tramp.
  • Pivotal to the band were founders Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson – not to mention the Wurlitzer electric piano and saxophone.
  • Supertramp 1After half a decade or so of mainstream progressive rock, the mid-70s saw Supertramp incorporating more radio-friendly aspects into their work – it resulted in 1979’s Breakfast in America, which has sold more than 20 million copies.
  • Supertramp was better known for their albums than their singles; Succesful albums included, Even the Quietest Moments, Crisis? What Crisis, and Breakfast in America ( a #1 album in both the US and UK).
  • Supertramp’s singles, though recognisable and still receiving airplay today, didn’t fare so well on the charts.  Most 70s fans will, however, remember Roger’s songs, Give a Little Bit, The Logical Song, Take the Long Way Home, Dreamer, and It’s Raining Again, and Rick’s songs, Bloody Well Right, Goodbye Stranger, and “Cannonball.
  • Supertramp continue to tour today but without Roger – he left in 1983 and tours today with his Breakfast in America tour.
  • In August 2015, Supertramp was forced to cancel their current tour when Rick was diagnosed with multiple myeloma.  He is currently undergoing treatment.

Supertramp 2roger hodgson trivia

  • Before Supertramp, Roger was in band Argosy; a band with a short lifespan which featured the talents of one Reginald Dwight.

the logical song fax

  • The Logical Song was written by Supertramp’s Roger Hodgson.  It is autobiographical from his experience of ten years at boarding school.
  • Released as a single in March 1979, The Logical Song was one of four singles taken from Supertramp’s sixth album, Breakfast in America.
  • The Logical Song is Supertramp’s biggest chart hit in both the US (peaking at #6) and the UK (peaking at #7).
  • In 2001, German techno band Scooter released the song as, Ramp! (The Logical Song).  It reached #1 in several European countries and Australia.
  • The Logical Song appeared in The Simpsons episode I Married Marge, and the soundtrack of the film Magnolia.
  • The Logical Song won the 1979 Ivor Novello Award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically.
  • The Logical Song lyrics.

the logical song – supertramp – 1979 – video

ramp! the logical song – scooter – 2001 – video

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Hold Your Head Up – Argent – 1972

February 20, 2016

Argent Hold Your Head Up 1972The only charting single from a band remembered fondly for their 70s progressive rock – Argent’s 1972 hit, Hold Your Head Up.

Argent 1argent fax

  • Argent were founded in 1969 in England by keyboardist Rod Argent, formerly of The Zombies.
  • Other members included: Jim Rodford who also played with The Kinks and The Swinging Blue Jeans; Bob Henrit and Russ Ballard, both members of The Roulettes; Bob was also in The Kinks.
  • Argent’s biggest hit (their only one to reach the charts) was 1972’s, Hold Your Head Up.
  • Argent recorded the original version of God Gave Rock and Roll to You.  It was written by Russ Ballard and later a hit for Kiss.
  • Between 1969 and 1976 Argent released seven albums before disbanding.  The original lineup reunited in 2010 for a short UK tour.

Argent 2hold your head up fax

  • Hold Your Head Up was written by Rod Argent and Chris White.  It appeared Argent’s third album, All Together Now.
  • Hold Your Head Up was Argent’s only single to chart; it peaked at #5 in both the US and the UK.
  • There were three versions of the song: the 6:15 long album version, the single version of 3:15, and the DJ edit which runs for 2:53.
  • Rick Wakeman cited the Hammond B3 solo as the greatest organ solo ever.
  • Covers include versions by, Steppenwolf, Uriah Heap and The Zombies.
  • Hold Your Head Up lyrics.

hold your head up – argent – 1972

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Rock On – David Essex – 1973

February 4, 2016

David Essex - Rock On 1973 - CoverSince releasing his first single in 1965, David Essex has managed 19 Top 40 UK singles – including two #1’s, and 16 UK Top 40 albums.  His first hit single was Rock On, in 1973.

David Essex 1david essex fax

  • Born near London, David Albert Cook was singing in pubs and clubs by the time he was 16 years old.
  • In 1965 he recorded his first record, And the Tears Came Tumbling Down, and began touring with David Essex and the Mood Indigo.  David Albert Cook had become David Essex.
  • A further seven 60s singles followed but it was in acting/musicals that he got his first real break.  In 1971, David was cast the lead role in Godspell.
  • In 1973 he starred in the movie That’ll Be the Day and, in 1974, he appeared in the sequel, Stardust.
  • The same year he wrote, recorded and released Rock On.
  • Two #1 hits followed: Gonna Make You a Star (1974) and Hold Me Close (1975).
  • Blessed with rock star looks, David had a certain popularity with his female fans – he was voted #1 British male vocalist in 1974, his shows creating scenes of hysteria reminiscent of Beatlemania.
  • David Essex 2Other acting/musical roles have included: the musical version of The War of the Worlds (1978), Che in Evita (1978), Fletcher Christian in the musical Mutiny! (which he co-wrote in 1985).
  • David continues to perform today.  In 1999, he was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).
  • Despite his stardom in the UK, he remains largely unknown in the US where his only hit, Rock On peaked at #5 on the singles charts.

rock on fax

  • Rock On was written by English singer/songwriter David Essex.
  • The title track to his debut album, Rock on was recorded by David in 1973.  It sold over a million copies and peaked at #3 on the UK singles charts and #5 on the US charts.
  • David Essex 3Rock On featured on the soundtrack album to the 1973 film That’ll Be the Day, in which David had a starring role.
  • In 1988, David re-recorded the song with an updated lyric.
  • Cover versions have included: Michael Damian (1989) who took it to #1 on the US charts, Toni Basil, The Smashing Pumpkins (2001), Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor (1990), Def Leppard (2006), and Blondie (2012).
  • Rock On lyrics.

rock on – david essex – 1973 – video

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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