Woodstock – Matthews Southern Comfort -1970

October 8, 2017

matthews-southern-comfort-woodstock-1970A great song recorded by a number of 70s artists – this the ’70 version of Woodstock by English band, Matthews Southern Comfort.

matthews southern comfort fax

  • Iain Matthews was a singer with Fairport Convention before forming his own band, Matthews Southern Comfort.
  • Influenced by both rock and roll and folk music, Iain Matthews performed mainly as a solo act, although he was a member of Fairport Convention during the early period when they were heavily influenced by American folk rock.
  • Iain led the bands Plainsong, Hi-Fi, No Grey Faith, More Than a Song, and Matthews Southern Comfort.
  • The latter were one-hit-wonders with the 1970 hit, Woodstock.

woodstock fax

  • Woodstock was written by Joni Mitchell and included on her 1970 album Ladies of the Canyon.
  • Woodstock has been covered by both Matthews Southern Comfort and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.
  • The song was first released by Joni as a B-side to her hit, Big Yellow Taxi. Joni said she wrote the song from what she had heard from then-boyfriend, Graham Nash, about the Woodstock Music and Art Festival. She had not been there herself, since she was told by a manager that it would be more advantageous for her to appear on The Dick Cavett Show.
  • A month before Joni’s folky version, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young released a rocker version as the lead single from their 1970 Déjà Vu album.
  • About three months after the two US releases of Woodstock, the song became an international hit thanks to Matthews Southern Comfort who performed to song on the Live in Concert programme broadcast live by BBC Radio 1 on June 28, 1970. Iain Matthews tells the story of how his band required an additional song for their set on the scheduled radio session.  Woodstock was his suggestion – Iain had purchased Ladies of the Canyon album earlier that week.
  • Matthews Southern Comfort’s version was received so well that the BBC contacted Matthews’ label Uni Records. The label suggested they add the song to the newly recorded Matthews Southern Comfort album, Later That Same Year.  Iain declined to mess with the completed album, but agreed to have them release the song as a single.
  • The Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young version of Woodstock peaked at #11 on the US charts. The Matthews Southern Comfort version peaked at #23 in the US but spent three weeks at #1 in the UK.
  • Woodstock lyrics.

woodstock – matthews southern comfort – 1970 – video

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Couldn’t Get It Right – Climax Blues Band – 1976

September 28, 2017

Couldn't Get it Right - Climax Blues Band - 1976From a band celebrating its 50th year in the business; Couldn’t Get It Right, Climax Blues Band’s 1976 hit.

climax blues band fax

The Climax Blues Band (originally known as the Climax Chicago Blues Band) have nothing to do with Chicago! They are a British blues rock band formed in Stafford, England, in 1967 and still active today – thought with none of the original line-up.

The original line-up was: vocals and harmonica Colin Cooper (1939–2008), guitar and vocals Pete Haycock (1951–2013), guitar Derek Holt (b. 1949), bass and keyboards Richard Jones (b. 1949), drummer George Newsome (b. 1947), and keyboardist Arthur Wood (1929–2005).

The band became the Climax Blues Band in 1972, apparently after some pressure from the American band Chicago.

Climax Blues Band released at least 17 albums but only two singles making it into the top 20 in either the US or UK.

couldn’t get it right fax

  • When the Climax Blues Band were told by their record label that their 1976 album Gold Plated lacked a standout track, the boys wrote, Couldn’t Get It Right.
  • Released in the UK in October 1976 and the US in February 1977, the song became the band’s greatest hit; peaking at #10 in the UK and #3 in the US.
  • In an obituary for band member Pete Haycock, the Independent wrote of the song:

[Couldn’t Get It Right] transcended the clichés of the road-song genre and incorporated several of their trademarks, including the vocal harmonies of Haycock and Holt behind Cooper’s lead, and Haycock’s guitar being played in unison with Cooper’s saxophone, to create a concise gem of a single equal to the best work of the Doobie Brothers or Ace.

  • Bands to record cover versions of Couldn’t Get It Right include, Fun Lovin’ Criminals on their 1999 album, Mimosa; and Stockholm Syndrome on their 2004 album, Holy Happy Hour.
  • Couldn’t Get It Right lyrics.

couldn’t get it right – climax blues band – 1976 – video

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Stay With Me – Faces – 1971

September 21, 2017

Stay with Me - Faces - 1971A supergroup made up of super-musicians at the beginning of lifelong stardom – The Faces and their 1971 hit, Stay with Me.

faces fax

  • In 1969, when Small Faces lead singer/guitarist Steve Marriott left to form Humble Pie, the remaining band members – Ian McLagan (keyboards), Ronnie Lane (bass guitar), and Kenney Jones (drums and percussion) – added Ronnie Wood (guitar) and Rod Stewart (lead vocals) to their ranks and renamed themselves Faces. Ronnie and Rod had come from Jeff Beck Group.
  • The new name wasn’t universally accepted; hoping to capitalise on the Small Faces’ earlier success, their record company urged the band to keep their old name. The band declined.  They argued that the personnel changes meant they were now a group very different from the Small Faces.  As a compromise, the band’s debut US album was credited to the Small Faces, while subsequent albums appeared under their new name – Faces.
  • In its first phase, the band was together from 1969 – 1975. They recorded four albums, the latter two being the most popular; A Nod is as Good as a Wink… to a Blind Horse (#2 in the UK and #6 in the US), and Ooh La La (#1 in the UK and #21 in the US).  They released 11 singles with varying success.  The most popular being, Stay with Me.
  • Faces have had more than one reunion, the latest being in the middle of the 2010s, with Mick Hucknall filling in on lead vocals in Rod’s absence.
  • Post-Faces, the band members have had varied successes: we know what’s happened to Rod; Ronnie Wood too – he joined the Rolling Stones; Ronnie Lane had a modest solo career that ended prematurely when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (he died in 1997); Kenney Jones joined The Who after the death of Keith Moon.

stay with me fax

  • Stay with Me was written by Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood and was recorded by their band Faces for the 1971 album A Nod Is As Good As a Wink… to a Blind Horse.
  • Stay with Me has also appeared on various Faces compilation albums and on albums by both songwriters.
  • Stay with Me peaked at #6 on the UK singles chart and #10 on the US singles chart.
  • Stay with Me lyrics.

stay with me – faces – 1971 video

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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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