Cold As Ice – Foreigner – 1977

February 14, 2017

foreigner-cold-as-ice-single-coverA couple of Brits and an American walk into a band and form, Foreigner; a band who go on to have multiple hit records including 1977’s, Cold As Ice. And, the next minute… it’s in an NFL Super Bowl advertisement!

foreigner fax

  • Foreigner formed in New York back in 1976. Original members were Englishmen, Mick Jones (not to be confused with The Clash guitarist) and Ian McDonald (ex-King Crimson) and American vocalist, Lou Gramm, another Englishman, Dennis Elliott, and a couple more Americans, Al Greenwood and Ed Gagliardi.  That’s quite a line-up – within a year they had a #4 US hit with Feels Like the First Time.  A couple of decades later, they are still going strong (with a few line-up changes) and have become one of the world’s best-selling bands with over 80 million records sold worldwide.
  • Included in their successes is the huge hit I Want to Know What Love Is, which reach the top of both the US and UK charts. Add to that, Cold As Ice (1977), Hot Blooded (1978), Double Vision (1978), Urgent (1981), and Waiting for a Girl Like You ((1981), and you got the potential for a pretty strong Greatest Hits album!
  • Foreigner have released ten studio albums and 47 singles. The singles release in recent years have failed to achieve great chart success and one would have to conclude, the band’s heyday was in the 70s and 80s.  Having said that, Foreigner continue to tour and play to large and adoring audiences.

cold as ice fax

  • Cold as Ice was a 1977 hit for British-American band Foreigner. It was lifted from their eponymous debut album.
  • Written by Foreigner members, Mick Jones and Lou Gramm, Cold as Ice was originally the B-side of some versions of the single, Feels Like the First Time.
  • Cold As Ice peaked at #6 on the US singles chart and #24 on the UK singles chart.
  • Kanye West sampled Cold As Ice as part of the intro for his song Cold at Glastonbury 2015.
  • A cover version of Cold As Ice was used in a Wendy’s advertisement commercial during the 2017 NFL Super Bowl.
  • Cold As Ice lyrics.

cold as ice – foreigner – 1977 – video

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Thanks From Seventiesmusic

February 10, 2017

Hi folks,

Back in late 2016, seventiesmusic received our 500,000th visitor!  That’s half-a million people who have dropped by to listen to a song from the fabulous 70s.

Since our first blog in April 2011 (Led Zeppelin – Whole Lotta Love), we’ve posted 270 times; sadly, some have been obituaries, and we’ve said farewell so some great 70s artists, but most have been about the songs and musicians that made up the soundtrack of my (and perhaps, your) youth.

Thanks for dropping by – I hope the five (almost six) years of posts have brought to mind some of the great (and some of the not so great) songs of the 70s.

May the sound continue to take you away…

GK


Knock On Wood – Amii Stewart – 1979

February 9, 2017

amii_stewart_-_knock_on_woodLast Saturday I had the pleasure of enjoying two and a half hours with the incomparable James Taylor. As an encore he sang the Eddie Floyd, Steve Cropper song, Knock On Wood – a song that has been covered by many artists in a number of genres, including Amii Stewart who has a disco hit with it in 1979.

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  • Amy Stewart was only four years old when her father signed her up for singing and dancing lessons. Because there was already Amy Stewart registered with Actor’s Equity, he changed the spelling of her name to Amii.
  • Amii began her show business life as a dancer – she even studied ballet and modern dance. It was while touring with the stage production Bubbling Brown Sugar in 1975, that she met Barry Leng, a record producer who signed her for Hansa records.
  • Knock On Wood was her first single and it went straight to #1 in the US and #6 in the UK – she even earned a Grammy nomination for it. Her second single was a medley that included The Doors‘ Light My Fire.  That peaked at #5 in the UK but stalled at #69 in the US.
  • Amii now lives in Italy. She still performs but, more often it is in a stage show rather than a disco.  In 2000, she toured as part of Jesus Christ Superstar, playing the part of Mary Magdalene.  Then, in 2003, she starred in the musical Lady Day, in the role of Billie Holiday; the musical was written and produced by her.
  • Amii released 17 albums, the last in 2012.

knock on wood fax

  • Written by Eddie Floyd and Steve Cropper in 1966, Knock on Wood was originally performed by Eddie. His version peaked at #28 on the US singles chart and spent a week at #1 on the US soul chart
  • The song has been covered by artists as diverse as Otis Redding and Carla Thomas in 1967, Wilson Pickett, The American Breed, David Bowie (1974), Amii Stewart (1979), Eric Clapton (1985), Michael Bolton (1992) and James Taylor (last Saturday night).
  • David Bowie’s single is lifted from his 1974 David Live album.
  • Amii Stewart’s version of the song is the most successful. It was Amii’s debut single from her album of the same name.  Recorded late-1978, it was realeased in January 1979 and reached #1 on the US charts and #6 in the UK.  A remixed version was released in the UK in 1985, peaking at #7.
  • Knock On Wood lyrics.

knock on wood – amii stewart – 1979 – video

knock on wood – eddie floyd – 1967 – original version

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Rose Garden – Lynn Anderson – 1970

January 24, 2017

lynn-anderson-rose-garden-single-cover-1970Now, here’s a blast from the past. I was planting a rose garden at home the other day and, try as I did, could not escape this ear-worm; Rose Garden, Lynn Anderson’s 1970 country hit.

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  • Born in Canada, very close to the US border, Lynn Anderson parents registered her birth in Grand Forks, USA, so that she would have US citizenship.
  • Lynn’s mother introduced her to music. Lynn was working as a secretary at a Sacramento radio station when one of her mother’s songs, All My Friends Are Gonna Be Strangers, was recorded by Merle Haggard.  Lynn’s mother signed with RCA Victor and toured with many of the country stars of the 60s.  One night, at an informal sing-a-long, a record producer heard Lynn sing.  He invited her to join his label and… a star was born.
  • In all, Lynn had twelve #1 and over 50 Top 40 hits on the US country music charts. She was nominated for a Grammy Award seven times and won a Grammy in 1971 for the Best Female Country Vocal Performance.
  • Lynn’s first hit was Ride, Ride, Ride, back in 1966 when she was just 19.
  • Outside of music, Lynn was an accomplished equestrian sportswoman, winning 16 national and eight world championships.
  • Lynn died of a heart attack on July 30, 2015.

rose garden fax

  • Rose Garden, also known as (I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden, was written by is a song written by Joe South – a song writer and guitarist who played on some great albums including; Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde, Simon and Garfunkel’s Sounds of Silence and Aretha Franklin’s Chain of Fools.
  • Rose Garden was first released by Billy Joe Royal in 1967 but the best-known version was Lynn Anderson’s cover, released in October 1970.
  • Lynn’s version sat at #1 on the US country chart for five weeks and made the top 3 singles charts in both the US and UK (and hit #1 in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, and Norway).
  • The song won Lynn a Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance in 1971, and earned Joe South two Grammy nominations, Best Country Song and Song of the Year in the pop category.
  • Lynn once said of the song,

“I believe that ‘Rose Garden’ was released at just the right time. People were trying to recover from the Vietnam years. The message in the song—that if you just take hold of life and go ahead, you can make something out of nothing—people just took to that.”

  • k.d. lang and her band The Reclines covered Rose Garden on their 1987 album Angel with a Lariat. While failing to chart, it was k.d.’s first release in the US. Then, in 2005, Martina McBride included the song on her album of covers, Timeless – featuring classic country songs from the past.  Rose Garden was released as a single, peaking at #18 on the country singles charts.
  • Canadian band Kon Kan sampled parts of Rose Garden in their 1989 single I Beg Your Pardon – their song peaked at #15 in the US and #5 on the UK Singles Chart.
  • Rose Garden lyrics.

rose garden – lynn anderson – 1970 – video

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Wildfire – Michael Murphey – 1975

January 16, 2017

wildfire-michael-murpheyKnown to sometimes appear in those lists of “Worst Song Lyrics of All Time,” Michael Murphey’s 1975 hit Wildfire has been described by David Letterman as, “haunting and disturbingly mysterious, but always lovely.”

michael murphey fax

  • American Michael Murphey is a true cowboy – a lover of the outdoors, a native of Texas, a ranch owner and a writer and singer of western music.
  • With six gold albums to his name, Michael’s had 12 singles reach the American Country top ten.
  • Originally singing as Michael Murphey, since 1982 (yes, he is still performing) he has added his middle name and performed as Michael Martin Murphey.
  • Michael has been married four times. His first wife was Diana Vero, former secretary to Brian Epstein.  Diana was with The Beatles when they travelled through the US in 1964.  Their son, Ryan, has also made a name in the American country music scene.

wildfire fax

  • Wildfire was written by Michael Murphey and Larry Cansler, and was originally recorded by Michael.
  • It is the lead single from his 1975 gold album Blue Sky – Night Thunder, and is Michael’s highest charting US single, peaking at #2 on the US singles charts.
  • In all, Wildfire has sold over two million copies.
  • It is listed by the members of the Western Writers of America as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time.
  • In 2007, David Letterman, seemed to become infatuated with Wildfire. Over a course of several weeks and a number of episodes of The Late Show, he discussed the song and its lyrics.  Eventually, Michael was invited on the show to sing.
  • Wildfire appears in an episode of The Simpsons named Lisa’s Pony. Lisa plays Wildfire to her pony with her saxophone.
  • It hasn’t all been good for Michael’s tune – it has occasionally appeared in worst song lyric lists.
  • Wildfire lyrics.

wildfire – michael murphy – 1975 – video

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Year of the Cat – Al Stewart – 1976

January 1, 2017

year_of_the_cat_-_al_stewartFor over 50 years, Al Stewart has been a part of the English music scene. He’s best remembered for his 1976 hit, Year of the Cat.

al stewart fax

  • Alastair Stewart, born in Glasgow but growing up in Dorset, England, became an integral part of the British folk revival of the 60s and 70s.
  • In 1965, Al bought his first guitar from Andy Summers (a long time before Police was even thought of) but traded it in for an acoustic guitar when he was offered a weekly slot at a Soho coffee shop. He went on to compere at the Les Cousins folk club on Greek Street, where he played alongside Cat Stevens, Van Morrison, Roy Harper, and Paul Simon.  He and Paul used to flat together.
  • Al’s best known for his 1976 hit single Year of the Cat, the title song from his platinum album of the same name; and for the 1978 follow-up album Time Passages which also went platinum.
  • Al played at the first-ever Glastonbury Festival in 1970.
  • Since his 1967 debut album Bedsitter Images, Al has released 16 studio and three live albums. [Editor’s note: his latest live album, Uncorked, is tremendous and showcases his wonderful guitar skills.]
  • Al has, in his 51 years in the music industry, worked with some of musical greats such as: Alan Parsons, Jimmy Page, Richard Thompson, Rick Wakeman, and Tori Amos.
  • Since 1976, Al has lived in Los Angeles. He’s well-known for writing lyrics that tell the tales of characters and events from history.

the year of the cat fax

  • Recorded at Abbey Road Studios, Year of the Cat was released in July 1976 and is the title track of Al Stewart’s third album.
  • It was written by Al and Peter Wood – keyboard player for a number of bands and artists including Pink Floyd.
  • Year of the Cat peaked at #8 on the US singles chart and #31 on the UK singles chart.
  • Two versions of the song were recorded; the 4:38 length single version and the 6:40 album version.
  • The song’s title referred to one of the twelve signs of the Vietnamese zodiac. It corresponds to that of the Rabbit in the Chinese zodiac but, at the time of the song’s release, the most Chinese year was the Year of the Rabbit – Al thought that didn’t have quite the same ring to it and so went with the Vietnamese Year of the Cat.
  • Year of the Cat appears in the film version of Running with Scissors (2006).
  • Year of the Cat lyrics.

year of the cat – al stewart – 1976 – video – short version

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Sweet, Sweet Love – Russell Morris – 1971

December 11, 2016

sweet-sweet-love-russell-morris-1971Our friends from the northern end of the rock may not have heard this song before but down the bottom end, Russell Morris’ Sweet, Sweet Love is a treasured part of our 70s playlist.

 russell morris fax

  • Aussie singer, Russell Morris began his musical career in 1966… and is still going strong – in fact, of his 14 studio albums, the highest charting is 2014’s Van Diemens Land.
  • In the late 60s and 70s, Russell had five top 10 singles on the Australian charts.
  • Russell’s debut solo single was the almost seven-minute The Real Thing.  It was released in March 1969 and produced by the legendary Molly Meldrum.
  • On 1 July 2008, the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) recognised Russell’s iconic status by inducting him into the ARIA Hall of Fame.

sweet, sweet love fax

  • Sweet, Sweet Love was written and recorded by Australian singer Russell Morris.
  • It was the first single from Russell’s debut album Bloodstone.
  • Released in June 1971, Sweet, Sweet Love peaked at #7 on the Australian charts – Russell’s fourth top ten single in two years.
  • Russell once said he originally wrote Sweet, Sweet Love for John Farnham who turned the song down saying ‘it takes too long to get to the chorus’.
  • Sweet, Sweet Love lyrics.

sweet, sweet love – russell morris – 1971 – video

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