Tag Archive: 1970s

  • Top 40 UK Number Ones, part 4

    1-10

    The Beatles Rain

    Now, after a week of carrot-dangling, we’re finally at the summit – celebrating the greatest UK Number One singles of all time. Each one is brilliant for a reason. The Kinks make the list for introducing the world to an early incarnation of rock music with “You Really Got Me“. Sinead O’Connor’s heartfelt rendition of a song written by Prince remains one of the most angry and emotional love songs of all time. The Rolling Stones had many decent smash hits, but “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” kicks all of them right in the underpants. “Billie Jean” makes the cut for not only being one of Jackson’s finest, but also because it’s one of his WEIRDEST – that people still dance enthusiastically to a song about an insane delusional fan is completely brilliant. The Beach Boys managed two UK Number One’s, the first of which, “Good Vibrations”, is a masterpiece of musical arrangement, and possibly the electro-theremin‘s finest hour. Paul Hardcastle managed to mix the dialogue from a documentary about post-traumatic stress disorder,Vietnam Requiem”, with serious synthesizers to make a dance record with an ideology. “Ghost Town” by The Specials also veered into the pop charts waving a political flag, this time spookily condemning Thatcher’s Britain, and creating a truly eerie pop/reggae fusion. The Jam kept “Golden Brown” by The Stranglers off the top spot with Weller’s ode to Woking, which is also a great rock record to dance to – just watch “Billy Elliot” if you don’t believe us. Althea and Donna were a shock one week/one hit wonder back in 1978, thanks to some sterling work by the late, great John Peel – if there is such thing as a cult number one, then this is it. And The Beatles were always going to be sitting somewhere near the top, and, as it is, they snatched the crown with probably the greatest A/B side combination of them all – “Paperback Writer” and (the EVEN BETTER) “Rain”. Only two other A/B combos came into contention throughout the 40 – “Penny Lane”/”Strawberry Fields”, until we realised that it didn’t make it to the top of the charts, it peaked at Number 2. And “Start”/”Liza Radley” by The Jam. But, in the end, this one prevailed, whilst the other two didn’t. Hence, this is our best Top Ten ever. Enjoy…

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    1A. The Beatles, Paperback Writer (1966)

    1B. The Beatles, Rain (1966)

    2. Althea and Donna, Uptown Top Ranking (1978)

    3. The Jam, A Town Called Malice (1982)

    4. The Specials, Ghost Town (1981)

    5. Paul Hardcastle, 19 (1985)

    6. The Beach Boys, Good Vibrations (1966)

    7. Michael Jackson, Billie Jean (1983)

    8. The Rolling Stones, Satisfaction (1965)

    9. Sinead O’Connor, Nothing Compares 2 U (1990)

    10. The Kinks, You Really Got Me (1964)

    Top 40 UK Number Ones, part 1

    Top 40 UK Number Ones, part 2

    Top 40 UK Number Ones, part 3

  • Thursday Love Song: Marvin Gaye

    Marvin Gaye, I Want You

    Site regulars will be easy to spot today – they’ll be the ones with a thin film of sweat covering their hungry bodies, their blouses/shirts undone just enough to give you a glimpse of the goods, and you might even be able to hear the soft echo of a rumbling in their loins. It is, after all, Thursday. The most sexually charged day of the week. We like to celebrate Thursdays by playing a sensual love song, and today it’s the turn of Marvin Gaye to explain to his woman that he wants to go to bed and have sex, which he does without ever actually standing up to spell it out.

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  • Album covers analysed: Dr. Alimantado

    Best Dressed Chicken in Town, eh?

    Alimantado

    Sometimes an album cover can read one thing, and say another. In the case of reggae music’s Dr Alimantado, the album title suggests a finely turned out chicken, yet on inspection you’ll notice: a. A serious lack of chickens. And b. That no one is even close to being the “best dressed” anything. In fact, it’s safe to say that everyone is remarkably badly dressed. Of the two main men on the cover, the first (Dr Alimantado, on the left) hasn’t bothered putting his shoes on properly, his flies are undone, and his denim jacket is draping strangely from his left arm. His friend in the street is in the midst of a seasonal confusion, with an outfit suggesting that it’s hot enough for a short sleeved shirt, yet cold enough for a thick woolly hat. It’s wardrobe decisions like that which will forever confuse the throbbing brains at Interestment towers. Like those people who wear scarves with t-shirts – what are they trying to say? No matter, it’s a great great record, and here’s a track from it…

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  • Great British Band: Led Zeppelin

    Led Zeppelin, Stairway to Heaven

    For most of the 1970s – at least until the punks came along – Led Zep were probably the biggest band in the world, with their long sprawling records and their even longer hair. Above is a song about druids or something.

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  • A nice song for a Monday morning…

    The Jam, When You’re Young

    Look at you, sitting there in an office with an ironed shirt/blouse on. What happened to you, man/sister? Here’s Paul Weller and his well dressed friends to remind you what it was like being little. Great times.

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  • Happy Birthday Ian Anderson, here’s Jethro Tull!

    Ian Anderson flute solo, 1976

    Ian Anderson is probably the worst rock star name of all time. Worse even than Eric Clapton. And yet, Ian Anderson – who should really have been a stationer – was the strange woodland creature on flute and vocals in Jethro Tull. Which, yes, is possibly the least rocking band name of all time. It sounds less like a rock group and more like a man you might buy scrumpy off at a folk festival. Or a famous 18th century agriculturalist. Anyway, the point is that Ian Anderson is 62 today, we thought we’d get him a gift, so we all took quite a lot of acid and began whispering ideas to trees, and painting possibilities on the sky using just our thoughts. In the end it boiled down to a toss up between a bubble-blowing fish riding a bike and talking like Elvis Presley, or an old Jethro Tull clip. In the end we got him both. Happy etc…

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  • Album covers analysed: Love

    Love, Forever Changes

    love

    Rock bands love their drugs, just love them. Hence why most bands tend to look completely out of their minds when they’re playing festivals – it isn’t the swooping energy of their music that’s dilating their pupils and causing their mouths to gurn like a chimp attempting to get through a toffee, they’ve played these songs so many times that they’re completely bored of them. It’s crazy drugs. Drugs supplied by the management or roadies. Probably some uppers, downers, blues, reds, purples, violets, gingers, smackos, crackaroos, rice crispies, dongos and a little snifter of cokey joe. That’s what the kids like. And these barmy mind-bending drugs can often be represented artistically on the group’s album cover. For example, we’ve already covered Oasis, who were clearly cocaining it to kingdom come when they decided to depict themselves as other-worldly demi-gods on one of their records, and now to the excellent 1960/70s psychedelic outfit, Love – a brilliant brilliant band. Their Forever Changes record features bonkers morphing portraits of the band members, all overlapping like a venn diagram, painted in crazy colours like blue, yellow, green, and purple. As everyone knows, purple is the colour of LSD. There’s a few swirly bits as well, just to hammer home the point that, yes, the guy doing the doodle is seriously aciding. Here’s a brilliant cut from the album…

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  • Super Disco Wednesday: Chic

    Chic, I want your love

    Wednesday is officially the most glitzy day of the week, so if you’re at work, dim the lights, get one of those sparkling disco balls happening, shrink all of your clothes, and set sail into an ocean of pelvic thrusts. Today, the magnificent Chic are here to smear disco lube into your ears.

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  • Thursday Love Song: Elton John

    Elton John, Amoreena

    And so another Thursday rolls around. We’ve only just recovered from last week’s near-crippling sensuality. But here it is, so unbutton your work slacks and allow the soft whispers to echo around your underpants, perhaps wink at that colleague you’ve always fancied, then suggest that you get together and rub oil into one another’s thighs sometime. It is, after all, the sexiest day of the week. Above, Elton John explains that he misses his woman. He wasn’t gay in the 1970s.

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  • Album Covers Analysed: MC5, Back in the USA

    How a proper rock band should look

    mc5

    Even at the height of their binges, both The Stones and Led Zep chose to turn the spotlight away from their sweaty faces and frightened daytime eyes, opting instead for arty, conceptual album covers for their records. These would have been commisioned out to dope smoking artists, with a brief to throw something magnificent together in between orgies with their muses, and zany acid trips. Not so with the hard rocking maniacs in MC5 – alongside The Stooges, the greatest band to evolve on the streets of Detroit. For their 1970 Back in the USA album, they used a simple picture of the band staring down the lens of a camera, resulting in as startling and honest an image of a 1970s rock band as you could possibly imagine. With the exception of lead singer Rob Tyner’s wonderful frizzy white-fro, not a single strand of bandmember hair isn’t glued and matted to their sweaty heads, and all of them look absolutely mangled. A hunch suggests that post-photo conversations were either slurred, or expressed violently, using loud shouty noises and frustrated fists. This, people, is what it must really look like to be in a band. Below is a brilliant track from the record…

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  • Thursday Love Song: Joan Armatrading

    Joan Armatrading, Love and Affection

    As site regulars will tell you, Thursday is by far the sexiest day of the week. It’s a time to slip into your tiniest underpants, unbuckle your emotions, and allow cool sensuality to massage deep cleansing lotions into parts of your brain normally forbidden during work hours. That’s it. Yeah, you like that. Today, Joan Armatrading is here to tell us that it’s all well and good keeping a stiff upper lip, but sometimes you’ve just got to let the love surge through your body like an eel through a drainpipe.

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  • Happy Birthday Tony Curtis, here’s some breakdancers!

    B-Boy Breaks

    It’s a wonderful day for people called Curtis. Had he not died on Boxing Day 1999, the magnificent Curtis Mayfield would be a very soulful 67 today. But as it is, the man we have decided to honour is Tony Curtis – great actor, wonderful voice, 84 today. He’s made some great films over the years – Sweet Smell of Success, Some Like it Hot, Operation Petticoat. He was also part of one of the finest double acts of all time when he teamed up with Roger Moore in The Persuaders. Hence, we thought we’d get him a gift, so we formed a drumming circle in the park and began chanting ideas at the moon, and pretty soon it boiled down to a toss up between a boxing glove with a horse shoe in it to punch hippies with, or a clip of some early b-boy action. In the end we got him both. Happy Birthday Tony Curtis!

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  • Thursday Love Song: Tom Brock

    Tom Brock, The Love We Share…

    Finally, it’s Thursday. After a week of high tension and toil, it’s time to unbuckle your trousers, and allow the cool afternoon breeze to dance through your underpants. It is, after all, the official day of lust, sensuality, and feeding your lover strawberries dipped in chocolate, as they lay fluffy handcuffed to the mahogany headboard on your giant silky bed. Great times. Today, excellent soul singer Tom Brock lends his syrupy voice to a story about a great looking chick who has completely blown his mind.

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  • Album covers analysed: New York Dolls

    Why, hello ladies…

    new-york-dolls1

    Ever since that moment in the Crying Game where the Irish guy is innocently snogging that beautiful woman, when suddenly a gentleman’s penis falls gracelessly from her undercarriage, we have just about learnt how to correctly deal with sudden gender shocks. The key is to say nothing until everything is revealed, and your wife/partner is fully naked in front of you. Then use your intuition, or, if you must, pat her down. It’s like an ongoing game of poker, this damn life. But a totally necessary one. Just ask the swathes of popular pub goers who lost all of their macho friends in 1973, thanks to their lusty feelings towards some stunning prostitutes on the cover of their New York Dolls records. Not to mention the lonely old men who bought it thinking it might be the wonderful Nolan Sisters. On closer inspection, they weren’t sexy women of the night at all, they were fully blown men! Men sitting on a marvelous sofa, with testicles, pubes, and everything – although they did look like they might have accepted money for intercourse anyway. So, yeah, it’s not all bad. Confusion aside, it’s an absolutely brilliant record. Here’s one of the cuts from it…

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  • Album covers analysed: Buckingham Nicks

    New couple in town…

    buckingham-nicks

    Before Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined Fleetwood Mac, the band was a whole different kettle of fish – you can read all about that on The Guardian website. We are far more concerned by the album cover that they chose for their Buckingham Nicks album, which came out a year or so before they joined the legendary pop/rock group. It’s a hugely important moment – the release of a pop debut. Everything needs to be in place, you need the right sound, the right vibe. You need the right look. Remember, this is the picture to mark your arrival on the music scene. It needs to be hip. Unfortunately, Stevie and Lindsey – Lindsey being the one with the moustache, by the way – chose to take their clothes off and pretend to be swingers instead. It’s not helped by Stevie’s intriguing arm positioning, which lends the picture the look of a couple in the throws of a manual sex act. Once you have that in your head, it’s damn near impossible to look Lindsey in the eye. Why is he staring at me like that? What does he want? The album bombed. Even so, it’s a great record. Here’s a cut from it…

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  • Happy Birthday David Byrne, here’s Talking Heads!

    Talking Heads, Psycho Killer

    He’s an awkward looking man David Byrne, and something about his demeanour suggests that he probably hates birthdays. Chances are you won’t find him hosting a fancy dress party in a local pub this evening to celebrate turning 56. More likely, he’ll be sketching chalk drawings of skulls whilst listening to a robot reading Samuel Beckett. Even so, we thought we’d splash out and get him a lovely gift. We lit some perfumed oils and spoke long into the night, before deciding that what David Byrne would really adore would be either a bright orange basket full of actual oranges, or an old clip of his band, Talking Heads. In the end we got him both. Happy Birthday Davey!

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  • Great British Band: The Rolling Stones

    The Rolling Stones, Loving Cup

    It’s damn near impossible to select a Rolling Stones song, as they’ve made so many brilliant ones. Hence, we decided to go with something from our favourite of their albums, Exile on Main Street. Take it away Rubber-Face and the lads!

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  • Happy Birthday Stevie Wonder, here’s a slow motion wave!

    Super Slo-mo Surfer

    May is an amazing month for birthdays, it really is. Missing out today are Harvey Keitel, Stephen Colbert, Dennis Rodman, Richie Valens and Samantha Morton. Why? Because it’s bloody Stevie Wonder’s birthday, and Stevie Wonder is basically God. He’s turning 59, and what a life that guy’s had. He’s felt people’s faces, he’s felt keyboards, he’s felt to check he’s wearing his denim trousers, not his silky jogging bottoms. He’s touched his food to check it’s exactly what he ordered. He’s felt women’s noses to deduce exactly what they look like. He’s made an appalling bust of Lionel Richie. His hands have been very busy. Hence, we knew straight away that we should get him a gift. We blindfolded ourselves and went for a long noisy drive, and along the way we talked presents, with one side of the car keen to buy him some of those oversized comedy sunglasses that people used to wear for kicks, while the other side insisted that he’d love the soothing sounds of a wave moving in extra extra slow mo. In the end we got him both. Happy Birthday Stevie!

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  • Great British Band: Faces

    Faces, Stay With Me

    When Steve Marriott walked out on the Small Faces, in came Ronnie Wood and Rod Stewart, and suddenly they didn’t look so dinky anymore, hence they became just Faces instead. A fantastic band, they gave the world Wood, Stewart, and Worzel Gummidge hair. Brilliant.

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  • Thursday Love Song: Greg Perry

    Greg Perry, Come on Down

    Brilliant, it’s Thursday. Regulars will know that Thursday is now the official day of sensuality and romance. It’s a time to take your lover fishing, feed them soft French cheeses by a river bank, massage margarine into their buttocks behind a tree, kiss their face without passers-by making comments about getting a room. It’s brilliant. Today, beautiful soul singer Greg Perry makes a desperate plea to his girlfriend to remember that he’s the one that really greases up her left pulmonary artery. She shouldn’t forget that.

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  • Great British Bands: T.Rex

    T.Rex, London Boys

    These glammers were excellent, fronted by the tragic Marc Bolan – him with his frizzy hair, and thing for dressing up all funny. A great band, above is their best song in our opinion. It’s an ode to being in a flamboyant street gang.

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  • Happy Birthday Herb Alpert, here’s your finest song!

    Herb Alpert, Rotation

    He turns 74 today, and like most toddlers, it seems Alpert hasn’t quite settled on what he wants to do when he grows up – he’s listed as a trumpeter, a composer, a singer, a record producer, a theatrical producer, a painter, a sculptor, an astronaut, a fireman, a cowboy, BA Baracus, a golden eagle, and a marine. The guy wants it all, which made deciding on a present double difficult – which, to those not in the know, is twice as difficult as normal. We talked long and hard, until it boiled down to a toss up between a chunky silver watch that looks expensive but is actually totally rubbish and quite cheap, or a video from 1979 of his most brilliant song. In the end we got him both. Happy Birthday Herb!

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  • Happy Birthday Chaka Khan, here’s Rufus and Chaka Khan!

    Rufus, Tell Me Something Good

    Our number one singing drummer Chaka Khan turns 56 today, and we totally love her. She’s probably our fifth or sixth favourite female soul singer, and that’s out of hundreds. Amazing. Hence, we simply had to buy her a gift. We sat in a circle smoking really strong pot to annoy that middle class mum who dobbed in her son, then finally got onto the subject of presents. Through a stoned haze, we decided to get her either some really nice toast, and a chocolate bar, and some Pringles. Ahh man, yeah, Pringles… or a clip of her performing with Rufus in the 1970s. In the end we got her both. Happy Birthday Chaka!

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  • Interestment’s Top Four: Falsetto Male Singers

    Not including a certain legend…

    prince-falsetto

    As a gentleman, you are expected to coat yourself in a luxuriant mane of soft fur, and talk as if your testicles are the size of grapefuits, swinging heavily around your knees. That, we are told, if what it takes to be a man. Hence, whenever you see groups of tough guys in a pub/bar, the accompanying sound will often be a rumbling deep hum, like thunder rolling in from the east. It’s weird, and frankly unnecessary – especially given that some men can casually step up to a mic and allow their natural pitch to soar through the airwaves without a care in the world. Prince is a long time master of the falsetto, but even his macho flexing couldn’t budge this little gang of real men. Our top four reads thusly…

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    1. Curtis Mayfield

    curtis-mayfield-falsetto

    One of soul music’s finest, Curtis would often soar up to womanly notes, yet the hard hitting political nature of his songs kept his vibe firmly in the manly camp. A fine figure of a gent, and sorely missed.

    2.Antony Hegarty

    antony-hegarty

    Hegarty, the guy behind Antony and The Johnsons, is an intriguing man/woman/man, with a voice not a thousand miles away from Nina Simone at times. He could shatter glass, he’s that excellent.

    3. Junior Murvin

    junior-murvin

    If you’re going to have one track that defines and overshadows the rest of your career, then it might as well be Police and Thieves. It’s an amazing Lee Scratch Perry produced track, and finds Murvin singing like a mouse in a helium balloon. And to great effect.

    4. Jimmy Somerville

    jimmy-somerville

    Somerville’s success was built on singing a bit like Sylvester, but a more hysterical white Scottish version. At times, his frantic squealing was quite remarkable. As below.