The roots of both ELO and Wizzard are evident in this, the last of the hits by Birmingham band The Move, which by this time had lost original members Carl Wayne, Ace Kefford and Trevor Burton and reeled in Jeff Lynne from The Idle Race. ELO’s first single 10538 Overture was released only a month or so after this.
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It’s that time of year again. I was in a shopping mall yesterday and over the tannoy came the sound of I Wish it Could be Christmas Every Day. It was the nineteenth of November!
Still, it got me to thinking about the band that recorded it, Wizzard, a project that Roy Wood had (ahem) moved on to from The Move following a brief stint with the earliest incarnation of ELO.
I Wish it Could be Christmas Every Day never made it to no 1, among other things having the relative misfortune to be first released in the same year as Slade’s Merry Xmas Everybody. I don’t suppose Roy Wood will complain. The residuals he gets every year for I Wish it Could be Christmas Every Day must keep him in mince pies well enough.
This was the world’s introduction to Wizzard. Their first single.
Following on from last week’s offering….
This was just such a joyful pop song.
Longdancer wasn’t the only pre-Eurythmics incarnation of Dave Stewart’s music – and not his first collaboration with Annie Lennox. That came in the late 70s and 1980 with The Tourists and a couple of top ten hits of which only the song below (which is more associated with the 1960s and Dusty Springfield) made any impression in the USA.
Different spelling of Marianne. Different song.
Scotland’s 60s finest, Marmalade, with their second hit.
Scot Jim Diamond wasn’t perhaps the best known singer latterly. Still I wouldn’t have thought it easy to confuse him with the USian Neil of that ilk as someone of my acquaintance did when talking about his death this week.
Jim first came to prominence as part of trio Ph D with I Won’t Let You Down.The video is frankly, creepy.
Jim’s biggest hit as a solo artist was I Should Have Known Better in the year of Band Aid. Diamond’s song hit no 1 the week before the release of Do They Know It’s Christmas? Apparently Diamond said that people should buy the charity single rather than his. Good on him.
His best song though was probably Hi Ho Silver, theme song to the TV series Boon.
James “Jim” Diamond: 28/9/1951–8/10/2015. So it goes.
Another set of unlikely hits was achieved by traditional busker Don Partridge, who played his instruments not only with his hands and mouth but also his elbows, legs – and knees for all I know. More of a one-man band than a busker he was apparently known as King of the Street-singers.
I don’t think this Rosie is a live version, but rather the record dubbed over some video.
More topically here he is playing – live – Breakfast on Pluto, a song which I find reached no 26 but had hitherto vanished from my memory. I’m not sure I can find it there even now I’ve heard it again. (Again?)
Prior to their big chart success in the mid-70s the Wurzels had been fronted by Adge Cutler – who wielded what seemed to be a cudgel. As Adge Cutler and the Wurzels they had a minor hit in 1967 with his song Drink Up Thee Zider sometimes written as Drink Up Thy Zider.
I’m astounded at how young Adge Cutler looks in this video. I’d remembered him from his television appearances as being much older than the rest of the group. (I was very young then myself of course.)
Sadly Adge died in a car crash in 1974. So it goes.
For a longer piece featuring this clip and showing how cider is produced see here.
From the sublime (Al Stewart, last two weeks) to the gorblimey.
I’d almost forgotten about this till the good lady said she’d heard it on the radio this week
The Wurzels were a band from Somerset – a traditional rural farming county – who dubbed their style Scrumpy and Western after the name for a type of cider and a USian music genre.
A parody of Melanie (Safka)’s Brand New Key from 1971 with lyrics more appropriate to agriculture this, believe it or not, was actually a number one hit in the UK in 1976. For three weeks!
Bits of it are still funny, though. I especially like the spoken, “Just you wait till I get me ‘ands on your laaaaand,” towards the end.
Another Wurzels parody, this time of Una Paloma Blanca, got to number three in 1976.
There are clips on You Tube of the Wurzels performing this on TV but on one of them they are introduced by a paedophile and the other is incomplete.