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Reelin’ In the Years 123: Ballroom Blitz

I remember my father having a fit at the sight of men in make-up and flirting with the camera on Top of the Pops.

The Sweet: Ballroom Blitz

Friday on my Mind 136: White Bird

From last week’s slightly ridiculous to the more sublime, a 1969 effort from the idiosyncratically named band It’s a Beautiful Day one of whose members, David LaFlamme, favoured a five stringed violin.

It’s a Beautiful Day: White Bird

Live It Up 31: Heart of Lothian

I think singer and lyric writer Fish, a lifelong Hibby (or Hibee, delete according to taste,) came to regret using the phrase heart of Lothian in this song as it was prone to misinterpretation.

The single included at its start Windswept Thumb, the conclusion to the Bitter Suite sequence which immediately preceded Heart of Lothian on the LP Misplaced Childhood.

I believe this is the official video. Check out those 80s hairstyles!

Marillion: Heart of Lothian

Not Friday on my Mind 42:- Sam

Keith West’s follow-up to Excerpt From “A Teenage Opera” was also inspired by that song’s creator Mark Wirtz but perhaps explains why the full project didn’t appear for nearly thirty years as it barely scratched the lower reaches of the charts. The similarities to the earlier hit are there but the song doesn’t cohere in quite the same way. The children’s chorus isn’t as catchy and the sequencing has more than a touch of the galloping hiccups (a complaint I have seen levelled against Bohemian Rhapsody.)

Keith West: Sam

Friday on my Mind 135: Excerpt From “A Teenage Opera”

I mentioned this song once before. Its singer Keith West also had an incarnation with the band Tomorrow.

The Teenage Opera from which this was an excerpt did not make its full appearance until thirty years or so later.

As you can imagine being named Jack and at school at a time when a song with the refrain “Grocer Jack” became a hit wasn’t an unalloyed joy.

Keith West: Excerpt From “A Teenage Opera”

Not Friday on my Mind 41: Paradise Lost

The Herd’s follow-up to From the Underworld kind of carried on from where that one left off but Paradise Lost was still a very odd concoction, with its intro and coda reminiscent of The Stripper but Prog leanings elsewhere.

(By contrast the band’s third single – which I featured in a different context here – was straightforward bouncy pop song.)

The Herd: Paradise Lost

Friday on my Mind 134: From the Underworld

When a very young Peter Frampton joined The Herd, the group with whom he made his name, they had just been dropped by Parlophone, but simultaneously brought in composers Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley, who had written a barrowload of hits for Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich and signed up to Fontana. The songs concocted for the Herd were of a different order to those hits though. Elements of psychedelia and glimmerings of prog rock are here.

The Herd: From the Underworld

Friday on my Mind 133: Maxine’s Parlour

(I had scheduled this for 24/6/16 but a certain referendum result happening and then the anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Somme took up the last two Friday postings. Better late then never.)

You’ve just got to love the name of the band that recorded this. Crocheted Doughnut Ring. So sixties.
The song’s treatment is also very much of its time what with the flute, the drum rolls, mellotron and all.

Crocheted Doughnut Ring: Maxine’s Parlour

Not Friday on my Mind 40: RIP Paul McDowell

As I said before The Temperance Seven were one of my elder brother’s favourites back in the Trad Jazz boom. This week I learned their laid back singer Paul McDowell has passed away. His vocal style led to the nickname Whispering Paul.

I already featured their hits which my brother bought in the post linked to above, so here are the B-sides.

(That Parlophone label really takes me back.)

The Temperance Seven: Charley My Boy (B-side of You’re Driving Me Crazy)

The Temperance Seven: Sugar (B-side of Pasadena)

The Temperance Seven: Chili Bom Bom (B-side of Hard Hearted Hannah)

“Whispering” Paul McDowell: 15/8/ 1931 – 2/5/ 2016. So it goes.

Friday on my Mind 132: RIP Dave Swarbrick

I wasn’t that much into folk rock. I was certainly aware though of the importance of Fairport Convention to that form of music and of Dave Swarbrick whose death was announced earlier this month.

This medley of The Lark in the Morning, Rakish Paddy, Foxhunters’ Jig and Toss the Feathers was arranged by and features heavily the fiddle of Mr Swarbrick.

Fairport Convention: Medley

David Cyril Eric Swarbrick: 5/4/1941 – 3/6/2016. So it goes.

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