Archives » Music

Reelin’ In the Years 107: Rikki Don’t Lose That Number

Steely Dan’s second UK hit – but it only achieved the heights of no. 58. Though their singles got a lot of airplay I suppose they were more of an albums band this side of the pond.

Steely Dan: Rikki Don’t Lose That Number

Reelin’ In the Years 106: Teenage Rampage

I’ve not done one of these for a while.

The Sweet: Teenage Rampage

Friday on my Mind 124: It’s Gettin’ Better

This is just a wonderful feel-good song. Cass had a distinctive voice. Pity she died so young. (So it goes.)

Cass Elliott:- It’s Gettin’ Better

Reelin’ In the Years 105: Hazell

Taggart’s wasn’t the first TV theme tune Maggie Bell had taken on. From the previous decade here’s her version of the Hazell theme.

Maggie Bell: Hazell

Not Friday On My Mind 35: RIP Cilla Black

I know it’s not good form to speak ill of the dead but I’m afraid I can’t share the “National Treasure” stuff surrounding the passing of Cilla Black. She was undoubtedly a substantial entertainment figure of the 1960s though, with several big hits and many smaller ones. Yet to my mind her singing voice became too harsh when she upped the volume. In softer tones she could be quite effective though.

As to her later incarnation as a television presenter, I saw Blind Date once. It wasn’t for me. I never watched Surprise, Surprise.

I went off her completely when she was introducing some awards ceremony or other and mentioned Margaret Thatcher, at which the audience booed. Cilla then protested (against all reason) “But she’s put the great back in Great Britain.” Maybe for successful entertainers, but not for those left behind.

This was Cilla in her 1960s pomp, in a clip from Top of the Pops:-

Cilla Black: Surround Yourself With Sorrow

And here she is in her softer register. (Interesting that in the intervening almost forty years since I first heard her perform this song, to reflect our modern sensibilities the lyric has been changed from “ye’ll gerra belt from yer da’,” to “Ye’ll get told off by your da’.”)

Cilla Black: Liverpool Lullaby

Priscilla Maria Veronica White (Cilla Black): 27/5/1943-1/8/2015. So it goes.

Live It Up 23: No Mean City (Theme tune to Taggart)

There’s only one tune to go with in the week I reviewed No Mean City the novel and that’s the song which was the theme tune to STV’s long-running detective show Taggart and which took its title from the novel. Wonderfully delivered by Maggie Bell.

Maggie Bell: Taggart Theme Tune (No Mean City)

Live It Up 22: Song for Whoever

Sweet tunes, romantic tunes, The Beautiful South certainly had them; but allied to bitterly ironic – even cynical – lyrics.

The opening line here, “I love you from the bottom of my pencil case,” is just about on the bounds of tastefulness but the lyric goes on (partly to comment on the process of writing a cheap love song) by listing a series of girls’ names with the tag, “I wrote so many songs about you, I forget your name,” then adds a cutting parenthesis, “(I forget your name)”.

The cynicism is increased in the second round of the melody where we have, “Oh Cathy, Oh Alison, Oh Phillipa, Oh Sue. You made me so much money, I wrote this song for you.” Jennifer, Deborah and Annabel are added to the list in the next two lines. It’s brutal in its lack of regard.

The Beautiful South: Song for Whoever

Friday on my Mind 123: Hi Ho Silver Lining

You may remember back in the dim distant past of this category’s genesis I mentioned a competition at my workplace for favourite 60s hit. Hi Ho Silver Lining came second but not the original version by The Attack. Rather it was Jeff Beck’s recording that was voted in.

The Attack: Hi Ho Silver Lining

And here’s a footnote to why the above is now the lesser known version of the song:-

David Arden attacks the hyping of Hi Ho Silver Lining

And for comparison purposes here’s the reverse-hyped version.

Jeff Beck: Hi Ho Silver Lining

Not Friday On My Mind 34: The Truth

The Truth found difficulty coming up with their own songs. As this link from last week says, their singles were all written by people from other, more famous bands, in order here: The Beatles, The Kinks and The Rascals.

The Truth: Girl

The Truth: I Go To Sleep

The Truth: Sueno

Val Doonican

Yet another voice from my young past has been extinguished.

Val Doonican was always determinedly old-fashioned and was probably more famous for Irish novelty songs, wearing woolly jumpers and singing while reclining in a chair than for ruffling the charts but he had a good crooner’s voice and five top ten hits between 1964 and 1967.

Doonican’s biggest was What Would I Be – a no 2 – and his cover of Bob Lind’s Elusive Butterfly reached No 5 in the UK charts – as, curiously, did Lind’s own version.

Val Doonican: Elusive Butterfly

Michael Valentine “Val” Doonican: 3/2/1927 – 1/7/2015. So it goes.

free hit counter script