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Reelin’ In the Years 121: Sailing

The song was written by Gavin Sutherland and Rod Stewart later had a big hit with his version but this is the original.

I actually saw The Sutherland Brothers and Quiver playing live in Glasgow just after they’d had a couple of hits.

The Sutherland Brothers Band: Sailing

Live It Up 30: Dear Prudence

A reference to Siouxsie and the Banshees in Andrew Greig’s In Another Light (review to come) reminded me of the band’s treatment of this Beatles’ song.

Siouxsie and the Banshees: Dear Prudence

Reelin’ In the Years 120: Blake’s 7 Theme

For Gareth Thomas, the titular star of late 1970s and early 80s SF BBC TV series Blake’s 7; even if he did once profess not to like SF as a genre and claimed he’d never watched an episode.

Gareth Daniel Thomas: 12/2/1945 – 13/4/2016. So it goes.

Not Friday on my Mind 39: Wilhelmina

I was sad to hear of the death of Andy Newman who lent his nickname to the group of whose biggest hit, Something in the Air (see Friday on my Mind 28) this song, an odd mix of oompah music, kazoo and a rock guitar solo, was the B-side.

My copy of the single did not credit Wilhelmina as the B-side as both were labelled Something in the Air. I’ve often wondered if that was a one-off mistake and my copy is a real rarity.

Andy “Thunderclap” Newman: 21/11/1942-20/3/2016. So it goes.

Thunderclap Newman : Wilhelmina

Live It Up 29: A New England

There are nice jangly guitars on this Billy Bragg song purveyed into a hit by Kirsty MacColl in 1984.

Kirsty MacColl: A New England

Reelin’ In the Years 119: RIP Keith Emerson

Keith Emerson who died earlier this week was one of the arch proponents of Prog Rock. I’ve already featured several of his recordings with that most unlikely of progenitors of the form, P P Arnold’s backing band The Nice. America, where his reworkings of classical pieces in a rock style perhaps began and which has a good claim, in its extravagance, to be the first truly prog track, its B-side, The Diamond Hard Blue Apples Of The Moon and their first single The Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjack.

It was, though, Emerson’s work with Greg Lake and Carl Palmer as Emerson Lake and Palmer (aka ELP) that solidified his reputation as one of the “rock dinosaurs” that punk rock sought to consign to oblivion.

Here’s a live performance of part of ELP’s take on Moussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.

Emerson, Lake and Palmer: Promenade and the Gnome

Keith Noel Emerson: 2/11/1944 – 10/3/2016. So it goes.

George Martin RIP

What do you say about the man who brought us The Beatles? The man largely responsible for the soundscapes of those ground breaking recordings of the mid-sixties starting with Revolver and continuing through Sgt Pepper (please note; not Sgt Pepper’s; not in Britain, anyway) and Magical Mystery Tour. By the time of The White Album a lot of that sonic experimentation had gone (Revolution No 9 excepted) though the album for the Yellow Submarine film stemmed from the same seam.

Martin was a crucial part of the Beatles’ sound, his facility with arrangements and classical accompaniment giving them a dimension – or dimensions – which on their own or with a different producer might never have arisen. I remember seeing him on a TV documentary saying he had come up with and played the piano interlude on a well-known song which I think was Lovely Rita.

The Beatles: Lovely Rita

I also seem to recall that the “final” version of Strawberry Fields Forever was a mix of two takes which had originally been played in different keys. One was slowed down slightly the other speeded up so that they would synch, which gave it that weird effect that it still has all these years later.

The Beatles: Strawberry Fields Forever

Then there was all that stuff with looping and playing tapes backward. Think of the swirling accordion/funfair sound in Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite.

The Beatles: Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite

Immense.

George Henry Martin: 3/1/1926 – 8/3/2016. So it goes.

Reelin’ In the Years 118: All Around My Hat

Here’s that song containing the phrase “a twelvemonth and a day” which I mentioned a couple of posts ago.

Produced by Mike Batt this is Steeleye Span’s folk rock* take on a traditional 19th century song apparently interpolated with lyrics from another song from the same era, Farewell He.

Steeleye Span: All Around My Hat

*Wikipedia seems to differentiate folk rock from electric folk.

Reelin’ In the Years 117: Evie. RIP Stevie Wright

I’ve come to this late. Stevie Wright, lead singer of Australian band The Easybeats, whose Friday on my Mind I chose as the first song in my 1960s music category of the same name, died in December. I only saw his obituary in The Guardian earlier this week.

Evie was a solo no 1 hit for him in Australia, possibly the first 11 minute song to reach no 1 anywhere in the world.

The song manages to encompass the three main themes of the love song as a form. Its first two parts are reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac’s Oh Well or Derek and the Dominos’ Layla in that it starts in an up tempo rocking style and then segues into quieter mode. Like Evie both those were split over two sides of the corresponding single release. Evie, however, returns to a higher tempo for its third part.

Stevie Wright: Evie

Stephen Carlton “Stevie” Wright: 20/12/1947 – 27/12/2015. So it goes.

Live It Up 28: Letter From America

The Proclaimers’ first statement to the world; an unlikely hit considering it’s a protest song about both the Highland clearances and industrial decline in late twentieth century central Scotland.

The original track was produced by Gerry Rafferty whose unmistakable stamp is all over the instrumental coda.

The good lady rather likes this video starring the 2 little Colins – or the Wee Proclaimers as she calls them:-

This is the lads themselves appearing on the Dutch TV show TopPop whose producers seem to have taken the song’s title a bit too literally.

The Proclaimers: Letter From America

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