I was away from home last weekend and didn’t note at the time the passing of another 60s icon in Ben E King.
After a successful career with the Drifters he left and recorded not just his biggest hit Stand By Me but also a succession of songs which would become standards including Don’t Play That Song (You Lied) (whose introduction could easily be mistaken for that of Stand By Me.)
Ben E King: Stand By Me
Ben E King: Spanish Harlem
Ben E King: Don’t Play That Song (You Lied)
Ben E King: I Who Have Nothing
Benjamin Earl Nelson (Ben E King): 28/9/1938 – 30/4/2015. So it goes.
His band, Hot Chocolate, first came to my attention with this song in 1970.
Love is Life: Hot Chocolate
They were notable for being one of only three acts to have at least one (UK) hit in every year of the 1970s with Brown writing (or co-writing) most of them. In fact that run of chart success continued till 1984.
Perhaps their bravest release was Brother Louie, with a spoken word part which was voiced by British blues legend Alexis Korner.
Brother Louie: Hot Chocolate
Lester Errol Brown: 12/11/1943 – 6/5/2015. So it goes.
In Britain we don’t refer to the Fire Department. Instead it’s the Fire Service or the Fire Brigade.
Cue The Move.
This is a live performance:-
The Move: Fire Brigade
And here’s a rarity. Fire Brigade with Carl Wayne rather than Roy Wood on lead vocals. This version, somewhat flatter in sound, also lacks the siren sounding “woo-oo, woo-oo, woo-oo” singing behind the chorus and the “Ooh” punctuating the chorus and its repeat.
Soul singer Percy Sledge has gone to the great auditorium in the sky.
Percy Sledge: Warm and Tender Love
His big hit was of course When A Man Loves A Woman, whose origins and authorship are disputed, but to me it has always had more than a touch of Pachelbel’s Canon about it. (See here, and here, and here.)
Percy Sledge: When A Man Loves A Woman
Percy Tyrone Sledge: 25/11/1940 – 14/4/2015. So it goes.
A bit of Prog devant la lettre I discovered tardily as my first introduction to Marillion was the later Punch and Judy. I soon delved into their back catalogue. This was track two on their first album Script for a Jester’s Tear and had given the band a no 35 hit in the UK in 1983. I like the way the last lines of the verses are different but rhyme with each other (as well as the “poison in your head.”)