Sad to hear this morning of the death of Ray Manzarek, keyboardist with The Doors, who came to notice in the UK with Light My Fire. Despite showing off Manzarek’s playing it only reached no. 49 in the charts on its first release in 1967.
Their biggest UK hit was in fact Hello I Love You (Won’t You Tell me Your Name?) which sounded as if it owed a lot to The Kinks’ All Day and All of the Night, though apparently The Doors denied the connection.
Their only other song to trouble the UK charts was the atmospheric Riders on the Storm in 1971.
Raymond Daniel Manczarek, Jr: 12/02/1939 – 20/05/2013. So it goes.
The place The Troggs had for me in the 60s and Sweet in the early 70s was taken by Marillion in the early 80s.
Marillion have been forever tagged with the Prog Rock label and while their first songs â especially the 17 minute long Grendel and most of the debut album Script For a Jesterâs Tear – fit that bill (which was why I got into them in the first place) by the time of Fugazi they had mainly moved on to a more guitar based rock sound.
Their initial success, though, shows that Prog wasn’t as moribund a genre as its detractors would have had it.
I think I first saw them on television on The Oxford Road Show (who remembers that!) when this was one of the songs they played. Despite it being from Fugazi there is still a hint of Prog and echoes of Genesis.
This clip, though, is from Top of the Pops. Check out Fish – with hair!
The most poignant protest song from the 1980s was written by Elvis Costello – about the Falklands War – or the War of Thatcher’s Face as I like to call it.
Shipbuilding was a minor hit for former Soft Machine member Robert Wyatt â wheelchair and all. Wyatt had been paralysed after a fall from a window. When he had a 1970s hit with Iâm A Believer (more famously a hit for The Monkees) the producer of Top of the Pops is supposed to have said the wheelchair was, ânot suitable for family viewing.â Wyatt âlost his rag but not the wheelchair.â
Like Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hartâs Last Train to Clarksville – also recorded by The Monkees – the lyric of Shipbuilding is subtle, not overtly stating its theme.
I heard today that jazz trumpeter Kenny Ball has died.
My eldest brother was into trad jazz in the early 1960s and had several of Kenny’s singles. Some of those songs were in the run of early 1960s singles I included in this category about two years ago.
Here’s the band playing I Wanna Be Like You, one of the songs from the Disney version of The Jungle Book. I remember seeing them perform this on television – probably before I ever saw the relevant clip from the film.
Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen: I Wanna Be Like You
Kenny Ball (Kenneth Daniel Ball): 22/5/1930-7/3/2013. So it goes.
Three years ago it was the 1960s, two years ago the 70s and last year it was the 1980s from which we at work were to pick our favourite song as a piece of fun at Easter.
The 80s winner?
A Town Called Malice.
Second was Money For Nothing, both from the beginning of the decade I noticed.
I haven’t bothered doing 80s songs up to now as among other things it was the decade style forgot (at least if Ashes to Ashes can be relied on.) I also wasn’t paying that much attention to contemporary music then.
Mostly though it was because I couldn’t decide which song to go with for the series title.
I’ve opted for Live It Up because that’s what a lot of people purported to do during Thatcher’s time. (A lot more were miserable.)
This particular song always reminds me of Boghead, late lamented ground of the famous Dumbarton FC, the Sons of the Rock. It was a Second Division game when Tommy Burns’s Kilmarnock came calling on their way to promotion. (And thumped us, so ruining our already unlikely promotion prospects.) Live It Up was played over the tannoy.
The group which performed this were (are?) Australian – which also goes along with the Easybeats connection of Friday On My Mind – but their name could be Scottish. Except I suppose if it were, the last word would be much more expressive.
Iâve said before that for a while in the Sixties The Troggs were my favourite band so I was sad to hear of the death of lead singer and composer of a fair few of their hits, Reg Presley, earlier this week.
Thinking about it, it occurred to me that, with the sparseness of the arrangements in the raunchier part of their output, they were a kind of proto punk band.
This was the first single The Spencer Davis Group released after Steve Winwood left.
The heavy cello prefigures early Electric Light Orchestra (their eponymous first album featured the cello a lot, as well as brass) but does anyone else hear in the introduction pre-echoes of Oasis? (âFree to be whatever I â¦â)
I first heard this parody on the radio. Along with my elder brother I used to listen regularly (every week without fail) to the comedy programme Iâm Sorry Iâll Read That Again (1964-1973) which along with Bill Oddie, the purveyor of this ditty, featured John Cleese, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden, Jo Kendall and David Hatch. I can still utter quotes from it even today. (Once heard, who could ever forget the strains of the Angus Prune Tune?)
Episodes from the series can be found on the BBC’s Radio 4 Extra pages. Relistening, it is now obvious from where I got my love of outrageous puns.
The track is a reimagining of a traditional Yorkshire song about the dangers of wandering on Ilkley Moor without a hat utilising the style Joe Cocker employed in With a Little Help From My Friends. It was eventually released as a single in 1970 but Iâm sure must have been in a late 60s episode of the radio show. As I remember it the radio version carried more bite, though.