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Reelin’ In the Years 125: It Must Be Love

As well as songs written by Prince Buster, Madness also covered this one which was composed and first performed by Labi Siffre, becoming his first UK hit after his previous release Pretty Little Girl (Make My Day) failed to make the charts.

Labi Siffre: It Must Be Love

For comparison purposes here is Madness’s version.

Madness: It Must be Love

Reelin’ In the Years 124: Political Science (Let’s Drop the Big One)

Superb piece of satire from Randy Newman.

Astonishing to think this was the B-side of Sail Away. Even more astonishing it didn’t dent the UK charts.

Randy Newman: Political Science

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

Reelin’ In the Years 122: Love the One You’re With

Released in the interregnum between Stills’s time in Crosby, Stills and Nash and Manassas before he took up with C, N (and Y) again, my elder brother took exception to the apparent incitement to free love in this song’s lyric and title. Myself I took it to mean be nice to the people you encounter.

I note Love the One You’re With‘s abrupt ending echoes that of Suite: Judy Blue Eyes.

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

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.

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.

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.

Terry Wogan

I can just about remember when Terry Wogan wasn’t a fixture of British public life but that memory was fading. In recent years he had himself receded a little from the public eye, retiring from his braekfast show and from commentating on the Eurovision Song Contest but he still popped up with an intermittent weekly radio show on Radio 2 and the annual Children in Need telethons (all in a good cause certainly but usually so laced with embarassing performances that I found it difficult to watch so I hadn’t done so for years.)

Despite his failure to appear on last year’s Children in Need in November due to illness – a warning sign as it turned out – it was still a shock to wake up to the news today that he had died.

I also noticed there were retrospective clip shows from his thrice-weekly 80s chat show on in the afternoon in the run-up to Christmas 2015. Maybe there was a hint there too.

I wasn’t one of his listeners in the 60s – or indeed in the 70s – but in later life I found his breakfast radio show congenial listening in the short interval between being woken by the alarm clock and actually getting out of bed. Perhaps it took reaching a certain age to appreciate his charms.

He always seemd perfectly genial – a great trick to pull off in the early morning – but by all accounts this was simply him; there was apparently no difference between his public and private persona.

The world feels diminished by his death. I fervently hope it doesn’t turn out he had feet of clay (as others of his vintage had) but if all that has been said of him is true there may be no need to fear.

Michael Terence “Terry” Wogan; 3/8/1938 – 31/1/2016. So it goes.

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