Archives » 1970s

Reelin’ In the Years 103: Love is Life / Brother Louie (RIP Errol Brown)

I was sad to hear the news yesterday of the death of Errol Brown.

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.

Memory Failure

It seems my memory has let me down. I originally categorised Canned Heat’s Let’s Work Together as Friday on my Mind 102 but have now discovered the song did not come out till 1970.

As a result I have now altered that post’s title and content slightly and the subsequent Friday on my Mind entries have been renumbered.

Advancing years, eh? It’s a bugger.

Reelin’ In the Years 102: My Brother Jake (RIP Andy Fraser)

A belated recognition of the passing of Andy Fraser, Free’s bassist.

It’s also an almost follow on to the “Jack” songs I posted over a couple of weeks not so long ago.

There’s some good mellotron on this too.

Free: My Brother Jake

Andrew McLan Fraser: 37/1952 – 16/3/2015. So it goes.

Reelin’ In the Years 101: Brain Damage and Eclipse

Not a single; and two tracks which run together on the LP but the second one seemed appropriate for today.

Pink Floyd: Brain Damage and Eclipse

Reelin’ In the Years 100: Light Flight (Take Three Girls)

Another TV theme from the (very) early 1970s – for the first BBC drama series to be broadcast in colour, Take Three Girls – except it wasn’t just a theme as it became a minor hit for the folk band Pentangle.

Pentangle: Light Flight

For completeness here is the title sequence from the first series of Take Three Girls.

Take Three Girls Titles

Reelin’ In the Years 99: Arthur of the Britons

Arthur of the Britons, starring Oliver Tobias, was an agreeably gritty early 1970s TV series made by the Welsh ITV company Harlech and broadcast in the children’s “hour.” The theme was written by prolific film composer Elmer Bernstein. I always thought it had similarities to the theme of my mother’s favourite soap Emmerdale Farm (which only became Emmerdale in 1989.)

Arthur of the Britons theme tune

Reelin’ In the Years 98: Mr President. RIP Dozy

Another member of the most idiosyncratically named band of the 60s, Dozy, bassist of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich fame, has died.

This isn’t one of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich’s big hits. It doesn’t feature Dave Dee at all and was recorded and released in 1970 after he left the group when the band had shortened its name to the remaining members initials. This track apparently has the first use of a Moog Modular Synthesiser.

D B M & T: Mr President

Trevor Leonard Ward-Davies (Dozy): 27/11/1944 – 13/1/2015. So it goes.

Reelin’ In the Years 97: Farewell is a Lonely Sound – RIP Jimmy Ruffin

I saw Jimmy Ruffin’s obituary in the Guardian this week. Another one down.

Perhaps forever haunted by What Becomes of the Broken Hearted, of which his version is still the best, he had relatively little other success.

I’ve Passed This Way Before didn’t seem quite appropriate. This one, more so.

Jimmy Ruffin: Farewell is a Lonely Sound

Jimmy Lee Ruffin: 7/5/1936 – 17/11/2014. So it goes.

Reelin’ In the Years 96: RIP Alvin Stardust

A few days ago it was Raphael Ravenscroft, now Alvin Stardust. In the words of another 70s song, “They’re dropping down like flies, man.”

I don’t remember Alvin Stardust’s first pop incarnation. (Apparently on his comeback, Tony Blackburn – who has a running joke with Graham Norton that he still hasn’t been arrested – bumped into him backstage on Top of the Pops one week and said to him, “Didn’t you used to be Shane Fenton?) I’d heard the name but couldn’t put a tune or face to it.

I do, though, remember the 1970s records and leather clad appearances on TV – complete with outrageous size ring worn outside his glove – and thought he was rather sending up the rock hard man schtick.

I haven’t opted for either of his two big hits, Jealous Mind nor My Coo Ca Choo, though.

Alvin Stardust: Red Dress

Bernard William Jewry – aka Shane Fenton; aka Alvin Stardust. 27/9/1942 – 23/10/2014. So it goes.

Reelin’ In the Years 95: RIP Raphael Ravenscroft – Baker Street

Sad to hear that the man who really played the signature saxophone solo of the 1970s, Raphael Ravenscroft, has died.

Apparently he wasn’t satisfied with his famous contribution to Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street. “I’m irritated because it’s out of tune,” he said. “Yeah, it’s flat. By enough of a degree that it irritates me at best.”

Judge for yourselves.

Gerry Rafferty: Baker Street

Raphael Ravenscroft, 4/6/1954 – 19/10/2014. So it goes.

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