Archives » 1970s

Reelin’ In the Years 111: The Combine Harvester

From the sublime (Al Stewart, last two weeks) to the gorblimey.

I’d almost forgotten about this till the good lady said she’d heard it on the radio this week

The Wurzels were a band from Somerset – a traditional rural farming county – who dubbed their style Scrumpy and Western after the name for a type of cider and a USian music genre.

A parody of Melanie (Safka)’s Brand New Key from 1971 with lyrics more appropriate to agriculture this, believe it or not, was actually a number one hit in the UK in 1976. For three weeks!

Bits of it are still funny, though. I especially like the spoken, “Just you wait till I get me ‘ands on your laaaaand,” towards the end.

The Wurzels: The Combine Harvester:

Another Wurzels parody, this time of Una Paloma Blanca, got to number three in 1976.

The Wurzels: I am a Cider Drinker

There are clips on You Tube of the Wurzels performing this on TV but on one of them they are introduced by a paedophile and the other is incomplete.

Reelin’ In the Years 110: Roads To Moscow

Another example of Al Stewart’s lyrical eclecticism.

This one is about the Great Patriotic War.

Al Stewart : Roads To Moscow

Reelin’ In the Years 109: On The Border

Not the only “pop” song to be about the Spanish Civil War but the subject certainly marks it out as lyrically unusual. But then Al Stewart’s lyrics tended to the eclectic.

This is a live version.

Al Stewart: On the Border

Reelin’ In the Years 108: Daddy Don’t Live In That New York City No More

More Steely Dan.

Pity about the poor grammar in the title.

Steely Dan: Daddy Don’t Live In That New York City No More

Reelin’ In the Years 107: Rikki Don’t Lose That Number

Steely Dan’s second UK hit – but it only achieved the heights of no. 58. Though their singles got a lot of airplay I suppose they were more of an albums band this side of the pond.

Steely Dan: Rikki Don’t Lose That Number

Reelin’ In the Years 106: Teenage Rampage

I’ve not done one of these for a while.

The Sweet: Teenage Rampage

Reelin’ In the Years 105: Hazell

Taggart’s wasn’t the first TV theme tune Maggie Bell had taken on. From the previous decade here’s her version of the Hazell theme.

Maggie Bell: Hazell

Chris Squire

I wasn’t much into Yes – not at all in fact – but Chris Squire, their bassist who died recently, seems to have been their main driving force; and they were famous purveyors of Prog Rock.

Christopher Russell Edward “Chris” Squire: 4/3/1948 – 27/6/2015. So it goes.

Reelin’ In the Years 104: Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters

For some reason last week’s featured song always merges into my head into this one by Elton John (from his Honky Chateau LP.)

The mandolin on this is great.

Elton John: Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters

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.

free hit counter script