Archives » 1970s

Reelin’ In the Years 127: Lucky Man

Now add Greg Lake to the growing list.

Founder member of King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Lake of course found individual fame with his 1975 hit I Believe in Father Christmas.

Lake apparently wrote Lucky Man when he was twelve having received a guitar from his mother as a present. It was one of the first times a Moog synthesiser had featured on a record.

Emerson, Lake and Palmer: Lucky Man

Gregory Stuart “Greg” Lake: 10/11/1947 – 7/12/2016. So it goes.

Fidel Castro

Whatever your opinion of him, Fidel Castro, who died yesterday, was undoubtedly one of the most significant figures of the Twentieth Century.

Not only did he somehow contrive from a very small personnel base to overthrow the government of Fulgencio Batista he managed to sustain his regime against the efforts to undermine it of a great power whose territory began only 103 miles away even when his backer, the Soviet Union, which that confrontation drew him to had fallen into the jaws of history.

The nationalisation of all US-owned businesses on the island naturally poisoned relations with it, as, no doubt, did the treatment of Batista suporters and the suppression of opposition voices. Castro did, though, institute free medical care for all and a well regarded education system.

The Cuba-US stand-off provided the biggest world crisis since the Second World War when USSR missiles were stationed on Cuban soil. Thankfully cool heads prevailed on the part of both the great powers to procure their removal.

Despite many increasingly lunatic plans to remove Castro or his influence (see first link above) he survived them all and was able to pass on his leadership peacefully.

Even if that was only to his brother he did not continue to cling to power beyond his capacity to wield it, unlike many.

Here are two opposing musical views.

Focus: Sugar Island

The Skatalites: Fidel Castro

Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz: 13/8/1926 – 25/11/2016. So it goes.

It Just Keeps Coming….

Now it’s Leon Russell……

Never as commercially successful in his own right as he perhaps deserved his songs are better known in their cover versions.

For Joe Cocker’s take on Delta Lady see here.

This is a much less rocky track perhaps most famous in its performance by The Carpenters.

Leon Russell: A Song For You

Leon Russell: 2/4/1942 – 13/11/2016. So it goes.

Reelin’ In the Years 126: It’s a Game

For some reason the chorus of this song has been running through my head for the past week or so. Originally performed by String Driven Thing (composed by Chris Adams of the group) and released as a single in 1973 it was a hit later in that decade for a different group which shall remain nameless.

The String Driven Thing version is better by miles in any case.

String Driven Thing: It’s a Game

Edited to add: this one didn’t go on as scheduled either. Looks like all the other ones I’ve scheduled won’t be appearing as planned.

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.

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