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Friday on my Mind 160: Happy Together

The Turtles were one of those male vocal groups the US seemed to produce so easily in the mid-60s. The Association and The Cowsills also spring to mind along with The Happenings. The Beach Boys, however, were always a cut above the rest.

Their name had an unfortunate resonance with the US label they signed for, White Whale, and they feared they might be thought of as a novelty group as a result. There were no such problems in the UK on London American.

The single of Happy Together seemed to hang about the lower reaches of the British charts for weeks before finally climbing into the top twenty, during which time I bought it, but it’s one of those which has had an extensive after-life, unlike its successors She’d Rather Be With Me and Elenore – both bigger hits in the UK (or at least higher chart placings.)

The Turtles: Happy Together

Live It Up 41: – Market Square Heroes

This was the one that started it all off for Marillion in a singles sense but I didn’t come across it for a few years after its first release once I was catching up with their back catalogue after the release of their second album Fugazi.

There are some thematic similarities here with The Knife, the last track on Genesis’s second album Trespass.

Marillion: Market Square Heroes

Live It Up 40: Waiting for a Train – RIP George Young

Another string to George Young’s bow was the group Flash and the Pan which he set up with co-writer Harry Vanda and whose biggest hit in the UK was Waiting for a Train.

Flash and the Pan: Waiting for a Train

George Redburn Young: 6/11/1946 – 22/10/2017. So it goes.

Not Friday on my Mind 47: Heaven and Hell. RIP George Young

Glasgow born George Young, member and songwriter (with Harry Vanda) of The Easybeats, after whose biggest hit this strand on my blog is named, has died.

His contribution to the Easybeats would alone have been enough to secure his standing in the history of rock music – especially Australian rock – but he subsequently was songwriter and producer for others, including AC/DC.

The Easybeats: Heaven and Hell

George Redburn Young: 6/11/1946 – 22/10/2017. So it goes.

Fats Domino, RIP

This is outwith the remit of my usual music categories but there is no doubt that Fats Domino was a major influence on the musicians of later decades and on the development of what came to be called Rock And Roll. Many of the songs he recorded became classics of late twentieth century music.

So much so I can even forgive him the ungrammatical word in this song’s title.

Fats Domino: Ain’t That a Shame

And this was another belter:-

Fats Domino: Blue Monday

Fats Domino: Walking to New Orleans

Antoine “Fats” Domino: 26/2/1928 – 24/10/2017. So it goes.

Friday on my Mind 159: William Chalker’s Time Machine

The Idle Race wasn’t the only Birmingham group to like (Here We Go Round) the Lemon Tree. The band that recorded the song here liked that earlier one so much they took their name from (part of) its title.

The somewhat psychedelic – not to say SF tinged – William Chalker’s Time Machine was written by Ace Kefford, who had just left The Move, and produced by Andy Fairweather-Low (of Amen Corner and solo fame) and Trevor Burton of …. The Move.

It didn’t bother the charts.

The Lemon Tree: William Chalker’s Time Machine

Live It Up 39: Runnin’ Down a Dream/End of the Line. RIP Tom Petty

So, now Tom Petty has gone.

I was aware of him of course but never really followed him as he broke through around the time I was getting on with life instead of listening to music. Judging by the music of his that I have heard he was firmly in the rock mainstream. This may be typical.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin’ Down a Dream

The esteem in which he was held is exemplified by his invitation to The Travelling Wilburys. Not a bad group to be a member of.

This song’s title seems all too appropriate.

The Travelling Wilburys: End of the Line

Oh, Maggie, What Did We Do?

Anyone looking for a metaphor for the parlous state of the UK today doesn’t need to go very far. They only have to look at Theresa May’s speech at the Tory Party Conference yesterday. Just about everything that could go wrong did. The prankster illustrating the lack of authority the office of Prime Minister now holds. That letter falling off the slogan in the background which says it all about how austerity has hollowed away national cohesion and expertise. The slogan itself – a blatant example of truth reversal (they’re not building the country; they’re tearing it apart; they never do anything for everyone, they act for themselves, those who fund them and the extremely well-off.) A leader struggling to overcome the problems (albeit not entirely of her own making – though she didn’t do much to prevent their coming to pass and arguably contributed to their increase) in front of her.

And what on Earth was that about the British Dream?

There isn’t a British Dream*. We don’t do that sort of thing. We’re not USian.

But the phrase reminded me irresistibly of this song written by Roger Waters and taken from Pink Floyd’s album The Final Cut, from which I filched this post’s title. And the question it poses is a good one. I can trace all the ills that befall life in the UK today to that government from the 1980s. Kow-towing to the power of money, rampant exploitation of workers, poorly paid jobs, lack of social housing, high private rents – all have their roots in those times.

There are two unfortunate references in the song’s lyric, though. “Nips” (but that of course enables the rhyme) and “England”. She did damage to a hell of a lot more than England, Roger.

Pink Floyd: The Postwar Dream

*If there is it consists of getting the better of Johnny Foreigner and despising its own working class.

Not Friday on my Mind 46: (Here We Go Round) The Lemon Tree

This Roy Wood song was originally planned as a single but ended up as the B-side of Flowers in the Rain famously the first song to be played on Radio 1, fifty years ago this week

There’s a great rhyme in the lyric: plans/underpants. Not to mention cider/beside her.

The Move:- (Here we go round) The Lemon Tree

Jeff Lynne (of ELO fame)’s first group The Idle Race also recorded it as a single but it was only released in Europe and the US.

The Idle Race: Here We Go ‘Round The Lemon Tree

Reelin’ In the Years 141: Haitian Divorce – RIP Walter Becker

It turns out that while I was away one of the authors of the song which gives this category its title died.

Steely Dan was one of those acts which seem to stand apart from the general run of their musical contemporaries. In their time but not of their time.

I’ve already posted Reelin’ In the Years of course, but also Do it Again, Rikki Don’t Lose That Number and Daddy Don’t Live In That New York City No More.

This is one of their UK hits from 1976 that doesn’t seem to have charted in the US, perhaps not released as a single there.

Steely Dan: Haitian Divorce

Walter Carl Becker: 20/2/1950 – 3/9/2017. So it goes.

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