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Reelin’ In the Years 137: Dear Elaine

This is something of an oddity but yet is entirely consistent with Roy Wood’s oeuvre.

Very unMove-like and far too restrained for Wizzard – which he had formed at around the same time as this – it could still be an outtake from The Electric Light Orchestra, the band’s
eponymous first album, which did contain quite a lot of acoustic plucked strings in its arrangements.

Roy Wood: Dear Elaine

Reelin’ In the Years 136: Jessica. RIP Gregg Allman

This is perhaps the most abiding legacy of the Allman Brothers band, whose member, Gregg, died earlier this week.

I might have included it in this series before if it had not had the (mis)fortune to have become the theme tune to Top Gear. Still that’s not the Allmans’ fault and it was chosen long before the programme was hi-jacked by the play-to-the-lowest-common-denominator tendency.

The Allman Brothers Band: Jessica

Gregory LeNoir “Gregg” Allman: 8/12/1947- 27/5/2017. So it goes.

Reelin’ In the Years 135: Angel Fingers (A Teen Ballad)

This almost forgotten song (it hardly gets any retrospective airplay) was oddly, given the perennial appeal of I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day, Wizzard’s only no 1 hit apart from See My Baby Jive.

In some senses it’s not strange that posterity has deemed this less memorable. It’s slower in tempo and arguably too long.

Wizzard: Angel Fingers

Reelin’ In the Years 134: Blockbuster

That siren sound announced the change from the Sweet’s previously bubble-gummy sound to something more hard-edged. It gave them their only UK no 1.

Surprisingly it wasn’t as big a hit in the US as the totally bland Little Willy had been.

The Sweet: Blockbuster

Reelin’ In the Years 133: Comin’ Home

A guitar heavy one from 1970.

Delaney and Bonnie – under whose name along with their friends – this song was released formed a rotating ensemble using many musicians among whom was Eric Clapton who features on this recording.

Delaney and Bonnie and Friends featuring Eric Clapton: Comin’ Home

Reelin’ In the Years 132: Changes

Following last week’s offering from Black Sabbath here’s a more famous Changes – the Bowie song, here taken from BBC sessions. To my mind there’s a lot more energy in this live version than the LP track.

David Bowie: Changes

Reelin’ In the Years 131: Changes

A most un-Black Sabbath-like Black Sabbath song, I include this not only for the mellotron but the similarity of the piano chords to those in Birth by The Peddlers and Elton John’s Border Song.

Black Sabbath: Changes

Reelin’ In the Years 130: You’re a Lady, Love is the Sweetest Thing, Roll Away the Stone

I discovered two sad departures this week, both Peters, though one of them actually occurred in January.

Peter Skellern’s affection for the brass band sound made him stand out as a bit old fashioned in the early 1970s.

His biggest hit was You’re a Lady, no 3 in 1972.

Peter Skellern: You’re a Lady

I remembered his revival of Frank Noble’s song Love is the Sweetest Thing as being a bigger hit than in fact it was. It apparently only reached no 60. It has a brilliant lyric, though.

Peter Skellern: Love is the Sweetest Thing

Peter Overend Watts was Mott the Hoople’s bass player and is seen quite prominently in this clip:-

Mott The Hoople: Roll Away The Stone

Peter Skellern: 14/3/1947 – 17/2/2017. So it goes.

Peter Overend Watts: 13/5/1948-22/1/2017. So it goes.

Reelin’ In the Years 129: Live Till You Die/Fresh As a Daisy

As I mentioned last week DJ Alan “Fluff” Freeman championed Emitt Rhodes (once of the Merry-Go-Round) when his first solo album came out in 1970, but that still didn’t make for much success in the UK.

On that self-titled LP there’s a strong feel of the Beatles feel to most of Rhodes’s songs, with a hint of Gerry Rafferty in the vocals.

Here are Live Till You Die and the more “pop”py Fresh as a Daisy.

Emitt Rhodes: Live Till You Die

Emitt Rhodes: Fresh as a Daisy

Reelin’ In the Years 128: RIP Greg Lake

I know I marked Greg Lake’s passing a fortnight ago but it is Christmas time and this is his best known song.

We need its sentiments this year more than for some in the recent past. (More than for in most of my lifetime.)

I wish you a hopeful Christmas
I wish you a brave new year.

Greg Lake: I Believe in Father Christmas

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