Archives » 1970s

Colin Bell

Manchester City’s best team may have been the one of the very recent past. Certainly in terms of trophies won it is the most successful. However City’s last great side, the one of the late 60s and early 70s, is worth mentioning in the same breath.

That side’s outstanding performer, one of the greatest players Manchester City ever had, if not the greatest, Colin Bell, has died. The only one of City’s players ever to be dubbed ‘the King’, in his case ‘King of the Kippax’, after the Kippax Street Stand at City’s old Maine Road Ground. He was also nicknamed Nijinsky after a famous race-horse of the time due to the seemingly effortless way he covered the ground. The team was an attacking force to be reckoned with and Bell was its driving creative hub.

His stature at the club was such that one of the stands at City’s new ground, the Manchester City Stadium, aka the Etihad, was named for him.

There was a fine appreciation by Simon Hattenstone of what the man meant to City supporters in yesterday’s Guardian.

By all accounts he was a decent man as well as a great footballer.

Colin Bell: 26/2/1946 – 5/1/2021. So it goes.

Reelin’ in the Years 184: Nantucket Sleighride – RIP Leslie West

One more of 2020’s depredations.

Two days before Christmas the band Mountain‘s guitarist singer and songwriter Leslie West, died.

His guitar playing is credited with influencing heavy metal but to those of my generation in the UK his work is more familiar from this song:-

Mountain: Nantucket Sleighride

This is for the simple reason that part of Nantucket Sleighride was used as the theme for the ITV politics programme Weekend World. It always seemed a bizarre choice of tune for the programme’s usual subject matter:-

Weekend World Theme

Leslie Weinstein (Leslie West;) 22/10/1945 – 23/12/2020. So it goes.

Some Good News (and Reelin’ in the Years 183: Here Comes the Sun)

Something cheerful this week. In celebration.

One day last week we were woken up by a phone call where my and the good lady’s very happy eldest son told us of the birth, a little earlier than expected, of his baby daughter, our first grandchild, Isobel Skye, 6 lb, 6 oz. (All those years, over 50, of nothing but the metric system being taught in Scottish schools and we still announce birth weights in Imperial units!) Mother and child are both doing well.

A welcome good thing arriving in what has been a dismal year. Sadly due to Covid restrictions we have not met Isobel in person. Soon, we hope.

This song was a hit for Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel in 1976 (Richie Havens had also recorded it in 1971) but it was first heard on The Beatles album Abbey Road in 1969.

Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel: Here Comes the Sun

And the original:-

The Beatles: Here Comes the Sun

Reelin’ in the Years 182: Easy Livin’ – RIP Ken Hensley

So this week it was Ken Hensley, keyboardist and chief songwriter for the metal band Uriah Heep, who has died.

I have featured the band twice before with Rain, which Hensley wrote, and Come Away Melinda.

They never troubled the British charts much (a no 76 and a no 85, both in 1983) but had more success in Germany.

This song was their first and biggest hit in the US. More representative of their œuvre I would say.

Uriah Heep: Easy Livin’

Kenneth William David (Ken) Hensley: 24/8/1945 – 4/11/2020. So it goes.

Reelin’ in the Years 181: Angie Baby – RIP Helen Reddy

This makes a companion piece to last week’s offering in this slot as the two songs share a girl’s name.

Sad that nearly coincided with the death of Helen Reddy.

Reddy is famous for writing the feminist anthem I Am Woman. I always thought her voice wasn’t quite strong enough to carry that song though.

It was more suited to this, her only significant UK hit.

Helen Reddy: Angie Baby

Helen Maxine Reddy: 25/10/1941 – 29/9/2020. So it goes.

Mac Davis

Nine years ago I featured Mac Davis, who died last week, at Reelin’ in the Years 22.

I suppose, though, that the song he wrote that most people will recognise would be In the Ghetto which was a hit for Elvis Presley who also recorded Davis’s A Little Less Conversation and Don’t Cry Daddy.

It wasn’t just Elvis who had success with Davis songs. Kenny Rogers and the First Edition had a hit with his song Something’s Burning (see Reelin’ in the Years 173) as well as Everything a Man Could Ever Need, a hit for Glen Campbell.

I see from his Wiki page Davis also wrote Rock And Roll (I Gave You The Best Years Of My Life) which was a hit in the UK for Kevin Johnson and I had as Reelin’ in the Years 32.

Here is Davis himself singing In the Ghetto.

Scott Mac Davis: January 21/1/1942 – 29/9/2020. So it goes.

Reelin’ in the Years 180: Angie

I know I have said previously no Beatles and no Rolling Stones but that was for the 60s and this came out in 1973.

(I have in any case featured the Stones before, but that was a special case.)

The most prominent instrument on this track – one of the intermittent ballads the band recorded – is the piano, but there’s no sign of a pianist in the clip.

The Rolling Stones: Angie

Reelin’ in the Years 179: Bang Bang

Glasgow’s own B A Robertson’s first UK hit. From 1979.

After a small flurry of hits he graduated to writing songs for others including hits for Cliff Richard and Mike and the Mechanics.

Here he is “performing” the single on Top of the Pops.

B A Robertson: Bang Bang

Reelin’ in the Years 178: RIP Emitt Rhodes

Emitt Rhodes died this week. He never made much of an impact on the charts in the UK despite being championed on Alan Freeman’s radio show. It’s still sad to see him go.

There’s a mellotron sound here (I’m a sucker for a bit of mellotron) and echoes of Barclay James Harvest.

Emitt Rhodes: Till the Day After

This one’s a bit more rocky.

Emitt Rhodes: Really Wanted You

Emitt Lynn Rhodes: 25/2/1950 – 19/7/2020. So it goes.

Reelin’ in the Years 177: Only You Can. RIP Kenny Young

The song-writer and producer of 1970s band Fox died earlier this week. He also wrote Captain of Your Ship – a hit for Reparata and the Delrons in the 60s – Under the Boardwalk and some hits for Clodagh Rodgers.

A list of his hit songs is on Wikipedia.

The biggest of those in the UK were recorded by Fox. This looks like a Top of the Pops appearance.

Fox: Only You Can

Shalom Giskan (Kenny Young,) 14/4/1941 – 14/4/2020. So it goes.

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