Archives » 1970s

Reelin’ In the Years 167: The Things I Should Have Said

This is a track from Lindisfarne’s first album Nicely Out of Tune, my favourite track on there, but I’ve not been able to feature it before as I couldn’t previously find an embeddable example.

I have a thing about lyrics. You know this. (Maybe I’m a frustrated song-writer.)

I particularly like the rhyming in this one but the overall lyric has some great lines.

Who hasn’t been in the situation, “So we sat and watched each other through the fading firelight
Each one waiting for the silence to be broken”? Those lines just ache for resolution.

“The spittle from his twisted lips ran down to his bow-tie,” (and bow-tie rhymed with ‘eye’ and ‘deny’) is nothing short of inspired as is also in the last verse, “Teachers from whose hallowed mouths great pearls of wisdom crawl,” where the emphasis provided by the internal rhymes in, “The joke is on the bloke who never spoke a word at all,” hammers the song’s point home.

Add in the fact that the last line of each verse is not just foreshadowed but fore-ordained by the word immediately preceding, “And the things I should have said,” and you have a lyrical masterpiece.

Lindisfarne: The Things I Should Have Said

Friday on my Mind 186: Let’s Be Natural – RIP Neil Innes

2019 kept taking away till the very end. Not content with removing Alasdair Gray from us it managed to take Neil Innes on the same day.

It was only four months ago I featured his big hit with The Bonzo DogDoo-Dah Band, I’m the Urban Spaceman.

That was the least of the band’s eccentricities. Innes contributed the most bizarre guitar solo to the utterly indescribable Canyons of Your Mind. Try out this video from the BBC’s Colour Me Pop for size.

The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band: Canyons of Your Mind

Innes’s Beatles parodies for Rutland Weekend Television and subsequent recordings as The Rutles were sublime. The haunting Let’s Be Natural is the perfect example.

The Rutles: Let’s Be Natural

Neil James Innes: 9/12/1944 – 29/12/2019. So it goes.

Reelin’ In the Years 166: Oh, Babe, What Would You Say?

A follow-up to Don’t Let it Die, this song only reached no. 4 in the UK compared to Smith’s previous no. 2, but was a big hit in the US.

Smith’s idiosyncratic “cracked” singing voice was certainly distinctive but his first two singles represent the summit of his recording career.

The writing credit on this is to Hurricane’s wife, Eileen Sylvia Smith (see link above.)

Hurricane Smith: Oh, Babe, What Would You Say?

Reelin’ In the Years 165: Do Anything You Wanna Do

The lead singer of Eddie and the Hot Rods died suddenly earlier this month. The Rods were a kind of precursor punk band more or less superseded by the likes of the Sex Pistols when they came along. Their brief heyday was in 1977 when this song – released under the name The Rods – became their biggest hit.

The Rods: Do Anything You Wanna Do

Barrie Masters: 4/5/1956 – 2/10/2019. So it goes.

Reelin’ In the Years 164: Say it Ain’t So

Murray Head first came to my attention when he played Judas on the original studio recording of Jesus Christ Superstar which was released a fair time before there was any stage production.

Say it Ain’t So is a song about fallen heroes and the phrase is supposed to have been uttered about baseball player Joe Jackson after he was implicated in a bribery scandal over the outcome of the 1919 World Series.

Murray Head: Say it Ain’t So

Reelin’ In the Years 163: Home Thoughts from Abroad

Another from Clifford T Ward. In fact the one I referred to in this category’s 147th post.

Here’s Clifford in a live BBC TV performance.

Clifford T Ward: Home Thoughts from Abroad.

Reelin’ In the Years 162: Locomotive Breath

Tull in their pomp. An acknowledgement of their bluesy origins in the intro leading into a complete rock-out and then one of Ian Anderson’s trademark flute solos. The mix of blues and rock also pointed to Prog Rock leanings but Tull always denied they ever purveyed Prog.

Edited to add. This video has the LP track overdubbed onto concert footage.

Jethro Tull: Locomotive Breath

Reelin’ In the Years 161: Such a Night. RIP Dr John

Last week Dr John died.

In his early years known as The Night Tripper, he never troubled the UK charts much. (At all? Well a no. 54 with Right Place, Wrong Time).

I featured Marsha Hunt’s version of Walk on Gilded Splinters – a song from Dr John’s first album Gris Gris – in Friday on my Mind 11.

Hunt’s single was weird enough but Dr John’s original – as I Walk on Guilded Splintersis even eerier.

Here’s Dr John playing Such a Night live.

Dr John: Such a Night

Malcolm John Rebennack (Dr John:) 20/11/1941 – 6/6/2019. So it goes.

Reelin’ In the Years 160: American Woman

Yet another from 1970.

The Guess Who were Canadian and had a first success with a cover of the Johnny Kidd and the Pirates hit Shakin’ All Over released by their record label under the name Guess Who, which effectively forced them to accept the new name. Their biggest hit in the UK (at no. 19 apparently equal to its follow-up No Sugar Tonight – which I confess I cannot remember at all) was, though, this song.

The Guess Who: American Woman

Reelin’ In the Years 159: Love Hurts

I’m spoiled for choice with this one. It was written in 1960 by Boudleaux Bryant and recorded by the Everly Brothers the next year but not as a single. It was an accidental hit for Roy Orbison in Australia when it became part of a double A-side but not a hit in the UK till Nazareth took it into the charts in 1975.

Dan McCafferty’s voice was perfect to bring out the song’s angst.

Nazareth: Love Hurts

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