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Not Friday on my Mind 53: I See the Rain. RIP Dean Ford

I was sad to hear the news of the death of Dean Ford, lead singer of (The) Marmalade (once known as Dean Ford and the Gaylords,) the first Scottish group to have a no 1 in the UK. To make it, of course, they had to leave Scotland and move to London where their initial efforts under their original name didn’t meet with much joy. Calling themselves The Marmalade also didn’t bring instant success. It was only when they adopted a more pop profile – and with songs written by others – that they achieved a measure of success, peaking with that no. 1, a cover of The Beatles’ Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.

Ford was no mean song writer though. Along with fellow band member Junior Campbell he wrote Reflections of My Life, Rainbow, and My Little One, hits between 1969 and 1971.

Plus this pre-success psychedelia-tinged song, said to be Jimi Hendrix’s favourite of 1967.

The Marmalade: I See the Rain

Thomas McAleese (Dean Ford): 5/9/1946 – 31/12/2018. So it goes.

Reelin’ In the Years 155: Rose of Cimarron

A piece of soft country-rock from the mid-70s. Very USian, even all the way down to the harmonies.

Poco: Rose of Cimarron

Tull at Christmas: Last Man at the Party

From The Jethro Tull Christmas Album. Though this one is more appropriate for New Year’s Day.

Jethro Tull: Last Man at the Party

Merry Christmas, everybody.

Live It Up 50: Echo Beach

A bit of 80s fluff.

Martha and the Muffins: Echo Beach

Something Changed 17: Sympathy

A by now Fishless Marillion recorded this in 1992.

The original was of course first released by Rare Bird in 1970.

Marillion: Sympathy

Not Friday on my Mind 52: Magic Carpet Ride

Steppenwolf’s other well known track. Never a hit in the UK. Then again, Born To Be Wild only reached no 30.

This seems to be a live performance of the album version with additional film inserts. There’s a touch more psychedelia than I’d remembered.

Steppenwolf: Magic Carpet Ride

Reelin’ In the Years 154: Come Away Belinda

From the band’s first album rather heavy-handedly called Very ‘Eavy…. Very ‘Umble (but perhaps they thought it as well to acknowledge their name’s origin) and which appeared in 1970, their treatment of the anti-war song Come Away Melinda (first sung in public by The Weavers shortly before Harry Belafonte released his version) is reminiscent of early Barclay James Harvest and also features the mellotron.

Uriah Heep: Come Away Belinda

Something Changed 16: Common People

If ever a song struck a chord with people this was it. If Pulp had never recorded anything else of significance this would still have been a magnificent contribution to popular culture.

I had been familiar with Pulp before the release of the album from which this was taken, Different Class, as my eldest son (despite being then still of a relatively tender age) had discovered them a few years earlier. I had not paid very much attention – well, children don’t want their parents muscling in on their music tastes do they? Common People really woke me up to the band. Odd to think it’s over twenty years since this burst onto the world.

This is the longer album version.

Pulp: Common People

Meanwhile Back

The Beatles song about Penny Lane in Liverpool makes it sound quite urban but at the end where the famous street sign is it’s leafy. (That’s our tour bus parked at the side of the road):-

Penny Lane

Street name sign. (Not original. They keep getting nicked):-

Penny Lane sign

More leafiness but beginnng to get built-up:-

Penny Lane, Liverpool

Still more buildings:-

More of Penny Lane, Liverpool

Mostly residential but a few workplaces. Some of the workers wave at the tour bus:-

Penny Lane

There’s a barber shop in this one (but I didn’t see a banker waiting for a trim):-

Barber Shop, Penny Lane, Liverpool

End of Penny Lane. The white-painted building is the Penny Lane Hotel:-

Penny Lane Continuation, Liverpool

Not Penny Lane but instead the road where Paul McCartney was brought up. (The bus isn’t allowed to go along it as there’s no suitable turning place):-

McCartney's Road

The Beatles: Penny Lane

Let Me Take You Down ….

…. because I’ve been to Strawberry Fields. (Or more correctly it seems Strawberry Field.):-

Strawberry Fields, Liverpool

Behind these gates was apparently a children’s home and though Wikipedia has John Lennon climbing into the place to play with them the guide on the bus tour our friends had booked said he would play truant from his own school hoping to catch a glimpse of girls beyond the trees behind the gates.

The present gates are replicas:-

Strawberry Fields

When Lennon’s parents’ marriage fell apart he was taken in by his Aunt Mimi.

This is her house. They had a reasonably comfortable existence here you’d think:-

John Lennon's Aunt Mimi's House Liverpool

Note the notice on the gate post and the blue plaque on the house:-

Aunt Mimi's house

In Liverpool reminders of the Beatles are never far away. Sgt Pepper flower bed:-

Sergeant Pepper Flower Bed, Liverpool

Memorial plaque:-

Beatles Memorial Plaque

The Beatles: Strawberry Fields Forever

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