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  1. #1
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    Default S8 Contemporary Music

    Right, as a self confessed seventies music and TV addict I thought it only fit that I start this thread off

    As we start a New Year, and new season of Doctor Who, Dave Edmunds tops the UK top thirty with I Hear You Knockin' and had been the 1970 Christmas number one. One would have thought that Clive Dunn's novelty hit Grandad would have taken Christmas but he didn't get to number one until the second week of January and stayed on top for three weeks. (incidentally, Dunn turned 91 on 9th January 2011, so 40 years ago getting to number one on ones 51st birthday would have been great for him)
    One notable record during these early weeks of 1971 has to be Tyrannosaurus Rex's Ride a White Swan which by this time had been in the charts for ten weeks, bouncing up and down outside the top ten. It eventually makes number two, but is prevented from getting to number one by Clive Dunn's Grandad and George Harrison with My Sweet Lord.
    By the time of Tyrannosaurus' next hit they had undergone a slight name change to become T.Rex, and with a little glitter under his eyes for a Top of the Pops performance, Glam Rock was born and Marc Bolan would become a major force in the pop world for the best part of the early seventies.

    Top ten then for 9th January 1971.

    1 Clive Dunn Grandad
    2 Dave Edmunds I Hear You Knockin'
    3 McGuiness Flint When I'm Dead and Gone
    4 Ride a White Swan Tyrannosaurus Rex
    5 Jackson Five I'll Be There
    6 Neil Diamond Cracklin' Rosie
    7 Gilbert O'Sullivan Nothing Rhymed
    8 Johnny Johnson and the Bandwagon Blame It On The Pony Express
    9 Glen Campbell It's Only Make Believe
    10 Andy Williams Home Lovin' Man

    Also of note in these weeks: Elvis has two singles in there. Vying for sales between them with the same song are Dorothy Squires and Frank Sinatra with My Way, needless to say Sinatra won by a long way with that one. Also still in the top twenty is Hendrix with a record that became a posthumous number one, Voodoo Chile, at the end of 1970 (just before Edmunds came along with his top seller) Also in the twenty was one time Opportunity Knocks winner Gerry Monroe with his third hit in a year, My Prayer, a song previously recorded by Glenn Miller, The Ink Spots and The Platters.
    One more notable song just inside the top forty is by Jackie Lee, and the theme song from popular children's TV show Rupert, she does eventually climb to number 14 with that one, and the TV show does well too. Her version of the theme song is thought of as one of the best all time TV tunes.
    Last edited by Stephen Morgan; 11th Jan 2011 at 11:27 PM.

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    I had a feeling you'd be much better qualified than me to write about this era, Steve - I'm far too young to remember 1971, however we did have LPs in the mid 70s called Top of the Tots and they had cover versions of songs from this era, so there's a certain nostalgia on some tracks - notably Grandad, which I always had a soft spot for. For years, I probably thought it was a Christmas #1, although of course at the end of year Benny Hill would get that honour!

    Some further tracks I like from January 1971 while Terror of the Autons was airing include :

    I'll Be There - Jackson Five (4)
    Cracklin Rosie - Neil Diamond (6)

    As you say, we're at the start of the glam rock era with T Rex, Elton John, Rod Stewart and I believe some early Slade and Sweet too? And with the Beatles having split up recently, all 4 of them had solo chart success in 1971. Motown was big too wasn't it?

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    A great Top 6 songs there, I love them all although I must admit that I don't remember/know 7-10.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonno Simmons View Post
    ...Motown was big too wasn't it?
    Motown? Ooohhhhhhh! I could write a theses on that.

    A school friend introduced me to Motown in 1967, but I never showed any real interest in the artists because of the prejudices that were prevalent during that period of the 1960's. A few years later in mid 1971 I started taking a real interest in the music scene, some of the the latest sounds began to appeal to me and I took an interest in hits by T.Rex, Middle of the Road, Hurricane Smith, Gilbert O'Sullivan and.......Diana Ross, the first single I bought with my own pocket money was her number one summer hit I'm Still Waiting. However, it still didn't lead me to buy or want any Motown album until I asked my gran to buy me Ross's album for Christmas that year. That album, Everything is Everything, led me to a love for Motown that has never left me.
    As Jonno states, Motown was big, it did a hell of a lot of work towards Civil Rights in America, and across the world. By 1971 however label founder, Berry Gordy, was seeking out new challenges, a move away from Detroit where the traditional Motown sound was created, to the West Coast of America. A move which diluted the Motown Sound, and which fragmented its artists.
    Tamla Motown, a label unique to the UK, continued to prosper until 1976, but between 1970 to 1975 most of the biggest UK hits were re-issues, and the UK was a good eighteen months or so behind US releases anyway, either that or Gordy would only promote his newest or biggest selling acts, Jackson Five, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross. And the biggest selling Motown albums were the Motown Chartbuster series or Greatest Hits comps. (In 1977 Diana Ross brought out a great album in Baby It's Me, a disco bouncer of an album, but it bombed. Three weeks after its release the album 20 Golden Greats by Diana Ross and The Supremes stood at number one on the album charts, such was the power of TV promotion)

    Anyway, back to 1971. Mid 1971 was when I started taking a real interest in the music scene, I got to listening to Alan Freeman and Pick of the Pops on Sunday evenings, I used to record it on a big old reel to reel tape recorder I'd had for about five years. I bought a couple of singles, the aforementioned I'm Still Waiting and Hey Girl Don't Bother Me by The Tams, and a couple of the Top of the Pops albums, cover versions of popular top twenty hits which sold for 49p. Twelve hits for that price, you couldn't go wrong, and some of the covers were quite good, so were the girls on the front of the albums.
    Then.... along came KTel with a huge TV promotion that advertised 20 original hits for 1.99, well, what could one say to a price like that and with top artists like T. Rex, Middle of the Road, Slade, Elton John, not to mention some of the minor hits and artists. They knocked the Top of the Pops albums out of the water and KTel, along with other TV promoted albums from Arcade and Ronco, were frequently seen at number one throughout the seventies.

    OH! by the way Jonno, I remember those Top of the Tots albums too, my cousin had the one you mention with Grandad on it (maybe still does somewhere for all I know) it was a regular fixture at parties for a year or two.

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    The Top Ten for 16th January 1971 remains virtually unchanged from last week, so I'll concentrate on a few of the notable new entries.
    Tony Orlando and Dawn are new at 40 with Candida (sounds like an std ) this act will have some considerable success over the next few years with similar sounding records, not a group to change a formula that one, but boy were they successful.
    Former Hippy, and a performer at Woodstock, Melanie Safka has her second hit at 39 with a song that has become a standard over the years, What Have They Done To My Song Ma.
    At 38 is the legendary Tony Christie (he of Amarillo) with his first hit, Las Vegas, this one will reach 21, but later in '71 he will get a #2 hit with I Did What I Did For Maria.
    Needing no introduction as their status is legendary, The Carpenters with their first UK entry, We've Only Just Begun are in at 37. A couple of UK dates in 1971 will seal their chart success and gaurantee future super stardom.
    The highest new entry at 24 is The Mixtures, a manufactured studio band (yes, we had them in those days) with The Pushbike Song, a charming, catchy little ditty written by Mick Flinn, a guy who has a wide seventies history, Springfield Revival, Pussycat and a late incarnation of The New Seekers, amongst them. The Pushbike Song reaches #2 and becomes one of the biggest selling singles of the year. It's only kept off the top by George Harrison (My Sweet Lord) and Mungo Jerry (Baby Jump).

    Incidentally, this week marks the fortieth anniversary of Elton John's first UK entry, Your Song.

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    Oh yes, I love The Pushbike Song - I'm fairly sure that was on one of the Top of the Tots albums too! Shame it didn't get to #1.

    Thanks for the info in the previous post, it's a good read. Much as I like the Motown sound, I'm a bit of an ignoramus about it all really as I wasn't even aware of the the distinction between Motown and Tamla Motown - thanks for that!

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    Fortunately the Pushbike Song was kept off by a great George Harrison song. My Dad (or Mum) must have bought My Sweet Lord, as that was one of the singles I've inherited from Dad. It was one that got played fairly often when i was small, so I'm very fond of it.

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

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    Right then! We've seen The Mind of Evil, and we're currently watching The Claws of Axos, all so colourful, beginning to look like and edition of Top of the Pops, or is it the other way round?
    Anyway, during the run of Claws the beginnings of Glam Rock stood at number one in the singles chart, T Rex with Hot Love.
    I believe that Glam Rock was purely a Top of the Pops creation, with producers begging artists to appear on the show wearing increasingly outlandish gear. The Sweet would appear wearing full red Indian outfits while performing their hit Wig Wam Bam, David Bowie appeared with red swept back hair to perform Starman, while Slade with Noddy Holder's checked oufits, wondered what outlandish outfit guitar player Dave Hill would be wearing when he came out of his dressing room.
    Sally Carr, lead singer with one time Opportunity Knocks winners, Middle of the Road, was definately the epitome of 1971 fashion when she appeared on the show in tight Hot Pants to sing that year's biggest summer hit, Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep.
    The audience also played the game, often showing up in whatever was the fashion, wide silk trousers and platform shoes or boots, Paisley patterned shirts with increasingly widening collars, checked trousers (Oxford Bags), checked jackets, and all topped off with loads and loads of glitter, as I stated earlier, Bolan was the first to appear on Top of the Pops wearing a hint of glitter under his eyes on the insistence of then wife June Child, Top of the Pops producers took that idea a little further and Glam Rock was born, and weren't they great times.
    Anyway, with Hot Love riding the charts for six weeks in March and April 1971, let's take a look at some of the other sounds of that time:
    The ever popular Andy Williams has another top ten hit with the theme from one of the biggest films of the year, Where Do I Begin? from Love Story, 50s crooner Perry Como is also in the top ten with It's Impossible, a song that has become a standard over the years. Clodagh Rogers is there with her Eurovision entry, Jack in the Box, this song reaches number four, while that years winner, French singer Severine, singing her entry for Monaco, Un Banc, Un Abre, Un Rue, enters the chart in May and reaches number nine, such was the power of Eurovison, most winners during the seventies entered the UK charts.
    Olivia Newton John, herself a future Eurovison entrant, gets her first hit with Bob Dylan's If Not For You, a creditable cover which ensures future chart success throughout the decade.
    During these weeks (March/April) all four Beatles are in the charts with their first solo successes, Harrison got there first in late January with My Sweet Lord, spending five weeks at number one, closely followed by McCartney with Another Day, Lennon, with The Plastic Ono Band, enters the chart on 20th March with Power to the People, while Ringo leads up the rear with It Don't Come Easy on 17th April, a song that reaches number four. All four artists bring out albums that year showing just how popular they still are even though The Beatles split over a year before.
    Last edited by Stephen Morgan; 25th Jan 2011 at 8:00 AM.

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    So, you could be watching glam rock on Top of The Pops during the week (Wednesday I presume?) where psychedelic effects and bright, garish costumes are used to dazzle the viewer, then tune in to Doctor Who: Claws of Axos on Saturdays, where psychedelic effects and bright, garish costumes are used to dazzle the viewer.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

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    Oh yes indeed! Thursday nights in the seventies you wouldn't miss TOTP's.
    I have a couple of editions from 1971 from the UK Gold repeats, they're a bit more subdued than what was to come in 1972/3, but still a great show.

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    Okay then, we've reached The Daemons, the end of season eight, and it's time to take a final look at the contemporary music scene and the top 40 for the week ending 19th June 1971.

    It's a good chart topped by one of the biggest summer hits of the seventies.

    At 38 we have a new entry by Judy Collins with Amazing Grace, I say new entry but it's actually on something like its third re-entry into the forty and it's spent an amazing 25 weeks on the chart reaching a peak of number 5 back in the middle of February, and it's not quite done yet.
    At 35 we have a record with a bigger chart feat from Sinatra with My Way, he entered the chart way back in April 1969 hitting a peak of number eight, he's on his 68th week in the forty, eventually spending some 122 weeks on the charts. Something I don't think has been achieved since.
    White Plains are at 32 with When You Are A King, the song has become a standard over the years, recorded by such luminaries as The Nolans and Cilla Black, but the Plains, an incarnation of 1967's The Flowerpot Men originally took this song to number 13.
    Bob and Marcia have a bouncy little reggae number at 27 with Pied Piper, while Hurricane Smith gives us a taste of an early eco song in Don't Let it Die, the highest new entry of the week at 18.
    Jonathan King has two record in the chart, one at 33 (had been top twenty) with Sakkarin and Sugar Sugar, a cover of a huge number one from 1969 by The Archies, and he's also at number 23 with Lazy Bones under his own name.
    We also have a few Northern Soul classics in this chart from R. Dean Taylor, Indiana Wants Me, The Elgins, Heaven Must Have Sent You, and Tammi Lynn, I'm Gonna run Away From You, all had been top five hits in recent weeks.
    The top ten looks something like this:

    10 Indiana Wants Me R Dean Taylor
    9 I Am.. I Said Neil Diamond
    8 Heaven Must Have Sent You The Elgins
    7 He's Gonna Step On You Again John Kongos
    6 Lady Rose Mungo Jerry
    5 I'm Gonna Run Away From You Tammi Lynn
    4 Banner Man Blue Mink
    3 I Did What I Did For Maria Tony Christie
    2 Knock Three Times Tony Orlando and Dawn
    1 Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep Middle of the Road

    Middle of the Road were former Opportunity Knocks winners, Chirpy was their first hit, and massive across Europe (also massively annoying as its lyrics are totally meaningless and repetative). But it was undoubtedly the summer hit that year, and the sight of lead singer Sally Carr on tight hot pants on TOTP's is unforgettable.

    Thanks for listening, and reading my ramblings on the music of season eight, I look forward to more of the same if we discuss more seventies and early eighties Who.

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    I have to confess to loving Chirpy, Chirpy Cheep Cheep! I may have been known to sing it loudly down a pub before on a particularly boozy night!

    Incidentally, regarding He's Gonna Step On You Again by John Kongos I was astonished to hear this on Pick of the Pops, probably last summer, and see that Step On by The Happy Mondays was effectively a cover of sorts. I always assumed the latter was an original song!

    Oh, and according to the current Radio Times, BBC4 will be showing some full editions of TOTP within the next couple of months, starting with a 1976 edition! I remember you mentioning a while back you'd heard that there would be some vintage editions on the way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonno Simmons View Post
    ... according to the current Radio Times, BBC4 will be showing some full editions of TOTP within the next couple of months, starting with a 1976 edition! I remember you mentioning a while back you'd heard that there would be some vintage editions on the way.

    I'm very much looking forward to seeing these. As far as I'm aware they are "selected" editions starting at 1976, and as Toyah Wilcox has been involved in some of the preparatory work I guess it's much more than just that year. People on various other forums seem to believe we're going to get everything that exists starting at that year. You wouldn't believe some of the bollocks that has been posted regarding the repeats, some of the posts (and they're serious posts) claim a "neo-liberalistic conspiracy" by the BBC is in place, some of them also claim a type of "Europhobic" attitude from these editions of TOTPs.
    It's vintage TOTPs for goodness sake, not some serious high brow programme that'll bore your arse off, just sit back and enjoy it for what it is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Morgan View Post
    "neo-liberalistic conspiracy"
    Do wot?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Wallis View Post
    Do wot?

    I'll point you to The Mausoleum Club, read the posts for yourself. Some of the more extreme views on the repeats are quite humorous, unbelievable really.

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