Saturday, 29 September 2012

T Rex - Metal Guru

On Sunday the 30th of September will be the birthday of Marc Bolan and I thought it would be nice to put this on as a little Happy Birthday nod to him. He was killed in September 1977 a few days before his 30th birthday and the music world lost a true genius.

Metal Guru was released in May 1972 and got to number 1 for 4 weeks. This was the last chart topper T Rex would have although several singles would crack the top 10. It never charted in America and I think really, Marc was only a British superstar but they were the first band to send all the fans into a frenzy, or as it was known T Rextasy since the Beatles!

Here is the single, on his own label given to him by EMI, the sign of a true superstar. Put a liitle Marc in your heart R.I.P

Friday, 28 September 2012

Soft Cell - Torch

A single that is number 2 on my all time favourite list, originally came out in the spring of 1982 and also reached number 2 in the charts. To me, the best version of the track is the 12'' version, the full 10 minutes of amazing lyrics, great tune and even female vocals from their then drug dealer, Cindy Extasty! I read that all Soft Cell's singles, were actually recorded as full 12'' extended versions and the 7'' version would be edited from the finished track which I think is a really good idea of how to record a track. Usually remixes in those days would just have an instrumental bit added in somewhere for effect. Another one of those impulse buys, I never heard the song before but had bought the last single, played this and loved it ever since. It's a shame really that this doesn't get the plays or gets picked for compilation albums, it's always seems to be Tainted Love!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Dusty Springfield - I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself

This heart tugger of a killer track written by Burt Bacharach & Hal David for an American artist called Tommy Hunt in 1963. Dusty had been to New York, heard the track and bought a copy back home to the UK to record. This was her 3rd solo single release and became the classic Dusty sound, complete with the trademark, thick eyeliner and beehive hair-do was enough to get the single to number 3 in the UK charts in the summer of 1964. The single got an American release but didn't get into the Billboard charts although Dionne Warwick's version managed to chart.

Monday, 24 September 2012

The Human League - Rock N Roll

This was the bands 4th single and a cover of Gary Glitter's Rock N Roll (Part 1). It was released in May 1980 and climbed to number 56 in the UK chart after an appearance on Top Of The Pops. Originally it was released as a double single called Holiday 80 E.P, with the song being a joined up effort with Iggy Pop's Nightclubbing and at that time the band had started to tour to promote the single and the release of the album Travelogue. The single originally was left off the vinyl release of the album, only to be included on the CD version of the album. The 7'' single was just Rock N Roll as the A Side track.

This single brings great memories back as I was really getting into electronic music at that time, 1980 seemed to be the year for synth tracks. Me and my sister saw the guys on TOTP and she bought us tickets to see them at Hull City Hall the same week they were on the show. I played and played this single and it is pretty worn now, they were one of the first bands I saw live and when I saw them live it was awesome, Phil at the front with the guys on keyboards with Adrian's slide show to fit each track. Who would have thought barely a year later and the band would be so successful!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Blondie - Picture This

After having two top 20 hits in the UK, the band released this single in the summer of 1978 and got to number 12 in the UK charts. Released on limited edition yellow vinyl and was also the first single off the forth coming Parallel Lines album giving us an idea what to expect off the new album (and nobody was dissapointed) also the cover of the single was used as the picture disc version of the album. A classic piece of pop which I always remember it being played on the radio, but I am really surprised to find out the single never got an American release! Here's the single plus the scan of the yellow vinyl 7''.

Friday, 14 September 2012

10CC - I'm Not In Love

This classic single was released in 1975 and became an instant masterpiece. The drummer of the band Kevin Godley came up with the idea of replacing the backing track and to use the bands voices instead. Each member of the band recorded one note which was dubbed and mixed onto a master tape which created a multi layered choir effect. Complete with vocals from Eric Stewart and the secetary of the guys recording studio provided the girl's voice in the intrumental break repeating "Big boys don't cry" which they decided on after she walked in to pass a message to the band.

The band were after a new record contract and signed to Mercury Records after the label heard the track and offered them a 5 album deal. The single was released at the beginning of June and hit number 1 for two weeks and got to number 2 in America. It has become a heavily covered single and has featured on quite a few film and TV soundtracks over the years, an always popular track to feature on love song compilations it remains an ever popular single!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

John Miles - Music

John Miles 6 minute epic might only contain 2 verses (one repeated) but what a single. One of the first I remember to pair off a rock band with an orchestra (I don't want to include ELO here). To me the lyrics say it all how I feel about music and I guess the record buying public of 1976 agreed to as this went to number 3 and to me is a classic single that always seems to get over looked when they compile these classic singles TV shows.

John only really had 4 hit singles in the UK but he is more known for working with other musicians and worked with Tina Turner quite a lot. If you get a chance, listen to this track, it still is an awesome song!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

The Police - Roxanne

Fresh from their record contract with Illigal Records, the band were signed to A&M Records after the label heard this track. Roxanne was first released in the UK in 1978 but never achieved much success and had to wait until the next single, Can't Stand Losing You had been a hit and then Roxanne got a reissue and the rest is history. The song was based around a guy falling for a prostitute and falling in love with her. The single originally was banned by the BBC because of the subject matter but I think the reissue recieved airplay and got to number 12 in 1979.

Here is the single in blue vinyl and complete with the picture cover, it was reissued again in 1980 as part of the Six Pack in a different sleeve and a different shade of blue!

Monday, 10 September 2012

David Bowie - Ashes To Ashes

Bowie's first big hit single of the 1980's and with more than a nod towards Major Tom (from Space Oddity) with the line about "a guy who's been in such an early song" and "my Mother said, to get things done, you'd better not mess with Major Tom" this was a huge number 1 in August 1980. It entered the top 40 at number 4 and went all the way to number 1 for 4 weeks and some say the song is quite introspective, but Bowie has given many an answer to what the song is really about.

The video to me is a very iconic video of the 1980's, from the drenched solarised colour, to the bulldozer with the New Romantic Blitz kids in front of it walking with Bowie, made it a classic piece of film, still one I can watch over and over! I never realised until now, the single didn't even get into the US charts, it peaked at 101.

Here's the sleeve and the label to the single, there were 3 different sleeves and this one has a set of stamps issued inside featuring photo's of him in the suit he wore for the video. Listen to the single and send yourself back to 1980

Sunday, 9 September 2012

The Latest Album

The latest album was bought today, on CD. Words And Music by Saint Etienne, is a really good album of pop tunes and a great sleeve of street names made from and refering to pop songs, how many can you find! The opening track on the album when I heard it really rang home for me, Sarah describes how she listens to the songs in her bedroom, learning the pop charts, record labels, well I could go on but I just thought I did that and it was just an odd little thing I did, but it sure made me feel better when I realised all of us who are into music did it! The albums second track I've Got Your Music is my fave off the album but give it a listen if you can, it is the life of a music lover set in music

The First Album

Here's a couple of scans of albums from the collection. This one is my first ever album, which was bought for me back in 1972. You can say it almost spawned the idea for the Now's series that are around today! 20 Fantastic Hits is a compilation of the hits of the day including Sweet, Donny Osmond and T Rex and more and is quite a good compilation. The only thing really is that one or two of the tracks are slightly edited due to them squeezing as many tracks on as possible!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

A Little More About Me!

As long as I can remember music and records have always been around me, my Parents are into rock n roll, my Aunt always played the Beatles and the Rolling Stones records. Mother tells the story that I actually learnt to read by reading record labels! But it was my big sister that really got me into music, in the early 70's she was really into Glam rock and had a crush on the Sweet & Marc Bolan. The music then was amazing, exciting and shocking (well to the adults) especially when Bowie hit the scene wearing make up and Elton John dressed, welll like he always did so OTT!

My sister always wrote the top 20 charts out every week and I used to visit her and we'd spend a Sunday listening to the radio or she'd play the previous weeks top 40 she'd recorded onto cassette off the radio. So I did the same, I'd listen to the charts, record the songs I liked and bought singles when I had pocket money. So it was Glam rock I first really got into, Sweet being my faves of that period followed by T Rex, Slade and Queen. After the Punk explosion which I didn't really get into till after event really but I loved a lot of the new wave bands that were coming into the charts, Blondie, The Police & Ian Dury. The end of the seventies came New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (Or NWOBHM as it was refered to in the music papers) which brought bands such as Judas Priest, Iron Maiden & Motorhead, I found heavy metal to be just so full of energy and it was exciting like I found Glam rock to be!

The beginning of the eighties was Electronic music, the sound of the synths and the alien sounds that came with the tracks at that time. Gary Numan, Human League and Kraftwerk were big names connected with the music. Which led to the New Romantics who were around from 80-83 with electronic sounds and stylish clothes to match the music who brought us Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran, Soft Cell and ABC.

To me after around 1985 I think music started to go downhill, there wasn't anything exciting for me, it seemed to turn into safe pop music or Club hits or even R&B and Rap (which I hate, I've tried to listen Rap & R&B but apart from the odd track it's just not my scene man)! Then towards the late 90's came dance music and Trance which I really love listening to which brings back all the electronic music I'd always liked and pulsating beats of trance music brings me up to date!

Here is a photo of a very small part of my 7'' vinyl collection, I'm still sorting it all out, it takes time but I'll get it done then it will be the start of the albums!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Sex Pistols - God Save The Queen

There's quite a story behind this single, released in 1977 which was the Queen's silver Jubilee year too. After the problems with the last single Anarchy In The UK, EMI had dropped the band and they signed to A&M who quickly dropped them after a few copies of this single were pressed. God Save The Queen on A&M can earn you a lot of money if you have an original although Ebay is full of fakes. Virgin took the band on and gave the single a full release.

Rumour has it that the single actually reached number 1 during the Jubilee week, knocking Rod Stewart off the top spot but the powers at the BBC (and who knows where else) made sure the single stayed at number 2 in all the charts of that period including Top Of The Pops chart run down. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the single, there was a call for everyone to buy the reissued single and get it to number 1, but I don't think it even got in the charts. The same happed this year as a Facebook campaign to get it to the top again, but even Johnny Rotten didn't want anything to do with it either!

I remember hearing and readiing all the fuss about the trouble with the band and Punk rock which was just exploding on the scene and my Mother saying to me "if you ever buy a Sex Pistols record I'll smash it up" well it just makes you want to buy it doesn't it! This scan is actually the limited edition 30th anniversay copy of the single, an exact copy on heavyweight vinyl.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Sweet - Blockbuster

Up to this release, Sweet had been known more for their growing number of bubblegum hit singles but the group were almost like 2 bands in one, with poppy A sides but the B sides showed the band were more of a rock group (which confused the band's fans). Glam Rock had hit the UK in the early 70's and 1973 was Glam's biggest year. Written by Nicky Chinn & Mike Chapman who penned hits for many a band in the 70's (in fact I guess they were the 1970's version of Stock Aitken & Waterman) this was their first number 1 and Sweet's first and only UK number 1. Blockbuster starts with a police siren, and a guitar riff that is similar to Bowie's Jean Jeanie and is a real rock record for the band and for the next 3 and a half minutes is a camped up rocker that was at the top of the charts for 5 weeks.

Kate Bush - Running Up That Hill

This single was released in 1985 and got to number 3 which was an amazing feat seeing the last single she had released in 1982 had flopped. The Dreaming which was the album from 1982 was a strange album, some said it was her "she's finally lost it" album. So it was to be 3 years before any new product and this ended up being her biggest hit since her debut single Wuthering Heights back in 1978. Originally it was to be called A Deal With God but EMI said that if she wanted to have a worldwide hit she couldn't have any reference to God as religious countries just wouldn't have played it. Seeing the problems she had with the last album she had to agree with them and decide on the title Running Up That Hill.

It came off the album Hounds Of Love which to me is an amazing album, one I still play a lot and enjoy every listen to!

Up to the release of this single, I was never a big Kate Bush fan, I liked the odd single but for some reason I bought this without ever hearing the track, think it might have been the hype of the new release that interested me. I remember I had been out for a drink the night before so when I went and got the single I was still hungover, went home and put the single on and the first play was all I needed, well I remember playing it over and over that day! Since then I bought every thing she had released and became a huge fan. The song was remixed recently to be included in the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics and got to number 6 on downloads.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Nillsson - Without You

This song, is my all time favourite single. Released in 1972 and I must have been about 7 years old and I kept hearing this record on the radio. It was years later before I found out who sang it and I just think it is such an emotional song, with such a sad background to it.

Without You was first performed by Badfinger who were signed to the Beatles record label Apple records. Nilsson, heard it and thought it was the Beatles. he recorded his own version of it and it got to number 1 here in the UK charts in 1972. His heart wrenching vocals about a failed relationship, just make this song and the emotion is just so raw you can feel every 3 plus minutes of it as it plays. A classic song that has a sour ending to it. In the mid 70's there was a royalties row with the writers of the song and Nilsson, they claimed they wern't getting any royalties for the song. The stress of the court case was too much and Pete Ham hung himself, several years later on Tommy Evans hung himself as well. To make matters worse, in the 1990's Mariah Carey issued her version and completely murdered the track dead with her screeching awful vocals.

Tubeway Army - Are 'Friends' Electric?

Released in the summer of 1979, this cold dark single that ran for over five minutes appeared out of nowhere after one appearance on Top Of The Pops and pushed the single to number 1. First described as "Machine Music" this electronic single paved the way for all the other bands like OMD, The Human League & Depeche Mode to get airplay who before had struggled with the punk/new wave scene that was still around.

Gary Numan had formed Tubeway Army in 1978, released one album and was in the recording studio recording the follow up album which was to be Replicas, when he came across a synth in the studio. Everyone had thought what a great idea it was of his to make an electronic single, but as he admitted later on, all he did was replace lead guitar parts with the keyboard parts instead. After appearing on TOTP and a gimmick release of a limited editon 7'' picture disc, it climbed the charts and stayed at number 1 for 4 weeks and a classic was made!

Here are the images of the single, the original picture cover plus both sides of the limited edition picture disc

Sunday, 2 September 2012

My World Of Music

Hello, I'm Gary and I'm just moving in

I've always wanted to create a web site for and about the music I like, what I collect and what I'm into! Music has been with me all my life, no matter what has happened in my life, good or bad it has been there and I'm really glad it has been too. Have you ever heard a song that hits something deep inside of you, hits a nerve or is just the song you need to hear? There's always a track that you can relate to, reminds you of a time in your life or even when the going gets tough, a song can lift you up and change your mood!

As the song goes, Music is my first love and it will be my last, music of the future and music of the past!

As I get into this blog, I'll be posting singles, CD's photo's and info about the artists I'm into, I'll try and find as much correct information about the artsits as I can, I will check the web plus also I'll use what info I can remember and aslo my trusty bible's of music, The British Hit Singles and Top 40 Charts which I often refer to! All the records featured here are my own singles scanned in to feature on here.