Sunday, March 5, 2017

More contenders from February 1976

There are some more tracks from February that will get the extended treatment on the blog - the gods of Nostalgia know well that with three number 1's in a year I can't not write about Abba. I just can't bring myself to write a contemptuous post about Mamma Mia, because it (and the band) deserve better.

More prosaically, I just can't bring myself to write anything at all about another number 1, December '63 by the Four Seasons. Sorry, fellas.

Meanwhile, here are some hits to note in passing.

Inside America - Juggy Jones - instrumental floor-filler, in some respects more indicative of where disco was going than the outrider fabulosity of Love To Love You Baby. Nice cowbell, and more information about mastermind Juggy Murray can be found here.

George McCrae - Honey I - if you loved his earlier classic Rock Me Baby, than George and his, er, honeyed voice have a similar piece of work they'd like to introduce to you. Simultaneously funky and effortless.

Forever & Ever - Slik - glam fluff which sounds like it's going to be a great lost piece of psychpop for the first 45 seconds of church organ and backwards chanting, before the actual song starts. Notable mainly for being the first appearance of late 70's/early 80's pop Zelig Midge Ure and for being one of the few chart-toppers this year you've probably never heard of.

No Regrets - Walker Brothers - lachyrmose-realist country break-up ballad notable mainly for relaunching Scott Walker's career after the first round of wilderness years in the early 70's. Scott being Scott, he then used it as a springboard to make songs about torture in Latin America two years later. 

Itchycoo Park - The Small Faces - my attitude to this song can best be described as grudging admiration. For all that it is irritatingly twee, it does have a great pre-chorus and chorus where Steve Marriott can really let rip with that big old voice of his. And it's probably a more accurate account of the Summer Of Love - getting stoned at the local Rec' - for most people than any more earnest offering.

What it's doing in 1976 though, other than making a quick buck on the nostalgia market, is anyone's guess. Helping to inspire the mod revival at the end of the decade?

C W McCall - Convoy - Evidence of the UK record-buying public's enduring secret fondness for country music. Especially if it's about a nihilistic cross-country trip by an army of truckers taking the law into their own hands (see heavily annotated lyric here). So influential it became a film, any resemblance to the current state of US politics is purely coincidental.

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