This week it’s American singer, songwriter and guitarist, Boz Scaggs.
Scaggs had a unique bluesy voice which added character to his songs.
He had four top 40 hits in the UK including one top ten, all in the 70s.
He is probably best known for “Lido Shuffle” which funnily enough wasn’t his highest charting hit. “Lido Shuffle” peaked at 13 whereas “What Can I Say” managed number 10 earlier the same year.
However, his most famous song is probably best known sung by someone else. “We’re All Alone” was released as a B side of “Lido Shuffle” but was covered by Rita Coolidge and reached number 6 in 1977 becoming one of her biggest hits.
Here are two of his songs.
“Lowdown” reached number 28 in 1976 (number 3 in the US)
(Uploaded to YouTube by BozScaggsVEVO)
”What Can I Say” reached number 10 in 1977 (number 42 in the US)
(Uploaded to YouTube by MrB0jangles70)
The US and UK obviously had differing opinions on which was the better song!
This week it’s American funk and disco band, Kool and the Gang. The group were very popular in the 70s and 80s. Two of their songs, “Ladies’ Night” and “Celebration” have become staple songs for party nights everywhere! They had 18 top forty hits including 7 top tens.
These two tracks are not quite as well known but are great dance tracks.
“Steppin’ Out” reached number 12 in 1981
(Uploaded to YouTube by KoolAndTheGangVEVO)
“Get Down On It” reached number 3 in 1981
(Uploaded to YouTube by hej6hej6tja6)
This week we have two massively catchy one hit wonder songs from 1979 which is my favourite year in pop. This was a massively strong year with all the biggest hitters in music active. These two songs burned brightly for their artists who couldn’t match their success again.
“Pop Muzik” by British band M was number 2 for two weeks in May 1979. It would have been a number 1 most other times but 1979 was a strong year. It was held off the top spot by “Bright Eyes” by Art Garfunkel which turned out to be the biggest selling hit that year and that number one was deposed by “Sunday Girl” by Blondie which was the 9th biggest hit that year. “Pop Muzik” was the 14th biggest hit, so not too shabby!
disco version of “Pop Muzik” by M
(Uploaded to YouTube by Clasicos de la Disco)
Next up is “My Sharona” by American rock band The Knack. This song reached number 6 in June 1979 in the UK. It didn’t make the UK 100 songs of the year
but it did top the US BIllboard hot 100 year end song list beating off competition from Donna Summer, Chic, Rod Stewart and many other famous artists. The song is famous for its very distinctive drum and guitar riff.
(Uploaded to YouTube by TheKnackVEVO)
This week it’s Trinidadian British singer Billy Ocean who had a number of hits in the 70s and 80s. He is still producing music and touring today. Oh and of course I wasn’t inspired this week by a certain sitcom 😉 😉
Ocean had 12 top 40 hits including 6 top tens and a number one.
“Red Light Spells Danger” reached number 2 in 1977
(Uploaded to YouTube by Disco.discotheque)
“Caribbean Queen (No More Love on the Run)” reached number 6 in 1984. My favourite song of his.
(Uploaded to YouTube by cinqo7)
This week it’s a really classy trio of ladies called “The Three Degrees” who were an American vocal group who had hits in the 70s.
They had 10 top 40 hits including 5 top 10s and 1 number 1.
There were a number of different line ups, but the most well known was the one with Sheila Ferguson and Valerie Holiday and then Fayette Pinkney or Helen Scott. The first song has Ferguson,Holiday and Pinkney and the second Scott instead of Pinkney as can be seen in the pictures.
The first song is one of my favourite songs of theirs on the Philadelphia International label.
“Take Good Care Of Yourself” reached number 9 in 1975
(Uploaded to YouTube by GurlGroops)
This song was their third hit on the Ariola label and showed their more disco sound then the smoother soul of the Philadelphia International label of their earlier hits. The producer for this song and others on Ariola was legendary electronic music producer, Giorgio Moroder who was most famous for producing Donna Summer’s massive hit “I Feel Love” in 1977.
“The Runner” reached number 10 in 1979
(Uploaded to YouTube by marvin kevlar)
As it is April Fools day tomorrow, here are two “fool” songs, both from the 1970s but worlds apart in style.
“You Won’t Find Another Fool Like Me” by British group, The New Seekers (feat Lyn Paul) reached number 1 for one week in 1973. This song uses the style of a tavern sing-along and is not a usual 70s song but Lyn Paul’s spirited vocal and the catchiness of the song makes it work very well.
(Uploaded to YouTube by stardustdays)
“What a Fool Believes” by American group, The Doobie Brothers reached number 31 in 1979. An unbelievably low chart position for what is now considered to be a classic song. It did reach number 1 in America though and won Grammys for song and record of the year so not bad going! The Doobie Brothers weren’t brothers by the way!
(Uploaded to YouTube by 2chann).
Something a bit different this week. We have two versions of the same song! One of my favourite songs is “Wishing on a Star”, no not the Disney song “When You Wish Upon a Star” but the Rose Royce ballad. It’s a lovely song and was originally a hit in 1978 reaching number 3. Rose Royce are probably most famous for disco classic “Car Wash” but this is a beautiful song which shows off lead singer Gwen Dickey’s voice to perfection. Later on in the same year they would hit number 2 with another heartfelt ballad “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore”.
I’m not normally a fan of cover versions, but ex-Jam frontman and rock legend, Paul Weller released a cover of the song in 2004 which reached number 11. His version is a slow rock ballad with some lovely guitar in it and Weller’s voice suits it so well, and it’s a change to hear him not as “angry” as he usually is! interesting to hear the same song in different styles and in a female and male voice.
“Wishing on a Star” by Rose Royce
(Uploaded to YouTube by BakNDaDay)
“Wishing on a Star” by Paul Weller, live performance
(Uploaded to YouTube by jeffzpla)