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)
This week it’s little known British group Fox whose lead singer was charismatic Australian singer Noosha Fox. They burned bright and quickly in the mid 70s having 4 top 40 hits including two top 5s. The lead singer had a glamorous image, wearing evening dresses and bright make up often with glitter on her face. She also had a distinctive voice with a sultry, whispering style. Here are their two top five hits.
“Only You Can” their debut hit, reached number 3 in 1975
(Uploaded to YouTube by fab70smusic)
“S-S-S-Single Bed” their third hit, following “Imagine Me, Imagine You” in May 1975. This reached number 4 in 1976.
(Uploaded to YouTube by daveinprogress3)
This week it’s the ultimate chill out band, Pink Floyd. One of the most iconic and successful bands in British music, having sold more than 250 million records worldwide. They specialised in prog rock and sonic experimentation. Dave Gilmore’s stunning guitar solos have been consistently voted some of the best of all time, and are demonstrated to great effect here.
These are two tracks from two of their most famous albums “Wish You Were Here” and “The Wall”
“Shine On You Crazy Diamond (parts 1-5)” on the 1975 album “Wish You Were Here”. Note that part 1 starts very quiet. Gilmore’s four note riff from 03:55 which kicks off part 2 is iconic. Part 3 starts at 06:28. Roger Waters’ vocals start part 4 at 08:43. Part 5 starts at 11:10.
(Uploaded to Youtube by Pink Floyd – Topic)
“Comfortably Numb” from the 1979 double album “The Wall”. Vocals shared by Roger Waters and Dave Gilmore. Waters being the opening verse starting with “hello, hello, is there anybody in there” and Gilmore doing the chorus starting with “There is no pain, you are receding” and “I have become comfortably numb”. Waters continues with another verse “o.k. just a little pin prick” and Gilmore with another chorus “There is no pain you are receding”.
(Uploaded to YouTube by Pink Floyd- Topic)
Remember when pop music was fun and didn’t take itself too seriously? This week’s group are just one of the varied acts we had in the 70s. Sailor were a bit of novelty, releasing old style songs, using loads of different instruments such as an accordion, bass drum and nickelodeon ! Cheesy but infectious! These were their highest charting songs.
“A Little Glass of Champagne” reached number 2 in 1975
(Uploaded to YouTube by Kaete0815007)
”Girls Girls Girls” reached number 7 in 1976
(Uploaded to YouTube by stardustdays)