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 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)
The new year kicks in and as the tree and decorations are put away for another year, we have two downbeat tunes from 1981! They come from two massive 80s new wave bands who were influenced by reggae and ska music.
First up is “Invisible Sun” by The Police from the album “Ghost in the Machine”
If you asked people to name a Police song I bet this wouldn’t feature highly. It’s album mate “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” is far more famous and popular, due to its light poppy lyrics, but for me the political, thought provoking “Invisible Sun” is far superior. It was banned by the BBC due to its lyrics and video being influenced by the troubles in Northern Ireland. It still managed to reach number 2 in the charts. I remember buying the single and placing it on the turntable and hearing the fabulous low key yet haunting counting intro leading into a bleak verse with a hard hitting more uplifting chorus. Andy Summer’s guitar riff and solo is fantastic and Stewart Copeland’s drums are brilliant, along with Sting’s strong vocal. A very underrated track.
(Uploaded to Youtube by Golden Eighties)
Next up is another famous band from the 80s, Madness. They are known for their ska sound and upbeat wacky songs (and even wackier videos!) sung in a talking style by lead singer Suggs. In keeping with the bleak theme from the Police, here is a lesser known song which is downbeat, for them anyway! Here is the official video of “Grey Day” by Madness
(Uploaded to Youtube by Metropolis Touring)