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Posted by: In: Other 31 Mar 2021 Comments: 0


725-Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes-Don’t Leave Me This Way.

1977-Number 5 single.

Best Bit-At 3.13.Because of the bands billing, you could be forgiven for thinking that Harold Melvin (1940-1997) was the lead singer, but he wasn’t.

Originally known as The Charlemagnes, they became ‘The Blue Notes’ in 1954, originating from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States.In 1970 the group recruited Teddy Pendergrass (1950-2010) as their drummer, and later that year he replaced John Atkins as lead singer. Their breakthrough occurred in 1972 when signing with Philadelphia Records, whose founders were Kenny Gamble, and Leon Huff.

‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’ was written by the legendary song writing team of Kenny Gamble, and Leon Huff, with lyrics by Cary Gilbert (1942-1993.)Together Gamble, and Huff have written, or produced 175 Gold, and Platinum records (see also best songs 1001-896-648-604 and 322.) The song was originally recorded in 1975, and released on Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes final Album,’Wake Up Everybody,’ with Teddy Pendergrass as lead singer, the song was not released at that time due to contractual legalities. Philadelphia International records main competitors in the ‘Soul’ market at that time were Tamla Motown, and they took advantage releasing a version by Thelma Houston which went to Number 1 on Billboard in 1977, and Number 13 in the UK. In 1986 the British duo The Communards (see also best songs 318) released their version of the song, which spent four weeks at Number 1, and also became the best selling song of that year.

‘Oh baby, my heart is full of love, and desire for you, so come on down, and do what you gotta do.’

Posted by: In: Other 31 Mar 2021 Comments: 0



1969-Number 18 single.

Best Bit-At 2.11.The creme de la creme of Cream.

Cream were the world’s first ‘supergroup,’ formed in 1966 by bassist Jack Bruce (1943-2014,) guitarist Eric Clapton, and drummer Ginger Baker (1939-2019.) They recorded four studio Albums between 1966-1968, before once again going their own ways, although they did perform together again in 1993, and again in 2005. The band was named ‘Cream’ as the three members were considered the ‘cream of the crop’ amongst Blues, and Jazz musicians.

‘Badge’ is taken from Cream’s forth, and final Album, ‘Goodbye,’ and was co-written by Eric Clapton, and George Harrison (see also best songs 737,) who also played rhythm guitar on the track, under the pseudonym L’Angelo Misterioso. The songs title ‘Badge’ has absolutely nothing to do with the songs subject, as when Clapton was reading through Harrison’s notes, he misread ‘Bridge'(as in the songs bridge) for ‘Badge,’ which Harrison found funny, so they decided to use it. The songs lyrics are not intended to make any sense, the line about swans living in the park, was actually a throwaway comment made by Ringo Starr when he was drunk, although Starr does not receive any song writing credits.

‘Talkin’ ’bout a girl that looks quite like you, she didn’t have the time to wait in the queue.’

Posted by: In: Other 29 Mar 2021 Comments: 0


727-The Police-Wrapped Around Your Finger.

1983-Number 7 single.

Best Bit-At 3.19.Sting uses some big words in this one, such as ‘Scylla,”Charibdes,”Mephistopheles,’ and ‘Allabaster,’ with that kind of knowledge he should have been a teacher.

The Police were formed in London, England in 1977, by Gordon Sumner (Sting,) Stewart Copeland, and Henry Padovani, Andy Summers would replace Padovani within six months.They were active until 1984, before reforming for three concerts in 1986, and again in 2007-2008, for a reunion tour, they have sold in excess of 75 million records (see also best songs 1020.)

‘Wrapped Around Your Finger’ was the second single released from the Police’s fifth studio Album ‘Synchronicity,’ written by Sting, this was a personal song, as were two of the other tracks released as singles, ‘Every Breath You Take,’ and ‘King of Pain.’ Sting has described ‘Wrapped Around Your Finger’ as a ‘spiteful song, about turning the tables on someone who had been in charge,’

Sting would often use mythological, and literary references in his songs. Here he includes Scylla, and Charybdis who are monsters of Greek mythology, you will also hear Sting sing,’Mephistopheles is not your name,’Mephistopheles is another name for the devil.

‘Devil and the deep blue sea behind me, vanish in the air, you’ll never find me.’

Posted by: In: Other 29 Mar 2021 Comments: 0


728-Medicine Head-One and One Is One.

1973-Number 3 single.

Best Bit-At 1.35.In 1972 Medicine Head released their third album ‘Dark Side of the Moon’,Pink Floyd had just recorded an album with the same name, and to avoid confusion they changed it to ‘Eclipse,’ when the Medicine Head album turned out to be a commercial dud, Pink Floyd changed the name back to’Dark Side of the Moon,’ and the rest is history.

Medicine Head were formed in Stafford, England in 1968, they were active until 1977.The original duo of John Fiddler, born September 25th, 1947, and Peter Hope-Evans, born September 28th, 1947, first met at Wednesfield Grammr School, and later both attended Stafford Art School. The duo got their break when coming to the attention of legendary DJ John Peel (1939-2004,)who signed them to his ‘Dandelion Record’ label. Hope-Evans left the band for over a year during the recording of the third studio Album’Dark Side of the Moon,’ and was replaced by Keith Relf (1943-1976) (see also best songs 361) on bass, and drummer John Davies, he returned in 1973 for the recording of their most successful Album,’One and One Is One.’

‘One and One Is One’ was Medicine Head’s most successful song reaching Number 3 in 1973, they also achieved three other top 40 singles. They released six studio Albums, three of which were recorded for John Peel’s ‘Dandelion’ label. ‘One and One Is One’ was written by John Fiddler, and is a love song, and a celebration of compatibility.

‘Got no confusion with you by my side, and when it’s time to go, I’m satisfied.’

Posted by: In: Other 27 Mar 2021 Comments: 0



2004-Number 4 single.

Best Bit-At 0.47.The secret to having a good party, just drink enough, but not too much.Everything in moderation.

J-Kwon was born Jerrell Jones on March 26th, 1986, in St Louis, Missouri. He has released four studio Albums to date, the first being ‘Hood Hop’ in 2004, from where this track was taken, and the latest, the self titled ‘J-Kwon’ in 2010.’ At the age of 12 Jones was expelled from his home for allegedly dealing drugs, over the next few years he stayed at friends homes, and slept in cars.

J-Kwon got his big breakthrough at the age of 17 when signing with the ‘So So Def/Arista’ record label, and recording ‘Tipsy,’ which he co-wrote with Joe Kent, and Mark Williams, who work together as ‘Trackboyz,’ they also produced the song.Another of the Trackboyz productions was the 2003 Billboard Number 3 hit,’Air Force Ones,’ for St Lunatics, who like J-Kwon, also originate from St Louis. ‘Tipsy peaked at Number 2 on Billboard in 2004, being kept off the top spot by Usher, with ‘Yeah,'(see also best songs 982.) J-Kwon released ‘You & Me’ as the follow up single, bur that stalled at Number 58 on Billboard, and he hasn’t charted since.

Tipsy’ tells the story of under age drinking, and of the narrator having a house party while his parents are away, without their permission. The accompanying video is more in the style of Will Smith, than 50 Cent.

‘One, here comes the two to the three to the four, everybody drunk out on the dance floor.’

Posted by: In: Other 27 Mar 2021 Comments: 0


730-Metallica-Enter Sandman.

1991-Number 5 single.

Best Bit-At 2.43.After the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, this was one of the songs chosen to be played continuously to try to break the will of uncooperative supporters of Saddam Hussein, by American interrogators. Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich said,’I can name 30 Norwegian ‘Death Metal’ bands that would make Metallica sound like Simon and Garfunkel.’

Metallica (see also best songs 52) are a Heavy Metal band formed in 1981, in Los Angeles, California, United States, by James Hetfield, and Lars Ulrich. They were influenced by the Rock music that came out in the 1970’s, from bands such as Black Sabbath, and Iron Maiden, but with their fast tempos, and aggressive musicianship, they were pioneers of the musical genre ‘Thrash Metal,’ a term that has been in use since 1984.

‘Enter Sandman’ is taken from the bands self titled fifth studio Album, and signified a more ‘commercial’ sound, as they leaned toward a more heavy metal approach, through working with producer Bob Rock for the first time. This approach paid off, and the Album ‘Metallica,’ with sales of over 31 million worldwide, is the best selling Heavy Metal album since the start of the 1990’s.

‘Enter Sandman’ is a song about children being frightened of having nightmares. James Hetfield who wrote the lyrics has said,’I wanted more of the mental thing, where kids get manipulated by what adults say, and you know when you wake up with that s..t in your eye? That’s supposedly been put there by the sandman to make you dream. So the guy in the song tells this little kid that, and he kinda freaks. He can’t sleep after that, and it works the opposite way. Instead of a soothing thing, the table’s turned.’

‘Sleep with one eye open, gripping your pillow tight.Exit light, enter night, take my hand, off to never ever land.’

Posted by: In: Other 25 Mar 2021 Comments: 0


731-Jack Payne and his Orchestra-It’s a Lovely Day Tomorrow.

1939-Has never charted, there was no UK chart until 1952.

Best Bit-At 1.04.Possibly the ultimate ‘half cup full’ song.

This was one of approximately 1,500 songs written by Irving Berlin between 1907-1971. Irving Berlin was born Israel Beilin on May 11th, 1888, in Tolochin, Russian Empire, he died in Manhatten, New York City, United Stated, aged 101, on September 22nd, 1989. He arrived with his family at Ellis Island, in New York City, on September 14th, 1893, at the age of five.The list of classic songs written by Berlin include,’Alexander’s Ragtime Band,’ ‘Cheek to Cheek,”White Christmas,’and ‘God Bless America,'(see also best songs 457-385 and 100.)

‘It’s a Lovely Day Tomorrow’ was written in 1938, coming about after a conversation between Berlin, and the Hungarian film producer Alexander Korda (1893-1956.) The ‘Munich Agreement’ had just been reached, and depressed both men, and Korda asked Berlin if he had written a war song yet. Berlin used the song in his 1940 musical ‘Louisiana Purchase,’ in which it describes feelings of despair, and hope during the American ‘Great Depression’ of the 1930’s, the song was performed by Irene Bordoni (1885-1953,) on the opening night.The song has been recorded by several artists, including Vera Lynn, Al Bowlly, and Frank Sinatra, with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra.This version by Jack Payne (1899-1969) and his Orchestra, was chosen for the soundtrack of the critically acclaimed ‘Singing Detective,’ BBC, television serial drama from 1986.

‘It’s a lovely day tomorrow, tomorrow is a lovely day. Come and feast your tear dimmed eyes, on tomorrow’s clear blue skies.’

Posted by: In: Other 25 Mar 2021 Comments: 0


732-Joan Armatrading-Love and Affection.

1976-Number 10 single.Best Bit-At 1.42. Discerning listeners will realise that Joan Armatrading doesn’t actually possess a male baritone voice, in fact it belongs to American actor Clark Peters.

Joan Anita Armatrading MBE was born in Basseterre, on the Caribbean Island of Saint Kitts, on December 9th, 1950. When she was three years old, her parents, and two older brothers emigrated to Birmingham, England, sending Joan to live with her grandparents, she joined them in Hockley, Birmingham when she was seven.

‘Love and Affection’ is taken from Joan Armatrading’s self titled third studio Album, and was her first hit single.As well as Clark Peters providing backing vocals, she was backed on the song by former members of the British Folk band Fairport Convention, the alto sax was performed by Jimmy Jewell, and this song, and it’s parent Album, were produced by the legendary producer/engineer Glyn Johns.

On the subject of ‘Love and Affection’ Armatrading has said,’It’s just deeply, deeply personal, and I can’t talk about it without talking about the other person I wrote it for, which I never, ever do.’

‘I am not in love, but I’m open to persuasion. East or West, where’s the best for romancing.’

Posted by: In: Other 23 Mar 2021 Comments: 0


733-Massive-Unfinished Sympathy.

1991-Number 13 single.

Best Bit-At 2.04.The songs title is a pun on Schubert’s ‘Unfinished Symphony’,who says Classical music never gets a mention in this countdown.

Massive Attack were formed in Bristol in 1988 by Robert ‘3D’ Del Naja, Adrian ‘Tricky’ Thaws, Andrew ‘Mushroom’ Vowles, and Grant ‘Daddy G’ Marshall, only Vowles, who left in 1998 is not still an official band member.They have released five studio Albums, the first in 1991 ‘Blue Lines,’ features this song, and their latest ‘Heligoland,’ was released in 2010.

‘Unfinished Sympathy’ features vocals by Shara Nelson, who also receives songwriting credits, she was also featured on the follow up hit ‘Safe from Harm’, which reached Number 15 in the UK, also in 1991. Nelson has also had success as a solo artist, with a further five top 40 chart singles.

‘Unfinished Sympathy’s’ release coincided with the outbreak of the ‘Gulf War,’ and as to avoid a radio ban, the band were advised to drop the word ‘Attack’ from their name.The song features two significant samples, the ‘Hey, hey, hey, hey,’ is taken from a song called ‘Planetary Citizen,’ by John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, and part of the percussion is sampled from an instrumental called ‘Parade Strut,’ by J.J.Johnson.

‘Like a soul without a mind, in a body without a heart, I’m missing every part, hey.’

Posted by: In: Other 23 Mar 2021 Comments: 0


734-Prince Buster-Al Capone.

1964-It didn’t chart in the UK until 1967, when reaching Number 18.

Best Bit-At 0.13.’Buster, he sold the heat, with a Rock-Steady beat.’

Prince Buster was born Cecil Bustamente Campbell, in Orange Street, Kingston, Jamaica on May 24th, 1938, he died after suffering heart problems on September 8th, 2016 in Miami, Florida, United States,he had been in poor health for quite some time after a series of strokes.Prince Buster was named after Jamaica’s first post-independence Prime Minister, William Alexander Clarke Bustamente.Prince Buster is best remembered as being the main figure in the development of the musical genre ‘Ska,’ which would later develop into ‘Rocksteady,’ and ‘Reggae.’Ska music combines elements of Caribbean Folk music, Calypso, American Jazz, and R&B, with Prince Buster utilising all these genres in to his music.

Prince Buster (see also best songs 139) was a massive influence on the UK Ska revival of the late 1970’s, with bands such as the Specials, and Madness, incorporating Prince Buster’s music into there own.The Specials (see also best songs 924 and 372) borrowed heavily from this song to create their first hit ‘Gangsters,’ which reached Number 6 in the UK in 1979. The band Madness (see also best songs 69 and 801,) who were also heavily influenced, took their name from a Prince Buster song with that title, and their first hit was a song called ‘The Prince,’ which was a tribute to Prince Buster.

‘Al Capone’ was written by Prince Buster,and features some of the best known Jamaican musicians of the day, including Gladstone Anderson (1934-2015) on piano, Jerome ‘Jah Jerry’ Haynes (1921-2007) on guitar, and Baba Brooks on trumpets.

At the time ‘Al Capone’ was written, gangster, and Western films from Hollywood were very popular in Jamaica, which probably explains the songs subject.

‘Al Capone guns, don’t argue.’