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Posted by: In: Other 30 Sep 2021 Comments: 0


542-Showaddywaddy-Hey Rock and Roll.

1974-Number 2 single.

Best Bit-At 0.25. To put it in simple terms, it’s the best Rock N’ Roll record in the world ever, to have been made after 1960.

What a wonderful name for a Rock N’ Roll band, it just rolls off the tongue. Showaddywaddy were formed in 1973 in Leicester, Leicestershire, England, by the coming together of two two local bands,’Choise,’ and the ‘Golden Hammers.’ This led to an eight member group, meaning two vocalists, two drummers, two guitarists, and two bass players. They are still active as a six man live band, with the only original founding member Romeo Challenger who is a drummer, being still part of the group, although ex lead singer Dave Bartram has been the bands manager since 1984.

Showaddywaddy first came to the public’s attention when winning a heat on the ‘ATV’ talent show ‘New Faces’ in 1973, and going on to finish runners up in the ‘All Winners Final,’ broadcast on December 28th, 1973. They were signed to the ‘Bell’ record label and released their first single ‘Hey Rock and Roll’ in April 1975, with the song writing credits being attributed to all eight band members. Their following three singles, which also made the UK top 20 were also original compositions, including the festive ‘Hey Mister Christmas,’ but after that all of their other nine top 10 hits were all cover versions of 1950’s, and 1960’s songs. In total Showaddywaddy achieved 23 UK top 40 singles between 1974-1982, including the 1976 UK Number 1 song ‘Under the Moon of Love,’ which has at the time of writing sold just short of 1 million copies, having been originally recorded in 1961 by the American singer Curtis Lee (1939-2015) whose version failed to chart in the UK, and only reached Number 46 on Billboard.

Showaddywaddy have also released 14 studio Albums between 1974-2016, and there has been one live Album,’Showaddywaddy Live,’ released in 2013. There has also been no shortage of compilation Albums released over the years, with currently 22 doing the rounds.

‘Standing on the corner in my new blue jeans, dreamin’ ’bout the girl in my limousine, everybody’s talking ’bout the world’s greatest Rock ‘N Roll band.’

Posted by: In: Other 30 Sep 2021 Comments: 0


543-Visage-Fade to Grey.

1980-Number 8 single.

Best Bit-At 0.18. It sounded futuristic over 40 years ago, and it still sounds futuristic now. How ‘STRANGE’ is that.

Visage were an amalgamation of musicians who had all played in other bands, or were involved in the making of music, who came together in London, England, in 1978. There were seven members who were involved from 1978, and played on the debut Album ‘Visage,’ released in 1980, they were Steve Strange (1959-2015) (vocals,) Rusty Egan (drums,) Midge Ure (guitar and synthesizers,) Billy Currie (keyboards, and violin,) Dave Formula (keyboards,) John McGeoch (1955-2004) (guitar and saxophone,) and Barry Adamson (bass.)The band were active until 1985, but Steve Strange reformed the group in 2002, working with new group members until his death in 2015, when the band name was retired.In total they released six studio Albums between 1980-2015, and achieved six UK top 40 singles.

‘Fade to Grey’ was originally written as an instrumental by Billy Currie, and Chris Payne in 1979, Payne at that time was a member of Gary Numan’s backing band, playing keyboards, and viola, Cederic Sharpley who was Numan’ drummer was also influential, but does not receive writing credits.As an instrumental the track was called ‘Toot City,’ the lyrics were later added by Midge Ure (see also best songs 532 and 455.) The song is unusual in that it features the same lyrics in two different languages.The English lyrics are sung by Steve Strange, whereas the French lyrics are spoken by Brigitte Arens who was born in Luxembourg, and whom at the time was a student, and the girlfriend of Rusty Egan. There was a dispute as to whose idea it was for both sets of vocals to be used, with both Midge Ure, and Steve Strange claiming it was theirs, Steve Strange always said that he should have been included on the songs writing credits.

Steve Strange was born Stephen John Harrington on May 28th, 1959, in Newbridge, Caerphilly, Wales, he died of a heart attack while in Egypt on February 12th, 2015. He was one of the most influential figures in the rise of the ‘New Romantic’ scene in the early 1980’s, influencing among others David Bowie, with his clothing, and persona, so much so that Bowie asked him to appear in his 1980 video for ‘Ashes to Ashes.’

‘Fade to Grey’ is a song about deep depression, with the songs subject not able to see anything worth living for.

‘Feel the rain like an English summer, hear the notes from a distant song. Stepping out from a back shop poster, wishing life wouldn’t be so long.’

Posted by: In: Other 28 Sep 2021 Comments: 0


544-Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Dogg-The Next Episode.

2000-Number 3 single.

Best Bit-At 1.20. The respected music journalist Stephen Thomas Erlewine said that the only subject matter on the Album is ‘Violence, drugs, pussy, bitches, dope, guns, and gangsters,’ so with that in mind, I have chosen to post the clean version, because I may have readers of a delicate nature.

Dr. Dre was born Andre Romelle Young on February 18th, 1965, in Compton, California, United States. He is a music producer, songwriter, rapper, and entrepreneur, with a net worth in excess of US$800 million. Dr. Dre has stated that it was after hearing the Grandmaster Flash song ‘The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel’ (see also best songs 87) that he knew he wanted to be involved with music. He initially became a DJ, using the name ‘DR. J.’ based on the nickname of his favourite basketball player Julius Erving. He later changed to Dr. Dre, using his own birth name instead.In 1985 Dr. Dre joined the American Electro music group ‘World Class Wreckin’ Cru,’ who released two studio Albums, and five singles. Dre would go on to greater success, with that bands fellow member DJ Yella, when they joined Easy-E, Ice Cube, MC Ren, and Arabian Prince to form ‘N.W.A.’ (see also best songs 564 and 128.)

After leaving ‘N.W.A.’ in 1991 Dre launched his solo career, releasing his debut studio Album ‘The Chronic’ in 1992, and also co-founding ‘Death Row Records’ in the same year. In 1996 Dre left the label to form the new record label ‘Aftermath Entertainment.’ Dre has spent the majority of his career producing for other artists, and it was seven years until the release of the follow up to ‘The Chronic,’ which was called ‘2001,’ from where this track was taken.

‘The Next Episode’ was the third single released from Dr Dre’s (see also best songs 482-189 and 48) second studio Album ‘2001,’ released in 1999. The track features fellow rappers Snoop Dogg, Kurupt, and Nate Dogg, but only Snoop Dogg is credited. The song is considered a sequel to the Dre, and Snoop Dogg track ‘Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang, which they had performed together on ‘The Chronic.’ Dr Dre’s lyrics were written by ‘Aftermath’ artists ‘Hittman,’ ‘The D.O.C., and Ms. Roq, with Dr Dre modifying them, but those three artists do not receive writing credits. With a seven year gap between Albums, Dre wanted to prove that he wasn’t just a producer of music for other artists, and this song was one of his statements to doubters.

‘I’m on one, I might bail up in the Century Club, with my jeans on, and my team strong.Get my drink on and my smoke on, then go home wit’ somethin’ to poke on.’

Posted by: In: Other 28 Sep 2021 Comments: 0


545-Alvin Stardust-My Coo Ca Choo.

1973-Number 2 single.

Best Bit-At 1.20. The romantic in me hopes that being referred to as a ‘Coo Ca Choo’ is a term of endearment.

The story about this one, is both strange, and intriguing. The song was written by Peter Shelley, not to be confused with Pete Shelley (1955-2018) of the Punk band Buzzcocks. Shelley had written, and recorded ‘My Coo Ca Choo’ and was invited to perform the song as the original ‘Alvin Stardust’ on the children’s television show ‘Lift Off.’ Shelley was surprised when the song entered the UK top 40 the week after, and was invited to perform on ‘Top of the Pops, but Shelley had no desire to be a ‘Glam Rock’ star, so on recommendation, 1960’s Pop star Shane Fenton was hired, and he lip synced the track on television from then on.

The second and best known Alvin Stardust was born Bernard William Jewry on September 27th, 1942, in Muswell Hill, London, he died on October 23rd, 2014, from cancer. Jewry had initially found success in the early 1960’s, when performing as Shane Fenton, as part of ‘Shane Fenton and the Fentones. Jewry had been asked to join the band after the original lead singer Johnny Theakston had died at the age of 17, from the result of rheumatic fever. The band released 11 singles between 1961-1964, four of which made the UK top 40. As Alvin Stardust, Jewry achieved 11 UK top 40 singles between 1973-1984, with ‘Jealous Mind’ another Shelley composition reaching Number 1 in 1974. With the exception of ‘My Coo Ca Choo,’ Jewry provided his own vocals to all of the other Alvin Stardust songs.

Peter Shelley was born Peter Alexander Southworth in 1942, in London England. After working as a talent scout for ‘Decca Records’ in the 1960’s, where among the bands he discovered were ‘Amen Corner,’ and ‘King Crimson,’ Shelley started up his own record label ‘Magnet Records’ in 1973 with the future Labour Party peer Michael Levy. Shelley chose the stage name ‘Alvin Stardust’ as a tribute to ‘Ziggy Stardust,’ David Bowie has said that Ziggy Stardust was partly based on the 1950’s Rock N’ Roll artist Vince Taylor (1939-1991,) and Shelley based the black leather wearing Alvin Stardust, on Taylor.Peter Shelley may not have wanted to be a Glam Rock star, but he had no objection to being a Pop star, as two of his four single releases ‘Gee Baby,’ (1974, UK Number 4) and ‘Love Me Love My Dog,’ (1975 UK Number 3) both were hits, and also charted in Australia.

‘My Coo Ca Choo’ was the first single released on the Magnet Record label with the catalogue number ‘Mag 1.’ In Australia the song spent seven weeks at Number 1, and became that countries best selling single of 1974. In the UK the follow up ‘Jealous Mind’ went to Number 1, but in Australia it only reached Number 27.

‘Tom Cat, why, you know where it’s at, come on, lets go to my flat, lay down ‘n groove on the mat,a-you can be my coo ca choo.’

Posted by: In: Other 26 Sep 2021 Comments: 0


546-Julie London-Cry Me a River.

1957-Number 22 single.

Best Bit-At 0.17.The songs writer Arthur Hamilton was initially concerned that listeners would hear a reference to the Crimea.

‘Cry Me a River’ was written in 1953 by Arthur Hamilton Stern, who was born on October 22nd, 1926, in Seattle, Washington, United States. In 1953 he was commissioned to write three songs for the film ‘Pete Kelly’s Blues,’ two of which were used. The third, which was rejected was ‘Cry Me a River,’ written for, and sung by Ella Fitzgerald, who finally released her version in 1961 on her Album ‘Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie.’ With the song not being used, it was offered to Peggy King, but Columbia Records refused to let her record it, objecting to the word ‘plebian,’ in the songs lyrics.The other song Hamilton is best remembered for was ‘Sing A Rainbow,’ which was also written for ‘Pete Kelly’s Blues,’ where it was performed by Peggy Lee.’Sing A Rainbow’ has become famous over the years as a tool for teaching children the names of colours, it is often erroneously called ‘I Can Sing a Rainbow’. In 1969 a recording as part of a medley by the R&B group ‘The Dells,’ reached Number 22 on Billboard.

Julie London was born Julie Peck, on September 26th, 1926, in Santa Rosa, California, United States, she died on October 18th, 2000, of what was later determined to be Cardiac arrest. London had been a chain smoker since the age of 16, and had been diagnosed with lung cancer in 1999. Between 1955-1969 London recorded 29 studio Albums, and released 29 singles, with this song being her only charting single reaching Number 9 on Billboard, and Number 22 in the UK. Before becoming a recording artist London had been an actress, appearing in her first film ‘Nabonga’ in 1944, and appearing in a further 23 through until 1968. Between 1972-1978 she appeared in all 126 episodes of the American television drama ‘Emergency!,’ playing the part of Dixie McCall R.N.

Coincidentally London and Hamilton had both attended the same high school, and ‘Cry Me a River’ was one of three songs she performed in the 1956 film ‘The Girl Can’t Help It.’ The song also appeared on her debut Album ‘Julie Is Her Name,’ recorded in 1955, and in 2016 it went through the one million sales barrier. Two other versions of the song have charted on Billboard. In 1969 Marie Knight took her recording to Number 35, and in 1970 Joe Cocker reached Number 11 with his live version. In the UK Mari Wilson reached Number 27 in 1983, Denice Welch got to Number 23 in 1995, and Michael Buble made Number 34 in 2009. A track by Justin Timberlake also called ‘Cry Me a River’ has nothing to do with this song.

‘Remember, I remember all that you said. Told me love was too plebian, told me you were through with me, and now you say you love me.’

Posted by: In: Other 26 Sep 2021 Comments: 0



1978-Number 8 single.

Best Bit-At 8.08. The dance group ‘Hot Gossip’ would perform regularly to this song on ‘The Kenny Everett Television Show,’ thus giving the song plenty of exposure, as well as lots of ‘Naughty Bits’ provided by Hot Gossip.

Marc Cerrone was born on May 24th, 1952, in Vitry-sur-Seine, France, he is a music producer, songwriter, and drummer. To date he has sold in excess of 30 million records, with 41 Album releases between 1974-2020, and 21 singles. Three of those singles have made the UK top 40, with ‘Love In C Minor,’ reaching Number 31 in 1977, and ‘Je Suis Music,’ getting to Number 39 in 1979.

‘Supernature’ was taken from Cerrone’s third studio Album ‘Supernature (Cerrone 111’) from 1977, but was actually the sixth Album, up until then, that he had appeared on, as the first three Albums were collaborations with other artists.’Supernature’s melody was written by Cerrone, and Alain Wisniak, who also co-wrote five of the six other tracks on the Album.The songs lyrics were written by a pre fame Lene Lovich, who would go on to achiever three UK top 40 singles in 1979, including the Number 3 hit ‘Lucky Number.’ The vocals on the track were provided by unaccredited singer Chi-Chi-Favelas.

‘Supernature’ has an environmental theme, imagining a future in which the use of chemicals in agriculture has caused ‘creatures down below’ to emerge, and take revenge against mankind, Lene Lovich has always been an advocate of animal rights. The song was subject to a 1996 ‘House Music’ remix by the music producer Danny Tenaglia. In 1989 the song was covered by Erasure (see also best songs 700,) and released as one of the ‘B’ sides to their track ‘You Surround Me,’ and in 1994 the Electronic Dance Music group ‘The Time Frequency’ covered the song for their debut Album ‘Dominator.’

‘Once upon a time science opened up the door, we would feed the hungry fields, till they couldn’t eat no more.’

Posted by: In: Other 24 Sep 2021 Comments: 0


548-Chuck Berry-Maybellene.

1955-Has never charted in the UK.

Best Bit-At 1.06. After doing my usual thorough research, it appears that ‘Back to the Future’ didn’t get all of the facts correct.

Chuck Berry was born Charles Edward Anderson Berry on October 18th, 1926, in St Louis, Missouri, United States, he died on March 18th, 2017, from a heart attack. Berry was a significant player in the development of ‘Rock N’ Roll,’ earning him the nickname of the ‘Father of Rock and Roll,’ predominately through his refining and development of ‘Rhythm and Blues,’ but also through his on stage persona, and his song lyrics.

There are many who cite ‘Maybellene as the first real ‘Rock N’ Roll’ song. Berry had heard the American traditional song ‘Ida Red’ performed by Bob Wills (1905-1975) and his backing band the ‘Texas Cowboys,’ played in the style of ‘Western Swing,’ which is a sub-genre of American Country Music. Berry would play his take on the song in racially integrated clubs, and saw that the music brought people together.It was on Muddy Waters (see also best songs 596) recommendation that Berry took the song to Leonard Chess, the owner of ‘Chess Records.’ Chess had become aware that now that World War 2 was 10 years in the past, there was a whole new generation of teenagers with money to spend, and Chess knew exactly how to manipulate the situation. Chess suggested a bigger beat for the song, and added a bass, and a maracas player at the recording session. Berry (see also best songs 308 and 30) re-wrote the lyrics on Chess’ direction, singing about fast cars, and sexuality, subjects which appealed to teenagers.

There are conflicting stories as to how the song got it’s title.Berry has said that Maybellene was the name of a cow in a child’s nursery rhyme, but Johnny Johnson (1924-2005) who played the piano on the track has said that on spotting a ‘Maybelline’ mascara box on the floor of the studio Leonard Chess said,’Well hell, lets name the damn thing Maybellene,’ altering the spelling to avoid a law suit by the cosmetic company.

‘As I was motivatin’ over the hill, I saw Maybellene in a Coup de Ville. A Cadillac a rollin’ on the open road, nothin’ will outrun my V8 Ford.’

Posted by: In: Other 24 Sep 2021 Comments: 0


549-Bruce Springsteen-Born to Run.

1975-Number 93 single. The song was also released as a live version in 1987, reaching Number 16.

Best Bit-At 3.04. In an episode of ‘The Sopranos,’ the character Christopher Moltisanti quotes the songs lyrics, saying,’The highway’s jammed with broken heroes, on a last chance power drive.’ This was an in-joke by the script writers, as Steven Van Zamdt of ‘The E Street Band,’ who provided input on this song, also played Silvio Dante in the Sopranos.

Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen was born on September 23rd, 1949, in Long Branch, New Jersey, United States. With record sales in excess of 150 million, he is one of the all time worlds best selling artists, he has affectionately been nicknamed ‘The Boss.’ To date he has recorded 20 studio Albums between 1973-2020, his 1984 Album ‘Born in the U.S.A. has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide.

‘Born to Run’ was taken from Bruce Springsteen’s third studio Album of the same name. His first two Albums which were both released in 1973, were commercially unsuccessful, although critically acclaimed. In recording the song Springsteen (see also best songs 1040) earned the reputation for being a perfectionist, spending many months perfecting the song, which was inspired by Phil Spector’s ‘Wall of Sound’ production. Springsteen also acknowledges Steven Van Zandt for being partially responsible for the songs signature guitar line.Springsteen wrote the lyrics in his home in New Jersey.He recalled,’One day I was playing my guitar on the edge of the bed, and the words born to run came to me.At first I thought it was the name of a movie, or something I’d seen on a car.I liked the phrase because it suggested a cinematic drama that I thought would work with the music that I’d been hearing in my head.’ The lyrics tell the tale of a young couple who think that if they want a better life, then they have to leave town, to find out if their dreams can be achieved, like in the movies.

Springsteen played the song live for the first time on May 9th 1974,Rock critic Jon Landau was at the show and wrote,’I saw Rock ‘N’ Roll’s future, and it’s name is Bruce Springsteen.’Landau eventually became Springsteen’s manager.

‘In the day we sweat it out on the streets of a runaway American dream, at night we ride through mansions of glory, in suicide machines.’

Posted by: In: Other 22 Sep 2021 Comments: 0


550-Deep Purple-Hush.

1968-Number 58 single.

Best Bit-At 2.47. It’s the answer to that age old question, how much fun can you have with your organ?

Deep Purple (see also best songs 89) were formed in 1968, in Hertford, Hertfordshire, England, by Ian Paice (drums,) who is the bands one constant, Jon Lord (1941-2012) (keyboards,) Ritchie Blackmore (guitars,) (see also best songs 976) Nick Simper (bass,) and Rod Evans (vocals.) They started out as a ‘Psychedelic Rock,’ and ‘Progressive Rock’ band, but shifted towards ‘Hard Rock,’ and Heavy Metal’ by 1970. It was those five original members who recorded ‘Hush’ for their 1968 debut Album ‘Shades of Deep Purple.’ In 1988 they re-recorded the song for the live Album ‘Nobody’s Perfect,’ to celebrate the bands 20 anniversary, the lineup for that version were the original remaining members Paice, Lord, and Glover, plus Ian Gillan (vocals,) who had joined the band in 1969, and Roger Glover (bass,) who had also joined in 1969.In the UK the original version of ‘Hush’ only reached Number 58, but in the States it was a big success, peaking at Number 4 on Billboard. In the UK the 1988 live version fared no better, by only reaching Number 62, and Number 44 in the States.

‘Hush’ has been recorded on many occasions, in many different genres. The first version of the song was by Billy Joe Royal (1942-2015,) in 1967, who had already worked with Joe South (1940-2012,) who was the songs writer, for many years. South had written Royal’s debut hit ‘Down in the Boondocks’ (Billboard Number 9) in 1965. Also in 1967 ‘Hush’ was a hit in Australia, reaching Number 15, for the Australian Rock band ‘Somebody’s Image.’ The most successful version of the song in the UK was recorded by Kula Shaker in 1997, in the same style as Deep Purple, their re-make peaked at Number 2.Joe South was born Joseph Alfred Souter on February 28th, 1940, in Atlanta Georgia, United States, he died on September 5th, 2012, from heart failure. He won the ‘Grammy Award’ for ‘Song of the Year’ in 1970 for ‘Games People Play,’ and was nominated in 1972 for ‘Rose Garden.’ South probably got the idea for ‘Hush’ from an old African/American spiritual song, which included the line ‘Hush I heard Jesus calling my name.’ It has also been pointed out that the ‘Na nana, na na’ part of the song is very similar to the melody in the 1967 Beatles song ‘A Day in the Life’ (see also best songs 10.) In 1990 The Charlatans lifted the organ riff from this version of ‘Hush’ for their 1990 UK Number 9 hit ‘The Only One I Know (see also best songs 844.)

‘I got a certain little girl, she’s on my mind. No doubt about it she looks so fine. She’s the best girl that I ever had, sometimes she’s gonna make me feel so bad.’

Posted by: In: Other 22 Sep 2021 Comments: 0


551-Kings of Leon-The Bucket.

2004-Number 16 single.

Best Bit-At 2.18. The correct pronunciation is bucket, not bouquet.

The Kings of Leon were formed in Nashville, Tennessee, United States in 1999 by the three brothers Caleb, Jared, and Nathan Followill, and their cousin Matthew Followill, the bands name comes from their grandfather who was called Leon.When first starting out their music was described as a mixture of ‘Southern Rock,’ and ‘Garage Rock,’ which over the course of time has changed to a more ‘Alternative Rock,’ and ‘Arena Rock’ sound.

To date the Kings of Leon have released eight studio Albums between 2003-2021, initially finding far greater success abroad, than in the United States. It wasn’t until the release of their forth studio Album ‘Only by the Night’ in 2008, that they achieved mainstream success on Billboard. In the UK they have achieved 11 top 40 singles, with ‘Sex on Fire’ reaching Number 1 in 2008 (see also best songs 106.)

‘The Bucket’ was the first single released from the Kings of Leon’s second studio Album ‘Aha Shake Heartbreak’ from 2004, and the songs writing is credited to all four band members. The song was written partly about the bands youngest member Jared Followill who was 18 years old at the time. It tells of Caleb’s observations of how he, and his brother deal with fame, and also the things that can be aggravating, especially when touring, but it’s also a song about brotherly love.

‘I’ll be the one to show you the way. You’ll be the one to always complain. Three in the morning, come a-bang-bang-bang, all out of fags, and I just can’t wait.’