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Posted by: In: Other 31 Mar 2022 Comments: 0


360-Free-All Right Now.

1970-Number 2 single.

It was a hit again in 1973, this time reaching Number 15. In 1978 as part of the ‘Free (EP’) it made Number 11, and in 1992 a remastered version reached Number 8.

Best Bit-At 3.36. In 1970 a Los Angeles DJ called Joe Benson told Paul Rodgers during an on air interview that ‘All Right Now’ is playing on the airwaves somewhere around the world once every 45 seconds.

‘Free’ were formed in London, England, in 1968, they were very young when they first performed together on April 19th, 1968, at the Nags Head, in Battersea, London. Andy Frazer (1952-2015) (bass) was 15, Paul Kossoff (1950-1976) (lead guitar) was 17, Paul Rodgers (lead singer) was 18, and Simon Kirke (drums) was also 18. Due to internal feuding the band disbanded in 1971, but they did reform in early 1972. Frazer left the band soon after, which led to the introduction of Tetsu Yamauchi, (bass) and John ‘Rabbit Bundrick, (keyboards) both new members appeared on ‘Heartbreaker,’ the band’s final studio Album. Free recorded six studio Albums between 1969-1973, and released 16 singles. In the States ‘All Right Now’ was their only charting single, reaching Number 4, but in the UK, three of their other songs also made the top 20. The bands name ‘Free’ had been given to them by the Blues musician Alexis Koerner (1928-1984) (see also best songs 864) who had helped to bring the group together. He named them after a short lived trio he had formed called ‘Free At Last’ in 1966.

The bands lead guitarist Paul Kossoff had been a drug user since the age of 15, on March 19th, 1976 while on a flight from Los Angeles to New York he died from a pulmonary embolism after a blood clot in his leg moved to his lung. After leaving ‘Free’ Andy Frazer formed the Rock band ‘Sharks,’ before going on to many other projects, including the release of four solo studio Albums. Paul Rodgers and Simon Kirke both went onto form ‘Bad Company’ with Mick Ralphs who had been a member of Mott the Hoople (see also best songs 334.) Kirke is Bad Company’s one constant during the years they have been active, while Rodgers who left when the band first split in 1982 would go on to front the Rock bands ‘The Firm,’ then ‘The Law,’ and eventually ‘Queen,’ where they were known as ‘Queen + Paul Rodgers’ between 2004-2009.

‘All Right Now’ was co-written by Andy Frazer and Paul Rodgers, and appeared on the bands third studio Album ‘Fire and Water’ from 1970. Free had been playing a gig at Durham Students Union building, to a small audience, and when they walked off the stage after the last song they could hear the sound of their own footsteps, and realised that they needed a ‘rocker’ to finish their set. Frazer was sat in the dressing room, and within 10 minutes came up with this song.

‘All Right Now’ is about a guy seeing a girl in the street who he fancies, and after some persuasion she agrees to go back to his home with him. Once she gets to his place, she starts to have second thoughts, and he tries to put her at ease.

‘There she stood in the street, smiling from her head to her feet. I said hey, what is this, now baby, maybe she’s in need of a kiss.’

Posted by: In: Other 31 Mar 2022 Comments: 0


361-Yardbirds-Shapes of Things.

1966-Number 3 single.

Best Bit-At 1.35. Many respected music critics agree that this song was the first of the genre that would become known as ‘Psychedelic Rock.’

Psychedelic Rock is intended to musically replicate and enhance the mind altering experiences of psychedelic drugs, most notably ‘LSD.’Psychedelic Rock is made by musicians experimenting with musical instruments, and elaborate studio effects. For example, electric guitars used with feedback, or the recording of music, then slowing it down, or adding echo, are just a couple of examples. ‘Shape of Things’ features the Yardbirds guitarist Jeff Beck experimenting with his guitar, and feedback, which music critics have called groundbreaking, and cited his influence on major artists such as Paul McCartney, and Jimi Hendrix.

The Yardbirds were formed in London, England, in 1963, they were active until 1968, but reformed in 1992. Of the 24 members who have come and gone only founding member Jim McCarty remains the bands one constant. Three of the top five guitarists named in ‘Rolling Stone’ magazines ‘Best guitarist ever’ list are ex members of the Yardbirds, they are Eric Clapton, (1963-1965) (see also best songs 726) Jeff Beck, (1965-1966) and Jimmy Page (1966-1968) (see also best songs 135 and 66.) There are two stories as to where the band took their name, one is that it came from the Jack Kerouac novel ‘On the Road,’ where it refers to ‘rail yard hobos,’ and the other is that they took their name from the nickname of the Jazz saxophonist Charlie ‘Yardbird’ Parker (1920-1955.) The Yardbirds have released six studio Albums between 1964-2003, and 16 singles between 1964-1968. In the UK six of their singles have reached the top 40, while in the States on Billboard they have also charted on six occasions, although not always with the same tracks.

The lineup who played on ‘Shape of Things’ were Jim McCarty, (drums) Keith Relf, (1943-1976) (lead vocals) Paul Samwell-Smith, (bass) Jeff Beck, (guitar) and Chris Dreja (guitar.) The writing of ‘Shape of Things’ is credited to McCarty, Relf, and Samwell-Smith, surprisingly considering all of his work on the guitar instrumental break, Jeff Beck is not listed as one of the songs writers.

In 1968 Jeff Beck re-recorded ‘Shape of Things’ with his new band the ‘Jeff Beck Group’ for their debut Album ‘Truth.’ It was the bands lead vocalist Rod Stewart who suggested that they record the song, with Beck saying,’Let’s slow it down, and make it dirty and evil.’ The song, and the Album ‘Truth’ are now recognised as an early example of what was to develop into ‘Heavy Metal’ music.

The lyrics to ‘Shape of Things’ were written by Paul Samwell-Smith, and warn of the environmental damage we are doing to the planet, it also tells of the wrongs in America’s involvement in the Vietnam war, so it is also an anti-war song.

‘Shapes of things before my eyes, just teach me to despise, will time make man more wise?’

Posted by: In: Other 29 Mar 2022 Comments: 0


362-Jerry Lee Lewis and His Pumping Piano-High School Confidential.

1958-Number 12 single.

Best Bit-At 1.07. It’s ironic, because at the time Jerry Lee Lewis recorded this song he had just married his 13 year old cousin, once removed, who wasn’t even old enough to go to high school.

‘High School Confidential’ was co-written by Jerry Lee Lewis, and Ron Hargrave for the opening scene of the 1958 ‘MGM’ anti drugs movie which was also called ‘High School Confidential.’ In the film the director Jack Arnold (1916-1992) had Lewis, his bass player Jay W. Brown, and drummer Russ Brown lip-synch the song while performing on the top of a flatbed truck. The version performed in the movie is different to this studio version, and none of the several takes recorded were released until the early 1980’s. The original picture sleeve for the 7 inch single released on ‘Sun Records’ featured cast members from the film, behind a superimposed image of Lewis.

‘High School Confidential’ was one of the 12 tracks (track 9) to appear on Jerry Lee Lewis’ self titled debut studio Album released on Sun Records in 1958, which was produced by Sun Records supremo Sam Phillips (1923-2003) and Jack Clement (1931-2013.) The music critic Michael ‘Cub’ Koda (1948-2000) in a retrospective review of the Album wrote the selections on the Album were ‘a curious mixture,’ with ‘a great deal of his best material being inexplicably left off,’ but the Album was still a ‘terrific debut.’ The songs he was referring to that were omitted include ‘Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On,’ and ‘Great Balls of Fire'(see also best songs 678 and 99.)

‘High School Confidential’ is also one of the tracks (track 2) which appears on the 1964 Album ‘Live at the Star Club, Hamburg.’ Jerry Lee Lewis was accompanied by the English Rock band the ‘Nashville Teens’ who recorded the Album live in front of an audience on April 5th, 1964, the Album is critically regarded as one of the greatest live Albums of all time, not just in ‘Rock ‘N Roll,’ but in all music genres.In 1958 at the height of Lewis’ fame his career his career was badly affected when it came to light that he had married his 13 year old cousin once removed. This caused public uproar with tours cancelled, and radio refusing to play his records, which was the reason why ‘High School Confidential’ stalled at Number 12 in the UK, and Number 21 on Billboard.

‘Open up a honey it’s your lover boy me that’s a knockin.’ Why don’t you listen to me sugar? All the cats are at the high school rockin.’ Honey get your boppin’ shoes ‘fore the juke box blows a fuse, everybody’s hoppin, everybody’s boppin,’ boppin’ at the high school hop.’

Posted by: In: Other 29 Mar 2022 Comments: 0


363-Lady Gaga-Bad Romance.

2009-Number 1 single.

Best Bit-At 0.17. Rob Fusari who was Lady Gaga’s first music producer, and boyfriend until 2007, claims to have been the first person to call her ‘Lady Gaga,’ which he derived from the 1984 Queen song ‘Radio Ga Ga.’

Lady Gaga was born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta on March 28th, 1986, in New York City, United States. She is one of the world’s best selling artists of all time, with sales in excess of 130 million records, and in 2020 she became the first female artist to achieve four singles that have sold 10 million copies each globally, with ‘Just Dance,’ Poker Face,’ ‘Bad Romance,’ and ‘Shallow.’ To date Lady Gaga has released five solo studio Albums between 2008-2020, and two collaborative Albums with Tony Bennett (see also best songs 868) in 2014, and 2021. She has also released 37 singles, of which 24 have reached the Billboard top 40, with five having made Number 1, while in the UK she has achieved 25 top 40 singles, of which six have reached the top spot. In 2009 she became the first female artist to have three UK Number 1’s in the same calendar year with ‘Just Dance,’ ‘Poker Face.’ and ‘Bad Romance.’

‘Bad Romance’ was one of eight new songs recorded by Lady Gaga in 2009, and added to her debut studio Album ‘The Fame,’ first released in 2008, to become ‘The Fame Monster,’ a deluxe edition of that debut, although in some countries the eight new songs were released as a stand alone ‘E.P’ also called ‘The Fame Monster.’

‘Bad Romance’ was co-written, and co-produced by Lady Gaga, and Nadir Khayat, who is better known by his stage name ‘RedOne.’ (see also best songs 957) The pair were first introduced to each other in 2007 when contracted to the same management team. ‘RedOne who was born on April 9th, 1972, in Tetouan, Morocco, also co-wrote, and produced several other tracks on ‘The Fame,’ and ‘The Fame Monster.’ As for sales ‘The Fame’ has gone on to become the 12th best selling Album of all time on Billboard, while ‘The Fame Monster’ was the best selling Album worldwide in 2010.

‘Bad Romance’ is a declaration by the narrator that she will love her partner unconditionally no matter what. She wants her partner to hide nothing from her, and encourages them to open up totally emotionally.

Lady Gaga name checks three Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980) directed films in the songs lyrics ‘Psycho,’ ‘Vertigo,’ and ‘Rear Window.’ She also sings some of the songs lyrics in French, and was probably partly inspired to write the song after listening to the 1994 track ‘Self Esteem’ by the American Rock band ‘The Offspring.’

‘I want your psycho, your vertigo shtick. Want you in my rear window, baby you’re sick.’

Posted by: In: Other 27 Mar 2022 Comments: 0


364-Tiffany-I Think We’re Alone Now.

1987-Number 1 single.

Best Bit-At 2.23. Some Pop stars are so well known, that they are recognisable by just one name. There’s Elvis, and Madonna, and Kylie, and…er…Tiffany.

Tiffany Renee Darwish was born on October 2nd, 1971, in Norwalk, California, United States. At the age of 16 she became the youngest solo artist ever to have a debut Billboard Number 1 Album, and she also has the distinction of being the first person who was born in the 1970’s to top the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, with this song in 1987.

Tiffany was singing Country & Western music at the age of 10 when coming to the attention of Hoyt Axton, (1938-1999) leading to her singing in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1984 she signed a recording contract with the music producer George Tobin who as well as producing her first two Albums, would also become her manager. After the failure of her first single ‘Danny,’ Tobin sent Tiffany out on a nationwide tour of American shopping malls. At first she was playing to small gatherings, but as word spread the crowds grew. This songs iconic video was recorded during the tour, with much of the footage used being from the end of the tour, when the audience was larger. To date Tiffany has released 11 studio Albums between 1987-2021, and 43 singles. In America she has achieved six top 40 singles, including hitting Number 1 twice, with this songs follow up ‘Could’ve Been,’ being the other chart topper.

‘I Think We’re Alone Now’ was the second single released from Tiffany’s self titled debut Album from 1987, and was a cover version of the song which was originally recorded in 1967 by the American Rock/Pop group ‘Tommy James and the Shondells,’ who took their version to Number 4 on Billboard, but has never charted in the UK. The song was written by Ritchie Cordell (1943-2004) who also wrote other hits for Tommy James and the Shondells including their Billboard Number 1 ‘Mony Mony.’ Cordell was also the co-producer of ‘I Love Rock ‘n Roll,’ the Billboard Number 1 single for Joan Jett & the Blackhearts in 1981, and also the co-producer of the Ramones seventh studio Album ‘Subterranean Jungle’ in 1983. In 1987 Cordell hit the jackpot when the song that knocked Tiffany’s version of ‘I Think We’re Alone Now’ off the top spot on Billboard was Billy Idol’s live cover of ‘Mony Mony.’

At first Tiffany wasn’t keen to record ‘I Think We’re Alone Now,’ thinking it would be two old fashioned for her potential fan base, but after it was explained to her that the song is about teenagers wanting to spend ‘quality time’ together, which their parents wouldn’t allow, she realised the songs appeal to a young audience.

‘Children behave, that’s what they say when we’re together, and watch how you play, they don’t understand, and so we’re running just as fast as we can, holding on to one another other hands.’

Posted by: In: Other 27 Mar 2022 Comments: 0


365-Diana Ross-I’m Still Waiting.

1971-Number 1 single.

Best Bit-At 0.45. I suppose the moral of the story is, if you’re a five year old girl, don’t fall in love with a 10 year old boy, because it will mess the rest of your life up.

‘I’m Still Waiting’ was released as the first single from Diana Ross’ second solo studio Album ‘Everything Is Everything’ from November 1970. The Album was rush released in order to keep up the momentum of promoting Diana Ross as a solo artist after the success of her debut release ‘Diana Ross’ less than five months earlier (see also best songs 900-519-183 and 28.)

‘I’m Still Waiting’ was initially not intended for single release, but after the British DJ Tony Blackburn promised ‘EMI’ (the label distributor of all Motown songs at that time) that he would play the track every morning on his BBC Radio 1 radio programme, they were persuaded. Blackburn was proved right as ‘I’m Still Waiting’ went on to spend four weeks at Number 1, becoming the best selling Motown song in the UK up to that time. In 1978 The Commodores with the Lionel Richie penned ‘Three Times a Lady’ which spent five weeks at Number 1, surpassed ‘I’m Still Waiting’ for sales, becoming Motown’s best selling single in the UK. ‘I’m Still Waiting’ didn’t meet with the same success in the States, where it stalled a Number 63 on Billboard.

‘I’m Still Waiting’ was written and produced by Deke Richards, who was born Dennis Lussier on April 8th, 1944, in Los Angeles, California, United States, he died of esophageal cancer on March 24th, 2013, at the age of 68. When the star Motown writing team of ‘Holland Dozier Holland left the label in 1967 Richards was one of the songwriters brought in by Berry Gordy to replace them, initially working with Frank Wilson, (1940-2012) R Dean Taylor, and Pam Sawyer as ‘The Clan,’ they worked together until 1969. In that time they were responsible for the two Diana Ross and the Supremes Billboard Number 1 singles ‘Love Child,’ and ‘I’m Living in Shame,’ (see also best songs 1001-411-212 and 148.)

After ‘The Clan’ disbanded Richards stayed on at Motown, charged with writing and producing for the labels next big stars,’The Jackson 5.’ The new team of songwriters which Richards joined were known as ‘The Corporation’ which also included Berry Gordy, Freddie Perren (1943-2004) and Alphonso Mizell (1943-2011.) They guided The Jackson 5′ to early success with the songs ‘I Want You Back,’ ‘ABC,’ and ‘The Love You Save,’ (see also best songs 249 and 137) ‘The Corporation’ disbanded in 1972.

In 1990 ‘I’m Still Waiting was remixed by ‘DJ Phil Chill’ as an uptempo ‘Dance’ track, and released as a single, reaching Number 21 in the UK chart.

‘Love has never shown his face since the day you walked out that door. You filled my life with empty space, come back can’t you see it’s you I’m waiting for.’

Posted by: In: Other 25 Mar 2022 Comments: 0


366-Aretha Franklin-Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do.)

1973-Number 24 single.

Best Bit-At 1.21. If a woman sings this song she’s a hopeless romantic, but if a man sings the song he is a psycho stalker.

Aretha Louise Franklin was born on March 25th, 1942, in Memphis, Tennessee, United States. Franklin suffered health issues for most of her adult life having been at times clinically obese, a chain smoker, and a alcoholic, she died on August 18th, 2018, at the age of 76. It was the American broadcaster, and music promoter Pervis Spann who after seeing Aretha perform at the Regal Theater in Chicago, ceremonially placed a crown on her head and announced to the audience that she should be crowned ‘The Queen of Soul.’

Aretha Franklin (see also best songs 644) released 38 studio Albums between 1962-2014, and 131 singles. Two of her singles ‘Respect,’ and the duet with George Michael, ‘I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me’) were both Billboard Number 1 songs, while in the UK only the George Michael duet made the top spot. In total Aretha Franklin has sold in excess of 75 million records worldwide, making her one of the best selling solo artists of all time.

‘Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do’) was co-written by Morris Broadnax, (1931-2009) Clarence Paul, (1928-1995) and a 16 year old Stevie Wonder (see also best songs 920-843-834-682-570-503-205-152 and 65.) Clarence Paul was a staff songwriter for Motown records, and had also been hired as an early mentor for Stevie Wonder. Other notable compositions co-written by Paul include Stevie Wonder’s first Billboard Number 1 single ‘Fingertips,’ and ‘Hitch Hike’ for Marvin Gaye.

It was Stevie Wonder who recorded the first version of this song in 1967, but his recording remained unreleased until first appearing on his 1977 anthology ‘Looking Back.’ As for the songs meaning,the narrator tells of their abandonment by their partner, but declares their determination to contact and win their partner back.

‘Though you don’t call anymore, I sit and wait in vain. I guess I’ll rap on your door, tap on your window pane. I wanna tell you baby changes I’ve been going through, missing you.’

Posted by: In: Other 25 Mar 2022 Comments: 0


367-Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood-Some Velvet Morning.

1967-Has never charted in the UK.

Best Bit-At 1.39. Nancy Sinatra once said,’I’ve been singing this song for over 20 years, and I still don’y know what the damned thing means.’

Lee Haxlewood was born Barton Lee Hazlewood on July 9th, 1929, in Mannford, Oklahoma, United States, he died on August 4th, 2007, from renal cancer at the age of 78. In the late 1950’s, and early 1960’s he found great success when teaming up with the pioneering guitarist Duane Eddy to co-write, and produce Rock instrumentals such as ‘Rebel Rouser,’ and (‘Dance With The Guitar Man,’) He first teamed up with Nancy Sinatra in 1965 when Nancy’s father Frank (see also best songs 877-567-469-120 and 73) stepped in and asked Hazlewood to give his daughters career a boost, which led to Hazlewood writing and producing Nancy’s UK and U.S. Number 1 single ‘These Boots Are Made for Walkin’ (see also best songs 978.)

‘Some Velvet Morning’ was written and produced by Lee Hazlewood, and first appeared on Nancy Sinatra’s fourth Album release ‘Movin’ with Nancy,’ from 1967, the Album is the soundtrack to her 1967 television special of the same name. The song was next released as a single, before appearing on the 1968 Album ‘Nancy & Lee.’

Nancy has said she has no idea what the song is about, and the songs writer Lee Hazlewood has admitted that he is not fully sure about the songs meaning either. The song was definitely inspired by the Greek mythological character ‘Phaedra,’ In Greek mythology Phaedra falls in love with her husbands stepson Hippolytus, who rejects her advances. Her husband Theseus learns of her actions, she lies to her husband that Hippolytus tried to rape her. This angers Theseus who immediately curses his son with one of three wishes granted to him by Poseidon, the God of the sea. Hippolytus is torn apart by a bull that rises from the sea, but somehow Phaedra’s treachery is discovered, (unclear how) and to avoid a more painful death she decides to take her own life.

Of the song Hazlewood (see also best songs 1010-978 and 124) has said,’It’s not meant to mean so much. I’m not a druggie, so it was never to do with that.’ He has also said,’I had problems with people telling me ‘I really like the song you wrote Lee, you can really dance to it,’ I don’t like people dancing to my music, I was very contrary. The next thing I sat down to write what happened to be that song, and I go,-‘Dance to this, sons of bitches.”

‘Some velvet morning when I’m straight, I’m gonna open up your gate, and maybe tell you ’bout Phaedra, and how she gave me life, and how she made it end. Some velvet morning when I’m straight.’

Posted by: In: Other 23 Mar 2022 Comments: 0


368-Delerium featuring Sarah McLachlan-Silence.

2000-Number 3 single.

Best Bit-At 4.21. Silence is Golden.

Delerium was formed by Bill Leeb in 1987 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, as a side project. Leeb who was born on September 21st, 1966, in Vienna, Austria, and had moved to Canada with his family at the age of 14. He was a founding member of the Canadian ‘Industrial Electronic’ band ‘Front Line Assembly who have released 16 studio Albums between 1987-2021, and 21 singles. When working as ‘Delerium’ Leeb has either worked with Michael Balch, Rhys Fulber, or Chris Peterson, all three are either current, or former members of Front Line Assembly. Leeb formed Delerium in order to record in different genres including ‘New Age,’ and ‘Ambient.’ As Delerium there have been seven studio Albums released between 1989-2016, and 23 singles, including the re-issued, and remixed ‘Silence’ in 2004, and again in 2008.

‘Silence’ was co-written by Leeb, Fulber, and the songs vocalist Sarah McLachlan, and first appeared as an ‘Ambient’ song in it’s original form on Delerium’s ninth studio Album ‘Karma’ from 1997. The song featured ‘Gregorian Chants’ (think Enigma and Deep Forest) and was very successful in Ireland where it reached Number 1, and in Australia where it made Number 6. The songs vocalist on the original, and the remixes is Sarah McLachlan who was born on January 28th, 1968, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. She has released eight solo studio Albums, between 1988-2016, and has sold over 40 million Albums worldwide to date.

In 1999 the first of several ‘Dance’ remixes of the song began to appear. The first was the ‘Sanctuary’ mix by ‘Fade’ which is closer to the original version than subsequent remixes. This was followed by the two ‘Trance’ remixes by ‘Airscape’ and ‘DJ Tiesto,’ (see also best songs 260) which led to the tracks worldwide success. I have chosen to post the Airscape mix, but I feel that the Tiesto version is of equal standing. ‘Airscape’ are a Belgium ‘Trance’ act, with Johan Gielan now only working under that name, but he previously worked as ‘Airscape’ with Sven Maes, and Jos Borremans. ‘Silence’ has received further official remixes, and re-releases in 2004, and again in 2008.

In it’s ‘Dance’ form ‘Silence’ may sound uplifting, but the actual lyrics are anything but. The song is either about depression or illness, with the narrator wanting to die to release their pain, and to see if God will let them into heaven.

‘Heaven holds a sense of wonder, and I wanted to believe that I’d get caught up when the rage in me subsides. In this white wave I am sinking, in this silence I believe.’

Posted by: In: Other 23 Mar 2022 Comments: 0


369-The Hollies-The Air That I Breathe.

1974-Number 2 single.

Best Bit-At 0.01. Eric Clapton said that the first note of ‘The Air That I Breathe’ had more soul than anything he’d ever heard.

The Hollies certainly have longevity, with Tony Hicks, and Bobby Elliott who joined in 1963, still part of the current active band. The Hollies were formed in 1962 in Salford, England, as a ‘Merseybeat’ group by Allan Clarke, and Graham Nash. Clarke who sings lead vocals on this track was a member between 1962-1971, briefly leaving to pursue a solo career, before returning in 1973 until departing in 2000. Due to musical differences Nash left in 1968 to form the ‘Supergroup’ Crosby, Stills & Nash (see also best songs 417.) In total there have been 19 different members of The Hollies since their formation. They have released 23 studio Albums in the UK between 1964-2009, while in America there have been 17 releases, often with different titles, and track listings. They have achieved 29 top 40 singles in the UK, including two Number 1 songs, and 22 on Billboard, where ‘Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress’ is their highest charting, reaching Number 2 in 1972. The band was named by the bassist Eric Haydock (1943-2019) who was a member between 1962-1966, in relation to a Christmas holly garland. In a 2009 interview Graham Nash said,’ We called ourselves The Hollies, after Buddy, and Christmas,”

The Air That I Breathe’ was co-written by Albert Hammond, and Mike Hazelwood, (1941-2001) and first recorded by Hammond for his 1972 Album ‘It Never Rains in Southern California.’ The pair had both previously been members of the English Rock band ‘The Family Dogg’ who had a UK Number 6 hit with ‘A Way of Life’ in 1969. Albert Hammond was born on May 18th, 1944, in London, England, he is the father of Albert Hammond Jr. (see also best songs 450.) Hammond is a prolific songwriter, he has co-written four UK Number 1 singles, ‘When I Need You’ with Carole Bayer Sager, (1977 Number 1 for Leo Sayer) ‘Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now’ with Diane Warren, (1987 Number 1 for Starship) ‘One Moment in Time’ with John Bettis, (1988 Number 1 for Whitney Houston) and ‘Don’t Turn Around’ (1988 Number 1 for Aswad.) He also had a solo hit single in the UK in 1973 with the Number 19 hit ‘The Free Electric Band,’ while in America ‘It Never Rains in Southern California reached Number 5 in 1972.

The 1992 song ‘Creep’ by Radiohead (see also best songs 33) borrows very heavily from ‘The Air That I Breathe,’ using a similar chord progression, and sharing some melodic content. This songs publishers sued Radiohead for copyright infringement, and a settlement was reached where Hammond, and Hazelwood were given co-writing credits, as well as a portion of the songs royalties.

‘If I could make a wish I think I’d pass, can’t think of anything I need. No cigarettes, no sleep, no light, no sound, nothing to eat, no books to read.’