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Posted by: In: Other 30 Jun 2022 Comments: 0


170-AC/DC-Highway to Hell.

1979-Number 59 single. The song also reached Number 4 in 2013.

Best Bit-At 0.52. It’s a lot easier travelling down the Highway to Hell than it is climbing the Stairway to Heaven.

AC/DC (see also best songs 797 and 245) were formed in 1973, in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, they remain active with Angus Young now being the bands one constant. With sales in excess of 200 million Albums they are one of the best selling bands of all time. Their discography consists of 18 studio Albums released between 1975-2020, and 48 singles issued between 1974-2021, On the Aria singles chart in Australia 18 of their songs have made the top 40, while in America on Billboard it stands at 3, and in the UK they have charted 21 times. Up until the re-issue of this song in 2013 AC/DC had achieved 20 top 40 hits in the UK without ever reaching the top 10, with ‘Heatseeker’ from 1988 being their highest charting song up until then when making Number 12. AC/DC have never issued an official greatest hits Album, probably because if people want one of their songs, then they will have to go and buy the Album it is featured on.

‘Highway to Hell,’ which also served as the title track to AC/DC’s sixth studio Album from 1979 was co-written by Bon Scott, (1946-1980) Angus Young, and his brother Malcolm Young (1953-2017.) The Album was produced by Mutt Lange, (see also best songs 632-479 and 314) who was hired to give the band a radio friendly sound, which he succeeded in doing, as ‘Highway to Hell’ did finally give them the much sought after commercial breakthrough.

There are two possible explanations as to what inspired the writing of ‘Highway to Hell.’ Angus Young who wrote the tracks acclaimed guitar solo has said that the song is about the gruelling tours the band would undertake in the early days to promote themselves. The other explanation is about the ‘Canning Highway,’ which connects the Perth Kwinana freeway to it’s port Fremantle. This was the road Bon Scott would take when visiting the ‘Raffles Hotel,’ which was a big ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll’ drinking venue. As Caning Highway gets close to the pub it dips in to a steep decline. Many people were killed by driving too fast over the intersection at the top of the hill, and that it is why it is called ‘Highway to Hell.’

‘Highway to Hell’ was the last Album to feature Bon Scott as the lead singer. Scott was born Ronald Belford Scott on July 9th, 1946, in Forfar, Angus, Scotland, he died on February 19th, 1980, from acute alcohol poisoning, which was classified as ‘death by misadventure,’ he was 33 years old. In 1952 Scott moved to Australia with his family where they lived in Melbourne for four years before settling in Fremantle, Western Australia. It was while in Melbourne at primary school that he acquired the nickname ‘Bon,’ because there was another Ronald in the class, so his classmates played on the phrase “Bonnie Scotland”. Bon Scott is considered by some to be the greatest front man in a band of all time.

In the UK in 2013 in an effort to stop the British television talent show ‘X-Factor’ from having yet another Xmas Number 1 song,’Highway to Hell’ was chosen as an alternative, and after a country wide campaign the song peaked at Number 4 on that years Xmas chart, giving AC/DC their highest ever charting single in the UK.

‘No stop signs, speed limit, nobody’s gonna slow me down. Like a wheel, gonna spin it, nobody’s gonna mess me around. Hey Satan, paying my dues, playing in a rocking band.’

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


171-Dusty Springfield-You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me.

1966-Number 1 single.

Best Bit-At 1.08. It was while performing at the 1965 Sanremo Festival that Dusty Springfield first heard this songs melody. She must have thought to herself ‘Mamma Mia, canzone fantastica.’

Dusty Springfield was born Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien on April 16th, 1939, in West Hampstead, London, England, she died of breast cancer on March 2nd, 1999, at the age of 59. She acquired the nickname ‘Dusty’ as a child for playing football with the boys in the street, where she was described as a tomboy. Springfield’s adult image of being a peroxide blonde with a bouffant/beehive hairstyle, heavy makeup, and evening gowns, made her one of the best remembered icons of the ‘Swinging Sixties.’ She was pigeon holed by the music press as a singer of ‘Blue Eyed Soul,’ which is the term used for a white person who performs R&B, and Soul Music. Such was Springfield’s impact on ‘Black’ music in Britain that she is credited in helping popularise the music of ‘Motown,’ and the ‘Northern Soul’ scene, even so not directly involved with either.

Dusty Springfield (see also best songs 882) started her musical career in 1958 as member of ‘The Lana Sisters,’ with whom she released eight non charting singles between 1958-1960. She then joined forces with her brother Tom Springfield, (see also best songs 609) and Tim Field (1934-2016) to form the Folk/Pop group The Springfields, with whom she achieved five UK top 40 singles, and also one in America, before setting out on a solo career in 1963. Dusty Springfield recorded 21 solo studio Albums between 1964-1994, and 69 singles, with this song charting the highest in the UK when making Number 1, while in America on Billboard her 1987 collaboration with the Pet Shop Boys (see also best songs 871 and 378) on ‘What Have I Done to Deserve This?’ charted highest, when reaching Number 2.

In 1965 Dusty Springfield was performing at the annual Sanremo Festival, in Liguria, Italy, where she heard the song ‘Lo che non vivo (senza te’) being performed by one it’s writers Pino Donaggio, and although Springfield didn’t understand the lyrics, she instantly realised the songs hit potential. She had the songs instrumental track recorded, and when back in Britain she approached her friends Vicki Wickham, who was the producer of the Pop music show ‘Ready Steady Go,’ and Simon Napier-Bell (see also best songs 361) who at that time was the manager of The Yardbirds, and the two of them set about writing the English lyrics.

‘You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me’ has been recorded on numerous occasions, and in several different languages, and is reconned to have sold in excess of 80 million copies worldwide. In the UK the song has been a hit on three other occasions, in 1971 Elvis Presley took his version to Number 9, while in 1976 the group ‘Guys ‘N’ Dolls’ reached Number 6, and in 1995 a recording by Denise Welch made Number 23.

‘When I said I needed you, you said you would always stay. It wasn’t me who changed but you, and now you’ve gone away.’

Posted by: In: Other 28 Jun 2022 Comments: 0


172-Vera Lynn-We’ll Meet Again.

1939-It has never charted in the UK, there was no UK chart until 1952.

Best Bit-At 0.30. On the very first UK singles chart issued on November 14th, 1952, Vera Lynn had three of the top 12 singles, ‘Forget Me Not,’ (joint Number 7) ‘The Homing Waltz,’ (Number 9) and ‘Auf Wiederseh’n Sweetheart’ (Number 10.)

Dame Vera Lynn (see also best songs 49) was born Vera Margaret Welch, on March 20th, 1917, in East Ham, Essex, England, she died on June 18th, 2020, at the age of 103. Vera Lynn began performing publicly at the age of seven, and started using her maternal grandmothers maiden name when she was 11. She made her first record on February 17th, 1935, with a song called ‘It’s Home,’ and her first radio broadcast on August 21st, 1935, singing with the Joe Loss Orchestra.

It is for Vera Lynn’s contribution to morale during the Second World War (1939-1945) that she is best remembered. In a pole in 1940 the British newspaper the ‘Daily Express’ asked British servicemen to name their favourite musical performers, Vera Lynn came out on top, and as a result became known as ‘The Forces Sweetheart,’ an honorific title she would be known by for the rest of her life. During the War years she joined the Entertainments National Service Association, (ENSA) and toured Egypt, India and Burma, giving outdoor concerts for British troops, also between 1942-1944 she appeared in three movies, all with war time themes. Vera Lynn was associated with the work of many charities throughout her life, and that along with her contributions to the war effort was recognised in 1969 when she received the ‘Order of the British Empire’, (OBE) and then in 1975, when she was created a ‘Dame of the Order of the British Empire’ (DBE.)

Of all Vera Lynn’s recordings the one she is best remembered for is ‘We’ll Meet Again,’ which was co-written by Ross Parker, (1914-1974) and Hughie Charles, (1907-1995) the track was produced by Norman Keen, who also contributed to the writing of the song. Parker and Charles also co-wrote ‘There’ll Always Be an England’ in 1939, which too became highly popular following the breakout of the Second World War. ‘We’ll Meet Again’ is one of the most famous songs of the Second World War era, and resonated with soldiers going off to fight, and their families, and loved ones. The song is an optimistic message that one day we will meet again, as many soldiers did not survive the war, presumably the meeting again will take place in heaven. In 2009 Vera Lynn spoke about the music she recorded and sang during those war years,’I always tried to choose cheerful songs, that soldiers missing their wives and sweethearts could relate to. We weren’t psychologists, but we understood that it was important to express the right meaning, and we put a lot of effort into getting the songs right.’

‘And I will just say hello to the folks that you know, tell them you won’t be long. They’ll be happy to know that as I saw you go, you were singing this song.’

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


173-UB40-Food for Thought.

1980-Number 4 single.

Best-Bit-At 3.21. It’s a shame that the majority of the general public only really know UB40 for their cover versions, because they made some of the best original Reggae Music ever committed to vinyl (see also best songs 537.)

All three of UB40’s UK Number 1 singles have been cover versions, ‘Red Red Wine,’ (1983) ‘I Got You Babe,’ (1985) and ‘( I Can’t Help) Falling in Love with You’ (1993.) In total UB40 have seen 12 different members come and go, and they remain active, having released 20 studio Albums between 1980-2021, and 62 singles in the same time period. In the UK they have achieved 40 top 40 singles, while in America on the Billboard Hot 100 top 40 they have charted five times, with ‘Red Red Wine,’ and ‘( I Can’t Help) Falling in Love with You,’ both reaching Number 1. In the UK along with ‘Madness,’ (see also best songs 801 and 69) they both share the record for most weeks spent by a group in the top 40 in the 1980’s, with a total of 214 weeks each.

UB40 were formed in Birmingham, England, in 1978, they chose their name in reference to a form issued by the British Government’s department of employment to people claiming unemployment benefits. The designation UB40 stood for ‘U’nemployment ‘B’enefit Form 40’. In order to mark the fact that the group would no longer be claiming benefits, they named their debut Album ‘Signing Off.’

The writing credits for ‘Food for Thought’ are credited to all of the bands members at that time, and was produced by Bob Lamb, who in the 1970’s had been the drummer with the British Rock group the ‘Steve Gibbons Band.’ ‘Food for Thought’ was released as a double ‘A’ side along with ‘King,’ the band thought that ‘King’ would prove the more popular, but it was ‘Food for Thought’ that the radio stations, and club DJ’s picked up on.

The lyrics to ‘Food for Thought’ were written by the brothers Ali and Robin Campbell, with significant input from their father Ian Campbell, (1933-2012) who had been one of the most important figures of the British Folk Music revival during the 1960’s.The lyrics which are often misheard are some of the most harrowing ever to appear on a hit single, having been inspired by the massacre of Kampuchea, which was a state existing from 1975-1979 in what is now Cambodia. It was run by the Khmer Rouge, a Communist group that controlled the state with an iron fist, and murdered all who opposed it. The song is about third world poverty, and the politicians refusal to relieve famine. Robin Campbell wanted to call the song ‘The Christmas Song,’ until one of the bands roadies suggested ‘Food for Thought,’ UB40’s trumpet player Astro (1957-2021) has explained the songs meaning,’The song was basically about the hypocrisy of celebrating Christmas in the West. We’re eating and drinking more than we need. There’s so much surplus food, while millions of Africans were dying of hunger due to famine and third-world poverty. It was shocking. Politicians putting politics before people, leaving them to rely on charitable institutions.’ It has to be remembered that UB40 wrote and recorded ‘Food for Thought’ more than four years before Bob Geldof conceived ‘Band Aid.’ (see also best songs 455.)

‘Ivory Madonna dying in the dust, waiting for the manna coming from the west. Barren is her bosom, empty as her eyes, death a certain harvest scattered from the skies.’

Posted by: In: Other 26 Jun 2022 Comments: 0


174-CeeLo Green-Forget You.

2010-Number 1 single.

Best Bit-At 2.53. Both the explicit version and the clean version tell the same story, but the clean version does it in a more gentlemanly manner.

CeeLo Green was born Thomas DeCarlo Callaway on May 30th, 1975, in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. His first venture in to the music business occurred in 1991 when he was one of the four founding members of Southern Hip-Hop group the ‘Goodie Mo-B,’ Green stayed part of the group until leaving during the recording of their third studio Album ‘World Party’ in 1998, to pursue a solo career. He issued his first two solo Albums in 2002, and 2004, but in between those releases he had met Brian Burton in 2003, who was working under the stage name of ‘Danger Mouse.’ The pair would team up to form ‘Gnarls Barkley,’ releasing two studio Albums in 2006, and 2008, and seven singles, including the critically acclaimed UK Number 1 single, and Billboard Number 2 hit ‘Crazy,’ in 2006. CeeLo Green has since gone on to release a further four studio Albums between 2010-2020, and there has been a total of 39 singles issued between 2002-2020.

‘F..k You,’ or ‘Forget You’ as it is alternatively known, was the first of seven singles released from CeeLo Green’s third solo studio Album ‘The Lady Killer’ from 2010, the song was co-written by Green, along with the songwriting/production team of Bruno Mars, (see also best songs 40) Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine, and Brody Brown, who collectively worked as ‘The Smeezingtons.’ The song has met with great success selling in excess of 6 million copies in America, and has passed the one million mark in the UK.

‘Forget You’ has two meanings according to CeeLo Green, he has explained,’It’s a fictitious account of love lost, but it’s a trial that we’ve all been through some time or another, and I think that’s why people can relate to it. He has also disclosed that the lyrics are also aimed with his then record label, ‘Electra Records,’ and his dispute with them over creative differences.’I did ‘F— You’ to be an a–hole, to be spiteful toward the label, because it had taken about three years to do ‘The Lady Killer’, and I just felt that after recording almost 70 songs I could not please them.’ Bruno Mars has said that when he came up with the piano riff, he thought it was an old Soul riff from the 1960’s, or 1970’s, he said,’I guess I’d know by now if it wasn’t original. When Cee-Lo got in there and sang, we all got the chills.’

‘See you driving ’round town with the girl I love, and I’m like forget you. I guess the change in my pocket wasn’t enough, I’m like forget you, and forget her too.’

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


175-Chic-Good Times

1979-Number 5 single.

Best Bit-At 3.14. I wouldn’t want to embarrass the great man, but it is a fairly well known fact that the legendary BBC Radio 1 DJ Tony Blackburn, when introducing Chic for the first time, referred to them as ‘Chick.’

Bernard Edwards (1952-1996) first met Nile Rogers in 1970 when both were working in New York City, United States, as session musicians, they formed as a duo playing Rock music, and calling themselves ‘The Boys,’ which would later become ‘The Big Apple Band.’ The duo first tasted chart success when joining the Soul group ‘New York City,’ and playing on their 1973 hit ‘I’m Doing Fine Now’ (Billboard Number 17 and UK Number 20 hit.) It was after the artist Walter Murphy and the Big Apple Band had a 1976 hit with ‘A Fifth of Beethoven’ that Edwards and Rogers changed their stage name to ‘Chic,’ as to avoid confusion. Rogers chose the name ‘Chic’ after watching Brian Ferry perform live (see also best songs 721-316 and 57.) The original line up of Chic was completed in 1976 with the addition of Tony Thompson, (1954-2003) (drums) and the two female vocalists, Norma Jean Wright, and Luci Martin. Chic would remain active until 1983, but different line ups have performed as Chic between 1990-1992, and again from 1996 to the present day, with Nile Rogers being the bands one constant. They have issued nine studio Albums between 1977-2018, and 22 singles, with ‘Le Freak,’ and Good Times’ both reaching Number 1 on Billboard in America. In the UK their highest charting song is ‘I Want Your Love,’ which made Number 4 in 1978.

‘Good Times’ was co-written and co-produced by Bernie Edwards and Nile Rogers, and was the first single released from Chic’s third studio Album ‘Risque’ from 1979. ‘Good Times’ has become one of the most sampled, and influential songs in Pop Music history. The first ever Rap record to be a major hit,’Rappers Delight’ (see also best songs 17) borrows heavily from it, as does one of ‘Hip-Hop’s’ most influential songs,’The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel,’ by Grandmaster Flash (see also best songs 87.)

With ‘Good Times’ being a ‘Disco’ record, you could be forgiven for thinking that the songs message is about going out and dancing, but Nile Rogers who wrote the lyrics has stated that ‘These Great Depression-era lyrics were used as a hidden way to comment on the then current economic conditions in the United States.’ Rogers has also admitted referencing lyrics from Milton Ager’s 1929 song ‘Happy Days Are Here Again,’ and Harry Warren and Al Dubin’s 1935 song ‘About a Quarter to Nine.’ Nile Rogers has also stated that the 1974 song by Kool & The Gang ‘Hollywood Swinging’ was a major influence on ‘Good Times.’ Robert ‘Spike’ Mickens who died in 2010, was a member of Kool & The Gang, and was the cousin of Nile Rogers.

Happy days are here again, the time is right for makin’ friends. Let’s get together, how ’bout a quarter to ten, come tomorrow, let’s all do it again.’

Posted by: In: Other 24 Jun 2022 Comments: 0


176-The Isley Brothers-Summer Breeze.

1974-Number 16 single.

Best Bit-At 4.18. After all these years of listening to the song, I have finally got around to googling what a ‘Jasmine’ is.

The original version of ‘Summer Breeze’ was written and recorded by Jim Seals, (1942-2022) and Darrell ‘Dash’ Croft in 1972, who performed as the American Soft Rock duo ‘Seals and Croft.’ They achieved the first of their eight Billboard Hot 100 top 40 singles when ‘Summer Breeze’ reached Number 6. Their version was also successful in Australia where it made Number 16, but in the UK the duo never made the top 40 with any of their songs. Prior to joining forces both Seals and Croft had both been members of the American Rock band the ‘Champs,’ this was after the group had reached Number 1 on Billboard in 1958 with ‘Tequila.’ Another member of the ‘Champs’ was the future Country Music star Glen Campbell, (1936-2017) (see also best songs 846 and 197) in 1963 Seals and Croft, and Campbell all left the ‘Champs’ to form the new, but short lived group ‘Glen Campbell and the GC’s.’ Seals and Croft finally became a duo in 1969, and performed for the final time together in 2004, having issued 17 official Albums.

In 1973 The Isley Brothers (see also best songs 823-681-508 and 382) recorded ‘Summer Breeze’ for what was to become their critically acclaimed 11th studio Album ‘3+ 3.’ The Album was the first official collaboration between three of the original founding members of The Isley Brothers, O’Kelly, (1937-1986) Rudolph, and Ronald Isley, who joining forces with their younger brothers Ernie, and Marvin, (1953-2010) and their brother-in-law Chris Jasper, whose older sister Elaine is married to Rudolph Isley. This line up of The Isley Brothers performed and recorded together until 1983, issuing 12 studio Albums. In total the discography of The Isley Brother consists of 31 studio Albums released between 1959-2015, and 111 singles issued between 1957-2021.

The Isley Brothers released their version of ‘Summer Breeze’ as the third and final single from ‘3+3’ in 1974, and although it made Number 16 in the UK, it only made Number 60 in the States, with the probable explanation being it’s proximity to the Seals and Croft hit version. Ernie Isley who was the guitarist on ‘Summer Breeze’ has received critical acclaim for his playing on the track, with many comparing him to Jimi Hendrix, (1942-1970) (see also best songs 983 and 492) in March 1964, Jimi Hendrix had recorded his first ever single called ‘Testify’ with The Isley Brothers,

‘Sweet days of summer, the Jasmine’s in bloom, July is dressed up and playing her tune. And I come home from a hard day’s work, And you’re waiting there, not a care in the world.’

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


177-Tubeway Army-Are ‘Friends’ Electric.

1979-Number 1 single.

Best Bit-At 0.01. Two UK Number 1 singles to date have been banned from airplay while holding the top spot, ‘Je t’aime moi non plus’ by Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin from 1969, (see also best songs 467) and ‘Relax’ by Frankie Goes To Holywood from 1983. Had the powers in charge known what this song was really about, then there would have been three.

Gary Anthony James Webb (see also best songs 772 and 232) was born on March 8th, 1958, in London, England. He has sold in excess of 10 million records, and was at the height of his success in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, he continues to have a cult following to this day. His use of the synthesizer was groundbreaking in the late 1970’s, and helped to pave the way for acts such as Depeche Mode and Tears for Fears in the 1980’s, and artists from the 1990’s such as Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson have also cited Numan as a major influence.

‘Are ‘Friends’ Electric’ was the breakthrough hit for Gary Numan, and was first released on Numan’s second studio Album ‘Replicas’ from April 1979. At that time Numan was releasing music with the other members of his band under the name ‘Tubeway Army,’ but the Album, and this song were all written and produced by Numan, who would work under the name of Gary Numan on his next, and subsequent releases, although he continued to work with some of the musicians that had made up Tubeway Army.

At the time of recording ‘Are ‘Friends’ Electric,’ Gary Numan was a big fan of science fiction, and the song is heavily influenced by the writers Philip K. Dick, (1928-1982) and William S. Burroughs (1914-1997.) Numan let his imagination run wild, he would write short stories and then set them to music.’Are ‘Friends’ Electric’ is about a robot prostitute, it is set in a future world, and is about man living with robots, and how you can lock yourself away in a dark room away from any other humans. As a teenager Numan had been diagnosed with ‘Asperger’s Syndrome,’ and many of his songs deal with themes of technology and isolation. Gary Numan has spoken about the song,’It was a futurist version of getting pornography in the post, what comes in a brown envelope so your neighbours don’t know what it is. These machines that look human are doing various services in these grey coats, and they all look the same. If the BBC had known what it was about they would never have played it, they would never have let me go on Top of the Pops, thumbs up for obscure lyrics.’

Gary Numan and Tubeway Army had started out life as a ‘Punk Rock’ group, and the debut Album written by Numan can be filed under the genre of ‘Post-punk.’ It was quite by chance that Numan completely changed his musical path for his second and subsequent Albums, on discovering the ‘Moog Synthesizer,’ he has said, ‘I remember it clearly, I had been sent to a studio by (my label) Beggars to record my first Album., it was going to be a Punk Album, and we were going to play the songs live, But as soon as I walked into the control room, there was a mini Moog. I had never seen one before, I just thought it was the coolest looking thing, just fantastic, quite, quite small. Apparently, a company was going to come pick it up but the man said I could try it out until they came to collect it but they never turned up. I had this thing for the whole day and it was the most amazing experience. Very luckily, it had been left on that sound which had become famous, a huge big bottom bass roar. It was just huge, I didn’t know how to set it up. All I did was press a key and the room shook, and I just thought, “F–k me! That’s the most amazing thing I’d ever heard! The power!’ Imagine, if the sound had been something that went ping, I would’ve thought, ‘This is rubbish,’ and none of this success would’ve ever happened to me, so much of this was luck.”

‘It’s cold outside, and the paint’s peeling off of my walls. There’s a man outside, in a long coat, grey hat, smoking a cigarette.’

Posted by: In: Other 22 Jun 2022 Comments: 0


178-Edith Piaf-Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien

1960-It has never charted in the UK.

Best Bit-At 1.47. ‘Formidable.’

Edith Piaf was born Edith Giovanna Gassion on December 19th, 1915, in Paris, France, she died on October 10th, 1963, at the age of 47, from liver failure, die to liver cancer and cirrhosis, although no autopsy was ever performed. Piaf had been an alcoholic for many years, and was also taking large amounts of medications for rheumatoid arthritis, and insomnia.

Edith Piaf was discovered singing in the Pigalle area of Paris in 1935 by the nightclub owner Louis Leplee (1883-1936) who also gave her her stage name Piaf, which is Paris Slang for ‘The Little Sparrow,’ Piaf stood at only 142 centimetres (4 feet and 8 inches tall.) During her lifetime Piaf became one of France’s most celebrated singers, and since her death her legend has grown even further, with several biographies and films written about her very colourful life. Piaf recorded dozens of songs between 1933-1963, including one her her signature songs ‘La Vie en rose in 1964, to which she wrote the lyrics.

‘Non Je Ne Regrette Rien,’ which in English translates as ‘No I regret nothing,’ was co-written by Charles Dumont who wrote the melody, and Michel Vaucaire, (1904-1980) who provided the lyrics. Dumont and Vaucaire had written the song in slightly different form in 1956, with the French singer Rosalie Dubois in mind, but after that didn’t come to fruition they modified the song with Edith Piaf now in mind. The story goes that Dumont and Vaucaire visited Piaf’s home on October 24th, 1960, where she received them in a very impolite and unfriendly manner. She was furious that her housekeeper Danielle had arranged a meeting with the two men without informing her, so she left them waiting an hour in her living room before she appeared. ‘As you can see I am extremely tired,’ she said to them, very irritated,’Hurry up only one song! Quick to the piano, go ahead,’ she commanded. Nervous and perspiring Dumont sang the song in a low voice. When he finished there was a big silence, as they waited for Piaf’s verdict.Will you sing it again?’ asked Piaf in a sharp voice. When he was hardly half way through, she interrupted him,’Formidable, this is the song I have been waiting for, it will be my biggest success.’

Piaf dedicated her recording of the song to the French Foreign Legion who at the time of recording were engaged in the Algerian War (1954-1962.) The song has since been adopted by the Foreign Legion, and is now sung when the soldiers are on parade. ‘Non, je ne regrette rien’ has been recorded by many artists down the years, and I highly recommend you take time to listen to the English language recording by Shirley Bassey (see also best songs 441) entitled ‘No Regrets,’ which when released as a single in the UK in 1965 reached Number 39.

‘Non, rien de rien, Non, je ne regrette rien. Ni le bien qu’on m’a fait. Ni le mal, tout ça m’est bien égal. Non, rien de rien.’

Posted by: In: Other 21 Jun 2022 Comments: 0


179-Rod Stewart-Sailing.

1975-Number 1 single. It was re-issued in 1976, and reached Number 3.

Best Bit-At 3.46. Rod has absolutely no chance of getting in to the Navy until he gets his hair cut.

‘Sailing’ was written in 1972 by Gavin Sutherland who was one half of The Sutherland Brothers with his brother Iain Sutherland (1948-2019.) (see also best songs 697) The Sutherland Brothers were the first to record ‘Sailing,’ which reached Number 54 in the UK in July 1972. In the UK The Sutherland Brothers are best remembered for their 1976 Number 5 hit ‘Arms of Mary,’ while in America they are known for the 1973 Billboard Number 48 song ‘(I Don’t Want To Love You But) You Got Me Anyway.’

Rod Stewart (see also best songs 965-565-206-70 and 34) first got to know about The Sutherland Brothers after Dee Harrington his girlfriend at the time saw them perform on the BBC television programme ‘The Old Grey Whistle Test,’ on June 20th, 1972. Stewart then went to see them play live at the ‘Marquee Club’ in London, and then went on to work with the brothers on two new songs for his forthcoming Album ‘Atlantic Crossing,’ but in the end neither song was used.

‘Sailing’ was the first single released from Rod Stewart’s sixth solo studio Album ‘Atlantic Crossing’ from 1975, and was produced by Tom Dowd (1925-2002) (see also best songs 475.) The impressive list of musicians who played on ‘Sailing,’ or ‘Atlantic Crossing’ include members of Booker T & the M.G.’s, (see also best songs 906) and The Memphis Horns. ‘Sailing’ is Rod Stewart’s best ever selling single, with sales in excess of 1.2 million copies in the UK. The song went to Number 1 on it’s initial release in 1975. and then in 1976 the song re-entered the UK top 40, and reached Number 3 after being used as the theme song for ‘Sailor,’ a documentary series on the ‘HMS Arc Royal, aired on BBC 1. In America on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart ‘Sailing’ made little impact as the Albums lead single, only making a disappointing Number 58 placing.

It will come as a surprise to many to find out what the true meaning of ‘Sailing’ actually is, the songs writer Gavin Sutherland has explained.’Most people take the song to be about a young guy telling his girl that he’s crossing the Atlantic to be with her. In fact it’s an account of mankind’s spiritual odyssey through life on his way to freedom and fulfilment with the ‘Supreme Being.’

‘Can you hear me, can you hear me, Through the dark night, far away. I am dying, forever crying, To be with you, who can say.’