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Posted by: In: Other 14 Aug 2022 Comments: 0


128-N.W.A.-F..k tha Police.

1988-It has never charted in the UK.

Best Bit-At 1.48. Don’t worry, this has nothing to do with Andy, Stuart, and Sting, they are completely innocent.

N.W.A. (see also best songs 564) which is an abbreviation for ‘Niggaz Wit Attitudes’ were formed in Compton, California, United States, in 1987, and remained active until 1991. Although they only ever released two studio Albums, 1988’s ‘Straight Outta Compton,’ and 1991’s ‘Niggaz4Life’ they are considered one of the most influential groups in the history of ‘Hip-Hop’ music, particularly in the genre of ‘Gangsta Rap.’ The discography of N.W.A. also consists of six official compilation Albums, and eight singles issued between 1987-1999. In America on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart their only top 40 entry was ‘Straight Outta Compton’ which made Number 38 in 1988, while in the UK they have charted twice, with ‘Express Yourself’ making Number 26 in 1989, and ‘100 Miles and Runnin’ reaching Number 38 in 1990.

‘F..k tha Police’ was co-written by N.W.A. members Ice Cube, (see also best songs 681) and MC Ren, along with a collaboration with the American producer ‘The D.O.C.’, the track was produced by the the group members Dr Dre, (see also best songs 664-544-482-189 and 48) and DJ Yella, and is the second of the 13 tracks on their debut studio Album ‘Straight Outta Compton’ from 1988. ‘F..k tha Police’ is a protest song, the lyrics protest about police brutality, and ‘racial profiling,’ with the song becoming one of the most controversial in the history of Pop music.

Such was the uproar on the songs release that it led to the assistant director of the ‘F.B.I.’ Milt Ahlerrich writing a letter to N.W.A.’s record label ‘Ruthless Records,’ in response to the songs message. Ahlerrich claimed N.W.A. were advocating violence and disrespect towards the law. Ice Cube who wrote the majority of the songs lyrics has said that he was an angry young man when he wrote the song, and that he was simply lashing out at the problem of police brutality without understanding it or offering solutions. “It was easy for me to say, ‘F–k the police, f–k everything, f–k the world,’ but that’s not going to help you,” he said. ‘What’s going to help you is for me to say, ‘F–k the police, and here’s how,’ or to be the example of how to get out of the hood.’

In response to the letter from the ‘F.B.I.’ MC Ren of N.W.A. responded with,’ The FBI claim that ‘F–k tha Police’ incites violence and has been responsible for the death of police officers is bulls..t. There was violence long before N.W.A. came along, the same as there was profanity, and there’ll be violence and profanity long after we’ve gone. If the F.B.I. are looking for a cause of violence, they should take note of what’s on TV.’ Although no radio stations would play the song, all of the publicity gained by the ‘F.B.I’s involvement helped pushed sales of the Album ‘Straight Outta Compton,’ which has currently sold in excess of 3 million copies in the United States.

‘Right about now N.W.A. court is in full effect. Judge Dre presiding in the case of N.W.A. versus the police department. Prosecuting attorney’s are MC Ren, Ice Cube, and Eazy muthaf…in E. Order order order, Ice Cube take the muthaf…in stand.’

Posted by: In: Other 13 Aug 2022 Comments: 0


129-Tom Jones-It’s Not Unusual.

1965-Number 1 single.

Best Bit-At 1.16. At the height of Tom Jones’ fame his female fans would throw their knickers onto the stage while he performed, nowadays the same fans throw their bloomers.

Tom Jones (see also best songs 964) was born Thomas John Woodward on June 7th, 1940, in Treforest, Pontypridd, Wales, he was given his stage name by his then manager Gordon Mills (1935-1986) to exploit the popularity of the Acadamy Award winning 1963 film ‘Tom Jones.’ In 1998 he was awarded an ‘OBE,’ and in 2005 he was ‘knighted’ by the Queen, on both occasions for his services to music. With record sales in excess of 100 million he is one of the worlds best selling artists of all time, he has also appeared as an actor in films, and had his own television show ‘This Is Tom Jones,’ which ran for 65 episodes between 1969-1971. In 1967 he first performed in Las Vegas, and went back there for at least a one week residency every year through until 2011. The discography of Tom Jones consists of 40 studio Albums released between 1965-2021, and 126 single issued between 1964-2021. In the UK, 38 of his singles have reached the top 40, with three of those making Number 1, while in America on the Billboard Hot 100 top 40, he has charted on 18 occasions, with ‘She’s a Lady’ from 1971 charting the highest when reaching Number 2.

It’s Not Unusual’ was the second single released by Tom Jones, and his first to reach the singles chart, it was taken from his debut studio Album ‘Along Came Jones (It’s Not Unusual,’) which was released two months after ‘It’s Not Unusual’ had made Number 1 in the UK in May 1965. The song was co-written by Les Reed, (1935-2019) and Gordon Mills, (1935-1986) and was produced by Peter Sullivan (1933-2020.) Les Reed OBE was a prolific songwriter, who wrote or co-wrote 60 hit singles, including three UK Number 1’s, the other two being ‘The Last Waltz’ for Engelbert Humperdinck in 1967, and ‘I Pretend’ for Des O’Connor in 1968. Reed was also the co-writer of the Leeds United football club anthem ‘Marching On Together,’ which was released as a ‘B’ side in 1972, but when re-issued as a ‘A’ side in 2010, made Number 10 in the UK singles chart. The songs other writer Gordon Mills would remain Tom Jones’ manager until his death in 1986, when Jones’ son Mark took over as his new manager, Mark had been born in 1956 when Tom Jones was only 16 years old. Gordon Mills was also the manager of both Engelburt Humperdinck, and Gilbert O’Sullivan, (see also best songs 949 and 111) and had also given both those artists their stage names as well.

Les Reed and Gordon Mills had written ‘It’s Not Unusual’ with the intention of having it recorded by Sandie Shaw (see also best songs 902) as her next single. Tom Jones had been brought in to demo the song, but after hearing Jones singing it Shaw suggested it should be Jones’ song. Tom Jones has said,’I did the demo on this song when it was being offered to Sandie Shaw. I was just starting out and, God bless her, she said: ‘Whoever’s singing this, it’s his song.’ Finding great new songs is never easy, and back in those days, finding one that would fit me, the way I felt and sang anyway was difficult. I’m indebted to Sandie for being so generous.’

‘It’s not unusual to be loved by anyone, it’s not unusual to have fun with anyone. But when I see you hanging about with anyone, it’s not unusual to see me cry, oh I want to’ die.’

Posted by: In: Other 12 Aug 2022 Comments: 0


130-Al Stewart-Year of the Cat.

1976-Number 31 single.

Best Bit-At 5.34. From my interpretation of the song lyrics it should be ‘Year of the Fox-y Lady.’

Al Stewart was born Alastair Ian Stewart on September 5th, 1945, in Greenock, Scotland, although he was born in Glasgow he grew up in Wimborne, Dorset, England. Stewart is a singer/songwriter, and his music includes Folk/Rock, Psychedelic Rock, and Soft Rock. He has released 16 studio Albums between 1967-2008, and 22 singles between 1966-2005. Two of his studio Albums have reached the Billboard Hot 200 chart top 10 in America, while his only charting single on either side of the Atlantic is this one. Stewart was one of the artists who played at the first ever ‘Glastonbury Festival’ in 1970, playing to around 1000 ‘hippies’ who paid £1 entrance fee each.

‘Year of the Cat’ is also the title track of Al Stewart’s seventh studio Album from 1976, and was was co-written by Stewart and Peter Wood, (1950-1993) and produced by Alan Parsons, the Album has gone on to sell in excess of 1 million copies worldwide, with the song ‘Year of the Cat’ becoming a staple of ‘AOR’ radio stations. Peter Wood whose name was added to the songwriting credits by Stewart had been a member of the Scottish Rock group ‘Quiver’ (see also best songs 697.) Stewart recalled that he was opening for Linda Ronstadt during a 1975 tour of the United States when he heard Peter Wood using a catchy chord progression during soundchecks, Stewart incorporated the notes into the melodic line of ‘Year of the Cat.’

The ‘Year of the Cat’ was produced by Alan Parsons OBE who was born on December 20th, 1948, in Willesden, London, England, at the age of 18 in 1967 he earned his first credit as the assistant engineer on the Beatles Album ‘Abbey Road,’ he would then go onto engineer for ‘Wings,’ the ‘Hollies,’ and ‘Pink Floyd’s’ ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ Album. Parsons then went onto produce ‘January,’ the 1975 UK Number 1 single by the Scottish group ‘Pilot,’ as well as two Albums for Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, which included their 1975 UK Number 1 single ‘Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me’) Also in 1975 Parsons created ‘The Alan Parsons Project,’ releasing 11 Albums in it’s 15 year career.

Al Stewart has explained the songs meaning,’It’s about a business man who is extremely busy flying to a destination in the Far East when his plane has an unscheduled stop. He leaves the plane along with other passengers. He succumbs to this beautiful woman, he stays the night with her and by the time he wakes he realises the plane has gone and will not be back for some considerable time. His life has changed, it’s not a decision he would have planned but it’s a good turn in his life events, that time coinciding with the year of the cat.’ Incidentally the ‘Cat’ is one of the 12 signs of the Vietnamese Zodiac, it corresponds to that of the ‘Rabbit’ in the Chinese Zodiac.’ Al Stewart wrote the song in 1975, which was the year of the cat.

‘She comes out of the sun in a silk dress running, like a watercolour in the rain. Don’t bother asking for explanations, she’ll just tell you that she came, in the year of the cat.’

Posted by: In: Other 11 Aug 2022 Comments: 0


131-Lou Reed-Perfect Day.

1972-Number 10 single. It was issued as a double ‘A’ side with ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ (see also best songs 58.)

Best Bit-At 2.47. This is highly ‘addictive,’ a few plays and you will be ‘hooked.’

Lou Reed was born Lewis Allan Reed on March 2nd, 1942, in New York City, United States, he died on October 27th, 2013, from liver cancer at the age of 71, for the full solo discography of Lou Reed, and also his recordings with ‘The Velvet Underground’ see best songs 58. Lou Reed is considered to be one of the most influential artists in the history of Pop Music, with many of the all time greats including David Bowie (1947-2016) acknowledging his influence. Lou Reed suffered with many demons during his lifetime, which included drug dependency, alcoholism, and his sexuality, all of these would regularly be subjects in his songs. Although his work with The Velvet Underground (see also best songs 219 and 165) was critically acclaimed and had a cult following, it wasn’t until later years that it became appreciated by the wider general public, and it was the making of Reed’s second solo studio Album ‘Transformer’ in 1972, from where this song is taken, that turned him into a household name, and finally brought him full recognition.

‘Perfect Day’ was written by Lou Reed, and produced by David Bowie, (see also best songs 807-440-334-302-209-186-118-47-31 and 5) and Mick Ronson (1946-1993) (see also best songs 661-405 and 58) who was a member of Bowie’s backing band ‘The Spiders from Mars’ at that time. Bowie added a much more commercial sound to the music of Lou Reed that had not been there before, and Ronson arranged the strings, and was the primary session musician on the Album, contributing guitar, piano, and backing vocals.

There has always been speculation as to what ‘Perfect Day’ is really about, with many thinking that the subject matter is ‘Heroin,’ while others think it’s just Lou Reed enjoying a good day out. The drug interpretation according to the songs author Lou Reed himself is ‘laughable.’ In an interview in 2000 Reed said,’Your talking to the writer, the person who wrote it. No, that’s not true, (that the song is about Heroin use) I don’t object to that, particularly…what you think is perfect, but this guy’s vision of a perfect day was the girl, Sangria, in the park, and then you go home, real simple. I meant just what I said.’

In 1996 the song was brought to the attention of a whole new generation when it was featured in the film ‘Trainspotting,’ in the scene where the character ‘Renton’ overdoses on Heroin. In 1997 ‘Perfect Day’ was re-recorded by Lou Reed, where he was joined by many artists from the world of entertainment, who each sang sections of the song separately for an advertisement to promote the diverse musical output provided by the ‘BBC.’ This proved so popular that it was chosen for release as a single for that years ‘Children in Need’ charity song. It went on to spend three non consecutive weeks at Number 1 in the UK, and raised in excess of £2,000,000 for charity. Some of the artists who appeared on the new recording included David Bowie, Bono, and Elton John. The Jazz saxophonist Courtney Pine provided the instrumental break, and Reed’s then girlfriend and future wife ‘Laurie Anderson appears in the songs video which was commissioned by the BBC.

‘Perfect Day’ maybe about enjoying your day, but towards the end of the song Reed adds a very sombre note when he sings,’You’re gonna reap just what you sow.’ This alludes to St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians 6:7 in the New Testament, which reads, ‘Be not deceived, God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.’

‘Oh, it’s such a perfect day, I’m glad I spent it with you. Oh, such a perfect day, you just keep me hanging on, you just keep me hanging on.’

Posted by: In: Other 10 Aug 2022 Comments: 0


132-Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto and Astrud Gilberto-The Girl from Ipanema.

1963-The original Album version has never been issued as a single in the UK, but an edited version removing the Portuguese sung lyrics by Joao Gilberto, and just featuring the vocals of Astrud Gilberto reached Number 29 in 1964.

Best Bit-At 2.35. The songs writers got their inspiration for the song from watching bikini clad girls walking along Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil…..they must have had very understanding wives.

It is believed that after the Beatles song ‘Yesterday’ (see also best songs 319) that the worlds most covered song by other artists is this one, with the very first recording being by the Brazilian singer Pery Ribeiro (1937-2012) for his 1963 Album ‘Pery e toda bossa.’ ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ (‘Garota de Ipanema’) was written in 1962 by Antonio Carlos Jobim, (1927-1994) who wrote the music, and Vinicius de Moraes (1913-1980) who wrote the lyrics. The lyrics were translated into English shortly after by Norman Gimbel, (1927-2018) who was a prolific lyricist. Among his other highlights are writing the English lyrics to the Mexican song ‘Sway,’ which found great success in 1954 when covered by Dean Martin, (UK Number 6, and Billboard Number 15.)

Antonio Carlos Jobim who wrote the music for ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ is credited with being the primary force behind the creation of the style of music that is known as ‘Bossa nova,’ earning him the honorific title of the ‘Father of Bossa nova,’ and it was this song that brought the genre to the attention of an international audience. It was the collaboration between Joao Gilberto, (1931-2019) and the American Jazz Saxophonist Stan Getz (1927-1991) that brought about the recording of the critically acclaimed landmark groundbreaking ‘Bossa nova/Jazz Album’ ‘Getz/Gilberto,’ from where the original version of ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ can be found. It was during a recording session in New York that it was decided to record a version of ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ in English, and it was suggested that Joao’s wife Astrud Gilberto who was fluent in English should have a go at the vocals, which proved to be a perfect fit. Astrud Gilberto would go on to record 16 studio Albums between 1964-2002, she has also released 16 singles between 1963-2010, recording in a variety of different languages.

Ipanema is a fashionable neighbourhood located in the southern region of the city of Rio de Janeiro, it was there that this song was inspired by Heloisa Pinto who was at the time a 17 year old girl, who would walk daily past the Velosa cafe bar, someday’s stopping to buy cigarettes for her mother, and leaving to the sound of wolf whistles, it was in the winter of 1962 that the songs composers saw the girl pass by the bar. Pinto has claimed to be the first person on the beach to wear a two piece bathing suit, in later life she opened a boutique in Sao Paulo, calling it ‘Garota de Ipanema’ (‘Girl from Ipanema.’)

The legacy of ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ was acknowledged at the ‘2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympics’ held in Rio de Janeiro, when the Olympics mascots were named ‘Vinicius and Tom,’ after the songs two writers. Also during the Olympics opening ceremony Jobim’s grandson Daniel performed ‘The Girl from Ipanema,’ which also featured an appearance by the Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen walking across the stadium, portraying ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ in a gold sequin gown and 5 inch stilettos.

‘Tall and tan and young and lovely the girl from Ipanema goes walking, and when she passes, each one she passes goes-ah. When she walks, she’s like a samba that swings so cool and sways so gentle, that when she passes, each one she passes goes-ah.’

Posted by: In: Other 09 Aug 2022 Comments: 0


133-Doors-Riders on the Storm.

1971-Number 22 single.

Best Bit-At 2.47. I am a great believer that the vast majority of artists have done their best work by the age of 30, unfortunately we will never know what Jim Morrison would have recorded in those three precious years he never had.

James Douglas Morrison (see also best songs 235) was born on December 8th,, 1943, in Melbourne, Florida, United States, he died on July 3rd, 1971, in Paris, France, at the age of 27 (see also best songs 806.) He was found dead in the bath in his rented apartment by his long term girlfriend Pamela Courson, (1946-1974) the official cause of death was listed as heart failure although no autopsy was performed, as it was not required by French law, Morrison had struggled with alcohol and drug addiction for many years.

‘Riders on the Storm’ was the second and final single released from the Doors sixth studio Album ‘L.A. Woman’ from 1971, with all four band members, John Densmore, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek, (1939-2013) and Jim Morrison all receiving the song writing credits. The Album was produced by Bruce Botnick who had engineered on all of the five previous Doors Albums, and had been promoted due to Paul A. Rothchild, (1935-1995) who had produced all five of the Doors Albums previously, not being happy with the direction the band were going in with their music, calling ‘Love Her Madly’ (a track on L.A. Woman) ‘cocktail music.’

‘Riders on the Storm’ is about many facets of Morrison’s life. In 1962 when Morrison was attending University in Tallahassee, Florida, he would often hitchhike to ‘Clearwater’, which was some 280 miles away in order to see his then girlfriend Mary Werbelow, this was often risky as he never knew what car or truck he was getting into. Morrison had also been inspired to write the brooding lyrics after reading about the mass murderer Billy Cook (1928-1952) who had murdered six people, including a family of five after he had posed as a hitchhiker in 1950. The lyrics ‘Girl you gotta love your man,’ are a plea from Morrison to his then girlfriend Pamela Courson to stand by him.

Prior to writing the lyrics for ‘Riders on the Storm,’ Morrison had written a screenplay called ‘HWY: An American Pastoral,’ which was heavily influenced by the story of Billy Cook. In 1969 Morrison made a short experimental road movie with filmmakers which he appeared in, in the movie Morrison played the hitchhiker who kills a man who stops to give him a ride, an event directly referenced in ‘Riders on the Storm.’

The song also evolved out of a jam session when the band were playing the 1948 Stan Jones (1914-1963) Country and Western song ‘(Ghost) Riders in the Sky: A Cowboy Legend,’ which gave Morrison the idea for the title ‘Riders on the Storm.’ The song was the very last one that Jim Morrison worked on before leaving for France where he died around six months later. His final contribution to the song has been explained by fellow band member Ray Manzarek,’There’s a whisper voice on ‘Riders on the Storm,’ if you listen closely, a whispered overdub that Jim adds beneath his vocal. That’s the last thing he ever did. An ephemeral, whispered overdub.’ Manzarek has also said,’He (Morrison) didn’t want the song to be just about a killer hitchhiker. The last verse, ‘The world on you depends, our life will never end/You gotta love your man’ – it becomes a very spiritual song. You won’t still occupy this body, but the essential life will never end, and love is the answer to all things. It gives the song a different perspective.’

‘Take him by the hand, make him understand. The world on you depends, our life will never end. Gotta love your man, yeah, riders on the storm.’

Posted by: In: Other 07 Aug 2022 Comments: 0


134-Depeche Mode-Blasphemous Rumours.

1984-Number 16 single.

Best Bit-At 1.44. Those with faith will have to accept any situation that occurs, and still believe.

Depeche Mode (see also best songs 968 and 261) were formed in Basildon, Essex, England, in 1980, they are still active with only Martin Gore, and Dave Gahan being the current members, after the death of Andy Fletcher (1961-2022.) Depeche Mode who have sold in excess of 100 million records worldwide have released 14 studio Albums between 1981-2017, and 55 singles in the same time period. Their most successful Album is 1990’s ‘Violator’ which was Number 1 in both the UK and the United States, and has sold in excess of 7.5 million copies to date. In the UK, Depeche Mode have achieved 43 top 40 singles, with ‘People Are People,’ (1984) ‘Barrell of a Gun,’ (1997) and ‘Precious,’ (2005) all peaking at Number 4. In America on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart they have charted on six occasions, with ‘Enjoy the Silence’ (1990) peaking the highest at Number 8.

‘Blasphemous Rumours’ was the 12th UK single release from Depeche Mode, and was the third single released from their fourth studio Album ‘Some Great Reward’ from 1984. ‘Blasphemous Rumours’ was written by Martin Gore, with the vocals provided by Dave Gahan, the production is credited to Depeche Mode, along with Daniel Miller, and Gareth Jones. Miller and Jones have both worked with Depeche Mode on many of their other Albums, and it was Miller who as the owner of ‘Mute Records’ who signed Depeche Mode to the label in 1980.

Dave Gahan was born David Callcott on May 9th, 1962, in Epping, Essex, England, he first met Martin Gore, Andy Fletcher, and Vince Clarke (see also best songs 700 and 451) in 1980 when they were called ‘Composition of Sound,’ it was Gahan who suggested the change of name to Depeche Mode. Away from Depeche Mode Gahan has released two solo studio Albums in 2003, and 2007, and also has worked on three Albums with the English ‘Alternative Rock/Electronica’ duo ‘Soulsavers’ on three of their studio Albums.

On the news that Depeche Mode were going to issue ‘Blasphemous Rumours’ as a single there was somewhat of an uproar, with some thinking it was over stepping the line, so in order to compromise the band agreed to also issue ‘Somebody,’ which is another track from ‘Some Great Reward,’ as their first ‘double ‘A’ side’ release. In the UK ‘Blasphemous Rumours’ was considered too anti-religious to be broadcast during the daytime by the ‘BBC,’ and other organisations as well. The song tells of a 16 year old girl who attempts suicide but fails, over the course of the next two years she turns to God, but is hit by a car, and ends up on a life support machine, and eventually dies. Of the song Dave Gahan has said,’I’m by the way not anti- religious at all. I only oppose a certain kind of religion that was forced upon me when I was young. The song only wants to say that no one should let someone force anything upon him. Whether it’s politics or something else, that doesn’t matter. You have to choose yourself what you wanna do with your life, and dare to take risks. That’s what Depeche Mode did too, and everything turned out quite good for us, didn’t it?’

‘Girl of sixteen, whole life ahead of her, slashed her wrists bored with life. Didn’t succeed, thank the Lord for small mercies.’

Posted by: In: Other 06 Aug 2022 Comments: 0


135-Led Zeppelin-Whole Lotta Love.

1969-It was never originally released as a single in the UK until 1997 when a 4:50 edit was issued to celebrate the band’s 30th anniversary, and then it reached Number 21.

Best Bit At-0.01. A cover version by the Rock group ‘C.C.S.’ was used by the BBC’s flagship music programme ‘Top of the Pops’ between 1970-1977, and again from 1998-2003. The song would play over the opening titles as that weeks current top 40 chart singles rundown was shown, which is ironic because Led Zeppelin refused to release singles in the UK.

Led Zeppelin (see also best songs 66) were formed in London, England, in 1968 by Robert Plant, (lead vocals) Jimmy Page, (guitars) John Paul Jones, (bass and keyboards) and John Bonham, (1948-1980) (drums) with records sold said to be anywhere between 200 to 300 million, Led Zeppelin are one of the very best selling acts of all time. The band split after the death of John Bonham in 1980 after releasing eight studio Albums between 1969-1979. In America where their singles were issued, six of their 19 releases made the Billboard Hot 100 top 40, with this song being the highest charting when reaching Number 4.

‘Whole Lotta Love’ is the opening track from Led Zeppelin’s second studio Album ‘Led Zeppelin 2’ from 1969, the song is the Albums opening track, and was the only single released from the Album. ‘Whole Lotta Love’ along with the Album was produced by Jimmy Page, with the songwriting credits for ‘Whole Lotta Love’ attributed to all four band members. The songs lyrics were provided by Robert Plant, but in 1985 the American Blues artist Willie Dixon (1915-1992) took Led Zeppelin to court claiming that Plant had used some of his lyrics from his song ‘You Need Love’ without permission. ‘You need Love’ was recorded in 1962 by Muddy Waters, (see also best songs 596) and covered by the Small Faces (see also best songs 1048 and 872) as ‘You Need Loving’ in 1966. Plant knew of the Small Faces recording, and in court Dixon won the case receiving back dated royalties, and having his name added to the song writing credits. ‘Whole Lotta Love’ had started out life as a guitar riff written by Jimmy Page, the riff is considered by music critics to be amongst the best of all time, Robert Plant has said,’Page’s riff was Page’s riff. It was there before anything else. I just thought, ‘well, what am I going to sing?’ That was it, a nick, now happily paid for. At the time, there was a lot of conversation about what to do. It was decided that it was so far away in time and influence that … well, you only get caught when you’re successful. That’s the game.

‘Whole Lotta Love’ is also credited for it’s ground breaking production techniques that would influence future generations. John Paul Jones has said the Jimmy Page began coming into his own as a producer around the time of the making this song, Jones has said,’The backwards echo stuff. A lot of the microphone techniques were just inspired. Using distance-miking… and small amplifiers. Everybody thinks we go in the studio with huge walls of amplifiers, but he doesn’t. He uses a really small amplifier and he just mikes it up really well, so that it fits into a sonic picture.’

‘You need cooling, baby I’m not fooling. I’m gonna send ya back to schooling. Way down inside a-honey you need it. I’m gonna give you my love, I’m gonna give you my love, yeah.’

Posted by: In: Other 05 Aug 2022 Comments: 0


136-Lonnie Donegan-Cumberland Gap.

1957-Number 1 single.

Best Bit-At 1.04. Previous versions of the song probably didn’t include the lyrics ‘Two old ladies sitting in the sand, each one wishing the other was a man.’

Lonnie Donegan MBE (see also best songs 484) was born Anthony James Donegan on April 29th, 1931, in Bridgeton, Glasgow, Scotland, he died on November 3rd, 2002, after a heart attack at the age of 71. Although born in Scotland, he moved with his family to East Ham, in East London, England, at the age of two in 1933, Donegan took his stage name ‘Lonnie’ in tribute of the American Jazz and Blues artist Lonnie Johnson. (1899-1970)

Lonnie Donegan is perhaps Britain’s most underrated artist, and generally goes under the radar when ‘the best and most influential’ are discussed by the general public, but there is no doubting the influence he has had on some of the all time greats. Paul McCartney has said,’He was the first person we had heard of from Britain to get to the coveted No. 1 in the charts, and we studied his records avidly. We all bought guitars to be in a skiffle group. He was the man.’ Brian May said,’He really was at the very cornerstone of English Blues and Rock. Roger Daltrey has been quoted as saying,’I wanted to be Elvis Presley when I grew up, I knew that. But the man who really made me feel like I could actually go out and do it was a chap by the name of Lonnie Donegan. At the ‘Brit’ awards when giving his speech, Jack White of the ‘White Stripes’ (see also best songs 324) said.’Remember, Lonnie Donegan started it for you.’

‘Cumberland Gap’ is a traditional Folk song which originated from the Eastern United States, and dates back to the latter half of the 19th Century. The songs title refers to the Cumberland Gap, which is a mountain pass in the Appalachian Mountains at the juncture of the States of Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky. The gap was used in the latter half of the 18th Century by westward-bound migrants travelling from the original 13 American colonies to the Trans-Appalachian frontier. During the U.S. Civil War (1861–1865), Union and Confederate armies engaged in a year-long back-and-forth struggle for control of the gap.

The earliest known recording of ‘Cumberland Gap’ is the 1924 instrumental version by the American fiddler Ambrose G. ‘Uncle Am’ Stuart. (1853-1926) Other notable recordings include Woody Guthrie (1912-1967) who covered the song in the mid 1940’s, and a live version performed by Earl Scruggs (1924-2012) at the 1959 Newport Folk Festival. Lonnie Donegan took his ‘Skiffle’ version to Number 1 for five weeks in the UK in 1957, but in America the song failed to make the Billboard chart. For his version Donegan made the song ‘Rock’ orientated, and wrote many new lyrics, some in a ‘Music Hall’ style, such as ‘Well, I got a girl six feet tall, sleeps in the kitchen with her feet in the hall.’ This type of ‘humour’ would prove to be a precursor for some of Donegan’s most successful songs including ‘Does Your Chewing Gum Lose It’s Flavour (On the Bedpost Overnight?’) (1959 UK Number 3) and ‘My Old Man’s a Dustman’ (1960 UK Number 1.) In my opinion songs such as those are novelty songs, and that is why I think Lonnie Donegan is not thought of as one of the great innovators of Pop Music with the general public.

‘Well a dollar is a dollar, and a dime is a dime, and I love you baby most all the time, Cumberland gap, Cumberland gap, fifteen miles on the Cumberland gap.’

Posted by: In: Other 04 Aug 2022 Comments: 0


137-The Jackson 5-I Want You Back.

1969-Number 2 single.

Best Bit-At 0.02. For most artists to have recorded their best song (obviously a matter of opinion) by the age of 11, it should have been the career highlight, but Michael went onto even greater things…as I’m sure your aware.

The Jackson 5 were formed in Gary, Indiana, United States, in 1964, and would remain active until 1989. They reformed to tour in 2001, and again in 2012, and at the time of writing they remain active with the four band members being Jackie Jackson, Tito Jackson, Marlon Jackson, and Jermaine Jackson (see also best songs 570.) The discography of The Jackson 5 on Motown Records consists of 10 studio Albums issued between 1969-1975, and 22 singles released in the same time period, for the discography of The Jacksons after Motown (see best songs 249.) The Jackson 5 achieved 16 top 40 hit singles on Billboard in America, of which their first four Motown releases all made the Number 1 spot. In the UK they charted on 11 occasions, with this song being the most successful when peaking at Number 2 in 1970. Both Michael Jackson, (1958-2009) (see also best songs 812-511 and 191) and Jermaine Jackson had solo careers with Motown running concurrently at the same time that they were also performing with The Jackson 5.

‘I Want You Back’ was the debut single on Motown by The Jackson 5, but prior to signing with Motown they had recorded a single called ‘Big Boy,’ on ‘Steeltown Records,’ in their hometown of Gary, Indiana, that had been distributed only locally. The Jackson 5 signing with Motown coincided with Diana Ross (see also best songs 900-519-365 and 28) leaving the Supremes to start her solo career. In order to promote both acts Motown supremo Berry Gordy came up with the brilliant idea of telling the world that Diana Ross had discovered The Jacksons, and called The Jacksons debut Album ‘Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5,’ this misleading promotion was believed by many for decades. The truth was that it had been Bobby Taylor (1934-2017) who was employed at Motown at the time who informed Gladys Knight (see also best songs 667 and 214) of his discovery of the brothers, and it was Knight who told Gordy.

‘I Want You Back’ was produced by Bobby Taylor, and written by ‘The Corporation,’ a group of musicians and record producers assembled in 1969 by Berry Gordy to create hits, as the replacements for the recently departed ‘Holland-Dozier-Holland.’ The four writers of this song were Berry Gordy, Fonce Mizell, (1943-2011) Freddie Perren, (1943-2004) and Deke Richards (1944-2013.) Perren would go on to write the 1979 Disco classic ‘I Will Survive’ for Gloria Gaynor, while Richards had previously been a member of another Motown songwriting team called ‘The Clan’ (see also best songs 365.) ‘The Corporation’ were also responsible for writing two other of The Jackson 5’s Billboard Number 1 songs,’ ABC,’ and ‘The Love You Save,’ both in 1970.

‘When I had you to myself, I didn’t want you around, those pretty faces always make you stand out in a crowd, but someone picked you from the bunch, one glance is all it took, now it’s much too late for me to take a second look.’