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Posted by: In: Other 30 Apr 2023 Comments: 0


886-Tony Orlando and Dawn-Knock Three Times.

1971-Number 1 single.

Best Bit-At 0.36. If the answer is twice on the pipe, then the best thing to do is forget about her, and go and have a cold shower.

Tony Orlando was born Michael Anthony Orlando Cassavitis, on April 3rd, 1944, in New York City, United States, he is a singer, songwriter, music producer, and an actor. He achieved his first hit single as a solo artist in 1961 at the age of 16, with the original version of ‘Halfway to Paradise,’ which peaked at Number 39 on Billboard in America. His follow up single ‘Bless You,’ also charted making Number 17 on Billboard, and charted in the UK at Number 5. Tony Orlando released a further 13 singles between 1961-1979, but they all failed to chart. He has also released eight solo Albums between 1961-2014.

As well as being a recording artist, Tony Orlando became a music producer, and he also worked his way up to become the vice president of the publishing company ‘CBS Music.’ In 1969 he recorded with the studio group ‘Wind,’ and had a Billboard Number 28 hit with ‘Make Believe.’ It was at this time that Orlando accepted a $3,000 advance, and sang lead vocals on a song called ‘Candida,’ as a favour for two producer friends of his called Hank Medress, (1938-2007) and Dave Appell (1922-2014.) When ‘Candida’ was released in 1970, Orlando insisted that his name be left off, as if it failed to chart it might damage his reputation, and there could also be legal issues, as Orlando was signed to ‘CBS Records,’ and ‘Candida’ was issued on ‘Bell Records.’ The name ‘Dawn’ was chosen as Orlando’s pseudonym, which was the middle name of the daughter of ‘Bell Records’ executive Steve Wax. ‘Candida’ became a hit (Billboard Number 3, and UK Number 9) and Orlando recorded the Album ‘Candida,’ which included ‘Knock Three Times.’

‘Knock Three Times’ was co-written by Irwin Levine, (1938-1997) and L Russell Brown, Levine was also responsible for ‘Candida,’ and with Brown, ‘Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree,’ (1973) which is one of the 50 best selling songs in America on Billboard of all time. The ‘Candida’ Album has vocals by Tony Orlando, Toni Wine, Cynthia Weil, Jay Siegal, and Linda November, but all the other ‘Dawn’ releases were performed by Tony Orlando, Telma Hopkins, and Joyce Vincent Wilson. Toni Wine who was the other co-writer of ‘Candida,’ also co-wrote ‘A Groovy Kind of Love,’ (The Mindbenders 1965, and Phil Collins 1988) with Carol Bayer Sager, and she sang vocals on the ‘Archies’ 1969 Billboard, and UK Number 1 ‘Sugar Sugar.’

Tony Orlando and Dawn have released nine studio Albums between 1970-2005, and 26 singles between 1970-1991, there are also 17 official compilation Albums available. In America on the Billboard Hot 100 they have achieved 14 top 40 singles, with three of those songs, including ‘Knock Three Times,’ reaching Number 1, while in the UK, they have charted on six occasions, with ‘Knock Three Times,’ and ‘Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree,’ both making Number 1. Such was the popularity and success of Tony Orlando and Dawn, that in 1974,’CBS’ television gave them there own variety show, which ran until December 1976. The show was scheduled to replace ‘The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour,’ and was made in the same vein, with sketches featuring sarcastic back-and-forth banter between Orlando, Hopkins and Vincent, similar to the sarcastic dialogue between Sonny and Cher (see also best songs 672.)

L. Russell Brown and Irwin Levine, who wrote ‘Knock Three Times,’ were thinking of the song ‘Up on the Roof,’ (see also best songs 1021) and they wanted to write a song with that kind of lyrical flavour, about tenement living.’Knock Three Times’ is about a guy who fancies his downstairs neighbour, and leaves her a note one day saying, that if she is interested, she must knock three times on the ceiling, but if she isn’t interested, she should bang twice on the pipe. We never find out how she responds.

‘Hey girl what ya doin’ down there, dancin’ alone every night while I live right above you. I can hear your music playin,’ I can feel your body swayin,’ One floor below me you don’t even know me
I love you, oh my darling.’

Posted by: In: Other 29 Apr 2023 Comments: 0


887-The Bachelors-Hello Dolly!

1966-Number 38 single.

Best Bit-At 0.52. The Bachelors were originally called ‘The Harmonichords,’ but at the suggestion of Dick Rowe, (1921-1986) A&R at Decca Records, he recommended the name change to ‘The Bachelors,’ ‘Because that’s the kind of boy, a girl likes.’

‘Hello Dolly!’ was written by Jerry Herman, (1931-2019) for the 1964 musical of the same name, with music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, and a book by Michael Stewart, (1924-1987) based on Thornton Wilder’s (1897-1975) 1938 farce ‘The Merchant of Yonkers,’ which Wilder revised, and retitled ‘The Matchmaker’ in 1955. Jerry Herman was born Gerald Sheldon Herman on July 10th, 1931, in New York City, United States, he died on December 26th, 2019, at the age of 88. Herman was also the composer and lyricist for other successful Broadway Musicals, including ‘Mame,’ (1966) and ‘La Cage aux Folles’ (1983.) Herman who was openly gay, wrote ‘I Am What I Am,’ for ‘La Cage aux Folles,’ which has become a ‘Gay Pride’ anthem, and was a 1983 hit single for Gloria Gaynor (UK Number 13.)

‘Hello Dolly!’ was first sung by the American actress Carol Channing, (1921-2019) who starred as Dolly Gallagher Levi, in the original 1964 Broadway cast. The American Jazz trumpeter, and vocalist Louis Armstrong (1901-1971) (see also best songs 1039-767-286-231 and 100) was asked to make a demonstration recording of ‘Hello, Dolly!’ for the song’s publisher to use to promote the show. When the Louis Armstrong recording was issued as a single in 1964, it went all the way to Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in America, breaking a 14 weeks run at the top by three consecutive Beatles singles. When Armstrong was asked about his new Number 1 song, he replied, ‘It sure feels good to be up there with those Beatles.’ ‘Hello Dolly!’ became the best selling single of Armstrong’s career, and at the age of 62, he was the oldest ever artist to have a Billboard Number 1, since the charts modern day inception in 1958. In 1969 ‘Hello Dolly!’ was made into a musical romantic comedy starring Barbra Streisand, (see also best songs 699 and 145) where Louis Armstrong made a guest appearance performing part of the song.

Just prior to the release of the film version of ‘Hello Dolly!’ the American songwriter Mack David (1912-1993) filed a lawsuit against Jerry Herman for infringement of copyright, claiming that the first four bars of ‘Hello, Dolly!’ were the same as those in the refrain of David’s song ‘Sunflower,’ from 1948. Herman claimed that he had never heard ‘Sunflower’ before the lawsuit, and wanted a chance to defend himself in court, but, for the sake of those involved in the show, and the potential film, he reluctantly agreed to pay a settlement before the case would have gone to trial. Herman agreed to pay $200,000 so that the film which could potentially make millions wouldn’t be delayed. In 1998 Herman said,’I didn’t mean to use six notes that sounded like some other song. I need to copy somebody else’s song like I need another nostril.’

There are many noteworthy versions of ‘Hello Dolly!’ with the Louis Armstrong recording being considered the definitive, but I have always had a soft spot for The Bachelors arrangement and delivery of the song. The Bachelors were formed in Dublin, Ireland, in 1957, by the brothers Conleth (Con) Cluskey, (1935-2022) and Declan (Dec) Cluskey, along with their friend John Stokes. The trio remained together until 1984, when the Cluskey brothers had a fall out with Stokes. Following the split, the Cluskey brothers appeared as ‘The New Bachelors,’ and Stokes as ‘Stokes & Coe.’ Stokes allegedly also then appeared as ‘The New Bachelors,’ and the Cluskey’s performed as ‘Con & Dec, The Bachelors.’ It is estimated that there are over 70 Albums of the recordings of The Bachelors available on the market worldwide, with a total of 29 singles released between 1962-1969, they have also issued three extended plays. In their native Ireland they have achieved eight top 40 singles, with ‘I Wouldn’t Trade You for the World,’ reaching Number 1 in 1964. In the UK, they have charted within the top 40 on 17 occasions, with ‘Diane,’ from 1964, being their one chart topper. While in America on Billboard, they have had six top 40 hits, on the Hot 100, with ‘Diane’ peaking the highest at Number 10.

‘We feel the room swayin’, for the band’s playin’ one of your old favourite songs from way back when. So, golly gee, fellas, find her a vacant knee, fellas, Dolly’ll never go away, Dolly’ll never go away, Dolly’ll never go away again.’

Posted by: In: Other 28 Apr 2023 Comments: 0


888-Ed Sheeran-Supermarket Flowers.

2018-Number 8 single.

Best Bit-At 0.47. According to a 2019 survey by ‘Co-Op’ care, this song is the sixth most popular funeral song. ‘My Way’ (see also best songs 120) by Frank Sinatra remained at Number 1 for the 53rd year in a row.

Edward Christopher Sheeran was born on February 17th, 1991, in Halifax, West Yorkshire, England, with sales in excess of 150 million records he is one of the best selling artists of all time. At the age of four he moved with his family to Framlingham, in Suffolk, where he first sang in the local church choir, it was at the age of 11, that he learned to play the guitar. In 2004, at the age of 13, Ed Sheeran independently released his first collection of songs, titled ‘Spinning Man,’ and then he began gigging, to get himself heard. In 2010 he posted a video through ‘SB.TV,’ which gained him lots of positive publicity, which was quickly followed by the release of the ‘Loose Change’ EP, which featured his future breakthrough debut hit single ‘The A Team.’

The discography of Ed Sheeran includes six studio Albums released between 2011-2023, these Albums are called + (2011) x (2014) ÷ (2017) = (2021) and – (2023.) He has also issued 37 official singles as lead artist (at the time of writing) in the same time period. In the UK as the lead artist he has achieved 32 top 40 entries, with 11 of those songs reaching Number 1. Ed Sheeran has also appeared on a further 28 singles as a featured artist, with 12 of those tracks making the top 40, with three of those songs reaching the Number 1 spot. He has also charted with a further 15 tracks that have reached the top 40 on downloads, and streaming alone, without actually being given an official release, these include ‘Supermarket Flowers.’ In America on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, he has had 17 top 40 hits as the lead artist, with two of those tracks reaching Number 1. As a featured artist on Billboard, Ed Sheeran has charted on four occasions, while a further three tracks have charted as unofficial releases. In the UK, all six of his studio Albums have reached Number 1, while in America, only his debut Album ‘+’ has failed to make Number 1, having peaked at Number 5 in 2011.

‘Supermarket Flowers’ is the 12th and final track on the standard edition of ‘ ÷’ which was the third studio Album released by Ed Sheeran in March 2017. There were five official singles released from the Album, with a further three issued as promotional singles,’Supermarket Flowers’ was the final release in February 2018, following Sheeran’s performance at the ‘2018 Brit Awards.’ ‘Supermarket Flowers’ was co-written by Ed Sheeran, along with his long term working partner Johnny McDaid, (see also best songs 14) and Benny Blanco, (see also best songs 373) with the production being by McDaid, and Blanco.

‘Supermarket Flowers’ is written as a tribute to Ed Sheeran’s maternal grandmother ‘Anne,’ Sheeran has said,’I just wanted to make a tribute to my gran, she was the musical one in my family. Hopefully I will pass that on to my kids.’ He has also gone on to say,’She was in a hospital near my house where I was making the Album, so I saw her quite a lot while making the album, and she passed away while I was in the studio. So that’s my first reaction for anything that happens to me, good or bad, pick up a guitar.’ ‘Supermarket Flowers’ had not been one of the tracks chosen for the Album, as it was simply a personal tribute to his grandmother, but after Sheeran performed the song at the funeral he had a change of mind, ‘Sheeran has said,’My grandfather just turned to me, [at the funeral] he was like you have to put that out, that has to go on the record. It’s such a good memory, that’s why it’s ended up on there.’

Ed Sheeran has also explained where the songs title came from,’My gran passed away, and we were clearing out her hospital room, and the supermarket flowers from the windowsill, and having that moment.’ Although the lyrics were written by Sheeran, they are actually written from the viewpoint of his mother.

‘I took the supermarket flowers from the windowsill, I threw the day-old tea from the cup. Packed up the photo album Matthew had made, memories of a life that’s been loved.’

Posted by: In: Other 27 Apr 2023 Comments: 0


889-The Brothers Johnson-Stomp!

1980- Number 6 single.

Best Bit- At 2.42. If you ever wondered why they were nicknamed ‘Thunder Thumbs,’ and ‘Lightnin’ Licks,’ then have a listen to this.

The Brothers Johnson (see also best songs 1022) were formed in Los Angeles, California, United States, in 1975, by the brothers, George, (Lightnin’ Licks) and Louis E. Johnson (1955-2015) (Thunder Thumbs.) George and Louis began in music by forming the band ‘Three Plus One,’ with their older brother Tommy, and their cousin Alex Weir, and then they toured professionally as a backing group for acts such as Bobby Womack, (1944-2014) and the Supremes. They then joined Billy Preston’s, (1946-2006) band where they contributed to his 1973 Album ‘Music Is My Life,’ and his 1974 release ‘The Kids & Me,’ before coming to the attention of Quincy Jones, (see also best songs 1022-812-703-511-357 and 191) who hired them to play on his 1975 Album ‘Mellow Madness.’ George and Louis were active as a duo from 1975 until 1982, when they split in order to pursue solo projects. They then re-united in 1984, and recorded, and toured together through until Louis’ death from liver cancer, at the age of 60, in 2015. The Brothers Johnson are best remembered as a duo, but over the years they have actually worked with 11 other official band members, in different time periods.

The discography of The Brothers Johnson includes seven studio Albums released between 1976-1988, and 21 singles released within the same time period, there are also eight official compilation Albums, and one live Album available. In America on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, they have had four top 40 entries, with their debut single ‘I’ll Be Good to You,’ charting the highest at Number 3 in 1976, ‘Stomp’ made Number 7, but did reach Number 1 on the Billboard ‘Hot R&B’ chart. In the UK, The Brothers Johnson have made the top 40 on two occasions, with their cover of ‘Strawberry Letter 23,’ making Number 35 in 1977. Away from The Brothers Johnson, Louis recorded a ‘Gospel Music’ Album in 1981, and also played bass on Michael Jackson’s 1982 Album ‘Thriller.’ George Johnson has released one solo single called ‘Back Against the Wall,’ which was issued on Quincy Jones’ record label ‘Qwest.’

‘Stomp!’ was the first of three singles released from The Brothers Johnson’s fourth studio Album ‘Light Up the Night,’ from April 1980, and was co-written by Louis Johnson, George Johnson, Valerie Johnson, who was Louis’ wife, and Rod Temperton, with Quincy Jones producing the single, and it’s parent Album. Among the artists who provided backing vocals on the track, were Michael Jackson, (1958-2009) Jim Gilstrap, Scherrie Payne, and Quincy Jones.

Rodney Lynn Temperton (see also best songs 511 and 357) was born on October 9th, 1949, in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, England, he died on September 25th, 2016, after a a brief aggressive battle with cancer, he was 66 years old. Temperton was a pupil at ‘ De Aston Grammar School, in Market Rasen, Lincolnshire, and was a year older than Bernie Taupin, (see also best songs 946-481-237 and 62) who attended ‘Market Rasen Secondary Modern School.’ Temperton started his music career as a keyboard player, joining the British ‘Funk/Disco’ band ‘Heatwave’ in 1974, and writing hits for them including ‘Boogie Nights,’ (UK-Number 2, and Billboard Number 2, in 1977) and ‘Always and Forever’ (UK-Number 9, and Billboard Number 18, in 1978.) In 1979 Temperton was recruited by Quincy Jones to write for Michael Jackson’s fifth solo studio Album ‘Off the Wall,’ which produced the Billboard Number 1 single ‘Rock With You.’ Even greater success came in 1982 when Temperton wrote three songs for Michael Jackson’s sixth solo studio Album ‘Thriller,’ including the title track, the Album is the best selling Album of all time, with sales estimated in excess of 70 million copies sold worldwide. Rod Temperton also achieved great success writing hits for other artists including George Benson (‘Give Me the Night’-1980) and Donna Summer (‘Love Is in Control (Finger on the Trigger’-1982.)

It is said that Quincy Jones liked to give his songwriters assignments, he had asked George Johnson to write a song called ‘Stomp,’ Jones had done the same thing in 1976 when asking Johnson to write a song called ‘Get The Funk Out Ma Face.’ It is said that Johnson wrote the word ‘stomp’ on a piece of paper, and then drew a picture of a foot. After spending all night on the song, he took what he had done to the studio the next day, and ‘Stomp!’ was born.

‘Steppin’ out, the weekend’s open wide, fill it up, let’s blast the jams and ride. While we’re cruisin’ around in the street, listen up for the party in feet. Slap me five, that’s the place we’ve arrived, it’s alive, everybody take it to the top.’

Posted by: In: Other 26 Apr 2023 Comments: 0



1995-Number 27 single. When it was re-released in 1996, it peaked at Number 3.

Best Bit-At 6.52.’Sweet dreams are made of this.’

Faithless (see also best songs 207) are an ‘Electronic Dance Music’ group who were formed in London, England, in 1995, by Maxwell Frazer, (Maxi Jazz) (1957-2022) who was the lead vocalist, Alalah Bentovim, (Sister Bliss) who plays keyboards, and produces, Rowland Armstrong, (Rollo) who is a music producer, and is also the brother of the singer Dido (see also best songs 936.) James Catto, who provided vocals was also a founding member, but left in 1999 to form the ‘Electronic Music’ duo ‘1 Giant Leap,’ with Duncan Bridgeman. The groups other member was Aubrey Nunn, (bass guitar) who joined late in 1995, and stayed until leaving in 2006.

‘Insomnia’ was co-written by Maxi Jazz, Sister Bliss, and Rollo, with the production credited to Rollo. The song was the second of four singles released from Faithless’ debut studio Album ‘Reverence,’ from April 1996, which later in 1996 was re-released as ‘Reverence / Irreverence,’ which contained an extra CD with remixes of the original songs. ‘Insomnia’ was first issued in November 1995, when reaching Number 27 in the UK, but over the next few months the song proved very popular in Europe, and it was the BBC Radio 1 DJ Pete Tong who campaigned for the songs re-release, which saw it peak this time in the UK at Number 3, in 1996.

As the songs title suggests, ‘Insomnia’ is about the medical condition of not being able to sleep. The subject is resonant with fans of ‘Dance Music,’ as stimulant use is common in club, and rave culture, and insomnia is a common side effect. Sister Bliss has spoken about the development of the song, ‘We wrote Insomnia in a garden shed, since that was where our producer Rollo Armstrong had his studio. Being in there all day and then DJ-ing all night was like having permanent jetlag. So I came up with the title ‘Insomnia’ because I couldn’t get to sleep. Rollo didn’t really play an instrument. He has a condition called ‘synaesthesia,’ where you see music as colours, so he’d just describe how he wanted something to sound. We were very stoned a lot of the time.

The lyrics for ‘Insomnia’ were written by Maxi Jazz who has said,’I got a call from Rollo asking if I could write some words for a new Dance track called ‘Insomnia.’ I spent 20 minutes with a pad jotting down my thoughts, finished the lyrics in the studio the following evening, then spent about 25 minutes putting the vocals down. That was that. The lyrics are from personal experience. I didn’t suffer from insomnia, but I’d just had an abscess on my tooth. It was so painful it would keep me awake. That first line, ‘Deep in the bosom of the gentle night,’ is not me channelling Dylan Thomas. That was forced on us by ‘MTV’ because they felt the original first line, ‘I only smoke weed when I need to,’ was too graphic. There were eyebrows raised about the lines ‘Making mad love to my girl on the heath, tearing off tights with my teeth,’ but they managed to stay in.’ Maxi Jazz has also said,’If I had a quid for every time someone’s come up going, “I can’t get no sleep”, I’d be living on the space station.’

As with many songs of the ‘Dance Music’ genre, there are a countless amount of official, and unofficial remixes that flood the market, for ‘Insomnia’ there are three main ones to concentrate on. The original ‘Reverence’ Album version at 8.46, the radio edit at 3.38, and the ‘Monster Mix’ at 8.38. The Album version contains some bells chiming at the start of the song, which were sampled from a BBC Sound Archive disc. The Album version also features a sample from the 1994 song ‘Novelty Waves,’ by the Norwegian ‘Electronic’ musician Geir Jenssen, who records under the stage name ‘Biosphere.’ The best known version of ‘Insomnia’ is the ‘Monster Mix,’ which is the mix that is also featured on Faithless’ greatest hits album ‘Forever Faithless,’ which was released in 2005. This mix was created by Bill Padley in 1995, with the edit being picked up by BBC Radio 1, and helped turn the song into a hit single.

‘I used to worry, thought I was going mad in a hurry. Gettin’ stressed, makin’ excess mess in darkness. No electricity, something’s all over me, greasy insomnia, please release me, and let me dream of makin’ mad love to my girl on the heath, tearin’ off tights with my teeth.’

Posted by: In: Other 25 Apr 2023 Comments: 0


891-Thunderclap Newman-Something in the Air.

1969-Number 1 single.

Best Bit-At 2.56. Pete Townshend never knew the feeling of having a Number 1 single in the UK with The Who, but he got a taste of what it was like here.

Pete Townshend (see also best songs 926-306 and 265) can actually boast two Number 1 songs, as he also co-produced the 1968 UK chart topper, ‘Fire,’ for ‘The Crazy World of Arthur Brown.’ In 1969, Pete Townshend, along with ‘The Who’s’ manager Kit Lambert, (1935-1981) put together a group of musicians to create a band to perform songs written by John ‘Speedy’ Keen, (1945-2002) who Townshend had previously shared a flat with. Speedy Keen had previously been a roadie for The Who, and had also written ‘Armenia City in the Sky,’ which is the opening track on The Who’s 1967 Album ‘The Who Sell Out,’ this was the only song that The Who ever performed live, that was specifically written for the group by a non-member. Townshend and Lambert also recruited the Jazz pianist Andy ‘Thunderclap’ Newman, (1943-2016) whom Townshend had known from his time at art college, and also the 16 year old Scottish guitarist Jimmy McCulloch (1953-1979.) These three musicians would play on ‘Something in the Air,’ along with Pete Townshend who played bass, under the pseudonym ‘Bijou Drains.’

‘Something in the Air’ was the first of four singles released from ‘Hollywood Dreams,’ from September 1970, which would be the only studio Album issued by Thunderclap Newman. The four singles were also the bands only other releases. In the UK, ‘Something in the Air’ went to Number 1, making them ‘One Hit Wonders,’ (see also best songs 990-698-496-467-116 and 101) as the other three singles failed to chart within the top 40, with the follow up single ‘Accidents’ stalling at Number 46, and the other two failing to make any impact at all. ‘Something in the Air’ was initially going to be called ‘Revolution,’ but was later re-named to avoid confusion with the Beatles 1968 song of the same name, which had appeared on the Beatles ‘White Album,’ and also as the ‘B’ side of ‘Hey Jude.’ In America on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart,’Something in the Air’ would also provide Thunderclap Newman with their only chart hit, peaking at Number 37.

‘Something in the Air’ was written by Speedy Keen, who also provided the vocals, and played the drums on the track. Keen would go on to release two solo studio Albums in 1973, and 1975, before turning to production, where he produced for the American Punk band ‘Johnny Thunders’ Heartbreakers,’ and he also produced the self titled debut Album by the English Heavy Metal band ‘Motorhead’ in 1977. Speedy Keen who died of heart failure in March 2002, at the age of 56 reflected on ‘Something in the Air,’ in a 1975 interview, saying,’I wrote it about two months before we recorded it, and we put it out as a joke. He also gave his thoughts on why ‘Thunderclap Newman’ were ‘One Hit Wonders,’Something In The Air’ was very hard to live up to because it wasn’t done under any pressure, and it was very hard to get that same feel when we knew we had to produce another single,’

‘Andy ‘Thunderclap’ Newman after whom the band were named, got his nickname ‘Thunderclap’ at school, in honour of his playing technique on the keyboards. After ‘Thunderclap Newman’ parted ways in 1971, Newman released his one solo Album ‘Rainbow,’ in 1971, and then left music to work as an electrician. In 2010 Newman put together a new version of ‘Thunderclap Newman,’ with him being the only original member, they recorded the Album ‘Beyond Hollywood,’ and played several live shows. Andy Newman died on March 29th, 2016, at the age of 73.

Jimmy McCulloch was the guitarist with Thunderclap Newman, in 1974 he became a full time member of ‘Paul McCartney and Wings,’ his debut track with them was ‘Junior’s Farm’ (see also best songs 646.) then after leaving ‘Wings’ in 1977, he toured with the reformed ‘Small Faces.’ McCulloch died on September 27th, 1979, of heart failure, due to morphine and alcohol poisoning, although he was not a user of hard drugs, he was 26 years old.

‘Something in the Air’ is a call for revolution, but whereas many songs of the ‘Flower Power’ era called for peaceful revolt, it appears that the message in this song is to revolt by any means necessary.

‘Hand out the arms and ammo, we’re going to blast our way through here. We’ve got to get together sooner or later, because the revolution’s here, and you know it’s right, and you know that it’s right.

Posted by: In: Other 24 Apr 2023 Comments: 0


892-Mike Posner-I Took a Pill in Ibiza. (SeeB remix.)

2015-Number 1 single.

Best Bit-At 0.38. You can’t please everyone. Ibiza’s tourism officials were annoyed, as they felt the songs lyrics contributed to the islands reputation for drug related debauchery. As a result Mike Posner was invited to the island to discover how much more it had to offer as a destination, apart from it’s nightlife.

Michael Robert Henrion Posner was born on February 12th, 1988, in Detroit, Michigan, United States. To date he has released four studio Albums between 2010-2020, and 25 singles between 2010-2022, he has also issued four ‘Mixtapes’ from 2009-2019, and a collaboration Album with the American musician ‘Blackbear’ in 2017, called ‘Mansionz.’ In America on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, four of his songs have reached the top 40, with this song charting the highest at Number 4, while in the UK, he has had three top 40 hits, including his featured artist appearance on the 2011 Number 4 hit ‘With Ur Love,’ by Cher Lloyd, a song that he also co-wrote. As well as writing and recording for himself, Mike Posner has several writing co-credits for other artists, including, ‘Sugar,’ for Maroon 5, (2014-Billboard Number 2, and UK Number 7) ‘Beneath Your Beautiful,’ for Labrinth featuring Emeli Sande, (2012-Billboard Number 34, and UK Number 1) and ‘Boyfriend,’ for Justin Bieber (2012-Billboard Number 2, and UK Number 2.)

The original version of ‘I Took a Pill in Ibiza,’ was written by Mike Posner, and produced by Posner, and the Swedish born music producer Martin Terefe, and was first issued on Posner’s second ‘EP’ ‘The Truth,’ in June 2015. The original version of ‘I Took a Pill in Ibiza,’ is a ‘Folk/Pop’ song, and has an extra verse, which doesn’t appear on the ‘SeeB’ remix. Both the original version, and the SeeB remix appear on Mike Posner’s second studio Album ‘All Night, Alone,’ from May 2016.

Mike Posner got the idea for the song when he was on the Mediterranean island of Ibiza with Avicii (1989-2018) (see also best songs 123.) Posner was watching Avicii doing a DJ set at his show, when he was offered a pill. Posner has explained,’I would go back and forth between the backstage and the VIP area, and then where the actual kids were. And most people didn’t know who the f–k I was in Ibiza, except for this one guy who recognised me. He was like, ‘Are you Mike Posner?’ and he was all excited. He holds up this little bag of pills and is like, ‘You want one?’ And drunk Mike Posner was like, ‘F–k it, yeah.’ So I took one, and I had never done that before, and I felt amazing. Then when I came down I felt ten years older.’

The lyrics to ‘I Took a Pill in Ibiza’ see Mike Posner reflecting on his career as a musician, and also on the pressures of fame. Posner had great success with his breakthrough hits ‘Cooler Than Me,’ and ‘Please Don’t Go,’ but then the hits dried up. Posner has said,’I made two records on RCA that got shelved, and remain on my laptop. In the industry, my career was generally considered over, and people were calling me a one-hit wonder. With that song, (‘I Took a Pill in Ibiza’) I was just trying to be honest about coming down from the mountaintop of success, people’s ascent to the top is always very well documented, and everybody wants to write about it, but I was interested in what it’s like to come back down again. I had to live that, and it was a great experience for me, it made me a much better person.’ Ironically a song which is about falling from a great height, and nearlly hitting the bottom, put Mike Posner right back at the top of the tree.

‘SeeB’ are the Norwegian duo of Simen Eriksrud, and Espen Berg, their working name is made up of the initials of the first letter of their name, and surname. Together they have released one studio Album,’Sad in Scandinavia,’ in 2021, and 30 singles, between 2015-2021. In their native Norway they have achieved 10 top 40 hits on the ‘VG-lista’ Norwegian record chart, with different featured artists on each hit, including ‘One Republic,’ and ‘Bastille.’

The ‘SeeB’ remix of ‘I Took a Pill in Ibiza’ is recorded in the genre of ‘Tropical House’ music, which is a sub-genre of ‘House Music.’ ‘Tropical House’ possesses typical house music characteristics, including synthesizer instrumentation, and a 4/4 kick drum pattern. It differentiates itself from ‘Deep House’ which can often have a very dark sound, whereas ‘Tropical House’ can be described as having a more uplifting and relaxing sound. ‘Tropical House’ usually includes tropical instruments such as steel drums, marimba, guitar, saxophone, or even pan flute, and can sometimes use ‘Dembow’ rhythm patterns, often attributed to genres such as ‘Dancehall’ and ‘Reggaeton.’

‘I took a pill in Ibiza, to show Avicii I was cool, and when I finally got sober, felt ten years older, but f..k it, it was something to do.’

Posted by: In: Other 23 Apr 2023 Comments: 0


893-KC and the Sunshine Band-(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty.

1976-Number 22 single.

Best Bit-At 0.17. In the 21st Century they call it ‘Twerking,’ but back in the 20th Century, it was known as ‘Shaking.’

KC and the Sunshine Band were formed in Hialeah, Miami, Florida, United States, in 1973, by Harry Wayne Casey, (KC) and Richard Finch, the bands name comes from Casey’s surname, and the ‘Sunshine State’ of Florida. The band was originally called ‘KC & The Sunshine Junkanoo Band,’ because they used studio musicians from the ‘TK’ record label, and also from a local ‘Junkanoo band,’ called the ‘Miami Junkanoo Band.’ Casey and Finch were soon joined by Jerome Smith, (1953-2000) (guitar) and Robert Johnson (drums.) In total there have been 28 different members who have worked under the ‘KC and the Sunshine Band’ banner. The band were active between 1973-1985, and then reformed in 1993, and have released their last new music to date in 2022.

The discography of KC and the Sunshine Band includes 15 studio Albums released between 1974-2015, and 49 singles issued between 1973-2022, there are also 12 official compilation Albums available. In America on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, they have achieved 11 top 40 hits, with five of those songs making Number 1, including this track. In the UK, they have charted within the top 40 on 10 occasions, with ‘Give It Up’ from 1983, reaching Number 1.

Harry Wayne Casey was born on January 31st, 1951, in Opa-locka, Florida, United States, he is seen as a pioneer of the genre of ‘Disco Music’ in the 1970’s. Casey and Finch first met, when both were working in menial roles at ‘TK Records,’ After forming KC and the Sunshine Band, they started to write together, with their big breakthrough hit coming in the summer of 1974 with ‘Rock Your Baby,’ (see also best songs 64) which was sung by George McCrae, ‘Rock Your Baby is currently the 27th best selling single worldwide of all time, with sales in excess of 11 million copies sold. George McCrae can also be heard adding backing vocals to KC and the Sunshine Band’s first hit single ‘Queen of Clubs’ (1974-UK Number 7.) Casey and Finch also had success writing for other ‘TK Records’ artists, including Betty Wright, (1953-2020) and Jimmy ‘Bo’ Horne (see also best songs 375.) Away from KC and the Sunshine Band, Casey charted at Number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1979, with the American singer Teri DeSario, on a cover version of the 1965 Barbara Mason song ‘Yes, I’m Ready,’ DeSario had been a high school classmate of Casey’s, and he was also producing her second studio Album ‘Moonlight Madness’ at the time. For all their success in the 1970’s, in the UK, KC and the Sunshine Band, are probably best remembered for the 1983 hit ‘Give It Up,’ which was their last UK, and U.S hit single, although in America it didn’t chart until 1984, when peaking at Number 18.

‘(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty’ was co-written, and co-produced by Harry Wayne Casey, and Richard Finch, and was the first of five singles released from KC and the Sunshine Band’s fourth studio Album ‘Part 3,’ from October 1976. The songs original ‘B’ side was ‘Boogie Shoes,’ which had previously appeared on the bands self titled second studio Album from 1975, and after being chosen for the ‘ Saturday Night Fever’ soundtrack, (see also best songs 211-184 and 35) the song was released as a ‘A’ side single, reaching Number 35 in America, and Number 34 in the UK.

Richard Finch has explained how ‘(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty’ was directly inspired by dance moves that he and Casey had witnessed in clubs, he has said,’The Bump was big back then, and then every once in a while you’d see someone break loose and shake their booty like Jell-O. We figured, okay, how do you write about this? You know, say it like it is. We also were collecting phrases, trying to find a buzz word and write about it, or a catch phrase, and try and expound on that. Just trying to keep it fun. As we started performing, we’d pay attention to what the people were doing, either body moves or body language, and try to transfer that back into the next production. As soon as we got back off the road we’d go right into the studio with that freshly captured energy, start recording, and not try to think too much.’

‘Everybody, get on the floor, let’s dance. Don’t fight the feeling, give yourself a chance. Shake shake shake, shake shake shake, shake your booty, shake your booty.’

Posted by: In: Other 22 Apr 2023 Comments: 0


894-Nick Heyward-Whistle Down the Wind.

1983-Number 13 single.

Best Bit-At 3.10. To ‘Whistle Down the Wind,’ means you abandon, send away, or leave something, or someone.

Nicholas Heyward was born on May 20th, 1961, in Beckenham, Kent. Heyward began playing in bands as far back as 1977, with his school friends, Graham Jones, and Les Nemes, who along with three others would form ‘Haircut One Hundred in 1980. It was Heyward who suggested the name ‘Haircut One Hundred,’ when the band were trying to come up with ideas, Heyward has said that the name was chosen, ‘Because it was the one that made us laugh the most.’ Heyward who was the main songwriter, and the lead vocalist with Haircut One Hundred was a member until 1982, when he was dismissed by the other group members as tensions grew. In later years Heyward stated that he had been struggling with stress and depression at that time, after a year of constant work and pressure, which led to him being, in effect, sacked by the other members of the band. As a member of Haircut One Hundred, Heyward only appeared on their debut studio Album ‘Pelican West,’ which was released in February 1982. Heyward had written 11 of the 12 songs on the Album, and had co-written the other with Les Nemes. The Album produced four UK top 10 hits, with ‘Love Plus One,’ charting the highest at Number 3, the same song gave the band their only chart entry on Billboard in America, where it reached Number 37. After Heyward left the group, Haircut One Hundred released just one more studio Album,’Paint and Paint,’ in 1984, which failed to chart, as did the three issued singles taken from it. Nick Heyward and other members of Haircut One Hundred have reformed to play live on occasions through the years, which saw the release of ‘Live at the Indig02,’ in 2011.

Nick Heyward’s solo career began in 1983, with the release of the single ‘Whistle Down the Wind,’ the song had been intended to be the next Haircut One Hundred single release, before Heyward’s dismissal. ‘Whistle Down the Wind’ was the first of four singles issued from his debut solo studio Album ‘North of a Miracle,’ from October 1983, and was written by Heyward, with the production being by Geoff Emerick, (1945-2018) (see also best songs 39 and 2) and the orchestral arrangements by Andrew Powell, (see also best songs 866-130-81 and 2) the Album was recorded at the world famous ‘Abbey Road Studios,’ in London, England. Nick Heyward has gone on to release nine solo studio Albums between 1983-2017, and 22 solo singles, between 1983-2018. As a solo artist he has achieved one top 40 Album with ‘North of a Miracle’ reaching Number 10 in the UK, and six of his solo singles have also made the UK top 40, with ‘Take That Situation,’ charting the highest at Number 11 in 1983.

Geoff Ernest Emerick was born on December 5th, 1945, in Crouch End, North London, United Kingdom, he died from a heart attack on October 2nd, 2018, at the age of 72. Emerick got his first break in music at the age of 16, when one of his school teachers heard about a job vacancy at ‘EMI,’ and suggested he apply. Emerick started out as an assistant engineer, and was present to witness the Beatles recording for the first time with their new drummer, Ringo Starr, on what became the band’s debut hit single, ‘Love Me Do,’ in 1962. At the age of 20, Emerick took over as the Beatles’ recording engineer, at the request of producer George Martin, (1926-2016) two of the Beatles songs it is said that Emerick had great influence on are ‘Tomorrow Never Knows,’ from ‘Revolver,’ (1966) and ‘Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!’ from ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ (1967.) Of all the Beatles, Emerick was always the closest to Paul McCartney, and after the Beatles split, he worked as the recording engineer on many of McCartney’s solo projects, including ‘Band on the Run’ (1973) (see also best songs 107.)

‘Whistle Down the Wind’ is probably a song about regret. In my opinion, the narrator is missing his lover, and will give everything to get them back.

‘Out the window, look what’s happening. In my prism, watching day by (day by day.) In my humour (ha,) kiss and make up friend. Out the window, look what’s happening.’

Posted by: In: Other 21 Apr 2023 Comments: 0


895-Livin’ Joy-Dreamer.

1994-Number 18 single. When it was re-issued in 1995, it reached Number 1.

Best Bit-At 1.04. This one really is an amateur mixing DJ’s dream, as it will mix effectively into almost anything.

Livin’ Joy are one of the musical projects of the Italian music producers Paolo Visnadi, and his brother Gianni Visnadi, along with the American vocalist Tameko Star, who joined the group in 1995, following the departure of the original lead singer Janice Robinson in 1994. Prior to forming Livin’ Joy, the Visnadi brothers had already tasted success with their previous project ‘Alex Party,’ working alongside DJ Alex Natale, and the vocalist and songwriter Shanie Campbell. As ‘Alex Party’ they were active between 1993-2000, producing music in the genre of ‘Italian House.’ They released one studio Album, the self titled ‘Alex Party’ in 1996, and seven singles, between 1993-2000. Four of those singles reached the Italian (FIMI) top 40, with ‘Wrap Me Up,’ from 1995, peaking the highest at Number 2, while in the UK, they also achieved four top 40 hits, with ‘Don’t Give Me Your Life,’ charting at Number 2 in 1995. Alongside releasing singles, ‘Alex Party’ also remixed tracks for artists of the calibre of Alison Moyet, Everything but the Girl, and The Shamen.

Livin’ Joy were leading exponents in the genre’s of ‘Eurodance,’ and ‘Italo House.’ Italian House Music is a form of ‘House Music’ that originated in Italy in the late 1980’s, The genre’s main musical characteristic is its use of predominantly electronic piano chords in a more lyrical form than classic ‘Chicago House’ records (see also best songs 981) A good example of ‘Italo House’ is the influential track ‘Ride on Time,’ by Black Box (see also best songs 501.)

The Visnadi brothers formed Livin’ Joy to run alongside Alex Party, issuing one studio Album called ‘Don’t Stop Movin” in 1996. They also released six singles between 1994-1999, with three of those tracks making the top 40 in Italy, with the single ‘Don’t Stop Movin,” making Number 1, although ‘Dreamer’ was never a hit in Italy. In the UK, Livin’ Joy have achieved six top 40 chart entries, including the 1995 re-issue of ‘Dreamer.’ In America on the Billboard ‘Dance Chart,’ ‘Dreamer’ made Number 1, and ‘Don’t Stop Movin” reached Number 3, they have never charted within Billboard Hot 100, top 40.

‘Dreamer’ was one of four singles to appear on Livin’ Joy’s’ debut studio Album ‘Don’t Stop Movin,” from November 1996. The song was co-written by Paolo Visnadi, Gianni Visnadi, and Janice Robinson, with the production being by the Visnadi Brothers. Following the release of ‘Dreamer’ in August 1994, the brothers were unable to reach an agreement with Robinson for a follow up single, so she left Livin’ Joy to pursue a solo career, at which point Tameka Starr was brought in as her replacement on vocals. Tameka Starr’s re-recorded ‘Dreamer’ for the Album, and also sang on all of the other 10 tracks. The original version of ‘Dreamer’ with the Janice Robinson vocal, was added to the Album as a bonus hidden track at the end of the disc.

Prior to joining forces with the Visnadi Brothers, Janice Robinson had toured as a vocalist for the ‘Euro-Dance’ group ‘Snap!’ between 1991-1992, although she never recorded with ‘Snap!’ in the studio. In 2000 Robinson toured America as an opening act for Tina Turner, (see also best songs 752-485 and 192) and then in 2005 she re-recorded ‘Dreamer,’ releasing it as ‘Dreamer 05.’ In total Robinson has released four solo singles between 1999-2015, and has written for artists including Taylor Dayne, and Tevin Campbell. In 2018 Robinson appeared as a contestant on the British reality television music competition ‘The X Factor,’ surprising the judging panel with the revelation that she was the voice, and co-songwriter behind the international Dance track ‘Dreamer.’ Robinson made it through to the live shows, as part of the ‘Over 28’s’ category, eventually finishing in 14th place.

‘Here we lie all alone am I dreaming? Your heart’s smooth my soul is unbelieving. Now you see the me and I’m feeling, I’m feeling. I feel your hands, your lips, the heat of your body, whisper your love to me say that you love me. Please just love me down, and never leave me, I’m a dreamer.’