Author Topic: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s  (Read 177415 times)


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Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
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In The Ghetto - Part 2

The Story So Far : The 1968 Albums
The snappily titled 'Singer Presents Elvis Singing Flaming Star and Others' was released by RCA Records in October 1968. It spent five months available only at select retail stores featuring products by the Singer Sewing Machine Company as a promotional tie-in with Presley's upcoming Christmas television special, 'Elvis' on the NBC network, which Singer had sponsored.

It was reissued for normal retail channels as 'Elvis Sings Flaming Star' in April 1969, becoming the first Elvis Presley budget album on the RCA Camden label. Due to the chart success of this album upon reissue in 1969, RCA Records elected to release more Presley titles on the Camden label through 1972. These budget LPs were shorter than the standard running time - clocking in at around 20-25 minutes - and featuring some unused soundtrack recordings and previously released items.

All tracks were compiled from sessions for Presley film soundtracks, with the exception of "Tiger Man" from the Singer Christmas Special. The song was not shown in the initial broadcast of the NBC television special, but it replaced "Blue Christmas" for the repeat broadcast of the special in the summer of 1969. This track has the distinction of being the first live recording by Elvis ever commercially released.

The cover of Chuck Berry's "Too Much Monkey Business" was a warm-up at a session for film songs to Stay Away, Joe. Excepting "Flaming Star", the title song from Presley's 1960 movie of the same title which had been released on an extended play single in February 1961, all tracks were previously unreleased.

The "Texas" medley and "All I Needed Was the Rain" appeared in Viva Las Vegas (1964) and Stay Away, Joe (1967), respectively, while "Wonderful World" appeared over the opening credits to Live a Little, Love a Little (1968).


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'Elvis', the album of the Elvis TV special, was released by RCA Records in December 1968. It was recorded in Burbank, California at Western Recorders between 20-23 June 1968, and at NBC Studios on 27 and 29 June 1968. It peaked at #8 on the Billboard 200. The album consists of a mixture of studio and live recordings, the live material itself a mixture of "sit-down" tracks with a small group and "stand-up" tracks with an orchestra.


Unlike the drudgery of the feature film soundtrack recordings, Presley was genuinely excited by the project. For the album, the musical format presented Presley in three different settings: production numbers featuring medleys of his material; an informal small band featuring full songs in front of a live audience; and the two original numbers with Presley backed by an orchestra in front of a live audience.


Side 1 consisted of the medleys : 'Trouble / Guitar Man' and Lawdy, Miss Clawdy / Baby, What You Want Me to Do / Heartbreak Hotel / Hound Dog / All Shook Up / Can't Help Falling In Love / Jailhouse Rock / Love Me Tender

Side 2 opened with a bit of dialogue followed by a gospel medley : Where Could I Go but to the Lord / Up Above My Head / Saved; a 'sit-down' medley followed consisting of Blue Christmas / One Night . Memories was next, and then one of the big production number medleys - "Nothingville / Big Boss Man / Guitar Man / Little Egypt / Trouble/Guitar Man".

The album, like the TV special, closed with "If I Can Dream" - which had been released earlier in the month, backed with "Edge of Reality" from his current movie 'Live a Little, Love a Little' - making it a double promotion on one record. It peaked at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100, his highest charting single since 1965. Going one better, it peaked at #11 in the UK in April 1969. "Memories" was released over two months after the broadcast, backed with the title song to his next film, "Charro!".


By making it to the top ten on the album chart after his previous album had charted at a dismal #82, this LP resuscitated his recording career at a time when it seemed practically moribund. Presley insisted the mono mixes for these songs were retained for the album.


The 1969 Films - part 1 :
'Charro!', Elvis Presley's twenty-ninth movie, was filmed in Arizona during July and August of 1968. At the time, Elvis had just finished taping his 1968 television special, 'Elvis', which would air in December. He grew a full beard for this rugged role. Elvis' entourage, as well as his manager Colonel Parker, got into the spirit and also grew beards.

Elvis Presley stars as Jess Wade in this offbeat western which features no musical numbers. The storyline finds Wade, a reformed badman, pitted against the members of his old gang. The gang is now led by Vince Hackett, played by character actor Victor French, who takes delight in terrorizing a small Mexican town. The gang has stolen from the town a gold-plated cannon that was used by Emperor Maximilian in his ill-fated fight against popular Mexican leader Benito Juarez. The gang's motive is to force a ransom from the town for the cannon, but the gang also uses the cannon to hold the townspeople at bay. Only Wade can save the people from his former gang. European star Ina Balin co-stars as Tracy Winters, a dance hall hostess in love with Wade.

The movie was directed and produced by Charles Marquis Warren, who had a long career in western movies. It was shot at the Apacheland Movie Ranch in Apache Junction, Arizona near the Superstition Mountains, site of many paranormal stories including the famous 'Lost Dutchman Gold Mine'.

The role of Jess Wade was originally offered to Clint Eastwood, who turned it down. The budget for the movie was estimated at $1.5 million. Working titles for the film included 'Jack Valentine', 'Johnny Hang', and 'Come Hell or Come Sundown'. Presley signed up to the project with high hopes after reading the serious, song-free script, but was left disappointed when he arrived for his first day of shooting on 22 July 1968 to find that the script he had originally signed up for had been changed beyond recognition.

The story of Charro, which was written by Frederick Louis Fox, contained many violent scenes that were dropped from the film altogether. The original opening scene which featured Ina Balin in the nude climbing from a bath, was dropped in favour of a more gentle bar scene [boo!!].

His singing voice is heard only over the credits performing the title song, 'Charro!', which was written by Billy Strange and Mac Davis. Appropriately for a Western, the studio hired Hugo Montenegro to produce the film's two songs, the recording session taking place at Samuel Goldwyn Studio in Hollywood, California on 15 October 1968. The second song recorded for the film, "Let's Forget About the Stars", was not used, and later appeared on the budget album Let's Be Friends in 1970.

At the time, much was made about the absence of songs in the film, as though that fact proved Charro! was a serious effort. Advertisements for the film declared Charro! featured 'a different kind of role...a different kind of man'. Elvis granted more interviews and generated more publicity for Charro! than he had for any film in a long time. One interview quoted him as saying : "'Charro! is the first movie I ever made without singing a song. I play a gunfighter, and I just couldn't see a singing gunfighter'"


Charro! opened nationwide on 13 March 1969. Promotions for this film included twenty-five Southwestern cities which held 'Charro Girl' contests, with finalists appearing in Dallas and Austin. The film, although a hit, was not received as well as Presley's previous films. Fans were put off by the lack of songs, and critics were generally unimpressed with the film as a whole. Despite this, the film made a good profit and Presley received $850,000 for his work.

Roger Greenspun of The New York Times wrote of Presley's performance : "He treats his part rather as a minor embarrassment, and he seems determined not to push himself in a role that could have used a stronger personality to fill the lapses in the story and the wide open spaces in the dialogue."

Variety wrote that : "Presley strolls through a tedious role that would have driven many another actor up the wall ... Even more at fault than Presley, who has occasionally responded in the past to the demands of a good director, is Charles Marquis Warren, who takes credit (or blame?) for the script, the direction, and even part of the production."

Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times wrote that in the film Presley : "sings nary a note, which is too bad. A song or two, though arguably inappropriate, would have helped to relieve the tedium of this trite low-budget Western that has quick-sale-to-TV stamped all over it."

Gary Arnold of The Washington Post called it : "the least kinesthetic Western I've ever seen, which seems to have conceived for the small screen. A plot that might suffice for 30 minutes of restless entertainment has been stretched to a somnambulent 98 minutes."

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'The Trouble With Girls (And How To Get Into It)', Elvis Presley's thirtieth movie, was an odd mixture of music, comedy, and melodrama. Unusually for an Presley picture, Elvis is only on screen for about a third of the film. Among the film's working titles had been 'Big America' and 'Chautauqa'.

The story for the film was based on the Chautauqua, which was founded in 1874 by Lewis Miller, an Akron, Ohio inventor (and the father-in-law of inventor Thomas Edison); and John H. Vincent, a Methodist minister and eventual bishop. Their original goal was to provide adult education in the summer for Sunday school teachers. With the success of the program it evolved to include academic subjects, music, art and physical education. From the very start it included many religious denominations. The home base for Chautauqua is the southwest corner of New York State near Lake Chautauqua, where the institute still thrives today.

Elvis stars as Walter Hale, the manager of a traveling chautauqua. Walter is beset with a number of problems as his show arrives in town for one week. He worries that he might have to give the mayor's untalented daughter the lead in the children's pageant to stay in the mayor's good graces. He must contend with his assistant, played by Marlyn Mason, who is constantly harping about the union rights of his employees. Finally, someone murders the local druggist, and a member of the chautauqua is accused. These loose ends are tied together during the final show, when Walter cannily reveals the killer's identity and wins the heart of his pretty assistant.

In the early 1900's, (the era depicted in 'The Trouble with Girls'), the Chautauqua program traveled by train across the country bringing its lectures to the people. With the advent of film and radio programs the traveling stopped. It has been visited by nine U.S. Presidents, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, who delivered his 'I Hate War' speech from there in 1936, and George Gershwin composed his 'Concerto in F' while visiting in 1925.

The story had a long road to production as a movie. As early as December 1960, Glenn Ford was set to star in the film. By February 1961, Elvis was to join as Ford's co-star. Screenwriters changed over and over and, by July 1961, Glenn Ford was out and Elvis was in as the star. In August 1964, Elvis was out and Dick Van Dyke was chosen to star. After more screenwriter changes MGM sold its rights to Columbia Pictures. In April 1968 MGM bought back the rights to the film and Elvis was back in as the star.

'The Trouble With Girls' was directed by Peter Tewksbury, who also directed the Elvis film 'Stay Away Joe'. Production finally began in October 1968 and was finished by 18 December 1968.

Entering the studio for The Trouble with Girls, Presley found himself in the position of knowing he had the goods in the can with his looming comeback television special but given that his last three singles – "You'll Never Walk Alone," "Your Time Hasn't Come Yet Baby" "A Little Less Conversation" – and the Speedway album all tanked, faced a practically dead recording career.

The recording session took place at United Artists Recorders in Hollywood, on 23 October 1968. "Clean Up Your Own Backyard" by Billy Strange and Mac Davis, their fourth successful submission to a Presley soundtrack in a row, was the only one released concurrently with the film's release, as a single in 1969, peaking at #35 on the Billboard Hot 100.

"Almost" would appear in 1970 on the budget album Let's Be Friends, the only other track from the film to be released during Presley's lifetime. His remake of the His Hand in Mine track "Swing Down Sweet Chariot" would not see release until 1983 on Elvis: A Legendary Performer Volume 4.

Other songs recorded for the film included : "Signs of the Zodiac"  /  "The Whiffenpoof Song" (not used in film)  /  and "Violet (Flower of NYU)"

Released in June 1969, The Trouble with Girls (and How to Get into It) performed poorly in cinemas but strongly on the drive-in circuit.

Roger Greenspun of The New York Times called it : "a charming though ineptly titled comedy" with Presley performing "a reasonably developed characterization as the chautauqua company manager, and he sings very well."

Variety wrote : "Elvis Presley is lost in this one. Without star’s usual assortment of 10 to 12 songs, and numbers cut down to a bare three, picture has little to offer. Title suggests a gay comedy but it’s a mass of contrived melodramatics and uninteresting performances that do not jell into anything but program fare."

Margaret Harford of the Los Angeles Times wrote that the film : "never makes up its mind where to go and how to get there ... The trouble with the picture is not girls; it's indecision by the writers, Arnold and Lois Peyser about whether we should laugh at the corny entertainment of 40-odd years ago, or cry over the troubles of a lonely widow who drinks too much."

The Monthly Film Bulletin wrote : "The plot's rather curious blend of amateur theatricals, folksy humour and straight melodrama strains credulity even for a Presley film, and the few songs are instantly forgettable. Vincent Price makes an odd and quite appealing guest appearance as an itinerant lecturer known as Mr. Morality, but Presley himself seems uninterested in the whole affair."

While it met with generally poor reviews on release, following Presley’s death critics re-visited the film and started to acknowledge its merits – interesting narrative, strong supporting cast including Vincent Price, authentic period feel and innovative filming techniques.

The 1969 Albums - part 1 :
'From Elvis in Memphis', the tenth studio album by Elvis Presley, was recorded in Memphis in January and February 1969 under the direction of producer Chips Moman. Following the success of Presley's TV special 'Elvis' and its soundtrack, the album marked Presley's return to non-soundtrack albums after the completion of his film contract with Paramount Pictures. The album cover was a still from the "Trouble - Guitar Man" production number of NBC's Elvis special. Presley is featured with a red electric guitar, wearing a black leather suit with a red scarf around his neck, with silhouettes of guitar players at the back of the set.


In 1968, Colonel Tom Parker arranged a deal with NBC for a Christmas television special starring Presley in front of a live audience. Parker originally planned to have Presley sing Christmas carols only, but producer Steve Binder convinced the singer to perform songs from his original repertoire. The high ratings received by the special and the success of its attendant LP re-established Presley's popularity. As part of his decision to refocus on music rather than film, Presley decided to record a new album. After the special he approached Scotty Moore and D. J. Fontana, who had played with Presley during his early hit-making career, and who rejoined him on the television show. Presley asked Moore about using Music City Recorders in Nashville, but that suggestion never came to fruition.

During a January 1969 meeting at Graceland, Presley told his usual producer, Felton Jarvis, that he did not want to record his next album at RCA Studios. Two of Presley's friends, DJ George Klein and Marty Lacker, suggested that he use American Sound Studio, an up-and-coming studio with which Lacker was involved. RCA contacted the studio's producer Chips Moman. It was agreed that Presley's recordings would take ten days and cost $25,000. He would be backed by the studio's house band, the 827 Thomas Street Band (informally known as "The Memphis Boys"), which consisted of Reggie Young on guitar, Tommy Cogbill and Mike Leech on bass, Gene Chrisman on drums, Bobby Wood on piano, and Bobby Emmons on organ.

Recording began on 13 January 1969, when Presley arrived at the studio nursing a cold. In addition to his personal entourage, he was accompanied by publisher Freddy Bienstock, Colonel Parker's assistant Tom Diskin, producer Felton Jarvis, executive Harry Jenkins and engineer Al Pachucki, representing RCA Records. The session, which produced recordings of "Long Black Limousine" and "Wearin' That Loved On Look", which features an electric-bass lead for the first time in a Presley recording, plus several non-album songs, continued until 5:00 am. After the first day's recording, Moman and his colleagues expressed discomfort with the size of Presley's entourage, and the singer was accompanied by fewer people for the remaining sessions.

The next day Presley recorded Hank Snow's "I'm Moving On" and "Gentle on My Mind", leaving the studio while working on the latter to rest his throat. The following night, he did not appear, as his cold worsened, and on 15 and 16 January, the house band recorded backing tracks for subsequent sessions. Presley returned on 20 January, recording "In the Ghetto" in 23 takes. On 22 January, he recorded Eddy Arnold's "I'll Hold You in My Heart (Till I Can Hold You in My Arms)" and the non-album single "Suspicious Minds". Presley then took a break from recording for a vacation trip to Aspen, Colorado to celebrate his daughter Lisa Marie's first birthday.

During Presley's absence, Moman was approached by Hill & Range publisher Freddy Bienstock, who was concerned about possible future disputes concerning the songs' publication. Moman and Presley decided not to record Hill & Range compositions, instead using songs by American Sound writers. Bienstock, particularly interested in the non-album "Suspicious Minds" and "Mama Liked the Roses", warned that Moman would have to surrender the publishing rights to release the songs. In response, Moman told Bienstock to take all the recordings and leave the studio. RCA vice-president Harry Jenkins interceded, siding with Moman and ordering Bienstock to stay away from the studio and let Presley work with the staff. Meanwhile, Tom Diskin informed Presley about the publishing issues. Presley supported Moman, assuring Diskin that he and the producer would handle the session work. Diskin contacted Parker, who told him to return to California. Moman retained the publishing rights, and the sessions were scheduled to resume several weeks later.

Presley returned on 17 February 1969, recording "True Love Travels on a Gravel Road" and "Power of My Love", plus Eddy Arnold's "After Loving You" and "Do You Know Who I Am?" the following day. On 19 February, he devoted most of the session to the non-album single "Kentucky Rain", one of the few Hill & Range songs used on the American Sound recordings. Presley followed with a recording of "Only the Strong Survive", a hit for Jerry Butler the previous year, which took twenty-nine takes. On 20 February, he recorded Johnny Tillotson's "It Keeps Right on a Hurtin'" in three takes and "Any Day Now" in six.

'From Elvis in Memphis' was released by RCA Records on 17 June 1969. The twelve tracks on the album were selected from thirty-one which were recorded in the American Sound sessions. The album topped the UK Albums Chart. In the United States, it reached number thirteen on Billboard's Top LP's, and was ranked number seventeen on the magazine's Top Country albums of 1969.

On 12 July 1969, Presley was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone, with the album receiving the lead review. Peter Guralnick, the magazine's reviewer, described it as "great ... Flatly and unequivocally the equal of anything he has ever done" and praised the "evident passion which he has invested in this music", adding: "(he) is trying, and trying very hard, to please us. he needs to have our attention ... It is his involvement after all which comes as the surprise."

Following the American Sound sessions, Presley returned to Hollywood. Between March–April 1969, he recorded the soundtrack and starred in his thirty-first and last motion picture as an actor, 'Change of Habit'.

When the album was due for release, Parker arranged Presley's return to performing live. He made a deal with Kirk Kerkorian, owner of the Las Vegas International Hotel for Presley to play the newly built, 2,000-seat showroom for four weeks (two shows per night, with Mondays off) for $400,000. For his appearance, he assembled a band later known as the TCB Band : James Burton (guitar), John Wilkinson (rhythm guitar), Jerry Scheff (bass-guitar), Ronnie Tutt (drums), Larry Muhoberac (piano) and Charlie Hodge (rhythm guitar, background vocals). The band was complemented by the backing vocals of The Sweet Inspirations and The Imperials. His initial Las Vegas show attracted an audience of 101,500, setting a new Vegas performance record.

The 1969 Films - part 2 :
By 1969, Presley's future in Hollywood was under threat. Although still financially successful, mainly due to the "make 'em quick, make 'em cheap" attitude of Presley's manager Colonel Tom Parker, Presley's films had been making less profit in recent years. When Parker had struggled to find any studio willing to pay Presley's usual $1 million fee, he struck a deal with NBC to produce one feature film, and a TV special entitled Elvis. NBC would pay Presley $1.25 million for both features, and Parker was happy in the knowledge that he was still able to earn $1 million for his client.

'Change of Habit' was Presley's thirty-first and final film acting role. The crime drama musical film was directed by William A. Graham and starred Elvis Presley and Mary Tyler Moore. Written by James Lee, S.S. Schweitzer, and Eric Bercovici, based on a story by John Joseph and Richard Morris, the film is about three Catholic nuns, preparing for their final vows, who are sent to a rough inner city neighbourhood dressed as lay missionaries to work at a clinic run by a young doctor.

As Dr. John Carpenter, Elvis stars as a professional man for the first time in his career. Carpenter heads a clinic in a ghetto area of a major metropolis. He is surprised to be offered assistance by three women. Unknown to him, the three are nuns in street clothing who want to aid the community but are afraid the local residents might be reluctant to seek help if their true identities were known. Carpenter falls in love with Sister Michelle Gallagher, played by wholesome Mary Tyler Moore, but Sister Michelle's true vocation remains unknown to Dr. Carpenter. Sister Michelle also has feelings for the doctor, but she is reluctant to leave the order.

The writers based Mary Tyler Moore's character loosely on a real nun, Sister Mary Olivia Gibson, who was in charge of the speech clinic at Maria Regina College in Syracuse, New York. This Catholic College opened in 1934 and closed in 1990. While there, Sister Mary used some of the same techniques as depicted in the film in her work with handicapped children.

Change of Habit was filmed on location in the Los Angeles area and at the Universal Studios during March and April 1969. In an ironic twist, his final film as an actor saw Elvis ending his days in Hollywood with the type of dramatic role he always craved. Though not a particularly profound film, it does represent a change of venue for Elvis. A drama instead of a comedy, the film featured only three songs.

The female vocal group The Blossoms, who had appeared with Elvis in his 1968 TV special 'Elvis', also performed with him on musical numbers in 'Change of Habit'. Among the members for both gigs was Darlene Love, who later made a name for herself as a solo performer and an actress.

Darlene Love : “While we were doing the movie we broke for lunch and I told the girls, ‘Go on ahead, I’ll catch up with you. I had to get my sunglasses and on the way back to my car Elvis was still in his trailer. His door was open and he saw me pass by and said, ‘Oh Darlene, would you come in for a minute?’ He was always surrounded by people so I figured he must want something really important, because there was nobody around. He said, ‘Well, I’ve had this thing on my mind for a while. You know, I’ve never had a relationship with a Black woman.’ Before he could say anything else, I said, ‘…And you ain’t getting ready to have one with this one either!’ We both fell out laughing.”

When Presley entered Decca Universal Studio on 5 March 1969, for two days to record his final dramatic motion picture soundtrack, what would come to be known as the ''68 Comeback Special' had already been broadcast, its attendant album, 'Elvis' had been his first top ten LP in four years, and he had just finished the sessions at American Sound Studio yielding the album 'From Elvis in Memphis' and the top ten singles "In the Ghetto" and "Suspicious Minds" that would cement his resurgence as a force in American popular music. He had a month-long engagement at the International Hotel in Paradise, Nevada lined up in August, his first live performances in eight years, and clearly now had turned his career around.

A song recorded at American Sound Studio sessions, "Rubberneckin'", would be used in the film and subsequently issued as the B-side of "Don't Cry Daddy" in conjunction with the movie premiere. Of the four tracks that would be recorded at the soundtrack sessions, "Let's Be Friends" (not used in the film), "Change of Habit", and "Have a Happy" would appear on the Camden budget album 'Let's Be Friends' in 1970, while "Let Us Pray" was issued on the compilation gospel album 'You'll Never Walk Alone' in 1971.

Change of Habit was released in the United States on 10 November 1969. It spent four weeks on the Variety Box Office Survey, peaking at #17.

A. H. Weiler of The New York Times reviewed the film on a double bill with House of Cards and noted that both were : "merely exemplary of professional technique and dialogue rather than memorable characterization and emotion."

Variety wrote that : "its intriguing idea has a well-enough-constructed plotline to flesh out its premise for good family fare ... Presley displays his customary easy presence."

Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times wrote : "Today we're simply too much aware how agonizing social injustices can be for them to be treated with the breezy, jaunty touch of simple-minded light comedy ... to watch all this frantically bouncy, thoroughly bogus business is as discomforting as listening to chalk screech across a blackboard."

The 1969 Singles :
"Clean Up Your Own Backyard"  (b/w "The Fair's Moving On") was released in August 1969. It reached #21 in the UK chart in September 1969.


Written by Mac Davis and Billy Strange, it featured in the MGM film 'The Trouble with Girls', and was later included on the budget RCA Camden album 'Almost In Love'. Although The Trouble with Girls was set in the 1920s, several lyrics within this song are anachronistic for the era, such as a reference to "armchair quarterbacks", a term not coined until the advent of television sports broadcasting decades later.


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"Suspicious Minds" (b/w "You'll Think of Me") was released in August 1969 in the US, and November 1969 in the UK - peaking at #2 in the charts.


"Suspicious Minds" was written and first recorded by American songwriter Mark James. James said that late one night, he was fooling around on his Fender guitar and using his Hammond organ pedals for a bass line and came up with what he thought was a catchy melody. At the time, he was married to his first wife but still had feelings for his childhood sweetheart, who was married back in Houston. James's wife had suspicions about his feelings. He felt it was a confusing time for him and that all three were "caught in this trap that they could not walk out of."

At the recording session, James sang the lead vocals and the studio band backed him; Chips Moman produced. After the tape was mixed, James and Moman flew to New York, where James's manager had contacts with Scepter Records. The label loved the song and put it out, but Scepter did not have the money to promote new artists and the song did not make the charts.

Later that year, Don Crews, Moman's partner, told James that Presley had booked their studio to record what would become the From Elvis in Memphis album. Crews kept asking James if he had any songs that would be right for Presley. James thought of "Suspicious Minds" and began urging others to get Presley to hear it. Even though James's recording had not been commercially successful, upon reviewing the song, Presley decided he could turn it into a hit.

"Suspicious Minds" was recorded between 4 and 7 a.m. on Thursday, 23 January 1969. James was in Memphis, but he was not at the recording session. A few days earlier, he had walked into the recording studio during a session and sensed that Elvis was uncomfortable with his presence. James did not want to jinx the song so he stayed away. When he heard the track the day after it was recorded, he initially thought it sounded too slow. When he later heard the embellished version, he said he was blown away.

Production of the song was nearly scuttled over a copyright dispute. Elvis's business people said they wanted half of Moman's publishing rights. Moman accused them of stealing and threatened to halt the recording session. Harry Jenkins of RCA agreed with Moman because he sensed that "the song would be a big hit and there would be plenty to go around".

On 7 August 1969, "Suspicious Minds" was again overdubbed to stereo and mono in Las Vegas, where the final master was produced. RCA staff producer Felton Jarvis made the unusual decision to add a fade-out to the song starting at 3:36 and lasting for nearly 15 seconds before fading back into the song. The first verse then continues repeatedly until the song completely fades out. Moman disclosed that Jarvis was never happy with Elvis recording at American Sound Studio

Chips Moman: "it was a control thing. So when Jarvis took the tape of 'Suspicious Minds,' he added this crazy 15-second fade toward the end, like the song was ending, and brought it back by overdubbing to extend it. I have no idea why he did that, but he messed it up. It was like a scar in the song - a scar not too well-liked. Not that it mattered, though - soon after the song was released, Elvis was back on top of the charts."

Presley first performed the song at the Las Vegas International Hotel on 31 July 1969, and the 45 rpm single was released 26 days later. It reached No.1 in the United States on 31 October 1969 and stayed there for one week. It would be Presley's final No.1 single on the Billboard Hot 100, before his death.

The 1969-1970 Albums - part 2 :
'From Memphis to Vegas / From Vegas to Memphis' was both Elvis' eleventh studio album and his second live album (following the 1968 TV special). The double album was released on 14 October 1969, by RCA Records. The first album, titled 'In Person at the International Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada', contains the live recordings of Presley's hits at the International Hotel in Winchester, Nevada, while the second album, titled 'Back in Memphis', contains entirely new material recorded at American Sound Studio in Memphis. The album peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard 200.


Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker, secured a month-long engagement at the International Hotel, and in keeping with the "clear-the-decks" philosophy of the previous album, Presley jettisoned his long-serving 1960s sidemen in favor of musicians who would become his Taking Care of Business band.

The first album consisted of recordings from those shows, Elvis' first live performances since his March 1961 benefit concert in Hawaii. Signature hits from his 1950s and early 1960s repertoire, including Blue Suede Shoes, Johnny B. Goode, and Hound Dog appeared alongside a cover of "Words" by The Bee Gees, his recent hit single "In The Ghetto" and an extended version of "Suspicious Minds", the single of which had only just been released during the engagement.


The songs featured on the second LP consisted of ten recordings produced by Chips Moman from the winter of 1969 sessions at American Sound not used for 'From Elvis in Memphis'. Although drawn from what were basically leftovers, still "Stranger in My Hometown" equaled the intensity of the already issued songs. Other songs included : "Inherit the Wind"  /  "This Is the Story"  /  "A Little Bit of Green"  /  "And the Grass Won't Pay No Mind"  /  "From a Jack to a King"  /  and "Without Love (There is Nothing)"

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'Let's Be Friends' was a compilation album released in April 1970. It was the second Presley budget album to appear on the low-priced RCA Camden label. It peaked at number 105 on the Billboard 200 album chart.

Similar to its predecessor 'Elvis Sings Flaming Star', Let's Be Friends collects mostly unreleased songs recorded for Presley film soundtracks. Given the recent work of the revitalised Presley, in the past the Colonel might have objected to this kind of market saturation, but under the terms of Presley's agreement with RCA, budget albums brought extra cash outside of contract stipulations.


Two non-movie outtakes appeared from the winter of 1969 sessions at American Sound Studio in Memphis : "I'll Be There" and "If I'm a Fool (For Loving You)". "Mama" was sung in the 1962 film Girls! Girls! Girls! by The Amigos and Presley's version first appeared on this album. "Let's Forget About the Stars" had been recorded for the 1968 film Charro!, but cut from the picture. "Almost" was one of only two tracks from 1968 film The Trouble with Girls to see release in Presley's lifetime.

Three tracks, "Let's Be Friends", "Change of Habit", and "Have a Happy", originated from Presley's then-current film 'Change of Habit', thus casting the album in the additional role as an unofficial soundtrack LP for the film.

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Previously :
62.   |  All Shook Up
64b. |  Party  (Melody Maker 18.)
67.   |  Jailhouse Rock / Treat Me Nice
80.   |  I Got Stung  /  One Night
85.   |  I Need Your Love Tonight  /  A Fool Such As I
99b. |  Stuck On You  (Melody Maker 51.)
106b|  A Mess of Blues  (Melody Maker 57.)
109. |  It's Now Or Never
112. |  Are You Lonesome Tonight
115. |  Wooden Heart
119. |  Surrender
125b|  Wild in the Country (NME 121.)
129. |  Little Sister  /  His Latest Flame
133. |  Can't Help Falling In Love
136. |  Good Luck Charm
140. |  She's Not You
143. |  Return To Sender
154. |  (You're The) Devil In Disguise
197. |  Crying In The Chapel
274bElvis Presley - In The Ghetto (MM 221.) + (NME 271.)       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
« Last Edit: May 02, 2021, 02:58:18 PM by daf »

Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #2011 on: May 02, 2021, 05:24:25 PM »
God, I love the white suited 'If I Can Dream'. It's such an emotional performance.


  • All Done by Kindness
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #2012 on: May 02, 2021, 05:36:27 PM »
I didn't link to it in the main post, but I came across a version they recorded with him in his leathers :

If I Can Dream (Black Leather)

(Probably just a rehearsal, as the sound's a bit off)


  • Maclunkey
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #2013 on: May 02, 2021, 07:27:01 PM »
I didn't link to it in the main post, but I came across a version they recorded with him in his leathers :

If I Can Dream (Black Leather)

(Probably just a rehearsal, as the sound's a bit off)
I highly recommend the 3 disc Deluxe Comeback Special DVD.


  • mere rhetorical frippery
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #2014 on: May 03, 2021, 04:12:03 AM »
'Cos if there's one thing that she don't need
It's another 5pence on a tin of beans
In the Netto (in the Netto...)

Bloody shops closures spoiling jokes.

Possibly Hale & Pace here?:
Face down in the gateau (in the gateauuu)
Black Forest gateau...

Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #2015 on: May 03, 2021, 07:47:18 AM »
I'm not much of an Elvis fan.
I appreciate how important he is as a figure in musical history, but there's only a handful of his songs that I actually like.

In The Ghetto is one of them though.


  • All Done by Kindness
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #2016 on: May 03, 2021, 10:03:52 AM »
I highly recommend the 3 disc Deluxe Comeback Special DVD.

Cheers - just ordered a copy from Ebay!

Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #2017 on: May 03, 2021, 12:02:13 PM »
I'm not much of an Elvis fan.
I appreciate how important he is as a figure in musical history, but there's only a handful of his songs that I actually like.

In The Ghetto is one of them though.
I share the sentiment - and it was used, of course, to great effect by the KFL on 'Chill Out' too.

I get Elvis is crucial to how things panned out, but in terms of the 50s rock n roll stuff, from the "white boy" side of things, I'd much rather listen to some Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly or Eddie Cochran. There's something about Elvis I've always found a bit silly or naff - I suspect a lot of it is the numerous parodies of him over the years.


  • All Done by Kindness
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #2018 on: May 08, 2021, 02:00:00 PM »
2033, Cannabis in tea, it's . . .

275.  Zager and Evans - In The Year 2525 (Exordium & Terminus)

From : 24 August – 13 September 1969
Weeks : 3
Flip side : Little Kids
Bonus 1 : Original 1968 Truth Records version
Bonus 2 : Beat Club
Bonus 3 : RTS Promo film

The Story So Far : 
Denny Zager and Rick Evans met at Nebraska Wesleyan University in 1962. They were joined by drummer Danny Schindler in the Nebraska band The Eccentrics until Schindler's tour of Vietnam in 1965. Evans also left in 1965 and reunited with Zager in 1968.


Denny Zager : "Rick was attending Wesleyan University in Lincoln, Nebraska, and I saw him play at a fraternity party. I was in a band that I wasn't really happy with, as these guys were more interested in partying than playing, and I was looking to put a duo together like Simon and Garfunkel. All of Rick’s lyrics had a very unusual nature about them that kind of caught me off guard. I spoke with him after the show and the rest, as they say, is history."

As Zager and Evans, the duo were backed by another Nebraska native, Mark Dalton, on bass. Their first drummer, Paul Maher, was later replaced by another Nebraskan, Dave Trupp. Trupp and Dalton were also the rhythm section in the Liberation Blues Band and backed Evans on some solo demo material.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Their debut single, "In the Year 2525 (Exordium & Terminus)", warned of the dangers of technology, portraying a future in which the human race was destroyed by its own technological and medical innovations. The song was originally written by Evans in 1964, but not recorded or released until 1968 on the Truth Records label. After radio stations in Lincoln and Omaha made "In the Year 2525" a regional "break-out" hit record, RCA Records signed the duo and released the song with "Little Kids", also written by Evans, as the B-side nationwide.

Mark Dalton : "Little Kids" was recorded at Tommy Allsup's studio in Odessa Texas  Denny Zager, lead vocals, Rick Evans, guitar and  harmony vocals, Dave Trupp on drums and me on bass.  That trip was so much fun!"


"In the Year 2525" hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in July 1969, claiming the top spot for six weeks. It also hit #1 for three weeks in the UK in August and September 1969. The record sold over four million copies by 1970 and was awarded a gold disc by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in July 1969.

Denny Zager : "Time Magazine actually featured us in their magazine, and wrote "The Beatles would be jealous."  Who would have believed two farm boys from Nebraska would have the No. 1 hit in the world and have Time magazine saying the Beatles would be jealous! I couldn't have dreamed it."


Striking while the iron was hot, Zager and Evans immediately recorded their debut album, '2525 (Exordium & Terminus)', again using Trupp and Dalton as the primary rhythm section. Songs featured included "Bayoan", "Fred", and "Taxi Man".


After the success of "2525", White Whale Records released an LP titled 'The Early Writings of Zager & Evans and Others' featuring recordings of The Eccentrics on side one and a band called J.K. and Co., who had no connection to Zager and Evans, on side two.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The follow-up single, "Mr. Turnkey" (b/w "Cary Lynn Javes"), released in October 1969, failed to chart in the UK and tanked at #106 in the US, and at #86 in Australia.


The song's chart chances probably weren't helped by the rather dark lyrics which are sung from the perspective of a convicted rapist - that old jolly chestnut!


Unsurprisingly, after that disaster, no further singles were released in the UK, but they persevered in the US with their next single "Listen To The People" (b/w "She Never Sleeps Beside Me") - which was released in December 1969, and did slightly better - peaking at #100 on the Cashbox chart.


A slightly different version of "Mr Turnkey" was included on their second album, 'Zager and Evans', released in 1970. Other songs featured included "In My House", "During REM", and "Reginald Ludwig".


The non-album single "Help One Man Today" (b/w "Yeah 3²") followed in March 1970 - peaking at #94 in the Australian charts. In June 1970, two songs from the second album, "Crutches" (b/w "The Plastic Park"), were exhumed and paired for yet another chart-dodging single.

After releasing two albums on RCA, Zager and Evans moved to Vanguard Records in 1971. Their first single on their new label, "Hydra 15,000" (b/w "I Am"), was released in January 1971 - but once again failed to trouble the charts.


Both songs featured on their third album, 'Food For The Mind'. Other songs included 'The House On Sumner Street', "The Last Two People On Earth", and "Alice Browning".


One final single emerged - "A Christmas Song (What Have We Done To Your Day)" (b/w "The Sunday Mornin' Band") - as an optimistic stab at the 1971 Christmas number 1. [no trace of either song could be located on youtube]

In the early 70s, Evans released a duet album for Truth Records titled 'I Need This Song' with Pam Herbert. In the late 1970s, he formed his own label, Fun Records, and released an album titled 'Fun Songs, Think Songs' containing both new material and re-recordings of Zager and Evans material.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Zager now builds custom guitars at Zager Guitars in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Denny Zager : "My son and I build guitars daily in our shop behind our house here in Nebraska. We don't get out a lot, so other than having more lunches at home, it hasn't really affected us. We have an artist’s studio in Los Angeles where we meet a lot of our celebrity clients, and now that California is quarantined we're probably going to be staying in Nebraska for a bit."

Rick Evans was largely retired from public life but he continued to chat online with Mick Dalton and his best friend, Nashville producer Gary Earl, until his death in February 2018.

Denny Zager : "Like any band Rick and I had our squabbles, but there was a point in time that I felt we could have written some of the best music of the century. I miss him."

The Single :
"In the Year 2525 (Exordium & Terminus)" was written and composed by Rick Evans in 1964, and recorded by the duo of Zager and Evans in 1968.

"In the Year 2525" opens with an introductory verse explaining that if mankind has survived to that point, they would witness the subsequent events in the song. The following verses pick up the story at 1,010-year intervals from 3535 to 6565. In each succeeding millennium, life becomes increasingly sedentary and automated: thoughts are pre-programmed into pills for people to consume, eyes, teeth, and limbs all lose their purposes due to machines replacing their functions, and marriage becomes obsolete since children are conceived in test tubes.

For the final three millennia, the tone of the song turns apocalyptic as the pattern of the lyrics break: the year 7510 marks the date by which the Second Coming will have happened, and the Last Judgment occurs one millennium later. By 9595, the Earth becomes completely depleted of resources, with the narrator uncertainly speculating that this results in the death of humankind. The song ends after 10,000 years. By that time, humans have finally become extinct. But the narrator notes that somewhere 'so very far away', possibly on another planet, the scenarios told in the song have still yet to play out, as the song repeats from the top and the recording fades out.

Denny Zager : "Rick said he wrote the lyrics in 10 minutes in the back of a Volkswagen van after a night of partying and a lot of Mary Jane. He tried the song with a few bands he was playing with at the time, but the music wasn't right and it wasn't working. I thought the lyrics were intriguing, so I rewrote the music so it blended better with the lyrics. The first night we played it live we knew it was special because the crowd looked stunned and wanted to hear it again and again."

The track went to number 1 on the U.S. charts within three weeks of release, and peaked at number one in the UK Singles Chart for three weeks in August and September 1969.  Ironically, the song's subtitle, (Exordium & Terminus), meaning 'beginning and end', is a neat summary of their brief chart career.


The song was recorded primarily in one take in 1968, produced by Tommy Allsup, at a studio in a cow pasture in Odessa, Texas. Members of the Odessa Symphony also participated in the recording.

Mark Dalton : “We recorded that song with just Trupp and me and Rick Evans playing acoustic guitar. It might have been one take. We’d rehearsed it a lot in Lincoln before we went down. The singing part of it took hours and hours to get the vocal harmonies right. And they brought in some musicians from the Odessa symphony -- you know it was a boomtown because it had a symphony -- to finish it off.”

In 1968 the single was pressed on a tiny independent label, Truth Records, and became a regional hit.

Dave Trupp : “We had like 5,000 copies made, and we came back and sold them out of the trunk of a car. They sold in about a week, and so we had more made. A bunch of record people got interested in it and flew in.”

Those record people included and Jerry Weintraub of RCA Records, who signed the band and flew the group to Chicago to record the first Zager and Evans album. Record producer Ethel Gabriel was tasked with enhancing the sound and arrangement of the single - based on the original 1968 recording.

The duo also released an Italian version : "Nell'anno 2033", and obscure Nottingham band Whichwhat recorded a contemporary cover - though it failed to gain any significant radio exposure, much to the exasperation of one of Whichwhat's biggest fans, Dave Dobbins, who unleashed a blistering anti-BBC broadside in the pages of the pop press thundering against the shameless pro-Zager and Evans bias on display on the "so-called" impartial national airwaves - Harumph!


Other Versions include :   Nat Stuckey (1969)  /  Ginette Reno (1969)  /  Jan Davis (1969)  /  Caravelli (1969)  /  "Vuonna 2525" by Robin ja Robarit (1969)  /  "L'an 2005" by Richard Anthony (1969)  /  "L'an 2005" by Dalida (1969)  /  "V století dvacátém devátém" by Marta Kubišová (1970)  /  "Nel 2023" by Caterina Caselli (1970)  /  "Was wird sein in sieben Jahren" by Nina & Mike (1972)  /  The Twins (1981)  /  Jane Rossi (1983)  /  Visage (1983)  /  Vanilla (1986)  /  Laibach (1994)  /  Kitbuilders (2002)  /  Ian Brown (2009)  /  Danny McEvoy (2011)  /  SistersGoldenHair (2019)  /  ClinicalHypnosis (2020)  /  me and blue (2020)  /  David Snell (2020)  / The NEW Bardots (2021)

On This Day  :
27 August : Ivy Compton-Burnett, English novelist, dies at 85
28 August : Mary McCartney, photographer and daughter of Paul and Linda McCartney, born Mary Anna McCartney in London
28 August : Jack Black, actor and singer (Tenacious D), born Thomas Jacob Black in Santa Monica, California
29 August : Me'Shell Ndegéocello, American singer-songwriter, born Michelle Lynn Johnson in Berlin, Germany
30 August : 120,000 attend Texas International Pop Festival
31 August : Rocky Marciano, American boxer, dies in a plane crash at 45
31 August : 25,000 attend New Orleans Pop Festival
1 September : Colonel Muammar Gaddafi deposes King Idris in the Libyan revolution
2 September : Ho Chi Minh [Nguyễn Sinh Cung], Vietnamese communist revolutionary and President of North Vietnam (1946-69), dies at 79 of heart failure
5 September : Mark Ramprakash, English cricketer, born Mark Ravin Ramprakash in Bushey, Hertfordshire, England
5 September : Dweezil Zappa, guitarist and son of Frank Zappa, born Ian Donald Calvin Euclid Zappa in Hollywood, California
6 September : CeCe Peniston, American singer, born Cecilia Veronica Peniston in Phoenix, Arizona
7 September : Jackie Stewart wins the Italian Grand Prix at Monza to clinch his first Formula 1 World Drivers Championship
8 September : Gary Speed, Welsh footballer and Wales national football team manager, born Gary Andrew Speed in Mancot, Flintshire, Wales
9 September : Allegheny Airlines flight 853 collides with a Piper Cherokee above Indiana, kills all 83 occupants
10 September : US performs nuclear test at Grand Valley Colorado
11 September : USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
13 September : Shane Warne, Australian cricket spin bowler, born Shane Keith Warne in Melbourne, Australia
13 September :"Scooby-Doo Where are You" by Hanna-Barbera debuts on CBS in the US
13 September : Plastic Ono Band's 1st live performance


  • Absolutely no fun whatsoever
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #2019 on: May 08, 2021, 09:53:31 PM »
I mostly know this song from when The Simpsons made references to it. I think Futurama also had a parody of this song. It obviously made a big impression on Matt Groening.


  • All Done by Kindness
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #2020 on: May 08, 2021, 10:05:38 PM »
Yes, I noticed that in the Wikipedia entry :

In 2010, it was parodied as "In the Year 252525" in the seventh episode of Futurama's sixth season, "The Late Philip J. Fry", as Fry, Professor Farnsworth and Bender travel forwards through time to find a period in which the backwards time machine has been invented.

Good news everyone! Here's a clip > > > In the Year 252525

Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #2021 on: May 09, 2021, 10:28:39 AM »
Well, I sound like-a Buddy Holly, 'cause it's raining in my heh-heart, its . . .

97.  Adam Faith - Poor Me

From : 28 February – 12 March 1960
Weeks : 2
Flip side : The Reason
Bonus : Brucie Duet

On This Day :

His biography 'Big Time' is really good. Guess what, he was a 'complex character'? I always wanted to believe that the cast of Stardust (Moonie, Edmunds, Essex et al) bonded, boozed and birded it up. Well, they did do some of that ... but not with Adam. Apparently, he was aloof and miserable. However, one redeeming feature is that he had an affair with Chris Evert Lloyd...


  • All Done by Kindness
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #2022 on: May 22, 2021, 02:00:00 PM »
Bad Vibes Looming, it's . . .

276.  Creedence Clearwater Revival - Bad Moon Rising

From : 14 September – 4 October 1969
Weeks : 3
Flip side : Lodi
Bonus : Johnny Cash Show

The Story So Far : 
John Cameron Fogerty was born in Berkeley, California, and grew up in El Cerrito, California, one of five sons born to Galen Robert and Edith Lucile Fogerty. While in junior high school in 1959, Fogerty formed a cover band with bassist Stu Cook and drummer Doug 'Cosmo' Clifford called The Blue Velvets. The trio played instrumentals and "jukebox standards", and backed John's older brother Tom at recordings and performances before he joined the band.

As Tommy Fogerty And The Blue Velvets, they released three singles on the San Fransisco 'Orchestra' label : "Come On Baby" (b/w "Oh My Love") in October 1961, "Have You Ever Been Lonely" (b/w "Bonita") in February 1962, and "Now You're Not Mine" (b/w "Yes You Did") in June 1962.

In 1964 they signed with Fantasy Records, an independent jazz label in San Francisco. For the band's first release, Fantasy co-owner Max Weiss renamed the group The Golliwogs [the daft racist!]. Bandmembers' roles changed during this period: Stu Cook switched from piano to bass guitar and Tom Fogerty from lead vocals to rhythm guitar; John Fogerty eventually took control of the group by singing lead vocals, and blossoming into a multi-instrumentalist who played keyboards, harmonica, and saxophone in addition to lead guitar. By 1967, he was producing the group's recordings.

Tom Fogerty : "I could sing, but John had a sound!"

Their first release on Fantasy as The Golliwogs : "Don't Tell Me No Lies", (b/w "Little Girl (Does Your Mamma Know?"), was issued in December 1964.


Three singles were released in 1965 : "Where You Been" (b/w "You Came Walking") in April; "You Can't Be True" (b/w "You Got Nothin' On Me") in July; and "Brown-Eyed Girl" (b/w "You Better Be Careful") in December 1965 - which was released on the Scorpio label.

Two singles followed in 1966 : "Fight Fire" (b/w "Fragile Child") in March; and "Walking On The Water" (b/w "You Better Get It Before It Gets You") in October 1966.

In 1966, John Fogerty and Doug Clifford were conscripted into the U.S. armed forces; Fogerty joined the U.S. Army Reserve while Clifford joined the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve. During his time in the Army Reserve, Fogerty attended training at Fort Bragg, Fort Knox, and Fort Lee. He completed his active duty for training in July 1967, then served as a part-time reservist until being discharged in 1968. Speaking of his experience in the US Army Fogerty said : "I would become delirious and go into a trance. And I started narrating this story to myself, which was the song 'Porterville'."

In 1967, they released their final two singles as The Golliwogs : "Tell Me" (b/w "You Can't Be True") in June and "Porterville' (b/w "Call It Pretending") in October 1967.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
In 1967, Saul Zaentz bought Fantasy Records and offered the band a chance to record a full-length album. Having hated the name "The Golliwogs" from day one, the band decided on a new name. Rejected contenders for the band's name included "Muddy Rabbit" [rubbish!], "Gossamer Wump" [worse!], and "Creedence Nuball and the Ruby" which was the starting point from which the band derived their final name : Creedence Clearwater Revival. The name's elements came from three sources: Tom Fogerty's friend Credence Newball; a television commercial for Olympia Brewing Company ("clear water"); and the four members' 'revived' commitment to their band. Unfortunately, despite improving on the name, they were still stuck with a really bad publishing deal.

Stu Cook : "Fogerty, Cook, Clifford and Fogerty signed a publishing agreement with one of Fantasy's companies that gave up rights to copyright ownership...Lennon and McCartney never owned the copyrights to their compositions, either. When you're on the bottom, you make the best deal you can."

They released their debut album, 'Creedence Clearwater Revival' in May 1968


"Porterville", which was the last single released by the band under the name the Golliwogs in November 1967, was included on the album and revealed singer/guitarist John Fogerty's nascent songwriting talents.

John Fogerty : "It's semi-autobiographical; I touch on my father, but it's a flight of fantasy, too. And I knew when I was doing it, 'Man, I'm on to something here.' Everything changed after that. I gave up trying to write sappy love songs about stuff I didn't know anything about, and I started inventing stories."

In June 1968 they released their first single as Creedence Clearwater Revival - a cover of the 1956 rockabilly song "Susie Q", it reached reached # 11 in the US charts and was their only Top 40 hit not written by John Fogerty. The single version was split into two parts, with the jam session during the coda on the A-side fading out with the guitar solo right before the coda which fades in part two on the B-side

John Fogerty : "We recorded an old Dale Hawkins song but I psychedelicized it to get it played on the local San Francisco underground radio station, which is why the song was extended to eight minutes in length. James Burton was a huge influence on me going back to when I was a child, when I bought that record, 'Suzie-Q,' and that was James Burton playing that guitar—which I didn't know at the time, of course."

Doug Clifford : "'Susie Q' was a rockabilly song that sounded like all of the other rockabilly songs. When we were working in the clubs we lengthened certain songs just because they were fun to jam on and it made it more danceable, made it different. I came up with the quarter note idea, listening to some blues guys. I don’t even remember the song. They did the quarter note thing when they went into, I think, a chorus, or during the instrumental, and the out as well. But anyway, I liked the way it felt. “Susie Q” needed a little kick, so I went to quarters."

John Fogerty : "It established how we would work for the next few years. After we finished recording our parts, the other guys hung around while I mixed. The problem was they were making all these comments like, "Well, that won't work. This won't work." You know, they were having a great time laughing...And that was the very last time I ever allowed them to be around when I mixed a record...Basically, we'd go in, we'd record the band, and then I'd throw them out of the studio. I just couldn't have them around while I was doing overdubs or when I was mixing, because they weren't very constructive."


Also featured on the album was the Wilson Pickett cover "Ninety-Nine and a Half (Won't Do)", and a cover of the Screamin' Jay Hawkins classic, "I Put a Spell on You" which was released as a single in October 1968, reaching #58 in the US charts.

The album included the only co-write between John and his brother Tom Fogerty to appear on a Creedence album: the foreboding "Walk on the Water". An earlier version of the song had already been released in 1966 under the Golliwogs name. The album features three other Fogerty originals: "The Working Man", "Get Down Woman", and "Gloomy".

Going against the grain at the times, Creedence eschewed [bless you!] the acid-inspired free-form jams favoured by many rock bands, for tightly-structured roots music with an unmistakable rockabilly edge.

John Fogerty : "I didn't like the idea of those acid-rock, 45-minute guitar solos. I thought music should get to the point a little more quickly than that."

Doug Clifford : "We went to see the local bands and they were so stoned they weren’t even in tune and they were really terrible...We made a pact on the floor of the Fillmore, right then, where we would do no drugs or alcohol. We decided to get high on the music, or get out of the business."

While the band did gain success with their chart debut, critics initially denied the band respect. Barry Gifford writing in Rolling Stone at the time stated : "The only bright spot in the group is John Fogerty, who plays lead guitar and does the vocals. He's a better-than-average singer (really believable in Wilson Pickett's "Ninety-Nine and a Half"), and an interesting guitarist. But there's nothing else here. The drummer is monotonous, the bass lines are all repetitious and the rhythm guitar is barely audible."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Creedence Clearwater Revival released their second album, 'Bayou Country' in January 1969.


John Fogerty : ""We went into RCA in Hollywood, Studio A, to record Bayou Country in October. We had the music for “Proud Mary” recorded, and I knew what I wanted the backgrounds to sound like. I showed the other guys how to sing the backgrounds, having remembered what we’d sounded like on “Porterville”, which was very ragged, not melodious...And I heard our tape back, and I just went, “Nahhh, that’s not gonna work.” So we had a big fight over that...We literally coulda broke up right there."

Peaking at #7 in the album charts, the record featured the single "Proud Mary", which reached No. 2 on the national Billboard chart, and would peak at #8 in the UK chart in June 1969. John cites this song as being the result of high spirits on gaining his discharge from the Army Reserve.

John Fogerty : "It was my first really good song. I was 23 years old, I believe, and I'd been kind of playing at music for 10 years. But I recognized the importance of 'Proud Mary' immediately."

Doug Clifford : "We all jammed every day when we weren't on the road and actually when we were on the road. We'd play acoustically at night. Three to four hours every night we would work the songs out or songs would come out of that song pool. The rest of us didn't get any credit for anything that came out of it. That's okay. I'm not crying over spilled milk, but when you really look at how prolific John was in the 3½ years that we had our success and the major drought he's had as a solo artist, I think it adds a little more what we contributed to the band."

Featured as the B-side to Proud Mary, the album opened with the swampy "Born on the Bayou".

John Fogerty : "I would sit in my little apartment - which was very sparse - and stare at the wall. That's how I wrote. I would stare at it all night. There was nothing hanging on the wall, because I didn't have any money for paintings. It was just a beige wall. It was a blank slate, a blank canvas. But it was also exciting. I could go anywhere and do anything because I was a writer. I was conjuring that place deep in my soul that was me. And it’s the middle of the night, I’m looking at my blank wall and basically going into another dimension — whatever you do when you’re kind of meditating — and that whole sound, that ringing, the way my amp sounded was takin’ me in there, and right at that moment, I don’t know if I’d written it first on a piece of paper, but it collided in my brain with the phrase, born on the bayou... And I pulled everything I knew about it, which wasn’t much because I didn’t live there. It was all through media. I loved an old movie called Swamp Fever...every other bit of southern bayou information that had entered my imagination from the time I was born, it all sort of collided in that meditation about that song. And I knew that that sound and that story went together. I can’t tell you why."

Doug Clifford : "The favorite song that we ever did, for me, was 'Born on the Bayou.' Still, when I hear that song I go, 'That’s me playing on that.' It is a weird thing. It was greasy and we were right out of the clubs. That song had so much soul in it. We thought that was going to be the A-side. The hit-pickers back in those days—I wish I could think of the guy’s name off-hand, he had a sheet that you could subscribe to, that’s where they made their money—they decided that “Proud Mary” was the A-side. “Bayou” was my favorite Creedence song so I was a little disappointed in that. I didn’t get “Proud Mary” at the time, I thought it was kind of corny, but it’s pretty darn good, it’s popcorn now. ”Bayou” has the same driving force, but there’s a little more air in it, the tempo’s back just a shade."

The album also featured "Bootleg", "Graveyard Train", "Penthouse Pauper", plus a remake of the rock & roll classic "Good Golly, Miss Molly" and the band's nine-minute live-show closer, "Keep On Chooglin'".


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In April 1969, Creedence Clearwater Revival became the first act to sign a contract for the landmark Woodstock Festival, agreeing to play for $10,000. The promoters had experienced difficulty landing big-name groups prior to Creedence committing to play. Creedence drummer Doug Clifford later commented : "Once Creedence signed, everyone else jumped in line and all the other big acts came on."

Their set, starting at 3 a.m. on the morning of 17 August 1969, was not included in the Woodstock film or soundtrack because John felt the band's performance was subpar. John later complained the act that preceded them, the Grateful Dead, had put the audience to sleep.


John Fogerty : “We were ready to rock out and we waited and waited and finally it was our turn ... there were a half million people asleep. These people were out. It was sort of like a painting of a Dante scene, just bodies from hell, all intertwined and asleep, covered with mud. And this is the moment I will never forget as long as I live: A quarter mile away in the darkness, on the other edge of this bowl, there was some guy flicking his Bic, and in the night I hear, "Don't worry about it, John. We're with you." I played the rest of the show for that guy.”

Stu Cook : "The performances are classic CCR and I'm still amazed by the number of people who don't even know we were one of the headliners at Woodstock '69."

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'Green River', their third studio album, was released in August 1969, and includes two of their biggest hits : "Bad Moon Rising" and "Green River" - both reaching #2 in the US.


"Bad Moon Rising", which topped the charts in the UK in September 1969, is notable for its jaunty, happy music juxtaposed with its dark, ominous lyrics. It was inspired by a scene in the 1941 film The Devil and Daniel Webster involving a hurricane.

John Fogerty : "[the words told of] the apocalypse that was going to be visited upon us. It wasn't until the band was learning the song that I realized the dichotomy. Here you got this song with all these hurricanes and blowing and raging ruin and all that, but...It's a happy-sounding tune, right?"


"Green River" was released in the UK in November 1969, peaking at #11.

John Fogerty : "What really happened is that I used a setting like New Orleans, but I would actually be talking about things from my own life. Certainly a song like "Green River" – which you may think would fit seamlessly into the Bayou vibe, but it's actually about the Green River, as I named it – it was actually called Putah Creek by Winters, California. It wasn't called Green River, but in my mind I always sort of called it Green River. I went there with my family every year until I was ten. Lot of happy memories there. I learned how to swim there. There was a rope hanging from the tree. Certainly dragonflies, bullfrogs. There was a little cabin we would stay in owned by a descendant of Buffalo Bill Cody. That's the reference in the song to Cody Jr. All those little anecdotes are part of my childhood, those are things that happened to me actually, I just wrote about them and the audience shifted at the time and place."

John Fogerty : "The actual specific reference, "Green River," I got from a soda pop-syrup label. You used to be able to go into a soda fountain, and they had these bottles of flavoured syrup. My flavour was called Green River. It was green, lime flavoured, and they would empty some out over some ice and pour some of that soda water on it, and you had yourself a Green River."


Green River's flip-side, "Commotion", has been cited as a metaphor for the social and political unrest that America was experiencing at the time.

John Fogerty : "I didn’t think 'Commotion' was social commentary, ’cause all this stuff was just in the air. But I was writing about what was in the air, and that was what came out of me. I was just doing what came naturally."

Other tracks on the album include "Tombstone Shadow", "Cross-Tie Walker", "Sinister Purpose", plus the lament "Wrote a Song for Everyone", which deals with Fogerty's failing marriage, and the Ray Charles cover "The Night Time Is the Right Time", continuing the Creedence tradition of including classic R&B and early rock and roll songs on their studio albums.

Although Fogerty was producing, arranging and writing all the songs at this point, as well as handling lead guitar and singing duties, the rest of the band were also given room to contribute their own ideas . . .

Stu Cook : "We didn't always play the parts we were given. John showed us lots of stuff he wanted specifically in songs; songwriters often do that. They come up with a song, they have an arrangement they want to hear. Some things are important, and other things are less important. We had a sufficient amount of latitude in writing and arranging our parts."

John Fogerty : "Probably ninety-nine percent of the tracks we did as a quartet are played live with all four guys playing at the same room. I've heard the rumour over the years that 'after they left the studio, John went in and re-recorded all the parts.' No. I think the charm of what you hear on those records is four guys really playing."


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'Willy and the Poor Boys', their fourth studio album, was released by Fantasy Records in November 1969. It was the the third album the band released that year, [the mad bastards!], arriving just three months after 'Green River'. The album made the Top 50 in six countries, including France where it reached #1.


By the end of 1969, Creedence Clearwater Revival was one of the hottest rock bands in the world. Bandleader and songwriter John Fogerty had assumed control of the band after several years of futility, but, despite their growing success, the other members – bassist Stu Cook, drummer Doug Clifford and guitarist Tom Fogerty, John's older brother – began to chafe under Fogerty's demanding, autocratic leadership. The band's output in 1969 alone – three full-length albums – was staggering considering that they were touring nonstop throughout.

Doug Clifford : "That was a bit of overkill and I never did understand that. Fogerty told us that if we were ever off the charts, then we would be forgotten... To make it worse, it might sound funny, but we had double-sided hits, and that was kind of a curse, as we were burning through material twice as fast. If we'd spread it out, we would not have had to put out three albums in one year."

John Fogerty : "Everyone advised me against putting out great B-sides. They'd tell me I was wasting potential hits. And I looked at them and said, 'Baloney. Look at the Beatles. Look at Elvis. It's the quickest way to show them all that good music."

Released as a single, "Down on the Corner" peaked at #3 in December 1969 on the US Hot 100, and reached #31 in the UK in February 1970.


"Down on the Corner" chronicles the tale of the fictional band Willy and the Poor Boys, and how they play on street corners to cheer people up and ask for nickels. The song makes reference to a washboard, a kazoo, a Kalamazoo Guitar, and a gut bass. In a 1969 TV appearance, the boys performed the song as Willy and the Poor Boys. Cook played a gut bass, Clifford the washboard, and Tom Fogerty the Kalamazoo, which mimicked the appearance of the band as they appear on the album cover.

John Fogerty : “I was kind of inspired by seeing an advertisement in the paper one day. It was an ad from Disney that said in great big letters ‘Winnie the Pooh’. Something in my brain said ‘Winnie the Pooh and the Pooh Boys’. Obviously, that was close to ‘Willy and the Poor Boys’. As I began to develop this idea it turned into music in that weird mystical, almost uncontrollable way, music comes to songwriters. Winnie the Pooh is still my favorite character who I’ve shared with my daughter Kelsy since the day she was born, though she's growing out of it. But I'm not.”

The single's flip-side, "Fortunate Son", is a counterculture era anti-war anthem, criticizing militant patriotic behaviour and those who support the use of military force without having to "pay the costs" themselves. The song was inspired by the wedding of David Eisenhower, the grandson of United States President Dwight Eisenhower, to Julie Nixon, the daughter of President Richard Nixon, in 1968.

John Fogerty : “Julie Nixon was hanging around with David Eisenhower, and you just had the feeling that none of these people were going to be involved with the war. In 1968, the majority of the country thought morale was great among the troops, and eighty percent of them were in favor of the war. But to some of us who were watching closely, we just knew we were headed for trouble.”


Fogerty's revulsion with President Nixon can also be found on the album's closing track, "Effigy". The song was Fogerty's response to Nixon emerging from the White House one afternoon and sneering at the anti-war demonstrators outside, with Fogerty remembering, "He said, 'Nothing you do here today will have any effect on me. I'm going back inside to watch the football game.'"

"Don't Look Now" displays Fogerty's concern for the working poor, while "It Came Out of the Sky" tells the tale of a farmer who finds a UFO in his field and unwittingly becomes the most famous man in America. The album also includes two instrumental tracks in "Poorboy Shuffle" and "Side o' the Road", the former of which segues directly into the song "Feelin' Blue".

The LP also contains two songs associated with blues and folk legend Lead Belly : "The Midnight Special" and  "Cotton Fields", which was released as a single and reached Number 1 in Mexico.


John Fogerty : “Lead Belly was a big influence. I learned about him through Pete Seeger. We had this great series of music festivals in the Bay Area in the ‘50s and my mom took me for at least four years. You’d end up with only 100 or so people in an auditorium and there’s Pete Seeger talking about Leadbelly and Woody Guthrie and how music could have meaning. He spoke about songs about the unions and the Depression days but also contemporary problems, like the House Un-American Activities Committee. It showed how music could be a force. When you listen to those guys, you're getting down to the root of the tree.”

The Single :
"Bad Moon Rising" was written by John Fogerty and performed by Creedence Clearwater Revival. It was the lead single from their album 'Green River' and was released in April 1969, four months before the album.

Fogerty reportedly wrote "Bad Moon Rising" after watching 'The Devil and Daniel Webster'.

John Fogerty : “I’d come up with the chords and melody, and I got the phrase ‘bad moon rising’ from this little book I’d kept song titles in since 1967. I didn’t even know what it meant, I just liked how the words sounded. Then I remembered one of my favourite old movies – a black-and-white 1941 film called The Devil And Daniel Webster, shot in that spooky, film noir way they did back then. It’s a classic tale where the main character, who’s down on his luck, meets the Devil and sells his soul to him. The scene I liked is where there’s a devastating hurricane; furniture, trees, houses, everything’s blowing around. That story and that look really stuck in my mind and they were the germ for the song.”

Naturally, given the times, there was a subtext to the apocalyptic climate conditions described in Bad Moon Rising.

John Fogerty : “I don’t think I was actually saying the world was coming to an end, but the song was a metaphor. I wasn’t just writing about the weather. The times seemed to be in turmoil. Martin Luther King and Robert F Kennedy had been assassinated. I knew it was a tumultuous time.”

When it was presented to the band a few days later, the potential of Bad Moon Rising was clear to all but the man who had written it.

John Fogerty : “It’s a funny thing, but I didn’t feel it was up to the standard of Proud Mary. I was worried that maybe I was already on my way down. It was a lot more rock’n’roll, whereas Proud Mary had connections to early American standards.”

Rhythm guitarist Tom Fogerty, bassist Stu Cook and drummer Doug Clifford didn’t share their leader’s misgivings. Over several days of rehearsals in the shed at the bottom of Clifford’s garden, Bad Moon Rising was enthusiastically worked up before the band hit the recording studio for a session that Fogerty remembers as “the smoothest sailing we ever had”.

John Fogerty : “Band relations were very good during the session. We were all on the same page, trying to make our band go. It was actually a very happy time. By then I was very much the leader, but that had only just happened, sometime in the summer of 1968. I don’t know how happy people were with that. I suppose it became a ticking time bomb – that people were okay with it for a while, but not ultimately.”

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The song peaked at No. 2 on the Hot 100 on 28 June 1969 and reached No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart for three weeks in September of that year.


'Bad Moon Rising' was the song that made Creedence Clearwater Revival’s name. But its enormous success widened the cracks in the band, with the creative tug-of-war between the four members reaching breaking point in 1972.

John Fogerty : “I don’t know if that one song did it, but the fact we were on our way maybe contributed to the breakdown. I’m not just saying this in a bitter way, just referring to my bandmates, but once we started having success and people were talking about us as the No.1 band in the world, I think some people took that as the sign that they could do anything they wanted and it would be a success. It’s a trap I see people fall into. I also objected to Bad Moon Rising being strewn around on TV commercials and any old movie, but we had no power in our contracts to veto where our music went. It was everywhere. And for every good movie that you’ve heard it in – for example An American Werewolf In London, which was a pretty cool movie – there were at least 10 more that were awful.”


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Other Versions includeLarry Morris (1969)  /  Ace Cannon (1969)  /  "Nään huonon enteen" by Georg Liemola (1969)  /  "Wie schön ist diese Welt" by Andy Star (1969)  /  Jalopy Five (1969)  /  Underground Sunshine (1969)  /  Giorgio Moroder (1970)  /  Sonny and The Stoneagers (1970)  /  Peter Posa (1970)  /  "Asi" by Pavel Novák (1970)  /  "Nα 'ξερε το φεγγάρι" by Tammy (1970)  /  "La luna è stanca" by Stormy Six (1970)  /  Bo Diddley (1971)  /  Sonny and Cher (1972)  /  Jerry Lee Lewis (1973)  /  "Hvem skal nu vaske mine sokker" by Peter Belli & Ulvene (1977)  /  Spitballs (1978)  /  Vernon Oxford (1980)  /  Emmylou Harris (1981)  /  Streaplers (1982)  /  Queen Ida and Her Zydeco Band (1983)  /  Steve Marriott (1984)  /  Stretch Marks (1984)  /  The Reels (1986)  /  Leatherwolf (1987)  /  Stage Frite (1989)  /  The Meteors (1990)  /  Rolf Harris (1993)  /  Reeves Gabrels (1995)  /  Seldom Scene (1996)  /  16 Horsepower (1997)  /  The Mary Janes (2002)  /  Steel Train (2003)  /  Thea Gilmore (2003)  /  Sky High (2003)  /  Hayseed Dixie (2006)  /  Danny McEvoy (2011)  /  Juliana Hatfield (2012)  /  Rasputina (2012)  /  Bruce Springsteen (2013)  /  The Killers (2014)  /  Roger Marks' Armada Jazz Band (2016)  /  Herb Kraus & The Walkin' Shoes (2016)  /  a robot (2019)  /  Kelly Valleau (2020)  /  Andrew Francis (2020)  /  8-Bit Arcade (2020)

On This Day  :
14 September : Male voters of Swiss Canton Schaffhausen reject female suffrage
16 September : Justine Frischmann, musician (Elastica), born Justine Elinor Frischmann in Kensington, London
17 September : Keith Flint, singer and dancer (Prodigy), born Keith Charles Flint in Redbridge, London
17 September : Ken Doherty, Irish snooker player, born in Ranelagh, County Dublin
18 September : American singer Tiny Tim (37) & Victoria "Miss Vicki" Budinger (17) get engaged
19 September : Candy Dulfer, Dutch saxophonist, born in Amsterdam, Holland
20 September : John Lennon announced his intention to quit The Beatles at a meeting between the group and business manager Allen Klein
20 September : The very last theatrical Warner Bros. cartoon, the Merrie Melodies short Injun Trouble, was released
22 September : China performs nuclear test at Lop Nor, China
23 September : Northern Star and Illinois Univ newspaper start rumors that Paul McCartney is dead
24 September : "Clown", drummer (Slipknot), born Michael Shawn Crahan in Des Moines, Iowa
25 September : Catherine Zeta-Jones, actress, born in Swansea, Wales
26 September : The Beatles release "Abbey Road" album
26 September : Bolivia military coup under general Ovando Candia
26 September : TV sitcom "The Brady Bunch" created by Sherwood Schwartz premieres on ABC in the US
27 September : Violet Farebrother, English actress, dies at 81
1 October : Concorde 001 test flight breaks sound barrier
1 October : Guernsey & Jersey begin issuing their own postage stamps
2 October : Badly Drawn Boy, musician, born Damon Michael Gough in Dunstable, Bedfordshire
3 October : Gwen Stefani, musician (No Doubt), born Gwen Renée Stefani in Fullerton, California
3 October : Skip James, American blues musician, dies age 67

Extra! Extra!  Read all about it! :
« Last Edit: May 22, 2021, 02:21:51 PM by daf »


  • All Done by Kindness
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #2023 on: May 23, 2021, 02:00:00 PM »
Bad Moon Rising - Part 2

The Story So Further :
In January 1970, the single "Travelin' Band" (b/w "Who'll Stop The Rain") reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, and peaked at #8 in the UK April 1970. "Travelin' Band" was inspired by 1950s rock 'n' roll songs, particularly those by Little Richard.


John Fogerty : “Travelin' Band' was my salute to Little Richard, but 'Who'll Stop The Rain?' was part of the fabric of the times. From '68 to '74, Vietnam was probably the most important thing on the minds of young people.”


In April 1970, the band released their next double A-sided single : "Run Through The Jungle"  /  "Up Around The Bend", which peaked at #4 in the US and #3 in the UK in June 1970. "Run Through The Jungle" mined similar territory to "Who'll Stop The Rain?", with many listeners believing the lyrics to be about the Vietnam war. The song's opening and closing both featured jungle sound effects created by lots of backwards recorded guitar and piano.

Tom Fogerty : “My all-time favorite Creedence tune was 'Run Through the Jungle'. It's like a little movie in itself with all the sound effects. It never changes key, but it holds your interest the whole time. It's like a musician's dream. It never changes key, yet you get the illusion it does.”


The band also toured Europe in 1970, playing the Royal Albert Hall to enthusiastic audiences, and had emerged as the most popular band in America by largely ignoring the trippy acid rock indulgences that were typical of the era. However, despite the band's infectious blend of rockabilly, folk, and R&B, some peers and rock critics dismissed them as a singles band with no substance.


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'Cosmo's Factory', their fifth studio album, was released in July 1970. The album spent nine consecutive weeks in the number one position on the Billboard 200 chart. It was their fifth album in two years and became an international smash, topping the album charts in six countries. The cover photo was taken by Bob Fogerty, brother of John and Tom, that showed the four of them caught by a camera in an off-duty moment, looking more like lumberjacks than rock stars.


The name of the album came from the warehouse in Berkeley where the band rehearsed early in their career. It was dubbed "The Factory" by drummer Doug 'Cosmo' Clifford, because bandleader John Fogerty made them practice there almost every day.

Doug 'Cosmo' Clifford : “John knew the press would be all over us for the album, so he said that he would name the album after me and that I would have to deal with it. He wanted the pressure off of him. It was our biggest album ever and I tell people that they named it after me, so it had to be a hit [laughter]. That's a joke!”

Perhaps more than any other Creedence album, 'Cosmo's Factory' displays the wide range of musical ingredients that provided the foundation for their "swamp rock" sound : R&B, soul, country, rockabilly, classic rock and roll and psychedelia.

"Lookin' Out My Back Door" was a direct tribute to the Bakersfield Sound, a form of music that influenced John Fogerty and the Creedence sound. Buck Owens, one of the architects of the Bakersfield Sound, is even mentioned in the song's lyrics. The song is known for its upbeat tempo, its down-home feel, and a change in key and tempo towards the end. The song's lyrics, filled with colorful, dream-like imagery, led some to believe that the song was about drugs; according to the drug theory, the "flying spoon" in the song was a cocaine spoon, and the crazy animal images were an acid trip. Fogerty, however, has repeatedly stated in interviews that the song was actually written for his then three-year-old son, Josh. The song was released as their next single, paired with "Long As I Can See The Light". It was a Top 2 hit in the US, but only reached #20 in the UK chart in September 1970.


Although the band were well known for their concise, tightly arranged songs, the album features two longer cuts: the seven-minute opener "Ramble Tamble", which begins with the band roaring through a rockabilly introduction before transitioning into a psychedelic wall of sound, and the 11-minute cover of Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It Through the Grapevine".

Stu Cook : “Each album had a longish track on it, but they were never jams, per se. 'Heard It Through the Grapevine' had a little jammy character to it, but they were all pretty structured. There was no space to noodle. Live, there was a little bit of noodling, but in the studio we always tried to nail the arrangement.”

Several other songs pay tribute to the band's blues and rock and roll roots, including Big Arthur Crudup's "My Baby Left Me", Bo Diddley's "Before You Accuse Me", and the rockabilly classic "Ooby Dooby".


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'Pendulum', their sixth studio album, was released by Fantasy Records on 9 December 1970, their second album release of that year. It was their only album to not contain any cover songs; all tracks were written by John Fogerty. It was the last album the band recorded with Tom Fogerty, who would leave the band to start a solo career. It was also the last album to feature John Fogerty as the record's sole producer.


The most sonically adventurous CCR album, 'Pendulum' is noted for its widespread use of saxophone and keyboards, in contrast to the group's previous albums, which were dominated by guitar. Among several lesser-known Fogerty songs — including "Pagan Baby", "Sailor's Lament", "Chameleon", "(Wish I Could) Hideaway", "It's Just a Thought", "Born to Move", and "Molina" — were two top-ten hits : "Hey Tonight" and "Have You Ever Seen the Rain", which were released as a double A-sided single - peaking at #8 in the US, and #36 in the UK in March 1971.


The album was recorded at Wally Heider Studios in San Francisco, and took a month to complete—an unusually long time for the band. On previous albums, the group had rehearsed songs before entering the studio. However, on 'Pendulum' the members learned the songs in the studio. The first take of a song was performed by the whole band, with various members going in later for a wide variety of instrumental and vocal overdubs, including a saxophone section played entirely by John Fogerty, as well as extensive use of keyboards by Fogerty and Cook.

The album closes with the instrumental "Rude Awakening #2" which was an uncharacteristic venture into avant-garde psychedelia.


A two-part promotional single - "45 Revolutions Per Minute (Part I)" /  "45 Revolutions Per Minute (Part 2)" - an eccentric mash-up of interviews and music clips, was given away to Radio DJ's as a cunning way to advertise their latest album on air for free.


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Shortly after recording Pendulum, in early 1971, Tom Fogerty left the band.

Tom Fogerty : "For some reason we had gotten ourselves in such a place that it was really hard for me to project. Which was stupid! . . . but that's what happened. I got tired of hearing my records on the radio. I don't know, there are so many different reasons. Mostly what it was all about was sheer exhaustion and paranoia, and lack of sleep, strange conversations, and weird tensions, personality conflicts and musical differences, and on and on."

The band continued as a trio, and "Sweet Hitch-Hiker", (b/w "Door to Door"), reached #36 in the UK charts in July 1971. This was their final chart entry in the UK, and both sides would be included on their next album - recorded the following year. The single sleeve featured the band in their new Tom-less configuration as a trio.


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'Mardi Gras', the seventh and final studio album by Creedence Clearwater Revival, was released in April 1972. The album was a commercial success peaking at #12 and going gold.


Recorded after the departure of guitarist Tom Fogerty, it was their only album as a trio, with the group also sharing lead vocals on select tracks. Unlike previous albums, 'Mardi Gras' had Stu Cook and Doug Clifford sharing songwriting and production with John Fogerty, as well as their own lead vocal contributions for the first time.

Previously, bandleader John Fogerty sang all lead vocals, created the song arrangements and composed all the band's original material. Older brother Tom Fogerty had departed after a dispute which was in large part caused by his desire to play a larger creative role, and John's insistence on being the band's only singer/songwriter/business manager.

Recording sessions for 'Mardi Gras' were fraught with conflict. According to Cook and Clifford, it was Fogerty's idea for all members to contribute songs equally, despite their reservations. They believed Fogerty was bitter over Tom's departure and their own requests to have additional say in the group's musical decisions. Both also believed Fogerty was looking for an excuse to break up CCR to pursue a solo career.

When Clifford and Cook balked at the idea of having to supply two-thirds of the album's material themselves, Fogerty threatened to quit the band outright. Fogerty also refused to contribute any vocals or instrumentation to Cook and Clifford's songs, except for guitar. Fogerty contributed only three original songs : "Lookin' for a Reason", "Someday Never Comes", "Sweet Hitch-Hiker" and sang a fourth lead on a cover of the 1961 Ricky Nelson hit "Hello Mary Lou".

Doug Clifford and Stu Cook each wrote and sang the lead vocals on three songs each : Clifford contributed "Need Someone to Hold", "Tearin' Up the Country" and "What Are You Gonna Do", while Cook efforts included "Take It Like a Friend", "Sail Away", and "Door to Door".

The song "Someday Never Comes" was released as a single in May 1972. It reached #25 in the US, but failed to chart in the UK and got a right old slagging in the pop press from Slade yobbo Dave Hill!

John Fogerty : “When I wrote this song, my life was pretty chaotic. I knew my marriage was going to break up. My band was falling apart. I was beginning to sense the darkness that was Fantasy Records. This song was inspired by my parents' divorce when I was a young boy and the effect it had on me. At the time, they told me, "Someday, you'll understand." The truth of this is that you never do and I found myself facing this as a parent. The irony was painful and inescapable.”

Reviews were mixed to poor, with Jon Landau stating in his original Rolling Stone review that the record was "the worst album I have ever heard from a major rock band. In the future, Mardi Gras may be known as Fogerty's Revenge."

In a rare positive review, Gene Sculatti of Phonograph Record praised Fogerty's performance on the record, but noted the absence of Tom Fogerty as a downside. He concluded: "It may not be Green River or Cosmo's Factory, but Mardi Gras offers some of Creedence's finest moments, and it's a damn good answer to any and all of those 'Rock is Dying' clowns."

John Fogerty : “I figured that Creedence made six albums. Let me count... the first one, Bayou Country, Green River, Willy and the Poor Boys, Cosmo's Factory, Pendulum... yeah, six. I wouldn’t even count Mardi Gras and neither would anybody else. I had no control over anything after that. The rest is horse manure. Baloney.”


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Despite the relatively poor reception of 'Mardi Gras' and deteriorated relationships among the remaining band members, CCR embarked upon a two-month, 20-date U.S. tour. However, on 16 October 1972 — less than six months after the tour ended — Fantasy Records and the band officially announced its disbanding.

John Fogerty : “I was alone when I made that music. I was alone when I made the arrangements, I was alone when I added background vocals, guitars and some other stuff. I was alone when I produced and mixed the albums. The other guys showed up only for rehearsals and the days we made the actual recordings. For me Creedence was like sitting on a time bomb. We'd had decent successes with our cover of "Susie Q" and with the first album, when we went into the studio to cut "Proud Mary." It was the first time we were in a real Hollywood studio, RCA's Los Angeles studio, and the problems started immediately. The other guys in the band insisted on writing songs for the new album, they had opinions on the arrangements, they wanted to sing. They went as far as adding background vocals to "Proud Mary," and it sounded awful. They used tambourines, and it sounded no better. That's when I understood I had a choice to make. At that point in time we were just a one hit wonder, and "Susie Q" hadn't really been that big a hit. Either this [the new album] would be a success, something really big, or we might as well start working at the car wash again.”


John Fogerty : “There was a big row. We went to an Italian restaurant and I remember that I very clearly told the others that I for one didn't want to go back to the car wash again. Now we had to make the best possible album and it wasn't important who did what, as long as the result was the very best we could achieve. And of course I was the one who should do it. I don't think the others really understood what I meant, but at least I could manage the situation the way I wanted. The result was eight million-selling double-sided singles in a row and six albums, who all went platinum. And Melody Maker had us as the best band in the world. That was after the Beatles split, but still. ... And I was the one who had created all this. Despite that, I don't think they understood what I was talking about. ... They were obsessed with the idea of more control and more influence. So finally the bomb exploded and we never worked together again.”

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Tom Fogerty kicked off his solo career in July 1971 with the single "Goodbye Media Man".


His next single, "Cast The First Stone", was released in July 1972, followed by "Faces, Places, People" in December 1972. His 1974 solo album 'Zephyr National' was the last to feature the four original CCR band members. Several tracks sound very much like the CCR style, particularly the aptly titled "Joyful Resurrection" on which all four members played, even though John Fogerty recorded his part separately.


Further singles included "Mystic Isle Avalon" in November 1973, "It's Been A Good Day" in June 1974 and "Sweet Things To Come" in March 1975.

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In April 1973 John Fogerty released his first solo album. A collection of country and gospel songs, the album was credited to "The Blue Ridge Rangers" with no mention of Fogerty on the cover. Fogerty chose to do this in order to distance himself from his Creedence legacy. The LP was later reissued and credited to John Fogerty with a different cover design, and peaked at #47 on the charts.


Released in August 1972, his first solo single, "Blue Ridge Mountain Blues" (b/w "Have Thine Own Way, Lord") failed to chart, but the next two singles from the album became hits : "Jambalaya (On The Bayou)" (b/w "Workin' On A Building"), released in November 1972 peaked at #16, while "Hearts of Stone" (b/w "Somewhere Listening (For My Name)") released in March 1973 reached #37 in the US charts.


His next single "You Don't Owe Me" (b/w "Back In The Hills"), released in September 1973 only charted in Canada - peaking at #79.


In November 1973, "Comin' Down The Road" (b/w "Ricochet") flopped everywhere - yes, even Canada couldn't be arsed buying that one!


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Though now a solo act, under his old CCR contract, Fogerty still owed Fantasy eight more records. In the end, he refused to work for the label. The impasse was resolved only when Asylum Records' David Geffen bought Fogerty's contract for $1 million.

In 1975 he released his only Asylum album, the self-titled 'John Fogerty'.


Released in August 1975, the single "Rockin' All Over the World" (b/w "The Wall") got him back in the charts - with a peak position of #27. The song was covered by Status Quo in 1977, becoming one of their most recognizable songs, and arguably the definitive version of the song.

Dave Edmunds recorded a cover of "Almost Saturday Night" - which was also released as a Fogerty single in November 1975. Backed by "Sea Cruise", it only managed to reach #78 in the US charts.


In April 1976, he released a new single, "You Got the Magic" backed with "Evil Thing", which stalled at number 87 on the Billboard chart.

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After the 'John Fogerty' solo album, Fogerty wasted no time in recording more material for his third solo album, 'Hoodoo", to be followed with a tour, which would be very low-key, with a small group of musicians.

Fogerty submitted 'Hoodoo' to Asylum Records, but shortly before shipment, Fogerty and Asylum's Joe Smith made a joint decision that the album did not merit release. After several unsuccessful attempts to improve the album's quality, Fogerty began a nine-year estrangement from the music industry. He has confirmed in interviews that he instructed Asylum to destroy the master tapes, but bootleg copies are widespread.

As well as "You Got the Magic" and "Evil Thing", other songs intended for the album included : "Between the Lines"  /  the Ray Charles cover "Leave My Woman Alone"  /  "Marchin' to Blarney"  /  "Hoodoo Man"  /  "Telephone"  /   "Henrietta"  /  and "On the Run"

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'Centerfield', his third solo studio album, was released in 1985, and it spawned the hit singles "The Old Man Down the Road", "Rock and Roll Girls" and the title track "Centerfield".


This was Fogerty's first album in nine years; After Asylum Records rejected his 'Hoodoo' album, he decided to take a long break from the music business because of legal battles with his record company. In the meantime, Fogerty's recording contract with Asylum Records was reassigned to co-owned Warner Bros. Records so this album was the first released on the Warner Bros. label.


With the Centerfield album, Fogerty also found himself entangled in new tit-for-tat lawsuits with Saul Zaentz over the song "The Old Man Down The Road" which was, according to Zaentz, a blatant re-write of Fogerty's own 1970 CCR hit "Run Through the Jungle". Since Fogerty had traded his rights to CCR's songs in 1980 to cancel his remaining contractual obligations, Fantasy now owned the rights to "Run Through the Jungle" and sued Fogerty essentially for plagiarizing himself. While a jury ruled in Fogerty's favour, he did settle a defamation suit filed by Zaentz over the songs "Mr. Greed" and "Zanz Kant Danz". Fogerty was forced to edit the recording, changing the "Zanz" reference to "Vanz".


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'Eye of the Zombie' was the fourth solo studio album by John Fogerty.


Released in September 1986, it was his first album with a backing band, and it includes the Creedence-inspired track "Change in the Weather" as well as "Wasn't That a Woman" and "Soda Pop", his first forays into 60s-70s Motown-sounding funk and R&B.


The album was not received well by critics and had lukewarm chart success despite a Grammy nomination for Best Male Rock Vocal in 1987. After Eye of the Zombie, Fogerty would not release another album until 'Blue Moon Swamp' in 1997, and the swift follow-up 'Premonition' in 1998.


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Tom Fogerty died at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona in September 1990 of an AIDS complication, which he contracted via a tainted blood transfusion he received while undergoing back surgery. Tom and John barely reconciled before Tom's death, and in the eulogy that he delivered at Tom's funeral, John said : "We wanted to grow up and be musicians. I guess we achieved half of that, becoming rock 'n roll stars. We didn't necessarily grow up."

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Stu Cook and Doug Clifford continued to work together following the demise of CCR both as session players and members of the Don Harrison Band. Clifford released a solo record, 'Cosmo', in 1972.


By the time Creedence Clearwater Revival was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, John refused to perform with Cook and Clifford.

Stu Cook : “They BS’d us for months that we were going to play or jam. That mollified us until Doug went to see what drum set he was playing and a crew guy said, ‘Don’t you know you’re not playing?’ We called John and had a confrontation about the whole thing. That was the sneak-attack part part of it, a little bit like Pearl Harbor.”

The pair were barred from the stage, while John played with an all-star band that included Bruce Springsteen and Robbie Robertson. During the induction speech, Springsteen said : "As a songwriter, only a few did as much in three minutes. He was an Old Testament, shaggy-haired prophet, a fatalist. Funny, too. He was severe, he was precise, he said what he had to say and he got out of there."

Tom's widow Tricia had expected a CCR reunion and even brought the urn containing her husband's ashes to the ceremony. Furious, Cook and Clifford, who were seated with their families at a table across the room from Fogerty's, walked out of the ballroom just as the performance began, and would later write separate letters to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's board of directors, saying it was “hurtful” and “insulting” to allow the performance to continue without them.


Not long after, Cook ended up visiting Clifford at the latter’s home in Tahoe, California, where the two jammed together for the first time in years. Cook insists it was that bond, more than revenge for the Hall of Fame induction, that spurred a Creedence resurrection.

Stu Cook : “You can only go so far with bass and drums, so we thought, ‘Why don’t we do something — and what would be better than what we already do? It was just an idea that we had to get the hell out of the house. It wasn’t, ‘We’re gonna show him.’ But I understand why people might assume we adopted a bit of that attitude.”
Doug Clifford : “The humiliation done that night was so wrong, and I’ve come to the conclusion that the seeds for this project were planted that night. But also, nobody was playing those songs, including John, when we started this project. People would say, ‘I never got the chance to see you guys.’”

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Cook and Clifford formed their own tribute band, Creedence Clearwater Revisited, in 1995 with former Cars guitarist Elliot Easton and new lead singer, John Tristao.

Stu Cook : “John Fogerty is one of the most recognizable rock & roll voices, and we told the guys when we were auditioning, ‘Don’t try to copy Fogerty. Just sing the songs as they should be sung.’ It’s a delicate balance.”

Creedence Clearwater Revisited weren’t always greeted warmly. Months went by without work, and only bit by bit did the jobs, including tours of Asia and Europe, start coming.

Stu Cook : “We took a lot of hits. People didn’t think we could do this or should do this. Creedence was an underdog, and Revisited was a double underdog. But we knew we could do it. Having the rhythm section makes us feel and sound quite a bit more like the original recordings than anybody else.”

Doug Clifford : “We always introduce everyone in the band. The idea was never to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes that it was John onstage. We took strides to make sure that was common knowledge.”

Revisited continues to tour globally performing the original band's classics. John's 1997 injunction forced Creedence Clearwater Revisited to temporarily change its name to "Cosmo's Factory", but the courts later ruled in Cook's and Clifford's favour.


In a July 2011 interview with the Calgary Herald, John admitted that he would at least be willing to consider reuniting with Cook and Clifford:

John Fogerty : “Years ago, I looked at people and I was so full of some sort of emotion and I'd say, 'Absolutely not!' ... But I have to admit, people have asked me more recently, and even though I have no idea how such a series of events would come to pass, I can tell that there isn't the bombast in my voice, in the denial, in the refusal. It's more like, 'Well, I dunno.' Never say never is I guess is what people tell you. In this life, all kinds of strange things come to pass. Realizing that it doesn't really kick up a big firestorm of emotion, it kind of suggests that at least if someone started talking I'd sit still long enough to listen. I'm saying it's possible, yeah. I think the call would maybe have to come from outside the realm. Somebody would have to get me to look at things in a fresh way.”

Stu Cook : “Leopards don't change their spots. This is just an image-polishing exercise by John. My phone certainly hasn't rung.”

John Fogerty : “From time to time, I'll say something and it'll get in print that maybe that will happen, and then immediately I'll hear back stuff that doesn't sound like it's possible. ... I think it's a possibility in the future, you know. It's not something I'm actively seeking, but I'm not totally against the idea either.”

Doug Clifford : “It would have been great twenty, twenty-five years ago. It's way too late now.”
« Last Edit: May 23, 2021, 02:22:23 PM by daf »


  • All Done by Kindness
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #2024 on: June 12, 2021, 02:00:00 PM »
La Chanson de Pérvert, it's . . .

277.  Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg - Je T'Aime... Moi Non Plus

From : 5 – 11 October 1969
Weeks : 1
Flip side : Jane B
Bonus 1 : Promo Film
Bonus 2 : Bardot version
Bonus 3 : Jane B Promo Film

The Story So Far : 
Lucien Ginsburg was born in Paris, France in 1928, the son of Jewish Russian migrants, who fled to Paris after the 1917 Russian Revolution. His childhood was profoundly affected by the occupation of France by Germany during World War II. During the occupation, the Jewish Ginsburg family was able to make their way from Paris to Limoges, traveling under false papers. Limoges was in the Zone libre under the administration of the collaborationist Vichy government and still a perilous refuge for Jews. He attended the Lycée Condorcet high school in Paris but dropped out before completing his Baccalauréat.

In 1945, Lucien's father enrolled him into Beaux-Arts de Paris, a prestigious art school, before switching to the Académie de Montmartre, where he would meet his first wife Elisabeth "Lize" Levitsky, daughter of Russian aristocrats who was also a part-time model. They married in 1951 and were divorced by 1957. In 1948, he was conscripted by the military for twelve months of service in Courbevoie. He never saw action and spent the time playing dirty songs on his guitar, visiting prostitutes and drinking, later admitting that the service made him an alcoholic.

Lucien obtained work teaching music and drawing in a school outside of Paris, in Le Mesnil-le-Roi. He was disillusioned as a painter as he lacked talent but earned his living working odd jobs and as a piano player in bars, usually as a stand-in for his father. He soon became the venue pianist at the drag cabaret club Madame Arthur. Whilst filling in a form to join the songwriting society SACEM, Lucien decided to change his first name to Serge, feeling that this was representative of his Jewish background. He chose Gainsbourg as his last name, in homage to the English painter Thomas Gainsborough, whom he admired.

Gainsbourg had a revelation when he saw Boris Vian at the Milord l'Arsouille club whose provocative and humorous songs would influence his own compositions. At the club Gainsbourg accompanied singer and club star Michèle Arnaud on the guitar. In 1957, Arnaud and the club's director Francis Claude discovered, with amazement, the compositions of Gainsbourg while visiting his house to see his paintings. The next day, Claude pushed Gainsbourg on stage. Despite suffering from stage fright, he performed his own repertoire, including "Le Poinçonneur des Lilas", which describes the day in the life of a Paris Métro ticket man, whose job is to stamp holes in passengers' tickets.

He was given his own show by Claude and was eventually spotted by Jacques Canetti, who helped propel his career with a spot at the Théâtre des Trois Baudets and on his tours. In 1958, Arnaud began recording several interpretations of Gainsbourg's songs.

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His debut album, 'Du chant à la une !...', was recorded in the summer of 1958, backed by arranger Alain Goraguer and his orchestra, beginning a fruitful collaboration. It was released on as a 10" vinyl record in September, becoming a commercial and critical failure, despite winning the grand prize at L'Academie Charles Cross and the praise of Boris Vian, who compared him to Cole Porter.

He made his film debut in 1959 with a supporting role in the French-Italian co-production Come Dance with Me, starring his future lover Brigitte Bardot.

His next album, 'N° 2', released in 1959, again featured Gainsbourg backed by the Alain Goraguer Orchestra. The album was not well received at the time of its release. The album cover is a reference to French author and musician Boris Vian.

Gainsbourg biographer Sylvie Simmons described the album as : "...mutant jazz-pop engaged in an unnatural act with chanson, French literature and Americana..."

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Gainsbourg's first commercial success came in 1960 with his single "L'Eau à la bouche", the title song from the film of the same name, for which he had composed the score.

'L'Étonnant Serge Gainsbourg', his third LP, released in 1961, included what would become one his best known songs from this period, "La Chanson de Prévert", which lifted lyrics from the Jacques Prévert poem "Les feuilles mortes".

After a night of drinking champagne and dancing with singer Juliette Gréco, Gainsbourg went home and wrote "La Javanaise" for her. They would both release versions of the song in 1963, but it is Gainsbourg's rendition that has endured.

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His fourth album, 'Serge Gainsbourg N° 4' released in 1962, would be his last to blend traditional chanson and modern jazz, also incorporating Latin and rock and roll influences. His fifth album, 'Gainsbourg Confidentiel', released in 1963, features a minimalistic approach to jazz, with only a double bass and an electric guitar.

'Gainsbourg Percussions', released in 1964, reinvented his style with Latin, African, and Cuban influences. It would be his last album before 1968.

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In 1965, his song "Poupée de cire, poupée de son" was the Luxembourg entry in the Eurovision Song Contest. Performed by charming French teen singer France Gall, it won first prize.

His next song for Gall, "Les Sucettes" ("Lollipops"), caused a scandal in France: Gainsbourg had written the song with double meanings and strong sexual innuendo, of which the singer was apparently unaware when she recorded it. Whereas Gall thought that the song was about a girl enjoying lollipops, it was actually about oral sex. The controversy arising from the song, although a big hit for Gall, threw her career off-track in France for several years.

Another Gainsbourg song, "Boum Bada Boum", was entered by Monaco in the 1967 contest, sung by Minouche Barelli; it came fifth.

In late 1967 he had a brief love affair with Brigitte Bardot, to whom he dedicated the song and album 'Initials B.B.' He initially composed the song "Je t'aime... moi non plus" as a duet with her, but Bardot, married at the time, pleaded with Gainsbourg not to release it. The album included "Ford Mustang" and the Bardot duet "Bonnie and Clyde", which also featured as the title song on a 1968 compilation album featuring songs by Gainsbourg and Bardot.

In mid-1968 Gainsbourg fell in love with the English singer and actress Jane Birkin, whom he met during the shooting of the film Slogan.

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Jane Mallory Birkin was born in Marylebone, London. At the age of 17, she met composer John Barry, whom she married in 1965 and with whom she had her first daughter, Kate, in 1967. After the couple divorced in 1968, Birkin returned to live with her family in London, and began to audition for film and television roles in England and Los Angeles, California.

Birkin emerged in the Swinging London scene of the 1960s, appearing in an uncredited part in 'The Knack ...and How to Get It' in 1965. In 1966, she had more substantial roles in the counterculture era films 'Blowup' and 'Kaleidoscope'. In 1968 she appeared as a fantasy-like model in the psychedelic film 'Wonderwall', and in the erotic French thriller "La Piscine" in 1969. That same year, she auditioned in France for the lead female role in the film Slogan.

Jane Birkin : “I first met Serge in France for the screen tests for Pierre Grimblat’s Slogan. He was very swarthy, had an exquisite, unusual face, and was wearing a mauve shirt. He was caustic and sarcastic, not unpleasant, but I could see he didn’t really care much about anything.”

Though she did not speak French she won the role, co-starring alongside Serge Gainsbourg.

Jane Birkin : “As the master of the manor, he could have insisted on another girl, since the film depended on his name. Marisa Berenson, in particular, had just auditioned and was sublime. He was kind and told me that he would never have had the nerve to attempt a test in a language that wasn’t his own. I learned the texts phonetically without understanding a word of what I was saying. I saw the tests recently and I was really bad. So the man who loved sophisticated, erotic and mysterious women found himself in the company of a cry baby who was merging cinema with her private life. This disgusted him. My life would never be the same again.”

As well as acting in the film, she performed with Gainsbourg on the film's theme song, "La Chanson de Slogan" – the first of many collaborations between the two.

Jane Birkin : “Despite what I would have imagined, my parents were delighted. After seeing me so miserable with John Barry, they, at last, saw me happy. Serge won my mother over because he reminded her of Eric Maschwitz, who wrote A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square particularly for her. My father thought he was extremely funny. They took their sleeping pills together like two owls. All of them knew that they would have to get along with one another for me to accept the situation. They had to like each other.”

After filming Slogan, Birkin relocated to France permanently.

Jane Birkin : “Without my accent, I would have had a different career. The French gave me a real gift in accepting me very quickly. They found me amusing, in large part because of my accent and the mistakes I made in French. It’s no doubt one of the reasons I never sought to improve it. I am sometimes cross with myself for not having made more of an effort. I remember on the shoot of The Swimming Pool that Deray got me to talk with a pencil in my mouth so that I would articulate. It was humiliating and it didn’t make much of a difference.”

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Having shelved the original Bardot version, "Je t'aime... moi non-plus" was re-recorded with Birkin. Despite being banned by radio stations in Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom, the song reached Number 1 in Austria, Norway, Switzerland and the UK.

"Je t'aime" made UK chart history in that, for a couple of weeks, the song was at two different positions in the UK chart. It was originally released on the Fontana label, but due to its controversy, Fontana withdrew the record, which was then released on the Major Minor label. Because Fontana singles were still in the shops along with the Major Minor release, on 4 October 1969, the Major Minor release was at number 3 and the Fontana single at number 16.

Jane Birkin : “Jealousy drove me to perform the song. I remember that Serge was getting a television crew and journalists to listen to the version he’d made with Bardot, which was never released, and there was a very pretty girl in a kilt lying on the sofa. When I saw how proud he was to get the journalists and the girl on the sofa to listen to it, I thought I’d better be the one to sing it, especially that other actresses were interested. Mireille Darc asked him: ‘So, Sergio, what has become of that little song ?’ I didn’t want him to end up in a telephone box with a beautiful girl recording another version of Je t’aime… moi non plus, as he’d done with Bardot. When he suggested I do it, I agreed immediately.”

Jane Birkin : “We met up in a huge studio in Marbella and in two takes we had the final product. Back in Paris, we went for dinner in the wine cellar of the Hôtel des Beaux Arts. There was a record player, and without saying a word, Serge put the song on and all of a sudden all the couples around us stopped talking, their knives and forks in mid-air. Serge pinched me and said: ‘I think we’ve got a hit record.’ We never thought for a moment that the song would become such a symbol of freedom all over the world. People listened to it in secret, from Spain to Argentina. The Pope banned it, BBC banned it too, and in Italy, the head of Phonogram Records was thrown into jail. I was making another bad film in Oxford and every day we saw Je t’aime… moi non plus climbing higher in the charts. It was crazy.”

The song featured on the album 'Jane Birkin/Serge Gainsbourg', along with : "Orang-outan", "Jane B", "Le canari est sur le balcon", "18-39", "Sous Le Soleil Exactement" , plus the duet "69 année érotique".

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She appeared on Gainsbourg's 1971 album 'Histoire de Melody Nelson', portraying the Lolita-like protagonist in song and on the cover. The pseudo-autobiographical plot of the album involves the middle-aged Gainsbourg unintentionally colliding his Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost into teenage girl Melody Nelson's bicycle, and the subsequent seduction and romance that ensues.

Jane Birkin : "I really came into my own with Serge because he did nothing all day long but think of jolly things to do with me. So I was extremely happy. He was as jealous as I was. And although now people consider him as really quite a genius in France, which indeed he was, he was never a boring genius. He never said: “Well, now I’m going to go up to work.” I never saw him work. No, when I did rather bad films, he had a tendency of writing his best stuff because he was pissed off that I was not there. He used to come on to all the film sets, then sit miserably in the hotel bedroom where he wrote The Man With the Cabbage Head or Melody Nelson. In that way it was a rather ideal 13 years."

Songs featured on the album included : "Melody", "Ballade de Melody Nelson", "Valse de Melody", "Ah ! Melody", "L'hôtel particulier", "En Melody", and "Cargo culte"

The album's mix of freewheeling guitar, funk style bass guitar, near spoken word vocal delivery, and lush, deep orchestrated string and choral arrangements by Jean-Claude Vannier, who composed almost the entire music in collaboration with Gainsbourg for the album, have proven to be highly influential amongst later francophone and anglophone musical performers.

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Gainsbourg had formed the nucleus of what would become his 1973 album "Vu de l'extérieur" when he suffered a heart attack at the age of 45. By the time he was back to health, he resumed composing the songs for the new album, among them one of his biggest hits, "Je suis venu te dire que je m'en vais".

While not quite a concept album, certain thematic elements – such as scatology and childishness – do run through the album.

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In 1973 Birkin appeared alongside Brigitte Bardot in Roger Vadim's film “Don Juan 73”. Birkin plays the role of a woman who falls in love with Brigitte Bardot's character. "I accepted immediately just to be in bed with Bardot", said Birkin later.

Jane Birkin : “We were shooting a scene for the film in a car, and Bardot was in tears because she couldn’t get the take right. I think that Vadim must have said something the night before that really hurt her. When she got out of the car, I saw that people were delighted that she was upset. She inspired jealousy, whereas I inspired friendliness. I wasn’t dangerous, women didn’t have the impression I was going to steal their husbands.”

Vadim and Bardot had married in 1952 and divorced in 1957.

Roger Vadim : "Don Juan is the end of a period – problems about love and sex, cruelty and romanticism on an aesthetic level – and I wanted to finish that period with Brigitte because I started with her as a director. Underneath what people call "the Bardot myth" was something interesting, even though she was never considered the most professional actress in the world. For years, since she has been growing older, and the Bardot myth has become just a souvenir, I wanted to work with Brigitte. I was curious in her as a woman and I had to get to the end of something with her, to get out of her and express many things I felt were in her. Brigitte always gave the impression of sexual freedom – she is a completely open and free person, without any aggression. So I gave her the part of a man – that amused me."

Jane Birkin : “Bardot was extremely generous to me, which can’t have been easy in view of our shared interest in Serge. We had a bed scene together, and we didn’t know what to do, so we thought we ought to sing a song. Bardot said: ‘Why couldn’t we sing Je t’aime… moi non plus?’ I refused, and finally, we sang My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean. I observed Bardot in the tiniest detail to find a flaw in her. Her mouth, her nose, her skin, her hair… She was fabulously beautiful.”

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Birkin's first solo album, 'Di doo dah', was released in 1973 on Fontana Records. Most of the songs on the album were written Gainsbourg.

Jane Birkin : “It’s all about me, He listened to me a lot. To start with, it took him some time before he grew a beard; he looked younger than he was, and it gave him a complex. I thought he was very handsome with an eight-day beard, so he bought himself a trimmer and kept it like that. It looked like natural makeup, created shadows and sculpted his face. You want to look after men with beards because you have the feeling that they’d been sleeping rough. And yet, I found that having no hair on his chest or his arms looked very distinguished.”

Jane Birkin : “I’m allergic to socks. You immediately imagine a guy naked with just his socks on, which is ghastly. One day, I was in the Repetto store and, in a basket full of sale items, I found a pair of men’s pumps in soft white glove leather. I bought them for Serge. He had flat feet and shoes hurt him. He wore those white pumps without socks his whole life. The same goes for underwear. I find it much more erotic to be naked under jeans. And I told him so.”

In May 1974, she released the Gainsbourg penned single "My Chérie Jane" (b/w "Bébé gai"), and Birkin's second solo album, 'Lolita Go Home', followed in 1975. About half of the songs were written by Gainsbourg, with words by Philippe Labro. The other half were old musical tunes.

Another single, "La Fille Aux Claquettes" (b/w "Rien Pour Rien"), was released in 1975.

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In 1975, Gainsbourg released his own album, 'Rock Around the Bunker', contained songs which combined pseudo-1950s musical arrangements with lyrics relating to Nazi Germany and World War II and drawing from Gainsbourg's experiences as a Jewish child in occupied France.

The opening track Nazi Rock tells the story of SS soldiers dressed as drag queens, dancing during the Night of the Long Knives. This song, combined with other tracks from the album such as "Eva" and "SS in Uruguay" led Gainsbourg, provocative as ever, to find himself in trouble for his comical take on a controversial subject.

The next year saw the release of another major work, 'L'Homme à tête de chou', featuring the new character Marilou and sumptuous orchestral themes. 'Cabbage-Head Man' is one of his nicknames, as it refers to his ears. The album was inspired by the sculpture by Claude Lalanne of a man with a cabbage for a head, which Gainsbourg had purchased and which appears on the sleeve.

Musically, the album turned out to be Gainsbourg's last LP in the English rock style he had favoured since the late 1960s. It tells the story of a man in his forties falling in love with a rather free-minded shampoo girl. After the narrator meets the young woman at the barber shop where she works ("Chez Max coiffeur pour hommes"), he asks her out and they begin an affair ("Ma Lou Marilou"), her solo erotic games ("Variations sur Marilou"), and ultimately about Marilou's murder by the narrator, turned jealous lover after he saw her in bed with two rockers ("Meurtre à l’extincteur", and "Marilou sous la neige").

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In 1976, Birkin released the single "Ballade De Johnny Jane / Raccrochez C'est Une Horreur" - both songs were written by Gainsbourg, and featured in his 1976 film 'Je t'aime moi non plus'. The 1977 single "Yesterday, Yes A Day" (b/w "Dusty Lane") featured songs from the film 'Madame Claude'.

'Ex-fan des sixties', Jane Birkin's third solo album, was released in 1978. All songs on the album were by Serge Gainsbourg. "Dépressive" was inspired by "Sonate n°8, opus 13" by Ludwig Van Beethoven. Other songs on the album included 'Melo Melo', "Exercice en forme de Z", "Classée X", plus "Nicotine" and "Apocalypstick", which were released as a single.

Jane Birkin : “He looked dark, ‘mad and dangerous’ as people said of Byron, but he was a clown. I don’t know any writer or poet of his skill with such imagination. He loved entertaining the children and did it as no one else could. He wasn’t a brooding artist who sat alone bored in a corner. He wanted people to come and see him; he was very accessible. At the same time, he was very sarcastic, brilliant, sometimes cruel for the pure pleasure of making a pun. I refused to speak to him for several days after he wrote on an album cover: ‘Take women for what they’re not and leave them for what they are’. I found it ugly and hurtful, and he said: ‘What did you expect, Janette, it’s just wit.’ He was obviously right.”

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In Jamaica in 1979, Gainsbourg recorded "Aux Armes et cætera", a reggae version of the French national anthem "La Marseillaise", with Robbie Shakespeare, Sly Dunbar and Rita Marley. Following harsh and anti-semitic criticism in right-wing newspaper Le Figaro, his song earned him death threats from right-wing veteran soldiers of the Algerian War of Independence, who were opposed to their national anthem being arranged in reggae style - the daft racists!

Two other singles were taken from the album: "Vieille canaille" (a French version of 'You Rascal You' written in the 1920s by Sam Theard) and Gainsbourg's own "Lola Rastaquouère".

A short European tour featuring the Jamaican group The Revolutionaries followed in December 1979. At a show in Strasbourg, outraged paratroopers showed up in the concert hall and the show was cancelled. Serge Gainsbourg nevertheless came onstage on his own and courageously sang the regular national anthem, stating that he gave "La Marseillaise its original revolutionary meaning back". The soldiers then sang along with him in a military salute posture. The event was shown on TV news, causing more controversy and sarcasm - and boosting album sales.

Rita Marley and the I-Three would record another controversial reggae album with him in 1981, 'Mauvaises nouvelles des étoiles'.

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In 1980, after a turbulent 13-year relationship, Jane Birkin left Gainsbourg. He still went on to write and produce three more albums for her - including Birkin's solo album 'Baby Alone in Babylone', which was released in 1983.  The album featured the single "Fuir le bonheur de peur qu'il ne se sauve" (b/w "Baby Lou").

Jane Birkin : “This was the album of the break up when everything changed. All of a sudden, Serge got me to sing of his wounds and his feminine side. It was very unsettling to sing about the wounds that you have triggered. Before that, he wrote lighter songs for me and sometimes asked others to write lyrics to his music for me when he didn't have time. That’s how Philippe Labro came to write Lolita go home. I must say that I was tired of singing as the little girl who excites gentlemen in trains. I had the feeling that I had become something else.”

Jane Birkin : “We recorded Baby alone in Babylone in eight days. Serge wrote two songs a night, keeping himself awake with cigarettes and black coffee. He was exhausted. He wrote in capital letters on sheets of paper because I had trouble reading his writing. They were thrown into the bin. Can you believe it? I sang as high as possible so that I wouldn’t disappoint him; I knew he liked that. It was overwhelming to see him behind the glass. He didn’t care whether I could be understood or not, what he was after was the emotion. The other evening, I plucked up the courage to watch an old interview with him, on YouTube, in which he said that I was the best at singing emotion. I didn’t have a contract with a record label, there was no hurry, and I could see that he was worn out. I told him: ‘Serge, there’s no hurry, we have time to record this,", but he was absolutely set on it. He said: ‘I owe you that’.”

In 1985, a second single from the album was released - "Les Dessous Chics" (b/w "Partie Perdue"), followed by "Quoi" (b/w "Come Un Gabbiano") - which was the theme to the Italian TV show 'Cinecittà' with new French lyrics by Gainsbourg.

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On the album 'Love on the Beat', released in 1984, Gainsbourg used American musicians to achieve a funk-heavy rock sound.

The album was controversial due to its very sexual lyrical content, with homosexuality and prostitution as the subject matters on many of the tracks. Perhaps the most controversial was "Lemon Incest", which was set to Frédéric Chopin's Étude No. 3 and sung as a duet with his then-13-year-old daughter Charlotte Gainsbourg.

In April 1986, Gainsbourg' appeared on Michel Drucker's live Saturday evening television show, Champs-Élysées, with the American singer Whitney Houston, he objected to Drucker's translating his comments to Houston and in English stated: "I said, I want to fuck her". That same year, in another talk show interview, he appeared alongside Catherine Ringer, the well-known singer from the pop group Les Rita Mitsouko. Gainsbourg spat out at her, "You're nothing but a filthy whore" to which Ringer replied, "look at you, you're just a bitter old've become a disgusting old parasite."

For many in France, this incident was the last straw, and much of his later work was overlooked since it was often done and performed while he was inebriated.

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'You're Under Arrest' was the final studio album by Serge Gainsbourg. The album was released in 1987, and introduced hip hop elements to Gainsbourg's music, inspired by acts such as Chic and Grandmaster Flash and the Famous Five.

The concept album describes the story of an unnamed narrator with a very young drug-addicted girl called Samantha [what a surprise!]. The story is set in New York, and starts with the narrator getting arrested while looking for Samantha in the Bronx, where she is looking for a dealer; he then describes various aspects of their relationship. "Gloomy Sunday" illustrates the state of gloom caused to the narrator by Samantha's drug-induced absences; "Aux enfants de la chance" advises young people not to touch drugs. From this point on the relationship degrades, and in "Dispatch Box" the narrator leaves Samantha whose fate is left unknown. As for the narrator, he joins the French Foreign Legion out of despair, but the story ends on an uplifting note as he falls in love with a fellow Légionnaire.

The title track, 'You're Under Arrest', features rapped backing vocals and references English synthpop group Bronski Beat. The track "Five Easy Pisseuses" thematically deals with sexuality, and features a tenor saxophone solo performed by Stan Harrison.

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Serge Gainsbourg died on 2 March 1991 of a heart attack, a month shy of his 63rd birthday. He was buried in the Jewish section of the Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris. French President François Mitterrand said of him, "He was our Baudelaire, our Apollinaire ... He elevated the song to the level of art."

Since his death, Gainsbourg's music has reached legendary stature in France. The Parisian house in which Gainsbourg lived from 1969 until 1991, at 5 bis Rue de Verneuil, remains a celebrated shrine, with his ashtrays and collections of various items, such as police badges and bullets, intact. The outside of the house is covered in graffiti dedicated to Gainsbourg, as well as with photographs of significant figures in his life, including Bardot and Birkin.

Jane Birkin : “I remember a number of things about him that were so funny. During a dinner, I was sitting next to Arthur Rubinstein. Suddenly, I said: ‘Serge, he is groping me under the table.’ To which he answered, ‘Let him, Janette, he’s a genius.’ Nothing is more seductive than humor. I've never met anyone more generous, capable of taking 500 francs out of his attaché case to give to a taxi driver he would never see again so that he could have his teeth done. He was a prince. In the end, we were like old friends. I loved being his confidante, that suited me fine.”

The Single :
"Je t'aime… moi non plus" was written in 1967 by Serge Gainsbourg for Brigitte Bardot. In 1969, Gainsbourg recorded the best known version with Jane Birkin. The duet reached number one in the UK, and number two in Ireland, but was banned in several countries due to its overtly sexual content.

In late 1967, Gainsbourg's girlfriend, Brigitte Bardot asked him to write the most beautiful love song he could imagine, and that night he wrote "Je t'aime" and "Bonnie and Clyde". They recorded "Je t'aime" with an arrangement by Michel Colombier at a Paris studio in a two-hour session in a small glass booth; the engineer William Flageollet said there was "heavy petting".

When news of the recording reached the press, Bardot's husband, German businessman Gunter Sachs, was angry and called for the single to be withdrawn. Bardot pleaded with Gainsbourg not to release it. He complied but observed "The music is very pure. For the first time in my life, I write a love song and it's taken badly.". Bardot regretted not allowing the song to be released, and her version was eventually issued in 1986.

With the Bardot version nixed, Gainsbourg asked Marianne Faithfull to record the song with him; she said: "Hah! He asked everybody". Others approached included Valérie Lagrange and Mireille Darc.

In 1968, Gainsbourg and English actress Jane Birkin began a relationship when they met on the set of the film Slogan. After filming, he asked her to record the song with him. Birkin had heard the Bardot version and thought it "so hot", adding, "I only sang it because I didn't want anybody else to sing it"[/i]. Gainsbourg asked her to sing an octave higher than Bardot, "so you'll sound like a little boy".

It was recorded in a new arrangement by Arthur Greenslade in a studio at Marble Arch, London. There was media speculation, as with the Bardot version, that they had recorded live sex, to which Gainsbourg told Birkin, "Thank goodness it wasn't, otherwise I hope it would have been a long-playing record." [Arf!]

Jane Birkin : "I got a bit carried away with the heavy breathing – so much so, in fact, that I was told to calm down, which meant that at one point I stopped breathing altogether. If you listen to the record now, you can still hear that little gap."

The title was inspired by a Salvador Dalí comment: "Picasso is Spanish, me too. Picasso is a genius, me too. Picasso is a communist, me neither". Gainsbourg claimed it was an "anti-fuck" song about the desperation and impossibility of physical love. The lyrics are written as a dialogue between two lovers during sex. Phrases include:

"Je vais et je viens, entre tes reins" ("I go and I come, between your loins")
"Tu es la vague, moi l'île nue" ("You are the wave, me the naked island")
"L'amour physique est sans issue" ("Physical love is hopeless")

The song culminates in orgasm sounds by Birkin: mostly because of this, it was banned from radio in Spain, Sweden, Brazil, the UK, Italy, and Portugal, and denounced by the Vatican. Birkin says Gainsbourg called the Pope "our greatest PR man".

Jane Birkin : "It wasn't a rude song at all. I don't know what all the fuss was about. The English just didn't understand it. I'm still not sure they know what it means."

In the UK, it was released on the Fontana label, but, after reaching number two, it was withdrawn from sale. Gainsbourg arranged a deal with Major Minor Records and, on re-release, it reached number one - the first banned number one single in the UK and the first single in a foreign language to top the charts.

It stayed on the UK chart for 31 weeks. In the US, it reached number 58 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart . Mercury Records, the US distributor, faced criticism that the song was "obscene" and there was limited airplay, limiting US sales to around 150,000. 

A neutered instrumental version of the song re-titled 'Love At First Sight', recorded by the band Sounds Nice, reached #18 in the UK charts. It was played by the BBC in place of the steamy original. The Birkin/Gaisbourg version was later re-released in the UK in 1974 on the Atlantic Records subsidiary Antic Records, with a suitably fruity picture sleeve, and charted again - peaking at #31.

Other Versions includeBrigitte Bardot & Serge Gainsbourg (1967)  /  Leena Skoog & Anders Näslund (1969)  /  The Communicatives (1969)  /  Electronic Concept Orchestra (1969)  /  Caravelli (1969)  / "Ti amo... Io di più" by Ombretta Colli (1969)  /   Super Erótica (1970)  /  Ken Lazarus (1971)  /  "Up je t'aime" by Frankie Howerd with June Whitfield (1971)  /  Werner Müller (1972)  /  Hot Butter (1972)  /  Judge Dread (1974)  /  Saint Tropez (1977)  /  Donna Summer (1978)  /  The Scamps (1979)  /  Einstürzende Neubauten (1981)  /  "Je t'aime (Allo Allo)" by René & Yvette (1986)  /  Psychic TV (1986)  /  Gretchen (1987)  /  Dub Syndicate (1988)  /  John Otway with Sarah Ross (1992)  /  Barry Adamson (1993)  /  Die Geschwister Pfister (1996)  /  Cibo matto (1997)  /  Angel Corpus Christi & Dean Wareham (1997)  /  Pet Shop Boys (1999)  /  Sven Väth feat. Miss Kittin (2001)  /  Trash Palace feat. Brian Molko & Asia Argento (2002)  /  The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (2009)  /  Danny McEvoy (2011)  /  Mark Anthony McGrath (2011)  /  Madonna (2012)  /  Pop_X + Calcutta (2013)  /  a robot (2015)  /  Ellen ten Damme & The Magpie Orchestra (2017)  /  Anna Torres (2017)

On This Day  :
5 October : Monty Python's Flying Circus begins airing on BBC TV
7 October : Maria Whittaker, Page 3 model, born in Hounslow, United Kingdom
8 October : The opening rally of the Days of Rage occurs, organized by the Weather Underground in Chicago, Illinois.
9 October : P.J. Harvey, musician, born Polly Jean Harvey in Bridport, Dorset, England
9 October : Steve McQueen [not that one!], British filmmaker, born Steven Rodney McQueen in London, England
10 October : King Crimson releases their debut album "In The Court Of The Crimson King"
11 October : The Zodiac Killer claimed his seventh, and final victim,
11 October : Soyuz 6 launched
11 October : American blues musician Muddy Waters involved in a car crash that kills 3
« Last Edit: June 12, 2021, 02:43:47 PM by daf »


  • All Done by Kindness
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #2025 on: June 20, 2021, 02:00:00 PM »
Ode to Bobbie G, it's . . .

278.  Bobbie Gentry - I'll Never Fall In Love Again

From : 12 – 18 October 1969
Weeks : 1
Flip side : Ace Insurance Man
Bonus : Promo Film

The Story So Far : 
Bobbie Gentry was born Roberta Lee Streeter in 1942 near Woodland in Chickasaw County, Mississippi. After her parents divorced shortly after her birth, her mother moved to California and Gentry was raised on a farm in Chickasaw County, Mississippi by her paternal grandparents. She grew up without electricity or plumbing. Her grandmother traded one of the family's milk cows for a neighbour's piano, and at the age of seven, Gentry composed her first song, "My Dog Sergeant Is a Good Dog".

Gentry lived in Greenwood, Mississippi, with her father for a few years and learned to play the guitar and banjo. At age thirteen, Gentry moved to Palm Springs, California, to live with her then-remarried mother. They performed as a duo, Ruby and Bobbie Meyers, for a short time. Gentry took her stage name from the 1952 film Ruby Gentry which she had seen on television.

After graduating from high school, Gentry moved to Los Angeles to enter UCLA as a philosophy major. She supported herself with clerical jobs, occasionally performing at nightclubs and country clubs, and working as a fashion model.

Gentry transferred to the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music, where she took classes in composition, music theory and arranging. While attending a Jody Reynolds concert at a club in Palm Springs in 1966, Gentry asked if she could sit in on one of Reynold's recording sessions. This led to an invitation to sing on two duets with Reynolds: "Stranger in the Mirror" and "Requiem for Love". The two songs were released in September 1966 by Titan Records, but failed to chart.

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Gentry signed with Capitol Records on 23 June 1967. She had recorded a demo of "Ode to Billie Joe" at Whitney Recording Studio in Glendale, California, in February and March 1967. Her sole ambition originally was to write songs to sell to other artists, and she only sang on the recording she took to Capitol because it was cheaper than hiring someone to sing it.

It was "Mississippi Delta" that initially got Gentry signed and was intended to be the A-side of her first single. Gentry's original demo of "Mississippi Delta" was the version issued, while "Ode to Billie Joe" had a string arrangement by Jimmie Haskell dubbed onto the original recording at Capitol, and the day after the string session, Capitol's A&R team decided that "Ode to Billie Joe" should be the A-side. According to some sources, the original recording of had eleven verses and ran eight minutes, telling more of Billie Joe's story. The executives realized that this song would work best as a single, so they cut the length by almost half.

Gentry's song takes the form of first-person narrative by the young daughter of a Mississippi Delta family. It offers fragments of the dinnertime conversation on the day that a local boy, an acquaintance of the narrator, jumped to his death from a nearby bridge, the account interspersed between everyday, polite, mealtime conversation. The song's final verse conveys the passage of events over the following year.

Questions arose among listeners: what did Billie Joe and his girlfriend throw off the Tallahatchie Bridge, and why did Billie Joe commit suicide? Speculation ran rampant after the song hit the airwaves. Gentry said in a November 1967 interview that it was the question most asked of her by everyone she met. She said that the most named items were flowers, an engagement ring, a draft card, a bottle of LSD pills, and an aborted foetus. Although she knew what the item was, she would not reveal it, saying only, "Suppose it was a wedding ring."

Bobbie Gentry : “It's in there for two reasons. First, it locks up a definite relationship between Billie Joe and the girl telling the story, the girl at the table. Second, the fact that Billie Joe was seen throwing something off the bridge – no matter what it was – provides a possible motivation as to why he jumped off the bridge the next day. Those questions are of secondary importance in my mind. The story of Billie Joe has two more interesting underlying themes. First, the illustration of a group of people's reactions to the life and death of Billie Joe, and its subsequent effect on their lives, is made. Second, the obvious gap between the girl and her mother is shown when both women experience a common loss (first Billie Joe, and later, Papa), and yet Mama and the girl are unable to recognize their mutual loss or share their grief."

Soon after the song's chart success, the Tallahatchie Bridge was visited by more individuals who wanted to jump off it. Since the bridge height was only 20 feet high, death or serious injury was unlikely. To curb the trend, the Leflore County Board enacted a law fining jumpers $100. The bridge collapsed in June 1972 after a fire. It crossed the Tallahatchie River at Money, about ten miles north of Greenwood, Mississippi, and has since been rebuilt.

"Ode to Billie Joe" was released on 10 July 1967. It would spend four weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, and reached number 13 on the UK Top 40. The song would eventually sell more than three million copies worldwide.

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The initial sessions for what would become Gentry's debut album took place prior to her being signed to Capitol Records. These sessions were produced by Gentry and Bobby Paris and most likely took place at Paris' Whitney Recording Studio in Glendale, California. "Lazy Willie", "Bugs", and "Chickasaw County Child" were recorded on 24 May, and would be overdubbed at Capitol on 27 July 1967.

Bobbie Gentry : “I took 'Ode to Billy Joe' to Capitol, sold it, and produced the album myself. It wasn't easy. It's difficult when a woman is attractive; beauty is supposed to negate intelligence - which is ridiculous. Certainly there are no women executives and no producers to speak of in the record business.”

Following the single's success, the rest of the album was quickly assembled from the 12 demos Gentry recorded, with overdubs completed in a matter of days. The result was a unique combination of blues, folk and jazz elements, that furthered Gentry's recollections of her home, and felt more like a concept album than a hastily assembled collection of songs. Gentry recorded acoustic demos of "Papa, Won't You Let Me Go to Town with You", "Sunday Best", "Hurry, Tuesday Child", and "Niki Hoeky" on 26 July 1967. These demos would be overdubbed on 27 and 28 July, forming the rest of the album. "I Saw an Angel Die", also recorded at this time, was released as a single in September 1967, but failed to chart.

Capitol pre-ordered 500,000 copies – the largest pressing of a debut album in the label's history at that point. Released in August 1967, 'Ode to Billie Joe' replaced the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band at the top of the Billboard Albums chart. Gentry won three Grammy Awards in 1967, including Best Solo Vocal Performance, Female and Best New Artist.


In the issue dated 2 September 1967, Billboard's review said : "This album, based on the phenomenal single, "Ode to Billie Joe", has got to be one of the top albums of the year. Bobbie proves to be much more than a flash in the pan. Each of her emotional ballads are standouts — especially the haunting "Hurry Tuesday Child". And Miss Gentry's uptempo jazz waltz, "Papa, Won't You Take Me to Town with You", could step out as a single."

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In February 1968, Gentry took part in the Italian Song Festival in Sanremo competition as one of two performers of the song "La Siepe" by Vito Pallavicini and Massara. Capitol released the song as a single backed by another Italian song recorded by Gentry, "La Città è Grande" by Pallavicini and De Ponti.

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Gentry's second album, 'The Delta Sweete', was released in February 1968. It was a concept album based on modern life in the Deep South. Gentry wrote eight of the album's 12 tracks, which detail her Mississippi childhood and includes vignettes of home and church life, as well as recollections of blues and country hits she heard as a youngster. The prevailing sound on the album was a swampy, folk-tinged combination of blues and country, with uptown touches like strings and horns seemingly added to reflect the then modern styles of soul music and the Nashville sound. Most of the album's sound comes from Gentry, who played almost every instrument on the album, including piano, guitar, banjo, bass and vibes. Producing credit, however, went to Capitol's in-house producer, Kelly Gordon.


The album opens with "Okolona River Bottom Band", a swampy southern groove featuring an intricate horn arrangement from Jimmie Haskell and Shorty Rogers. A cover of "Big Boss Man" follows. Gentry infuses the song with a little innuendo as the tells the audience with a small laugh, about finding her own boss "that's gonna treat me right". Track three, "Reunion", featuring Ramblin' Jack Elliott, is another Gentry original which paints the picture of a family bickering around the dinner table. It features a proto-rap structure to the rhythm of jump rope games from Gentry's childhood. "Parchman Farm" is a cover of a song by Mose Allison, which was itself a modified version of a song by Bukka White. The chain-gang lament blends into Gentry's Delta landscape perfectly. Track five is the sensual "Mornin' Glory", a Gentry original. Side one closes with "Sermon", an idiosyncratic take on the traditional gospel tune "Run On", making it seem menacing and perversely joyous at the same time.

The second half of the album begins with a cover of the bittersweet "Tobacco Road", performed in a cinematic style featuring a Mariachi band sound and strings. Track eight, "Penduli Pendulum", is a perplexing psychedelic listening experience. "Jessye' Lisabeth" is a tender folk fable that exudes a foreboding feeling. "Refractions" is an eerie chamber pop number about a crystal bird suspended in the air, unable to land because its legs are broken. Track eleven is a cover of "Louisiana Man", and it is the only track that seems out of place on the record, due to its geographic departure from the album's title and theme. The album closes with "Courtyard", the story of a woman suffocated by luxury and imprisoned by the empty promises of her lover.

The album's first single, "Okolona River Bottom Band", was released in November 1967. It peaked at number 54 on the Billboard chart.

Despite receiving positive reviews from music critics, the album only managed to peak at number 132 on the Billboard Top LPs chart. The album fared a little better on the Cashbox charts, peaking at number 72 on the Top 100 Albums chart and number 26 on the Top Country Albums chart. When asked by NME about the under-performance of the album, Gentry replied, "I didn't lose any sleep over it. I've never tried to second-guess public taste. If I were just a performer and not a writer, I might have felt more insecure about the whole thing."

Released in March 1968, the second single, "Louisiana Man", peaked at number 100 on the Billboard Hot 100, and number 23 on Australia's Singles Chart.

In May 1968, "Refractions" and "Big Boss Man", were released in Japan and France, respectively. Both singles failed to chart.

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Gentry's performances on- and off-screen impressed the head of the BBC so much that in 1968 she was asked to host a variety show on BBC 2, making her the first female songwriter to host a series on the network. With help from producer Stanley Dorfman, Gentry made six half-hour episodes that aired weekly from 13 July to 17 August 1968.

Stanley Dorfman : "After a few episodes, she was pretty much co-directing the show because she had such great ideas. But the BBC wouldn't have it, wouldn't have an artist credited as a director or producer, so the credit went to me as producer and director. But she definitely contributed as much as I did creatively to the show. She was just full of ideas."

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Following the release of her second studio album, 'The Delta Sweete', Gentry embarked on The Bobbie Gentry Show, a 10-date concert tour of the United States, in the spring of 1968. It was her first tour with a full band, choreography, and costumes, setting the scene for her future stage productions. Gentry made her Las Vegas debut in August when crackpot billionaire Howard Hughes booked her at the Circus Maximus Theatre at Caesar's Palace. During these performances Gentry was joined onstage by her sisters, Jesse' Lizabeth and Linda, who were billed as the Local Gentry. The residency was such a success that it was transferred to lake Tahoe in September and would return to Casear's Palace in November.

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Capitol released Gentry's third album, 'Local Gentry', in August 1968. The album is a departure from Gentry's previous albums which were almost entirely self-penned. She only composed five of the album's eleven tracks. Among the remaining six tracks, three are Beatles covers. The album is more pop than her previous two albums, which featured more regional music, specifically country.

The album's cover art features a photo of Gentry in a red trouser suit and polka-dot shirt, which she designed herself, with drawings of the characters or "local gentry" from the songs on the album.


The album opens with the sinister eroticism of the Gentry-penned "Sweete Peony". The second track, "Casket Vignette", is a commentary on the funeral parlour business and was composed by Gentry on a plane. "Come Away, Melinda" is a cover of a popular anti-war song. This is followed by the album's first Beatles cover, "The Fool on the Hill". Track five is another cover, "Papa's Medicine Show". Side one closes with "Ace Insurance Man", a Gentry original showing the comical side of small town intrigue and gossip. The song was recorded in June at EMI Studios in London, during sessions booked around Gentry's filming schedule for her first BBC series.

Side two opens with "Recollection", a Gentry original chronicling a young girl trying to come to terms with mortality. The chilled out "Sittin' Pretty" follows and was written by Gentry with producer Kelly Gordon. The album's second Beatles cover is "Eleanor Rigby"; with its story of small-town loneliness and death is the only Beatles cover that fits well with Gentry's own songwriting. Track ten is a cover of Kenny Rankin's "Peaceful". The album closes with the final Beatles cover, "Here, There and Everywhere". These two songs had been the first to be recorded for the album - on 10 May 1968.


Billboard’s review of the album, published in the issue dated 7 September 1968, said, : "Bobbie (Billie Joe) Gentry deserts the Delta for Beatle land, including a stunning "Eleanor Rigby" as well as her own dusty Delta dramas. Mississippi melodies includes the self-penned "Sweete Peony" and "Ace Insurance Man", both sensitively set against the Beatles' "Here, There and Everywhere” and Kenny Rankin’s "Peaceful" – all with lush arrangements tuned in on the charts."

Cashbox published a review on the same day, which said : "Bobbie Gentry bids fair to reestablish herself on the best-seller charts with this sensitive album of song and story. The artist has written four of the eleven tunes on the set, including "Sweete Peony", "Casket Vignette", "Ace Insurance Man" and "Recollection". Miss Gentry's singing is particularly beautiful here, creating moods of haunting fragility."

The album did not appear on any major music charts. The album's two singles, "The Fool on the Hill" and "Sweete Peony" (b/w "Hushabye Mountain") also failed to chart.

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'Bobbie Gentry and Glen Campbell', Gentry's third album of 1968 was released in September 1968, just one month after 'Local Gentry'. It was an album of duets with label mate Glen Campbell, and their chemistry made the partnership a great success. The album peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Top LP's chart and number one on the Top Country LP's chart. The album earned Gentry and Campbell the Academy of Country Music award for Album of the Year. Gentry was also nominated for Top Female Vocalist.

The album spawned the singles "Mornin' Glory" (b/w "Less of Me") in October 1968, and "Let It Be Me" (b/w "Little Green Apples") in January 1969 - which peaked at #36 on the Billboard chart.

Other songs featured on the album included : "Gentle on My Mind"  /  "Heart to Heart Talk"  /  "My Elusive Dreams"  /  "(It's Only Your) Imagination"  /  "Terrible Tangled Web"  /  "Sunday Mornin'"  / and "Scarborough Fair - Canticle"

The album peaked at No. 1 on the US Billboard Top Country LP's chart and No. 11 on the US Billboard Top LP's chart. In the UK the album peaked at No. 50 on the Albums Chart. Gentry toured briefly with Campbell and performed on a number of American and British television programs and specials.

Billboard magazine published a review calling the album : "a dynamite sales package teaming the talents of Campbell and Gentry. The duetting on a well planned program of pop hits is a natural for fast programming and top sales. They excel in their blend of Campbell's hit "Gentle on My Mind" and "My Elusive Dreams". The Bobbie Gentry composition "Mornin' Glory" comes up a winner in their reading."

Cashbox also published a review which said : "Capitol has combined the talents of its two top pop/country artists and the result is sure to be a profitable sales future. Artistically the pair go together like Siamese twins, and there could be several singles in the set. Our choice is "Sunday Mornin'", the recent Spanky and Our Gang effort, but votes can also be cast for "Scarborough fair / Canticle" and "Less of Me", the latter a Campbell original. Multi-market airplay and sales on tap."

Gentry produced a second series of shows for BBC2 in 1969 which aired weekly from 18 June to 23 July 1969.

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Following the success of 'Bobbie Gentry and Glen Campbell', Capitol was keen to continue Gentry's revived popularity with her next record. They felt that a change in direction was needed after the relative failure of both 'The Delta Sweete' and 'Local Gentry'. A more mainstream sound was a given, but there seemed to be some uncertainty about what direction Gentry should go in. A jazz sound was considered at some point, as between February and March 1969 Gentry recorded eight laid-back classic and contemporary jazz tunes. This concept was abandoned before the recordings ever saw the light of day.

Following this abandoned attempt to record her fourth solo album, Gentry was re-cast as a 'blue-eyed soul' singer. The resulting album was a clear bid by Capitol to distance Gentry from the singer-songwriter country-folk of her first three solo projects. It was also a transition away from self-penned material, the album only contains two Gentry originals. The album was produced by Kelso Herston, head of Capitol Records in Nashville, whose productions were specifically designed for pop radio crossover appeal. The album also saw Gentry working with two new arrangers, Hank Levine and Don Tweedy. The majority of the album was recorded live with no overdubs; the strings and the backing vocals were performed alongside the rhythm section and other instrumentation.

Gentry's fifth album, 'Touch 'Em with Love', was released in July 1969. The album's title track was released as the first single and it failed to go any higher than number 113 on the Billboard 'Bubbling Under' chart.


The album was recorded at Columbia Recording Studio in Nashville. The first session on April 5, 1969, yielded six of the album's ten tracks: "Greyhound Goin' Somewhere"  /  "Seasons Come, Seasons Go"  /  "Glory Hallelujah, How They'll Sing"  /  "Natural to Be Gone"  /  "Touch 'Em with Love"  /  and  "I'll Never Fall in Love Again".

Gentry recorded "Son of a Preacher Man" and "Where's the Playground, Johnny" on April 29. The remaining two tracks, "I Wouldn’t Be Surprised" and "You've Made Me So Very Happy" were recorded on 1 May 1969.

Billboard gave a positive review, which said : "That "Ode to Billie Joe" gal is back again, trying to regain the winning form that made her one of today's hottest disk attractions. Along with some of her own tunes, Bobbie features Jim Webb's "Where’s the Playground, Johnny", "You’ve Made Me So Very Happy" and "Son of a Preacher Man", as well as the title tune – all drawled in her untamed backwoods twang. Potent comeback material for the backwoods star."

In another positive review, Cashbox said : "Bobbie Gentry's current single, "Touch 'Em with Love", serves as title tune and lead item of a potent pop/country album with some soul thrown in for good measure. The "Billie Joe" girl has put together a strong collection of tunes which should be seeing strong airplay in the months to come with resultant sales high. "Natural to Be Gone", "Where's the Playground, Johnny?", "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" and "You've Made Me So Very Happy" are standouts."

The album peaked at number 42 on the Billboard Hot Country Albums chart and number 164 on the Billboard Top LP's chart. The album also peaked at number 21 on the UK Albums Chart.

The second single, "I'll Never Fall in Love Again", was released in August 1969 in Europe and Australia. It peaked at number 1 on the UK Singles Chart and number 5 in Australia on the Kent Music Report Singles Chart.

In November, Bobbie Gentry and Glen Campbell released the non-album single "All I Have To Do Is Dream", (b/w "Walk Right Back"), which reached the Top 3 in the UK in December 1969.


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April 1970 saw the release of 'Fancy', Gentry's sixth album in three years. Like 1969's 'Touch 'Em with Love', it is made up entirely of covers, except for the self-penned title track. The majority of the album was recorded at Fame Recording Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, with producer Rick Hall, apart from "Wedding Bell Blues" and "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head", which were produced by Gentry herself, and recorded at Capitol studios in L.A. The cover art for the album is an uncredited painting of Gentry, based upon a reference photograph, and is believed to have been done by Gentry herself.


"Fancy", the tale of the life a prostitute, was released as the album's first single and was Gentry's biggest hit since "Ode to Billie Joe", peaking at #31 in the US and #26 in Canada.

Bobbie Gentry : "Fancy is my strongest statement for women's lib, if you really listen to it. I agree wholeheartedly with that movement and all the serious issues that [it stands] for—equality, equal pay, day care centers, and abortion rights,"

The album's first European single, a cover of "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head", peaked at number 40 in the UK in February 1970. The album's second North American single, "He Made a Woman Out of Me", released in March 1970, peaked at number 71 on the Billboard Hot 100.


Other songs on the album included : "Delta Man"  /  "Something in the Way He Moves"  /  "Find 'Em, Fool 'Em and Forget 'Em"  /  and  "Rainmaker"

In the UK the album was released under the title 'I’ll Never Fall in Love Again'. This release featured a different track order and cover art, plus two additional tracks, "In the Ghetto" and "Billy the Kid" - which would also be included on her next album.


The 18 April 1970 issue of Billboard featured a review which said : "This is not merely a followup LP to a successful single; Miss Gentry's folksy story-telling vocals include some outstanding material. Opening with her hit single, "Fancy", she further impresses with her Hot 100 single, "He Made a Woman Out of Me", her No. 1 English hit of "I'll Never Fall in Love Again", and Leon Russell's "Delta Man". LP should top the single's acceptance."

Cashbox published a review the same day, saying : "It seemed for a long time that Bobbie Gentry would remain forever in the shadow of "Ode to Billie Joe", the record that launched her to fame and that she failed to follow up with anything as artistically powerful or commercially successful. Her duets with Glen Campbell kept her in the limelight, and finally she had another hit single – the title song of this album – on her own. The LP is of good quality and should make the charts, and Miss Gentry should continue to prove that she is not a one-song artist."

The album peaked at No. 37 on the US Billboard Top Country Albums chart and No. 96 on the US Billboard Top LP's chart. In Canada the album peaked at No. 79 on the RPM Top Albums chart.

In April 1970, "If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody" was released as the album's second UK single. In July 1970, she released the single "Apartment 21" - both songs failed to chart.

In early 1971, Gentry produced a third and final series of shows for BBC 2. This third series again consisted of six episodes and aired weekly from 1 February to 15 March 1971.

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Released in April 1971, 'Patchwork' was Gentry's seventh, and final, album. Entirely self-written and produced, it has been described as a collection of short stories in song ranging from country to pop to blues, all stitched together with cinematic interludes to make a cohesive whole.


The album's first single, "But I Can't Get Back" (b/w "Marigolds And Tangerines"), was a minor hit, peaking at number 37 on the Easy Listening chart and number 93 in Canada. In May 1971, "Somebody Like Me" (b/w "Benjamin") was released as a single in the UK but did not chart.

Other songs on the album included : "Beverly"  /  "Miss Clara - Azusa Sue" /  "Jeremiah"  /  "Belinda"  /  "Mean Stepmama Blues"  /  and  "Your Number One Fan"

On the album's closing track, "Lookin' In", Gentry seems to be singing about herself. "I'm packing up and checking out," she sings. "I just can't bring myself to compromise." It seems to be Gentry offering a commentary on her decision to leave her recording career behind for Las Vegas.

Despite being a commercial failure, the album received positive reviews from music critics. Billboard called the album "simply charming," saying that : "there is a strong hint of autobiography and disarming re-creations of recent times gone by."

Cashbox gave a glowing review, saying that the album should make "those who have been taking Bobbie Gentry lightly...stop and reconsider." They went on describe it as "a finely woven collection of tunes written and produced by Bobbie. It is a perfect album in every respect."
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Gentry would release one more single for Capitol, "The Girl From Cincinnati" (b/w "You And Me Together"), in August 1972.

Around the time 'Patchwork' was released, the entire executive board that had been at Capitol throughout Gentry's career was fired. A major restructuring at Capitol took place as parent company EMI tried to seize back control and rekindle the label's dwindling profits. Negotiations stalled over the renewal terms of Gentry's contract, and since Gentry was unwilling to release an album with Capitol on the terms offered, she found herself unable to release an album on another label, meaning she was left with no choice but to wait out the remaining option period of her contract.

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In 1974, she hosted a summer replacement variety show on CBS called The Bobbie Gentry Happiness Hour. The show, which was her version of Glen Campbell's hit series The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, was not renewed for a full season.

In 1975, Gentry wrote and performed "Another Place, Another Time" for writer-director Max Baer, Jr.'s film 'Macon County Line'. Following the film's success the song was released on a promotional 7-inch single.

In 1976, Baer directed the feature film 'Ode to Billy Joe', based on Gentry's hit song. In the movie, the mystery of the title character's suicide is revealed as a part of the conflict between his love for Bobbie Lee Hartley and a drunken homosexual experience.

Warner Bros. Records released a soundtrack of the score by Michel Legrand, including a re-recorded version of "Ode to Billie Joe", re-titled "Ode to Billy Joe" to match the film's title, with Gentry stating that the original spelling was an error. Warner Bros. released the new version as a single and Capitol released the original version, which gave Gentry two concurrent chart placings with the same song. The re-recording would go on to be Gentry's last single to chart, meaning that her first and last chart entries are the same song.

In 1977, Gentry recorded an album with producer Rick Hall for the Curb Records division of Warner Bros. Records. The first single, "Steal Away", was released in February 1978 but failed to chart. The full-length album was scrapped, but four additional tracks from these sessions were released : "He Did Me Wrong, But He Did It Right" was released as the B-side of "Steal Away" in 1978, while "Slow Cookin'", "Sweet Country", and "Thunder in the Afternoon" were released on the European compilation album, 'Ode to Billie Joe' in 1992.

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Gentry married casino magnate Bill Harrah in December 1969, when he was 58 years old and she was 27. The couple divorced April 16, 1970. She married Thomas R. Toutant in August 1976, whom she divorced in August 1978. In October 1978, Gentry married singer and comedian Jim Stafford with whom she had a son, Tyler Gentry Stafford. Gentry and Stafford divorced in September 1980.

On 10 May 1981, Gentry was one of many celebrity guests to take part in An All-Star Salute to Mother's Day. During the television special she performed "Mama, a Rainbow" from the musical Minnie's Boys for her mother who was seated in the audience. This would prove to be Gentry's final public performance.

Gentry's final public appearance came almost one year later when she attended the Academy of Country Music Awards on April 30, 1982. She was 40 years old. Since that time, she has not recorded, performed or been interviewed.

The Single :
"I'll Never Fall in Love Again" was written by composer Burt Bacharach and lyricist Hal David for the 1968 musical 'Promises, Promises'.

In 1968, Bacharach and David were in Boston for previews of 'Promises, Promises', the new musical for which producer David Merrick had asked if they would write the score. David Merrick : "We're missing a song in the middle of the second act, and what we need is something the audience can whistle on their way out of the theater." 

Unfortunately, around this time, Bacharach was hospitalized with pneumonia and wasn't able to sit at a piano to write the music until after he was released.

Burt Bacharach : "Hal had already come up with the lyrics to 'I'll Never Fall in Love Again,' and my hospital stay had inspired him to write, 'What do you get when you kiss a girl? / You get enough germs to catch pneumonia / After you do, she'll never phone you.' I wrote the melody for 'I'll Never Fall in Love Again' faster than I had ever written any song in my life. We came in with the song the next morning, and it went into the show a couple of nights later. 'I'll Never Fall in Love Again' became the outstanding hit from the score and pretty much stopped the show every night."

The first recording of "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" to reach the charts was by Johnny Mathis, whose cover debuted on Billboard's Easy Listening chart in May 1969, and reached #35 over the course of three weeks there. Bacharach's own version, which was sung by a female chorus, overtook the Mathis release on the chart later the same month, and got as high as number 18 during its nine-week stay.

Bobbie Gentry entered the UK singles chart with the song on 30 August 1969, and topped the charts for one week in October during her 19 week chart run. She also peaked at number one in Australia and Ireland, number three in South Africa, and number five in Norway.

The most successful version of the song to be released as a single in the US was by Dionne Warwick, whose recording, released in December 1969, peaked at number six on the Billboard pop chart, and three weeks at number one on their Easy Listening chart.

Anita Harris also released a version of the song at the same time as Bobbie Gentry, but it failed to chart.

Other Versions include :   Jerry Orbach and Jill O'Hara (1968)  /  Jimmie Rodgers (1969)  /  Burt Bacharach (1969)  /  Ella Fitzgerald (1969)  /  Emmy Lou Harris (1969)  /  Shirley Bassey (1969)  /  Chet Atkins (1969)  / Bobby Vinton (1970)  /  "No me quiero enamorar" by Bobbie Gentry (1970)  /  Patti Page (1970)  /  Carpenters (1970)  /  Jack Jones (1970)  /  Anne Murray (1970)  /  Horst Jankowski (1970)  /  Stan Getz (1970)  /  "Nein, ich verliebe mich nie mehr" by Greta Carlsson (1970)  /  Isaac Hayes (1971)  /  "Já lásku vřele odmítám" by Yvetta & Milan (1971)  /  Sacha Distel (1971)  /  Bing Crosby (1976)  /  Deacon Blue (1990)  /  Ronan Keating (2011)  /  Danny McEvoy (2011)  /  a robot (2014)  /  Jake Reichbart (2016)  /  peacejoytown (2020)

On This Day  :
12 October : Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 7 is launched. The cosmonauts were Anatoly Filipchenko, Vladislav Volkov and Viktor Gorbatko.
12 October : 5 people in space for the 1st time
12 October : Sonja Henie, Norwegian Olympic figure skater and actress, dies from leukemia at 57
13 October : Nancy Kerrigan, American Olympic figure skater, born Nancy Ann Kerrigan in Stoneham, Massachusetts
13 October : Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 8 is launched. The cosmonauts were Vladimir Shatalov and Aleksei Yeliseyev
13 October : 7 people in space for the 1st time
14 October : Race riots in Springfield, Massachusetts
14 October : The United Kingdom introduces the 50p coin, replacing the ten-bob note, in anticipation of decimalisation in 1971
15 October : Dominic West, actor (The Wire), born Dominic Gerard Francis Eagleton West in Sheffield, Yorkshire
16 October : Soyuz 6 returns to Earth
16 October : Wendy Wilson, musician (Wilson Phillips), born in Los Angeles, California
17 October : Plastic Ono Band's "Cold Turkey" is released in UK
17 October : Soyuz 7 returns to Earth
17 October : Ernie Els, golfer, born Theodore Ernest Els in Johannesburg, South Africa
17 October : Wyclef Jean, musician, born Nel Ust Wyclef Jean in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti
18 October : Rod Stewart joins Small Faces
18 October : Soyuz 8 returns to Earth

Extra! Extra!  Read all about it! :
« Last Edit: June 20, 2021, 02:56:16 PM by daf »

Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #2026 on: June 21, 2021, 09:37:26 AM »
If I ever win the lottery, I'm having this thread turned into a coffee table book, along with follow ups for the 70s and 80s.


  • I had too much to dream last night
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #2027 on: June 21, 2021, 04:23:18 PM »
wow, never realised this was a chart topper


  • All Done by Kindness
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #2028 on: June 27, 2021, 02:00:00 PM »
Hey Hey, we're the Inkies, it's . . .

279.  The Archies - Sugar Sugar

From : 19 October – 13 December 1969
Weeks : 8
Flip side : Melody Hill
Bonus 1 : Promo Film
Bonus 2 : Original Mono version

The Story So Far : 
The Archies were formed by vocalist/guitarist Archie Andrews, bassist Reggie Mantle, drummer Forsythe "Jughead" Jones, vocalist/percussionist Betty Cooper and vocalist/keyboardist Veronica Lodge - who often played a large keyboard instrument styled after the X-66, a top-of-the-line organ made by the Hammond Organ Company.

Based on the Archie Comics, created by Bob Montana in 1941, The Archies were an American fictional band that featured in the animated TV series The Archie Show - which was designed to emulate the live-action series The Monkees by including rock music into each episode. A set of studio musicians was assembled by musical supervisor Don Kirshner to perform various songs featured on the series.

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Donald Clark Kirshner was born to a Jewish family in the Bronx, New York. After graduation he went to work for Vanderbilt Music, a small music publishing company owned by former Tin Pan Alley lyricist Al Lewis. By the early 1960s, Kirshner was a successful music publisher as head of his own company, Aldon Music, and became president of COLGEMS in 1966.

Kirshner was hired by the producers of The Monkees to provide potential hit songs to accompany the television programme. Kirshner used songwriting talent from his Brill Building stable of writers and musicians to create catchy, engaging tracks which the band could perform on the show.

In late 1966, Kirshner asked Jeff Barry to produce tracks for the group. Barry brought with him a few tunes penned by Neil Diamond for the group to record, including, "I'm a Believer", which would become one of the biggest-selling records of all time.

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Joel Adelberg was born in Brooklyn to a Jewish family. Although he leaned toward a degree in engineering, his main aspiration was to become a singer. In the late '50s, he signed with RCA Records, adopting the stage name Jeff Barry. In 1960, Barry garnered his first significant success as a songwriter when the teen-tragedy ballad "Tell Laura I Love Her", written with lyricist Ben Raleigh, went to No. 7 on the U.S. pop charts for Ray Peterson, and to No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart for British singer Ricky Valance.

In the 1960s, Barry would partner, both professionally and personally, with Ellie Greenwich to form one of the decade's most prolific songwriting and producing teams. In the summer of 1960, the pair recorded Barry's "Red Corvette", which was released as a single under the name Ellie Gee and The Jets.

In October 1962 the pair married, and shortly afterward Greenwich introduced Barry to troubled nutcase producer Phil Spector. The threesome went on to compose several big hits, including The Crystals' "Da Doo Ron Ron" and "Then He Kissed Me", and The Ronettes' "Be My Baby" and "Baby, I Love You", as well as the holiday perennial "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" by Darlene Love.

In 1964, Leiber and Stoller brought Barry and Greenwich on board their new label, Red Bird Records, as songwriter-producers. Among the hits written and/or produced by the Barry-Greenwich team, were : "Chapel of Love", "People Say", and "Iko Iko" by The Dixie Cups, and "Remember (Walkin' in the Sand)" and "Leader of the Pack" by The Shangri-Las. In 1964 alone, the duo were responsible for writing 17 singles that reached the Billboard Hot 100 chart!

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After a year, The Monkees wanted a chance to play their own instruments on the records, and more control over which songs would be released as singles. The matter reached a breaking point over a disagreement with Don Kirshner regarding the Neil Diamond-penned "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You" in early 1967. The song's release by Kirshner as a single without Columbia Pictures' consent, led to his dismissal.

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In 1968, having been removed from the Monkees project, Kirshner became music supervisor for the new Saturday morning cartoon, The Archie Show, and enlisted Jeff Barry as producer and main songwriter. The show was produced by Filmation for CBS, and aired Saturday mornings on CBS from September 1968 to August 1969.

The fictional group released a series of real-life albums and singles beginning with "Bang-Shang-A-Lang" (b/w "Truck Driver") in August 1968, which reached #22 in the Billboard chart.

Musicians on Archies' records included guitarists Hugh McCracken and Dave Appell, bassists Chuck Rainey and Joey Macho, keyboard player Ron Frangipane, and drummers Buddy Saltzman and Gary Chester.

Male vocals for the fictional group were provided by Ron Dante - who had been a member of the parody group The Detergents, who recorded a novelty song called "Leader of the Laundromat".

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Their debut album, 'The Archies', was released in 1968 on Kirshner's Calendar records.

The songs written by Jeff Barry included : "Archie's Theme (Everything's Archie)" / "Boys and Girls"  /  "You Make Me Wanna Dance"  /  "La Dee Doo Down Down"  /  "I'm in Love"  /  "Seventeen Ain't Young"  /  and "Ride, Ride, Ride"


Three songs on the album were written by Mark Barkan and Ritchie Adams : "Time for Love"  /  "Catchin' Up On Fun"  /  and  "Hide and Seek".

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Their second single, "Feelin' So Good (S.K.O.O.B.Y.-D.O.O.)" (b/w "Love Light"), was released in December 1968, but failed to improve on their debut - flopping at #53 in the US chart.

The single appeared on their second album, 'Everything's Archie', released in 1969.


Other songs featured on the album included : "Rock & Roll Music"  /  "Kissin'"  /  "Don't Touch My Guitar"  /  "Circle of Blue"  /  "You Little Angel, You"  /  "Bicycles, Rollerskates and You"  /  "Hot Dog"  /  and "Inside Out-Upside Down"

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Their breakthough came with their third single - "Sugar, Sugar" - which peaked at Number 1 in the US, Canada, and the UK. The song was co-written by producer Jeff Barry and Andy Kim

Andrew Youakim was born in Montreal, Quebec, the third of four sons of Lebanese immigrants. In his teens, he moved to New York's Brill Building to pursue a career in music. He recorded as "Andy Kim", using the different last name as a way to obscure his Lebanese ethnicity, though on his earliest releases he used the name "Youakim" in the writing credits.

In 1968, after minor recording successes over the previous few years, Kim released the single "How'd We Ever Get This Way?" on Jeff Barry's Steed label; it just missed the U.S. Top 20, peaking at #21.

As well as providing material for the Archies, Kim and Barry, wrote songs for the Monkees' 1970 album Changes, which Barry also produced.

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For three weeks in October 1969, Ron Dante had two hits in the Top Ten of Billboard's Hot 100 - "Tracy" by The Cuff Links, and, on its way down from number one, the Archies' "Sugar, Sugar" - though neither single's label credited the anonymous studio singer.

Dante's vocals for "Tracy" were recorded in just hours. He recalled: "I put on a lead voice, doubled it a few times, and then put about 16, 18 backgrounds." Dante had promised songwriters/producers Paul Vance and Lee Pockriss that if the song was a hit he would record an entire Cuff Links album; when it charted, Vance and Pockriss quickly delved through their catalogue to produce more songs.

Ron Dante : "It was the quickest album I'd ever done, I think I did the entire background vocals and leads in a day and a half – for the entire album. I remember doing at least four or five songs in one day."

The album liner notes wove a tale of how Vance and Pockriss discovered the "seven-member" group, but did not name any group members, or show any pictures of the supposed band. Instead, the album featured an unnamed cover model. As the album was being completed, Vance and Pockriss created a seven-member touring band, comprising Pat Rizzo (saxophone), Rich Dimino (keyboards), Bob Gill (trumpet/flugelhorn/flute), Dave Lavender (guitar), Andrew "Junior" Denno (bass), Joe Cord (vocals) and Danny Valentine (drums).

Dante opted not to tour with the group, having accepted a solo album recording contract by Archies creator Don Kirshner that excluded any more outside work.

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The female duet vocals on "Sugar Sugar" were provided by Toni Wine.

Toni Wine was born in Washington Heights, New York City, and attended the Juilliard School of Music, where she studied piano. She worked as a songwriter for Screen Gems Publishing, where she collaborated with several other artists and then teamed with Carole Bayer Sager. They wrote the song "A Groovy Kind of Love", recorded by The Mindbenders, which reached the top of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1966.

Wine became a member of The Archies in 1969, and sang the female vocals on their #1 hit song "Sugar, Sugar", and shared the lead vocals in the Archies' subsequent single, "Jingle Jangle", which failed to chart in the UK, but reached #10 in the US, and was another Number 1 in Canada.

Their third album, 'Jingle Jangle', was produced by Jeff Barry, and was the first released on the Kirshner record label.

Other songs featured on the album included : "Everything's Alright"  /  "She's Putting Me Thru Changes"  /  "Justine"  /  "Whoopee Tie Ai A"  /  "Nursery Rhyme"  /  "Get on the Line"  /  "You Know I Love You"  /  "Señorita Rita"  /  "Look Before You Leap"  /  "Sugar and Spice"  /  "Archie's Party"

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Throughout 1969, the Archies' music was also featured on a series of promotional cardboard records embossed directly onto the back of cereal boxes.

While the sound quality wasn't the best, these colourful promo items have proved highly desirable amongst Archies fans.

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"Who's Your Baby", written by Jeff Barry and Andy Kim, was a non-album single released in February 1970. It peaked at No. 40 on the Billboard Hot 100, and was their last Top 40 hit.

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Their fourth studio album, 'Sunshine', released in 1970, was again produced by Jeff Barry, and peaked at number 137 on the Billboard Top LPs chart.

Songs featured on the album included : "Who's Gonna Love Me"  /  "Mr. Factory"  /  "Love and Rock 'N Roll Music"  /  "Waldo P. Emerson Jones"  /  "Dance"  /  "Comes the Sun"  /  "Suddenly Susan"  /  "One Big Family"  /  "It's the Summertime"

The single "Sunshine", (b/w "Over and Over"), was released in June 1970, and peaked at #57 in the US.

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Their fifth, and final, album, 'This Is Love', was released in 1971. By this time Jeff Barry had moved on to other projects, and the album was basically a collaboration between Ron Dante and Ritchie Adams.

Songs included : "Don't Need No Bad Girl"  /  "Should Anybody Ask"  /  "Easy Guy"  /  "Maybe I'm Wrong"  /  "What Goes On"  /  "Carousel Man"  /  "Hold On To Lovin'"  /  "This Is The Night"  and  "Little Green Jacket"

Two singles were taken from the album : "Together We Two", released in December 1970, stiffed at #122 in the US charts, and the title track "This Is Love" (b/w "Throw a Little Love My Way"), released in March 1971, failed to chart.

In the meantime, the 'Sunshine' album track, "A Summer Prayer for Peace" had become a surprise number 1 hit in South Africa. As a result, it was released a single in the US in July 1971, but failed to chart.

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The only Archies song not to feature Ron Dante on lead was the January 1972 non-album single : "Love Is Living In You", which was sung by Bob Levine (who co-wrote the song).

In June 1972 they released their final single - "Strangers in the Morning" backed with "Plum Crazy" - which was the A-side in Europe.

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Toni Wine, left the group in 1970, and was succeeded by Donna Marie, who in turn was replaced on the final recordings by Merle Miller.

In 1970, Toni Wine co-wrote "Candida", which she recorded with Linda November and Tony Orlando from the band Dawn.

After moving to Memphis, Tennessee with her husband, record producer Chips Moman, Wine continued to write and record songs and work as a session singer. For over 30 years, she was one of the voices of Meow Mix Cat Food, along with Linda November on the "meow, meow, meow, meow" advertising jingle.

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Ron Dante's first album release under his own name, 'Ron Dante Brings You Up' was released in 1970.  Many of the songs, including "A Million Voices", "Mr. Sun" and "Don't Let Love Pass You By" were written by Dante. The album also featured two Barry/Kim penned songs : "Let Me Bring You Up" which opens the album, and "How Do You Know".

In 1972, also under the supervision of Kirshner, Ron Dante became lead vocalist for another TV cartoon group, The Chan Clan, and provided lead vocals for a number of songs on the album 'From Beyond the Grave' - a Spiderman 'Rockomic', credited to The Webspinners.

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In 1969, Andy Kim had two hit singles, "Rainbow Ride", which made the US Top 50, and "Baby, I Love You", which got to #9 in the US and #1 in Canada, selling over one million copies.

In the spring of 1974, he released the self-penned "Rock Me Gently", which went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and to #2 on the UK Singles Chart, selling three million copies globally, earning Kim his second gold disc.

In 1976, Kim altered the spelling of his pseudonym to Andy Kimm, and released a few singles under that name on his own Ice Records label in 1976 and '77. Shortly thereafter, he adopted the stage name Baron Longfellow and issued the first single. "Shady Hollow Dreamer", under that name in 1978. It was followed by a self-titled album 'Baron Longfellow' with the hit single "Amour" in 1980 and, also under the same pseudonym, in 1984 released the album 'Prisoner by Design'.

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Along with fake Animals and fake Zombies, in the early 70's, there was a fake Archies band touring mostly small towns in the US. The scam was operated by an outfit from Michigan called Delta Promotions. The fake Archies are believed to have been members of a folk group called the Bluesberry Jam, while Dusty Hill and Frank Beard from ZZ Top featured in one of two fake Zombies along with Sebastian Meador, and 18 year old Mark Ramsey.

Mark Ramsey : "As far as the Zombies, I was told they didn't exist, that they were only a studio sound. I was just excited and flattered. I'd only been playing for a few years and the other guys were pro-level at that point. I didn't look at it as anything more than a chance to have some fun, hang out with some cool guys, learn some songs, go somewhere outside of this Hillbillyville, and earn a little money."

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After 17 half-hour episodes, in 1969, The Archie Show was expanded to an hour and retitled The Archie Comedy Hour, which included a half-hour featuring Sabrina the Teenage Witch. In 1970, the show became Archie's Funhouse, and featured live-action segments.

Filmation continued to produce further Archie television series, including Archie's TV Funnies between 1971 and 1973, The U.S. of Archie from 1974 to 1976 and The New Archie and Sabrina Hour from 1977 to 1978.

The Single :
"Sugar, Sugar" was written by Jeff Barry and Andy Kim. It was originally recorded by the cartoon band The Archies.

Produced by Jeff Barry, "Sugar, Sugar" was originally released on the album 'Everything's Archie'. Ron Dante's lead vocals were accompanied by those of Toni Wine and Andy Kim. Together they provided the voices of the Archies using multitracking.

Other musicians performing on "Sugar, Sugar" included : Ron Frangipane – keyboards  /  Gary Chester – drums  /  Joe Mack (AKA Joey Macho) – bass  /  Dave Appell – guitar  /  Sal DiTroia – guitar  /  and Ray Stevens – handclaps

The song was initially released in late May 1969 on the Calendar label, but only achieved moderate chart success in some radio markets. Don Kirshner had promotion men play it for radio station personnel without revealing the group's name as the Archies' previous single, "Feelin' So Good (S.K.O.O.B.Y-D.O.O)", had only reached No. 53 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Lead vocalist Ron Dante recounts that the label was removed from the record, taken to a top radio station in San Francisco, where the DJ was told: “Just play it! It’s a mystery group”. When the song was re-released in mid-July 1969 on the Kirshner label, it attained massive success nationwide.

After topping the RPM 100 national singles chart in Canada on September 13, 1969, the single went on to spend four weeks at the top of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 from September 20 through October 11. The single also spent eight weeks at the top of the UK singles chart and peaked at #1 on the South African Singles Chart.

Other Versions include : Bob Marley & The Wailers (1969)  /  The Gunter Kallmann Choir (1969)  /  "Douce Candy" by Claude François (1969)  /  "Bocca dolce" by Marcella Bella (1969)  /  "Dulce, dulce" by Hilda Aguirre (1969)  /  "Azucar Azucar" by Los Rockin Devil's (1970)  /  Wilson Pickett (1970)  /  Willie Henderson & The Soul Explosions (1970)  /  Tom Jones (1970)  /  Jimmy McGriff (1970)  /  The 1970 England Football Squad (1970)  /  The Ventures (1970)  /  Ace Cannon (1970)  /  Chet Baker (1970)  /  "Týden" by Metronom (1970)  /  "Neak Na Kmean Sneh" by Sinn Sisamouth (1970)  /  Sakkarin (1971)  /  Ken Lazarus (1971)  /  Jimmy Smith (1971)  /  Emile Ford (1971)  /  The Silvertones (1973)  /  Neil Sedaka (1974)  /  Gladys Knight & The Pips (1975)  /  "Monnaie monnaie" by Martin Circus (1975)  /  T.H.P. Orchestra (1976)  /  Ike and Tina Turner (1977)  /  The Germs (1981)  /  D.J. Les and The Kool Kat featuring The Archies (1991)  /  Mary Lou Lord with Semisonic (1995)  /  Danny McEvoy (2011)  /  Claude Denjean (2011)  /  Olivia Newton-John (2012)  /  Micky Dolenz (2012)  /  Cornershop (2018)  /  David Hasselhoff (2019)

On This Day  :
19 October : J Bock and S Harnicks musical "Rothschilds" opens at Lunt-Fontanne Theater NYC for 505 performances
19 October : Scottish driver Jackie Stewart finishes 4th in Mexican Grand Prix to win his first F1 World Drivers Championship
19 October : "Trey" Parker, animator (South Park), born Randolph Severn Parker III in Conifer, Colorado
21 October : Jack Kerouac, American writer, dies aged 47
21 October : Leonard Gersh's play "Butterflies are Free" premieres in NYC
21 October : Willy Brandt is elected chancellor of West Germany
23 October : "Jimmy" opens at Winter Garden Theater NYC for 84 performances
28 October : Ben Harper, musician, born Benjamin Chase Harper in Pomona, California
29 October : US Supreme Court orders end to all school segregation "at once"
30 October : Snow, rapper, born Darrin Kenneth O'Brien in Toronto, Ontario
31 October : George Harrison's "Something" is released by the Beatles as a single in UK, his first "A" side
1 November : Pauline Bush, American silent film actress, dies aged 83
3 November : Robert Miles, Italian record producer, born Roberto Concina in Fleurier, Switzerland
4 November : Matthew McConaughey, actor, born Matthew David McConaughey in Uvalde, Texas
4 November : Puff Daddy, rapper and record producer, born Sean John Combs in NYC, New York
7 November : John Lennon and Yoko Ono release their second album "Wedding Album" in UK
10 November : "Sesame Street" premieres on PBS TV
12 November : Filmmaker Blake Edwards marries actress Julie Andrews in Beverly Hills, California
12 November : Author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn expelled from the Soviet Writers Union
13 November : Gerard Butler, actor, born Gerard James Butler in Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland
14 November : Apollo 12 launched for 2nd manned Moon landing
15 November : The 1st ever colour television commercial in the UK, for Birds Eye peas, airs on ATV in the Midlands during a Thunderbirds episode
16 November : Janis Joplin arrested and charged with obscenity for using profanity while addressing the police during a concert in Tampa, Florida
16 November : Bryan Abrams, singer (Color Me Badd), born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
18 November : Ted Heath [not that one!], British musician and bandleader dies aged 67
19 November : Apollo 12's Charles Conrad and Alan Bean become the 3rd and 4th humans on the Moon
24 November : Apollo 12 returns to Earth
25 November : John Lennon returns OBE to protest against UK's support for Vietnam War
26 November : Cream's final concert (Royal Albert Hall)
2 December : "Buck White" opens at George Abbott Theater NYC
4 December : Jay-Z, rapper and record producer, born Shawn Corey Carter in Brooklyn, New York City
5 December : Sajid Javid, British politician, born in Rochdale, Lancashire
5 December : Princess Alice of Battenberg, mother of Prince Philip dies aged 84
5 December : Four-node ARPANET network is established
6 December : "Buck White" closes at George Abbott Theater NYC after 7 performances
6 December : 300,000 attend Altamont free concert in California, featuring The Rolling Stones. Marred by violence and four deaths.
9 December : Jakob Dylan, musician (The Wallflowers), son of Bob Dylan, born Jakob Luke Dylan in New York City

Extra! Extra!  Read all about it! :
« Last Edit: June 27, 2021, 05:31:43 PM by daf »


  • All Done by Kindness
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #2029 on: July 11, 2021, 02:00:00 PM »
Don't . .  Stop . . tinkering about the line-up, it's . . .

279b. (NME 277.)  Fleetwood Mac  - Oh Well (Part 1)

From :  22 - 29 November 1969
Weeks : 1
Flip side : Oh Well (Part 2)
Bonus : TV Performance

The Story So Far : 1969 - 1974
In September 1969, Fleetwood Mac released their third studio album, 'Then Play On'. The painting used for the album cover artwork is a mural by the English artist Maxwell Armfield. The painting was featured in the February 1917 edition of The Countryside magazine, which noted that the mural was originally designed for the dining room of a London mansion.

It was the first of their original albums to feature Danny Kirwan and the last with Peter Green. The album offered a broader stylistic range than the classic blues of the group's first two albums.

Songs written and sung by Danny Kirwan included : "Coming Your Way",  "When You Say", "Although the Sun Is Shining", and "Like Crying" - which was co-written with Green.

Peter Green wrote and sung "Closing My Eyes", "Show-Biz Blues", "Rattlesnake Shake" and "Before the Beginning".

Four instrumentals featured on the album : "My Dream" written by Danny Kirwan, "Underway" by Peter Green, plus "Fighting for Madge" and "Searching for Madge" - which were complied by Green from several hours of studio jam sessions, and individually credited to Mick Fleetwood (Fighting) and John VcVie (Searching). Madge, the press were told at the time, was a female fan of the group.

Two of Kirwan's songs, "One Sunny Day" & "Without You", were deleted from the original US version of the LP as had already appeared on the US compilation 'English Rose', while "Underway" was shortened by about 15 seconds.

The album went on to reach No. 6 on the UK Albums Chart, subsequently becoming the band's fourth Top 20 hit in a row, as well as their third album to reach the Top 10.

When non-album single "Oh Well" became their first hit in the US in November 1969, peaking at #55, the US LP was re-released in a revised running order to include both Part 1 and Part 2 spliced together into one long song, with Danny Kirwan's "When You Say" and "My Dream" removed to make room for it.

Other changes include putting the two edits from the "Madge" jams back-to-back, fading down between them. The giggle that previously linked "My Dream" to "Like Crying" ended up, following the end of "Fighting for Madge" instead.

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By 1970, Peter Green, the frontman of the band, had become a user of LSD. During the band's European tour, he experienced a bad acid trip at a hippie commune in Munich.

[Manager] Clifford Davis : "Peter told me he had been invited to a party. I knew there were going to be a lot of drugs around and I suggested that he didn't go. But he went anyway and I understand from him that he took what turned out to be very bad, impure LSD. He was never the same again."

Mick Fleetwood : "Certainly John McVie would fully blame an event in Germany where Peter took some more drugs and never really came back from that. John is, to this day, absolutely furious with these people. We called them the German Jet Set. They captured Peter completely, and pulled him away."

Green's last hit with Fleetwood Mac was "The Green Manalishi (With the Two-Prong Crown)", recorded during the band's third US tour in April 1970. The single was released as Green's mental stability deteriorated. He wanted the band to give all their money to charity, but the other members of the band disagreed.

Peter Green : "You lose your mind with LSD. It puts you somewhere you don't know where you are. And you're very meek. You become very meek, very exceptionally truthful. Very, very... you have a necessity to tell the truth. Like you need something, you need to go somewhere. A need as strong as the need to go to the toilet or something. You can't fuck this up. You can't really miss one."

On 20 May 1970, after the completion of their European tour, Peter Green quit Fleetwood Mac.

Christine McVie : "I was shocked, but I think Mick and John had sensed something when they were recording Then Play On. He was starting to shift. His songs became very dark, very morose and introverted. That was the beginning of both his genius and the path towards his demise, although that wasn’t his fault, when he was spiked by those rich kids in that German schloss. He literally never came back."

Peter Green : "I was glad to get out of that group. They all seemed to be older than me, or taller or more fashionable than me, or friends with someone or something. That group was a load of clowns of some kind. 'Green Manalishi' of ours was quite good, it was on the way to brilliant, but it should have been a little bit quieter . . ."

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In September 1970, Fleetwood Mac released their fourth studio album, 'Kiln House'. This was the first album after the departure of founder Peter Green, and their last album to feature guitarist Jeremy Spencer.

Jeremy Spencer, who sat out for the previous album, played a much more active role during the Kiln House sessions. His retro 1950s homages and parodies dominate the album, although Danny Kirwan's songs are almost equally prominent.

Kirwan's songs on the album - "Earl Gray", "Station Man", and "Tell Me All the Things You Do" - moved the band in the direction of rock, while Spencer's contributions - "This Is the Rock", "Blood on the Floor", and "One Together" - focused on re-creating the country-tinged "Sun Sound" of the late 1950s.

Jeremy Spencer : "We had to see what we could do with the ingredients we had left, musically, and considering our collective personalities. Neither Danny nor I could come up with the brooding musical fare that Peter was known for, so we had to readjust. In retrospect, “Kiln House” was an uplifting album and did surprisingly well in the States, whereas it flubbed in our homeland!"

Other song featured on the album included "Jewel-Eyed Judy" written by Kirwan, Fleetwood, and McVie, plus the covers "Hi Ho Silver",  "Buddy's Song" and "Mission Bell".

Christine Perfect, who by this point had married bassist John McVie, made her first appearance with the band as Christine McVie at Bristol University, England, in May 1969, just as she was leaving Chicken Shack. She played her first gig as an official member of Fleetwood Mac on 1 August 1970 in New Orleans, Louisiana. She contributed (uncredited) backing vocals and keyboards to the album, and also drew the charming album cover. After Kiln House, she was invited to join the band.

Christine McVie : "They were under contract to make another record, so Mick decided they should rent a place in the country and work on songs for the album that became Kiln House, which I did the cover for. By then, I was married to John, Mick was married to Jenny [Boyd], Jeremy was married, Danny was married, and we all moved into this rustic oast house in Kent and they started working on the album. I was there, just drawing, doodling, cooking, smoking a lot of pot. One day Mick and John came up and said, “We think we need another musician. How would you feel about joining the band?” That was like 10 days before they went on the road. I knew the songs so I just came chiming in with my piano, did a couple of harmonies with Danny and Jeremy, that was it."

Jeremy Spencer : "Being married to John McVie, Christine was living with us all in our communal Kiln House set up. Also, our mid-1970 US tour was coming up, we wanted to fill out the sound, and Danny and I wanted to do more harmony vocals, so she was a natural candidate to fill the bill, which she did admirably. She also brought a strong creative element to the band."

The album title is taken from the name of a converted Oast house in Truncheaunts Lane, near Alton in Hampshire. The house was leased by the band, who lived there communally with their families for a six-month period in 1970.

Mick Fleetwood : "Now I look back on it, when we made Kiln House, the first album without Peter… I actually really love that album. But Danny was pressured. Jeremy had not really made huge inroads to writing. So we went into Jeremy’s rock’n’roll world. We just kept going. I was devastated when Peter left. It was so catastrophic."

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'Christine Perfect' was released in December 1970, after Christine McVie had left Chicken Shack, but before she joined Fleetwood Mac.

The album most well-known track was the Etta James cover, "I'd Rather Go Blind" - which had earlier been a hit single for Chicken Shack. Other covers on the album included : "Crazy 'Bout You Baby", "I'm on My Way", "And That's Saying a Lot", "I'm Too Far Gone (To Turn Around)" and "I Want You". Alongside the covers, several songs on the album were written by McVie, including : "Wait and See", "Close to Me", "No Road Is the Right Road", and "For You".

Following Fleetwood Mac's return to the US charts, the album was re-released in 1976 as 'The Legendary Christine Perfect Album'

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In March 1971, they released Danny Kirwan's "Dragonfly" as a single in the UK and certain European countries. The B-side of the single, "The Purple Dancer", was written by Kirwan, Fleetwood and John McVie, and featured vocals from both Kirwan and Jeremy Spencer. Despite good reviews in the press it was not a success.

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In May 1971, CBS Records, which now owned Blue Horizon, released the band's fourth compilation album, The Original Fleetwood Mac, containing various outtakes recorded by the first incarnation of the band in 1967–68.

Songs included the Peter Green originals : "Drifting", "Leaving Town Blues", "Watch Out", "A Fool No More", "Fleetwood Mac", "First Train Home" and "Rambling Pony #2"

The album also featured one song by Jeremy Spencer : "Allow Me One More Show", plus the covers : "Mean Old Fireman" (Arthur Crudup), "Can't Afford to Do It" (Homesick James), "Worried Dream" (B.B. King), and "Love That Woman" (Lafayette Leake).

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In early 1971, during a tour of the United States, Jeremy Spencer grew disillusioned with his life in Fleetwood Mac. According to Mick Fleetwood, Spencer apparently had difficulty recovering from a mescaline trip he had experienced very early on the US tour. Shortly before a journey of the band from San Francisco to Los Angeles, LA experienced a major earthquake. Being in a fragile mental state and filled with strong negative premonitions, Spencer was very apprehensive about having to travel to LA. He unsuccessfully pleaded with Fleetwood to cancel this leg of the tour.

Shortly after arriving in LA on 15 February 1971, the day of a gig the group was scheduled to perform at the Whisky A Go Go, Spencer left the hotel room he shared with Fleetwood to visit a bookshop on Hollywood Boulevard. He did not return, forcing the cancellation of that evening's concert while the band and members of their entourage went searching for him. Some days later, he was found to have joined the religious cult the Children of God, and he declared that he no longer wanted to be involved with Fleetwood Mac.

Despite many rumours of brainwashing and forced induction into the organisation, Spencer has always maintained that he joined the organisation of his own free will. He had been approached by a young man named Apollos, who engaged Spencer in conversation about God, and invited him to a nearby mission where other members were staying. During the evening, Spencer became convinced that this change of direction was the best course for him to take, and by the time Fleetwood Mac found him, his mind was made up.

Jeremy Spencer : "When I joined the Children of God, a community that specialized in evangelical contemporary music, I found myself playing alongside black ‘soul’ brothers, Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez style folk artists, cowboy country and gospel singers, psychedelic Hendrix adherents and more. Consequently, some of us formed a band and an album resulted, consisting of mostly self-penned numbers -- some people said that the music sounded like Jefferson Airplane and West Coast psychedelic rock! Well, I was experimenting with folksy songs and structured twin guitar work with my co-guitarist at the time, Phil Ham, who was actually a Clapton aficionado from Dallas, Texas."

The band were liable for the remaining shows on the tour and asked Peter Green to step in as a replacement. Green brought along his friend Nigel Watson, who played the congas. Green was only back with Fleetwood Mac temporarily and the band began a search for a new guitarist. Green insisted on playing only new material and none he had written. He and Watson played only the last week of shows.

Jeremy Spencer : "I regret having left them in the manner I did. But regarding my decision to leave, I would like to present this quote from Steve Jobs, : “If you want to live your life in a creative way, as an artist, you have to not look back too much. You have to be willing to take whatever you’ve done and whoever you were and throw them away. The more the outside world tries to reinforce an image of you, the harder it is to continue to be an artist, which is why a lot of times, artists have to say, ‘Bye. I have to go. I’m going crazy and I’m getting out of here.’ And they go and hibernate somewhere. Maybe later they re-emerge a little differently.” This quote rings so true for me! All that to say, even though I remain true to my blues roots, I enjoy and need to keep moving forward musically, and I hope and believe, by the grace of God, that I have re-emerged a lot differently!"

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In the summer of 1971, the band held auditions for a replacement guitarist at their large country home, "Benifold". A friend of the band, Judy Wong, recommended her high school friend Bob Welch, who was living in Paris, France, at the time. The band held a few meetings with Welch and decided to hire him, without actually playing with him, after they heard a tape of his songs.

Christine McVie : "Bob actually never played a note. All we did was sit around and talk until dawn, and we just thought he was an incredible person. I remember saying to Mick that I didn't even care what his playing was like, he was such a good person. If we'd hated his guitar work it would have been a real drag."

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In September 1971, the band released their fifth studio album, 'Future Games'. As a result of Welch's arrival and Spencer's departure, the album was different from anything they had done previously. While it became the band's first studio album to miss the charts in the UK, it helped to expand the band's appeal in the United States.

Future Games' was recorded in the summer of 1971 at Advision Studios in London and was the first album to feature Christine McVie as a full member - contributing the songs "Morning Rain" and "Show Me a Smile".

This was also the first of five albums to feature American guitarist Bob Welch - who wrote the songs "Future Games" and "Lay It All Down".

Bob Welch : "I really didn't even know I was going to be able to contribute songs when I joined. I was closer to the rhythm and blues end of things than they were at that time. I did have a few things that seemed to fit, though, and the band was very open."

Mick Fleetwood : “He was totally different background – R&B, sort of jazzy. He brought his personality. He was a member of Fleetwood Mac before we’d even played a note.”

Without the 1950s leanings of departed guitarist Jeremy Spencer, the band moved further away from blues and closer to the melodic pop sound that would finally break them into America four years later.

In December 1971, a heavily edited version of Danny Kirwan's "Sands of Time" was an unsuccessful single in the United States and some other territories. Other songs featured on the album included Kirwan's "Woman of 1000 Years" and "Sometimes".

After the band completed the album and turned it in, the record label said that it would not release an album with only seven songs, and demanded that they record an eighth. "What a Shame" was recorded hastily as a jam to fulfill this request. The song featured saxophone from Christine McVie's brother John Perfect.

Mick Fleetwood : "We were able to continue in this shaky way, and then we brought Christine in, and musically that really helped. And later on, with Bob Welch, that was actually a great period, when we worked a lot in America. We were a working band and we were surviving and it was okay. But none of that would have happened if we hadn’t learnt that lesson. It was such a catastrophe when Peter left. But we got over it, and somehow we muddled through."

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In March 1972, the band released their sixth studio album, 'Bare Trees'. This was their last album to feature Danny Kirwan, who was fired during the album's supporting tour.

Five of the ten tracks were written by Kirwan including : "Sunny Side of Heaven", "Bare Trees", "Danny's Chant", "Dust", and "Child of Mine" - which alludes to Kirwan's biological father not having been part of his life. The lyrics for "Dust" were taken from a poem about death written by Rupert Brooke in 1910.

Mick Fleetwood was particularly impressed with Kirwan's contributions to the album  : "It's a well-rounded album. Like Lindsey, Danny had the chops with layering techniques, and the ability to know what's right and wrong in the studio."

The album also featured two songs by Bob Welch : the May 1972 single "Sentimental Lady", and "The Ghost".

Christine McVie contributed the bright "Spare Me a Little of Your Love - that became a staple of the band's live act throughout the early to mid-1970s, plus "Homeward Bound" - which alludes to her dislike of flying and touring.

Christine McVie : "It was only really with Bob that we started to develop a three-part harmony vibe. Mick was very supportive, and it worked. Bob had this honey voice, and so did I. We sounded great together and worked well in the studio, me at the piano and him on guitar. Mick would make sure Bob stayed within the boundaries of a commercial song, because, given the chance, Bob could just take off into space."

The final track on the album, "Thoughts on a Grey Day", was a poem written and supposedly read by an elderly woman, Mrs. Scarrott, who lived near the band's communal home, 'Benifold', in southern England.

Bob Welch : "The spoken thing Mick does about 'Trees so bare' was written, I think, by this sweet old lady that lived near Benifold ... Mick did an affectionate 'schtick' on her to close the album."

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While the band was doing well in the studio, their tours started to be problematic. By 1972 Danny Kirwan had developed an alcohol dependency and was becoming alienated from Welch and the McVies. When Kirwan smashed his Gibson Les Paul Custom guitar before a concert on a US tour in August 1972, refused to go on stage and criticised the band afterwards, Fleetwood fired him. Fleetwood said later that the pressure had become too much for Kirwan, and he had suffered a breakdown.

In the three albums they released in this period they constantly changed line-ups. In September 1972 the band added guitarist Bob Weston and vocalist Dave Walker, formerly of Savoy Brown and Idle Race. Bob Weston was well known as a slide guitarist and had known the band from his touring period with Long John Baldry.

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With new recruits guitarist Bob Weston and vocalist Dave Walker on board, the band recorded their seventh studio album, 'Penguin', in January 1973. The album was released just two months later in March 1973.

The penguin became the band's mascot, and had been suggested by John McVie. His fascination with the birds originated when he lived near London Zoo during the early days of his marriage to Christine McVie. He was a member of the Zoological Society and would spend hours at the zoo studying and watching the penguins. The album's artwork was painted by Chris Moore and the gatefold photo was shot on location at Ludshott Common and Waggoners Wells in Hampshire.

Three Bob Welch songs featured on the album : "Bright Fire", "Revelation", and "Night Watch" - which features a brief guitar contribution from Fleetwood Mac's founder Peter Green at the end.

Christine McVie contributed the tracks : "Remember Me", "Dissatisfied" - released as a single in May 1973, and "Did You Ever Love Me" - which was released as a single in September 1973.

Following the success of the the re-released "Albatross" - which reached #2 in the UK charts in May 1973 - another old track, "Black Magic Woman", was re-issued, but failed to chart.

Rounding off the album was "Caught in the Rain" - an instrumental, was the only track on a Fleetwood Mac record where Bob Weston received the sole writing credit.

Dave Walker was featured on only two tracks : namely his own "The Derelict" and a cover of Junior Walker's hit "(I'm a) Road Runner" on which he also played harmonica solos.

The subsequent tour seemed to go well, and 'Penguin' was the highest charting Fleetwood Mac album in the US at the time, clawing its way into the Top 50. However, during the recording of their next album, it was mutually agreed upon that Walker's vocal style and attitude "did not fit in" with Fleetwood Mac and by June 1973 he had left.

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The remaining five members carried on and recorded the band's eighth studio album, 'Mystery to Me', six months later. Released on 15 October 1973, this was their last album to feature Bob Weston. Most of the songs were penned by guitarist/singer Bob Welch and keyboardist/singer Christine McVie, who were instrumental in gearing the band toward the radio-friendly pop rock that would make them successful a few years later.

It was Fleetwood Mac's last album recorded in England, the last to have two guitarists in the line-up until Behind the Mask and the last to be co-produced and/or engineered by Martin Birch. The album title comes from a line in the chorus of the opening track "Emerald Eyes" - written by Bob Welch.

Other songs by Welch included : "The City", "Miles Away", "Somebody", and "Keep On Going" - which was sung by Christine McVie because Welch decided her voice was better suited to the song than his.

Another song by Welch, "Hypnotized", was a minor US radio hit. "Forever" is one of only two Fleetwood Mac tracks to feature Bob Weston as a composer and one of only a small handful to feature John McVie in this capacity.

Christine McVie contributed the songs : "Believe Me", "Just Crazy Love", "The Way I Feel" and "Why".

Also featured on the album, and released as a single in December 1973, was "For Your Love" - written by Graham Gouldman, and originally recorded by The Yardbirds. Fleetwood Mac's cover replaced a Bob Welch song "Good Things (Come to Those Who Wait)" on the album at a very late stage in production. Some albums came with a lyric inner sheet and outer sleeve still showing "Good Things" instead of "For Your Love".

The band was proud of the new album and anticipated that it would be a smash hit. While it did eventually go Gold, personal problems within the band emerged. The McVies' marriage was under a lot of stress, which was aggravated by their constant working with each other and by John McVie's considerable alcohol abuse.

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During the band's 1973 American tour, they appeared on the Midnight Special, but during the venture, it became clear that Bob Weston was having an affair with Mick Fleetwood's wife Jenny Boyd - sister of Pattie Boyd. Although Fleetwood tried to carry on playing with Weston, regardless of the extramarital issues, it soon became clear that something had to give and after a gig in Lincoln, Nebraska, Fleetwood told the McVies and Welch that he could no longer play with Weston in the line-up. John Courage, the band's road manager, fired Weston and put him on a plane back to the UK.

Mick Fleetwood : "It was painful for everyone, I’m sure. But you have to take responsibility. I don’t even look at it as a betrayal. A lot of these things we’re touching on happened because we weren’t equipped. I wasn’t equipped to know that Peter was in trouble. I wasn’t equipped to think: 'You’re having too much fun and you’re not paying attention to your family.' Me and Jenny got back together. We were able to carry on."

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With another 26 concerts scheduled, the tour was cancelled, and the band also went back to England to break the news to their manager Clifford Davis who was left with major touring commitments to fulfil and no band. Davis was concerned that failing to complete the tour would destroy his reputation with bookers and promoters. He sent the band a letter in which he said he "hadn't slaved for years to be brought down by the whims of irresponsible musicians".

Davis claimed that he owned the name 'Fleetwood Mac' and the right to choose the band members, and he recruited members of the band Legs, which had recently issued one single under Davis's management, to tour the US in early 1974 under the name 'The New Fleetwood Mac' and perform the rescheduled dates. This band consisted of Dave Terry (aka Elmer Gantry, formerly of Velvet Opera: vocals, guitar), Kirby Gregory (formerly of Curved Air: guitar), Paul Martinez (formerly of the Downliners Sect: bass), John Wilkinson (keyboards) and Australian drummer Craig Collinge (formerly of Manfred Mann Chapter III).

The members of this group were told that Mick Fleetwood would join them after the tour had started, to validate the use of the name, and claimed that he had been involved in planning it. Davis and others stated that Fleetwood had committed himself to the project and had given instructions to hire musicians and rehearse the band. Davis said Collinge had been hired only as a temporary stand-in drummer for rehearsals and the first two gigs, and that Fleetwood had agreed to appear on the rest of the tour, but then had backed out after the tour started. Fleetwood said later that he had not promised to appear on the tour.

The 'New Fleetwood Mac' tour began on 16 January 1974 at the Syria Mosque in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and according to one of the band members, the first concert "went down a storm". More successful gigs followed, but then word got around that this was not the real Fleetwood Mac and audiences became hostile. The band was turned away from several gigs and the next half-dozen were pulled by promoters. The band struggled on and played further dates in the face of increasing hostility and heckling, more dates were pulled, the keyboard player quit, and after a concert in Edmonton where bottles were thrown at the stage, the tour collapsed. The band dissolved and the remainder of the tour was cancelled.

The lawsuit that followed regarding who owned the rights to the name 'Fleetwood Mac' put the original Fleetwood Mac on hiatus for almost a year. Although the band was named after Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, they had apparently signed contracts in which they had forfeited the rights to the name.

Rock promoter Bill Graham wrote a letter to Warner Bros to convince them that the real Fleetwood Mac was, in fact, Fleetwood, Welch, and the McVies. This did not end the legal battle but the band was able to record as Fleetwood Mac again.

The dispute was eventually settled amicably out of court, four years later. In later years Fleetwood said that, in the end, he was grateful to Davis because the lawsuit was the reason the band moved to California.

Bob Welch : "For six months we did nothing but try to extricate ourselves from the legal mess. We moved to L.A. to renegotiate our record deal. We were running out of money, so we recorded another album."

Christine McVie : "Eurgh! Nobody knew what was going on. I just drifted with the strongest wind. My marriage to John was kaput by then. We were living together but no… because of (mimes drinking). There was also that tawdry affair where Bob Weston slept with Mick’s wife. That was very acrimonious and obviously Bob had to be sacked. Then Dave Walker was asked to leave. We’d done one album together, Penguin, and Remember Me was a great song, but I can’t quite remember how it all happened. That was the point where we all decided to move to America."

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'Heroes Are Hard to Find', their ninth studio album, was released on 13 September 1974. It was the first Fleetwood Mac studio album recorded in the US, as well as their first to enter the US Top 40 - peaking at No. 34 on the Billboard 200 chart.

As on previous albums, the songwriting duties was divided between Bob Welch and Christine McVie. Songs contributed by Bob Welch included : "Coming Home", "Angel", "Bermuda Triangle", "She's Changing Me", "Silver Heels", "Born Enchanter", and "Safe Harbour".

Christine McVie's songs included :  "Come a Little Bit Closer", "Bad Loser", "Prove Your Love", and "Heroes Are Hard to Find" - which was released as a single in December 1974.

This was the first time Fleetwood Mac had only one guitarist. While on tour they added a second keyboardist, Doug Graves, who had been an engineer on the album.

Doug Graves : "I'm looking forward to adding something to this already great band. I helped engineer their album 'Heroes Are Hard to Find' and got to know each member well. It came to me as a shock when Mick asked me to join but I am enjoying playing live with the band, and hopefully will start a new studio album with the band soon."

Christine McVie : "He was there to back me up, but I think it was decided after the first two or three concerts that I was better off without him. The band wanted me to expand my role and have a little more freedom, so he played some organ behind me, but he didn't play the same way I did."

This was the last album recorded with Bob Welch, who left the band soon after the tour ended in December 1974, having grown tired of touring and legal struggles.

Bob Welch : "In the middle of recording the album we'd get these 20-page letters from our English lawyers, which had to be answered immediately. The situation was nightmarish, but we thought the album might make it and vindicate Fleetwood Mac once and for all. It did pretty well, but not enough to lift our spirits. I was burned out and couldn't even think about writing any more songs, so I told the group I'd rather leave than be a drag on them."

The Single :
"Oh Well" was composed by Peter Green, and recorded by Fleetwood Mac in 1969. "It was composed in two parts - with "Part 1" as a fast electric blues song with vocals, and "Part 2" as an entirely different instrumental piece with a classical influence.

The original 1969 single features the first minute of "Part 2" as a fade-out coda to the A-side and then "Part 2" begins again on the B-side. During concerts, only the first part was played, and after Green's departure from Fleetwood Mac, the song was sung by various other members, including Bob Welch, Dave Walker, Lindsey Buckingham, Billy Burnette, and Mike Campbell.

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Instead of including "Oh Well" on the UK track listing of 'Then Play On', the label chose the song as the band's next single. This came as a surprise to the song's writer, Peter Green, who expected Kirwan's "When You Say" to fulfill that role instead. Hesitant to release "Oh Well Part 1" as a single, Green lobbied to make "Part 2" the A-side instead, but to no avail. Fleetwood and McVie bet Green eight pounds apiece that "Oh Well" would flop, but the single instead went on to chart in several territories.

After the single was released, US versions of 'Then Play On' were updated to include the song. The album edit of "Oh Well" simply joined the two sides of the single as one track, entitled "Oh Well", so that "Part 2"'s beginning is heard twice.

Mick Fleetwood : "It incorporated the freedom to go off on a tangent, to jam – the classic 'Do you jam, dude?' We learned that as players. You hear that alive and well in the double-time structure that I put in at the end, which on stage could last half an hour. It was our way of being in The Grateful Dead."

The single's peak position on the official UK Charts was No. 2 for two weeks during it's 16 week run on the chart. It also topped the NME chart for a week at the end of November 1969. In the Dutch Top 40, the song peaked at No. 1 and spent a total of 11 weeks in the top 40. It also reached the top 5 in Ireland, Norway, New Zealand and France, as well as the top 10 in Germany and Switzerland. "Oh Well" was also a minor hit in the United States, where it reached No. 55 - becoming Fleetwood Mac's first single to reach the Hot 100.


An excerpt from the song can be heard in the Doctor Who story 'Spearhead from Space'. This was filmed around the same time that the single was on the charts, and transmitted in January 1970. Part 2 was also sampled by the KLF for their 'Chill Out' album.

Other Versions include :   ABC Company (1970)  /  Chico Arnez (1972)  /  The Rockets (1979)  /  McCoy (1983)  /  Oh Well (1989)  /  Funhouse (1990)  /  Joe Jackson (1991)  /  Lex Vandyke (1993)  /  Big Country (1993)  /  Sara K. (1997)  /  Monks of Doom (2006)  /  "Na gut" by Stoppok (2008)  /  Danny McEvoy (2011)  /  2Cellos featuring Elton John (2012)  /  Deniz Tek (2014)  /  Haim (2014)  /  Johnny Gallagher (2015)  /  8 Bit Arcade (2020)  /  Dea Matrona (2020)  /  Mick Fleetwood And Friends (2020)  /  Rick Springfield (2021)

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! :

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Previously :
264.  |  Fleetwood Mac - Albatross
« Last Edit: July 11, 2021, 04:25:39 PM by daf »


  • mere rhetorical frippery
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #2030 on: July 11, 2021, 03:08:36 PM »
Oh well that's the last we'll be hearing from that lot! Looks like it's all over for them.


  • All Done by Kindness
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #2031 on: July 12, 2021, 02:00:00 PM »
Fleetwood Mac - Part 2

The Story So Far : 1974 - 1981
After Bob Welch decided to leave the band, Mick Fleetwood began searching for a replacement. Whilst he was checking out Sound City Studios in Los Angeles, the house engineer, Keith Olsen, played him a track he had recorded, "Frozen Love", from the 1973 album 'Buckingham Nicks'.

Christine McVie : "He went to the Valley, the studio where he heard Lindsey, and thought, “Fuck who is this brilliant guitar player?” The engineer said, “Oh, it’s this couple who’ve just finished this duet album.”"

Fleetwood liked it and was introduced to the guitarist from the band, Lindsey Buckingham, who was at Sound City that day recording demos. Fleetwood asked him to join Fleetwood Mac and Buckingham agreed, on the condition that his music partner and girlfriend, Stevie Nicks, be included.

Christine McVie : "So Mick got the number of Lindsey and said, “How would you feel about maybe joining Fleetwood Mac?” and Lindsey says, “We come as a couple.” So, some-how, we meet up in this Mexican restaurant and… it was that chemistry, and it started round that table."

Stevie Nicks : "We went for Mexican food with them, and we laughed and laughed, because you English people have a very strange sense of humour. Even Lindsey had fun – he didn't want to, but he couldn't help it."

Christine McVie : "Then we had another meeting at Mick’s house, then we went into rehearsals. I started playing them Say You Love Me on the piano, and we got to the chorus and the two of them just chirped into the perfect three-part harmony. I just remember thinking, “This is it!” Then Lindsey picked up his guitar, Mick his drumsticks, John his bass and it happened like that (clicks fingers)."

Buckingham and Nicks joined the band on New Year's Eve 1974.

Christine McVie : "It was critical that I got on with her, because I'd never played with another girl. But I liked her instantly. She was funny and nice but also there was no competition. We were completely different on the stage to each other and we wrote differently too."

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'Fleetwood Mac', their tenth studio album, was released on 11 July 1975 by Reprise Records. This was the first Fleetwood Mac album with Lindsey Buckingham as guitarist and Stevie Nicks as vocalist, after Bob Welch departed the band in late 1974.

Many of the songs on the album were written before Buckingham and Nicks joined the band. "Rhiannon", "I'm So Afraid", and "Monday Morning" were written and performed live by the duo and were initially slated to appear on a second Buckingham Nicks album. "Crystal" was recycled from the first Buckingham Nicks album, but with a different arrangement.

During the recording sessions, bassist John McVie took offence to Buckingham's assertive nature in the studio, particularly when telling other members what he wanted them to play. McVie informed Buckingham that this would not be tolerated : "The band you're in is Fleetwood Mac. I'm the Mac. And I play the bass".

"Warm Ways", written by Christine McVie, was the first single lifted from the album in November 1975 in the UK. It was not released as a single in the United States, where another McVie song, "Over My Head", was released in September 1975 instead.

Most of the singles from 'Fleetwood Mac' were remixes or alternate takes, as in the case of "Over My Head", which was noticeably different from the album version. A 'single mix' was also created for "Blue Letter" and this version was originally only available as the B-side to the "Warm Ways" single from 1975. Another single from the album, McVie's "Say You Love Me", charted on the UK Singles Chart, reaching #40.

Originally released as a single in February 1976, "Rhiannon" reached #11 in the US chart in June 1976. Following the massive success of 'Rumours', the song, written and sung by Nicks, was re-released as a single in February 1978, peaking at #46 in the UK.

Nicks discovered the Rhiannon character in the early 1970s through a novel called 'Triad' by Mary Bartlet Leader. The novel is about a woman named Branwen who is possessed by another woman named Rhiannon. There is mention of the Welsh legend of Rhiannon in the novel, but the characters in the novel bear little resemblance to their original Welsh namesakes - who were major female characters in the medieval Welsh prose tales of the Mabinogion.

After writing the song, Nicks learned that Rhiannon originated from a Welsh goddess, and was amazed that the haunting song lyrics applied to the Welsh Rhiannon as well. Nicks researched the Mabinogion story and began work on a Rhiannon project, unsure of whether it would become a movie, a musical, a cartoon, or a ballet.

Stevie Nicks : "Rhiannon was the only song I ever wrote about a sort of celestial being, but that song and the fact I wore black, floaty clothes somehow became this, this … this witch thing. About three years into it, it actually started to scare me. People were writing me really weird letters that were scaring me. So I had Margi [her personal designer] make me up a bunch of outfits that were just horrible – I call them the Easter Egg outfits because they were peach, mint green and blue … not colours for me. And I wore them and so did my girl singers. I thought: 'I'm going to put the top on the box of this one. After a while I said: 'Screw that, I'm going back to black! And if they think I'm a witch I don't care because I'm not a witch!"

Other songs featured on the album included : "Landslide",  "World Turning", and "Sugar Daddy".

Though the band only experienced modest success immediately after the release, they were determined to promote their new album. After touring doggedly for several months, the band started seeing the results of their hard work. Stevie Nicks said of the album : "We just played everywhere and we sold that record. We kicked that album in the ass." 

The album peaked at number 1 on the US Billboard 200 chart on 4 September 1976, 58 weeks after entering the chart. The album was a breakthrough for the band and became a huge hit in the US, selling over 7 million copies. In the UK, the album peaked at #23 in its second week on the chart. On 5 July 1978, the album was certified gold by the BPI for sales of over 100,000 copies in the UK.

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After six months of non-stop touring, the McVies divorced, ending eight years of marriage. The couple stopped talking to each other socially and discussed only musical matters.

Christine McVie : "John and I used to be civil – 'What key is this in? What do you want me to do on this song?' – but Stevie and Lindsey were fighting all the time. Very volatile. Their relationship still is an ongoing battle."

Buckingham and Nicks were having an on/off relationship that led them to fight often. The duo's arguments stopped only when they worked on songs together.

Stevie Nicks : "We were cool onstage, but offstage everybody was pretty angry. Most nights Chris and I would just go for dinner on our own, downstairs in the hotel, with security at the door."

Fleetwood faced domestic problems of his own after discovering that his wife Jenny, mother of his two children, had had an affair with his best friend.

Press intrusions into the band members' lives led to inaccurate stories : Christine McVie was reported to have been in the hospital with a serious illness, while Buckingham and Nicks were declared the parents of Fleetwood's daughter Lucy after being photographed with her. The press also wrote about a rumoured return of original Fleetwood Mac members Peter Green, Danny Kirwan, and Jeremy Spencer for a 10th anniversary tour.

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In February 1976, Fleetwood Mac convened at the Record Plant in Sausalito, California, with hired engineers Ken Caillat and Richard Dashut. The set-up in Sausalito included a number of small recording rooms in a large, windowless, wooden building. Most band members complained about the studio and wanted to record at their homes, but Fleetwood did not allow any moves. Christine McVie and Nicks decided to live in two condominiums near the city's harbour, while the male contingent stayed at the studio's lodge in the adjacent hills.

Buckingham took charge of the studio sessions to make "a pop album". During the formative stages of compositions, Buckingham and Christine McVie played guitar and piano together to create the album's basic structures. The latter was the only classically trained musician in Fleetwood Mac, but both shared a similar sense of musicality.

As the studio sessions progressed, the band members' new intimate relationships that formed after various separations started to have a negative effect on Fleetwood Mac. The musicians did not meet or socialise after their daily work at the Record Plant. Sleepless nights and the extensive use of cocaine marked much of the album's production.

[Record Plant owner] Chris Stone : "The band would come in at 7 at night, have a big feast, party till 1 or 2 in the morning, and then when they were so whacked-out they couldn't do anything, they'd start recording"

Christine McVie : "Trauma, Trau-ma. The sessions were like a cocktail party every night—people everywhere. We ended up staying in these weird hospital rooms ... and of course John and me were not exactly the best of friends."

In autumn 1976, while still recording, Fleetwood Mac showcased tracks from 'Rumours' at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles. John McVie suggested the album title to the band because he felt the members were writing "journals and diaries" about each other through music.  Warner Bros. confirmed the release details to the press in December 1976, and chose "Go Your Own Way" as a promotional single.

Buckingham wrote the song as a response to his breakup with fellow Fleetwood Mac vocalist Stevie Nicks, whom he had known since he was sixteen years old.

Lindsey Buckingham : "I was completely devastated when she took off. And yet I had to make hits for her. I had to do a lot of things for her that I really didn't want to do. And yet I did them. So on one level I was a complete professional in rising above that, but there was a lot of pent-up frustration and anger towards Stevie in me for many years."

Upon listening back to the song, Nicks demanded that Buckingham remove the line "Packing up, shacking up is all you wanna do", but he ultimately decided to keep those lyrics in the final song.

Stevie Nicks : "I very much resented him telling the world that 'packing up, shacking up' with different men was all I wanted to do. He knew it wasn't true. It was just an angry thing that he said. Every time those words would come onstage, I wanted to go over and kill him. He knew it, so he really pushed my buttons through that. It was like, 'I'll make you suffer for leaving me.' And I did."

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The band's eleventh studio album, 'Rumours', was released on 4 February 1977. The front cover features a stylised shot of Fleetwood with his dangly wooden balls hanging out and Nicks dressed in her "Rhiannon" stage persona, while the back has a montage of band portraits; all the photographs were taken by Herbert Worthington.

The members partied and used cocaine for much of the recording sessions, and its completion was delayed by its mixing process, but was finished by the end of 1976.

Stevie Nicks : "My habit didn't really start until 1977. During 1975 and 76 we were too busy making the band work – everyone was aware that we had found the golden goose. But the drug use wasn't as romantic as people like to think. I'd just get up and go to the bathroom and do a little bit of cocaine, stop and get a coffee and come back. We were tired and jetlagged, we'd sometimes play four shows in a row, and in those days management were just writing those gigs in: you'd start out with a certain amount of gigs and every day there'd be a new one. It gets scribbled in and you start to think it's never going to end."

Christine McVie : "A lot of cocaine, a lot of alcohol, a lot of marijuana. I don’t know how that record came to be as good as it is. All of us were there, every day, for almost a year. Me and John didn’t get on. Stevie and Lindsey didn’t get on, but they still had to go into the studio and do vocals together. And always there, Mick, the rock, even though he was a mess as well.."

The album opens with "Second Hand News", which originally had been an acoustic demo titled "Strummer". The third track on Rumours, "Never Going Back Again", began as "Brushes", a simple acoustic guitar tune played by Buckingham, with snare rolls by Fleetwood using brushes.

All songs on Rumours concern personal, often troubled relationships.

Christine McVie : "I’ve always written about me but I’ve always written about other people as well; when you hear a couple going through trauma, you try and step into their shoes. So, some songs would be about me, and some really weren’t about me, but Rumours, that album is all about us. The whole band. That’s how we were. Something that isn’t tangible drove us on to do it. We wrote those songs despite ourselves, because that was the only way we could describe what we were going through."

"You Make Loving Fun" is about Christine McVie's boyfriend, lighting director, Curry Grant. "To avoid flare-ups", she told her then-husband and fellow band member, John McVie that the song was about her dog - the gullible chump!

Christine McVie : "When they found out I was seeing him he got fired shortly after – because of it! I didn't really bring fellas on the road with me after that."

Stevie Nicks : "The boys brought girlfriends on the road but the thing about that was we didn't care they had new girlfriends! Because we didn't want to be with them! We were happy they had new girlfriends! Thrilled! Oh my God, they're happy! The pressure is off!"

Nicks' "Dreams" details a breakup and has a hopeful message, while Buckingham's similar effort in "Go Your Own Way" is more pessimistic. After a short fling with a New England woman, he was inspired to write "Never Going Back Again", a song about the illusion of thinking that sadness will never occur again once content with life.

"Don't Stop", written by Christine McVie, is a song about optimism. She noted that Buckingham helped her craft the verses because their personal sensibilities overlapped. The song reflected McVie's feelings after her separation from Fleetwood Mac's bass guitarist, John McVie, after eight years of marriage.

Christine McVie : "'Don't Stop' was just a feeling. It just seemed to be a pleasant revelation to have that 'yesterday's gone'. It might have, I guess, been directed more toward John, but I'm just definitely not a pessimist."

McVie's next track, "Songbird", features more introspective lyrics about "nobody and everybody" in the form of "a little prayer". "Oh Daddy", the last McVie song on the album, was written about Fleetwood and his wife Jenny Boyd, who had just got back together. The band's nickname for Fleetwood was "the Big Daddy". McVie commented that the writing is slightly sarcastic and focuses on the drummer's direction for Fleetwood Mac, which always turned out to be right.

Side two kicks off with the Formula 1 theme tune : "The Chain", which was one of the record's most complicated compositions. The final section—beginning with a bass progression—was created by John McVie and Mick Fleetwood. Stevie Nicks had written the lyrics separately and thought they would be a good match; she and Christine McVie did some reworking to create the first section of the tune.

Other elements were worked in from an early project of Christine's called "Keep Me There", which removed the blues-style motif, but retained the chord progression. To complete the song, Buckingham recycled the intro from an earlier song from a duet with Nicks, "Lola (My Love)", originally released on their self-titled 1973 album.

The ninth track on Rumours, "I Don't Want to Know", makes use of a twelve string guitar and harmonising vocals. Influenced by the music of Buddy Holly, Buckingham and Nicks created it in 1974 before they were in Fleetwood Mac.

Stevie Nicks' song "Gold Dust Woman", which closes the album, was inspired by Los Angeles and the hardship encountered in such a city. After struggling with the rock lifestyle, Nicks became addicted to cocaine; the lyrics address her belief in "keeping going".

Christine McVie : "We knew the album was good the moment it was mastered, but we were going through hell ourselves. ‘The White Album’ had done really well, so we knew we’d have some success, but it just went berserk. It took over our lives. We were dumbfounded. The chemistry between the five of us was the only thing that held it together: “This is Fleetwood Mac. Fleetwood Mac doesn’t break up.” We can sort of see the funny side now, but it was hell. We got through it and, thankfully, we’re all intact. It seems unreal to me now, sitting here, sane, relatively. But I wouldn’t change a day of it."

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On 28 February 1977, Fleetwood Mac started a seven-month-long promotional tour of America. "Dreams", released in March 1977, became the band's only number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 in June 1977. Stevie Nicks wrote the song in early 1976 at Record Plant studio in Sausalito, California.

Stevie Nicks : "One day when I wasn't required in the main studio. I took a Fender Rhodes piano and went into another studio that was said to belong to Sly Stone, of Sly and the Family Stone. It was a black-and-red room, with a sunken pit in the middle where there was a piano, and a big black-velvet bed with Victorian drapes. I sat down on the bed with my keyboard in front of me. I found a drum pattern, switched my little cassette player on and wrote 'Dreams' in about 10 minutes. Right away I liked the fact that I was doing something with a dance beat, because that made it a little unusual for me."

When Nicks played the song to the rest of the group, "They weren't nuts about it. But I said 'Please! Please record this song, at least try it.' Because the way I play things sometimes... you really have to listen."

Christine McVie described the song as having "just three chords and one note in the left hand" and "boring" when Nicks played a rough version on the piano. McVie changed her mind after Buckingham "fashioned three sections out of identical chords, making each section sound completely different. He created the impression that there's a thread running through the whole thing."

After a debut at number seven, 'Rumours' peaked at the top of the UK Albums Chart in January 1978, becoming Fleetwood Mac's first number one album in the country. By March, the album had sold over 10 million copies worldwide, including over eight million in the US alone.

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'Tusk', their twelfth studio album, was released as a 20-track double album on 12 October 1979. It is considered more experimental than their previous albums: partly a consequence of Lindsey Buckingham's sparser songwriting arrangements and the influence of post-punk.

Lindsey Buckingham convinced Mick Fleetwood to let his work on their next album be more experimental, and to be allowed to work on tracks at home before bringing them to the rest of the band in the studio.

Lindsey Buckingham : "For me, being sort of the culprit behind that particular album, it was done in a way to undermine just sort of following the formula of doing Rumours 2 and Rumours 3, which is kind of the business model Warner Bros. would have liked us to follow."

Christine McVie : "Well, I think Mick was worried Lindsey might leave if we didn’t give him leeway to be more… experimental, so that’s what we did."

Most of Buckingham's demos were later augmented with contributions from other members, including : "What Makes You Think You're the One", "That's All for Everyone", "Not That Funny", "I Know I'm Not Wrong" and "Walk a Thin Line".

Three tracks were recorded solely by Buckingham: "The Ledge", "Save Me a Place", and "That's Enough For Me".

[Producer] Ken Caillat : "He was a maniac. The first day, I set the studio up as usual. Then he said, 'Turn every knob 180 degrees from where it is now and see what happens.' He'd tape microphones to the studio floor and get into a sort of push-up position to sing. Early on, he came in and he'd freaked out in the shower and cut off all his hair with nail scissors. He was stressed."

The first single from the album, "Tusk" (b/w "Never Make Me Cry"), reached #6 in the UK in October and #8 in the US. The song grew out of a rehearsal riff that Lindsey Buckingham used for sound-checks. In addition to the standard drum kit, Fleetwood Mac also experimented with different found sounds on the song.

Mick Fleetwood : "I'm playing floor toms, and I overdubbed a lot of American Indian wood tribal drums. It's a whole hodgepodge of Kleenex boxes, drums, weird stuff, slapping of lamb chops and things. I got a big leg of lamb in there somewhere – I'm hitting it with a spatula."

The band teamed up with the University of Southern California's Trojan Marching Band to play on the single. A mobile studio was installed in Los Angeles' Dodger Stadium to capture the marching band. The recording session for the marching band took place on 4 June 1979. The Trojan marching band's contributions set a record for the highest number of musicians performing on a single. At the time, the marching band had 112 members.

Christine McVie "We didn't really like [Tusk]. We just kind of went . . . okaaay. Because it was so different from Rumours. Deliberately so. In hindsight, I do like that record, but at the time me and Stevie would be like: 'What the hell is he doing in the toilet playing an empty Kleenex box for a drum?'"

For the Tusk Tour, Christine McVie, who was expected to handle a percussion part for live renditions of "Tusk", instead opted to play the accordion, an instrument she never intended to learn : "It was just laying around the stage one day. I wasn't sure what I was going to play on `Tusk.' I thought I might wind up playing some kind of percussion, but I just picked it up and started doing the riff."

In November 1977, after a New Zealand concert for the Rumours tour, Nicks and Fleetwood secretly began an affair while Fleetwood was married to Jenny Boyd.

Stevie Nicks : "Never in a million years could you have told me that would happen. Everybody was angry because Mick was married to a wonderful girl and had two wonderful children. I was horrified. I loved these people. I loved his family. So it couldn't possibly work out. And it didn't. I just couldn't."

Nicks ended the affair soon after it began. She has stated that had the affair progressed, it "would have been the end of Fleetwood Mac". By October 1978, Fleetwood left Jenny Boyd for Nicks' best friend, Sara Recor.

Released as a single in December 1979, Stevie Nicks' six-and-a-half minute opus "Sara" peaked at #7 in the US, and #37 in the UK.

The lyrics, "and he was just like a great dark wing/within the wings of a storm" refer to Fleetwood being an emotional comfort zone for Nicks following her breakup with fellow band member Lindsey Buckingham. Although the relationship was not exclusive on either side, Fleetwood states that Nicks became upset when she learned of Fleetwood's relationship with her best friend, Sara. This relationship effectively ended the romance between Nicks and Fleetwood.

Mick Fleetwood : “That was all for the most part very unknown and it was very private. I don’t mind talking about it and I don’t think Stevie would, because we know that that’s part of the story – it’s complicated in terms of the way the logistics of the band worked. To this very day, we’re really lucky that me and Stevie remained very, very dear friends.”

Other songs featured on 'Tusk' included Christine McVie's album opener : "Over & Over", plus "Honey Hi", and "Brown Eyes", which featured original guitarist Peter Green - though he was not credited on the album. McVie's "Think About Me" was released as a single in February 1980, and reached #20 in the US charts.


Further singles from the album included Lindsey Buckingham's "Not That Funny" and Stevie Nicks "Sisters of the Moon". Other Nicks songs on the album included : "Storms", "Angel", and "Beautiful Child".

'Tusk' peaked at number four on the Billboard 200 album chart in the US, but spent less than nine months on the chart. It peaked at number one in the UK and achieved a platinum award for shipments in excess of 300,000 copies. Fleetwood blamed the album's relative lack of commercial success on the RKO radio chain having played the album in its entirety prior to release, thereby allowing mass home taping.

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Released on 8 December 1980, 'Live' was a double live album consisting of recordings taken primarily from the 1979-1980 Tusk Tour, together with a few from the earlier Rumours Tour of 1977.

Of particular note are three new songs - Christine McVie's "One More Night", Stevie Nicks' "Fireflies", and a backstage rendition of The Beach Boys' "The Farmer's Daughter". Released as singles, "Fireflies" reached the Top 60 in the US, while "The Farmer's Daughter" reached the Top 10 in Austria.

"Fireflies" was Nicks' rumination on the tumultuous recording of the 'Tusk' album and her observance that the band stayed intact nevertheless. It would appear that the recording was actually a studio demo from the 'Tusk' sessions.

Also featured on the album was "Don't Let Me Down Again" - a song from the Buckingham Nicks album. Also notable are two Lindsey Buckingham guitar showcases : the first, "I'm So Afraid", was popular as a concert finale during this period. The second was Buckingham's take on former Mac guitarist Peter Green's signature number, "Oh Well".

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In 1981, three members of Fleetwood Mac released solo albums : Stevie Nicks - 'Bella Donna' (US #1), Lindsey Buckingham - 'Law and Order' (US #32), and Mick Fleetwood - 'The Visitor', which was recorded in Ghana with African musicians.

Nicks began work on 'Bella Donna' in 1979, in between sessions for 'Tusk'. Following the end of the Tusk tour on September 1, 1980, work with a full band of other musicians commenced under producer Jimmy Iovine. Recording sessions continued until the spring of 1981 when the final songs for the album were completed. "Edge of Seventeen" and "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around". were released as singles, and Nicks wrote "Think About It" for her friend and Fleetwood Mac bandmate, Christine McVie.

Buckingham's 'Law and Order' was released in October 1981. Released as a single, "Trouble", featuring drumming by Mick Fleetwood and background vocals by Christine McVie, reached No. 9 on the U.S. charts.

Robin Smith of Record Mirror panned the "miserable" album in a 1/5 star review, saying that it "sounds like the out takes of Mac's worst studio sessions delivered around his reedy little voice."

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! :


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Fleetwood Mac - Part 3

The Story So Far : 1982 - 2020
Following a hiatus of over a year after the completion of the worldwide 'Tusk' tour, the band temporarily relocated to Château d'Hérouville in France to record a new album.

Christine McVie : "That was Mick’s idea, so we could get back to that bubble idea again, something like we did in Sausalito with Rumours: see what would come out from a confined space, pull the reins in and do something more commercial. I’m not sure it worked."

'Mirage', the band's thirteenth studio album, was released on 18 June 1982. Produced by Richard Dashut, it was an attempt to recapture the huge success of 'Rumours'.

Released as a single, Stevie Nicks' "Gypsy" reached #12 in the US charts. Of the other two compositions from Nicks on the album, "That's Alright" dated back to the Buckingham/Nicks days of 1974, while "Straight Back" was written in the winter of 1981 and referred to her separation from then-lover, producer Jimmy Iovine, and the huge wrench she experienced having to leave her newly established and highly successful solo career to rejoin Fleetwood Mac for the 1982 project.

Of Christine McVie's four compositions, three were written in collaboration with other writers : the US Top 22 single "Love in Store" with Jim Recor, ex-husband of Nicks' friend Sara Recor who later married Mick Fleetwood; The US Top 4 single "Hold Me" with singer-songwriter Robbie Patton whose second album she had recently produced, and "Wish You Were Here" with lyrics from erstwhile John Mayall drummer Colin Allen. The other, "Only Over You", was credited "With thanks to Dennis Wilson for inspiration." Christine had recently ended her relationship with Wilson, a member of the Beach Boys, who would die by drowning the following year.

Lindsey Buckingham had been chided by critics, fellow band members and music business managers for the lesser commercial success of 'Tusk'. Three of Buckingham's five contributions were written with co-producer Richard Dashut including "Empire State", "Book of Love", and the single "Oh Diane" - which reached #9 in the UK charts. Also featured were Buckingham's solo "Eyes Of The World" and "Can't Go Back" - which was released as single in the UK, flopping at #83 in April 1983.

The album returned the group to the top of the US Billboard charts for the first time since their 1977 album 'Rumours', spending five weeks at #1. It also reached #5 in the UK, and #2 in Australia.

Christine McVie : "Strange record. I don’t have many memories of it, although the room I was in was meant to have been haunted by [author] George Sand. Me and [producer] Ken Caillat would sit in the studio in the night with a bottle of Courvoisier waiting to see if there were any noises. Nothing came."

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Following Mirage the band went on hiatus, which allowed members to pursue solo careers. Stevie Nicks released two more solo albums : 1983's 'The Wild Heart' and 1985's 'Rock a Little'.

Lindsey Buckingham issued 'Go Insane' in 1984, the same year that McVie released the album 'Christine McVie' - yielding the US Top 10 hit "Got a Hold on Me" and the US #30 hit "Love Will Show Us How".

During this period Mick Fleetwood had filed for bankruptcy, Nicks was admitted to the Betty Ford Clinic for addiction problems and John McVie had suffered an addiction-related seizure, all of which were attributed to the lifestyle of excess afforded to them by their worldwide success.

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'Tango in the Night', their fourteenth studio album, was released on 13 April 1987. It was the fifth, and to date, final studio album from the band's most successful line-up of Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, John McVie, and Stevie Nicks. The cover art for the album is a painting by the Australian artist Brett-Livingstone Strong that was hanging in Buckingham's home. The painting is an homage to the 19th-century French painter Henri Rousseau.

As with various other Fleetwood Mac albums, the material started off as a Buckingham solo album before becoming a group project. Although the album took almost 18 months to complete, Stevie Nicks spent a total of two weeks in the studio with the band, as she was promoting her third solo album 'Rock a Little' throughout most of this period. Nicks sent demos of her songs to the band, recorded while she was on tour, for them to work on in her absence, including "When I See You Again" and "Welcome to the Room... Sara" - which was inspired by her 30-day stay at the Betty Ford Center to overcome her cocaine addiction in October 1986.

Stevie Nicks : “I went in there as Sara Anderson – the one and only time I was married, to my friend Robin’s husband Kim Anderson. I was inspired by the fact when you go into Betty Ford it is like, ‘Welcome to the room whoever you are,’ because it is one big room and you spend 30 days in there. Quite an experience you go through from day one to day 30. … It is a little more weird when you are famous. People are a little harder on you. I will never do cocaine again. That was my mantra. I will never be ‘Welcome to the Room Again Sara’ here.”

With vocal sessions taking place in Buckingham's master bedroom, Nicks recorded her parts for Buckingham and McVie's songs intoxicated :

Stevie Nicks : “I can remember going up there and not being happy to even be there and we were doing vocals in their master bedroom and that was extremely strange. In all fairness, it was like the only empty room and they had a beautiful master bedroom all set up like a vocal booth but I found it very uncomfortable, personally. I guess I didn’t go very often and when I did go I would get like, ‘Give me a shot of brandy and let me sing on four or five songs off the top of my head.’”

Buckingham erased most of Nicks' vocals from these recording sessions after she left the studio.

Stevie Nicks : “I’d leave and he’d take all my vocals off. And I’m not blaming him for that because I’m sure they totally sucked. Vocals done when you’re crazy and drinking a cup of brandy probably aren’t usually going to be great and Lindsey is very precise when recording. … I wasn’t into it.”

Buckingham recorded some of the vocals himself using a Fairlight, an early sampling synthesizer.

[producer] Richard Dashut : "It's funny, at the time I thought that was detrimental, even though I was all for the experiment. I loved, sonically, what it was doing. But I started to miss the old live feeling of the band — not that we did that with any of the albums live; they were all overdubbed — but still it all started off with the band in the studio playing together, as did 'Tango,' although not so much. But I think the Fairlight started replacing some of that human touch, some of the other band members. Lindsey was able to do a lot more on his own and control it a lot more artistically."

The album contained several hit singles, including four US top 20 hits : "Big Love" (US No. 5 / UK #9), "Seven Wonders" (US No. 19 / UK #56), "Everywhere" (UK #4 / US No. 14), and "Little Lies" (US No. 4 / UK #5). Two additional songs were released as singles to less chart success : "Family Man" (UK #54 / US No. 90) and "Isn't It Midnight" (UK #60).

Other songs featured on the album included : Buckingham's "Caroline" and "Tango in the Night", plus "Mystified" and "You and I, Part II" - which were co-written by McVie and Buckingham.   

Richard Dashut : "He [Buckingham] was tough to work with. A lot of people are afraid of him. He could be brash; he could be harsh. He was very motivated. He always kept his eye on the prize, which is about quality music. That was the end-all, be-all: making a great record. And nothing would stop him. And if you would slow him up or impede that process in any way, you'd get run over. That was just what it is. Fortunately, the results proved him right."

Lindsey Buckingham : "That was in my estimation when everybody in the band was personally at their the time we did Tango in the Night, everybody was leading their lives in a way that they would not be too proud of today."

The album went on to become their best-selling release since 'Rumours', especially in the UK where it hit No. 1 three times in the following year.

With a ten-week tour scheduled, Lindsey Buckingham held back at the last minute, saying he felt his creativity was being stifled. Tensions were coming to a head, and a group meeting at Christine McVie's house on 7 August 1987 resulted in turmoil, schism and chaos. Fleetwood said in his autobiography that there was a physical altercation between Buckingham and Nicks. Buckingham left the band the following day.

Mick Fleetwood : "The album was well received. Somewhat sadly, the kudos of that was never really fully attributed to Lindsey because he wasn't present... He was coerced and persuaded to do that album—mainly by me. And, to his credit, he put aside everything that he'd dreamt of doing, including making his own album, for Fleetwood Mac; but then realised that he'd made a mistake... Lindsey was not being heard. We just didn't get it."

Following Buckingham's sudden departure, guitarists Rick Vito and Billy Burnette were hired to replace him on the subsequent tour and remained as full members of the band until the 1990s.

Billy Burnette was the son of Dorsey Burnette and nephew of Johnny Burnette, both of The Rock and Roll Trio. He had already worked with Fleetwood in Zoo, with Christine McVie as part of her solo band, had done some session work with Nicks, and backed Buckingham on Saturday Night Live. Fleetwood and Christine McVie had played on his 'Try Me' album in 1985.

Rick Vito, a Peter Green admirer, had played with many artists from Bonnie Raitt to John Mayall, to Roger McGuinn in Thunderbyrd and worked with John McVie on two Mayall albums.

The 1987–88 "Shake the Cage" tour was the first outing for this line-up. It was successful enough to warrant the release of a concert video, entitled "Tango in the Night", which was filmed at San Francisco's Cow Palace arena in December 1987.

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Capitalising on the success of Tango in the Night, the band released a Greatest Hits album in 1988. It featured singles from the 1975–1988 era and included two new compositions, "No Questions Asked" written by Stevie Nicks and "As Long as You Follow", written by Christine McVie and her then-husband Eddy Quintela, which reached No. 43 in the US and #66 in the UK.

The album, which peaked at No. 3 in the UK and No. 14 in the US, was dedicated by the band to Buckingham, with whom they were now reconciled.

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'Behind the Mask, their fifteenth studio album, was released on 9 April 1990. The cover for the album was created by photographer Dave Gorton. He stated that the band did not wish to appear on the front cover of the album and Mick Fleetwood himself suggested that he create an image that "spiritually symbolised" the band instead.

The album was not as successful as its predecessor, 'Tango in the Night', nor did it spawn any big hit singles although "Save Me" made the US Top 40, while "Love Is Dangerous" and "Skies the Limit" enjoyed some airplay.

It was the first album released by the band after the departure of guitarist Lindsey Buckingham. He was replaced by Billy Burnette and Rick Vito, both guitar players, singers and songwriters. Fleetwood Mac thus became a six-piece band with four singer/songwriters.


The song "Freedom" was written by Stevie Nicks with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell. She also wrote "Affairs of the Heart" and "The Second Time".

With Burnett and Vito co-writing several tracks, other songs on featured the album included : "In the Back of My Mind", "Do You Know", "When the Sun Goes Down", "Stand on the Rock", "Hard Feelings", and "When It Comes to Love"

Although Buckingham did play acoustic guitar on the McVie-penned title track, 'Behind the Mask', the album deviated from the ornate production found on earlier Fleetwood Mac albums.

Stevie Nicks : "It's not that we didn't take as much time, it's more that the time that we did take was quality time. So it therefore did not seem to take nearly as long."

The album received mixed reviews and was seen by some music critics as a low point for the band in the absence of Buckingham. The subsequent "Behind the Mask" tour saw the band play sold-out shows at London's Wembley Stadium. In the final show in Los Angeles, Buckingham joined the band on stage.

Though it barely reached the US Top 20, the album entered the UK Albums Chart at number 1 and achieved platinum status there. Following the album's release and subsequent world tour, bandmembers Stevie Nicks and Rick Vito left the band, though Nicks would rejoin in 1997.

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'Time', their 16th studio album, was released on 10 October 1995. Lindsey Buckingham, who had left Fleetwood Mac in 1987, makes an appearance as a backing vocalist on one track, but Time is the only Fleetwood Mac album since 1974's Heroes Are Hard to Find not to feature any contribution from Stevie Nicks.

This album features a unique line-up for the band featuring the addition country vocalist Bekka Bramlett and former Traffic guitarist Dave Mason.

Dave Mason : "Mick was calling me one day and said, “Hey man, can we meet? want to talk to you about something.” He asked me, would I be interested in being part of reforming Fleetwood Mac? It was in a period where I was still working solo but I was free enough to say, “Well yeah, OK. Let’s give it a shot.” And we did an album called Time, which unfortunately never really got promoted by Warner Bros. at all, they let it sort of die. And it lasted two years and it was over. They went back to the original lineup … well, not the original lineup."

Christine McVie did not originally intend to participate on the album, but that Warner Bros. had insisted she appear. As such, her five featured songs, including "Sooner or Later" and "All Over Again", were recorded separately from the full band and all guitar parts on these were played by session musician Michael Thompson although Billy Burnette is featured on the album's only single, "I Do", which only charted in Canada.

"Hollywood" alludes to the homesickness that would cause her to retire temporarily from the band, while "Nights in Estoril" celebrated time spent at Estoril in Portugal with her husband Eddy Quintela, who was Portuguese himself.

Christine McVie : "I don’t think anyone likes those albums ['Behind The Mask' and 'Time']. They’re terrible. They’re scrubbed under the carpet. Dave Mason and I did not get along, and I thought the music was suffering. I think Mick thought it was the end of the road as well, for the first time. Also, I was more gone than them during the making of Time. Emotionally not there, physically not here. I just didn’t show up."

"Nothing Without You" had originally been recorded by Delaney Bramlett, the father of Bekka, on his 1975 album Giving Birth to a Song which had featured writing contributions from Billy Burnette. An additional verse written by Bekka ensured she got a writing credit. Aside from this, her only writing contribution was "Dreamin' the Dream".

The album also featured a rare lead vocal from drummer/band leader Mick Fleetwood on the seven-minute spoken piece "These Strange Times". The spoken-word piece paid tribute to Peter Green and openly alluded to his songs "Man of the World" and "The Green Manalishi". Fleetwood's only previous vocal/lyrical contribution to the group had been another spoken piece, "Lizard People" (The B-side of the "In the Back of My Mind" single).

Within a year this band line-up had split, with Mason, Bramlett and Billy Burnette all leaving the band. Christine McVie, who had already retired from live performances, informed the band that it would also be her last album appearance.

Christine McVie : "I left Mick and John holding the baby. I couldn’t bear watching it all fall apart. And I couldn’t keep peace with Dave Mason, I’m afraid. It was very acrimonious with him and I just bailed. Mick and John were OK. Also, I was tired of living out of a suitcase, tired of travel, plus I had a fear of flying. I’d been doing it longer than Stevie and Lindsey and I’d just had enough. Plus, my father was really sick and I wanted to come back to England and rediscover my roots and I was quite adamant that this was what I wanted to do."

Dave Mason : "It had the potential to be there. It was a little hard, because Christine did the album, but she wouldn't go on the road, so it was like “OK.” And you’ve got three or four different managers, everybody’s got a manager … that part was a little difficult. But otherwise, we did some touring, we went to Europe—and it was fun while it lasted, but it just sort of ended very abruptly."

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'The Dance', a live album, was released on 19 August 1997. It hailed the return of the band's most successful line-up of Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, John McVie, and Stevie Nicks.

Unlike 1980's 'Live', which was a collection of live recordings over a series of 60 shows, 'The Dance' was recorded in one night. The concert was recorded for an MTV special at Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank, California on 23 May 1997, and features the University of Southern California Marching Band who perform on the tracks "Tusk" and "Don't Stop".

Although the album is predominantly a live greatest hits package, The Dance also features new material written by each of the primary songwriting members of the band (with two from Buckingham) as well as popular album tracks. For example, "Bleed to Love Her" was a previously unreleased track when The Dance was released.

This album spawned three singles in the USA: "Landslide", "The Chain", and "Silver Springs". A fourth single, "Temporary One", was released in some European markets.

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'Say You Will', their 17th and most recent studio album, was released on 15 April 2003. It was the band's first studio album since 1995's 'Time' and the first without vocalist/keyboardist Christine McVie, who had left the band in 1998. Lindsey Buckingham took over primary keyboard duties for the album and Stevie Nicks added some limited additional keyboard parts.

In the early 2000s, Buckingham was finishing up a solo album, but got a call from Warner Bros to work on a Fleetwood Mac studio album instead. Buckingham agreed and set aside a large portion of his songs for Say You Will. To round out the album, Nicks brought in some new material along with some leftovers from previous albums. One of those songs, "Smile at You", dates back to the Tusk sessions in 1979, but was entirely re-recorded for the new album.

Two singles were released from the album : "Say You Will", which failed to chart, and "Peacekeeper", which peaked at #80 - becoming their final single to chart in the US.

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On 19 October 2011, original Fleetwood Mac bassist Bob Brunning died at the age of 68.

After his stint in Fleetwood Mac, he joined Savoy Brown before embarking on a career in teaching, which included appointments as the headmaster of Clapham Manor Primary School, Lambeth in the 1980s and Churchill Gardens Primary School, Pimlico in the 1990s. He did not abandon music, however, and played in the Brunning Sunflower Blues Band, Tramp, and later the DeLuxe Blues Band.

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On 3 January 2012, former Fleetwood Mac guitarist and singer Bob Weston was found dead. Police had gained entry to his London flat after his friends had reported concerns over unexpectedly not hearing from him for several days. He was reported to have died on an unknown date from the effects of a gastrointestinal haemorrhage caused by cirrhosis. He was 64 years old.

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On 7 June 2012, guitarist and songwriter Bob Welch was found dead the age of 66 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. A suicide note was found. Welch had been struggling with health issues and was dealing with depression.

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Ten years since their last album, on 30 April 2013, Fleetwood Mac released the four-track EP 'Extended Play' as a digital download.

The EP featured three tracks from Buckingham : "Sad Angel", "It Takes Time", and "Miss Fantasy". The Nick's track, "Without You", was a "lost" demo written during the Buckingham Nicks era, which Nicks herself had found posted on YouTube.

While the EP was only available digitally without any promotion and no physical CD version was ever released, "Extended Play" still reached No. 48 on the Billboard 200 albums chart and sold 9,000 copies in its first week.

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Meanwhile, back in England . . .

Christine McVie : "Living in Kent was great for the first couple of years, then it drove me mad. I spent three years restoring that house but my marriage ended up not working, so we got divorced and I just found myself on my own, bouncing off the walls in this huge, great big house with two dogs. I became very isolated, very withdrawn, didn’t even look at a piano. I just shut myself off. My friends were worried about me. Also, the longer I left the fear of flying, the worse it got. In the end, I completely withdrew, and got myself into some trouble, drinking, not seeing anyone. At that point I thought I’ve got to do some-thing. So, I found a psychiatrist. He said, “If you could get on a plane, where would you go?” I said, “I’d go to Maui to see Mick.” He said, “Book a ticket, first class, for six months’ time and let’s get you there.” Also, he said, “If you don’t want to drive your car, just walk over to it, sit in it, say hello to it, get out, go back in.” So I did that for a period of two months. Turn the ignition on, another step further, drive round the courtyard… next thing I know, I’m driving again. Then Mick happened to come back to London, so we flew back to Maui together."

On 11 January 2014, Mick Fleetwood confirmed that Christine McVie would be rejoining Fleetwood Mac. 'On with the Show', a 33-city North American tour, opened in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on 30 September 2014.

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Lindsey Buckingham suggested that the new album and tour might be Fleetwood Mac's last, and that the band would cease operations in 2015 or soon afterwards. He concluded : "We're going to continue working on the new album and the solo stuff will take a back seat for a year or two. A beautiful way to wrap up this last act."

Mick Fleetwood stated that the new album might take a few years to complete and that they were waiting for contributions from Stevie Nicks, who had been ambivalent about committing to a new record.

Stevie Nicks : "Is it possible that Fleetwood Mac might do another record? I can never tell you yes or no, because I don't know. I honestly don't know... It's like, do you want to take a chance of going in and setting up in a room for like a year and having a bunch of arguing people? And then not wanting to go on tour because you just spent a year arguing?"

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In August 2016, Mick Fleetwood revealed that while the band had "a huge amount of recorded music", virtually none of it featured Nicks. Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie, however, had contributed multiple songs to the new project.

Mick Fleetwood : "She [McVie] ... wrote up a storm ... She and Lindsey could probably have a mighty strong duet album if they want. In truth, I hope it will come to more than that. There really are dozens of songs. And they’re really good. So we’ll see."

On 9 June 2017, Buckingham and Christine McVie released a new album, the enigmatically titled 'Lindsey Buckingham / Christine McVie', which included contributions from Mick Fleetwood and John McVie. The album was preceded by the single "In My World".

Christine McVie : "I’d rejoined the band, after being retired for 16 years, and I had a phone call from Lindsey saying, “If you’re going to do that Chris you gotta commit.” He’s very hardline. I said, “I’m committing!” And I did. I worked out, I started writing songs, I sent Lindsey some demos, and he did his magic on them. It never occurred to us anything would happen in terms of an album. Then we thought it was a good way of getting me back into the swing of things for the upcoming Fleetwood Mac tour. We got some studio time, Lindsey brought in some songs he’d recorded with John and Mick a few years back, and before we knew it we had, like, six or seven songs. We shelved them, because we had to rehearse to go on the road, then we just pulled them back out a few months ago and decided to make it a proper duets album."

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On 26 January 2018, the band received the MusiCares Person of the Year award, and reunited to perform several songs at the Grammy-hosted gala honouring them.

Two days after their performance, Lindsey Buckingham got a phone call from the band's manager Irving Azoff, who had a list of things that, as Buckingham puts it, “Stevie took issue with” that evening, including the guitarist’s outburst just before the band’s set over the intro music for their acceptance speech being the studio recording of Nicks’ “Rhiannon” — and the way he “smirked” during Nicks’ thank-you speech.

Lindsey Buckingham : “It wasn’t about it being ‘Rhiannon. It just undermined the impact of our entrance. That’s me being very specific about the right and wrong way to do something.”

As for smirking . . .

Lindsey Buckingham : “The irony is that we have this standing joke that Stevie, when she talks, goes on a long time. I may or may not have smirked. But I look over and Christine and Mick are doing the waltz behind her as a joke.”

At the end of that call, Buckingham assumed Nicks was quitting Fleetwood Mac. He wrote an e-mail to Mick Fleetwood assuring the drummer that the group could continue. There was no reply. A couple of days later, Buckingham says : “I called Irving and said, ‘This feels funny. Is Stevie leaving the band, or am I getting kicked out?’ ” Azoff told the guitarist he was “getting ousted” and that Nicks gave the rest of the band “an ultimatum: Either you go or she’s gonna go.”

In 2018 Lindsey Buckingham departed from the group a second time.

Lindsey Buckingham : “Am I heartbroken about not doing another tour with Fleetwood Mac? No, because I can see that there are many other areas to look into. The one thing that does bother me and breaks my heart is we spent 43 years always finding a way to rise above our personal differences and our difficulties to pursue and articulate a higher truth. That is our legacy. That is what the songs are about. This is not the way you end something like this.”

Former Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell and Neil Finn of Crowded House were named to replace Buckingham.

Mick Fleetwood : “We jammed with Mike and Neil and the chemistry really worked and let the band realise that this is the right combination to go forward with in Fleetwood Mac style. We know we have something new, yet it’s got the unmistakable Mac sound.”

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On 8 June 2018, former Fleetwood Mac guitarist, Danny Kirwan, died in his sleep in London, aged 68, after contracting pneumonia earlier in the year.

Christine McVie : "Danny Kirwan was the white English blues guy. Nobody else could play like him. He was a one-off ... Danny and Peter gelled so well together. Danny had a very precise, piercing vibrato – a unique sound ... He was a perfectionist; a fantastic musician and a fantastic writer."

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On 25 July 2020, original Fleetwood Mac frontman Peter Green died in his sleep at the age of 73.

Mick Fleetwood : “For me, and every past and present member of Fleetwood Mac, losing Peter Green is monumental! Peter was the man who started the band Fleetwood Mac along with myself, John McVie, and Jeremy Spencer. No one has ever stepped into the ranks of Fleetwood Mac without a reverence for Peter Green and his talent, and to the fact that music should shine bright and always be delivered with uncompromising passion!!!”

Stevie Nicks : "My biggest regret is that I never got to share the stage with him. I always hoped in my heart of hearts that that would happen. When I first listened to all the Fleetwood Mac records, I was very taken with his guitar playing. It was one of the reasons I was excited to join the band. His legacy will live on forever in the history books of Rock n Roll. It was in the beginning, Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac and I thank you, Peter Green, for that. You changed our lives."

Jeremy Spencer : “Hearing of Peter’s passing on made me recall my last phone conversation with him in March of this year. It was, as other calls over the last few years, pleasant communication, covering different topics. I believe he is finding the peace now that was forfeited him here. I owe him a lot, teaching me the importance of emotion and ‘less is more’ in music. In the words of Shakespeare ‘If music be the food of love, THEN PLAY ON’. So then, Peter, till we meet again. Play on!”

Mick Fleetwood : “Peter, I will miss you, but rest easy your music lives on. I thank you for asking me to be your drummer all those years ago. We did good, and trailblazed one hell of a musical road for so many to enjoy. God speed to you, my dearest friend.”

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! :
« Last Edit: July 13, 2021, 03:34:40 PM by daf »


  • All Done by Kindness
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #2034 on: July 18, 2021, 02:00:00 PM »
I just called to say Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Da-Day, it's . . .

279c. (NME 278.)  Stevie Wonder - Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday

From :  13 - 19 December 1969
Weeks : 1
Flip side : I'd Be A Fool Right Now
Bonus : Live TV performance

The Story So Far : 
Stevland Hardaway Judkins was born in Saginaw, Michigan, on 13 May 1950. He was born six weeks premature which, along with the oxygen-rich atmosphere in the hospital incubator, resulted in retinopathy of prematurity, a condition in which the growth of the eyes is aborted and causes the retinas to detach, so he became blind.

He began playing instruments at an early age, including piano, harmonica, and drums. He formed a singing partnership with a friend; calling themselves Stevie and John, they played on street corners and occasionally at parties and dances.

In 1961, when aged 11, Wonder sang his own composition, "Lonely Boy", to Ronnie White of the Miracles; White then took Wonder and his mother to an audition at Motown, where CEO Berry Gordy signed Wonder to Motown's Tamla label.

Wonder was put in the care of producer and songwriter Clarence Paul, and for a year they worked together on two albums. 'Tribute to Uncle Ray' was recorded first, when Wonder was still 11 years old. Mainly covers of Ray Charles's songs, the album included a Wonder and Paul composition, "Sunset". 'The Jazz Soul of Little Stevie' was recorded next, an instrumental album consisting mainly of Paul's compositions, two of which, "Wondering" and "Session Number 112", were co-written with Wonder.

Feeling Wonder was now ready, a song, "Mother Thank You", was recorded for release as a single, but then pulled and replaced by the Berry Gordy song "I Call It Pretty Music, But the Old People Call It the Blues" as his début single; released summer 1962, it reached #101 in the Billboard chart in August 1962.

At the end of 1962, when Wonder was 12 years old, he joined the Motortown Revue, touring the "Chitlin' Circuit" of theatres across America that accepted black artists. At the Regal Theater, Chicago, his 20-minute performance was recorded and released in May 1963 as the album 'Recorded Live: The 12 Year Old Genius'.

A single, "Fingertips", from the album was also released in May 1963, and became a No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 when Wonder was aged 13, making him the youngest artist ever to top the chart.

His next few singles, including "Workout Stevie, Workout", "Castles In The Sand", "Hey Harmonica Man", and "Kiss Me Baby" however, were not successful; his voice was changing as he got older, and some Motown executives were considering cancelling his recording contract.

Sylvia Moy persuaded label owner Berry Gordy to give Wonder another chance, and, dropping the "Little" from his name, Moy and Wonder worked together to create the hit "Uptight (Everything's Alright)" which, backed with "Purple Rain Drops", became his first UK hit - peaking at #14 in February 1966.


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Wonder went on to have a number of other hits during the mid-1960s, including  "Blowin' in the Wind" (b/w "Ain't That Asking For Trouble") - which reached #36 in the UK in August 1966; "A Place in the Sun" (b/w "Sylvia") - which reached #20 in January 1967; "I Was Made to Love Her" (b/w "Hold Me") - a Top 5 hit in August; and "I'm Wondering" (b/w "Every Time I See You I Go Wild") - which reached #22 in October 1967.

In May 1968, "Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Da-Day", (b/w "Why Don't You Lead Me To Love"), reached #46 in the UK charts, followed by the Top 3 UK hit "For Once In My Life", (b/w "Angie Girl"), in December 1968. Also in 1968, he recorded an album of instrumental soul/jazz tracks, mostly harmonica solos, under the enigmatic title Eivets Rednow.

The album failed to get much attention, and its only single, a cover of "Alfie", only reached number 66 on the U.S. Pop charts.

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In 1969, along with The Foundations and The Flirtations, he visited Britain for a short tour.

His 1969 UK singles included "I Don't Know Why I Love You" - a #14 hit in May; and the original B-side of that single : "My Cherie Amour" - which was released in it's own right due to popular demand, peaking at #4 in July 1969.

His next single, released in November 1969, would see him top the charts in the UK . . .

The Single :
"Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday" was written by Ron Miller and Bryan Wells, and recorded by Stevie Wonder in 1967.

In 1969, at the time the song was released, Wonder was going through some vocal problems and was required rest his voice. Due to this, instead of risking his precious pipes by making Wonder record new songs, they decided to issue some previously unreleased tracks, which included "Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday", recorded two years earlier.

It reached #7 on the US pop singles chart and become Wonder's ninth Top 10 single of the 1960s. The single fared even better on the official UK singles chart where it reached #2 in November 1969, and hit Number 1 on the mint and skill NME chart the following month.

Stevie recorded also an Italian version with the title "Solo te, solo me, solo noi", and another in Spanish : "Mi ayer, tu ayer, el ayer"

Other Versions includeChris Clark (1966)  /  Patti Page (1970)  /  Stanley Turrentine (1970)  /  "Para Nós Dois" by Carlos Gonzaga (1970)  /  Houston Person (1971)  /  John Holt (1976)  /  Boys Town Gang (1984)  /  Jennifer Rush (1985)  /  Bonnie Langford (1999)  /  Danny McEvoy (2011)

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! :
« Last Edit: July 18, 2021, 02:38:35 PM by daf »


  • All Done by Kindness
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #2035 on: July 25, 2021, 02:00:00 PM »
Bumped corners with some slight foxing, it's . . .

279d. (NME 279.)  Kenny Rogers and The First Edition - Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town

From :  20 - 27  December 1969
Weeks : 1
Flip side : Girl Get Ahold Of Yourself
Bonus : TV Performance

The Story So Far : 
The First Edition were formed in 1967. Other than drummer Mickey Jones, who had been part of Bob Dylan's backing group on his first electric world tour, they were mostly made up of former members of the New Christy Minstrels who felt creatively stifled. The members included Kenny Rogers (lead vocals and bass guitar), Terry Williams (guitar and vocals), Mike Settle (guitar and backing vocals) and the operatically-trained Thelma Camacho (lead vocals).

In 1967, with the help of Terry Williams' mother, who worked for producer and executive Jimmy Bowen, they signed with Reprise and recorded their first single together, "I Found A Reason" (b/w "Ticket To Nowhere"). The single featured an intensely performed Mike Settle vocal.

Their follow-up, the psychedelic single "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)" (b/w "Shadow In The Corner Of Your Mind"), earned them their first brush with fame. The single, with an arrangement by their producer, Mike Post, had Glen Campbell handling the lead vocals and playing the backward guitar intro. While it became a hit early in 1968, climbing to No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100, their next single, "Only Me" released in April, failed to follow it into the Top 10 - stalling at #133.

Further 1968 singles included "Charlie The Fer' De Lance" in May, and "Are My Thoughts With You" in September. "But You Know I Love You" (b/w "Homemade Lies") was released in December 1968, and reached #19 in the US charts.

Thelma Camacho left the group in late 1968. While she always loved being with them in the studio, the road was too hard on her from a health and personal standpoint. Slowly growing apart from the others, Camacho began to feel restricted by the band in a number of ways. All agreed that the situation could not continue, and she was replaced by her roommate, Mary Arnold, an Iowa-born singer.

"Once Again She's All Alone" (b/w "Good Time Liberator"), released in April 1969, flopped at #126, but their next single released in May 1969 - and now billed as "Kenny Rogers and the First Edition" - would see them top the UK charts . . .

The Single :
"Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town" was written by Mel Tillis and recorded by Kenny Rogers and the First Edition in 1969.

First recorded by Waylon Jennings in 1966, the song was about a paralyzed veteran who lies helplessly as his wife "painted up" her lips to go out for the evening without him - the shameless harlot!! A line in the song about a "crazy Asian war" and the time of the song's release led to the assumption the song was about a veteran of the Vietnam War — however, Tillis stated that the song was about a veteran of World War II.

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By 1969, Kenny Rogers wanted to take his group more into a country music direction. They recorded their cover of the song, with Rogers singing the lead, in a single take.

The upbeat version was picked up disc jockeys, but drew some criticism as being contemptuous towards war veterans.

Kenny Rogers : “Look, we don’t see ourselves as politicians, even if a lot of pop groups think they are in the running for a Presidential nomination. We are there, primarily, to entertain. Now if we can entertain by providing thought-provoking songs, then that’s all to the good. But the guys who said ‘Ruby’ was about Vietnam were way off target – it was about Korea. But whatever the message, and however you interpret it, fact is that we wouldn’t have looked at it if it hadn’t been a good song. Just wanna make good records, that’s all.”

The record reached number 6 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and topped the New Musical Express chart in the UK. Peaking at number 2 on the official UK Singles Chart, the single remained in the Top 20 for 15 weeks, selling over a million copies by the end of 1970.

An answer song, "Ruby's Answer", was released in 1967 by Dori Helms, and another entitled "Billy, I've Got to Go to Town" was released in 1969 by Geraldine Stevens. In Stevens's song, Ruby affirms her love for her disabled husband, and pleads in turn for her man to have faith in her fidelity and her commitment to him even in his paralyzed condition.

In 1972, Bobby Womack recorded the song "Ruby Dean". The story is told from the perspective of Ruby's son, who urges his mother to respect his father and to stop seeing other men.

Other Versions includeMel Tillis (1967)  /  Johnny Darrell (1967)  /  Roger Miller (1967)  /  George Hamilton IV (1967)  /  Bobby Goldsboro (1967)  /  George Jones (1968)  /  Red Sovine (1969)  /  Faron Young (1969)  /  Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs (1969)  /  Leonard Nimoy (1969)  /  Dale Hawkins (1969)  /  "Ruby, garde ton cœur ici" by Nana Mouskouri (1969)  /  Anthony Armstrong Jones (1970)  /  Ace Cannon (1970)  /  Jerry Reed (1971)  /  Carl Perkins (1973)  /  Gary Holton & Casino Steel (1981)  /  Right Said Fred (1996)  /  Foster & Allen (2004)  / Cake (2005)  /  The Killers (2005)  /  Danny McEvoy (2011)  /  a robot (2016)