Something for the Weekend



The real pleasure in this clip isn’t Dave Edmunds (who looks half-asleep or stoned) but the audience, especially the odd fellow at the back who I assume must be the host of the show.

Commercial Break



I don’t think I’ve seen this ad since it was on the telly in 1976 but I could still remember every word of it — especially “Come back, Chuck” which became a playground catchphrase for a while. That says something about how brilliant it was.

Something for the Weekend



Richard Jobson’s dancing makes me think of him as the Elaine Benes of Post-Punk.

Dark Chocolate


I once saw Errol Brown coming out of the Gents in a trendy Soho bar in the late 1980s and, while thinking he was shorter than I’d imagined, I just gave him a very cool smile as he walked past me while inside I was all “FUCKING HELL, IT’S ERROL BROWN!” because here was the man behind so many beloved pop hits of my youth — which is why his death upset me more than I imagined it would. While they were only modestly successful elsewhere, Hot Chocolate were a pop institution in the UK, having at least one hit every year between 1970 and 1984. With his distinctive bald head, Brown was as familiar a face on Top of The Pops as the DJs, one of the few regular black singers on the show who wasn’t American.

Hot Chocolate were a difficult band to pin down. Their records contained elements of soul, pop, glam, funk, dub, and psychedelia — sometimes all at once thanks to the production magic of Mickie Most. What linked some of them together however was a surprising bleakness, singles like “Emma” and “Brother Louie” are pretty grim for pop hits your mum probably liked, and even a love song like “Put Your Love In Me” has an edge of dark desperation about it.

They were such a singles band they didn’t release their debut album Cicero Park until several years into their hit-making career in 1974, and shockingly it was a flop despite containing the hit “Emma” and being a terrific album in it’s own right. The title track in particular is a fabulous piece of moody Blaxploitation soul-funk. If Curtis Mayfield had made this record it would hailed as a classic.

Download: Cicero Park – Hot Chocolate (mp3)

Something for the Weekend



Yes, it’s a cute kid video. I’ll be posting pictures of kittens next week.

Something for the Weekend



This was one of my mum’s favourite records and I love it too. The audience in this clip don’t seem too bothered about it though, especially the bloke with the beard who seems more interested in drinking beer and having a fag.

Lost Soul


I have this track in my iTunes library and I can’t remember where the hell I got it from. Whoever it was I’d like to thank them because it’s a fabulous record.

Penny Goodwin was a soul singer from Milwaukee who released her only album Portrait of a Gemini on a local label in 1974. Only 2,000 copies were pressed and, as is usual in these stories, it remained obscure until discovered by crate-diggers who elevated it to cult status with the subsequent rare prices for an original copy. Thankfully it’s been reissued and you can get a copy for a price within the reach of sane people.

“Too Soon You’re Old” is an anti-drug song with a righteous jazzy-soul vibe very much like the records Marlena Shaw was making at the same time. Enjoy.

Download: Too Soon You’re Old – Penny Goodwin (mp3)

Picture Post


If you look up “1970s Rock-Chick Style” in the dictionary you’ll see this picture of Stevie Nicks which is pretty much the Platonic ideal of it – at least the pre-punk kind — right down to the muscle car she’s sitting on.

“Silver Springs” is a song Nicks wrote for Rumours but it got cut for space reasons (the limitations of vinyl) and ended up as the b-side of “Go Your Own Way”. She was apparently pissed off about that and I’m not surprised as it’s a great song, but what would you take out to make room for it?

This version is from the expanded reissue of Rumours.

Download: Silver Springs (Outtake) – Fleetwood Mac (mp3)

What’s it all about?

The sentimental musings of an ageing expat in words, music, and pictures. Mp3 files are up for a limited time so drink them while they're hot. Contact me: lee at londonlee dot com

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