Something for the Weekend

You’d think having a hit record would mean he could afford a shirt with buttons.

This is a classic example of the 1970s AM pop which sounds glorious blaring out of the radio of a big old American car when you’re driving to the beach on a sunny Florida day. It really does, I know from personal experience.

Commercial Break

I have this album but I don’t think we were ever treated to this tremendous commercial on British TV.

This is side one, track two. Sublime Philly Soul from 1973.

Download: Armed and Extremely Dangerous – First Choice (mp3)

Something for the Weekend

Never thought I’d use the words “Toto” and “rocks” in the same sentence but this really does.

I bought this single when it came out in 1978, I know I probably should have been buying something by The Clash instead but we can’t all be so hip in our early teens.

My Chiffon is Wet

I don’t know if it was because things were so grim that people needed cheering up more, but there were a lot of novelty hits in the 1970s. 99.9% of them were terrible, but this one was marvelous and “My chiffon is wet, darling!” is still one of my favourite lines in pop.

“Disco Tex” was a fellow called Sir Monti Rock III and the group was the brainchild of The Four Seasons’ producer/writer Bob Crewe. This was a hit in 1974 before Disco went overground and became a cultural juggernaut so it was ahead of that curve, and its camp flamboyance was ahead of Sylvester and The Village People in being a hit that came out of gay club culture — both Rock and Crewe were gay and the record was made to sound like a live performance in a gay disco. Which just shows that even the silliest novelty record can have some sociological significance.

Download: Get Dancin’ – Disco Tex & The Sex-O-Lettes (mp3)

Something for the Weekend

This track is probably my guiltiest of guilty pleasures,  God help me I love it. I also confess I have a playlist of this sort of 70s Pomp Rock on my iPod that is my favourite soundtrack to workout to at the gym.

Shack Up, Baby

“Shack Up” remains a song best known as a Hip-Hop sample and, for people of a certain age, by the 1981 cover version by A Certain Ratio. The 1975 original by Banbarra wasn’t a hit but became a cult favourite in Northern Soul clubs which is where ACR would have heard it.

Not much is known about Banbarra beyond the fact that they were from Washington, DC and this was the only record they released, supposedly due to manager shenanigans. But in this age of knowing everything about every record ever made I like some things remaining a mystery, it makes the record even better.

Download: Shack Up – Banbarra (mp3)

Hold The Line

10cc were known as a “clever” band who made quirky, pun-laden records, and even when they wrote a beautiful love song they gave it a twist and called it “I’m Not In Love”. But while the singles they made in the 1970s are some of my favourites of the decade I was never all that keen on their albums where their clever-dick tendencies often became annoyingly wacky.

But when they did show some restraint they could produce tracks like the bitterly lovely “Don’t Hang Up” from their 1976 album How Dare You. The story of a marriage from beginning to sad end which, typically 10cc, is a long, multi-part play of song told through a one-sided phone call, but untypically has a simple and low-key treatment — though they still can’t resist punny lines like “When the barman said ‘What’re you drinking?’ I said marriage on the rocks” which makes me think Elvis Costello must have been a fan of the song.

Download: Don’t Hang Up – 10cc (mp3)

Picture Post

Download: When The Morning Comes – Daryl Hall & John Oates (mp3)

This is the beautiful opening track of Hall & Oates’ 1973 album Abandoned Luncheonette. It also contains “She’s Gone” so I don’t need to say it’s a great LP you should own.

Photo: The Morning Papers by Bill Brandt (1936)

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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