Apparently a lot of people want this song played at their funeral, but personally I think it’s so grandly beautiful it’s fit only for the deaths of Emperors, war heroes, gods, and angels.
Couldn’t decide which video to post today so I switched to default mode: Pan’s People.
This is one of my favourite 1970s singles, I just think it’s glorious. The girl’s routine is pretty great too, in their last ever appearance on TOTP as Pan’s People.
Photographers call the time of day when the sun is either just coming up or going down “the Golden Hour” because the light is so gorgeous and this whole thing positively glows with the sunlit glamour of rich rock stars in their upscale summer vacation spots and designer linen clothes. Even the purple sky seems designed to go with her peach outfit to create a perfectly 1980s colour palette.
I bought this when it came out in 1977 when I probably should have been buying Clash singles and hating this sort of thing. There was a time when I was embarrassed about that but I think it’s great and maybe even the last really good James Bond theme song.
This was shot in Martha’s Vineyard where they also filmed Jaws so feel free to insert your own joke about Carly Simon’s teeth.
I’ve just put together — sorry, curated – a music mix for the excellent Cooking Up A Quiet Storm site. Entitled A Gentle Simmer it’s a spacey trip along the 1970s pop radio dial with stops at ELO, Hall & Oates, Jean-Michel Jarre, Colin Blunstone, and Wings. Cheesy to some, a blissful dreamscape of Angel Delight and instant mash to me.
Listen to it (and see the full tracklisting) here or through the handy little widget below. Don’t forget to check out some of the other excellent mixes at Quiet Storm too, it’s all fab.
I love this song, but his make-up and outfit does give the performance an unfortunate “sad clown” vibe. He should have a teardrop painted on his cheek.
I assume Ace made some other records but it would have been better if after recording this one they’d said to themselves “Right, we’re not topping that so we might as well quit” and then broke up.
When Easy Listening achieves transcendence.
Thought I’d do another repeat post from the archives to make up for the lack of new stuff I don’t have time to write. I chose this one because this album still hasn’t been reissued since I first wrote it back in 2007 and these tracks are too great to remain expensive cult collectibles.
Most Saturday afternoons in 1977 you’d find me in my bedroom listening to the Kenny Everett show on Capital Radio which was the perfect way to fill some of that dead time between getting back from the shops with my Mum and the football results coming on Grandstand. It wasn’t just the adventures of Captain Kremmen (which you can listen to here) that kept me listening, like myself Kenny had a major ELO obsession and was constantly playing their then-new Out Of The Blue album. He must have played the entire double album (parts of it several times over) and this was before I got my own copy so I was glued to the radio. Kenny’s musical tastes leaned heavily toward the polished and elaborate like ELO, he was the sort who thought “Sgt. Pepper” was the pinnacle of western civilization and that snotty punk stuff was just horrible. I thought so too at the time, it just sounded like a moronic racket to my ears and whenever my sister played the first Clash album I’d take the piss by singing “White Riot” in a retarded D.P. Gumby voice.
Another album that got heavy play on his show was Looking Over My Shoulder by Scottish singer/songwriter Chris Rainbow. If anybody has heard of him these days it’s as lead singer of The Alan Parsons Project in the 1980s (I’m so glad to say I never knew he was) but in the 70s he recorded three solo albums which are to The Beach Boys what ELO’s were to The Beatles — full of sunny, intricately-arranged pop symphonies with heavily multi-tracked vocals. While a lot of the album now sounds as dated and cheesy as the shirt he’s wearing on the sleeve, some of it still quite gorgeous.
“Dear Brian” is a fan letter to Brian Wilson who at that time was still a recluse, drugged out of his head in a sandpit somewhere. Over it’s sublime six minutes he laments the destroyed tapes and lost outtakes that ended up on a studio floor and implores Brian to “step in the sandbox” and make music again. The ghostly “In And Out And Round About” washes in like a mist coming off the North Sea and gets a bit Proggy (but in a very pretty way) with some highly pretentious lyrics and a grand church organ arrangement. Kenny played this a lot and would get all wobbly over the whispery ending.
All of Rainbow’s albums are out of print now and go for rather large amounts of money as he’s something of a minor cult amongst fans of 70s soft pop.