Something for the Weekend

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.

Something for the Weekend

When Easy Listening achieves transcendence.

In My Room (Again)

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.

Download: Dear Brian – Chris Rainbow (mp3)
Download: In And Out And Round About – Chris Rainbow (mp3)

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.

Something for the Weekend

When I was kid I thought these two were shagging as I’d twigged that was what the song was sort of about. Maybe they were.

No way would you get away with the line “Mix with yellow Chinky” now, but back then it was all groovy, man.

Something for the Weekend

I always thought ABBA were from Sweden but here they look like they’ve just rocketed in from Venus.

Something for the Weekend

A bit of tin foil, some tinselly wigs, and – bingo! – it’s the future, innit?

Something for the Weekend

Another record to file under “Bugger me, I’d forgotten all about this” — at least I had. Though the silly chorus gives it the whiff of the novelty one-hit wonder (which Sherbet were in the UK, huge in Australia though apparently) this is a terrific record, an almost perfect example of 70s radio pop. I can easily imagine it blasting from our little transistor radio during the summer holidays. Noel Edmonds probably loved it but don’t let that put you off.

Something for the Weekend

Watching the Grammys on Sunday night they did their usual “In Memoriam” thing about the people who’d died recently and in among Whitney Houston, Etta James, Amy Winehouse, Dobie Gray and all the others there was Andrew Gold. That was a shock because I had no idea he’d died. Why didn’t someone tell me???

I wouldn’t claim that he was some kind of musical giant or anything but this was/is one of my favourite singles of the 1970s.

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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