The Wacky World of One Hit Wonders or were they?

Ah, one hit wonders. Who knew that Martine McCutcheon was at number  one for 2 weeks in 1999? Not me, until I started researching this  piece. Mercifully, I’d also forgotten Glenn Medeiros and his only hit  single, ‘Nothing’s Gonna Change my Love for You’, which held the top  spot for 4 weeks in mid-1988. That’s 4 weeks of my Top of the Pops  peak viewing time I’ll never get back. (Maybe it should have been  renamed ‘Top if the Plops’ for that 4 weeks, thinks the childish part  of my brain…)

Anyway. One hit wonders or one trick ponies, if you prefer – who can we count among their number? Some  surprised me; songs that I was sure were one-off hits for certain acts had a bridesmaid follow up. The most unexpected example, for  me, was undoubtedly Robson and Jerome. Yes, we all remember ‘Unchained  Melody’ (whether we want to or not), which was at number one for 7  weeks from May 1985, but did you know that the ‘Soldier, Soldier’  stars also had 2 other number ones, in November 1985 – for 4 weeks, no  less. They followed this with another, a year later, which was at the  peak for 2 weeks. Who knew? Not me (and I’m a Geordie, like Robson, if  that makes any difference).

Perennial wedding favourite ‘Come on Eileen’ wasn’t Dexy’s Midnight  Runners’ only number one hit, either; they’d scored another, 2 years  previously, in 1980 when ‘Geno’ spent 2 weeks at the top. I can’t  recall ever having heard that one (but I was only 6 at the time, so  perhaps that explains it).

Often, one hit wonders could be described as novelty songs. From ‘Kung  Fu Fighting’, released in the mid-1970s, via the Spitting Image  ‘Chicken Song’ of 1986. Then Right Said Fred said ‘I’m Too Sexy’ in  the early 1990s, before 1997 brought us both the ‘Teletubbies’ ditty  and ‘Barbie Girl’. Yeah, thanks 1997. All but Right Said Fred reached  the top spot; Fred had to be content with number 2.

There are a lot more where those unique anthems came from, but many  were penned for a specific reason – as a charity single, a Christmas  song or for a film. Some were written as sporting chants; others  specifically to dance to – in a very precise, strictly choreographed  pattern.

Band Aid had one of the most memorable charity singles ever, firstly  in 1984, when the original topped the chart for 5 weeks. 5 years  after, Band Aid II managed 3 weeks at the peak. The 1980s were big for  fund-raising records – USA for Africa scored a number 1 for 2 weeks  with ‘We are the World’, right in the middle of the decade. 2 years  later, in 1987, Ferry Aid managed 3 weeks at the chart’s pinnacle,  raising money in the wake of the Zeebrugge disaster, when the Herald  of Free Enterprise capsized.

More cheerily, some novelty songs were made simply to dance to –  Whigfield’s ‘Saturday Night (1984), the ‘Macarena’ in the 1990s, then  ’The Ketchup Song’ in the early noughties. All had in common that they  inspired scores of people to hit the dancefloor and throw very  specific, highly synchronised shapes.

From throwing shapes to kicking balls, some one hit wonders are still  hugely popular with sporting fans at present-day fixtures. New Order’s  1990 hit ‘World in Motion’ is still oft-heard whenever England are due  to play, as is ‘Tubthumping’ by Chumbawamba (1997). The most relevant  example right now, though, has to be 1996’s ‘3 Lions’, which recently  re-entered the UK charts during England’s most successful World Cup  campaign for decades. (I guess we can’t strictly call that a  one-hit-wonder, then.)

Some songs are released to coincide with a film in which they feature,  and can be huge hits. In 1982, ’The Eye of the Tiger’, from Rocky III,  reached number one, as did Berlin’s ‘Take my Breath Away’, from Top  Gun, in 1986. That was rapidly followed by ‘Stand by Me’ (from the  film of the same name) and ‘Nothing’s Gonna Stop us Now’ by Starship,  in 1987, from the movie ‘Mannequin’. ‘Show me Heaven’ – from another  Tom Cruise film, ‘Days of Thunder’ – scored 4 weeks at the top in the  first year of the the 1990s.

Christmas rounds off each year nicely, and also rounds off this list  of novelty song choices – although not every yuletide one-trick-pony  is particularly festive. A case in point being the acapella ditty  ‘Only You’, which grabbed the coveted Christmas numero uno in 1983. It  enjoyed 5 weeks in the spotlight, before The Flying Pickets sank into  oblivion. ‘There’s no-one quite like Grandma’ wasn’t especially  festive, either, but it was a massive surprise hit for Christmas 1980  – presumably because everyone had to buy it for their Nan. I know I  (or rather, my parents) did. The Christmas hit phenomenon has been  immortalised in novel and celluloid form as well as vinyl; Nick  Hornby’s book ‘About a Boy’ tells the tale of a man who lives on the  royalties from his father’s one and only hit tune – which fortunately  for Hugh Grant’s character – happened to be a Christmas song.

Not all one hit wonders are novelty songs, though; there are many more  which range from dire, to good and great – or even absolute classic.  This piece was inspired when I happened to hear House of Pain’s lively  anthem ‘Jump Around’ on the radio. It wasn’t a huge hit here, reaching  number 8 in 1992, although it fared better across the pond, achieving  3rd place. I love that tune and am always happy to hear it.

How songs perform, chart-wise, here in the UK isn’t always reflected  in the US Billboard. I was surprised that some lists I stumbled across  classified A-ha’s ‘Take on Me’ as a one-hit-wonder, when I recalled  those boys from Norway having successive, massive hits over here. The  animated, sketch-style video, in fact, was apparently what catapulted  A-ha to the top of the Billboard across the Atlantic.

Another song I’m pretty fond of is ‘My Sharona’, released in 1979 by  the Knack, which peaked at number 6 here, but managed to secure the  top spot stateside – another of those one hit wonders. American artist Billy Ray Cyrus had a big hit with  ‘Achy breaky heart’ both here and in the US. Although he didn’t get to  number one in either, the song endures (possibly because it’s  profoundly irritating). Cyrus’s daughter Miley, aka Hannah Montana, is  far more famous than he these days.

Some real decade-defining tracks were but one hit wonders. In the  1970s, Wild Cherry had a number 1 in the US (number 7 here) with ‘Play  that funky music’, a song that still pops up on pretty much every funk  compilation album. Synth hot-hit ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’ took us  into the 1980s, though I had to look up who even performed it (Bruce  Woolley). Toni Basil’s ‘Mickey’ was so fine in 1982, and is a tune  favoured by compilers of 80s hits albums, even though it didn’t quite  reach number one (it peaked in second place). 1982 also brought us  ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’, which roared for 3 weeks at number 1,  before Tight Fit disappeared into obscurity. Thankfully, some might say.

In 1983, Men at Work were ‘Down Under’ up top for 3 weeks; in ’84  Nena’s ’99 Red Balloons’ was a stratospheric, worldwide smash. 1985  brought us ‘na na na na 19’ by Paul Hardcastle, which topped the list  for 5 weeks. ‘You Spin Me Round’ only managed a week, but is very much  fondly and clearly remembered, judging by the airtime it still gets.  In fact, 1985 seems to have been THE year for one hit wonders, with  Jennifer Rush and Feargal Sharkey scoring number ones with ‘The Power  Of Love’ and ‘A Good Heart’ respectively.

By 1986 I was in the full throes of my first massive crush – on Nick  Berry from ‘Eastenders’, who hit the top spot with ‘Every Loser Wins’.  Not one that I ever hear these days, unlike ‘The Final Countdown’ by  Europe, which actually spent less time at number 1 – 2 weeks for the  latter as opposed to 3 for the former.

Rick Astley – who apparently has a new album out, right now – had a  huge 5 weeks at the top of the charts in 1987 with ‘Never Gonna Give  You Up’. Few people have forgotten him (alas, some might add). Most  will have forgotten his Stock, Aitken and Waterman peer Sonia, who had  one big hit in 1989.She’d completely slipped my mind, until I saw a  sign advertising her performance at my local holiday park a couple of  months ago…

Something of a Scottish anthem, The Proclaimers’ ‘I’m Gonna Be (500  miles)’ peaked just outside the top 10 – at number 11 – in 1988. It’s  hard, now, to believe that this song, still heard so often now, didn’t  even make the top ten. Although it made number 3 in the US – and  number 1 in New Zealand.

By the end of the 1990s, things had something of a Latin flavour, with  Ricky Martin ‘Livin’ La Vida Loca’ for 3 weeks in July 1999, swiftly  followed by Lou Bega’s ‘Mambo no. 5’ which spent a fortnight at the  top a couple of months later.

By the time we reached the year 2000, I was 26 and my interest in new  music was already waning. Simon Cowell was poised to take the music  world by storm (a dire, dark, threatening type of storm in my book, at  that). I can’t really speak of music from that point on with any  authority, so I’ll stop right here.

Suffice to say that the world of music would not be the same without one hit wonders. Better, perhaps, maybe worse; it would definitely be  different. For me, variety is the spice of life. One good song is  still a good song, and the rich tapestry of music history may well be  somewhat less colourful without those one-off hits and misses.

 

This article was written by our guest blogger Polly Taylor @ BloggerByTheSea.com

Check out Polly’s very eclectic blog……There are some very entertaining and informative articles on a diverse range of subjects & topics. For instance her home made recipes are mouth watering and delicious!!

Top 5 Best LGBT Anthems / Gay Anthems that graced Brighton Pride 2018

There was never a better time to spend a weekend by the seaside than the 4th and 5th August 2018 in Brighton. The lethal cocktail of a summer heatwave, unparalleled since 1976, and Brighton Pride 2018 meant there was only one place to be on the first weekend in August 2018. But it’s the LGBT anthems / Gay anthems that will linger longest in the memory.

However as the colour and flamboyance of the Brighton Pride 2018 parade fades and diminishes, as it inevitably will, the residue that will remain after the pomp and pageantry is incarcerated in the memory bank, will be the music soundtrack.

A cacophony of LGBT anthems / Gay anthems emanated from all the floats and vintage double decker buses, but these were the five that stood out for the Record Press author –

 

Top 5 Best LGBT Anthems / Gay Anthems that graced Brighton Pride 2018

1) Diana Ross – I’m Coming Out

This comes in at No1 as it formed part of Nile Rodgers / Chic headline set at the Brighton Pride Love BN1 Fest at Preston Park on Sunday https://www.brighton-pride.org/lovebn1-fest/ Niles Rogers co-wrote the Diana Ross classic and his gig with Chic was the perfect conclusion to the weekend.

2) Weather Girls – It’s Raining Men

This gay anthem rang out several times during the parade on a hot sultry, weekend when it was only ever going to rain men as opposed to water / H2O droplets

3) Sylvester – You Make Me Feel Mighty Real

Admittedly nostalgia has played a part for including this in the Top 5 Best LGBT Anthems / Gay Anthems as I’m old enough to remember this tune being a hit in 1978. Gay or straight, this is one of the greatest dance / disco tunes

4) Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive

Again, gay or straight, this song empowers all that encounter it. I defy anyone to say that they don’t find the Gloria Gaynor standard uplifting and inspiring. It’s impact was immediate for me, so much so that I still remember lying in the dark in my bedroom one night in April 1979 and hearing the song for the first time on Radio Luxemburg ( Fab 208 )

5) Cher – Believe

Diva and song combine to make this one of the definitive LGBT anthems / Gay anthems

What are your favourite LGBT anthems / Gay anthems? Let us know in the Reply Box below.
You can order your LGBT anthems / Gay anthems as a framed and mounted vinyl single like the Cher “Believe” one ( to the left ). If it’s intended as a gift, it can  be personalised further with an inscribed / engraved plaque. ORDER NOW….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk

Framed 7″ records / framed vinyl singles and framed CDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  / special occasion i.e. a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday ( How about the No1 song on the day of birth? ), a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day. 

THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT @ www.myfirstrecord.co.uk

 

My Super Seven Soundtracks

Our regular guest blogger Polly Taylor reflects on afternoons and evenings lost in the fantasy arena of the cinema / movies, aided and abetted by great soundtracks……

Lost Boys (1987)

Let’s face it, any album containing 2 INXS tracks was always going to  win me over. The opening duet, ‘Good Times’, sung by Michael Hutchence  and Jimmy Barnes (of Australian band Cold Chisel), is a corker. If  there’s one song that I’d love to hear performed live, it’s this one.  Not just anywhere, though – it would have to be at the Coogee Bay  Hotel in Sydney, where both the former band and the latter artist have  played in years gone by; in fact the Australian National Portrait  Gallery even has a picture of Barnes, singing on that very stage.

That will never happen now, of course – barring someone inventing a  time travel machine that works (DeLorean or otherwise), to transport  me back to 1984 (rather then 1985) when the aforementioned photo was  taken, and Hutchence was still alive.

I also love Echo and the Bunnymen’s ‘People are Strange’ and the theme  tune ‘Cry little Sister’. All the tunes are good, with no sign of  filler tracks whatsoever. They evoke the kitsch horror of the movie  perfectly; the motion picture and accompanying soundtrack in perfect  harmony.

Grease (1978)

I know, I know – from the cool as Lost Boys to the super cheesy  Grease? You have a point, but hear me out. If you’ve ever been a  teenage girl – and there’s fairly good odds that you might have been,  at some stage – you should understand. Singing your heart out to the  jolly ditties ‘Summer Nights’,  ‘We go Together’, or ‘You’re the One  that I Want’; the grittier (and dirtier) ‘Greased Lighting’; or the  slushy, soppy song that is ‘Hopelessly Devoted’ – it’s all part and  parcel of female puberty and frankly, an essential rite of passage.

Trainspotting (1996)

From Rydell High School to the grubbier parts of Edinburgh now, for  what is possibly THE film soundtrack of the 1990s. Released right in  the midst of the dance club and Britpop band ‘Madchester’ era, this  film was huge, making massive stars of director Danny Boyle and actors  including Ewan McGregor and Robert Carlyle. Jonny Lee Miller was even  married to the mighty A-lister Angelina Jolie back then.

The track list reads like a Who’s Who of the mid-1990s – Blur,  Sleeper, Primal Scream, Leftfield, New Order, Pulp, Elastica… even the  ‘Godfather of Punk’ Iggy Pop has two tracks on there. Lou Reed’s  ‘Perfect Day’, used as it is in the film, is pure genius. If you think  it glorifies drug-taking, just keep watching, until the very bitter  end, of this groundbreaking movie.

 

The Beach (2000)

Phew. From the frenetic, gritty backstreets of the Scottish capital to  a tropical paradise. ‘The Beach’ is set on a picture postcard Thai  island, boasting the most pristine peach of a beach. Things gradually  start to sour, though, until the benign ‘cancer in the corals’ of Alex  Garland’s novel turn malignant. The clear blue waters become sullied  by blood, and the islanders begin to lose their grip on their Utopian  universe. The soundtrack fits both the film and the book beautifully,  from ‘Pure Shores’ to ‘Spinning away’, ‘Brutal’ and ‘Out of Control’.

 

 

Romeo and Juliet (1996)

This modern take on Shakespeare was released the same year as  Trainspotting, and despite being a love story, it also shines a light  on the grimier side of life. Mostly filmed in Mexico City and Boca del  Rio (also in Mexico), parts were also shot in Miami; a city almost as  infamous for its seedier side, as it is renowned as a sunbaked holiday  spot.

Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy, after all. Some songs are, as you might  expect, all ‘Young hearts run free’; while ‘Kissing you’ seems like  something of a lament. My favourite is the Wannadies’ ‘You and Me  song’, and not only because I once spent a crazy evening with one of  my backpacking chums, literally jumping up and down on the floor like  kids on a bed in a Sydney flat-share. We caused the manager of the  block to hammer on our door and tell us to belt up. Perhaps not my  finest hour, but it was one of the funniest…

The Doors (1991)

I first watched ‘The Doors’ film some months before the mad half hour  in Sydney had even happened, on a farm in South Australia near the  Murray river, where I spent a few happy months picking apricots,  scoffing peaches and mixing (for a change) with real Australians.

Atmospheric is the word that springs to mind; both for the film and  for the Doors’ musical output, ‘Riders on the Storm’ being the  ultimate – but not the only – case in point. ‘Light my Fire’ is of  course a veritable anthem, although it is ethereal, as opposed to  downright eerie, which I find ‘Riders on the Storm’ to be. Eerie isn’t  a bad thing; I love a bit of gothic horror, and the Doors could  deliver that in spades through their songwriting and performance. Not  to mention the trance-like, hypnotic quality of much of their music.

Val Kilmer, previously known to me as ‘Iceman’ in Top Gun, was  brilliant and a thoroughly convincing Jim Morrison, and his Top Gun  co-star Meg Ryan nailed it, too. Great film, intriguing story and a  fabulous soundtrack to boot.

Dirty Dancing (1987)

The release of this perennial girls’ film favourite coincided  agreeably with my entering my teens – I was 13 when it came out. I was  developing physically, and mentally, was starting to discover the  power of a serious crush. All the girls, in 1987, had a crush on  Patrick Swayze, but it wasn’t only his hip-swivelling that gripped our  hearts (and nether regions). The movie’s music was utterly  captivating, too.

I must point out, at this juncture, that the edition you want – if you  so desire – is ‘Ultimate Dirty Dancing’, rather than the ‘Original  motion picture soundtrack’. The latter omits Solomon Burke’s ‘Cry to  Me’, for one thing – the very song to which Johnny and Baby finally  get it on. A heinous crime (the omission, I mean, not the getting it  on).

‘Do You Love Me’ is missing, too – the very song that plays, right  there in that oversized barn-type place, where the whole love story  begins and we first see some proper dirty dancing. Otis Redding is  even disregarded, which is, frankly, unforgivable. ‘Ultimate Dirty  Dancing’ is one of my top picks; what a shame the bigwigs saw fit to  omit some of the most seminal tracks from the official version.


 

This article was written by our guest blogger Polly Taylor @ BloggerByTheSea.com

 

 

A favourite romantic film, framed and mounted, makes a unique wedding gift for the bride and groom or alternatively an original birthday present for your girlfriend / wife. You can personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… 

ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

Kenny Rogers’ international appeal & storytelling transcends his Country & Western roots

Recently the Record Press author posted a BBC article on social media announcing that Kenny Rogers had sadly been forced to cancel the remaining dates on his Farewell Tour due to ill health and then I thought little more of it……

A few hours later I returned to Twitter and Facebook, to be inundated by over a thousand responses to the sad news that Kenny Rogers had been forced to prematurely bow out of his final encore on the road. The fact that people on both sides of the “Big Pond” ( aka the Atlantic Ocean ) felt compelled to comment & convey not only shock and sadness but good wishes, demonstrates the love, affection and high esteem with which Kenny Rogers is held in throughout the world.

This in turn made me re-examine my relationship with Kenny Rogers. Like many in the UK, we were first introduced in the early summer of 1977  through a mutual friend, Lucille. The song “Lucille” stayed in the charts having peaked at No1 for many weeks, but the resonance of the sad story of the father and “four hungry children” she abandoned, lived on much longer in our hearts and minds. What Kenny Rogers proved in that moment and on that 7″ vinyl single was that not only was he a great vocalist, but also a great story-teller and raconteur.

My love of Kenny Rogers was cemented in 1979 and 1980 when he released the beautiful, poignant and moving ballads “She Believes in Me” and “Lady”, the latter a No1 in the USA. He also reached No1 in the USA in 1983 when he teamed up with good friend Dolly Parton with the classic duet “Islands in the Stream”.

Kenny Rogers has also had two No1s in the UK – the aforementioned “Lucille” in 1977 and “Coward of the County” two years later in 1979. Interestingly the two songs are great examples of storytelling as is “The Gambler”.

The news that Kenny Rogers’ health may be failing, possibly heralding the end of his active musical career, focussed my mind sufficiently for me to realise how much of a significant part Kenny has played in my life and the soundtrack of that life. So much so, that I have compiled this Record Press Top 5 Best Kenny Rogers Songs –

Top 5 Best Kenny Rogers Songs

 

1) Lady ( No12 1980 )

2) She Believes in Me ( No42 1979 )

3) Islands in the Stream ( No7 1983 )

4) Lucille ( No1 1977 )

5) The Gambler ( No22 2007 )

 

What are your favourite Kenny Rogers songs? Let us know in the Reply Box below.

Fans of Kenny Rogers can order your favourite song as a framed and mounted vinyl single like this one ( to the left ). If it’s intended as a gift, it can  be personalised further with an inscribed / engraved plaque. ORDER NOW….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk

Framed 7″ records / framed vinyl singles and framed CDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  / special occasion i.e. a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday ( How about the No1 song on the day of birth? ), a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day. 

THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT @ www.myfirstrecord.co.uk

 

Steve Ellis of the Love Affair to release new album on 50th anniversary of Everlasting Love

Steve Ellis, formerly lead vocalist with 1960s band Love Affair has collaborated with Paul Weller on a new album “Boom! Bang! Twang!”, to be released on vinyl and CD on the 20th April 2018.

The album is released 50 years after Steve Ellis had a huge hit with the classic “Everlasting Love” with his band Love Affair and sees a return to the label behind that single, CBS (via Sony).

The album has been co-produced by long-time fan and friend Paul Weller, with the album also featuring Paul Weller and Andy Crofts and Ben Gordelier (The Moons) and numerous other alumni of the rock and pop hall of fame.

The finished product will be a combination of new songs and covers, with the first single off the album, Lonely No More, co-written with Paul Weller, described as a ‘glorious Northern Soul-esque shaker’. As for the covers, they take on tunes from William Bell, Gerry Marsden, Jimmy Cliff and Tim Hardin.

For the Record Press editor, Steve Ellis has one of the great white British soul voices of the 1960s, only matched by Steve Winwood ( Spencer Davis Group & Traffic ) and Steve Marriott ( Small Faces ). A holy trinity of “Sixties Steves”! To prove the point check out this Top 5 Best Love Affair / Steve Ellis Songs –

 

Top 5 Best Love Affair Songs

 

1) Bringing On Back The Good Times ( No9 1969 )

2) Everlasting Love ( No1 1968 )

3) Rainbow Valley ( No5 1968 )

4) A Day Without Love ( No6 1968 )

5) One Road ( No16 1969 )

 

Framed vinyl singles and framed CDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  / special occasion i.e. a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday ( How about the No1 song on the day of birth? ), a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day.  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT.  ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk

 

Musicians I Miss the Most: Polly Taylor raves about heroes in their graves!!

I’ve already waxed lyrical on the loss of George Michael, but he’s far  from alone in being taken from us far too soon. In fact, in the same  year alone, David Bowie and Prince departed many months before Mr  Michael slipped away on Christmas Day 2016.

I didn’t really feel a huge sense of loss when any of the above left  us, to be honest. For me, it’s been more of a slow burner. I hear a  song on the radio, or select a song from my extensive and eclectic CD collection, and suddenly I’ll feel a genuine, deep-seated sadness  right in the pit of my belly, that makes me almost have to catch my  breath. It is the same feeling that I get when I suddenly miss my  mother. It can be just as strong, and it almost always takes me  completely by surprise.

My mother died at 57, the same age as another of the deceased that I  miss dearly. I think it might be pushing it to call him a musician;  nevertheless he was a major feature of my teenage life – and  fantasies. I’m talking about old swizzle-hips himself, the one and  only Patrick Swayze, the guy who could pin me into a corner any time  he chose.

Patrick Swayze did, in fact, record one of the songs for the soundtrack of  ‘Dirty Dancing’.  (See one of our happy customers below with her framed “Dirty Dancing” film DVD which we created as a birthday gift for her from her family. For more info go to the MyFirstRecord.co.uk website……. http://www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/framed-dvds/framed-dvd-and-cover ). As far as I was previously aware that was  his only flirtation with singing. I was wrong. He is described, in  fact, on the ubiquitous Wikipedia as an ‘actor, dancer and  singer-songwriter’. I’m not here to praise his musical talent – of  lack thereof – though. I recall his connection to music in his dancing  to it rather than his singing of it. He could certainly dance. Mmm…

Patrick Swayze isn’t top of my list. He lies somewhere beneath an  Australian rocker (that I’d love to have lain beneath) who is probably  the artist I miss the most of all. INXS are my all-time favourite  band, and I loved everything about Michael Hutchence. Yep, even that  whole tortured-soul thing he had going on, that was almost definitely  the cause of his demise in one way or another. It almost certainly  played a large part in causing my crush on him, too.

Oh, to have been Paula Yates, on that bed on the “Big Breakfast” with him in 1994!! To have  seen INXS play live at the Coogee Bay hotel, a Sydney boozer in which  I spent far too much time and money, for a few brief months in 1996.  Furthermore, imagine bumping into the man himself in that crowded,  raucous joint… I think I’d better stop right there, this is a public  place.

There’s a big connection building here, isn’t there? The artists I  miss the most, seem to be those I lusted after the most. Which takes  me right back to George Michael, the subject of my earliest teenage  stirrings. He was the first musician I can remember who awakened those  feelings in me, but I think it’s more than just physical. With music,  I’d argue that there’s a mental connection too. Through melodies,  lyrics, harmonies and poetry, the artists speak to something deep in  the soul, and I think that’s why they become so very much admired –  and later, when they pass – very much missed.

After all, crushes in our early adult life are supposedly practice for  the real thing; a rehearsal for out later years when we might fall in  love, commit and in many cases, reproduce. It’s said that the first  cut is the deepest, referring, I presume, to our first real-life love;  but surely that depth of feeling for our musical idols – the practice  run – would mean that their loss would leave, at least, a deep scratch?

I’d say, yes, indeed, the first cut is indeed the deepest and leaves  the biggest scar, like the cut below my knee from a minor car crash in  the 1980s. The nasty scratches I got when taking a cross-country  shortcut through brambles during my school days may now be invisible,  but they took years to disappear, and surely there might be some  permanent damage to the skin beneath? It can no longer be seen,  granted – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

I wish Prince and Bowie were still around, but I can say that without  intensity of feeling. It’s a real shame they’re not around to make  wonderful music any more, but that’s where it ends. I don’t feel that  connection with them, as I did – and do to this day – with George  Michael, Patrick Swayze and Michael Hutchence. I do feel that they  were part of my life. My mood changes, in a more serious way, when I  hear ‘Praying for Time’, ‘Cry to Me’ (by Solomon Burke, from the Dirty  Dancing soundtrack), or ‘Never Tear us Apart’ (See the framed vinyl copy of INXS “Never Tear Us Apart” below; a wedding first dance gift we created recently. For more info go to MyFirstRecord.co.uk). I experience a profound  sense of loss, in a way that just doesn’t happen with other late  greats, who I miss purely for their musical output. Prince’s ‘1999’  will always make me want to get out and party, while Bowie’s ’Changes’  will make me feel a little sad – but not gut-wrenchingly so.

There’s an artist, though, who for me lies somewhere between the two  extremes, and that is Michael Jackson. His music featured hugely  during my schooldays, and I have very fond memories of my sister and I  singing (or rather, yelling) along to the ‘Thriller’ video, trying  (and failing miserably) to copy Jackson’s signature dance moves.  There’s another one who could move, for sure – but could not move me,  in the way that Patrick Swayze could. I look back upon Michael  Jackson’s life and work with affection, and a measure of palpable  emotion, but I suspect that’s down to my connection with my sister and  what we shared, than down to any emotional relationship with the man  himself.

I grew up with George Michael, Patrick Swayze and Michael Hutchence, and they will always be  very dear – and feel very familiar – to me. Therefore I will always  regret their loss, just like I will always yearn for my mother and  grandmother. When you grow up with people, they leave a lasting  impression on your life and things will never be quite the same again  when they’re dead and gone. Even if you never met them.

 

This article was written by our guest blogger Polly Taylor @ BloggerByTheSea.com

Check out Polly’s blog……There are some very entertaining and informative articles on a diverse range of subjects & topics. For instance her home made recipes are mouth watering and delicious!!

Nick Drake induction into the Radio 2 folk hall of fame is so richly deserved

During his tragically short life, Nick Drake recorded some of the most influential music ever to come out of the British folk scene.

To mark and celebrate what would have been his 70th birthday, Radio 2 has announced Nick Drake will be inducted to its Folk Hall of Fame. Nick Drake’s sister, actress Gabrielle Drake, will accept the award in April. She commented: “I think Nick would have been quietly amazed, amused but above all, honoured. And, indeed, grateful. As I am on his behalf.”

The honour will be bestowed at the Radio 2 Folk Awards, at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall.

Nick Drake was inspired by Bob Dylan to take up the guitar and started gigging in London while studying English at Cambridge.

One of his performances, at Camden’s Roundhouse in 1967, was attended by Ashley Hutchings, bass player with English folk-rock group Fairport Convention, who introduced him to the band’s acclaimed producer Joe Boyd.

Joe Boyd, along with engineer John Wood, were to prove instrumental in the short life of Nick Drake, producing his first two albums on Island Records – his 1969 debut, Five Leaves Left, and Bryter Layter, released the following year.

Five Leaves Left and Bryter Layter  showcased Nick Drake’s “gentle, plaintive meditations on love and longing, pairing his ethereal voice and melancholic vision with sweeping strings and jazzy orchestrations.” ( BBC )

Five Leaves Left and Bryter Layter were well-received by critics but didn’t sell well, allegedly sending Drake into a bout of depression which worsened when Boyd left for the US. In late 1971, Nick Drake recorded what was to become his final album – Pink Moon. A darker collection of songs, they stripped away Boyd’s production, leaving Drake’s delicate voice alone with his acoustic guitar, almost symbolic of the artist’s increasing isolation.

As the Pink Moon album sales stuttered to little more than a few thousand copies, Nick Drake retreated to his parents’ home in Tanworth-in-Arden. Sadly it was there, in his childhood bedroom, that he died on the 25th November 1974, aged 26, after taking an overdose of prescribed anti-depressants.

I love Nick Drake’s hauntingly beautiful & deeply sensitive vocals and lyrics……The ephemeral and fragile nature of his lyrics and vocal style mirrored his tragically short life, which ended with his suicide at the age of 26 in 1974. This is why this accolade is so richly deserved.

If you are not familiar with Nick Drake, you should retreat to a darkened room and listen to Five Leaves Left and Bryter Layter and I defy this experience not to enrich and change you in some way……..Unlike poor Nick, you will be able to turn the lights on again and continue your life, the richer for this man’s artistic sensibilities and sacrifice….. R.I.P Nick Drake ( 1948 – 1974 )

 

To cover or not to indulge in cover versions: that is the question?

Can you imagine the music business without cover versions? Yes, many  new releases are fresh, original songs, but many are also reworked  versions of someone else’s former hit – or miss. Some are fresh and  original covers, that do something new with the tune; sometimes so  much so that it becomes almost unrecognisable. Others are just a  rehash, and barely indistinguishable from the original.

A typical example of the latter is ‘Uptown Girl’, first recorded in  1983. It is something of an anthem of my youth and the uplifting  melody and simple premise are very appealing. It was a big hit, making  the top 20 bestselling singles list – of the entire decade. To date,  well over a million copies have been sold worldwide.

‘Uptown Girl’ was covered by Westlife, who released it in 2001. Now, I  can see why Westlife would want to record it, it’s a great tune. But  why we would want to buy it, I have no idea. The song is sung in the  same way as Joel’s original, but the vocals, and backing music, seem  to me to be lacking in a certain something that made the Joel version  sing with quality.

Why cover a song, if you’re not going to do anything new with it?  What’s the point? For Westlife, the point, presumably, was money.  Maybe, they’d also lay claim to attempting to bring a great song to a  younger audience. Fair enough, I guess. That doesn’t quite cut it for  me, but perhaps that’s my problem, not theirs.

We all seem to claim that the music we grew up with was the best –  well, my parents certainly did, singing the praises, in particular, of  the Beatles and Deep Purple – among many others – all of whom came  from the swinging sixties and glaring, flare-clad seventies.  Apparently, my Dad saw Jimi Hendrix perform in Newcastle in the early  1970s. Really? He barely mentions it…

I favour the eighties and nineties, no doubt because I grew up with  the music of those decades. Florence and the Machine’s 2009 cover of  ‘You Got the Love’ annoyed me intensely; from the get-go I much  preferred Candi Staton’s first version from 1986. I was 12 in 1986; by  2009 I was 35. Too old for very much new music perhaps, by then, let  alone for substandard (as I saw it) new versions of the tunes that  accompanied me, like old friends, through puberty, school, exams and  university and into the grown-up worlds of work, travel, relationships  and flat sharing.

Cover versions certainly don’t have to be good to be successful.  Robson and Jerome’s version of ‘Unchained Melody’ had some sort of  appeal that is invisible to the naked, suspecting eyes of many people,  yet it was the top-selling single of 1995. ‘Good’ is clearly in the  ear of the beholder. No offence Robson, who’s from my own stomping  ground – I do love your ‘Tales from Northumberland’, but that hit was  just altogether too cheesy for my tastes. But give me pudding over a  cheese-fest any day; each to their own. Either way the 1990 re-release of the Righteous Brothers’ far superior 1960s rendition of ‘Unchained Melody’ ( as part of the movie soundtrack from “Ghost” ), made the version by Robson and Jerome redundant.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate all cover versions. I am fond of  Alien Ant Farm’s 2001 cover of Michael Jackson’s 1988 hit ‘Smooth  Criminal’. It’s a far rockier, grungier version, and I like both  more-or-less equally. Both have their own merits, and Alien Ant Farm  made the song their own by covering it from a whole new angle.

Only relatively recently, did I discover that The Communards’  chart-topping hit, ‘Don’t Leave me this Way’ was not an original. The  song was in fact first recorded in 1975, and was a hit both then and  shortly after, in 1997. Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes’ version, the  original, reached the top 10 in both the UK and America, peaking at numbers 5 and 3 respectively. Thelma Houston’s rendition was far more  popular across the pond than here in Britain; it failed to reach our  top 10, peaking at number 13 here, while in America it made number 1.  I’m not familiar with the earlier versions, but The Communards’ cover  is an absolute triumph. Praise be to the Reverend Coles and Mr  Somerville.

The late, great George Michael even experimented with cover versions. He sang  ‘Killer’, which had previously been a huge hit for Adams and Seal, in  1991 at Wembley, and it was later released as part of the ‘Five Live’  EP, along with Michael’s rendition of ‘Papa was a Rollin’ Stone’ and  two duets – ‘Somebody to Love’ with Queen, and ‘These are the Days of  our Lives’ again with Queen and also featuring Lisa Stansfield. All  but the latter appeared on ‘Ladies and Gentlemen: The Best of George  Michael’, as well as ‘Don’t Let the Sun go Down on Me’, another duet,  this time with Elton John. Michael also, of course, could be said to  have covered one of his own songs, when he recorded ‘Freedom ’90’,  following Wham’s ‘Freedom’ in 1984. Though the 2 songs are very  different, both in terms of tune, lyrics and subject matter, the ’90  in the second title was added to differentiate between them.

Not a lot of time separates The Zutons’ ‘Valerie’ and Amy Winehouse  and Mark Ronson’s version, but the renditions are very different  indeed. I’m a fan of both the 2006 original and the 2007 cover, so  perhaps all is not lost. I didn’t stop liking all new music after the  1990s ended, and in fact I liked the cover very much, too. It would be  very hard to pick a favourite: both The Zutons and Ms Winehouse’s  renditions feature in my personal music collection.

As for a song that sounds like it must be the original, I can’t think  of a better example than The Mike Flowers Pops cover of ‘Wonderwall’.  Even Noel Gallagher was reportedly asked by the media whether he had  indeed penned the ditty. The cover is in the easy listening genre and,  although I grew up during the 1990s indie, ‘Madchester’ and Britpop  years, I do respect the Flowers version, simply because he dared to  put his own spin on a veritable pop classic from one of the UK’s  biggest bands ever.

Not all cover versions are released as singles, or make it into the  charts, of course. Many covers have a place in popular culture, and  our lives, though other means. One of the very best covers I’ve ever  heard was an uptempo, swing rendition of Rihanna’s ‘Umbrella’, which  featured on Strictly Come Dancing in 2017, performed by Dave Arch’s orchestra. ‘Wonderful!’, as Brucie himself would have proclaimed.

In the press recently, I read an interview with a semi-professional  heavy metal guitarist, who claimed that one of his band’s stock covers  was Britney Spears’ ‘(Hit me) Baby One more time’. The mind boggles.

Are cover versions a good or a bad thing? It very much depends on the  rendition – and the listener. If I really like the artist, then I’ll  probably like the cover. I was never going to dislike George Michael  singing any decent song, for example. The best covers, I think, are  those that do something fresh and new with the original material.  After all, isn’t that what being an artist is all about?

Check out this BBC4 documentary on the best cover versions – “Better than the Original: the Joy of the Cover Version”  https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b06n9q8y/better-than-the-original-the-joy-of-the-cover-version?suggid=b06n9q8y

 

This article was written by our guest blogger Polly Taylor @ BloggerByTheSea.com

Check out Polly’s blog……There are some very entertaining and informative articles on a diverse range of subjects & topics. For instance her home made recipes are mouth watering and delicious!!

Top10 Best Rock & Pop Songs to come out of Newcastle

When it comes to rock and pop music from the 1960s to the present day, the North East of England never seems to get a mention. All the plaudits go to the north west music powerhouses of Liverpool and Manchester.

But let’s spare a thought for Newcastle because this most northern of cities helped shape music, especially in the 1960s and 1980s. The first band from “Geordieland” to come to prominence was Eric Burdon’s blues orientated Animals. The Record Press author rates Eric Burdon’s vocals very highly – in my opinion only matched in the 1960s blues vocals performed by a white man category by Steve Marriott ( Small Faces ) and Steve Winwood ( Spencer Davis Group ).

The 1970s saw something of a hiatus for Newcastle bands, although folk ensemble Lindisfarne had some chart success, whilst Geordie Bryan Ferry’s solo sabbaticals away from Roxy Music spawned some classic cover versions.

However the 1980s were the golden age for dominance of the UK charts by Newcastle bands, with Dire Straits dominating the first half of the decade and the Pet Shop Boys taking over that mantel from 1985 onwards. Dire Straits literally handed over the chart success baton to the Pet Shop Boys in late 1985 when the latter premiered with their zeitgeist classic West End Girls, depicting the rise of the “Yuppie” East End City brokers in Thatcherite London. Dire Straits last big hit, earlier that year, Money For Nothing was also something of a zeitgeist song, depicting the shallow values of 1980s materialism and commercialism epitomised by MTV in the USA.

So although intermittent over the past half century, make no mistake Newcastle bands and solo artists have made a huge impact on British, European and US culture. This is exemplified by this Top10 Best Rock & Pop Songs from Newcastle:

Top10 Best Rock & Pop Songs from Newcastle

 

1) Animals – House of the Rising Sun ( No1 1964 )

2) Pet Shop Boys – West End Girls ( No1 1985 )

3) Bryan Ferry – In Crowd ( No13 1974 )

4) Alan Price – I Put A Spell On You ( No9 1966 )

5) Dire Straits – Private Investigations ( No2 1982 )

6) Pet Shop Boys – What Have I Done To Deserve This? ( No2 1987 )

7) Animals – Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood ( No3 1965 )

8) Dire Straits – Money For Nothing ( No4 1985 )

9) Pet Shop Boys – It’s A Sin ( No1 1987 )

10) Dire Straits – Sultans Of Swing ( N08 1979 )

 


Framed vinyl singles and framed CDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  / special occasion i.e. a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday ( How about the No1 song on the day of birth? ), a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day.  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT.  ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk

 

 

Elton John says Goodbye Yellow Brick Road as he quits touring

Elton John has announced he will stop touring to spend more time with his young family.

He made the announcement in New York, explaining he would say goodbye to fans with a series of 300 dates spanning three years. He commented: “I always thought I was going to be like Ray Charles, BB King – on the road forever. My priorities have changed. We had children and it changed our lives. That doesn’t mean to say I’m not going to be creative. But I’m not going to travel.”

Elton John continued: “Last year I picked up an infection and I was very ill and it knocked me sideways,” he admitted. But I still did 96 shows. Believe me – if you ever do 300 shows, you’re not in ill health.”

Elton’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road will kick off in the US this September, just months after he ends his six-month residency in Las Vegas.

He added: “I don’t want to go out with a whimper, but a big bang,” he said, promising “the most fantastic show I’ve ever done”. Significantly he added the caveat that after his tour he might consider another residency “like Kate Bush,” who played 22 dates at London’s Hammersmith Apollo in 2014.

And this is why the Record Press author is sceptical. I think this could be “The Long Goodbye” in the words of the title of Raymond Chandler’s novel. Elton John is a consummate performer and entertainer and when push comes to shove, I suspect he simply won’t be able to quit permanently from live performances.

I’m sure he is genuinely torn between performing and parenthood ( with partner David Furnish ) when he says: “David and I sat down with a school schedule and I said, ‘I don’t want to miss too much of this’. I’m not stopping music. I’ll hopefully be making more records. I’ll be writing more musicals. But mostly, I’ll be taking my kid to soccer academy – which is the most important thing. Life is all about change.”

Elton concluded his press conference by saying he would be “creative up til the day I die” and that his farewell tour would be “a wonderful way to thank people”. But that’s the point, you can take the boy out of Pinner, but you can’t take the performer off the world stage……

Let’s remind ourselves of Elton John’s brilliance, with this Record Press Top 10 Best Elton John Songs

Top 10 Best Elton John Songs

1) Goodbye Yellow Brick Road ( 1973 )

2) Candle In The Wind ( 1974 )

3) Little Jeannie ( 1980 )

4) Your Song ( 1970 )

5) Rocket Man ( 1972 )

6) Sartorial Elegance ( 1980 )

7) Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word ( 1976 )

8) Someone Saved My Life Tonight ( 1975 )

9)  Tiny Dancer ( 1972 )

10) Crocodile Rock ( 1972 )

What are your favourite Elton John songs? Let us know in the Reply Box below.

Fans of Elton can order your favourite song as a framed and mounted vinyl single. If it’s intended as a gift, it can  be personalised further with an inscribed / engraved plaque. ORDER NOW….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk

Framed vinyl singles and framed CDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  / special occasion i.e. a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday ( How about the No1 song on the day of birth? ), a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day.  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT.  ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk

 

 

A Christmas No1 is not just for Xmas, but for life!!

The Record Press guest blogger Polly Taylor takes a look at that peculiarly British phenomenon and institution known as the Christmas No1…….

So, Ed Sheeran did it. He secured the coveted Christmas 2017 number 1  spot on the singles chart, despite stiff competition from Eminem, who  Ed pipped at the post, forcing the American bestselling artist of the  noughties into 2nd place. A campaign to win Wham the top spot saw them  take 3rd, behind Ed and Eminem.

Wham peaked at number 2 on the New Year chart a week later, matching  the best position ‘Last Christmas’ achieved back in 1984, when the  success of the original Band Aid’s ‘Do they know it’s Christmas?’  meant that George and Andrew had to settle for number 2. George also  sang on the Band Aid record, meaning that he is 1 of only 3 acts ever  to have simultaneously featured on the top 2 singles. The other 2 are  Ed Sheehan, who has just joined this exclusive club with his own 2017  number 1, ‘Perfect’, and his vocals on Eminem’s track, ‘River’, which  took number 2. The Beatles, in 1963 and again in 1967, held the top 2  places on the Christmas charts of those years.

Although I supported the Wham campaign, I was perfectly happy to see  Mr Sheeran secure first place. Why? Well, it meant that X Factor  didn’t have anything to do with number 1 – nor in fact any of the top  3. The 2017 winners were at number 9 by Christmas, having spent the  previous week at number 6, after entering the chart the week before at  number 2.

Last Christmas, 2016, Clean Bandit took number 1 and it was Rag ’n’  Bone Man who secured 2nd. X factor winner Matt Terry was at number 8  by Christmas week, having previously peaked at number 3. In 2015,  Lewisham & Greenwich NHS choir beat Justin Bieber to the number 1  spot, although he could be comforted by the fact that he held number 3  as well as 2, with ‘Sorry’ and ‘Love Yourself’ respectively.

In contrast to previous X Factor winners, then, over the last 3 years  the top 3 have not been held by the X Factor. Before that, they  dominated the coveted festive top spot, when Simon Cowell’s darlings  quickly followed coming first in TV’s music competition by seizing the  Christmas number 1. The chart cherry, on top of winning the X factor  (the cake).

Since 2005, over decade ago, the Christmas number 1 has been taken by  a succession of victorious X Factor contestants, starting with Shayne  Ward, who triggered a 4-year run of success for the show’s winners who  followed him – Leona Lewis, Leon Jackson and Alexandra Burke took the  top slot in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

Then, in 2009, there was a backlash. Some punters were utterly fed up  with the X Factor and its perceived effect on the music business.  Hankering, perhaps, for the days when the ultimate Christmas present  on any artist’s wish-list was the hotly contested seat at the top of  the British singles chart, they came out in force – by backing a  campaign to get Rage Against the Machine to prime position.

In 2010, Matt Cardle flew the flag for Mr Cowell and bore it all the  way to the top of the Christmas chart again, but I think the doubt had  started to creep in. There was something else, people who’d grown up  with a string of X Factor Christmas number ones began to realise;  theirs weren’t the only contenders.

In 2011 and 2012 the hugely popular Military Wives’ choir and the  Justice Collective grabbed the festive top slots, both with their  charity singles in aid of various Armed Forces and Hillsborough  disaster funds. In 2013 and 2014 X Factor winners triumphed once more,  but 3 years have now passed since those successes and I think – I hope  – that that Christmas N01 spot has become an open contest once  more.

Quite rightly so, in my book. It was so exciting, back in the 1970s, 1980s  and 1990s, when I grew up, waiting to see who’d made it. By the time  they announced who was number 2, it was all over – weeks of watching  Top Of the Pops to hear this year’s festive offerings, picking a  favourite, then waiting for the Sunday night chart show with bated  breath to see if the nation agreed with you.

I’m not alone, it seems. Last month, the 2017 Christmas top 20  featured an unprecedented 8 ‘old’ Christmas songs – from Band Aid,  Brenda Lee, Shakin’ Stevens, Elton John and Chris Rea as well as Wham  and the ever-present Pogues and Mariah Carey tunes. The year before  there were 4; and in every year for the preceding decade – i.e.  between 2005 and 2015, there were between 1 and 3. Is this the start  of a new seasonal trend, where the classics make a massive impact on  the UK’s Christmas top 20?

It wasn’t to be for Shakin’ Stevens back in 1982 with his ‘Blue  Christmas’ EP, which got to number 2; he had to wait until 1985 to  make it with ‘Merry Christmas everyone’. In 1987, absolute Christmas  classic The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl’s ‘Fairytale of New York’  was beaten into 2nd place by the Pet Shop Boys.

The Pogues are, in fact, the only artists to feature in every  Christmas top 20 since 2005. Their position has varied; they climbed  to number 3 in 2005, then 6 in 2006 and 4 in 2007. Between 2008 and  2016, they charted yearly between numbers 10 and 20, then in 2017 they  climbed into the top 10 once more, spending yuletide at number 7. It  is, seemingly the UK’s favourite Christmas song, topping various media  polls time and time again, and holding court as the most played  Christmas song in Britain.

Mariah Carey, ‘All I want for Christmas is you’ is another massive  Christmas hit, but like the Pogues, it didn’t ever reach number 1 on  the British singles chart; like them, Mariah only made number 2 in  1994. She has featured in festive top 20s almost every year since, and  this single is the 11th best seller of all time. It is astonishing, to  me, that both of these ever-popular Christmas classics didn’t even  peak at number 1. Can you imagine such songs being released now, tunes  that would become irrepressible – and irresistible – festive favourites?

Take That missed out in 1993, when Mr Blobby snatched number 1. Mr  Blobby wasn’t the only incongruous one; in 2000 Bob the Builder saw  off another boy band, Westlife, after the second half of the 90s was  dominated the Spice Girls, who secured 1st place with 3 successive  Christmas hits in 1996, 1997 and 1998. In 1997, at least, this was a  good thing, keeping the Teletubbies snapping at their towering heels  in second place.

Mr Blobby, Bob the Builder, the Teletubbies – bring them on, I say. It  just makes the big Christmas No1 reveal all the more thrilling.  As long as it’s an open contest open more, to peak on the Christmas  chart could once more be a very real dream for up and coming  singer/songwriters and bands who play proper instruments. Hallelujah,  Amen and thank the Lord for the likes of Ed Sheeran. Perhaps in future  he can be joined by more of his kind, and we won’t have to rely only  upon the great, but well-worn, Christmas tunes to prop up the festive top 20.

 

This article was written by our guest blogger Polly Taylor @ BloggerByTheSea.com

Check out Polly’s blog……There are some very entertaining and informative articles on a diverse range of subjects & topics. For instance her home made recipes are mouth watering and delicious!!

 

AC/DC: From Pacific Highway To Highway To Hell

This is the Record Press tribute to Malcolm Young who passed away on the 18th November 2017 – RIP Rock & Roll Man……

AC/DC were the pioneers of Australian rock and pop music: created in Sydney and exported via the Pacific Highway to the USA and the rest of the world.

Yes you could argue that the Easybeats as forerunners were technically the pioneers of Australian rock and pop music. The Record Press author would argue that the Easybeats were the catalyst with their international 1965 hit Friday On ACDCMy Mind, but beyond that did not have the longevity or sustained impact to really be classed as Australian rock and pop music pioneers.

No the Australian rock band AC/DC, formed in November 1973 by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young, brothers of Easybeats guitarist George, should take the plaudits for Architects of Aussie Rock. If the Record Press author were being a provocative “Pom”, I might argue that brothers Malcom, Angus and George Young emigrated to Sydney from Glasgow in 1963 and therefore the real architects of Australian rock and pop music were “Poms”. However I would not be that churlish!!

Although AC/DC underwent several line-up changes before releasing their first album High Voltage on the 17th February 1975, Malcolm and Angus Young were always the lynchpins in the band. For five years AC/DC had a settled line up until months after recording the album Highway To Hell lead singer and co-songwriter Bon Scott died on the 19th February 1980 after a night of heavy alcohol consumption. AC/DC had achieved so much in those five short years but there was much more to come.

Such was Bon Scott’s charisma and influence, AC/DC considered disbanding, but encouraged by Bon Scott’s father, acdc highway to hellthey decided to find a new lead vocalist. Ex-Geordie singer Brian Johnson was auditioned and selected to replace Bon Scott. Later that year, the band released the new album, Back in Black, which was recorded as a tribute to Bon Scott. The album launched them to new heights of success and became their all-time best-seller.

AC/DC’s next album For Those About to Rock We Salute You was their first album to reach No1 in the USA where they were to forge incredible success over the years: AC/DC have sold more than 200 million records worldwide but of those  71.5 million albums have been sold in the USA alone, making them the tenth-best-selling band in the US. Back in Black has sold an estimated 50 million units worldwide, making it the fifth-highest-selling album by any artist and the third-highest-selling album by any band.

And to think AC/DC were the original Aussie pub rock band who with no precedent to model themselves on became one of the world’s largest rock bands: For That Reason, AC/DC We Salute You………

Here’s a reminder why we salute AC/DC, with this Top 5 Best AC/DC Songs –

 

Top 5 Best AC/DC Songs

 

1) Rock N Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution 

2) Highway To Hell 

3) Hells Bells 

4) Rock and Roll Damnation

5) You Shook Me All Night Long 

 

What are your favourite AC/DC songs? Let us know in the Reply Box below.

Celebrate your love of AC/DC, by ordering your favourite AC/DC song as a framed and mounted vinyl single. If it’s intended as a gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque.

ORDER NOW….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk

framed acdc vinyl single

Framed vinyl singles and framed CDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  / special occasion ie a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday ( How about the No1 song on the day of birth? ), a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day.  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT.  ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk

 

Madchester years – from someone who was actually there & lived it!!

The class of ’92 were gathered for the last time, our high school  leavers’ dinner. We sat down to a 3-course meal to celebrate finishing  our A-levels, looking forward to our impending results with feelings  varying between nervous excitement and sheer terror, ready at last to  spread our wings and speed off to various universities around the  British Isles, rushing with indecent haste towards adulthood.

“Oops upside your head” was played, we all sat on the dance floor;  long, swaying lines of teenagers dressed up in their finest. “Sit  down” by James followed, which I will forever remember as the anthem  of that night. My friend completely ruined the dress she’d hired – a  full-length, off- the-shoulder, blue ballgown. An expensive date indeed.

I didn’t know it then, but I should have taken that song as an omen. I  thought I was heading for Liverpool and English Literature, but  A-level results that fell short of my expectations meant that fate and  clearing conspired to send me to study Sociology in Manchester instead.

Last-minute nerves aside, freedom beckoned and I could not wait. The  Soup Dragons’ cover of “I’m Free” played on an endless loop inside my  head. I couldn’t quite believe my luck. I was about to be allowed to  come home as late as I liked; in fact I could stay out all night and  no-one could stop me. If I wanted to exist on nothing but toast,  ditto. No one could tell me my skirt was too short or my hair too  messy. As I got nearer and nearer to my new home, I was high on  trepidation and elation.

What a place to be. Manchester, smack-bang in the middle of where it  was all happening right then. “Madchester” was the genre of the  moment, and I landed right in the middle of where it was all going on,  the twin strands of the indie music scene and clubbing culture running  parallel and sometimes, almost completely intertwined.

In 1993, my second year as a student, I got a bar job at the  Boardwalk, one of Manchester’s most popular clubs at the time, a place  that very successfully capitalised on the popularity of both indie and  house music. James had played the venue, as had the Stone Roses, the  Happy Mondays, the Charlatans and the psychedelically-named Inspiral  Carpets. Oasis even made their live debut there. DJ Dave Haslam had a  weekly slot, hosting the club’s legendary “Yellow” night every Friday.  It wasn’t all about the Hacienda, although Haslam did DJ there too. He  clearly remembers the Boardwalk very fondly; “you get that kind of  club once in a generation”, he says on his website (davehaslam.com).

One of my classmates dabbled in DJ-ing, and spent many absorbed hours  in the city’s record shops, the infamous Affleck’s palace and the Corn  Exchange, rooting through racks of vinyl for rare 12 inch remixes.  Vinyl was at the time petering out in popularity among the masses,  making way for smaller, shinier, tougher CDs, but it was still the  medium of choice for those who manned the decks every weekend, drawing  huge crowds of clubbers in from across the North West and even further  afield.

They say youth is wasted on the young. I’m not sure if I agree with  that – I certainly enjoyed my younger years – but one thing I do know  is that I did not realise, or therefore appreciate, how much I was  immersed in music history as it was being made. I showed up for my  shifts, I pulled pint after pint, mopped floors and replenished the  toilet rolls, and, while I enjoyed it, the music was really just  something that was going on in the background while I toiled;  something that kept me awake after I got back to my student flat, my  ringing ears rendering me wide-eyed and alert, unable to unwind at 3am.

By the time I graduated in 1995, the sounds of Madchester were morphing into Britpop, with the explosion of Blur, Oasis, Pulp and  their like onto the scene, all still to this day some of my favourite  bands of all time. Though I may have been blissfully unaware of it at  the time, high as I was on freedom and making my own way in the world,  the Madchester scene must have seeped into my consciousness and  influenced my musical preferences – the word ‘eclectic’ probably sums  up my music collection very accurately.

In 1996, just a year after I left Manchester, the IRA bombed the city  centre, changing it irrevocably. The entire city centre was  remodelled; two medieval pubs in which I’d spent many a happy hour  were even moved, brick by brick, to a new location for the old  Shambles Square, 70 metres away from its original site. The people of  Manchester were shaken, but stirred into action. Today, the city  thrives – it is industrious, modern and upbeat. The Corn exchange is  now a restaurant complex and Affleck’s Palace, safely tucked away in  the Northern quarter, is still going strong.

The Hac (“hass”) – as it was known locally – closed its doors for good  in 1997, Dave Haslam joining Elliot Eastwick on the decks for the  final swansong. The club had been plagued by financial problems for  some time and was apparently subsidised by funds from Factory records  and New Order, the label’s biggest band. Ironically, New Order’s “Blue  Monday”, the biggest selling 12 inch single of all time, lost about 5  pence per copy sold due to the intricate die-cast sleeve costing so  much to produce.

The 2002 film “24 hour party people” documents the rise and fall of  the Hac, the latter allegedly largely down to ecstasy use and the  detrimental effect of this on drink sales. It also reportedly brought  gang-related violence to the already troubled club.

The Has is no more, the building was razed to the ground in 2002 and  there are now flats where it once stood, which were marketed with the  controversial slogan, “now the party’s over, you can come home.” The  Boardwalk closed in 1999 and the building still stands – converted,  predictably, into luxury apartments. A blue plaque marks the building;  “1984-1999. The Boardwalk. Madchester venue nightclub and rehearsal  rooms.” Underneath, the notorious yellow acid house smiley face.

Funkademia, started at the Boardwalk in 1995, has become Manchester’s  longest running club night – it is now held at the Mint Lounge in the  Northern Quarter, so something of those 1990s Manchester clubbing days  still lives on.

People now play out their everyday lives where clubbers and gig-goers  once had the time of theirs. Perhaps some have no idea that the likes  of the Happy Mondays, the Stone Roses and Oasis once played right  there, where they sleep, eat or wash – or even where they host their  own parties.

Recently, I saw photos of old school pals – the same ones from that  1992 leavers’ dinner – at Hacienda Classical in Newcastle, and I  really did get the feeling that things had come full circle. The same  feeling that I get when I see today’s teenagers, rifling through racks  of vinyl just as I did in the 80s and early 90s. On Saturday 25th  November, Hacienda Classical will return to Manchester once more,  following rave (ahem!) reviews of the summer events.

The teenagers and twenty-somethings of the 1990s might be all grown  and mortgaged up these days, but good music will always live on.  Hurrah for the likes of the “Madchester” bands that gave us something  to dance to, to sing along to, and the city and its clubs that gave  them venues in which to hone their talent, to blossom, before bursting  out into the wider world. They also gave a lot of happy, smiley people  nights out to live for – the time of their lives. A precious gift  indeed.

This article was written by Polly Taylor, our first Record Press guest blogger.

We welcome Polly aboard the Good Ship Record Press and her sister the Good Gift Shop MyFirstRecord.co.uk….. “Making the Past the Present”

Check out Polly’s blog @ bloggerbythesea.com/……There are some very entertaining articles on a diverse range of subjects & topics

 

Who were your favourite DJs as we celebrate Radio1 50th anniversary?

In the autumn of 2017 we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the launch of Radio1; but this institution is far from being in the autumn of it’s lifespan as it’s longevity is based on it’s ability to re-invent itself and refresh it’s modernity thus keeping it relevant to each new generation of music radio listeners.

Radio1 first hit the airwaves at 7am on Saturday 30th September 1967, famously hosted by Tony Blackburn, opening with Flowers in the Rain by The Move. Radio 1 came about as a result of Harold Wilson’s Marine & Broadcasting (Offences) Act 1967  which in effect sunk the pirate ship radio stations in the North Sea, by outlawing offshore broadcasting. The BBC then decided to fill the void with the launch of Radio1 and Radio2.

As the pirate ship radio station disc jockeys found themselves shipwrecked, they were easy prey for the BBC in terms of recruiting them to the newly formed Radio 1. As Radio1 established itself as a monopoly pop music radio station, the Radio 1 disc jockeys became household names and huge stars in the late 1960s and 1970s, both on radio and TV via the weekly edition of Top Of The Pops.

We all have our era and for the Record Press author it would have to be my formative years of listening to pop music from 1973 to 1977. The daily Radio1 schedule is etched in my memory and I can recite it thus –

7am – 9am Noel Edmonds 

9am – 12pm Tony Blackburn ( replaced by Simon Bates in 1977 )

12pm – 2pm  Johnnie Walker ( replaced by Paul Burnett in 1976 )

2pm – 5pm David Hamilton ( replaced by Tony Blackburn in 1977 )

5pm – 7pm Dave Lee Travis

The Radio 1 DJs became our close companions – they were all genial friends, but we had “besties”!! I had a particular affection for Paul Burnett, who had a particularly dry wit. My other “DJ Bestie” was Noel Edmonds. In 2017 it is fashionable to lampoon and mock Noel Edmonds, but from 1973 to 1983 he was one of the most inventive and creative of radio presenters.

In 2012 and 2013 I paid tribute to Noel Edmonds in these two blog articles…..

Who remembers the Noel Edmonds Radio 1 Breakfast Show in the 1970s?”…… http://www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/recordpress/radio/who-remembers-the-noel-edmonds-radio-1-breakfast-show-in-the-1970s/

“Like Doctor Who, everyone has their favourite Radio1 Breakfast Show DJ”…….. 

http://www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/recordpress/tv/like-doctor-who-everyone-has-their-favourite-radio1-breakfast-show-dj/

To mark and celebrate the Radio1 50th anniversary, we invite you to tell us about your memories of Radio1 in the Reply Box below. Who were your favourite Radio1 disc jockeys ( DJs ) and radio programmes and why?

 

The Definitive Top 20 Best Psychedelic Songs of the 1960s

For the Record Press author the three abiding passions in terms of music genres throughout my life have always been heavy rock, soul and funk and that most niche of all niches, psychedelia.

It is almost impossible to say which band launched the psychedelic music movement but as the influence of the drug LSD took a vice like grip on the cultural counter movement emanating from the UFO Club in Tottenham Court Road, Soho in 1966,  it meant that psychedelic music spectacularly peaked in 1967.

What I love about psychedelic songs is that they take you on a surreal, mystical, magical journey that otherwise could only be gained in the fantasia of childhood novels or dreams…..Or through mind altering drugs, but you wouldn’t necessarily want to go down that route.

The psychedelic path was well trodden by the majority of the leading bands of the time like the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Small Faces, Rolling Stones and Traffic. They all appear in this definitive Record Press Top 20 Best Psychedelic Songs of the 1960s –

Top 20 Best Psychedelic Songs of the 1960s

 

1) Procol Harum – Whiter Shade Of Pale ( No1 1967 )

2) Beatles – Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds ( Non hit 1967 )

3) Small Faces – Tin Soldier ( No9 1967 )

4) Traffic – Paper Sun ( No5 1967 )

5) Pink Floyd – See Emily Play ( No6 1967 )

6) Rolling Stones – Paint It Black ( No1 1966 )

7) Small Faces – Ichy Coo Park ( No3 1967 )

8) Beatles – A Day In The Life ( Non hit 1967 )

9) Move – I Can Hear The Grass Grow ( No2 1967 )

10) Rolling Stones – She’s A Rainbow ( Non hit 1967 )

11 ) Beatles – Strawberry Fields Forever ( No2 1967 )

12) Who – I Can See For Miles ( No10 1967 )

13 ) Yardbirds – For Your Love ( No3 1965 )

14 ) Simon Dupree & Big Sound – Kites ( No8 1967 )

15 ) Jimi Hendrix – Purple Haze ( No3 1967 )

16) Moody Blues – Nights In White Satin ( No9 1967 )

17 ) Donovan – Sunshine Superman ( No2 1967 )

18) Pink Floyd – Arnold Layne ( No20 1967 )

19 ) Move – Flowers In The Rain ( N02 1967 )

20 ) Zombies – She’s Not There ( No12 1964 )

 

Framed vinyl singles with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration i.e. a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th or 70th Birthday, a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s Day or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!! PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENTS! MAKING THE PAST THE PRESENT…..ORDER HERE www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

Saturday Night Fever was a better disco jukebox than film

Is it really 40 years since Saturday Night Fever was released on an unsuspecting cinema audience?

I say unsuspecting because Saturday Night Fever introduced  a mass audience to the phenomenon of disco and John Travolta ( making his film debut ). As the film opened to Tony Manero aka John Travolta strutting down a sidewalk in New York carrying a pot of paint, there was little to suggest that John Travolta would paint the “Big Apple” red on the dance floors of New York night spots. In fairness he looked more like a lothario than a “DIY Dad”, but nevertheless nothing prepared us for his moves on the dancefloor!!

Nor was there any hint that Saturday Night Fever would become a cultural and music phenomenon that would ingratiate it’s way into the hearts and souls of my generation and generations to come. The film plot / storyline is thin at best but where the movie excelled was in John Travolta’s dancing and athleticism, but most of all the musical score / soundtrack, spearheaded by the Bee Gees.

So let’s celebrate the 40th anniversary of Saturday Night Fever, with this top 5 best songs from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack –

Top 5 Best Songs from Saturday Night Fever

 

1) Bee Gees – Stayin’ Alive

2) Bee Gees – How deep is your love?

3) Trammps – Disco Inferno

4) Yvonne Elliman – If I can’t have you

5) Tavares – More than a woman

 

Celebrate the 40th anniversary of Saturday Night Fever by ordering your favourite Saturday Night Fever song as a framed vinyl single. If intended as a gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

 

Framed vinyl records and CDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  i.e. a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th or 70th Birthday, a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENTS! MAKING THE PAST THE PRESENT…… ORDER HERE  www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

 

 

Beatles Sgt Pepper 50th anniversary does not mask the hype!!

It was 50 years ago today on the 1st June 1967 that the Beatles and EMI / Parlophone released the Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band album.

For most of the intervening years Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band has been lauded as the Beatles’ seminal and most iconic album. At the risk of being controversial ( God forbid!! ) the Record Press author does not concur with this viewpoint.

Undoubtedly Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band has three of the Beatles finest songs on it – the dream-like “A Day In The Life”, the psychedelic “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” and the atmospheric “She’s Leaving Home”.

These superlative tracks are backed up by good songs in the form of the title track “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band” and “With a Little Help from our Friends”. At best I would suggest the remaining songs on the album are mediocre and almost feel like album fillers.

 

Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band would have been far stronger for the inclusion of “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane” which EMI decided not to include on the album, preferring to release them as a “Double A” side single. This decision backfired horrendously when the single was kept off the No1 spot by the cheesy “Release Me” by Englebert Humperdinck!!

I would argue that Rubber Soul and Revolver completely overshadow Sgt Pepper and are far superior albums……On this basis Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band would not get into this Record Press Top 5 best albums of all time –

 

 

Top 5 Best albums of all time

1)  Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon ( 1973 )

2)  Genesis – And Then There Were Three ( 1978 )

3)  David Bowie – Rise & Fall Of Ziggy Stardust ( 1972 )

4)  Beatles – Revolver ( 1966 )

5)  Meatloaf – Bat Out Of Hell ( 1978 )

 

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band and your love of The Beatles by ordering your favourite Beatles song as a framed vinyl single. If intended as a gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed vinyl records and CDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  i.e. a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th or 70th Birthday, a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENTS! MAKING THE PAST THE PRESENT…… ORDER HERE  www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

Procol Harum are definitely not a whiter shade of pale after 50 years

As Procol Harum celebrate the 50th anniversary of their debut and biggest hit A Whiter Shade Of Pale with a UK tour, I can report that a half century on the band live on stage are anything but lack lustre!!

In the very week Procol Harum celebrated the 50th anniversary of the release of their seemingly timeless No1 A  Whiter Shade Of Pale, I went to see them in concert with a certain apprehension that the experience might be a major anti-climax.

The Record Press author should not have worried – it became patently clear after a couple of minutes in the Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, that Procol Harum are a band of very accomplished  musicians with an eclectic back catalogue of songs.

I didn’t go into the gig blind or deaf to the fact that the Procol Harum sphere of influence goes well beyond their iconic 1967 No1 A Whiter Shade Of Pale. I’ve always loved their atmospheric, haunting 1975 hit Pandora’s Box in particular, along with Homburg and Conquistador.

What I wasn’t expecting was for lead singer and songwriter Gary Brooker to still be such a fine vocalist. The intervening half century since Procol Harum had such a massive hit with A Whiter Shade Of Pale in the feted “Summer Of Love” have not diminished Gary Brooker’s vocal range in the least.

Gary Brooker’s bluesey vocals were perfectly complemented by the blues drenched lead guitar play of Geoff Whitehorn. Infact Procol Harum delivered a very tight set and if there are tickets still available for their 50th anniversary UK tour I would recommend you go and see them.

Procol Harum’s influence on music cannot be underestimated – along with Pink Floyd, Procol Harum innovated the psychedelic sound in 1967 and as such were the forefathers of “Prog Rock”. If you are only familiar with A Whiter Shade Of Pale and the Prog Rock tag doesn’t put you off, then go onto Spotify and check out this Record Press top 5 best Procol Harum songs. I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed!  –

 

Top 5 Best Procol Harum songs

1) A Whiter Shade of Pale ( No1 1967 )

2) Pandora’s Box ( No16 1975 )

3) Homburg ( No6 1967 )

4) Grand Hotel ( Non hit 1973 )

5) Conquistador ( Non hit 1972 )

 

Celebrate your love of Procol Harum by ordering your favourite Procol Harum song as a framed vinyl single. If intended as a gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed vinyl records and CDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  i.e. a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th or 70th Birthday, a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENTS! MAKING THE PAST THE PRESENT…… ORDER HERE  www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

Bananarama are to reform for their first ever tour

Sara Dallin, Siobhan Fahey and Keren Woodward as Bananarama were the biggest girl band of the 1980s.

Although Bananarama had numerous hits including Cruel Summer, I Heard a Rumour, Venus, Shy Boy and Love In The First Degree, the trio never toured before Siobhan Fahey left the band to form Shakespears Sister in 1988. The split was acrimonious, but the members recently reconciled and have announced a 15-date UK tour for this winter. Having seen Bananarama at the Splendour festival in Nottingham in July 2015, the Record Press author can recommend them wholeheartedly!!

“This is the first time we’ve performed live together – with the exception of getting onstage with a cassette when we were 18!” Keren Woodward explained.

Speaking about the  Bananarama reconciliation, Fahey said: “I was really touched because it wasn’t for any other reason than we love each other and really loved what we did. These were my formative years. I never thought it would happen again.”

Formed in 1979, Bananarama took their name from two of their biggest inspirations: the kids TV show The Banana Splits ( one of the Record Press author’s favourite childhood shows ) and the Roxy Music song Pyjamarama.

Bananarama got their first taste of chart success by providing backing vocals for the Fun Boy Three on the single, It Ain’t What You Do, It’s the Way You Do It. A couple of months later, Fun Boy Three reciprocated the favour by joining the girls on their song Really Sayin’ Somethin, a cover of the 1965 Velvelettes song that was the first of Bananarama’s 26 UK chart hits.

Bananarama went on to sell more than 40 million records, including these in this Record Press Top 5 best Bananarama songs –

Top 5 Best Bananarama Songs

1) I Heard a Rumour ( No14 1987 )

2) Cruel Summer ( No8 1983 )

3) Venus ( No8 1986 )

4) Robert De Niro’s Waiting ( No3 1984 )

5) Love In The First Degree ( N03 1987 )

 

Celebrate your love of Bananarama by ordering your favourite Bananarama song as a framed vinyl single. If intended as a gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed vinyl records and CDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  i.e. a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th or 70th Birthday, a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENTS! MAKING THE PAST THE PRESENT…… ORDER HERE  www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

Beatles Sgt Pepper 50th anniversary launches with a film

It was 50 years ago that Sgt Pepper taught the band to play; the band in question being the Beatles.

As part of the Sgt Pepper 50th anniversary celebrations there’s a new documentary film celebrating the landmark event in popular music history.

It Was 50 Years Ago Today! The Beatles: Sgt Pepper & Beyond is due for release in UK cinemas on 26th May. The documentary film focuses on the 12 months of recording of what is widely debated as the most iconic album ever produced. Director Alan G Parker utilises rare archive footage to tell his story, along with a series of interviews with subjects including original drummer Pete Best, John Lennon’s sister Julia and Hunter Davies.

It Was 50 Years Ago Today! The Beatles: Sgt Pepper & Beyond examines the Beatles disillusionment with touring and the controversies that dogged the Beatles from drugs to blasphemy. The film give several first-hand accounts of what would become the world’s first concept album.

It Was Fifty Years Ago Today! The Beatles: Sgt Pepper & Beyond is in cinemas from 26th May, including special Q&A previews. It will be released on digital on 1st June and DVD on 3rd July. In the meantime, here’s a taster…… https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/apr/05/sgt-pepper-is-50-new-documentary-beatles-alan-g-parker

Celebrate your love of The Beatles by ordering your favourite Beatles song as a framed vinyl single or CD single. If intended as a gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed vinyl records and CDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  i.e. a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th or 70th Birthday, a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENTS! MAKING THE PAST THE PRESENT…… ORDER HERE  www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

MyFirstRecord.co.uk Pick of Record Store Day 2017 Releases

MyFirstRecord.co.uk is all about vinyl, retro and contemporary, but we are inclined to recommend Record Store Day 2017 releases with a bit of nostalgia attached them.

So here are the MyFirstRecord.co.uk Pick of Record Store Day 2017 Releases –

1) David Bowie: Cracked Actor 

The Record Press author makes no apologies for including David Bowie. He transcended music, art and culture in general. Cracked Actor (Live in Los Angeles 1974) is a three-album set recorded on the “Philly Dogs” leg of his Diamond Dogs tour.

Over five sides of vinyl, you’ll hear material from Diamond Dogs ( 1974 ) and Aladdin Sane ( 1973 ); as well as a handful of tracks intended for (but eventually dropped from) the soul orientated Young Americans ( 1975 ).

The sixth side of the three-album set features an etching of Bowie.

 

2) Sex Pistols: God Save Sex Pistols

As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the seminal Never Mind The Bollocks album, this release contains slightly different renditions of the key tracks and completely different artwork.

 

3) The Smiths: Boy With The Thorn In His Side

A prime example of what Record Store Day is all about – The Smiths releasing a previously unheard version of one of their best singles.

The limited edition 7″ also contains an early version of Rubber Ring, the original B-side to Boy With The Thorn In His Side.

 

4) Deee-Lite: Groove Is In The Heart

I make no apologies for nominating this psych-pop disco party song, as a nod to my rave days and love of psychedelic 1960s pop art designs and culture. Album and single sleeve / cover artwork is missed as much as the vinyl records they housed and protected and 50 somethings like me will find this particular record artwork evocative and reminiscent of the 1960s / 1970s TV cartoon Wacky Races.

This record has been out of print on vinyl ever since it was denied the number one spot by the Steve Miller Band’s Joker in 1990. Re-released as a solid pink 12″, the song is backed by the original B-side, What Is Love?

 

Framed vinyl records with a personalised engraved plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  i.e. a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th or 70th Birthday, a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  ORDER HERE  www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENTS! MAKING THE PAST THE PRESENT……

 

 

 

Chuck Berry, father of rock’n’roll, dies at age of 90

The legendary guitarist Chuck Berry, who fused blues and swing and thereby created early rock’n’roll, died on Saturday aged 90, according to Missouri police.

St Charles County police said in a post on Facebook they responded to a medical emergency at a home at approximately 12.40pm local time: “Inside the home, first responders observed an unresponsive man and immediately administered lifesaving techniques. Unfortunately, the 90-year-old man could not be revived and was pronounced deceased at 1.26pm.”

Musicians of all genres and ages paid tribute to the legend: “Chuck Berry was rock’s greatest practitioner, guitarist, and the greatest pure rock ‘n’ roll writer who ever lived,” said Bruce Springsteen.

Chuck Berry was born the son of a deacon in a middle-class neighborhood of St Louis in 1926, and picked up the guitar in high school, playing at parties and developing his flourishes as a performer. As a teenager he was arrested for attempted robbery and served three years in reform school, after which he worked on an assembly line at a General Motors factory.

He turned to music full-time in the 1950s. His break came in 1955 when he met blues musician Muddy Waters and producer Leonard Chess, who formed the Chess record label in Chicago. For the remainder of the decade Chuck Berry merged the country and blues songs of the south with pop sensibilities starting to echo on the radio. He recorded some of his most famous hits in the 1950s, including Rock & Roll Music, Roll Over Beethoven, Johnny B Goode, Maybellene and School Days.

Chuck Berry’s music was a hugely influential figure for generations of rock musicians who followed him, many of whom recognised him during their lifetimes. “If you had to give rock’n’roll another name, you might call it Chuck Berry,” John Lennon once famously said.

In 1972, he released his only No1 single, the novelty My Ding-a-Ling, which for my generation born in the 1960s is the song most synonymous with Chuck Berry. He continued playing sporadic concerts, often with the most famous rock stars of each era. Alongside his continued success, though, Chuck Berry continued running afoul of authorities.

In 2016, he announced his first studio album since 1979, to be titled Chuck and featuring his children on guitar and harmonica. “My darlin’ I’m growing old,” Chuck Berry said in a press release for the record, speaking to Toddy Berry, his wife of 68 years. “I’ve worked on this record for a long time. Now I can hang up my shoes!”

And a few months later in March 2017 he hung up his shoes and guitar for the last time…..RIP Chuck Berry.

Celebrate your love of Chuck Berry by ordering your favourite Chuck Berry song as a framed vinyl single. If intended as a gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed vinyl records & framed CDs with a personalised engraved plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  i.e. a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th or 70th Birthday, a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  ORDER @  www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENTS! MAKING THE PAST THE PRESENT……

 

 

We are less of a family as Joni Sledge, of Sister Sledge, dies

Joni Sledge, who with her sisters recorded the definitive dance anthem We Are Family, has died.

Joni Sledge, 60, was found dead in her home in Phoenix, Arizona, by a friend on Friday, the band’s publicist, Biff Warren, said on Saturday. A cause of death has not been determined. The statement read: ” yesterday, numbness fell upon our family. We welcome your prayers as we weep the loss of our sister, mother, aunt, niece and cousin.”

While it celebrated their sisterhood, the 1979 hit so also became an anthem for female empowerment. It would become their signature song and was nominated for a Grammy. Both the song and album sold more than 1million copies.

Sister Sledge also had hits with Lost in Music, which for me is one of the definitive dance tunes of all time ( along with the Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers penned Good Times for Chic )  and Thinking of You – the latter in particular revered by critics. In 1985, their song Frankie became their only British No 1, though it fared less well in America, only reaching No 75.

But for most of us Sister Sledge will be defined by We are Family and Joni’s sisters will be truly “lost in grief”. Our thoughts are with you……

 

Top 5 Best Sister Sledge songs

 

1) Lost in Music ( No4 1984 )

2) He’s The Greatest Dancer ( No6 1979 )

3) We Are Family ( No8 1979 )

4) Mama Never Told Me ( No20 1975 )

5) Frankie ( No1 1985 )

 

 

Celebrate the life of Joni Sledge and your love of Sister Sledge by ordering your favourite Sister Sledge  song as a framed vinyl single. If intended as a gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed vinyl records and CDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  i.e. a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th or 70th Birthday, a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENTS! MAKING THE PAST THE PRESENT…… ORDER HERE  www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

 

Half the Beatles reform for a whole album

The two surviving members of the Beatles have recorded music together for the first time in seven years.

Clearly suffering from a classic case of the seven year itch Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are collaborating on a new project. The pair released photos of themselves in Ringo Starr’s home studio over the weekend. Apparently Paul McCartney will be making a guest appearance on Ringo Starr’s latest record, a follow-up to 2015’s Postcards from Paradise.

Ringo Starr appeared on Twitter to thank Paul McCartney for joining him in the recording studio, saying: “Thanks for coming over man and playing great bass. I love you man – peace and love.”

Also joining the former Beatles in the studio was Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh, who Ringo Starr said had “come out to play”.

Bruce Sugar, who is producing Starr’s latest album, posted a photo of him with Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr on Facebook, with the caption: “Magical day in the studio today with these two.”

It is the first time since 2010 that Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr have collaborated on a music project, when McCartney played bass on Ringo Starr’s track Peace Dream, and contributed his vocals to Walk With You.

What are your favourite old Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr / Beatles songs? Let us know in the Reply Box below.

Celebrate your love of the Beatles by ordering your favourite Beatles song as a framed vinyl single. If intended as a gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed vinyl records and CDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  i.e. a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th or 70th Birthday, a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENTS! MAKING THE PAST THE PRESENT……

 

Duran Duran to resume legal battle over US song rights

Duran Duran are to renew their legal battle over US rights to some of their most famous songs, including Hungry Like the Wolf and Girls on Film.

In December, Duran Duran lost their fight against publishers Gloucester Place Music, part of US business Sony/ATV, to prevent them terminating copyright agreements related to their first three albums.

Mr Justice Arnold in the high court ruled that English laws of contract prevented the band from reclaiming the copyright of their songs. Somewhat bizarrely the same judge has now given permission for an appeal against his decision. One of the many peculiarities of the legal system – who was it who once said “the law is an ass”?!! No date has yet been set for the hearing.

Duran Duran have issued a statement saying they were “particularly pleased to get the go-ahead as the ruling had an impact on the wider creative community and particularly their song writing peers.”

Duran Duran founding member and keyboardist Nick Rhodes said: “It was enormously disappointing that Sony/ATV decided to mount this aggressive and unexpected action against us to try to prevent the simple principles and rights afforded to all artists in America regarding their copyrights after 35 years. We are relieved and grateful that we have been given the opportunity to appeal this case because the consequences are wide-reaching and profound for us and all other artists.

Nick Rhodes added: “In his judgment Mr Justice Arnold stated that his decision was not made without hesitation; we were heartened by this sentiment because we felt it was an acknowledgement that something was truly flawed about the premise and reality of what is at stake. We remain hopeful that the ultimate outcome will be fair and measured to take into account and support our case and all artists’ rights.”

Whatever happens, nothing will detract from the brilliance of Duran Duran. Lest we forget here’s a top 10 best Duran Duran songs –

Top 10 Best Duran Duran Songsduran-duran-save-a-prayer-vinyl-single

1)  Save a Prayer

2)  Rio

3)  Girls on Film

4)  New Moon on Monday

5)  A View to a Kill

6)  The Wild Boys

7)  Hungry Like the Wolf

8)  Is There Something I Should Know?

9)  Union of the Snake

10)  The Reflex

 

Celebrate your love of Duran Duran by ordering your favourite Duran Duran song as a framed vinyl single. If intended as a gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed vinyl records and CDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  i.e. a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th or 70th Birthday, a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENTS! MAKING THE PAST THE PRESENT……

ORDER HERE  www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

John Lennon and Yoko Ono love story movie to be made

The relationship of John Lennon and Yoko Ono will form the basis of a new film from the writer of the Stephen Hawking movie, The Theory of Everything.

“The story will focus on ripe and relevant themes of love, courage and activism in the US – with the intention of inspiring today’s youth to stand up for and have a clear vision for the world they want,” said producer Michael De Luca, whose previous credits include The Social Network, Captain Phillips and Moneyball.

It is thought that the film script is likely to depict John Lennon and Yoko Ono  as a celebrity couple throughout the 1970s, Lennon’s drifting away from the Beatles, the couple’s music together ( which began with the anti Vietnam War anthem Give Peace A Chance ) and John Lennon’s murder in 1980.

In 2009, the life of John Lennon as a youth growing up in Liverpool was brought to the screen by Sam Taylor-Johnson in Nowhere Boy, where he was played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Yoko Ono was supportive of the finished product and was “flabbergasted” at how good it was, as was the Record Press author. If you haven’t seen it, I would definitely recommend Nowhere Boy.

Celebrate your love of John Lennon by ordering your favourite John Lennon song as a framed vinyl single. If intended as a gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed vinyl records and CDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  i.e. a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th or 70th Birthday, a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENTS! MAKING THE PAST THE PRESENT……

 

David Bowie to be commemorated on Royal Mail stamps

The life and work of David Bowie is to be commemorated with a full set of ten postage stamps issued by the Royal Mail.

The David Bowie stamps, which go into circulation from the 14th March, commemorate six Bowie album covers as well as four of his tours.

Explaining the decision for the tribute to David Bowie, Philip Parker of the Royal Mail commented: “For five decades David Bowie was at the forefront of contemporary culture, and has influenced successive generations of musicians, artists, designers and writers. Royal Mail’s stamp issue celebrates this unique figure and some of his many celebrated personas.”

 

The Royal Mail has paid tribute to musicians before, when last summer it featured Pink Floyd on a set of stamps, which also featured six album covers and four performances.

The David Bowie album covers featured on the stamps are Hunky Dory, Aladdin Sane, Heroes, Let’s Dance, Earthling and Blackstar. The tours marked are the 1973 Ziggy Stardust tour, the 1978 Stage tour, the 1983 Serious Moonlight tour, and the 2004 Reality tour.

You can pre-order various presentation packs of the stamps from the Royal Mail now.

 

If you love David Bowie memorabilia, you can get a favourite David Bowie song as framed vinyl single to hang on your living room wall. If intended as a gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque. ORDER HERE…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed vinyl records and CDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  i.e. a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th or 70th Birthday, a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENTS! MAKING THE PAST THE PRESENT…… ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

The Carpenters are getting “chippy” over unpaid royalties

Richard Carpenter has said he is owed at least £1.6m in royalties for the hits he wrote and recorded in The Carpenters, including Yesterday Once More.

He claims Universal Music have only paid the band a “miniscule fraction” of the money they were owed from downloads on sites like iTunes and Amazon. The musician is suing for compensation, according to legal documents filed in Los Angeles on Wednesday. The claim is also filed on behalf of his sister, Karen, who died in 1983.

Richard Carpenter hired accountants to examine financial statements from Universal Music and its subsidiary, A&M Records, which has released The Carpenters’ music since their debut album in 1969.

He says they found multiple errors, and that the labels “improperly classified” revenue from digital downloads of The Carpenters’ music as sales of physical records – which attract a lower royalty rate. He also claims that digital downloads were undercounted.

In a statement, Richard Carpenter said he had been unable to resolve the dispute without suing: “The Carpenters recordings are among the best sellers in the history of popular music, and after 48 years continue to contribute a substantial amount to [Universal’s] annual bottom line. It seems only fair that these companies account fairly to my sister’s estate and to me.”

Specialising in radio-friendly soft rock, The Carpenters sold millions of records in the 1970s. The brother-sister duo won three Grammy Awards in 1970 and 1971, including best new artist and best vocal performance for the ballad (They Long to Be) Close to You. The Carpenter’s career was cut short when Karen developed anorexia nervosa in 1975. Although they continued to record, the condition eventually led to her death, from heart failure.

Lest we forget their brilliance, here’s a Top 5 Best Carpenters Songs –

Top 5 Best Carpenters Songs

 

1) Yesterday Once More ( 1973 )

2) ( They Long To Be ) Close To You ( 1970 )

3) We’ve Only Just Begun ( 1970 )

4)  Only Yesterday ( 1975 )

5) Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft ( 1977 )

 

Which are your favourite Carpenters songs? Let us know in the Reply Box below.

 

Celebrate your love of the Carpenters by ordering your favourite Carpenters song as a framed vinyl single. If intended as a gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed vinyl records and CDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  i.e. a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th or 70th Birthday, a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENTS! MAKING THE PAST THE PRESENT……

 

 

 

UK sales of vinyl records peak with a 25-year high in 2016

UK sales of vinyl records in 2016 reached a 25-year high as consumers continue to embrace physical music formats .

More than 3.2m vinyl albums sold in 2016, a rise of 53% on the previous year and the highest number since 1991 when Simply Red’s Stars was the bestselling album. This was also the first year that spending on vinyl records outstripped that spent on digital downloads.

The deaths of some music world giants such as David Bowie and Prince was a key driver in vinyl sales, as people invested in records as mementos. After David Bowie’s death he became the bestselling vinyl artist of 2016, with five albums posthumously featuring in the UK top 30. His album Blackstar, which was shortlisted for a Mercury prize, was the most popular selling album of the year, while The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust, Hunky Dory, Nothing Has Changed and Changes One were also popular vinyl album purchases.

The statistics, compiled by BPI, show that this is the ninth consecutive year that vinyl record sales have increased, in part due to events such as Record Store Day, and the increase in national chains and independent shops selling vinyl records. Supermarkets such as Tesco now stock vinyl records and both HMV and Rough Trade have created extra floor space to accomodate more vinyl records.

At least 30 albums sold more than 10,000 copies in 2016, a stark contrast to 2007 when digital downloads began to take hold and a meagre total of 200,000 LPs were sold overall.

Geoff Taylor, the chief executive of the BPI and the Brit Awards, said: “Growth in UK music consumption in 2016 was fuelled by the explosive rise in audio streaming, which has increased 500% since 2013, and relative resilience from physical formats … We believe this performance is indicative of the promise of a new era for music, where recorded music’s investments in a digital future fuel compelling benefits for fans, artists and the entire music ecosystem.”

Simon Sterland, Record Press Blog author and owner of online framed vinyl record gift retailer MyFirstRecord.co.uk, points out: “The vinyl record industry is going from strength to strength, year on year. This is comprehensive proof, if it were needed, that there is a growing customer base for old school physical copies of music in a technology driven world. I can only see this trend for vinyl record buying continuing as clearly the music download is a poor substitute for the tactile warmth of the vinyl single or album, not to mention the decorative album cover artwork. Put simply, vinyl has a personality all of its own.”

 

 

Framed vinyl records with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  / special occasion i.e. a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday ( How about the No1 song on the day of birth? ), a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT!!   ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

 

Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt dies at 68

Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt has died in hospital in Spain aged 68.

Rick Parfitt’s musical partnership with Francis Rossi, which spanned five decades, made Status Quo one of the UK’s most most enduring and significant rock bands.

Rick Parfitt had been due to launch a solo career with an album and autobiography planned for 2017. In October, he announced he would no longer be performing with Status Quo after suffering from a heart attack in the summer.

Drummer Jeff Rich, who played in Status Quo with Rick Parfitt for 16 years, paid tribute saying he was “just a really good musician, very under-rated, great rhythm player, but his health problems were a big issue for him. I’m sure he wanted to give his all on stage and eventually he just couldn’t do it any more.”

Queen guitarist Brian May tweeted: “Shocked and so sad to hear of the passing of Rick Parfitt. Hard to find words, You truly joyfully rocked our world. RIP dear buddy.” whilst former Ultravox frontman Midge Ure tweeted: “Dreadfully sad. Lovely man. Thoughts go out to his family and friends.”

Midge Ure co-organised Live Aid in 1985, which was memorably opened by Status Quo performing Rockin’ All Over The World.

With his flowing blond locks, denim gear and Fender Telecaster, Rick Parfitt was one of rock’s most recognisable guitarists. His partnership with Francis Rossi became the nucleus of Status Quo, one of Britain’s most enduring bands.

Having cashed in on the psychedelic sound in the late 1960s, Status Quo then settled on their distinctive brand of boogie-woogie rock – a signature sound that transcended the changes in musical fashion over the decades and made them one of the best-loved live acts of their generation. As well as driving the Status Quo signature sound, Rick Parfitt wrote many of the band’s biggest hits to be found in this Top 10 best Status Quo songs –

 

Top 10 Best Status Quo Songs

 

1) Rockin’ All Over The World ( No3 1977 )

2) Living on an Island ( No16 1979 )

3) Pictures of Matchstick Men ( No7 1968 )

4) Paper Plane ( No8 1972 )

5) In The Army Now ( No2 1986 )

6) Down Down ( No1 1975 )

7) Whatever You Want ( No4 1979 )

8) Rain ( No7 1976 )

9) Roll Over Lay Down ( No9  1975 )

10) Break the Rules ( No8 1974 )

 

Which are your favourite Status Quo songs? Let us know in the Reply Box below.

Celebrate your love of Rick Parfitt and Status Quo by ordering your favourite Status Quo song as a framed vinyl single. If intended as a gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque…… ORDER NOW…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed vinyl records and CDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  i.e. a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th or 70th Birthday, a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT!!