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/

 

Rhinestone Cowboy Glen Campbell rides off into the sunset

Country and Western artist Glenn Campbell has died at 81 due to Alzheimer’s Disease

The singer-songwriter, who was born in Arkansas, sold over 45m records over the course of a career that spanned more than 60 years. A statement from the Campbell family on his website read: “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather, and legendary singer and guitarist, Glen Travis Campbell, at the age of 81, following his long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease.”

Primarily Glen Campbell was known as a Country and Western singer. Among his 80 songs that charted on the Billboard Hot 100 or Billboard Country charts were hits such as Rhinestone Cowboy, By the Time I Get to Phoenix and his cover of Gentle on My Mind. Glen Campbell recorded his final studio album, Adios, in Nashville in 2012 and 2013 after his Alzheimer’s diagnosis; Appropriately Adios was released in June this year.

Glen Campbell dropped out of school when he was 14, moving first to Wyoming and then to Los Angeles, where in the early 1960s he appeared as a session musician on the records of Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Phil Spector, Merle Haggard, Beach Boys, Mamas & the Papas and the Byrds. His first hit in his own right came in 1967 with By the Time I Get to Phoenix, written by Jim Webb. Their collaboration continued for many years on numerous records such as Wichita Lineman and the ballad Galveston.

Dolly Parton referenced the depth and versatility of Glen Campbell in this tribute: “Well Glen Campbell was special because he was so gifted. Glen is one of the greatest voices there ever was in the business. And he was one of the greatest musicians. He was a wonderful session musician as well, a lot of people don’t realize that. But he could play anything and he could play it really well. So he was just extremely talented.”

Celebrate your love of Glen Campbell by ordering your favourite Glen Campbell 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 Day or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!! PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENTS! MAKING THE PAST THE PRESENT…..ORDER HERE www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

It’s the 50th anniversary of the best year for music: 1967

As we all know music taste is a very subjective thing but from a relatively young age the Record Press author has had a close infinity with 1967.

There are several reasons for this – my younger brother Dominic arrived in the family brood and all my earliest recollections only go back as far as 1967. The five year old me had a total obsession and love affair with John Steed and Emma Peel’s adventures in the TV series The Avengers – Patrick MacNee was suave and urbane, only matched by the debonair Simon Templar aka The Saint.

The impact of TV programmes often diminish with time; so often when you see  repeats years later they are an anti climax and don’t measure up favourably to your cherished memories of them. This is not true of music, especially the psychedelic sound of the late 1960s and specifically the chart music of 1967.

1967 was of course the year that gave us the hippie movement, coalescing into the “Summer of Love”. It was a year inevitably dominated by The Beatles who provided the signature anthem for that summer with their global telecast song “All You Need Is Love”. The Beatles provided the greatest high and greatest low of that summer 50 years ago with the release of their seminal, ground breaking album “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” in early June and the death of their charismatic manager Brian Epstein at the end of August. The Beatles bookended the “Summer of Love”.

However lest younger generations think that the Beatles completely dominated 1967, that could not be further from the truth. Although the “Fab Four” may have laid the pavement, the psychedelic path was being well trodden by bands like Pink Floyd, Small Faces, Rolling Stones and Traffic. They all appear in this Record Press Top 10 best songs from 1967 –

Top 10 Best Songs from 1967 

 

1) Kinks – Waterloo Sunset ( UK Chart Position No2 )

2) Procol Harum – Whiter Shade Of Pale ( No1 )

3) Small Faces – Tin Soldier ( No9 )

4) Traffic – Paper Sun ( No5 )

5) Pink Floyd – See Emily Play ( No6 )

6) Beatles – Strawberry Fields Forever ( No2 )

7) Small Faces – Ichy Coo Park ( No3 )

8) Move – Flowers In The Rain ( No2 )

9) Simon Dupree & Big Sound – Kites ( No8 )

10=) Rolling Stones – Dandelion ( No8 )

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

 

What illustrates the sheer depth of chart music in 1967 is that only one song in this top 10 was a No1 in the UK charts ( Procol Harum “Whiter Shade Of Pale”), although many would argue, including myself, that No2 hits, Beatles “Strawberry Fields Foreverand “Waterloo Sunset” by the Kinks merited No1 status.

1967 may now be half a century ago, but the music from that year remains just as vibrant and relevant – well certainly to this listener.

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 Day or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!! PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENTS! MAKING THE PAST THE PRESENT…..ORDER HERE www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

Bucks Fizz are to reform with first album for over 30 years

1980s pop group Bucks Fizz have announced that they are to reform and record again, 30 years after they last released new music.

The 1981 Eurovision winners, who had a hat trick of UK No1s, have been back in the recording studio recently and will release their new album, The F-Z of Pop, later this year, following the release of a new single Dancing in the Rain on Tuesday.

Bucks Fizz have had to re-launch and rebrand as simply The Fizz after a bitter legal battle with former member Bobby G, who now legally owns the rights to the original name. Bobby McVay has now joined the band in his place, joining established band members Cheryl Baker, Mike Nolan and Jay Aston.

The last Bucks Fizz album, Writing on the Wall, was released back in 1986 but only reached No89 in the UK charts. It was re-released in 2004 and then again for a second time in 2012, but failed to make much of a chart impact.

“I cannot tell you how happy I am to have been back in the studio, my favourite place,” said Cheryl Baker. Jay Aston added: “Despite the challenges over the years, we are more united than ever. The fans have been with us all the way.”

Bucks Fizz are best known for their debut Eurovision-winning single Making Your Mind Up, after which they released five studio albums between 1981-1986. However in the less than humble opinion of the Record Press author, their music got better and certainly became more sophisticated as this Top 5 best Bucks Fizz songs illustrates –

Top 5 Best Bucks Fizz Songs

 

1)  When We Were Young ( No10 1983 )

2)  Now Those Days Are Gone ( No8 1982 )

3)  The Land Of Make Believe ( No1 1981 )

4)  My Camera Never Lies ( No1 1982 )

5)   If You Can’t Stand The Heat ( No10 1982 )

 

Celebrate your love of Bucks Fizz by ordering your favourite Bucks Fizz 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 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/

 

Ed Sheeran settles £16m lawsuit for the song Photograph

Ed Sheeran has reached a £16m plagiarism lawsuit settlement for his song Photograph……Or was it his song? Apparently not!!

Ed Sheeran was accused of copying “note-for-note” from a song called Amazing, released by the X Facor winner Matt Cardle five years ago. Songwriters Thomas Leonard and Martin Harrington sued Ed Sheeran, accusing him of “unabashedly taking credit” for their work.

The songwriters claimed the chorus of Photograph and Amazing shared 39 identical notes and that the similarities were “instantly recognisable to the ordinary observer”. “This copying is, in many instances, verbatim, note-for-note copying, [and] makes up nearly one half of Photograph,” they said in a complaint lodged in the US in July.

Photograph, released from Ed Sheeran’s album X, reached No 15 in the UK singles chart. Its video has more than 300m views on YouTube. Matt Cardle’s song Amazing, meanwhile, peaked at No 84 in the UK in 2012.

Harrington, who has written hits for Kylie Minogue, 5ive and Emma Bunton, sued along with Leonard for damages in excess of £16m. They said Ed Sheeran and his songwriting partner, Johnny McDaid from Snow Patrol, had “copied and exploited, without authorisation or credit … on a breathtaking scale”. Lawyers for Ed Sheeran initially said the lawsuit made “scandalous allegations” and argued that it was “too complicated”.

It is the second plagiarism lawsuit taken out against Ed Sheeran in recent months, with an another ongoing case accusing him of plagiarising the melody, harmony and composition of Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get it On in his track Thinking Out Loud.

Check out the videos above. You decide whether Ed Sheeran is guilty of plagiarism…..

 

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/

 

 

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/

 

Paul McCartney to sue Sony for rights to Beatles classic songs

Paul McCartney has filed a lawsuit against Sony/ATV to retrieve the rights to classic Beatles songs.

In a complaint filed in New York, it details Paul McCartney transferring rights of songs he wrote with John Lennon to various music publishers throughout the 1960s. In the 1980s, Michael Jackson bought the rights to many of these songs, including Hey Jude and Let It Be. The singer then bought shares in Sony/ATV and after his death, and his estate sold them back for $750m. This bundle included many Beatles tracks.

The ownership of the songs is set to be Paul McCartney’s again in 2018 but he claims that he hasn’t received confirmation this will happen without a legal fight despite numerous attempts to contact the company.

Paul McCartney will be concerned in light of the fact that Duran Duran fought and lost a similar fight with Sony/ATV last December. A judge ruled that English laws of contract barred them from seeking to reclaim rights over their own works.

“Rather than provide clear assurances to Paul McCartney that Defendants will not challenge his exercise of his termination rights, Defendants are clearly reserving their rights pending the final outcome of the Duran Duran litigation in the UK,” the complaint reads.

 

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/

 

 

Sadly 2016 proves to be “Last Christmas” for George Michael

The “Curse of Musicians” in 2016 continues right to the end of the year, now claiming George Michael.

In a statement, George Michael’s publicist said: “It is with great sadness that we can confirm our beloved son, brother and friend George passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period. The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage.”

Ironically I was only talking with my brother about George Michael a few hours before  his death was announced, commenting on the trade off between creativity and fragility and how vulnerable that made George Michael ( which of course was what made him a great songwriter ). How prophetic that turned out to be!!

The future for George Michael was looking good after a quiet year or two. His 1990 album Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 had been set to be reissued, accompanied by a new film featuring Stevie Wonder, Elton John and the supermodels who starred in the video to his hit single Freedom!

The movie, with the working title Freedom: George Michael, was to be narrated by George   Michael and set to feature Mark Ronson, Mary J Blige, Tony Bennett, Liam Gallagher, James Corden and Ricky Gervais. The record was his second solo album, after the hugely successful Faith, and was arranged produced and almost entirely written by George Michael, but did not feature him on the album cover.

It featured hits including Cowboys And Angels, Mother’s Pride and Praying For Time and outsold Faith in the UK, where it went platinum four times but led to a court case with US record label Sony about Michael’s frustration over how the album has been marketed. Michael lost the case.

For the  Record Press author, George Michael was part of the soundtrack of my youth. I remember a friend gave me a copy of the first Wham album as a gift for my 21st birthday. I subsequently gave it away, not wanting to be associated with a girly band like Wham!! A year younger than me,  George Michael was part of my generation; the “New Romantic” generation.

However unlike many “New Romantic” stars George Michael had the talent and vision to evolve beyond the teeny bob status with Wham, becoming a great songwriter. Lest we forget, here is the Record Press Top 10 best George Michael songs –

Top 10 Best George Michael Songs

 

1) A Different Corner ( 1986 )

2) Fast Love ( 1996 )

3) Outside ( 1998 )

4) Careless Whisper ( 1984 )

5) Last Christmas ( 1984 )

6) Praying For Time ( 1990 )

7) Freedom ( 1984 )

8) Jesus To A Child ( 1996 )

9) Club Tropicana ( 1983 )

10) I’m Your Man ( 1985 )

 

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

Celebrate your love of George Michael by ordering your favourite George Michael 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!! 

 

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!! 

 

 

Good times as Chic to release first album in 25 years in 2017

Chic are to release their first album in 25 years next year, Nile Rodgers has confirmed.

The Chic album It’s About Time was originally scheduled to be released this year on Warner Brothers. Now the follow-up to Chic-ism will emerge in the year of the group’s 40th anniversary.

Nile Rodgers wrote on his blog: “When Prince suddenly died, it was like I’d been struck by lightning twice. It made me ‘see’ why I named the next Chic album It’s About Time. Time is so important, and what we do with it is everything.”

Rodgers spoke to Rolling Stone and expanded on his remarks. “If we had put out the album last year, it would have been the 39th anniversary of Chic. No one gives a shit about 39 or 37 or 38. And I went, ‘Wait a minute. 2017 is the 40th anniversary of Chic.’ And then it hit me it was the 40th anniversary of Studio 54. No matter what bad stuff goes on in the world, it’s just like your birthday, you still can celebrate and pay tribute to these anniversaries. The fact that it’s 40 years later and we’re still going strong. Our gigs are fun and great. It still feels the same as when we first started, other than the fact that my guitar feels heavier.”

Nile Rodgers also confirmed the album, though written, was not yet finished, and would not be until he was ready to release it. “I purposely didn’t finish stuff off because there are a lot of artists who wanted to do features with us that we just didn’t get to.”

He added that the album would feature 10 songs, and be the length of a vinyl record. His blog post promised a “big surprise” to go with the album, but he didn’t expand on that with Rolling Stone except to say that it is, indeed, “pretty big”.

This is music to the ears of the Record Press author and all Chic fans. Nile Rodgers and Chic brought a finesse and sophistication to disco and dance music in the 1970s, in keeping with and befitting of their name!! As somebody once said, “style is temporary, class is permanent”.

To prove this, here’s a Top 5 Best Chic Songs –

 

Top 5 Best Chic Songs

1)  Good Times ( 1979 )

2)  Everybody Dance ( 1978 )

3)  My Forbidden Lover ( 1979 )

4)  I Want Your Love ( 1979 )

5)  Le Freak ( 1978 )

 

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

Celebrate your love of Chic by ordering your favourite Chic 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!! 

 

Greg Lake, creator of the best xmas song of all time, passes away

Greg Lake, who fronted both King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer, has died aged 69.

One of the founding fathers of progressive rock, the British musician will arguably be best remembered for the Christmas standard I Believe in Father Christmas, which in the “humble” opinion of the Record Press author is the best Xmas song of all time.

Greg Lake died on Wednesday after “a long and stubborn battle with cancer” nine months after his Emerson, Lake and Palmer band-mate Keith Emerson passed away. Greg Lake’s manager Stewart Young wrote on Facebook: “Yesterday, December 7th, I lost my best friend to a long and stubborn battle with cancer. Greg Lake will stay in my heart forever, as he has always been.”

Greg Lake who was born in Bournemouth, was given his first guitar at the age of twelve and took lessons from a local tutor called Don Strike. He went on to form a close friendship with fellow student Robert Fripp, with whom he formed King Crimson in 1969. Their debut album In the Court of the Crimson King featured such songs as 21st Century Schizoid Man. It set a standard for progressive rock and received a glowing, well-publicised testimonial from The Who’s Pete Townshend.

Sadly King Crimson were short-lived. Within a year, founding member Mike Giles quit and Greg Lake refused to work with the band. He stayed around long enough to sing on their critically reviled second album, In the Wake of Poseidon.

The singer and bassist was then approached by Keith Emerson, who had supported King Crimson on a North American tour and needed a singer for his new band which became Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Joined by Atomic Rooster drummer Carl Palmer, Emerson, Lake and Palmer made their live debut at the Guildhall in Plymouth in 1970 before giving a career defining performance at the Isle of Wight Festival  in the same year.

Characteristically Emerson, Lake and Palmer combined heavy rock riffs with a classical influence. They scored hit albums with Pictures at an Exhibition, Trilogy and Brain Salad Surgery – many of them produced by Greg Lake himself. For many the seminal Emerson, Lake and Palmer album was Tarkus, released in 1971, featured an opening track inspired by the fictional Tarkus character ( a half-tank, half-armadillo creature that would appear on stage at gigs that lasted more than 20 minutes ). ELP sold more than 48 million records.

Emerson, Lake and Palmer went on to enjoy chart success with a in 1977 with their version of Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man, which reached No2 in the UK top 40.

ELP’s ambitious light shows and on-stage theatrics were the epitome of ’70s rock excess and their days were numbered. ELP’s reputation was irreparably damaged by the punk movement of the late 1970s that railed and rallied in particular against the pomposity and pretention of prog rock, and they finally broke up in 1979.

To non-prog fans, though, Greg Lake was best known as the architect of one of the UK’s most enduring Christmas hits, I Believe in Father Christmas, which reached No 2 in 1975. Greg Lake told the Guardian only last month in an article about Christmas songs to be published next week: “When Pete Sinfield and I wrote I Believe In Father Christmas, it was about how Christmas had deteriorated and was in danger of becoming yet another victim of crass corporate financial exploitation,” he said.

For the Record Press author I Believe In Father Christmas is unquestionably the best Xmas song of all time. It perfectly captures the essence of the magic and awe of Christmas as a child. Any other year than 1975 and it would have been a deserved Xmas No1, but sadly it came up against an immoveable object in the form of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody.

It is like no other festive song – Slade and Wizzard might win the accolades for nostalgia but I Believe In Father Christmas by Greg Lake oozes style and class. So much so, it appears atop the Christmas song tree in this Record Press TOP 15 Best Xmas Songs from the 1970s Golden Era of the Xmas Hit Single……. http://www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/recordpress/retro-music/top-15-christmas-songs-from-the-1970s-golden-era-of-the-xmas-hit-single/

You can get I Believe In Father Christmas by Greg Lake as a framed vinyl single. If intended as a Xmas gift, you can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque… ORDER NOW…. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed vinyl records 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 HERE…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

 

Turn-tables turn as vinyl record sales pass digital purchases for first time

Last week vinyl record sales passed £2.4million eclipsing the £2.1million for digital music purchases, giving further proof that vinyl record shopping in the UK has gone mainstream.

vinyl-album-on-turntableThe interest in buying a physical format of music on vinyl has experienced a resurgence in the past 12 months. This time last year, the sale of vinyl albums reached £1.2m while digital sales were £4.4m. Vinyl records have now experienced eight consecutive years of growth, despite almost dying out around 2006.

Kim Bayley, chief executive of the Entertainment Retailers Association, attributed the increase in vinyl record sales across the UK to being down to a greater number of retail outlets. An increasing number of independent and national vinyl record only shops ( like Rough Trade ) have opened, whilst supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s and Tesco now stock vinyl records, making them easily accessible.

The top ten records sold this week reflect the variety of people now buying vinyl. Kate Bush, Amy Winehouse and Busted are in the chart, alongside the Guardian of the Galaxy film soundtrack and Now That’s What I Call Christmas compilation album.

Kim Bayley added: “We have a new generation buying vinyl, lots of teenagers and lots of people under 25, who now  vinyl-record want to buy their favourite artists on vinyl and have something a bit more tangible, a bit more collectible. People have become keen to support their favourite artists by buying into that ownership concept. It’s very difficult to demonstrate your love of an artist if you don’t have something to hold on to.”

This is music to the Record Press author’s ears, if you will pardon the appalling pun!! As an unabashed “Vinyl Record Ambassador”, long may this trend for vinyl record buying continue and grow……

Celebrate your love of the vinyl record by getting your favourite 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 framed CDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or originalFramed Vinyl Single MFR 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 HERE…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

 

David Bowie Ziggy Stardust statue to go ahead

A David Bowie Ziggy Stardust statue will be erected following the success of a crowdfunding campaign, in the best traditions of the Blue Peter Appeal.

The statue will be put up in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, where David Bowie launched his Ziggy Stardust character and two albums, after more than 650 people pledged in excess of £100,000, 19 hours ahead of the deadline. More than 650david-bowie-ziggy-stardust people pledged sums, from £10 to £6,000, for the bronze sculpture, enabling it to beat the deadline to raise the cash.

Campaigner David Stopps said it was an exciting moment: “We are very grateful to everybody. It’s been a Biblical 40 days. The bottom line now is that the statue will happen.”

Adele’s record company and 80s musician, Howard Jones were among six donators giving £6,000. David Bowie’s booking agent, John Giddings born in nearby Hertfordshire pledged £5,000.

The statue will be sited under arches in the Market Square which Bowie referenced in Five Years, the opening track of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders from Mars album. David Bowie performed as Ziggy Stardust during gigs at the town’s Friars music venue in the early 1970s. Bowie also played a gig at the club in September 1971 where he debuted the album Hunky Dory.

The David Bowie Ziggy Stardust statue is being designed by sculptor, Andrew Sinclair, who has also made commissions for the Queen. Speakers above the statue will play a Bowie track every hour.

framed david bowie vinyl single

 

If you don’t fancy a singing David Bowie Ziggy Stardust statue in your garden, you can always opt for a favourite David Bowie song as framed vinyl single to hang on your living room wall. ORDER HERE…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

 

David Bowie 70th birthday to be celebrated by 2017 shows

Key collaborators and friends of David Bowie will perform a series of benefit shows in 2017 to honour the musician on what would have been his 70th birthday.

david bowie secretThe David Bowie shows will take place on the 8th January 2017, hosted in locations around the world that have a strong connection with the artist and his music. Featuring a set of 30 core musicians as well as 40 local artists, the shows are predicted to “create a sound like no other”, according to a spokesperson.

The idea for the birthday gigs was inspired by tributes which took place after the death of David Bowie – most notably the two shows in spring this year, in which more than 70 artists and musicians in Los Angeles and San Francisco celebrated his career. The cast of those shows included Gary Oldman, Seal, Ewan McGregor, Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads, and Bowie band alumni from Space Oddity to the latest Blackstar album.

Titled “Celebrating David Bowie”, the London event will be in Brixton, birthplace of Bowie, at the O2 gary-oldmanAcademy. Led by Gary Oldman, who delivered a speech about his late friend at the Brit awards, the show is to feature former David Bowie band members Mike Garson, Earl Slick, Adrian Belew, Sterling Campbell,Holly Palmer and Catherine Russell, along with ensembles from Los Angeles and New York and many other special guests yet to be announced.

Proceeds from the London show will go to the Children & the Arts charity. More details about the other shows will be announced “sporadically” in the run-up to the events.

 

Elvis Presley appeal endures as he breaks album chart record

Elvis Presley has broken the record for the most number one albums by a solo artist in the UK.

Elvis Presley’s new album The Wonder Of You has held off stiff competition from Lady Gaga and Michael Buble to become his 13th album to top the chart. Up until now Elvis Presley and Madonna were tied record holders with 12elvis-album-wonder-of-you-album number one albums each to their names.

Elvis’ ex-wife Priscilla Presley told the Official Charts Company he would have been “so thankful” for the achievement. She said: “I am incredibly proud of all he has accomplished and so grateful to the UK fans who have kept his legacy alive with all of their support. I hope they continue to listen and love his music as much as I do.”

On Elvis’s latest album, his original vocal performances are accompanied by music from The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The singer, who died in 1977, is now second only to The Beatles, who have 15 number one albums to their name.

 

As a reminder of the brilliance of the man and his music, here’s the Record Press Top 10 Best Elvis Presley Songs –

Top 10 Best Elvis Presley Songs

1) My Boy ( 1974 )

2) Just Can’t Help Believing ( 1971 )

3) Always On My Mind ( 1972 )

4) Moody Blue ( 1977 )

5) In the Ghetto ( 1968 )

6) The Wonder Of You ( 1970 )

7) Heartbreak Hotel ( 1955 )

8) Blue Suede Shoes ( 1955 )

9) Suspicious Minds ( 1969 )

10) Jailhouse Rock ( 1957 )

 

Which are your favourite Elvis Presley songs? Let us know in the Reply Box below.framed-elvis-vinyl-single

Celebrate your love of Elvis Presley aka “The King”, by ordering your favourite Elvis Presley 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!! 

 

For further information, merchandise or memorabilia, go to the Elvis Presley website…… http://www.elvis.com/    http://www.elvisthemusic.com

 

 

Abba to reform in virtual reality in 2018

Four months after they performed together for the first time in more than 30 years  ( at a private gala event in Stockholm in June ), Abba have announced that they will launch a “virtual and live experience” next year.

The Abba project, in partnership with Spice Girls svengali Simon Fuller and Universal Music Group, is being billed as “a groundbreaking venture that will utilise the very latest in digital and virtual-reality technology … which will enableabba-in-all-white a new generation of fans to see, hear, and feel Abba in a way previously unimagined”.

Benny Andersson from Abba announced: “We’re inspired by the limitless possibilities of what the future holds and are loving being a part of creating something new and dramatic here. A time machine that captures the essence of who we were. And are.”

Singer Frida Lyngstad added: “Our fans around the world are always asking us to reform and so I hope this new Abba creation will excite them as much as it excites me!”

At this juncture it is unclear exactly how the Abba project will unfold. Further details are to be announced in 2017, with the launch taking place in 2018.

 

A rubber ball & a rubber face that won’t be bouncing back!!

Bobby Vee, best known for his hits Rubber Ball, Take Good Care of My Baby and The Night Has a Thousand bobby-vee-rubber-ball-vinyl-singleEyes, has died at the age of 73 of an Alzheimer’s related illness. On the same day Dead or Alive singer Pete Burns, also died aged 57 after having a cardiac arrest.

Two vocalists, a generation apart, who will be remembered for two classic songs: Bobby Vee for Rubber Ball and Pete Burns for his No1 You Spin Me Round ( Like a Record ) with Dead or Alive, although arguably he will be best remembered for his rubbery face post cosmetic surgery!!

Bobby Vee’s big break came in 1959 in unfortunate circumstances when at the age of 15 he deputised for Buddydead-or-live-you-spin-me-round-vinyl-single Holly after the singer’s untimely death in a plane crash. Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper were also killed in the accident in Iowa, along with the pilot, Roger Peterson. A call went out for local acts to replace Buddy Holly at his scheduled show at the Moorhead National Guard Armory. Bobby Vee and his band, which had only formed two weeks previously, volunteered and the rest as they say is history.

Bobby Vee and Pete Burns may have left us but their legacy is guaranteed with their respective hits Rubber Ball and You Spin Me Round ( like a record )…….

If you love the era of the vinyl record Framed Vinyl Single MFRthen a framed vinyl single with a personalised plaque, makes a unique gift 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 HERE…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

 

Leonard Cohen compares Bob Dylan Nobel prize to Everest

On Thursday, Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel prize for literature, creating much conversation amongst the chattering literary classes, especially musicians and novelists.

That evening in Los Angeles, his song writing friend Leonard Cohen gave his thoughts on Bob Dylan’s award: “To me,” he said, “[the award] is like pinning a medal on Mount Everest for being the highest mountain.”leonard-cohen

Leonard Cohen was speaking at a playback and Q&A for his forthcoming album, You Want It Darker. In a recent interview with the New Yorker, to the consternation of fans the 82-year-old had announced: “I am ready to die.”

However, on Thursday evening Leonard Cohen seemed very alive and continued on the subject of Bob Dylan when talking about the way he writes songs. “I think that Bob Dylan knows this more than all of us: you don’t write the songs anyhow,” he said. “So if you’re lucky, you can keep the vehicle healthy and responsive over the years. If you’re lucky, your own intentions have very little to do with this. You can keep the body as well-oiled and receptive as possible, but whether you’re actually going to be able to go for the long haul is really not your own choice.”

Well undoubtedly Leonard Cohen knows what he is talking about and is very qualified to comment on Bob Dylan as a song writer because in the opinion of the Record Press author he’s also at the summit of the song writing Mount Everest in this Record Press Top 5 Best Pop Poets….

 

Top 5 Best Pop Poetsbob-dylan

1) Bob Dylan

2) John Lennon

3) Ray Davies

4) Leonard Cohen

5) Morrissey

 

Do you agree with this Top 5 Best Pop Poets & Philosophers? Are there any glaring omissions? Let us know in the Reply Box below.

 

Framed Vinyl Single MFRFramed vinyl records 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 HERE…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/