Monday, 30 November 2009

The Glitter Band: You Wouldn't Leave Me Would You (b-side)

"You Wouldn't Leave Me Would You" is the b-side to "Angel Face" a #4 single from 1974.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

T Rex: Children of the Revolution (alternative version)

"Children of the Revolution" is a song by T.Rex. It was a #2 hit single in September 1972. The song broke their sequence of four official single releases all reaching #1 ("Hot Love", "Get It On", "Telegram Sam", "Metal Guru").

It did not receive a regular album release, but was featured in "Born to Boogie" a 1972 film based around a T Rex concert at Wembley Empire Pool. The movie was directed by Ringo Starr, and was released on The Beatles' Apple Films label.
Born to Boogie consists of concert footage; recorded studio scenes with guest stars Ringo Starr and Elton John, and various vignettes reminiscent of The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour, shot at Denham and Tittenhurst Park, Sunninghill. The Tea Party sequence was filmed at John Lennon's estate in the same spots as Lennon's Imagine video was filmed.
The song is about teenage rebellion, and upon its release, some critics blasted the song, as it marked a change in the band's sound. This is an alternative version played in the film with Elton John on piano. A string quartet version of the song also appears in the film.
"The film was made purely as a piece of rock and roll entertainment. I feel it documents the phenomenon that has been T.REX through the past year – and that was the purpose of the film initially. But as Ringo and I became more involved in the making of “Born to Boogie” we decided to add several more scenes, bringing in “accidental” humour and to shoot actually “live” without dubbing. By doing so we were endeavouring to to get a spontaneity which does not come naturally from some films.
In some of the scenes outside of the concert we let our imaginations take their courses and, with the aid of props and a dwarf, let which ever happened, happen. And it did. We made the film strictly for a teenage audience who demand youthful excitement of the cinema – as well as on television and in the theatre. I think the film does that – no more, no less".
Marc Bolan 1972

Friday, 20 November 2009

Marc Bolan & Gloria Jones: City Port (b-side)

Gloria Jones is an American singer who is famous for recording the 1964 northern soul song, "Tainted Love".

Her career began in a church gospel choir, which led to spots singing backing vocals for artists like Phil Spector and Bob Dylan. Her singing talent and years of studying piano and composition led to a job writing for Motown.

Gloria Jones first met Marc Bolan of T. Rex in 1969 while performing in the musical Hair. In 1972, she was recommended by Warner Brothers to sing backing vocals behind T. Rex at the Winterland in San Francisco.

Soon after joining T. Rex, Jones and Bolan became romantically involved. Together, they had a son, Rolan Bolan.

She sang backing vocals and played clavinet with T. Rex from 1973 to 1977. Jones released an album in 1976, called "Vixen", featuring several songs written by Bolan, and he also was the producer.

Tragically she was also the driver of the car that crashed and killed Bolan on 16 September 1977. Jones also nearly died in the accident, and was in the hospital for several days afterwards. She did not learn of Bolan's death until the day of his funeral.

"City Port" is a song that originally appeared on the last official T Rex album "Dandy in the Underworld" in 1977. While not falling within the official glam rock period, it is still, in style and context a glam record.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Hot Chocolate: Emma (a-side)

Hot Chocolate were an English pop band from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s and were formed by singer Errol Brown. The band were chart regulars throughout the 1970s and 1980s. They have had at least one hit every year between 1970 and 1984 and "You Sexy Thing" made the Top 10 in three decades.

Again they are not really classed as a glam rock act, but as with Smokie they were on Mickie Most’s RAK record label.

Emma is a song by Errol Brown and Tony Wilson released as a single by Hot Chocolate in 1974. It made #3 in the UK charts and #8 in the US.

The song details the love of the (nameless) singer and a girl called Emmaline from the age of five all through a wedding at seventeen until her suicide at an unspecified later date. Emma it seems wanted to be a "movie queen" but could never find the breaks and eventually kills herself with the line "I just can't keep on living on dreams no more."

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Smokie: If You Think You Know How To Love Me (a-side)

Smokie are an English rock band from Bradford, UK, who found success in Britain and Europe in the 1970s.

While not really a glam rock band, most of their best known singles were written by the hit song writing team of Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman.

In 1975, Smokie released their second album “Changing All the Time”. This LP sounded much softer than their debut a year earlier, containing string arrangements on some songs, with an emphasis toward acoustic guitar arrangements and close harmony vocals.

The first single from the album was, "If You Think You Know How to Love Me", which quickly became a big hit in many European countries, peaking at # 3 in Britain. At this point the band still spelt their name 'Smokey' as seen on the label. They later changed the spelling of their name due to a dispute with Smokey Robinson at Motown.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Mickie Most (Producer)

Mickie Most was born Michael Peter Hayes in 1938 and died in 2003. He was a successful English record producer, who had a string of Number One singles on his own RAK Records.

RAK Records was set up in 1968 by Most and Peter Grant. But with Grant's involvement with The Yardbirds, and soon with Led Zeppelin, this meant that Most had full control by late 1969.

The record label came into its own during the glam rock era, and was home to a growing roster of artists such as Suzi Quatro, Mud, The Arrows, Hot Chocolate and Smokie. By hiring the song writing production team of Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, RAK scored several British #1 singles with Suzi Quatro, Mud and Smokie

From the beginning he knew what market he wanted to corner. He said:
"I decided that, as all of the major companies were now leaning towards dumping singles and signing artists with the album concept in mind, I would take care of the singles market myself."

RAK developed a reputation for producing bubblegum pop, mostly written and produced by Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman. But it was Mickie Most himself that produced the band that had the largest commercial success for RAK: Hot Chocolate. Their singles including "Emma" in 1974 and "You Sexy Thing" in 1975 became international hits.

RAK records went on to have a constant stream of hits throughout the 70’s and into the early 80’s. In 1973 for example fourteen out of 18 of RAK releases were top 30 hits or better.

RAK Publishing is based inside the legendary RAK Recording Studios in St Johns Wood, London which was created in 1976 by Mickie Most. He sympathetically converted an imposing Victorian schoolhouse and church hall into a state-of-the-art recording studio complex.

"In the whole of pop, he's the only man I can think of who has unnatural powers, who really knows what will hit and what won't. He rarely misses."Nik Cohn – Rock from the Beginning

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Golden Earring: Radar Love (a-side)

"Radar Love" is a 1973 song performed by Dutch rock band Golden Earring, reaching #13 in the UK charts.

While seen as one hit wonders in the UK, in their home country, they had over 40 hits and made over 30 gold and platinum albums and are still performing today.

Like "Crazy Horses" by The Osmonds this is one of the great underated, classic glam songs, and can often be found in lists of the top 'driving' songs of all time.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Roy Wood: Forever (a-side)

Much like Bryan Ferry with Roxy Music, Roy Wood maintained a parallel solo career, while still releasing singles with Wizzard.

“Forever” is a Wood solo single that broke into the U.K. Top 10 in January 1973, reaching #8. The song is evocative of both early rock and roll and the soaring melodies of Brian Wilson.