Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Pans People: You Can Really Rock and Roll Me (a-side)

Pans People were a British TV dance troupe, who are best remembered for the BBC TV music show Top of the Pops. They danced along to songs whose original artists were not available to perform them live.

To people (men) of a certain age, they were essential viewing every Thursday night, from May 1968 to their last appearance in April 1976.

The classic Pans People line up consisted of: Louise Clarke, Barbara 'Babs' Lord, Ruth Pearson, Patricia 'Dee Dee' Wilde and Cherry Gillespie. The group were choreographed by original member 'Flick' Colby.

They are mostly remembered for the costumes (or lack of them) that they wore for the performances. Although they weren't always as 'under-dressed' as some people make out. At the time, and even now they are criticised for an 'over-literal' interpretation of the song lyrics, but this was largely due to the very short time available to prepare before the recording of the show. The dancers often had only a day to get ready.

Ok, so strictly speaking this is not a 'glam' record, but i'll give any excuse to show a bit of them doing their thing, and it was released in 1974, so it fits in to the right era.

"You Can Really Rock and Roll Me" was recorded with, and written by Mike Batt the man responsible for the Wombles records, and more recently Katie Melua. (nobodys perfect)
The song didn't chart as for some reason the BBC refused to promote the song, and wouldn't even allow the group to appear on the show to perform it. The lead vocals on the track are by Cherry Gillespie.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

The song from the Suzi Quatro post of the 17th July has now been re linked.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Marc Bolan: Truck On Tyke (demo version)

This is the demo version of "Truck On (Tyke)", the song that would eventually become T Rex's 11th single.
Mary Hopkins (Tony Visconti's wife at the time) can be heard singing on this version.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

All The Young Dudes (Bowie guide vocal)

"All the Young Dudes" the national anthem of glam rock.
This is a remixed version of All the Young Dudes that puts Bowie's original demo vocal over the full Mott backing track. A glimpse of what the song could have been like had Bowie recorded it himself at the time.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Dib Cochran & the Earwigs: Oh Baby (a-side)

Marc Bolan much like Bowie with his ‘Arnold Corns’ pseudonym, also released records under another name.

Dib Cochran & the Earwigs was a band consisting of Marc Bolan on guitar and backing vocals, Tony Visconti on bass, lead vocals and production, Rick Wakeman on piano and John Cambridge on drums.

Both songs on the 1970 single release were written by Marc Bolan. The A side was a song called “Oh Baby” while the B side was an instrumental called “Universal Love”. The songs, as with Bowie’s 45’s with Arnold Corns, were a flop when released.

At the time, Bolan was yet to gain big success with T Rex. “Ride a White Swan” had yet to be released. It is seen as a transition from his ‘hippie’ period to his more recognisable ‘Electric Warrior’ sound.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Arnold Corns: Moonage Daydream & Hang Onto Yourself (a-side)

The Arnold Corns were a band formed by David Bowie in 1971 as a vehicle to record some of his songs. The demos were a dry run for his ‘Ziggy Stardust’ persona and were recorded using musicians from Dulwich College.

The songs included early versions of “Moonage Daydream” and “Hang onto Yourself”. These would eventually be re-recorded (with different lyrics) for the ‘Ziggy Stardust’ album.
At the time Bowie was under contract to ‘Mercury’ records and so had to use a pseudonym to release the tracks, hence the Arnold Corns name.

Two additional tracks were recorded “Man in the Middle” and “Looking for a Friend”, but these featured Freddi Buretti as the vocalist rather than Bowie, and were backed with the band that played on the ‘Hunky Dory’ album.

Moonage Daydream/Hang onto Yourself was released as a single in 1971, but was a flop. A second single Looking for a Friend/Man in the Middle with vocals by Freddi Buretti was planned but later scrapped.
All four of the Arnold Corns tracks were re issued in 1984 on a limited 12” release in Scandinavia.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Joan Jett: I Love Rock N Roll (cover version), Lita Ford: Hell Raiser (cover version)

Joan Jett and Lita Ford are two of the founding members of The Runaways an American all girl band formed in 1975. Both went onto solo careers with varying degrees of success.Joan Jett has always played loud and stripped down rock n roll, with big hooks and heavy glam style drumming. The glam elements of her sound are also evident in her choice of cover versions “I Love Rock N Roll” originally by The Arrows and “Do You Wanna Touch Me” by Gary Glitter.

I Love Rock N Roll has become her greatest success, giving her a US number one in 1982. The single was at one time number 28 on Billboard’s list of the songs of all time.
Jett had first heard the song in 1976 while touring England with the Runaways, seeing the song performed by the Arrows on their TV show. She wanted to record it with the Runaways, but the rest of the band didn’t really like the song, so it was recorded when she eventually went solo a few years later.

It was first recorded in 1979 with Paul Cook and Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols, but was later re recorded in 1982 and released in its more familiar version.
“I think most people who love some kind of rock n roll can relate to it. Everyone knows a song that just makes them feel amazing and want to jump up and down.”Joan Jett, Mojo magazine January 2008.

Lita Ford uses a more ‘80’s metal’ musical template, with an image calculated to appeal to male, adolescent sexual fantasies. She is often accused of pandering to a ‘heavy metal’ female stereotype. But when playing good material she can rock with the best, as here, on her cover of the Sweet’s “Hell Raiser”.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Geordie: Electric Lady (a-side), Arrows: I Love Rock n Roll (b-side)

"I didn't want to get sucked into that second-generation glam rock, My next thing won't be glam rock. I'm telling you that, babe. I don't want to be involved in any of that. I don't put down anyone who is involved in it, but once the vision takes over from the music they're in bad shape." Marc Bolan 1973
We were never to find out if Marc Bolan would ever get any distance between himself and glam rock, but he was right about the so called "second generation" of glam acts. For most it was a case of image over any clear musical talent, with most performers just jumping onto the glam rock band wagon while it was still popular. Some had tried their hand at other styles long before glam came along (Alvin Stardust, Gary Glitter), while others were just manufactured, purpose made glam acts (Hello, Slik).

Fitting into the first category are Geordie who were a rock band from Newcastle upon Tyne. They had been around for some time before their first single, "Don't Do That" broke into the UK Top 40 in December 1972. Their sound was influenced by British rock bands of the day such as Led Zeppelin, as well as glam acts like Slade. They only had one UK Top 10 hit, 'All Because Of You' in April 1973 and one UK Top 20 hit, "Can You Do It" in July 1973.

Geordie are best known for their lead singer Brian Johnson, who would later join AC/DC after the death of their former frontman Bon Scott in 1980.

'Electric Lady' is an up tempo rocker in the Slade style released in August 1973, but only reaching number 32 in the UK. Although not having any great success this song is one of their better offerings and deserved to get higher than it did.

The Arrows fit more into the manufactured glam acts category. Originally a three piece who had hit singles in 1974/75 with Chinnichap songs 'Touch Too Much' and 'Toughen up', they were produced by Mickie Most for his RAK record label.

They also had two 14-week television series (The Arrows Show) in 1976 and 1977 on Granada Television, and are the only band to have two weekly TV series and no records released during the run of either series. Their final single "Once Upon A Time" was released two months before the first show of their first series in 1976. The reason given for this was contracts and lack of record label co-operation. They eventually split in 1977.

In spite of the lack of label cooperation, they left their mark and legacy in a song. The Arrows are now known in rock history as the band that wrote, recorded, and released the first version of "I love rock n roll", a song that has lasted 30 years in cover versions, most famously by Joan Jett which was a US number one in 1982. Britney Spears and others have also released versions of the song.
This version was first released as a B-side, but was soon re-recorded and flipped to A-side status on a subsequent pressing of the record. The song was not a hit in its original version as a result of non-existent promotion by the band's label.