Saturday, 15 January 2011

Paper Lace: The Black Eyed Boys (a-side), Pilot: Magic (a-side)

Last post we had bands that jumped on the glam bandwagon, this is where glam "jumped the shark".

Jumping the shark is a colloquialism coined by John Hein and used by TV critics and fans to denote the point in a television program’s history where the plot veers off into absurd story lines or out of the ordinary characterisations.   

The term was originally used for an episode of the American TV series ‘Happy Days’ where the Fonz uses water-skis to jump over a shark. Shows that have jumped the shark are typically deemed to have passed their peak.

You could argue that glam rock was born jumping the shark. Suddenly the serious singer songwriter, progressive musical hangover from the 60’s was given a pair of water-skis and a motorboat and told to head for the nearest shark infested fancy dress shop.

So it is with tongue firmly in cheek that I present the next acts that at some level attached themselves to glam rock’s fading glory. It was glam rock without the glitter and silver foil admittedly, but it still had a glam heart beating somewhere in the distance.

Paper Lace was a Nottingham based pop group who originally formed in 1969, but chart success didn’t arrive until 1974, when a victory on ‘Opportunity Knocks’ an ITV talent contest series (the 70's version of X-Factor) helped to give them the hits they were after. 

Thanks to that show, songwriters/producers, Mitch Murray and Peter Callender quickly signed them.

The smash hit "Billy Don't Be a Hero" spent three weeks at # 1 on the UK Singles Chart in March 1974. It was followed by an equally catchy story song, which reached the # 3 called "The Night Chicago Died". Another release, "The Black-Eyed Boys", took Paper Lace to # 11 in late 1974.

Pilot was a group, formed during 1973 in Edinburgh, Scotland by the former Bay City Rollers members, David Paton and Billy Lyall. Joined by Stuart Tosh and Ian Bairnson, the band recorded several demos during 1973 and 1974. They eventually signed to a worldwide recording deal with EMI Records.

The 1974 single "Magic" from their first album, produced by Alan Parsons and written by Paton, was a #11 in the UK and #5 in the  U.S. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. in August 1975.  

The song "January" gave them their greatest success in the UK, securing the # 1 spot in the UK Singles Chart in January 1975. 

However, the group failed to make the Top 30 again. 
Pilot: Magic