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Posts Tagged ‘1970s’

At number 3 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 greatest songs of all time is “Imagine” by John Lennon. This song was recorded in the late spring of 1971, and released as a single in the USA in October of the same year, when it got to number 3. The song was not released as a single in the Disunited Kingdom until 1975, when it was used to promote a Lennon compilation album “Shaved Fish”; it got to number 6. It was re-released in the DUK after Lennon’s death in 1980, and this time it got to number 1 where it stayed for four weeks. It has gone on to become the best-selling single of Lennon’s solo career, and is also his best known solo composition.



At number 30 in Rolling Stone Magazine's '500 Greatest Songs of all Time' is "I Walk the Line" by Johnny Cash.

At number 3 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s ‘500 Greatest Songs of all Time’ is “Imagine” by John Lennon.



The lyrics are very simple yet very powerful (and naive, which Lennon freely admitted). He would say in later interviews that several of the ideas in the song were inspired by Yoko Ono’s 1964 book “Grapefruit”, but that he was too “macho” at the time to give her proper recognition for her part in the song. Lennon had only learnt to play the piano in 1970, and yet the melody of “Imagine” is deceptively complex.

It has been performed by many other artists, including recently by Lady Gaga at the opening ceremony of the multi-sport European Games at Baku (see below). But, despite the numerous covers, Lennon’s original is still the best known version.


Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today…

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one


Here is the original video of this great song. Enjoy!




Here is Lady Gaga’s recent cover, performed at the opening ceremony of the European Games in Baku.






Who has performed your favourite version of this song?

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At number 4 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 greatest songs of all time is “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye. I have already blogged about this song here when I blogged about the 500 greatest albums, as this song is the title track of the album which came in at number 6 on that list.

The song “What’s Going On” was recorded over the summer of 1970 and released as a single in January 1971. It got to number 2 in the US singles charts, but in the Disunited Kingdom it was barely a hit, only getting to number 80 in the singles charts.



At number 30 in Rolling Stone Magazine's '500 Greatest Songs of all Time' is "I Walk the Line" by Johnny Cash.

At number 4 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s ‘500 Greatest Songs of all Time’ is “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye.



The song was co-written by Gaye, Renaldo Benson (of the Four Tops group) and Al Cleveland. It was inspired by Benson witnessing an anti Vietnam war demonstration on the Berkeley campus in 1969, and discussing the issue with Cleveland. Cleveland went away and wrote the song, but the Four Tops rejected it. When it came to the attention of Gaye he worked on it some more, adding some lyrics and changing the melody.


Mother, mother
There’s too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There’s far too many of you dying
You know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some lovin’ here today – Ya

Father, father
We don’t need to escalate
You see, war is not the answer
For only love can conquer hate
You know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some lovin’ here today

Picket lines and picket signs
Don’t punish me with brutality
Talk to me, so you can see
Oh, what’s going on
What’s going on
Ya, what’s going on
Ah, what’s going on

In the mean time
Right on, baby
Right on
Right on

Mother, mother, everybody thinks we’re wrong
Oh, but who are they to judge us
Simply because our hair is long
Oh, you know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some understanding here today
Oh

Picket lines and picket signs
Don’t punish me with brutality
Talk to me
So you can see
What’s going on
Ya, what’s going on
Tell me what’s going on
I’ll tell you what’s going on – Uh
Right on baby
Right on baby


Here is a video of this great song. Enjoy!




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At number 49 in BBC Radio 2’s poll of the 100 greatest guitar riffs (as voted by listeners) is “Milk and Alcohol” by Dr. Feelgood. This song was released in January 1979, and I well remember it from my teenage years. It got to number 10 in the DUK singles charts, and was the band’s biggest hit.



At number 49 in BBC Radio 2's list of the 100 greatest guitar riffs is "Milk and Alcohol" by Dr. Feelgood.

At number 49 in BBC Radio 2’s list of the 100 greatest guitar riffs is “Milk and Alcohol” by Dr. Feelgood.



The song was written by Nick Lowe and John “Gypie” Mayo. Lowe played in 1970s group Rockville with Dave Edmunds, and subsequently had some solo hits of his own which I will blog about in the future. For me, this song is very reminiscent of teenage parties, and lay somewhere between punk rock and glam rock, neither one nor the other. I liked it at the time, and it does have a great riff.


White boy in town
Big black, blue sound
Night club, I paid in
I got a stamp on my skin

Main attraction dead on his feet
Black man rhythm with a white boy beat
They got him on milk and alcohol
They got him on milk and alcohol

Stay put I wanna go
Hard work, bad show
More liquor, it don’t help
He’s gonna die, it breaks my heart

I decided eventually
This ain’t doing a thing for me
They got him on milk and alcohol
They got him on milk and alcohol

– guitar solo –

They got him on milk and alcohol
They got him on milk and alcohol
They got him on milk and alcohol
They got him on milk and alcohol

Got up, I walked out
To the car, start it up
Feel bad, sad night
I never saw a red light

Sirens were a screamin’ all around
I pulled on over and I shut her down
A black cop gave me a shove with his gun
Said up against the wall and don’t make a run
They got me on milk and alcohol
They got me on milk and alcohol


Here is a video of this song. Enjoy!





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The other day, for no particular reason, this song “Give Me Just a Little More Time” popped into my head; and I spent the rest of the day singing it over and over again. So, I need no greater excuse than to share it on my blog.

"Give Me Just a Little More Time" was a single by The Chairmen of the Board, released in 1970.

“Give Me Just a Little More Time” was a single by The Chairmen of the Board, released in 1970.


This 1970 song was the debut release for The Chairmen of the Board, and peaked at number 3 in the US singles charts. It got to the same position in the DUK’s singles charts in September 1970.

[Chorus:]
Give me just a little more time
And our love will surely grow
Give me just a little more time
And our love will surely grow
Life’s too short to make a mistake
Let’s think of each other and hesitate
Young and impatient we may be
There’s no need to act foolishly
If we part our hearts won’t forget it
Years from now we’ll surely regret it
[Chorus]
You’re young and you’re in a hurry
You’re eager for love but don’t you worry
We both want the sweetness in life
But these things don’t come overnight
Don’t give up cos love’s been slow
Boy, we’re gonna succeed with another blow
Give me just a little more time
And our love will surely grow
Baby please baby
Baby please baby
Love is that mountain we must climb
Let’s climb it together your hand in mine
We haven’t known each other too long
But the feeling I have is oh so strong
I know we can make it there’s no doubt
We owe it to ourselves to find it out
Just,
[Chorus]
Give me just a little more time
And our love will surely grow
Baby, please baby
Baby, please baby
[Chorus]
[Repeat And Fade]

There was also a version by Kylie Minogue which was released in 1992 and got to number 2 in the DUK’s charts, but I much prefer the original, which is the version I have included here. Enjoy!

Which version do you prefer?

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At number 54 in BBC Radio 2’s 100 best guitar riffs is Don’t Believe A Word” by Irish rock band Thin Lizzy. This song was released in 1976 and got to number 12 in the Disunited Kingdom singles charts, and to number to in their native Ireland.



At number 54 in BBC Radio 2's list of the 100 greatest guitar riffs is "Don't Believe A Word" by Thin Lizzy.

At number 54 in BBC Radio 2’s list of the 100 greatest guitar riffs is “Don’t Believe A Word” by Thin Lizzy.




Don’t believe me if I tell you
Not a word of this is true
Don’t believe me if I tell you
Especially if I tell you that I’m in love with you

Don’t believe me if I tell you
That I wrote this song for you
There might be some other silly pretty girl
I’m singing it to

Don’t believe a word
For words are only spoken
Your heart is like a promise
Made to be broken

Don’t believe a word
Words can tell lies
And lies are no comfort
When there’s tear in your eyes

Don’t believe me if I tell you
Not a word of this is true
Don’t believe me if I tell you
Especially if I tell you that I’m in love with you

Don’t believe a word


Here is a video of this song. Enjoy!





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At number 74 in BBC Radio 2’s 100 best guitar riffs is “Block Buster!” by The Sweet. This song was recorded in 1972 and released in January 1973, and spent five weeks at the top of the singles charts in the Disunited Kingdom. It was also a hit in many other countries, but only got to number 73 in the US singles charts.

The song was written by songwriting pair Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, who wrote a number of hits for several artists in the early 1970s including Suzi Quatro, Mud, Smokie and Racey; all “glam-rock” acts from this period.



At number 74 in BBC Radio 2's 100 best guitar riffs is "Block Buster! by The Sweet.

At number 74 in BBC Radio 2’s 100 best guitar riffs is “Block Buster! by The Sweet.



I remember this song very well, Top of the Pops was required weekly viewing in our house, and with this song topping the charts for five weeks it certainly got a lot of exposure on the show. The driving guitar rhythm was felt by some to be similar to David Bowie’s “Jean Genie”, who also recorded for the same record label RCA.


You better beware, you better take care
You better watch out if you’ve got long black hair
He’ll come from behind, you go out of your mind
You’d better not go, you’d never know what you’ll find

You look in his eyes, don’t be surprised
If you don’t know what’s going on behind his disguise
Nobody knows where Buster goes
He’ll steal your woman out from under your nose

Does anyone know the way, did we hear someone say
We just haven’t got a clue what to do
Does anyone know the way, there’s got to be a way
To Block Buster

The cops are out, they’re running about
Don’t know if they’ll ever be able to Block Buster out
He’s gotta be caught, he’s gotta be taught
‘Cause he’s more evil than anyone here ever thought

Does anyone know the way, did we hear someone say
We just haven’t got a
Does anyone know the way, there’s got to be a way
To Block Buster

Does anyone know the way, did we hear someone say
We just haven’t got a clue what to do
Does anyone know the way, there’s got to be a way
To Block Buster

Buster, Buster, Block Buster
Buster, Buster, Block Buster
Buster, Buster, Block Buster


Here is a video of this blast from the past of glam-rock. Enjoy!




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At number 59 in BBC Radio 2’s 100 best guitar riffs is “Good Times” by Chic. It was written by Chic band members Bernard Edwards and Nile Rogers, and released in 1979. To me it is very typical of the kind of disco music so popular in the late 1970s, but what makes it better than many others of that genre is the really funky bass line played by Nile Rogers.



At number 59 in BBC Radio 2's 100 best guitar riffs is "Good Times" by Chic.

At number 59 in BBC Radio 2’s 100 best guitar riffs is “Good Times” by Chic.




Good times, these are the good times
Leave your cares behind, these are the good times
Good times, these are the good times
Our new state of mind, these are the good times

Happy days are here again
The time is right for makin’ friends
Let’s get together, how ’bout a quarter to ten
Come tomorrow, let’s all do it again

Boys will be boys, better let them have their toys
Girls will be girls, cute pony tails and curls
Must put an end to this stress and strife
I think I want to live the sporting life

Good times, these are the good times
Leave your cares behind, these are the good times
Good times, these are the good times
Our new state of mind, these are the good times

A rumor has it that it’s getting late
Time marches on, just can’t wait
The clock keeps turning, why hesitate
You silly fool, you can’t change your fate

Let’s cut the rug, little jive and jitterbug
We want the best, we won’t settle for less
Don’t be a drag, participate
Clams on the half shell and roller skates, roller skates

Good times, these are the good times
Leave your cares behind, these are the good times
Good times, these are the good times
Our new state of mind, these are the good times

Good times

A rumor has it that it’s getting late
Time marches on, just can’t wait
The clock keeps turning, why hesitate
You silly fool, you can’t change your fate

Let’s cut the rug, little jive and jitterbug
We want the best, we won’t settle for less
Don’t be a drag, participate
Clams on the half shell and roller skates, roller skates

Good times, these are the good times
Leave your cares behind, these are the good times
Good times, these are the good times
Our new state of mind, these are the good times

Good times, these are the good times
Leave your cares behind, these are the good times
Good times, these are the good times
Our new state of mind, these are the good times

Good times, these are the good times
Leave your cares behind, these are the good times
Good times, these are the good times
Our new state of mind, these are the good times


Here is a video of this disco funk anthem. Enjoy!



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