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1. California Man
Released in 1972 as a single with “Do Ya” and “Ella James” as a double B-side, this was The Move’s last official single release. The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), originally conceived as a side-project to The Move, issued its first single, “10538 Overture”, a month after this track. A pastiche of Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard and Larry Williams, the composition is recorded in a high energy rock ‘n’ roll style, with lead vocals by both Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood, then jointly leaders of both ELO and The Move. California Man reached number 7 on the UK Singles Chart in May 1972.
2. I Hear You Knockin’
“I Hear You Knocking” (or “I Hear You Knockin'”) is a rhythm and blues song written by Dave Bartholomew and Earl King (using the pseudonym Pearl King). New Orleans rhythm and blues singer Smiley Lewis first recorded the song in 1955. The lyrics tell of the return of a former lover who is rebuffed and Huey “Piano” Smith provided the prominent piano accompaniment in the style associated with Fats Domino.”I Hear You Knocking” reached number two on the Billboard R&B singles chart in 1955, making it Lewis’s most popular and best-known song. Subsequently, numerous artists have recorded it, including Welsh singer and guitarist Dave Edmunds, whose version reached number one in the UK in 1970 and was in the top 10 in several other countries.
3. Have I The Right
Joe Meek produced this. He was in a group called The Tornadoes, whose “Telstar” hit #1 in 1962.The Honeycombs were a London band with a female drummer (Honey Lantree) who worked in a hairdressing salon… hence the band’s name. They were previously known as the Sherabos.This was written by the London songwriting team of Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley. They also wrote songs for Lulu, Elvis Presley, The Herd (Peter Frampton’s group), Petula Clark, Engelbert Humperdinck and many others.
4. [If paradise is] Half as Nice
Originally written by the Italian singer-songwriter Lucio Battisti for La Ragazza 77, alias Ambra Borelli, in 1968 as “Il paradiso della vita” (“The paradise of the life”), and later in 1969 for Patty Pravo as “Il Paradiso” (“The paradise”), it was translated into English by Jack Fishman. When it was offered to The Tremeloes as a potential single, they rejected it. It was recorded by Amen Corner as their debut single for their new record label, Immediate Records, and was produced by Shel Talmy. The most successful of the band’s six hit singles, it reached number one on the UK Singles Chart for two weeks in February 1969, and number 34 when it was reissued in 1976.There are two differing versions of the song by Amen Corner; one with orchestra and a prominent horn through the middle eight, and one version without either. However, the basic track and vocals appear the same in both
5. In The Summer Time
“In the Summertime” is the debut single by British rock band Mungo Jerry. Written and composed by its lead singer, Ray Dorset, it celebrates the carefree days of summer. In 1970 it reached number one in charts around the world, including seven weeks in the UK Singles Chart, two weeks in one of the Canadian charts, and number three on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in the US. It is considered one of the best-selling singles of all time with an estimated 30 million copies sold.The song took Dorset only ten minutes to write and compose, which he did using a second-hand Fender Stratocaster while he was taking time off work from his regular job, working in a lab for Timex. The song’s lyric “have a drink, have a drive, go out and see what you can find” led to the song’s somewhat ironic use in a UK advert for the campaign Drinking and Driving Wrecks Lives
6. I love To Boogie
“I Love to Boogie” was released as a single on 5 June 1976 by record label EMI. It later appeared on T. Rex’s final studio album, 1977’s Dandy in the Underworld. The song was in the UK charts for a total of nine weeks, peaking at No. 13.The song was released to controversy due to its resemblance to Webb Pierce’s “Teenage Boogie”, prompting rockabillies to attempt to burn copies of the single at an event held in a pub on the Old Kent Road, South East London. Disc jockey Geoff Barker complained that “The records are so alike it can’t be a coincidence.” When Pierce’s publishers contacted Bolan’s London office, Bolan’s manager Tony Howard employed a musicologist to analyse both songs. The musicologist noted that “Teenage Boogie” was itself based on a riff that had been around long before the song was written.”I Love to Boogie” is amongst T. Rex’s best known and most popular hits
7. The Show Must Go On
“The Show Must Go On” is a song co-written by Leo Sayer and David Courtney and first recorded by Sayer. It was released in the United Kingdom in 1973, becoming Sayer’s first hit record (reaching its chart peak of #2 in early 1974 in the UK). The song reached #3 on the Irish Top Twenty in January 1974, and was included on Sayer’s debut album Silverbird.The song was covered by Three Dog Night, whose version was released in 1974, becoming a hit in the United States, peaking at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and sung by vocalist Chuck Negron. The record reached #1 on the Cashbox pop chart, #2 on the Canadian RPM Magazine charts, and became their seventh and final Gold Record.It uses a circus theme as a metaphor for dealing with the difficulties and wrong choices of life. Early in Sayer’s career, he performed it dressed and made up as a pierrot clown. The opening motif quotes Julius Fučík’s “Entrance of the Gladiators” which is commonly associated with circus clowns.In Sayer’s version, the last line of the chorus is “I won’t let the show go on”. Three Dog Night sang it as “I must let the show go on”, which Sayer was reportedly not happy about.
8. Urban Spaceman
“I’m the Urban Spaceman” was the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band’s most successful single, released in 1968. It reached #5 in the UK charts. The song was written by Neil Innes and produced by Paul McCartney and Gus Dudgeon under the pseudonym “Apollo C. Vermouth”. The B-side was written by Vivian Stanshall. Innes won an Ivor Novello Award in 1968 for writing “I’m the Urban Spaceman”.A well-known staging of the song involves Innes performing solo while a female tap dancer performs an enthusiastic but apparently under-rehearsed routine around him. This skit originally appeared in a 1975 edition of Rutland Weekend Television, with Lyn Ashley as the dancer, and was more famously revived in the 1982 film Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl with Carol Cleveland taking over the role.
9. When I’m Dead and Gone
“When I’m Dead and Gone” is a song written by Benny Gallagher and Graham Lyle. It was recorded and released in November 1970 as the debut single by McGuinness Flint, peaked at No. 2 in the UK charts the following month, and reached No. 47 in the US charts in February 1971. It was one of the first hit singles to feature prominent use of mandolin, played by Lyle, who also took lead vocal. Gallagher played bass guitar and sang tenor harmony, while both he and Lyle also played kazoos and guitarist Tom McGuinness played the dobro solo.The song was inspired by the life of blues musician Robert Johnson, hence the line in the second verse, “Hey there, Ladies, Johnson’s free.”According to McGuinness, “You can get to number one in England and sell 200,000 total. But [the single’s release] was over Christmas and it sold 400,000 … it sold a couple of hundred thousand in America, 100,000 in Germany, 50,000 in Japan.”After Gallagher and Lyle left the group and enjoyed a successful career as a duo, they featured the song regularly on stage – though usually in the lower key of C, rather than the original key of D, and eschewing kazoos in favour of a harmonica, which Gallagher used on a harness. This treatment of the song can be heard on the duo’s 1999 album Live In Concert.Cover versions have been recorded by Carone, Phil Everly (1983), Adam Faith, Status Quo, Def Leppard (from Yeah! 2006), Charlie Landsborough and Fury in the Slaughterhouse.
10. I’m Gonna be [500 Miles]
“I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” is a song written and performed by Scottish duo The Proclaimers, and first released as the lead single from their 1988 album Sunshine on Leith. Although it failed to reach the top ten in either the UK or Ireland on its initial release, it has since become their most popular song worldwide, initially becoming a number 1 hit in Iceland, before reaching number 1 in both Australia and New Zealand in early 1989, and in 1993 the song reached the top five on both the US Billboard Hot 100 and Canadian Hot 100 charts following its appearance in the film Benny & Joon. In 2007 the Proclaimers re-recorded the song with English comedians Peter Kay and Matt Lucas for the Comic Relief charity, the song has since peaked inside top ten in Ireland (#7), and scoring a number one hit in the UK, outperformed their original singles performance in both UK and Irish Singles Chart. [Song info from wikipedia and songfacts]
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