Thursday, 2 October 2014

1972 (part two) you won't fool the children of the revolution

1972 The story so far: At the age of ten, lured in by the shiny bait of Elvis' Hollywood movies, hooked by Heartbreak Hotel and reeled in by the corporate bods at RCA I became Elvis' biggest fan.  Fairly obsessive.  OK, completely obsessive.  33 movies? Saw them all. I had a copy of the Elvis Monthly Annual which listed every album, every single, every song he'd recorded.  I started ticking them off.  I collected singles, albums, eps, copies of Elvis Monthly.  I'm not ashamed of it.  If you've got to be obsessive about a musical hero then Elvis was about as good as it got. 

But Elvis was only half of my burgeoning obsession with music.  The other half was Everything Else.  Because of Elvis I wanted to hear more old school rock 'n' roll.  Because Elvis might be in the charts I had to watch Top of the Pops.  Because I might find another cheapo Camden album I had to go through all the racks in all the record shops.

It's all about broadening horizons.  One step at a time. 

If you look at the top 100 songs of 1971 there's a fair few good songs.  I know most of the top 24 but after that it starts gettting a bit vaguer and even if I know the songs I learned them later on. If you look at the top 100 songs of 1972 it is a whole different story.  I know every one of them.  The split is quite clear.  Songs from 1971 and before were songs that already existed. Even now they look old. Songs from 1972 and after were new. 

T Rex had hits in 1971 with Ride a White Swan and Get It On.  They were from before my time.  In 1972 T Rex had hits with Metal Guru, Telegram Sam and Children of the Revolution.  These were NOW.  Nobody had heard pop/rock music before.  NOW it was happening.

School's Out, Mama We're All Crazee Now, Silver Machine, All the Young Dudes, Virginia Plain, Stay With Me,  even Rocket Man and Crocodile Rock.  Sure there were Osmonds (Crazy Horses kicks ass), David Cassidy and Michael Jackson, but they were for girls.  I didn't need to worry about them.

I think it is worth looking at the whole list.  This could take a while.

01           Nilsson                                                 Without You
02           Royal Scots Dragoon Guard             Amazing Grace
03           Donny Osmond                                  Puppy Love
04           The New Seekers                              I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing
05           Lieutenant Pigeon                           Mouldy Old Dough
06           Chuck Berry                                        My Ding-A-Ling
07           T Rex                                                     Metal Guru
08           Neil Reid                                              Mother Of Mine
09           Chicory Tip                                          Son Of My Father
10           Don McLean                                       American Pie
A bit of everything there.  Nilsson for the mums, the bagpiping Royal Scots Guards for the dads (I bought my Dad the album for Christmas), the New Seekers for the advertising world (coke adds life where there wasn't any before), a couple of novelty songs for the kids, T Rrex for those of us who knew where it was at. I really don't remember Neil Reid, but I'm guessing that was a Christmas or Mother's Day hit.  Chicory Tip were a band form rock's second division, punching above their weight (like Southampton beating Man Utd in the FA Cup) but bugger me they're still going and you can go see them on Sunday afternooon at the Dog and Duck at Plucks Gutter near Canterbury.  Call 01843 821542 and tell 'em the Corn Poppy sent you.  Looking through their gig diary I see they're playing just up the road from me in May! Date for my diary!   
And at Number 10, pop pickers, American Pie.  Everyone thinks they know American Pie. Some people sing along to the chorus. I understood it held the keys to the kingdom.  I knew what day the music died (February 3rd 1959), I knew who wrote the Book of Love (the Monotones) because it was on the That'll be the Day soundtrack (which came out in 1973).  I even understood how and why the jester stole the thorny crown from the king as he was looking down.  This was a history lesson; this was the Anglo Saxon Chronicle, this was the Rosetta Stone, this was a not only an historical overview it placed things in a cultural perspective and a personal narrative.  I believed in rock and roll and, yes, music can save your mortal soul.  Can't teach you how to dance real slow though. Not without standing on your feet.

1 comment:

  1. Mother of Mine was a terrible song from a child who won a TV talent show. Nothing ever changes, eh?