With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

Play It Again Mayhem – “Everybody Was Rockin'” – Betty Wright May 13, 2020


This is the first of an occasional series of songs that I don’t believe ever got the airplay they deserved. The idea came to me on 9th May after I heard this Betty Wright track on one of my Spotify playlists, spookily she died the following day and she was only around five years older than me! Anyway, I remember buying this single as a US import from a little record shop in Windsor Street, Uxbridge. I had heard it once on the radio when it was released in the US in 1974 and never heard it again on UK radio at the time. It was included on Betty’s 1974 album ‘Danger High Voltage’ along with two singles that did make the UK charts, “Shoorah Shoorah” and “Where Is The Love”. Her UK releases at the time were on the RCA label, but my US 7 inch was on the Alston label. Many people will know Betty Wright from perhaps her biggest hit “Clean Up Woman” from 1971. I love that tune, but my favourite song by her is “Everybody Was Rockin'” by a long way. It was written and produced by Clarence Reid and Willie Clarke. What gives it that real funky pop punch though is the band, which is in effect KC and the Sunshine Band, you can tell from that awesome signature horn sound. Put on your boogie shoes and have a dance to this gem of a track that did not and does not get enough airtime!

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“I Checked You Out From The Corner Of My Eye, You And The Devil Walking Side By Side” June 23, 2011


As it’s been quite a while without a post from me, well apart from the two immediately before this one anyway, I thought I’d go back to an old favourite. So what were the first five songs that came on my iPod this morning using the shuffle option? Well here they are. Feel free to submit your first five songs on the shuffle option

 “Sunflower” – Paul Weller – This rather excellent Weller song was one of three singles to be taken from his second solo album ‘Wild Wood’ in 1993. It reached number 16 in the UK.

 I lost My Heart To A Starship Trooper” – Sarah Brightman and Hot Gossip – i suppose of all the tracks here this is perhaps the most embarrassing, but do you know what? I really don’t care, I love this song. It’s also quite an amusing song given where Sarah got her big break (as a dancer with Hot Gossip) and where she went (Star of stage musicals and wife of Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber)

 “The Worst Job You’ve Ever Had” – Derek and Clive (aka Pete ‘n’ Dud) – This is obviously not a song and if you are a sensitive soul or easily offended I would strongly recommend that you do not listen to this. OK don’t say I didn’t warn you! This was what I suppose you could call a side project of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. It ran for a few albums and personally I am neither a sensitive soul nor am I easily offended so I found it bloody hilarious. I recall the first time I heard any of the tracks and exactly where I was at the time. I had started work in October 1975 aged 16, I was based in London Transport’s Bus Schedules Office which was full of bus fanatics a.ka. ‘Frothers’. In those days everyone went to the pub on Friday lunchtime and stayed for a few hours, including those like me who were underage! We regularly visited a local hostelry called the Westminster Arms where the entertainment was provided by a number of young ladies who were clearly too hot as they were always removing their clothes when on stage. The pub clearly couldn’t afford a comedian so in the intervals between the clothes removing girls they played tracks from the first Derek and Clive album over the PA system. So maybe not a particularly interesting story but entirely true.

 “Apollo 9” – Adam Ant – Released in 1984 this once the once Stuart Goddard’s last UK top 20 hit when it reached number 13 that year. I’m not sure why he chose Apollo 9 as his title/ subject. Apollo 9 was the third manned mission in the Apollo launches and it was also the first to carry the Lunar Module. It was launched on March 3rd 1969, just a few months before the first successful moon landing with Apollo 11.

 “Shoorah Shoorah” – Betty Wright. Betty was originally known as Bessie Regina Norris. She released two singles in 1966 aged just 12 and also allegedly helped discover George and Gwen McCrae in 1967. This single was a minor UK hit in 1975.

 

“Toss you in the trash, then reduce you to an acronym” July 4, 2010


I would like to wish a very happy 4th July to all my American readers. I thought I would choose my top 5 songs by American artists to celebrate, but then I decided that it would take me way too long. So I put the iPod on shuffle and here are the first five US artists to pop up.

Crazy” – Gnarls Barkley. This act is one of the many collaborations that have involved DangerMouse (aka Brian Burton). This time he pairs himself with Cee-Lo Green (aka Thomas Callaway). The song was a worldwide hit and comes from their debut album ‘St Elsewhere’

Diamonds And Pearls” – Prince. As a boy Prince Rogers Nelson’s nickname was Skipper and he released his first album ‘For You’ way back in 1977. Apparently he is planning to give yet another album away with a UK newspaper later this year

LOL” – Little Jackie. Sadly Little Jackie is not a part of the band, it is in fact the band’s name. It comes from the Lisa Lisa And Cult Jam hit from 1989 “Little Jackie Wants To Be A Star“. The band is made up largely of Imani Coppola and Adam Pallin. This song comes from the album ‘The Stoop’, probably my favourite R & B album in recent years by a long way.

Refugee” – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Tom Earl Petty will reach the grand old age of 60 later this year. He was also Charles T Wilbury off of the Travelling Wilburys. He also appeared in the 1997 Kevin Costner movie, ‘The Postman’ apparently appearing as his future self having become the Bridge City Mayor

Shoorah Shoorah” – Betty Wright. The first Betty Wright song I ever heard was also the first one I ever bought, it was “Clean Up Woman” from 1971. It was a massive US hit but didn’t really trouble the UK charts, sadly.

I will close with a song which made me want to visit America back when I was a teenager, it was Mr Bowie’s Plastic Soul adventure “Young Americans”

 

 
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