Posted in 1980's Singles

Stand And Deliver – Adam And The Ants (1981)

 

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CBS Records CBS A1065

The early 1980’s was seeing a change in British music. The punk days were over and suddenly image, performance and video were the order of the day. No-one took this on board more than Adam and the Ants, who in a series of singles from 1980 to 1982 began an assault of the UK charts with catchy songs and carefully crafted videos. Image for the group was all important to their success.

Having started out in 1977 as a punk group and with continuous line up changes, in 1980 the group had a change in direction.

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Back cover showing the latest line up (ever-changing) and introducing Gary Tibbs

The video had an appearance of actress Amanda Donohoe, Adam Ant’s girlfriend of the time. The follow-up single’s video “Prince Charming” featured popular British Actress Diana Dors who in her younger days was described as a British version of Marilyn Munroe.

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Front cover of picture sleeve for “Stand and Deliver”

The cover front and back sum up the image and the songs content. “I’m a dandy highwayman who you’re too scared to mention. I spend my cash on looking flash and grabbing your attention …” say the lyrics. Written by Adam Ant with Marco Pirroni, who had a huge part in this success. It was the bands first of two #1 singles in a total of 7 top ten UK charted records. It stood at the top of the UK charts for 5 weeks and went on to sell 1.03 million copies in UK alone and resulted in a long chart run in Germany when peaking at #8. It even made the US Dance chart reaching #38. When the Ants disbanded in 1982, Pirroni continued to write with Adam for his solo career including the #1 UK and Australian hit “Goody Two Shoes”.

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Posted in 1970's Singles

September – Earth, Wind and Fire (1978)

CBS Records S CBS 6922

The fusion of Funk, Soul, Disco and Jazz has always been a favourite sound of mine. Earth, Wind and Fire are the top exponents of these genres. The great thing about this group is the amount of members and the types of instruments they play. It’s almost like a full orchestra rather than a group/band. Formed 1969 in Chicago, Illinois, USA, they have in a career of over 45 years picked up 6 Grammy awards out of 20 nominations and 4 American Music Awards (as of 2015). They have a star on the Hollywood walk of Fame and have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame amongst an array of other music business institutions.

The main stays of the group include its founder Maurice White, Vocalist Philip Bailey, Verdine Bailey and Ralph Johnson. Over the years well over 60 musicians have been attributed as part of the group.

During the period 1975 until 1981, Earth, Wind and Fire were at the height of their popularity regarding chart hits, reaching the top ten in both the US and UK including two number one albums and one number one single in the US. During this time they were signed to CBS Records (known as Columbia in the US). ARC set up by Maurice White also co-released their productions. 

Originally this had a generic white paper sleeve which I replaced with a cardboard sleeve

“September” with its high falsetto vocals within the chorus, full brass, guitars and drums this was a brand new composition released as part of a Greatest Hits package in 1978, and the prelude to their ninth studio album “I Am” in 1979 which included several hit singles including duet with fellow label stable mates “The Emotions” with “Boogie Wonderland”.

The lyrics describe the first moments of a relationship, of knowing that a day in September defined their love, souls were singing, and stars stole the night as they danced……..true love shared today…..

B-Side – Can’t Hide Love

Considering the beautiful art work on all of their albums its disappointing to me that my copy of the single didn’t have a picture sleeve. A 16 week run on the UK chart created their biggest hit, peaking at #3. In the US it reached #8 on billboard pop charts but #1 on the R&B chart. In Europe it reached the top twenty in several places and also had a good run on the chart in New Zealand.

The B-side however is very much a change of pace but still the famous brass section is in evidence throughout, but the vocals are silky smooth for this ballad. “Can’t Hide Love” as the title suggests is the story of someone not openly admitting to being in love.

Posted in 1970's Singles

I Love To Love (But My Baby Loves To Dance) – Tina Charles (1976)

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CBS Records S CBS 3937
Tina Charles is a British vocalist born London in 1954, who’s main hit making era was the 1970’s. Originally she was a backing singer and session musician. Unsuccessfully she released some solo singles from 1969, and later appeared on television as a resident singer for the first series of The Two Ronnies Show and similar variety shows of the era. Her career took off by being featured as a backing vocalist on the 1974 #1 UK hit “Come Up And See Me” by Cockney Rebel. In 1975 she was part of a Massive European hit “I’m on Fire” when part of a group called 5000 Volts. Although it was her voice, she wasn’t the vocalist who appeared on television with the song. Whilst being no stranger to featuring uncredited on these big records it was ultimately the disco/pop genre with help of producer Biddu which would help strike gold for her when “I Love To Love” became Tina’s only UK and Ireland #1. After a slow start the song leaped from #23 to #3 and eventually stayed at #1 for 3 weeks in March 1976 for a total of 12 weeks on the chart. It also made #2 in France, The Netherlands, Sweden and Norway. She appeared on several European television shows with the song.
TC CBS COVER
Original generic CBS cover of the mid 1970’s
Tina’s follow-up made the top 40 and later on at the end of the summer she had another top ten hit with “Dance Little Lady Dance”.
My copy has the pushed out centre that came with a plastic insert for playing. That has long since gone, but I have a centre block with my record player, so it is playable as the video below shows.
Tina continues to be active both by recording and doing live performances. In 2012 an album was released with 5000 Volts partner Martin Jay called Reunited.