Posted in 1970's Singles

A Glass Of Champagne – Sailor (1975)

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Epic Records S EPC 3770

 In the mid 1970’s several “pop” TV shows were aired in the UK aimed at teenagers like myself. Some I remember such as; Supersonic, Top of the Pops, Lift Off with Ayeshea, and they featured the top-selling bands and singles of the time. I think this is why I have such an eclectic taste in music.

Recorded in 1975 this single straddled the charts of late 1975 and early 1976. It was the first of two top ten hits in the UK and Europe, the other being “Girls, Girls, Girls”. The group members of Sailor were born in several European places. Original band member and writer Georg Kajanus was born in Norway, Henry Marsh was born Bath, England, Phil Pickett born Germany, and Grant Serpell born Maidenhead, England.
This single was a huge European hit making #3 in Switzerland, Germany and The Netherlands, reaching the top ten in Austria and it also charted in Scandinavia. In the UK the song made #2 in January 1976 for 2 weeks of a 12 week run on the chart.
Although the band is still active today, there has been many line up changes, and despite the release of several singles and albums they have only ever charted 3 singles and one album in the UK, all of which were during 1975/76. They are still particularly popular in Germany.

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A Glass Of Champagne
A favourite of mine at the time, I never got around to buying the single until I found this at “The Diskery” record shop in October 2014 for 10 pence. It’s in good condition. I did have this on a “Top of the pops” album where session musicians / vocalists recreated the sound of the original. This budget priced album has disappeared from my collection.
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B-Side Panama
The B-Side is called Panama, a track taken from charted album “Trouble” Has a very “Folk” feel to it.
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Posted in 1960's Singles

Breakin’ Down The Walls Of Heartache – The Bandwagon (1968)

Pentax Digital Camera
Direction Records 58-3670
 “Breakin’ Down The Walls of Heartache” is now seen as a Northern Soul classic, standing the test of time. It was written and produced by Denny Randell and Sandy Linzer. Both had a track record of writing hit songs together and independently during the 1960’s and 70’s. They were responsible for amongst others, “Native New Yorker” by Odyssey and Get Dancin’ by Disco Tex and the Sex-O-Letts both in my record collection.
Formed in the US during 1967 Artie Fullilove, Billy Bradley, Terry Lewis and lead singer Johnny Johnson were billed as The Bandwagon. After a short career at Direction Records the group disbanded in 1969, however, Johnny Johnson was given star billing as he carried on using the group name with a variety of vocalists thus becoming known as Johnny Johnson and The Bandwagon. In the UK he had two top ten hits in the early 1970’s when moving to Bell Records. Success was found mainly in the UK.
When released this single reached the top ten in the UK peaking at #4 in a run of 15 weeks on the chart and over the years has been covered by several artists. It’s become a favourite with soul clubs and featured on a variety of Northern Soul compilation CD/Albums.
This particular single was found in Birmingham’s best used vinyl record store “The Diskery”. The copy is well-worn and scratchy in places but very playable. It was bought just before I went to a Northern Soul night in November 2014. The B side “Dancin’ Master” is very easy on the ear.
 Johnny Johnson has retired from the music business after suffering from ill-health for several years.
Posted in 1960's Singles

Yesterday Man – Chris Andrews (1965)

Yest
Decca Records F12236
Chris Andrews is a British singer/songwriter born Romford, Essex in 1942. He had limited success singing but had a huge hit with Yesterday Man in 1965. At the same time he was responsible for writing a large proportion of hits for 60’s vocalist Sandie Shaw including her number one song Long Live Love. The sound can be described as a a fusion of pop and reggae.
The single charted in Europe reaching #1 in Ireland, Austria and Germany whilst in The Netherlands and Belgium it made #2. It is said that a million copies were sold. In the UK the single peaked at #3 and spent a total of 15 weeks on the chart.
Over the years this has been a favorite of mine and this is actually a very recent purchase. Whilst having a rummage at Birmingham’s longest running independent record store, The Diskery, I came across this. Although well played, its in great condition. Paid £2 which to me was well worth it. The B side Too Bad You Don’t Want Me could just as easily been an “A” side. As of 2015 Chris Andrews is still an active singer/songwriter.