Category: YouTube clip of the week

John Miles

John Miles is 70th this week.

He was born in Jarrow, County Durham. He formed his first band The John Miles Set, in 1971 and then went solo after signing a record contract with Decca in 1975.

He is, and always will be, remember for his 1976 hit, Music, the just under six-minute epic which reached number three in teh UK chart. It was actually his second hit following Highfly which got to number 17 in November 1975. He did have two further hits, Remember Yesterday in October 1976 and the number 10 hit Slow down in 1977.

From 1987 he has been a constaant member of Tina Turner’s band playing guitar and keyboards on many of her albums as well as on tour.

Lets enjoy this wonderful live performance of Music from 11 years ago.

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Anthony Newley

The legend that is Anthony Newley passed away 20 years ago this week.

Anthony was born in Hackney in London in 1931, but when his parents, who were never actually married, split up he was unofficially adopted by an aunt and uncle who brought him up.

He became a child actor with his first role being Dusty Bates in The Adventures of Dusty Bates in 1947 and then as the Artful Dodger in Oliver the following year.

He could sing, write music, act, arrange and had his own TV series. His more famous film roles included Idle on Parade which was about a singer who was called up for National Service and Doctor Doolittle in 1967. As a songwriter he penned Feeling Good, Candy Man, Goldfinger and Gonna Build A Mountain alongside Leslie Bricusse.

Between 1963 and 1970, he was married to the actress Joan Collins. He died of kidney cancer.

In 1960, he starred in and co-directed the six-episode television series called The Strange World of Gurney Slade. The name is taken from a real place in Somerset which Newley had visited a few weeks before. Each episode followed the life of Gurney (Newley) who seemed to live a mundane life. Most of the dialogue was Newley narrating his thoughts. The cast was limited but one episode featured Una Stubbs and another with Only Fools and Horses actor Roger Lloyd-Pack’s father Charles Lloyd Pack as Tinker. It was always deemed to be a bit strange, but I finally got a DVD copy about a year ago and loved it. It certainly lent something to The Prisoner which came seven years later.

Here’s a rare YouTube click of episode 1. Enjoy.

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It was 40 years ago this week that Marc Bolan died in a car crash in Barnes. The car was driven by his girlfriend, the singer Gloria Jones who recorded the original version of Tainted Love and also write the 1979 disco hit Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet for Gonzalez.

T.Rex first hit the UK chart in 1968, under the name Tyrannosaurus Rex, with Debora. After three hits they shortened the name to T.Rex and chart 20 hit singles including the four chart toopers; Hot Love, Get It On, Telegram Sam and Metal Guru.

Let’s enjoy his last top 20 hit, from 1976.

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Brian May

The legendary Queen guitarist Brian May is 70 this week.

The great man, whom I’ve met on a few occasions, has many strings to his bow, but he is certainly an underrated songwriter, probably just over shadowed by his phenomenal guitar playing.

He wrote or co-wrote almost 50% of Queen’s 46 UK hit singles, the first, and a sole writer, was Now I’m Here, a number 11 hit in 1975. It was primarily written about the good times and the bad times of the hard, extensive touring, which the band did during their first few years.

In 1974, they famously supported Mott the Hoople on their American tour, and it that tour which also provided some inspiration, highlighted by the line ‘Down in the city, just Hoople and me.’

Of all the queen songs, this one holds the record for the longest stay in their live sets, Freddie recalled in a Record Mirror interview in 1976, “We released it after Killer Queen, and it’s a total contrast, just a total contrast. It was just to show people we can still do rock ‘n’ roll – we haven’t forgotten our rock ‘n’ roll roots. It’s nice to do on stage. I enjoyed doing that on stage.”

Let’s enjoy this live version in Budapest from 1986.

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I’m not generally a fan of cover versions, but this one isn’t bad. Many will prefer the David Bowie original, but Bauhaus made a good job of this and their lead singer, Pete Murphy is 60 this week.

Bauhaus were formed in 1978 and originate from Northampton. They were led by singer Peter Murphy and backed up by brothers David on bass and Kevin Haskins on drums and completed by Daniel Ash on guitar. They were originally called Bauhaus 1919 which was a reference to the year that Bauhaus – the German Art School – was opened, but decided to drop the year almost immediately.

Their debut single in 1979 was called Bela Lugosi’s Dead which was championed by John Peel, but was also over nine minutes long thus restricting daytime airplay and in-turn, failed to make the chart. John Peel became a big fan and played all their tracks regularly and their first hit was called Kick in the Eye which stalled at number 59. The follow-up, THE Passion of Lovers made number 56 and then Spirit, the following year made number 42. Later in 1982 they covered Ziggy Stardust which shot to number 15 in the chart. That led to them appearing in the film The Hunger which starred the song’s originator, David Bowie

In 1983, they released two further singles, Lagartija Nick which peaked at 44 and was followed by She’s In Parties which reached number 26. Then at the end of a convert they announced their split. All members went on to various projects and Peter Murphy teamed up with Japan’s Mick Karn to form the short-lived band Dali’s Car who managed one number 66 hit in 1984 with The Judgement Is The Mirror. The pair reunited in 2010 to record the long-awaited second album, but by this time Karn had been diagnosed with cancer and died in January 2011. They did record five songs which were all featured on the InGladAloneness EP which came out in 2012.

Murphy married a Turkish lady and since 1992 has been living in Istanbul.

Let’s enjoy their cover of Ziggy Stardust.

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