1973

When I heard this infectious slice of Northern Soul on the radio I thought two things: first that it was by a black dude, and secondly that it was a reaction to the state of the world today. Wrong on both counts.

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This was the first tune I heard by Archie Bell & The Drells when it was a hit single in 1973. It’s very different from the sprightly funk jam of Tighten Up which put them on the soul and funk map five years earlier. For that matter it’s different to the Northern Soul stomper Here I Go Again that gave them their first UK hit at the end of 1972.

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Whatever we expected when Eno left Roxy Music to go solo out of sheer boredom – he said he was found himself “thinking about the laundry onstage” – in 1973 it probably wasn’t this.

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Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris were never romantically involved but when they sang together their voices made the sweetest love. Never more so than on this song. (more…)

I’ve never listened to anything by Yoko Ono. I grew up hearing the propaganda line that she “broke up The Beatles” and subsequently formed an uninformed opinion that her music was experimental rubbish.

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When I think of funk, this is the sound I hear in my head. The fat bass (is that the “phat” bass?), the hissing hi-hats, the waka-waka guitar licks, the muffled exhortations of the vocalist… put it all together and that’s The Fatback Band.

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Gram Parsons – Love Hurts

22nd September 2023 · 1970s, 1973, Country, Music

Fifty years ago this week Gram Parsons died in Room 8 of the Joshua Tree Inn in California, filled with morphine, barbiturates and alcohol, at the age of only 26.

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James Hines is one of the more fascinating figures of funk and soul – a six-foot-seven, 300-pound, legally blind albino guitarist, producer, composer who became a preacher after getting his sight back.

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This should be terrible. It’s a cover of a rock’n’roll standard by a one-hit-wonder known only for a novelty song half a century ago.

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RIP Jerry Lee Lewis (1935-2022). Last of the rock’n’roll legends, The Killer might not have been the greatest of men but his musical legacy is peerless.

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