Merle Haggard’s self-penned number from 1974 has all the elements of the perfect Christmas song – a sad, sentimental, yet optimistic lyric, and a cracking tune.


Let’s celebrate the Commonwealth Games like they did – with some miusic from Birmingham. Not Sabbath or The Streets, and not the organisers’ choice of Duran bloody Duran. Not even UB40 or my preference, Steel Pulse. (more…)

Be-Bop Deluxe filled a Bowie-shaped hole in my musical education after Aladdin Sane. I loved them despite – no, because of – the obvious similarity. (more…)

The inspiration for one of the more regrettable dance crazes, Rock The Boat was also the inspiration for Rock Your Baby, regarded by many as the first disco hit. (more…)

In the mid-Seventies, away from the pop charts but working hard at the coal face of the live music scene, one of the more entertaining bands on the London circuit was The Heavy Metal Kids. (more…)

Man – Four Day Louise

23rd October 2021 · 1970s, 1974, Music

The first gig I ever saw was by a Welsh rock group called Man, in May 1974.


The Kay-Gees – Get Down

7th October 2021 · 1970s, 1974, Funk, Music

Here’s another infectious party in your ears. There’s not much to it but there doesn’t need to be, beyond that fat beat, the funky bass, the jagged guitars and the constant exhortations to Get Down. Apart from that soaring soprano sax that keeps on taking it higher. (more…)

I don’t know where I was in 1974… I mean, I do, but I was listening to Bowie and T.Rex, Slade and The Sweet. So I had never encountered William DeVaughn. (more…)


James Brown invented funk in 1965 with Papa Got A Brand New Bag, a song he memorably described thus: “The title told it all – I have a new bag.” (more…)

James Brown channels his anger into a revenge fantasy in the influential funk classic The Payback, much sampled by hip hop artists in later years. (more…)