1976

It’s fair to say that Poco are mostly a forgotten name today, but here they are out-Eagling The Eagles with their country-fried vocal harmonies.

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I’ve only just found out that Ply Styrene – back when she was Marianne Elliott-Said – was making music before X-Ray Spex. Music like this.

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For all my abiding love of The Velvet Underground, I’d have to concede that Lou Reed’s solo career has been inconsistent, and his albums a patchy representation of his talent.

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Crime – Hot Wire My Heart

18th November 2023 · 1970s, 1976, Music, Punk

This lost gem from 1976 is a little piece of punk history – the first single to be released by a West Coast punk band. A double A-side of Hot Wire My Heart and Baby You’re So Repulsive (surely a contender for best punk song title), it was the debut single by a San Francisco band called Crime.

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What a classic this is! It’s one of those songs that lifts your spirits the moment you hear those opening chords. American Girl’s got one foot in the past (the jangly guitar of The Byrds) and one foot in the present (the driving rhythms of the New Wave). On top of that, it’s just a stone-cold classic.

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Gordon Lightfoot, who died yesterday at the age of 84, was a legend in his home country of Canada. He might not have the same global fame but he was revered there as much – if not more – than contemporaries like Neil Young and Joni Mitchell.

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Cornel Campbell’s sweet quaver of a voice was first noticed in the church choir when he was a young boy, and as one of the finest falsettos in reggae, it never really changed.

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On a sunny day in 1976 I joined 150,000 other people in Knebworth Park to see The Rolling Stones. The line-up that day included Todd Rundgren’s Utopia, 10CC, Hot Tuna and, immediately before the headliners, Lynyrd Skynyrd.

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On the surface this Seventies oldie is the epitome of clean-cut middle-of-the-road soft rock schmaltz. Pause for a moment, though, and the words beneath those blissful harmonies are pure filth.

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The more I delve into the vaults of vintage soul, the more previously unheard gems I unearth. I guess that goes without saying. Like this classic example, a tune that’s better than many of the similar soul singles that packed the charts in the Sixties and Seventies.

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