Best known for their organ-drenched debut 1967 hit "A Whiter Shade Of Pale", Procol Harum continued for quite a long while and in fact have re-formed in recent years. A lot of their 1970s songs seem to have an odd jerkiness about them, but "As Strong As Samson" is the one in which they put it all together properly, 'cause it's smooth, heavy, and it swings! With organ, piano, and pedal steel guitar all pitching in, surely this is high up somewhere in the 1970s top ten songs.
Produced by Chris Thomas, who later did "Back On The Chain Gang" for the Pretenders and the "Different Class" LP for Pulp, so that's quite a line of quality there.
from Exotic Birds and Fruit (Chrysalis) available on CD - The Chrysalis Years (Chrysalis)
A beautifully clear female voice emerges out of a rich synth backing of subtle harmonies provided by Bob Noble. Judie Tzuke (best-known for "Stay with me till dawn" of 1979 which was a minor UK hit) recorded a number of excellent tracks over the years. A reviewer on Amazon describes her as the "fifth biggest selling British female singer between 1980 and 1985", but I'd almost forgotten about her until I stumbled across one of her albums on CD in a shop the other day, prompting a return to some of my LPs and tapes.
This particular track has long been a favourite of mine for its emotional depth, but for whatever reason it's been a long time since I heard it. It would have helped had I been able to buy it on CD - unfortunately it doesn't appear to be available on any current disc.
In some ways an obvious pop-punk classic, but still one that's generally overlooked in favour of their singles. One of the greatest nights between my best friend and I was the time that not only did we discover this was both of our favourite Blondie song, but we found out that, rather shamefully, each of us harboured a secret crush on Rimmer from Red Dwarf.
The song is the best among some real class on Plastic Letters. The noises made by a band on the brink of the mainstream super-success they were so worthy of. Deborah Harry never sounded tougher (except perhaps on Rifle Range), a persona that fits her like the ripped catsuit she famously sported on Top Of The Pops.
A punk band that made the progress limited to just a few like the Jam and Killing Joke.This is guitar shaped power pop with a healthy slice of mod swagger and a fantastic chorus .A kind of Bowie esque tribute to wasted cool and what should have been a sure fire top tenner .This came from a buried gem of an album produced by Mott the Hooples Ian Hunter and listening now with hindsight that makes perfect sense ,the group and producer managing to crytalise glams optimism and punks negativity.
from Valley of the Dolls (Chrysalis) available on CD - Valley of the Dols