About Me

My photo
London, United Kingdom
DENIM DISCO is a blog dedicated to the pop music and culture of the 1970's. ~ Glam Pop and Discotheque Rock ~ The Sound Of The 70's ~ Contact:denimdisco@hotmail.co.uk

Friday, 30 December 2011

BLACKFOOT SUE - STANDING IN THE ROAD/SING DON'T SPEAK




''STANDING IN THE ROAD'' was a TOP 5 hit for Birmingham's BLACKFOOT SUE in the year of our glam 1972.The single {which could easily be mistaken for a SLADE song from the same era} was a DISCOTHEQUE ROCK classic pulsating with forceful GUITAR RIFFS a steady but heavy LOCOMOTIVE DANCE beat

Eddie Golga (lead guitar, vocals) explained the origin of the records distinctive rhythmic break this way:

''Alan got bored and picked up a biscuit tin and started banging it. I said "That sounds good!" and we all started hitting Coke bottles with sticks and that created the rhythm section in the middle''




The band followed it up with ''SING DON'T SPEAK'' which developed the format of the first single to great effect



Sadly the single failed to take off in the same way and the band soldiered on for a few years releasing strong material that the public failed to warm to.At the end of the decade they evolved into the WHITE SOUL group LINER

Thursday, 22 December 2011

THE DISCO KID - ROLLER COASTER/GUITAR'D AND FEATHER'D



Mickie Most's RAK records dominated the mid 70's UK pop charts,but THE DISCO KID 45 is one of the labels releases that few people would have heard at the time.Despite the records lack of success both sides are fine GLAM infused GUITAR INSTRUMENTALS which were recorded with the intention of keeping feet on the dance floor.

The A-Side ''ROLLER COASTER'' is slightly reminiscent of AREA CODE 615's ''STONE FOX CHASE'' and features some nice COUNTRY inspired guitar work.





The flip side ''GUITAR'D AND FEATHER'D'' is even better.The GLAM BACK-BEAT is more emphasized on this and some rockin' SAXAPHONE work beefs up the guitar line to great effect.The result sounds like DUANE EDDY jamming with the SUZI QUATRO band.





The record was writen and produced by BILL MARTIN and PHILL COULTER who were doing great business with the BAY CITY ROLLERS at the time.

The identity of the GUITAR MAN is almost certainly JOE MORETTI as the name MORETTI is co-credited as writing the A-Side of the disc.Joe was session man with an impressive CV that goes back to the early days of UK ROCK 'N' ROLL.

He played guitar on VINCE TAYLOR'S ''BRAND NEW CADILLAC'' and JOHNNY KIDD & THE PIRATES ''SHAKIN ALL OVER'' as well as many more hits over the decades to come.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

SWEET MUSIC

From THE MUSIC STAR ANNUAL '75
A brief interview with BRIAN CONNOLLY and some great pics of SWEET in their prime



Monday, 21 November 2011

BRIAN PROTHEROE - CLOG DANCER



Brian Protheroe is mostly remembered for the song ''PINBALL'' which made number 22 in the UK CHARTS in 1974.His follow up 45's'' FLY NOW'' and ''THE GOOD BRAND BAND SONG'' received a
reasonable amount of airplay but sadly fared less well.Their lack of sales left Brian with a ''ONE HIT WONDER'' tag which is a shame as I regard him as one of the best SINGER/SONGWRITERS of the era.

The three lp's he recorded for CHRYSALIS RECORDS contain a wealth of amazing songs that highlight his distinctive word-play and draw on song traditions from FOLK,BLUES,JAZZ,POP through to VAUDERVILLE.All three have been  reissued on CD by the BASTA label and can't be recommend highly enough.

''CLOG DANCER'' was a track from his debut LP which also turned up on the flip side of ''FLY NOW''. It's a fast looping dream of a song which takes the best aspects of his contemporaries {CAT STEVENS,ELTON JOHN,PRICE & FAME} and sends them on a skat singing,honky tonkin',roller coaster ride!


She Was A Big End Brenda
She Could Bend A Big Banana
She Could Talk Your Daddy Loose In The Park
In The Dark
Was A Tate Mate Lady
She Can Dig Modigliani
She Can Woo Picasso Out Of The Frame
What A Dame
But She Catch You With A Snap Shot
Clap Trap
Put You On Your Back If You Don't Watch Out

Goodbye To The Clog Dancer
You Kept Your Electric Eye On Me Good
Bye Bye To The Hot Pantser
You Could Tell By The Beat
As She Walk Down The Street
It Was Only Her Feet That Were Made Of Wood


Wednesday, 26 October 2011

SKINHEAD SLADE


In 1969 publicist Keith Altham was struggling to gain column inches for the under achieving ROCK band SLADE.The group were managed by CHAS CHANDLER {who had discovered JIMI HENDRIX} but neither their debut LP ''BEGININGS'' or the singles pulled from it had met with any success.

Then he hit on a bold plan to re-style the band in the mold of a teenage fashion that was receiving considerable media attention: SKINHEAD.The skinheads were a smart working class subculture that matched MOD CLOTHING and PROLETARIAN WORKWEAR with the CROPPED HAIRCUT which gave them their name.It was a reaction against both the older generations adoption of longer hair {coupled with a more relaxed dress code} and the look of the 'HIPPY DROPOUT' which had been widely adopted by the young middle class at this time.

                                               SKINHEAD FASHION CIRCA 1969/70

SLADE were initially reluctant to go with this makeover,but faced with an anonymous future on the collage circuit they embraced the chance of appealing to this untapped audience.The group were duly marched to the barbers, dressed in the relevent clothes and attended a hastily arranged photo session.

NODDY HOLDER

JIM LEA

DAVE HILL

DON POWELL


Initially the gamble seemed to pay off.The press started covering the group and they made their first TV appearence performing their current 45 ''Wild Winds Are Blowing''



Despite the attention the new look had got them,the record and two following singles didn't shift in great numbers and they failed to gain acceptence with the majority of skinheads

''We played in Bornmouth one night and it was full of skinheads.We went on stage and they just saw right through us''
DON POWELL





Undeterred the group paid attention to building up their live following and in November 1970 an LP ''PLAY IT LOUD'' was released

                       
                             OUTTAKES FROM THE ''PLAY IT LOUD'' cover photoshoot



SKINHEAD was an aspect of WORKING CLASS STREET FASHION and as such was constantly evolving.First the look moved closer to the earlier look of the MODS.Three button TONIC SUITS,heavy welted BROGUE SHOES,COLOURFUL TIES and ARGYLE KNITWEAR were worn with slightly LONGER HAIR.This development was dubbed SUEDEHEAD.Then came ROUND COLLOR SHIRTS,CHECKED 'RUPERT' TROUSERS,SPOON TOED SHOES and HAIR GROWN OVER THE COLLAR.The overall appearance now contrasted greatly with the look at the start of the decade and became known as SMOOTHIE.

                                            SUEDEHEAD FASHION CIRCA 1970/71

This excellent slide show provides a glimpse of how the band evolved their look in tandem with these changing fashions


DAVE HILL acknowledged how their dalliance with skinhead culture influenced the future image and sound of the band:

''I developed a hairstyle which came from that skinhead thing where I had very long hair but with a very short fringe.If you think about the bovver boots developing into bigger boots and us having an audience where there all going {stamps feet} all this stamping lark''

JAMAICAN IMMIGRANTS greatly influenced the sartorial style of the SKINHEADS.Trousers worn at 'HALF-MAST',PORK PIE HATS and even the CROPPED HAIRSTYLE itself were borrowed from the the jamaican 'RUDE BOY'.REGGAE was also their music of choice and while this left SLADE somewhat out in the cold with a vast number of skins,those who did follow the band provided a lively contrast to the 'sit down' PROGESSIVE ROCK crowd.The skins were well accustomed to call and response REGGAE tunes like the ''SKINHEAD MOONSTOMP'' and this would have quite an effect on the band and inspire the recording of their breakthrough song: A cover of a little known LITTLE RICHARD number ''GET DOWN AND GET WITH IT''.NODDY remembers playing it live:

''We started doing it and the skinheads used to love that bit at the finish where you put your hands in the air and take your boots off and all that''

The song was released complete with an overdub of STAMPING BOOTS in May 1971 and started to climb the charts.Noddy's raucous vocals and the gruops powerhouse performance made the record stand out and visually they had added some quirky elements to their basic street fashions.Noddy wore a distinctive oversized CHECKED FLAT CAP and SCARF in the style of the British newspaper comic strip character ANDY CAPP.Dave inspired by the new 70's pop sensation MARC BOLAN glammed up in androgynous MULTICOLORED COATS and KNEE LENGTH BOOTS.the GLITTER ROCK image they would be known for had begun to take shape.

The record peaked at number 16 and was the first of 17 consecutive Top 20 hits for the band.The follow up single ''COZ I LUV YOU'' went to NUMBER ONE in November and the band went on to define the GLAM ROCK era become one of the top selling acts in UK POP history.

A PROMO FILM FOR ''GET DOWN AND GET WITH IT''




                                                           SLADE 1971





                                       
                                           SLADE FULLY GLAMMED UP IN 1972


SLADE quotes from:
''SLADE FEEL THE NOISE'' the official biography 1984
''IT'S SLADE'' BBC TV documentary 1999

Friday, 21 October 2011

GLAM MEETS MOTOWN - ''UP IN A PUFF OF SMOKE''


POLLY BROWN first came to the attention of the British public singinging with the group Pickettywitch who scored two big hits in 1970 with "That Same Old Feeling" and "(It's Like A) Sad Old Kinda Movie".

When the group struggled to match that early success songwriter/producer GERRY SHURY recorded a solo LP with Polly in 72.Dispite highlighting her wonderful voice {Shurly described it as "A cross between Diana Ross and Dionne Warwick"} the record lacked any material strong enough to make a HIT 45.

Then in 1974 Shurly hit gold when he wrote and produced ''UP IN A PUFF OF SMOKE''.The record posessed a strong MOTOWN like melody that recalled THE SUPREMES hits of the sixties and was propelled by a comtempry 'whompa whompa' GLAM BACKBEAT and bubbling SYNTHESIZER.Incredibly for a record which was seemingly perfect for the dancefloors of the early DISCO era it failed to crack the TOP 40 charts in the UK and stalled at number 43!


In the USA the story was different and the record was warmly recieved on the dance floor.It reached number 3 on the US DISCO CHART and went on to 16 in THE BILLBOARD HOT 100 in March 1975

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

''TWEEDLE DEE TWEEDLE DUM'' - HIGHLAND POP CORRIDO


THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD were a Scottish pop group that scored a number of chart hits
across Europe in the beginning of the 70's.Their records were written and recorded in
Italy under the direction of producer GIACOMO TOSTI and the resulting latin tinged
EUROPOP sound fittted their name perfectly.Their debut 45 ''CHIRPY CHIRPY CHEEP
CHEEP'' {released in 1971} was an infectious slice of BUBBLEGUM POP and with the aid
of singer SALLY CARR's dolly bird image the group gained enough attention to reach the
NUMBER ONE spot in the UK and achieve further success on the continent.

The same year they enjoyed further euro wide success with a title that belied the
inventive nature of the composition: ''TWEEDLE DEE TWEEDLE DUM''.The number was based
on the CORRIDO BALLAD song tradition,a MEXICAN FOLK form that utilises a WALTZ
like rhythm to convey a story of rural frontier folk heroism.The form was enjoying a
fresh spell of popularity at this time and a number of NEO CORRIDO songs were recorded
by LOUNGE POP singers in Europe.Hits in the style included:


''THE YOUNG NEW MEXICAN PUPPETEER'' by TOM JONES
''I DID WHAT I DID FOR MARIA'' by TONY CHRISTIE
''TEN GUITARS'' by ENGLEBERT HUMPERDINK
and ''TAMPICO'' by HEINO



For the song in question writers WALLY STOTT and G & M CAPUANO cleverly referenced
the groups scottish origin in the lyrics and came up with a tale of INTER-CLAN WARFARE
that set it apart from the other EURO CORRIDO songs I mentioned.They also put an anti
war subtext into the lyrics and added a COUNTRY ROCK guitar riff and 4/4 BACKBEAT
that gave the song an extra kick.Producer TOSTI crafted the song around a couple of exuberant hand clapping PROTO DISCO breakdowns and the resulting disc was pure DENIM DISCO gold!


Do you recall some years ago ?
Up in the mountains that were white with snow
inside a cavern McDougal he was plannin'
there's gonna be a showdown with somebody he knows.

Well he's been there a year or so
something will happen very soon I know
I hear him playin' his bagpipes every mornin'
I think that it's a warmin'he's gathering the clan.

Soon you'll hear the sound of people shouting
you will see the claymores in their hands
if you knew the reason for their fighting
you would never understand.

Oh Tweedle Dee
Oh Tweedle Dum.
The tune McDougal always used to hum
While he was fightin' his rival clan McGregor
Dishonour he would never
the tartan of his clan.


Tuesday, 27 September 2011

THE DENIM DISCO YOUTUBE CHANNEL



Youtube stands as the best stocked jukebox on the net.Pretty much any piece of recorded
pop history {and latest release} can be accessed via the site.A few months back I challenged
myself to see if I could find anything in my collection of vinyl that was not already on there.
So far I've come up with 50 tracks that were not previously Youtubed and are also within the
scope of this blog.You can find them all via this link:

http://www.youtube.com/user/DenimDisco#p/a

Monday, 19 September 2011

DENIM - FOR MEN WHO DON'T HAVE TO TRY TOO HARD


An advert for DENIM AFTERSHAVE from 1979

''When a woman puts denim on a man he knows that the more she puts on the more life takes off''

DENIM FASHION

A mid seventies denim fashion feature from JACKIE magazine

Friday, 19 August 2011

MORE DENIM DISCO MIX


Tracklist:

01 - Gary Glitter - Rock And Roll Part Two
02 - Elektrik Cokernut - Jungle Juice
03 - Polly Brown - Up In A Puff Of Smoke
04 - Fox - S - S - S - Single Bed
05 - Stretch - Why Did You Do It
06 - 5000 Volts - Thunderfire
07 - The Alan Parsons Project - I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You
08 - East Of Eden - Jig - A - Jig
09 - Titanic - Sultana
10 - Cozy Powell - Dance With The Devil
11 - Boney M - Rasputin
12 - Sting -Thief Of Bagdad
13 - Jigsaw - Sky High
14 - Wings - Jet
15 - Rod And The Faces - You Can Make Me Dance Sing Or Anything
16 - Hot Chocolate - Every 1's A Winner
17 - T.Rex - Light Of Love
18 - Hello - New York Groove
19 - Kenny - The Bump
20 - Brendon - Gimmie Some
21 - The Peppers - Pepper Box
22 - Bryan Ferry - Re-Make Re-Model

More Denim Disco Mix by Denim Disco on Mixcloud


http://www.mediafire.com/?orqghw8z5wsbg7a

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Paper Lace - So what if I am




Paper Lace came to prominence after winning the TV talent show OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS in 1974.Songwriters MITCH MURRAY and PETER CALLENDER took them under their wing and wrote the country tinged pop song "BILLY DON'T BE A HERO'' which put them at the top of the UK singles charts for three weeks in March of that year."THE NIGHT CHICAGO DIED'' and ''THE BLACK EYED BOYS'' followed in a similar pop vein with continued success.

When their revival of VANITY FARE'S ''HITCHIN' A RIDE'' proved less successful the following year,Murray and Callender penned this stomping slice of ADULT BAITING AGGRO GLAM for their next release.Not something the public expected from the band and it sunk like a brick at the time!

With hindsight it stands as a fantastic example of UK GLAM PROTO PUNK and judging from their appearance on BEAT CLUB it struck a chord with the kids in Germany!


PAPER LACE - SO WHAT IF I AM



LIVE PERFORMANCE ON BEAT CLUB

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

DENIM DISCO ISN'T... DENIM DISCO IS...

Denim Disco Isn't
COSMIC DISCO
Denim Disco Is
YOUTH CLUB DISCO

Denim Disco Isn't
NATURAL FIBERS
Denim Disco Is
THAT POLYESTER LOOK

Denim Disco Isn't
ST KATHERINE'S DOCK
Denim Disco Is
THE STONEBRIDGE ESTATE

Denim Disco Isn't
JOHN PEEL
Denim Disco Is
FLUFF FREEMAN

''It's Only Rock & Roll'' Underground Comic



The cover of ''It's Only Rock & Roll'' an underground comic from 1975.

The comic parodies the stars pictured on the cover.

Strips to follow!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Floating Opera - Let's Streak

A MONSTER Glam Stomper from 1974!

The tune hinges on a KILLER Moog synth line and a RESURRECTION SHUFFLE style chant layered over a QUICK JOEY SMALL meets ROCK and ROLL PART 2 backbeat.

It was composed by Alan Hawkshaw and Ray Davies,both known for their involement with KPM Music and other Music Library labels throughout the 70's.Given this I think it's safe to asume that the band was a studio creation.

Hawshaw is notable for playing Hammond organ on numerous pop and library sessions.
He also played Moog synthesizer on the ROCK ON LP by David Essex in 1973 and composed the synth-moog-library album ARP ODYSSEY for KPM in '75.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Suzi Quatro - Your Mama Won't Like Me



A mesmerising slice of DENIM SISCO from the first lady of glam.Penned by Chinn and Chapman and released in the year 1975,this tune demands dancefloor reaction from it's fat back drum and bass intro through to the final chanted refrain.


A brass stabbing,non flagging,near orgasmic,heavy leather resurrection shuffle!


Original Promo Clip



Live In Japan 75'

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

DENIM DISCO MIX




Tracklist:

01 - Barry Blue - Do You Wanna Dance
02 - The Rah Band - The Crunch
03 - Floating Opera - Let's Streak
04 - Suzie Quatro - Your Mama Won't Like Me
05 - Alice Cooper - Billion Dollar Babies
06 - Eagles - Life In The Fast Lane
07 - 10 C.C. - Art For Art Sake
08 - Steely Dan - Josie
09 - Boz Scaggs - The Lowdown
10 - Daryl Hall And John Oats - Back Together Again
11 - Sweet - Fox On The Run
12 - Paper Lace - So What If I Am
13 - Alvin Stardust - Red Dress
14 - Mud - Moonshine Sally
15 - Sailor - Down By The Docks
16 - Abba - Gimmie! Gimmie! Gimmie!
17 - The Electric Light Orchestra - Last Train To London
18 - The Beach Boys - Here Comes The Night
19 - Theo Vaness - I'm A Bad Bad Boy

Denim Disco Mix by Denim Disco on Mixcloud


Download An MP3 Of The Mix {With Artwork} Here:

http://www.mediafire.com/?uug0rfbmu95993m

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Denim Disco Isn't... Denim Disco Is...

Denim Disco Isn't:
THE OLD GREY WHISTLE TEST
Denim Disco Is:
LIFT OFF WITH AYSHEA

Denim Disco Isn't:
THE VELVET UNDERGROUND
Denim Disco Is:
THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD

Denim Disco Isn't:
ORGANIC OATCAKES
Denim Disco Is:
JAMMIE DODGERS

Denim Disco Isn't:
SHOPPING ON AMAZON
Denim Disco Is:
SHOPLIFTING AT WOOLWORTHS

What Is Denim Disco?



Born in the 1970's Denim Disco is a sound that contains two or more of the following base elements:
GLITTER POP,HARD ROCK,BUBBLEGUM,SOUL,DISCO and REGGAE

The resulting music was typically pressed onto 7INCH VINYL RECORDS which were played on DAYTIME RADIO and danced to at SCHOOL,YOUTHCLUB and HIGH STREET DISCO'S

Where Were You In '72?


Welcome to DENIM DISCO a blog dedicated to the pop music and culture of the 1970's.On it I'll be posting thoughts,memories and images as well as some of my own mixes of CLASSIC 70's POP MUSIC.

I was born in London and lived there as a child throughout the decade.Denim Disco has been created as a tribute to the music of those times.

When I reached adolescence near the end of the decade my tastes were diverted away from the mainstream,but here I wish to focus on a time when I was primarily exposed to music via DAYTIME RADIO {BBC Radio One,Capital FM} and TV POP SHOWS {Top Of The Pops,Lift Off With Ayshea,Saturday Scene, Supersonic}.The blog will feature the music I enjoyed then as well as things of a similar vintage I've discovered since.