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

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

MIKE MCGEAR GROWS WINGS



MIKE MCGEAR began his recording career in the mid 60's as part of the comedy/poetry/music group SCAFFOLD.Liverpool born Mike had jettisoned his birth name McCARTNEY to avoid accusations of riding on the coattails of his famous brother BEATLE PAUL,but having achieved success with Scaffold he felt comfortable enough to embark on a collaboration for his second solo LP in 1974.Recording began in January at Strawberry Studios in Stockport.Paul took the producers seat and supplied his band Wings to lay down a set of tunes the brothers had co written



As expected from those involved,the resulting album contained some excellent melodic material with evocative and whimsical lyrics.Leaving aside Mikes vocals,a lot of the tracks could easily be mistaken as WINGS numbers from the same era and like those,the spectre of GLAM ROCK/GLITTER POP rears it's rouge cheeked face on a few occasions.The LP kicks off with the only cover ''SEA BREEZES'',a number written by Bryan Ferry .This version is shorter and more direct than the version recorded by ROXY MUSIC for their first LP



The opening number morphs straight into ''WHAT DO WE REALLY KNOW?'' an UPTEMPO STOMPER with a fast shuffle beat that bears the influence of ''SOLID GOLD EASY ACTION'' by T-REX and MUD's ''TIGER FEET'' {the latter topped the UK charts for 4 weeks while the LP was being recorded}.The band cut loose on this and guitarists DENNY LANE and JIMMY McCULLOUGH really go to town!


The stomping continues in a strange offbeat way with ''Norton'' an incongruous crossbreeding of ''COZ I LUV YOU'' by SLADE and the crazed 60's novelty song ''THEY'RE COMING TO TAKE ME AWAY'' by NAPOLEON XIV.McGear switches to a menacing tone for these football chant style lyrics mouthed through the character of a small town bully

''Norton is a pretty boy
Norton is a sissy
Norton's got a lovely girl
Now is'nt that a pity''

''Norton is a daddies boy
Norton joined the army
He thought they'd make a man of him
He must be bloody barmy!''




''HAVE YOU GOT PROBLEMS?'' is NEW ORLEANS ROCK 'N' ROLL re-invented for the 70's in the manner of ''ALL THE WAY FROM MEMPHIS and ''THE GOLDEN AGE OF ROCK 'N' ROLL'' by MOTT THE HOOPLE.It features some great sax work from BRIAN JONES {from the legendary Mersey Beat group THE UNDERTAKERS}.Sounds like they were having a ball in the studio when they recorded this one!



McGear channels MARK BOLAN on ''GIVING GREASE A RIDE'',another powerful GLAM tinged rocker that comes across as a heavier brother to brother Paul's ''HELEN WHEELS'' 45 and like that cut it also features some excellent MINI MOOG playing from LINDA.The title was presumably inspired by the 1950's musical GREASE which had recently enjoyed it's first west end run and the song plays out with another period reference in the form of the ''SHAKIN' ALL OVER'' guitar riff



Rockers aside,the LP is worth checking out in it's entirety.As with SGT. PEPPER,the album contains many moods and the lower key songs {such as ''LEAVE IT'' and ''THE MAN WHO FOUND GOD ON THE MOON''} are excellent in their own right.The original GULLIVER themed gate-fold sleeve is also a gem!

No comments:

Post a Comment