Tuesday Tunes 29: More Sixties

I said last week that I’d be revisiting the Sixties, and here we are again. I also promised to spread my reach beyond the UK’s shores: this week I have three and a bit from the UK, plus one from Australia. To redress the balance, next week will see an all-American selection, so keep watching…

First up, the ‘bit.’ Two parts born in Jamaica, one part Guyana, and two parts UK:

That was a UK #1 in early 1968, also reaching #32 in the States – their only chart hit there, though they had two further top ten UK singles and some smaller hits. The band was formed in London from a nucleus of school friends and you may recognise their lead singer: Eddy Grant, who went on to achieve a fair degree of solo success, notably with I Don’t Wanna Dance, which was #1 in the UK and #53 in the US, and Electric Avenue, which reached #2 both sides of the pond.

As with all of this week’s songs, I bought this next one as a single. The video sound is a little wonky at the beginning – well, it is 54 years old! – but soon settles down:

The Hollies were very successful for the better part of ten years, and you probably know them from He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother or The Air That I Breathe, which were both massive hits around the world. This was their 12th UK single, which peaked at #5 in both the UK and US. Like many of their songs it was also a big hit in many European countries. I still think this is my favourite of theirs. If you look closely you’ll see Graham Nash on guitar and harmony vocals, before he left to become a huge star as part of Crosby Stills & Nash and also in his own right. Both of the Hollies biggest global hits were released after Nash left – that may or may not be a coincidence!

My next choice is one of those classic one-hit wonders, though to be fair to the band a follow up single was a minor UK hit:

According to Wikipedia, who must be using a different chart from the guy who made the video, that reached #9 in the UK (the follow up, For Whom The Bell Tolls, was their only other chart entry, at #43 in 1968). I rather like that video, which fits the feel of the song, and its sound quality is much better than the few videos which exist of the band playing live at the time. That was a UK hit in 1967, and featured a band described at the time as ‘psychedelic,’ which was rather annoying for them as they saw themselves as a soul band! There were six members of Simon Dupree And The Big Sound, none of whom was called Simon or Dupree: three of them, the Shulman brothers, also had a UK hit under the name of The Moles (We Are The Moles, Parts 1 and 2) and later went on to form the prog-rock band Gentle Giant. For part of 1967 they had a stand-in keyboard player for live shows: a certain Mr Reginald Dwight, of whom you may have heard.

I’d be surprised if many (any?) of you knew of that song but the next one might be more familiar:

Cream had a relatively short span as a band, which included just four albums in a little over three years, of which Goodbye – from which this was taken – is their swansong. They had several hit singles but were very much an albums band, and sold by the truckload both here and in the US – elsewhere, too. That album was a UK #1, and reached #2 in the US. As a single, Badge made #18 in the UK and #65 in the US. Whilst Eric Clapton played lead guitar on the track, as he always did, the jangly guitar part was by a guest artist: George Harrison, who co-wrote the song with Clapton. Of all the great records Cream made, that is still my favourite.

For this week’s final selection I mentioned that we would be travelling Down Under. No, not THAT one – it was much later, anyway. This one was unusual for us, as we hadn’t at that time seen or heard of many bands from Australia. There were, of course, The Seekers, but our parents liked them: the parental approval kiss of death!

To be totally accurate, none of the band members were born in Australia: two had emigrated as children from England, one from Scotland and two from the Netherlands, and they actually met at a hostel for migrants. This was released in autumn 1966 and was the first record by an Australian rock band to enjoy worldwide success: in addition to being their second #1 in Australia, this also reached #6 in the UK, #16 in the US, #1 in the Netherlands and charted in a number of other countries. The song was written by band members Harry Vanda and George Young (who was the older brother of Angus and Malcolm, of AC/DC). My sister and I were staying at that time for a few days with our older cousin, who had just bought this. It was played so much while we were there that we badgered our parents to buy it for us when we got home! There have been many cover versions, perhaps most notably by David Bowie on his Pinups album – which Vanda later described as “the only cover I liked!” There is also a video of Bruce Springsteen playing it live in Sydney in 2014 – that guy always did know how to play to the crowd!

That’s all for this week, folks! Next week I’ll be taking my trawl through the depths of my early record collection to the USA. So much good music was coming out of there at that time that it would be criminal for me to neglect it, and I did promise!

Take care, stay safe, and don’t go out for a drive to wave to the neighbours if you’ve tested positive for Covid 😉

64 thoughts on “Tuesday Tunes 29: More Sixties

    • Thank you, Jean, that’s very kind. Kites was a one hit wonder, and you probably had to be here at the time to know of it – I don’t think it ever gets radio play nowadays…

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  1. Hi Clive
    I knew of three songs here – Bus stop, Friday on my Mind, and Cream song –
    I like learning from your posts – and this might sound so naive – but had no idea that Clapton played guitar for Cream. I have a young memory of the band on a cover of a magazine

    And fun to learn more about Eddy Grant because we loved Electric Avenue 🎶🎶🎶🎶


    And enjoyed the memory of you and your sister at your cousins having such fun musical immersion and then your parents getting the music for ya.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Yvette. You knew more than some did! I’m guessing that Cream were around before you were born so you have good reason not to know about them. Clapton played with Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett – a great single with them, Coming Home. Also part of Derek and the Dominos (Layla) before he settled into his solo career, but is always in demand to play for others.

      Those were good days, everything seemed so new and exciting.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh o can see that is was new and exciting – and it is so interesting to see the connections behind the scenes

        I had older siblings and cousins and so was exposed to magazine covers and album art in late 70s early 80s – and I do recall Cream band and I think the “Creem” magazine –
        Which by the way there is a documentary out about that magazine (2019) and I will let you know if I get a chance to watch it –
        Also – I did recently watch a doc about Chihuly glass and the Pilchuck campus in Seattle – and they have a huge section on the 1960s – and it fits right on with your last two posts
        And do you still have a lot of your records?

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think a lot of that was the musicians finding what they liked playing best, like Graham Nash leaving a pop group to become part of one of the best folk-rock bands ever: it was more ‘his thing.’ There have been a few such connections over these past two posts, and there will be more!

        I’ve never heard of that magazine or the glass and campus! It’s interesting how things do or don’t travel, isn’t it?

        No, my vinyls have all got lost over the years, and I don’t have anything to play them on now, anyway. Just a massive CD collection and an Apple Music subscription now. It isn’t perfect, but I do come across long-forgotten albums in there 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • yes streaming music can give us options for the old and forgotten music

        and recently we chuckled when someone asked, “is that Crosby Stills and Nash, or Crosby Stills Nash and Young”
        ha – the way they asked about it was fun — and for both the music was so good — and I know many that would agree with your about “one of the best folk-rock bands ever” – ahhh – good stuff

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m still surprised by some of the obscure stuff I find on there. One of those rarities may be in a future post.

        CS&N were great with or without Y in my book. I still enjoy listening to them: keep your eyes peeled…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. As you predicted, I had never heard the Simon Dupree tune before, although I am a big fan of one-hit wonders. I’ve seen music trivia shows with that category, which I find fascinating. Of these tunes, I’m giving my number one vote to Cream. The Hollies were one of the first groups that I liked when I began to follow music.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. these sound so sixties! Had not heard of the Equals, but I liked watching Baby Come Back. And I love that Bruce dug deep into the Australian record archives to play Friday on My Mind. That’s part of what makes him such a great performer. And I had never heard of the Easybeats, but I like the song you chose. Many of these videos reminded me of American Bandstand…

    Liked by 1 person

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