Tuesday Tunes 51: Cheating

A message to youth

I kinda set this week’s theme up in the previous episode of this series, both by including one song which cheated against my own ‘rules,’ and also in the comment I made about the news story relating to the serial shagger who has somehow become this country’s Prime Minister. Anyone with an ounce of decency would have resigned by now when caught dipping his wick at the public’s expense – although decency isn’t a word I’d associate with him or his government chums. But it has given me the perfect lead for today’s theme: cheating.

I have seven songs for you this week. Four are the classic ‘you done me wrong’ sort of cheating, one is someone on the brink of temptation, one is trying to hold things together, and the last one isn’t sure if cheating is going on or if he has just missed the clues that things are over. Happy days all round, then!

For me, the definitive song of this type has always been this one:

The word ‘classic’ gets thrown around a lot, but there’s no denying this one deserves it. The first version of the song to be released was by Gladys Knight And The Pips in 1967, when it went to #2 in the US. Marvin Gaye’s recording was a 1968 release – both versions were on the Motown label – and it was a huge hit, making #1 in both the US and the UK, for seven and three weeks respectively, as well as in several other countries. The song was also recorded by The Miracles, but Berry Gordy blocked their version – and initially the Marvin Gaye version too – as he didn’t like them. What did that guy know about music, anyway?! There have been many covers of this song, notably the one by Creedence Clearwater Revival, who turned it into an eleven minute epic for their Cosmo’s Factory album in 1970. Much though I like CCR, I still think Marvin’s is the best version.

This week’s second tune is another classic of the genre:

That was from Ace’s album Five-A-Side, which was released in 1974. The song was taken from it as a single, and peaked at #3 in the US (the album made #11 there). It’s funny how your memory can play tricks on you, though: I always remembered this as a huge hit here too, but it actually only reached #20. The lead singer is Paul Carrack, who has been in several bands since then, including Mike And The Mechanics: remember The Living Years? He sang it. He has also had a long solo career, and is still producing some fine albums. And by complete coincidence, today is his 70th birthday – Happy Birthday Paul! Funnily enough, this song was actually written by him about rumours that the band’s bass player, Terry Comer, had been talking to other bands about playing with them. But for most people it has always been interpreted as a song to an about to be ex-lover!

This next one is the one about someone trying not to give into temptation. Does he yield? You’ll have to watch the video to find out:

That was from Del Amitri’s third album, Change Everything, released in June 1992. They weren’t the most prolific of recording artists, making just six albums in the period from 1985 to 2002, but they are all excellent. Four of those albums reached the UK top ten, this being the most successful at #2. It was also a #178 smash in the US. The song was a modest single hit here, getting to #30, but it didn’t chart in the US. The band were from Scotland and had the ‘distinction’ of recording the official song for the Scottish football team for the 1998 World Cup finals. Rather optimistically titled Don’t Come Home Too Soon, it fared better than the team, making #1 in Scotland, #15 in the UK as a whole, while the team did their usual trick of failing to get beyond the initial group stage. But at least they made the finals that time – a rarity of a sort, which England supporters always enjoy!

I’ve been advised that this video doesn’t work in the US. My apologies, as it is the record company’s official one! Hopefully this version on YouTube works for you, as it’s a great song! https://youtu.be/R6aSKDiqPKs

The next two songs are about someone suffering in the knowledge that his love is cheating on him, and is getting ready to go out to do just that. The first of these is probably the first country song that Kenny Rogers recorded:

Kenny Rogers And The First Edition’s first hit single was the psychedelic Just Dropped In – this was a long way from that! It was the song that made them an international success, reaching #6 in the US and #2 here in the UK. Around the time this was recorded the original female singer, Thelma Camacho, parted company with the band and was replaced by Mary Arnold – who was given the job in preference to a certain Karen Carpenter. The rejection didn’t seem to affect Karen’s recording career too much. The song was written by Mel Tillis, who rather unhelpfully didn’t clear up the doubt about whether the ‘crazy Asian war’ reference meant Korea or Vietnam by saying ‘it might have been WW2.” That reference does however show that this is a serious song, and not just a poppy little tune.

The other ‘she’s going out’ song is, I think, a fairly obvious choice for me:

That live version is just sooo good! The harmonies are perfect, and it is such a great song from one of my all time favourite bands: they even gave me the name for my blog! This was a track on The Eagles’ fourth album, One Of These Nights, released in 1975. It was co-written by Don Henley and the late, great Glenn Frey, who sings lead vocal. The album was a US #1, and got to #8 here. As a single, the song reached #2 in the US but only #23 here. For some reason the band has never had the chart success here that I would have expected. This was only their second hit single here, following the title track of that album, which also got to #23: all of their earlier great songs didn’t make our charts. And if I were to ask you which was their only #1 album here what would you say? No, it isn’t the obvious one: both Hotel California and their first Greatest Hits album only reached #2. It was actually their comeback album Long Road Out Of Eden in 2007, showing that a 28 year wait between albums can have its reward! They have sold over 100m records in the US and 200m worldwide, though, so we’ve done our bit to help them along their way.

Apparently this one doesn’t work in the US either. There is another posting of the same video, though, which hopefully will work for you – fingers crossed: https://youtu.be/ZFnH8DtrIRc

My penultimate choice for this week is a Fleetwood Mac song but, as I included them last week, I thought I’d give you a fabulous cover version instead. I know I’m doing myself out of a future Under The Covers selection by sharing this, but it’s worth it:

As cover versions go, that one is hard to beat. The Highwomen are a country ‘supergroup,’ comprising Maren Morris, Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby and Amanda Shires. Amanda’s husband, Jason Isbell, turned up for this recording to keep an eye on her: they are on the left of the screen, front and back rows. They recorded the song in 2019 for the movie The Kitchen, and this live studio recording followed shortly after. I think it’s incredibly good. In case you need reminding, the Fleetwood Mac original version was on side 2, track 1 of the 1977 album Rumours, which of course was #1 in the US and the UK, and in loads of other places too. This song wasn’t released as a single, though it was the B-side to the single release of You Make Loving Fun in Germany and France. Don’t ask why just those two countries: I have no idea!

Today’s final song is the ‘is she cheating or leaving’ one:

My apologies for the static video: I did find some live recordings but the sound quality wasn’t great, so I’m giving you the studio version. With a song this good, who needs pictures anyway? This was the opening and title track from Jackson Browne’s twelfth album, released in 2002. The album peaked at #36 in the US and #53 here in the UK. Jackson has long been a favourite of mine: his connection with the Eagles, and co-writing of Take It Easy, has assured him of that, and I still rank the concert of his that I attended in 2010 as one of the best I’ve ever seen. It was at the Royal Albert Hall in London, which has great acoustics and is ideally suited to him – that probably explains why he is a regular performer there during his tours. Tours? Live concerts? Remember them? Hopefully soon, my friends…

That’s all for this week. It has been fun compiling this, and there is some great music here, which I hope you’ve enjoyed. I’ll see you again next Tuesday, with a selection prompted by whatever comes into my head as a theme. Until then, stay safe and well.

Tuesday Tunes 50: Golden

The theme for this week’s Tunes was an easy one to choose. This is the fiftieth edition of this series, and as fiftieth wedding anniversaries and royal jubilees are celebrated as Golden that is what I’m going with. As it is a big anniversary I’m also giving you a few extra tunes this week (OK, I couldn’t decide which ones to leave out, you got me!). So you’re getting four songs with ‘golden’ in their title, three with ‘gold,’ and one which is a blatant cheat!

I’m starting with a singer and song that has been a favourite of mine for many years:

If you watch that on YouTube the first comment is the wonderful Willie Nelson quote about Linda: “There are two kinds of men in this world. Those with a crush on Linda Ronstadt and those who never heard of her.” And why not? I’ve been a fan since those early days, which put me in the minority in this country, as her chart success here has been very limited. Like many of her records this was a cover version – of a song originally recorded by Wanda Jackson in 1956. Linda’s version is from her 1973 album Don’t Cry Now, which peaked at #45 in the US and #46 in Australia, but didn’t chart here in the UK. It was released as a single the following year, when it got to #67 in the main US chart, and #20 in their country music one. It would be another year before she appeared in the UK charts, though, when her cover of Tracks Of My Tears scaled the peaks of #42.

This week’s second tune is from a band that grew out of the punk scene here, but this is a long way from that:

I’ve always liked this one, and that video from Top Of The Pops really is a piece of its era! The band were formed as The Guildford Stranglers in 1974, and abbreviated the name when their career began to take off. This was a track from their sixth album, La Folie, which was released in November 1981, reaching #11 in the UK albums chart. It was released as a single in January 1982, and is still their best performer of all time, reaching #2 here and the top ten in several other countries. As far as I can see, none of their records – albums or singles – has reached the US charts, so I’m guessing that this might be a new one for our friends across the pond.

It’s back to the sixties for this week’s next song, a real pop classic:

The Tremeloes were originally founded in 1958, with Brian Poole as their lead singer – he had left in 1966 before their string of late sixties hits. Released in 1967, this was their fourth single without him as the band’s frontman, and it was a huge hit: #1 here and #11 in the US. The band are still going, or at least they were until the pandemic hit us. They have regularly featured on the ‘revival’ tours that are popular here, and three of this line up remain.

This next one is a real classic too. I love this video, in which Neil Young rummages around in his pockets going through his harmonica collection and then proceeds to give a perfect live performance of what at the time was a ‘new song’:

This was side 1 track 4 on Neil’s fourth album, Harvest, which was the one that confirmed him as a huge star. The previous album, After The Goldrush, had reached the top ten in the US, UK and his native Canada, but this one took off in a major way: it was #1 in all of those countries, and several others too. It was released in February 1972, and was the best selling US album of that year. My copy went to uni with me later that year, too. It has to date sold upwards of 10m copies – a success by anyone’s reckoning. The song was also a #1 single in the US and Canada, though it only got to #10 here: I guess we all bought the album instead!

I thought I’d go British for this next one:

Woe betide anyone who thinks that was an Eva Cassidy song! This was a track on Sting’s fourth solo album after leaving The Police – Ten Summoner’s Tales, which was released in March 1993, a few weeks after I began my NHS career. The album accompanied me on many a long commute, and I loved every song on it. This was probably my favourite, though. The album reached #2 in both the US and the UK, and this was also a hit single, reaching #16 here and #23 in the US. The video is as lovely as the song, in my view – a perfect fit.

My next choice is from a band I loved and bought all of their albums:

For some reason America never had much success here. They began with the massive hit single Horse With No Name, and their hit debut album, but it rather tailed off after that. Their albums, particularly Homecoming (their second) saw me through my uni days. This was a track on their fifth album, Hearts, which was released in March 1975, when I was busy revising for my final uni exams. I can still remember going into Norwich the day after finals finished and buying this album, to celebrate being able to listen to music again without feeling guilty about not working! The album reached #4 in the US but did nothing here. This was also a #1 US single, but like the album it failed to reach our charts. Sometimes I just despair of British record buyers!

Having reached my usual quota of six songs I’m now getting into bonus tracks/encore mode. This one may be familiar, as it comes from a little album called Rumours, of which you may have heard:

That version is actually from the live DVD The Dance, which was recorded in 1997, some twenty years after the original album, but the sound quality is so good that it had to be the version I gave you. So much has been said and written about Rumours that there really isn’t anything for me to add. The basic facts are that it was #1 in the US and the UK, and in several other places too. It is remarkable for the fact that relationships between band members were breaking up while it was being recorded, but that probably contributes to the overall feel – it certainly didn’t damage its chances of success, as it has to date sold upwards of 40m copies wordlwide.

At the beginning I mentioned that I would be giving you one song which was a blatant cheat. It doesn’t have any form of ‘gold’ in its title, but I still feel justified in including it – I make the rules! Spot the connection:

Either that is a little out of sync or they were miming – whatever, it is still a great record. Golden Earring are a Dutch band, and had a massive hit single with this – #13 in the US and #7 here. The album it was on, Moontan, was released in 1973 and got to #12 in the US, but didn’t chart here – none of their albums ever have. I first heard the band in the late sixties on the pirate radio stations, which were by then largely under Dutch control, and wasn’t surprised when they produced something this good. I saw them play live at my uni, probably in early 1974, I think, and after they finished their set with this we were chanting for the usual encore, but they didn’t come out again. The Student Union Social Sec had the unenviable task of telling us that they couldn’t play any more as the lead guitarist, George Kooymans, had cut his hand. We demanded proof, so the poor guy had to come back on stage with blood dripping everywhere! It was still one of the best shows anyone had played in my days there, though: the things musicians have to go through for their art!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this enlarged collection of tunes – I’ll try to be more decisive next week! By then, Easter will have been and gone, and we will have had a whole week of the first stage of Covid relaxations, so I may find a theme there. Then again, I could go for something related to the recent news story that our Prime Minister had a four year affair with a woman whose company was in receipt of public funds during his time as the Mayor of London. Anyone know any good songs about ‘scandal’ or ‘corruption?’ Or perhaps ‘serial shagger?’

Take care, stay safe and well, and I’ll see you next week for some more Tuesday Tunes.