On October 23, 1977 the Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers instrumental "Egyptian Reggae" entered the U.K. charts at #49. The charming tune, based on Earl Zero's "None Shall Escape the Judgement", would be Richman's biggest hit, peaking at U.K. #5. That's despite the fact the song is neither Egyptian nor reggae. The video is a delight thanks to Richman's short-lived "Vote For Pedro" mustache and the drummer's inability to bang a gong. The tune has regained some of its notoriety thanks to its inclusion on the Baby Driver soundtrack.
Sunday, October 22, 2017
On October 22, 1977 ABBA's "Money, Money, Money" entered the Billboard Hot 100 at #84. It would stall at US #56 but hit #1 in seven countries thanks in part to a Caberet inspired music video directed by Lasse Hallström (My Life As a Dog, Cider House Rules).
Friday, October 20, 2017
On October 21, 1977 Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell was released to the world, the ninth best selling album of the 1970s. Excessive and campy, it did nothing for me at the time and still fails to stir my soul despite my appreciation of producer Todd Rundgren and the presence of members of the E Street Band. I don't want this much opera in my rock opera and songwriter Jim Steinman leads Meat Loaf to a place that is far too theatrical for me. Apparently the trick to falling in love with this album is to get drunk and sing along with friends ( which is how, I'm convinced, Steinman's "Total Eclipse of the Heart" has also earned its legendary status).
From Dave Marsh writing for Rolling Stone:
Billboard's reviewer has no idea the album would sell four million copies:
From 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Several extraordinary video clips promoted the album, and "Paradise By The Dashboard Light," a story of lust in a car, included a commentary by Phil Rizzuto on events, which he likened to a baseball game. The songs on the album were written by Steinman for his musical Neverland, a futuristic rock version of Peter Pan, in which Meat Loaf would play the part of Tinkerbell (when asked, he did not deny it, other than to say the character would be called Tink).
For some, the real stars of this brilliantly over-the-top extravaganza were the songs, the work of Jim Steinman's highly disturbed, but extremely imaginative mind; Steinman later wrote big hit songs for Bonnie Tyler ("Total Eclipse Of The Heart"), Barry Manilow ("Read 'Em And Weep") and Celine Dion ("It's All Coming Back To Me Now"), among others. But those tracks have never inspired the affection aroused by this high-camp metal musical extravaganza.
at 7:23 PM
Thursday, October 19, 2017
In October of 1977 former 10cc members Lol Creme and Kevin Godley released Consequences, a boxed triple disc that began as a demonstration album for the pair's invention, the gizmo. The album too 18 months to make, during which the punk scene exploded all over the U.K.
Said Kevin Godley :
The reviews were devastating. Lol Creme shook them off but he says his partner was hurt by the negative feedback :
I have yet to get through the entire thing without fast forwarding through the dialogue sections. Godley and Creme would make up for their indulgences with a remarkable follow-up in 1978 called L.
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Lynyrd Skynyrd : That Smell
On October 17, 2017, Lynyrd Skynyrd released Street Survivors, an eight song collection of Southern Rock that has been overshadowed by a fatal plane accident three days later that took the lives of singer Ronnie Van Zant, newcomer guitarist Steve Gaines, his older sister and backing vocalist Cassie Gaines, assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary and co-pilot William Gray. The album would go Top 5 in the U.S. thanks to the singles "What's Your Name" (US#13) , "You Got That Right" (US#69) and heavy radio play for "That Smell".
Out of respect for family members of the dead, the cover of Street Survivors would be changed.
From Robert Christgau's A review :
From Brian Hiatt's ***1/2 review for Rolling Stone upon the release of the reissued 2008 CD which contained extra tracks.
But even without the added resonance of tragedy, the album's second track, "That Smell," would have stood out in the band's catalog. It bites the chord progression and the apocalyptic vibe of "All Along the Watchtower" for a tale of the "smell of death" that surrounds a character trapped in drug addiction (and a pretty heavy habit at that: The lyrics allude to coke, weed, alcohol and ludes). The swampy groove and Van Zant's bluesy, understated vocals -- listen to his offhandedly contemptuous delivery of the line "stuck a needle in your arm" -- manage to sustain the ominous mood even when the female backing singers harmonize on the phrase "Hell, yeah!" Early versions of "That Smell" (including a slower take that comes in at seven and a half minutes, thanks to epic, "Freebird"-worthy guitar duels) are the highlight of the bonus disc here, which includes a more stripped-down early version of the entire album. Street Survivors was the most meticulously crafted record of the original Skynyrd's eleven-year career and, as a result, their most consistent. Album opener and classic rock-radio staple "What's Your Name" is the second-greatest groupie song of all time (next to "Stray Cat Blues"), and the Allmans-esque "I Never Dreamed" is its flip side, a redneck-emo tale of lady-killer machismo thwarted by love: "I've had a thousand, maybe more/ But never one like you," Van Zant sings, as the lead guitars match him, lament for lament. Perhaps best of all is the band's raucously virtuosic take on Merle Haggard's "Honky Tonk Night Time Man," which overflows with gorgeous country riffs that sound like pure chicken-fried joy. And Van Zant's voice is rich and authentic enough to make you mourn the pure country album he never got to record.
at 5:23 PM
Monday, October 16, 2017
On October 14, 1977 The Sex Pistols released "Holidays in the Sun". A #8 U.K. chart hit from the forthcoming album Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols, this would be the last single with John Lydon singing. Lydon says the song was based on a disappointing holiday in Jersey, followed by a visit to rainy Berlin where, at least, they were far away from London: