(A look at bands / artists, who this day in The ‘70s were ALMOST Top of the Pops.)
18th March 1972
This week in 1972 saw Newcastle band Lindisfarne rise one place in the charts to #9, with their third UK single release, ‘Meet Me On The Corner.’ It would eventually peak four place higher.
Essentially a folk-rock band, they were initially named Downtown Faction and were then known as Brethern before changing their name to Lindisfarne when they signed to the Charisma label in 1968. The following couple of years saw them cement their reputation as a formidable ‘live’ and Festival type band before their first releases in 1970.
The debut album ‘Nicely Out Of Tune‘ contained two ‘classics’ in ‘Clear White Light – Part 2’ and ‘Lady Eleanor.’ Although the album didn’t sell particularly well, it did establish Alan Hull as a credible and accomplished songwriter. Actually, several of the album’s songs were written before the band’s formation, while Alan was working in a hospital as mental health nurse.
The album also included this, my personal favourite of the eleven tracks.
The follow-up album of 1971 was the seminal ‘Fog On The Tyne.‘ This time, all the band members contributed to the song-writing process and so evidences a bit more diversity. Of course, the chart success of ‘Meet Me On The Corner’ helped raise the band”s profile and although they would never achieve a #1 hit with a 7″ release, the LP did reach that pinnacle and was actually the biggest selling UK album of 1971 / 1972.
Riding high on this success, it was decided in May of ’72, to re-release what had been the band’s second single, ‘Lady Eleanor.’ This would become Lindisfarne’s highest ranking position in their own right.**
A further three ‘charting’ singles would follow during The ’70s:
‘All Fall Down‘ would reach # 34 in September 1972;
‘Run For Home’ peaked at (the surprisingly low, in my opinion) #10 in June 1978, and,
‘Juke Box Gypsy‘ just managed #56 in October 1978.
In 1973 however, three of the original members left (Rod Clements, Simon Cowe and Ray Laidlaw) to form Jack the Lad (who I know from personal experience were an amazing ‘live’ band.) Since then, although there were annual reunions for the famous Christmas shows at Newcastle City Hall, there have been numerous changes in band members and sad to say, they were never able to rise t the heights they achieved in the early 1970s.
They can though boast that for a few months in 1972 two of their singles were ALMOST Top of the Pops.
** Somewhat ironically, Lindisfarne‘s highest singles chart position was achieved in the autumn of 1990, with the ‘help’ of cheeky Geordie football star, Paul Gascoigne.
I had decided against adding the video for this version of ‘Fog On The Tyne’ ….. but,oh, sod it!