Tag Archives: charts

almost top of the pops – ashton, gardner & dyke

(A look at bands / artists, who this day in The ‘70s were ALMOST Top of the Pops.)

14th March 1971

ASHTON, GARDNER & DYKE.

Ashton, Gardner & Dyke.
Ashton, Gardner & Dyke on Top of the Pops

Hanging on to their Top Ten status, but only just, Ashton Gardner and Dyke were this week in 1971 heading back down the UK chart with ‘Resurrection Shuffle,’ never to darken the Top 40 again.

Forever since saddled with the ‘one hit wonder’ moniker, piano / keyboard player Tony Ashton, bassist Kim Gardner and drummer Roy Dyke had so much more to offer.

Formed in 1968 as what could be termed a ‘supergroup,’ they released six singles and four albums in their five years together, one of which was soundtrack to the 1971 film ‘The Last Rebel,’ about American football star, Joe Nemeth.

Formerly with The Remo Four (Ashton and Dyke) and The Birds**(Gardner) the band had pedigree, and covered various styles and genres from R&B, to soul , to blues rock and jazz rock. This however would ironically prove their eventual downfall.

Ashton, Gardner & Dyke – brilliant, but this perhaps illustrates why prospective fans were a bit bemused! (Almost Alex Harvey-esque, I think.)

The intention was to make their mark as an ‘album’ band, but the success of their fourth single, ‘Resurrection Shuffle’ actually backfired, with crowds turning up at their shows expecting much of the same, and leaving a tad bemused by the multi-genres played.

Ashton, Gardner & Dyke: ‘Mister Freako’ – the band’s third single and pre-cursor to ‘Resurrection Shuffle.’

Poor album sales forced the band to consider their future in 1973, the outcome being to call it a day.

Tony Ashton moved on to play with Medicine Head, then briefly also with Family before teaming up with Deep Purple’s Jon Lord to release a couple of singles. This would be a precursor to hooking up with another of Deep Purple’s number, Ian Paice in Paice, Ashton & Lord.

Ashton, Gardner & Dyke with the title track from their fourth and final album, 1972’s ‘What A Bloody Long Day It’s Been.’

Resurrection Shuffle’ peaked at #3 in the UK Charts, a position it maintained for two weeks, and for a while, back in February 1971, Ashton, Gardner and Dyke were ALMOST Top of the Pops.

Ashton, Gardner & Dyke: ‘Resurrection Shuffle.’

(Post by Colin ‘Jackie’ Jackson of Glasgow – March 2022)

____________________

(** The Birds were a British R&B band, formerly known as The Thunderbirds and counted within their ranks, one Ronnie Wood who would go on to do alright for himself. Following a legal dispute with the American Byrds, they changed their name in 1966 to Birds Birds.)

sing-a-long-a-jackie (volume #1)

(Post by Colin ‘Jackie’ Jackson of Glasgow – January 2022)

I’ve never really been one for paying much attention to song lyrics. It’s all about the music and beats for me. And let’s be honest, in some cases, especially so in The Seventies, the words were pretty random; nonsensical sentences existing only to enhance the cadence and rhythm of the song – look no further than the brilliant Marc Bolan if you don’t believe me.

So, reflecting some of our life experiences from The ’70s, I thought I’d try my hand at lyric writing. I mean, how hard can it be?

(Pretty damned hard, actually. Maybe Marc had it sussed, right enough.)

I suggest hitting the ‘play’ button on the video and then following the alternative lyrics written below – that way you may just be able to get it all to scan. Maybe.

DRUNKEN NORMAN

(MARMALADE)

Original / Proper version: ‘Cousin Norman.’

Written by; Hughie Nicholson

Performed by: Marmalade

Released: September 1971

Highest UK Chart position: #6

In the village, by the bus stop,

There’s an Off-Sales selling fortified wine,

Carlsberg Special and Breaker Lager

Under eighteens getting served all the time.

So if you’re passin’ close by, please

Don’t tell our dads we’re buying secretly.

In the forest, by the oak tree,

Stash the bevvy in the bushes over there.

We’ll drink it later. Before the disco.

No-one will steal it, they’re not brave enough to dare.

So if you’re passin’ close by, please

Keep on walking, we’re just kicking leaves.

Oh Oh Oh Oh excited for the disco

Sinking cans of beer will stop me being so shy

Oh Oh Oh Oh excited for the disco

The girls are gonna fall for this cool and gallus guy!

Dooya doodn doo doo doo Dooya doodn doo doo doo

Doo doo doo doo doo doo.

Hold a deep breath, get past the teachers

I’m in the disco, ready for a dance.

I’ll be groovy, I’ll be funky,

Play it cool, I’ll be in with a chance.

So if you’re dancin’ close by, please

Watch in wonder as the wee man pulls with ease.

Oh Oh Oh Oh I’m feelin’ nauseous

The hall is spinning round and I think I might be sick 

Oh Oh Oh Oh I’m feelin’ nauseous

“Thank you for the dance.” I stagger to the toilets, quick!

Oh Oh Oh Oh sat in Head Teacher’s office

Puke stains on my shirt and splashes all over my shoes

Oh Oh Oh Oh sat in Head Teacher’s office,

The girls are all disgusted. I’ve no chance now – I lose.

__________________________

CAMPING UP THE HOOPLE

(MOTT THE HOOPLE)

Original / Proper version: ‘All The Young Dudes.’

Written by: David Bowie

Performed by: Mott the Hoople

Released: September 1972

Highest UK Chart position: #3

Billy crapped all night in the countryside,

Scout Camp enteritis in ‘Seventy-five

Latrine jive,

(Best avoid the dive, if you wanna stay alive.)

Henry’s bloody, gashed foot will leave a scar,

Freddy’s badly aimed knife, a throw too far. Or not far enough –

Freddy’s eyesight’s really duff.

Scout Leader man is crazy

Says we’re going on a long, long trek,

Oh Man, I need Imodium, or clean … kecks.

Oh brother, you guessed, I’m in a mood now!

All the young crew

Running into

The Portaloo queue

(What a To-Do.)

(REPEAT)

Jimmy looks a pratt dressed in fluorescent green

(“Mummy says on treks I should ‘stay safe, stay seen’”)

But we just laughed.

Oh yeah, we just laughed!

And our buddies back at home

Would rather die alone,

We’d not be seen dead in that bright luminous stuff.

Such a drag,

It’s not our bag.

 “OK Boy Scouts – form a line, and don’t dare whine!

The Crazy Scout Leader said,

“Oh! It’s only twelve miles all around.”

(Our guts filled with dread.)

Oh brother you guessed, I’ll be crude, now:

All the subdued,

Ignored the taboo

As they puked or they pooed

In the Portaloo queue.

(REPEAT TO FADE)

(I’ve wanted to do this for years.)

_____________________

now that’s what i call compilation music!

(Post by Colin ‘Jackie’ Jackson, of Glasgow – March 2021)

Volume #1 – June 1968

If proof were needed to illustrate just how much music influenced our younger years, you need look no further than this very blog: in less than five weeks, posts broadly centred around Mott the Hoople; Rory Gallagher; The Who; Ian Gillan (Deep Purple) and also The Apollo, Glasgow, have garnered over two thousand hits.

And that’s from only a small, sample representation of the music genres that blossomed throughout The Seventies.

Those of us at school during the decade will remember kids wandering round the playground with LPs under their oxters, proudly displaying their allegiance to Yes. Or Wishbone Ash. Tangerine Dream, maybe?

Those with less pretentious taste of course, would carry their favourite albums in plastic bags. They probably contained works by Mott the Hoople; Rory Gallagher; The Who or Deep Purple. But you could never really be sure. Equally, the secreted album could have been ‘Electric Warrior,’ or ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars.’ Maybe it was ‘Rollin’’ or ‘Cherish,’ ‘Crazy Horses’ or ‘Rock On.’ Who knows?

In all likelihood, though, it wouldn’t have been one of these – a Hallmark label, Top of the Pops compilation. To draw one of these babies from a Listen Records bag in front of your pals would have been the death of cool. Ominous sounding, single peals of a heavy bell would ring out; tumbleweed would roll. Children would run and hide beneath their mothers’ long flowing skirts.

Awkward!

Volume #25 – July 1972
Volume # 23 -April 1972
Volume #29 – Feb 1973

I often wondered who bought these albums. They were immensely popular, so a great many people obviously did. Then I realised it was actually people like me who bought them. And you.

Or at least our parents did. Whether they did that in some futile attempt at resurrecting their youth (you know – kind of like what we’re doing with this blog!) or genuinely trying to do the best by their kids, goodness only knows.

The rationale for buying these albums was obviously sound. Being classed as ‘budget’ releases, they were considerably cheaper than those of established ‘chart acts;’ they boasted between twelve and sixteen tracks, so, more bang for your buck; to buy all the tracks in 7” ‘single’ format would have been prohibitive for many people, and the compilation comprised current, very recent and predicted chart hits.

Trendy.

I still have the several of the Volumes that my parents bought – I remain steadfast in my assertion that I did not actually pay for any myself!

Volume # 15 – Jan 1971

Volume # 18 – July 1971

The observant reader will notice that the central image is not from the Top of the Pops series. Rather, it was released by Hallmark’s rivals, Music For Pleasure, who were first to exploit the compilation market. This particular one was the first such album into our household, closely followed by TotP Volumes #15 and #18, from January and July 1971 respectively.

The green covered Volume #18 is memorable for two reasons. It was the first of two in the series to reach Number 1 in the album charts, deposing The Moody Blues album, ‘Every Good Boy Deserves Favour,’ believe it or not! And, having watched the Top of the Pops TV episode on Thursday, my mother sought a refund from the shop she’d bought it from two days prior, because, she spat, “…that Marc Bolan ‘person’ looks dirty.”

The fact I still have that volume in my collection indicates the course that particular conversation took.

(For all you Pop Pickers out there, the other to reach Number 1 in the charts, was Volume #20 in November 1971. This one had covers of Maggie May, Sultana and Tweedle Dee, Twedle Dum, and ten others. The Chart company though, soon acceded to protests from other labels and artists, and disallowed budget priced albums from chart computations, reasoning they held an unfair selling advantage.)

The producers of these albums never pretended they were anything other than covers. But having grown up on a diet of yellow label food and imitation leather ankle boots, they had me fooled for a year or two. I didn’t know any better. And looking back, in those days before tape recorders, never mind CDs and this new-fangled streaming thing, the albums were a good lead into hearing new music.

In fact, were it not for my favourite, Volume #19 from September 1971, I may not have discovered bands like Curved Air, or appreciated George Harrison’s solo output.

When I did learn the terrible truth, though, I felt let down. Betrayed.

This could also have been in part to my now having earned money of my own. Paper rounds opened up a whole new world to me. The power of spending; the power of choice.

I learned what John Kongos and The Sweet actually sounded like. I wanted the real deal, and with cash to burn, I craved originality.

My interest in the Top of the Pops and other such compilations quickly waned. My last volume was #21 in December 1971, the Christmas chart edition, given to me by a now out-of-touch Santa Claus.

I immediately considered the performers on these albums to be amateurs; poor imitators of the originals – which I now know to be completely wrong. These folk were respected and hard-working, professional session musicians. Their number included a chap, Elton John, who went on to do rather well for himself. There was also a young woman named Tina Charles and a bloke called Trevor Horn who graduated via this process.

Actually, in the interest of research for this piece, I played through my copy of Volume #18 – and it really wasn’t so bad. Stop laughing, it wasn’t! (Oh, all right – cut me some literary slack here, please.)

In total the Top of the Pops albums series, which ran to ninety-one regular volumes between 1968 and 1982, was like most things ‘Seventies’ – revered at the time; dismissed through ensuing decades, but now regarded with some kitsch fondness. Costing between 75p and £1.25 back in the day, many volumes can now be found online at around eight pounds.

Love them, loathe them or simply leave them, these early to mid Seventies compilations were certainly iconic of the decade.

Hello. My name’s Jackie. I’m a Sweet fan ….. and I love early Seventies Top of the Pops albums.

Volume #16 – March 1971