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Here we go...
I'm going to a festival in a few days and am thinking of typing up my reviews beforehand and handing my account over to a friend to C+P them in. Everyone OK with that?
haha, seemed they weren't!
Was fully expecting to hate this. It's very MOR, especially given the brilliance of much of the past decade, but pretty harmless and fun overall. 5/10
from the (quite good) musical 'Paint Your Wagon'.
The opening couple of minutes are very boring; standard-issue swooping film music. But then... that voice. Imagine an ennui-laden Tom Waits, a hoarse beautiful whisper, barely even there. It could sound lazy and unprofessional, but his slightly bored, mumbled delivery just augments the strange sadness of this whole thing, of dreams never quite realised, hopes continually subverted. 7/10- marks off for the music which really isn't all that good.
A deserving classic. Again, an acutely melancholic affair, bitterly exquisite. He can really sing, but never properly goes for it, which in my mind is 99% of the time a good thing. Such a simple piano riff as well, completely timeless. Could listen to this all day- it's got this ambient quality yet still manages to hook you in and let you swoop away in your own gently tragic world. 8.5/10
(of Eurovision fame)
Rebecca Black crossed with a shit version of 'My Favourite Things'. 2/10
And for all Rebecca Black's sins, at least she's not gone into the most reactionary, repressed Catholicism side of Irish politics.
Didn't know what this was, but for a Christian Rock song, it's not 'alf good, embarrassing lyrics aside- gritty, Hendrix-like guitar stylings mixed with the gutter-blues vamps of The Stones, though obviously he isn't quite as charismatic or talented as either of those. It's no more than the sum of its parts, but they're pretty damn good parts by my reckoning. Catchy as hell, too. 7/10
sorry, made an assumption I needn't have because it mentioned the Lord Jesus a few times.
Apologies to anyone inadvertently offended by this.
He seems like he's taking the piss out of Christian "rock" and having a bloody great time of it
All football songs get 3/10 apart from World At Our Feet. Sounds like something from Dad's Army.
(as a 12 year old kid)
Not sure if this song had anything to do with it.
Far scarier football songs to come, though.
Another new one on me. According to folks on youtube it's about saving the environment, but aside from that, it's quite good. They've a catchy pop sound with a burnished country tinge, a decent steel guitarist, and know how to write a cheery, memorable chorus. I'd play it on a long car journey, but probably not at any other point. It's warming on me in a cute sort of way, though. 6.5/10
New one on me, again. They've a catchy pop sound with a burnished country tinge, an excellent steel guitarist, and a way with a memorably cheery chorus. It gets wearisome, though, and I probably wouldn't play it outside of a long car journey. 6.5/10
But I can't complain about that. It's Waterloo Sunset. 7/10
Rather fond of this, having previously heard only Shaggy's execrable cover version. Slow, groovy funk-pop, chilled out doo-wop elements... gorgeous stuff. Reminds me of having long summer outside with my mates a few years back, chasing girls + guys around. 9/10
cos it made me smile a lot at the time
I'm not being ironic. However, this is probably due to being old enough to have exactly the same memories as yours but set to that one being in the charts. Apart from chasing guys, and girls. Well, I did that, but with a baseball bat covered in poo.
As we found out back in the 60s thread, Elvis wasn't that great, 'Hound Dog' and 'An American Trilogy' aside. This isn't doing much to change things, lovely elegant guitar solo aside. He's got a fair voice on him, but we always knew that, and this just feels ridiculously dated, especially given some of what's to come in the next couple of years. 5/10
Ah, one of my favourite songs. Perfect in pretty much every way- the vocals, the cute little flute track, the slow-burning groove yet with pace and positivity, the lyrics... somehow, everything just really comes together and produces two minutes of lasting yet transient soul-pop magic. 10/10
and of course James Jamerson on the bass
.. But both are still two of the finest records of all time.
Fun, strident diva-pop. Good, but not great, and I find the guitar soloing behind it all really irksome actually, detracts from a powerful voice and a lovely melody. 6/10
This defies the laws of nature by having one hook (no verse/chorus, and from a spiteful ex!!) that shoves itself down your throat, and still having the prettiest melody and ambience ever.
Sure this is the name of an excellent single malt I had recently...
Turns out to be him from Fairport Convention making weak folk-pop with a few delicately dark harmonies. 6/10
Reminds me of the Connells' 74/75, which is no bad thing. OK, a bit hippy-drippy, but such a great haunting atmosphere, like a heat haze.
This is one of those moments when music changed for good. That simple. 10/10
I *might* prefer 1983 (A Merman I Should Turn To Be) coz I'm a psych/prog fiend but not as a single
you know, the best opening line ever
well in the middle of this line his guitar does like the heaviest bended chord ever
it's king-of-the-world shit
the first 90 seconds of VC is the greatest thing music has to offer.
Voodoo Child by jimi hendrix makes me wanna strip naked, burst out of my window, free fall 28 floors, faceplant in the snow, make a snow angel mixed with my own blood, shiver from the cold, get hypothermia, DIE, go the pearly gate, say wuzzup to Jesus, do our secret hand shake, look for Buddha, find him, have him reincarnate me into a frog, meet a princess, kiss her, turn into a prince, order my subjects to bring me a computer, listen to this song again, cry? myself to sleep. Wake up. Repeat
MrCivilwarboy 1 week ago 210
I'd agree 100%
as for music, it's probably top 10, let's not get carried away ;)
Apart from the first 90 seconds of a 1989 #1.... nah, I'm not giving that away just yet, let's wait till I get there.
What are your other two out of the top 3?
Scuzzy rough pop-rock. Perfectly acceptable, but we've just had VOODOO CHILD ffs. 6/10
1971 tomorrow; I have to be up for work or I'd do it now
AKA Jones from Dad's Army. Completely unnecessary plinky-plonk fare which would be booed off down the Working Men's Club. 3/10
Who played bass on 'Walk on the Wild Side', 'Space Oddity' and lots of other stone cold classics.
It's still shit though.
So, the first solo No.1 by a former Beatle. It's quite good, shimmering Byrds-esque harmonies meeting more current electronic glistens and classic rock solos. It feels very deliberatley grandiose- 'here's George, striking out on his own!!', but for all that, it's a mish-mash which doesn't totally come together. 6/10
Couldn't be more different to 'In The Summertime'. Imagine a rougher, leaner Little Richard, brought up on The Beatles and hard rock but still with his old doo-wop 'n' roll fixation and wailings about girls. Superb. 9/10
Ah, forgot quite how much I love Bolan. This is exquisite, it really is. 'She's smarter than most and she lives by the coast'- I mean, that's just a little bit of genius, the most throwaway, nonchalant couplet imaginable, yet still managing to nail exactly what it is he loves so much about his girl at this particular moment. Musically sound, too, very chilled out but with a real percussive drive and swagger and flair. Effeminate and masculine, nonchalant and obsessive, it's everything a song should be. 10/10
God, his voice is so good
just something so bold and fresh for 1971 fgs. My favourite song.
This is decent Fun Tin Pan Alley style piano fights with something bizarrely close to rap crew chants and doesn't quite win out. The second half plays about with synth washes. A mess, but an intriguing mess. 7/10
What a run this is- three absolutely great tunes in a row.
This is new to me, but is light pop-soul with a sweetly jazzy edge and a compellingly catchy chorus. Lacks a bit of substance, but it's pretty and delicate and fun. 7/10
Not middle of the road at all, very listenable and catchy in fact. Feels too Eurovision-esque and knowingly camp compared to the two previous efforts, which were doing the same sort of thing with more panache and style. Eventually just becomes cheesy and the nonsense words of the chorus really grate. 5/10
Another masterpiece. Even more transient and rough, even more strangely moving. The point is that masculine bravado and chasing girls about can be so fun while it lasts, but it only ever lasts the length of a three-minute pop song- it's supposed to be meaningless and that's what makes it so meaningful. Putting 'I love you' next to 'You're dirty sweet' is a lovely touch. The sax and guitar stabs are just perfect as well, propelling it on without ever taking over. It's chaotic and yet totally in control. He knows how fucking good he is. 10/10
Delicately seductive neo-soul which perfectly captures the feeling of fancying someone- 'I'm just a fool'. Lovely stuff, tamped down and toned and coloured so it never becomes mushy. 8/10
Amazing run of singles continues virtually unchecked with this croakily entertaining number. It's pretty back-to-basics boyband soul stuff in a post-Beatles world, to be honest, but it's lovable and mature all at once, and it's good to see Motown styles being given a British pop edge and tint and starting to cross over. 6.5/10
You gave it 6.5/10 :D
Good record, but not a patch on some of the 1970 stuff in a similar vein, i.e. Chairmen of the Board or Steam's "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" (we might come to both a bit later in the thread though!)
Well, this is a stark contrast! Obviously a decent tune, though, even if he's basically Kelly Jones' direct ancestor. As in all songs featuring a glockenspiel, it's the best thing in this, making an otherwise rather staid breakup song into something coy and sweet. It's weird how an instrument can induce empathy. Good lyrics, too. 8/10
It's great though. Very sincere compared to a lot of the kitsch of this decade. Deserves at least a 9
I only know them from that bloody annoying Christmas song, but this is alright. Simple, driving rock, led, oddly, by a violin, which adds a sinister folky element to an otherwise very standard pop-rock track. 6/10
Probably the most emotionally direct song I've ever heard, to be honest.
ban this filth
David Cameron picked it as one of his eight favourite records.
my mate Will has agreed to use this account for 2 days while I'm away to post 1972 and maybe 1973. I've written most of the reviews up for him already; his job will be to copy them in and occasionally write one.
i'm sure people would've passed out at the thought of having to wait a day or two.
Over a day and a half without a new song really is poor form.
My name is Will and I'm taking over from TBO_ for a bit while he's not here. I'm sorry for the lateness of these posts and of my contribution generally, had quite a lot on at work and home. :-(
Hopefully you can forgive me my bad start...
Here are TBO_'s reviews for 1972...
more pleasant than it ought to be, if a little slushy. Some gorgeous harmonies going on. 5/10 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpuM7SlGxkk
Another stormer from Marc Bolan, subtly allusive yet simple lyrics, weird almost girly vocals overlaying fun pop-rock riffs, with a double- shot of messy glam sprawl. How many Number 1 singles use polyrhythms, ffs? A triumph. 9/10
Everyone loves a bit o’Chicory Tip. This is jovial stuff, icy synth patterns offsetting bouncy, daft melodies. The melody’s Beatles-inspired boy-pop and very good it is, too. Good fun, but not a classic. 6/10
...Giorgio Moroder, fact fans
Oh, Teddy Teddy!
This was on the radio this morning, actually. I don’t know much Harry Nilsson but people whose taste I trust tell me he’s good. This isn’t great, though. Very MOR and goes for big, blustery vocal lines rather than making more of that beautifully delicate piano melody, which you could really build a sad song on if you wanted to. See REM’S ‘Nightswimming’ for everything this tries to do done properly. A fantastic voice, though, no denying that. 5/10
One of the most heart-wrenchingly melancholic songs ever written, sung in the way it was meant to be sung.
More on that in a short while.
This was Number 1 for FIVE WEEKS. Didn’t think bagpipes could ever be good, but they’re really rather beautiful here; the outdoor setting works well. Actually manage some very nice slow harmonics as well and a menacingly melancholy organ drone gives it a sinister edge, as if someone’s just died, then the trumpets come in and lift it to a higher plateau, proving that there’s some beauty behind sadness after all. It does feel a lot like a requiem really. Look, this shouldn’t be good- it’s the fucking bagpipes- but it really is. Just so spaceless and timeless and gorgeous. 8/10
Their best yet, and that’s saying something. A total mess, yet so tight and together. Glorious glam noise pop. 10/10
Oh God, it’s a suicide song. Just tragic; I think my heart’s breaking a bit. Apart from his voice being a bit dull and flat in places, everything ‘emotive’ music ought to be. 8/10
Shite for sore eyes. Fun swagger, but low on substance and anything else really. Good for singing along to drunk. 5/10
Lisping castrati nonsense. 0/10
You’d expect me to hate this, and there’s a lot to hate about it- his horrible voice, the sub-Nickelback riffs, the embarrassingy teen lyrics. But I used to play this with my mate at the end of term and quite enjoy it, so it’s full of fond memories and gets extra marks for that. Not the freedom paean it thinks it is, but a decent, knowing laugh. 5/10
Much more standard-issue rock than his previous efforts, which were outstanding. Poppy hooks, and lovely folky violin raising it slightly above the level of pub-rock dirge, but really, it wouldn’t be the best track on any Stereophonics album. Not great.
More self-consciously ‘eccentric’ titling. More messy, lowest-common-denominator pub-rock. Thank God for Marc Bolan. 4/10
This is pretty indeed. The melodies are very conservative and predictable, but his voice and use of strings kind of remind me of Scott Walker and it’s so nice to hear something pleasant on the ear after this awful year. 6/10
Novelty pop, with surf and doo-wop influences and a very funky honky-tonk melody. Not great, but better than it has any right to be, and I’m going away humming it. Bizarre growled vocals, jaunty piano, drum ‘n’ flute breaks… it’s amazing, and it’s the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band writ large. 7/10
Would rather have Michael Bisping as our flag-bearer, mind. This is pish.
Not quite sure what to make of this. He’s either an idiot or a genius, and lines like ‘Despite of our age difference/why do I always cry’ suggest the latter. This is good pop put through a hollow, psychedelic filter, kind of like late Beatles, but nowhere near as good. I’m not sure he knows what he’s doing, but I don’t mind the result. 6.5/10
Lyrics sound like he's fantasising about eloping with a child... or is that just my febrile imagination.
given the prominence of Gary Glitter and the 'young girl' song earlier on in the 60s, I didn't really notice it.
This came up at the panto last Christmas, which says it all in my opinion. Silly stuff, but a great tune, and things become classics for a reason after all. 6/10
Fucking worrying, quite frankly. 1/10
That's 4 in row
Been working a lot recently and haven't had the time to do this. TBO_ will be back home tomorrow afternoon and has said he'll do the next year after this rubbish one, but if he's delayed/tired, I'll let the board know and I will do the first few for him. Either way, by tomorrow night normal service will be resumed.
quick bump too
Here are TBO_'s reviews for 1973
Top youtube comment: i think that sweet were the best glam rock band ever and no one can touch them and those people who think that gay boy justin bieber and that wierdo lady ga ga are better than sweet are? out of their fucking mind!!!!1
... It's nice when people do your work for you. Tune. 8/10
That 'Everybody wants a piece of the action' song. So good.
And that guy who shouts the bonus lyrics had the best job in rock
WE JUST HAVEN'T GOT A CLUE WHAAAT TO DOOO
Much better than their previous efforts; combines glam panache with classic-rock's macho punch really well. Great guitar work as well. Never going to be a fan of Noddy Holder's voice, but they're trying to do something genuinely different given the musical climate they're in, and I quite respect them for that. Massive chorus, too. 7/10
This would be a solid 10/10.
The ultimate single.
* I don't actually have any pet cats, just making a point.
How did this -thing- have 3 or 4 Number 1s? How? It's not even good pop a la Bieber. It's just formulaic dross, thoguh nowhere near as bad as Puppy Love.
*(Things which are worse than Puppy Love:
1. The Holocaust
2. a close friend or family member dying)
Formulaic pop-rock. Very catchy and tuneful, but I've heard all this before, and it's completely lacking in any sort of excitement or novelty. 5/10
Not as terrible as I was expecting. She's got a lovely singing style and he's a passable crooner. Musically it's jaunty washboard folk, which is pretty much always a good thing. Quite like it. It's silly and innocent and sort of stands in its own little world, completely apart from any other song of the year, possibly the decade. Actually, it's really pretty. 7/10
Roy Wood plays every instrument, sings and produces this track, which is quite something. What a talent.
Like Slade, it's a mixture of glam themes with older musical ideas, opting for 60s pop over drivetime rock. It feels very messy for the first couple of minutes, the different parts and the unnecessary backing chorus are all over the place, but eventually comes together to produce a fun bubble of groove. 6/10
HUGE. The most stripped-back, back-to-basics rock tune we've had so far this decade, and she does it perfectly- angry yelling, big hooks, simple, repetitive drumbeats and basslines, rockabilly hints in the piano part. Nailed it, apart from a boring guitar solo. I love her. 8/10
Didn't know 10cc were this old, that 'Dreadlock Holiday' one's a tune and all.
For some reason, this reminds me of The Smiths' 'Panic', not sure why really. Other than that, it's rather a dull affair, failing to combine rock and camp disco-ey pop at all well. There's an interlude at 2.51 which sounds like a Queen tribute act. I normally like this kind of gentle voice on a man, but it's just too weak and cheesy here. Hate to say it, but this could use Noddy Holder.
A flop where it should be a stomper. 4/10
8 at least, 9 maybe.
Total contrast to their next #1 which is a classic, but for totally different reasons.
... and heeeeerez Noddy with a rough blues-rock number. It's laced with aggression and bite and actually goes somewhere and does something, unlike 10cc. It's a bit too simplistic and predictable to be really good, though. The lyrics are much the same as every Slade song, the backings the same, the guitar breakdowns the same... but I'm coming away humming it and that must count for something, surely? 6/10
Lovely message of the importance of love and friendship, genuinely uplifting and manufactured perfectly with the kind of swooning strings and gentle brass which always make people cry with happiness. Uninteresting aside from that. 6/10
Obviously Gary Glitter's in disgrace these days, an rightly so, but we shouldn't forget that he's made some amazing music. This is some of it. Pretty much everything a single should be, ferociously catchy, chantable, simple and combining pub-rock brouhaha with the kind of repetitive, syllabic vocal chants seen today in M.I.A and Rihanna. A funky sax solo overlays it all and manages to draw you in without being obtrusive. It doesn't hang around, either. 9/10
He's now 15 and looks like Frankie Cocozza. This is average , slow-burning pop. 5/10
Much more focused and solid than the last one, the sax and guitar actually managing to work together rather than in opposition, producing a very decent end-product. I didn't know a saxophone could rock, but it seems it can. There's all sorts in here- rock 'n'roll, pop, boogie woogie, glam- it's a singularly odd melting-pot, but really enjoyable in a trashy kind of way. 7/10
I've never seen Van Der Valk, is it good? The theme is pleasant enough orchestral pomp and finesse, but it's no Morricone. 5/10
I gave his last Number 1 a good write-up, and this is alright too. A very subtly emotive voice- in fact it's the only thing which elevates this and stops it being sloppy nonsense. It's a lovely tune, really pulls you into its warm embrace. 7/10
A raw, yet poppy ballad. It's nowhere near as good as 'Leader of the Gang', but not much is. He knows how to rock and how to swing, and very few people have understood how to do both in one song. 6/10
Everyone hates this because it's played in Poundland, but you all need to get over yourselves. It's joyous, camp, trashy, and somehow lasting- everything you could want from a Christmas single. 7.5/10 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0A8KT365wlA
Those are all the reviews TBO_ has given me. He's texted to say he'll do 1974 on Sunday evening.
Thanks for having me, sorry I got off to a slow start. I've quite enjoyed filling in. I listened to a few of the songs as well, and he's completely wrong about Slade- they're genius.
See you x
C'mon, let's be having you...no chance in sloping off now. What's your view on these tunes? What's your favourites? Recommended one?
I have enjoyed reading your very personal comments they were hysterical. I agree with your high regard for T Rex, saw them twice in the 70s. You remind me of my younger sister and her air head friends from the time they were tank top, stack heeled and flared baggy wearing glam rockers. They loved the Osmonds and I am sure you would have too judging from your comments. Slade were the most successful of the singles bands of the time and you would have enjoyed them as well. Although this was all a bit too poppy and fey for my tastes at the time. We were all looking forward to the revolution.
It's me again, TBO_. I've just got back from 2000Trees and it was great fun. Thanks to Will for making an (in)capable deputy, I'll buy him a pint when I see him. Time for 1974, but I doubt anyone will be reading on Sunday afternoon...
hmm, I should hate this- it's soft, weak and slushy. But it's also vibrant, jazzy pop with, y'know, some actual drive and passion and style. 7/10
he's texted me to say the best one was Wizzard. Hmmm.
Always very entertaining to hear from people who were there at the time of the #1s in question.
When I eventually get round to doing the 80s, and even more so the 90s hope the trick'll be repeated even more.
Biggest seller of the year, according to wikipedia. Not very keen on this, it feels a bit too kitsch and gimmicky and the video's absolutely dreadful. Some punchy guitar solos, though, and I imagine it'd be fair fun to get drunk and dance along to, at the time or now. 6/10
Doesn't quite match the excruciating excellence of 'Can The Can', but it's the same formula- big, noisy classic rock 'n' roll hooks coupled with cute pop melodies and a refreshingly punk sound and attitude for the often rather overblown glam/hard-rock era. It's so good to hear a girl singing this kind of tune as well, her voice really adds character and panache to very straightforward music. Excellent work again, 8/10
AND SHE GETS WHAT SHE WANTS :D
This is very different to everything else so far, and I'm not sure if I like it. It feels more like current indie-rock than anything else- the chord sequences and the flirty yet vulnerable singing style are very similar. I just think I've heard this sound too many times already; I'm too familiar with it. But tbf it's pretty special that someone can make a track which wouldn't be out place on the current 6Music playlist, in 1974. 8/10
My Mum's favourite song! Never heard it in full, other than the bits she sings in the kitchen. It's better than that, luckily. It's not especially original, falling back on pop-soul motifs and country-tinged guitar and bass, not to mentions ome extremely annoying whistling, but it's well-produced, complete and solid, and overall makes a nicely put together, if average, manufactured pop package. 6.5/10
Last heard this in an unlicensed taxi in Paris, aged 7. The driver bawled along to it whilst driving at 100kph and smoking in my face the whole journey. It's scarred me, and damaged any enjoyment I might have derived from this song.
Not that there's much to be gained anyway. It's fun slush, but that's it. 4/10
though the lyrics are surprisingly emotionally direct. I'll award it an extra mark- good songwriting's always a nice plus. 5/10
...that it's an adaptation of Jacques Brel's Le Moribond? You mention a bit further down that you're a fan so you probably do. I guess the original Brel song is more credible but I must admit I have a soft spot for this - a guilty pleasure, if that phrase hasn't been banned.
Quite enjoy the original, tbh. I did wonder about those weirdly sad lyrics till I found out it was Brel...
I'd agree with your mark pretty much. Drags on too much. Not the last time in the run we'll hear this, but this is the far less evil version.
Was waiting for this to come up; I bloody love ABBA. This is as famous as it is for a good reason- it does everything Paper Lace don't manage. Catchy, slickly-produced pop which manages to avoid being overly kitschy or irritating, by being blessed with an eternally memorable hook, nonsensical but vaguely intriguing lyrics and a slight bit of dissonance provided by an alto sax solo. Probably the best thing ever to come out of Eurovision. 8/10
Likeable r'n'b-inflected pop, but it's a little flat and sometimes passed me by, minus an infectious backing chant. Also, songs with whispered spoken-word interludes are universally bad. 5/10
This is one of THE great number ones. And whispered spoken word interludes in my experience are always universally good. All spoken word bits like that are great. See also: The Look of Love by ABC.
(May have posted twice)
This is a 'comedy record', apparently narrated by Forrest Gump, about that pressing 70s concern, supermarkey-based nudity in smalltown America. It's largely embarrassing, but maybe that's just my sense of humour. The 'song' itself, what there is of it, isn't too bad, but I hate bluegrass banjoes unless they're being used in actual bluegrass. 5/10
I know he's done wrong, but his music's fucking superb, and I wasn't aware of it before. Another clever yet infectious number from the Glitter stable, 10 hooks per minute, atonal yelling, but completely focused and together and resolutely hummable. The weirdest single of the 70s so far- it shouldn't work, but it somehow does. He's so good. 8/10
All the youtube comments make it sound like he's dead.
the Glitter Band on their own were good at disco
all the students the locals the bar staff even the bouncers all linked arms, waved arms and clapped arms along with them. At the end i found myself standing on a bench arms linked with a large rotund sweaty bouncer and a barmaid, swaying and singing.
Been meaning to get into this guy for a while, as I'm a big Jacques Brel fan and I've always assumes he's a similar sort of singer and lyricist. I got quite into it, but again it wasn't lyrically or musically strong enough to really make me sit up and take notice. I'd listen to his other stuff, but this doesn't make the grade, to be honest. 6/10, as he's got an interesting voice and delivery.
The lyrics have a timeless quality. But Aznavour has a terrible voice - like a goose farting in fog*. Elvis Costello did a decent version of it for the film Notting Hill.
* © Billy Connolly
so I have to be nice to them now + no one reads this thread on a weekend anyway. I'll resume 1974 tomorrow morning, starting with George McCrae. Anon! x
It was a good year for albums as well. Raw Power, the New York Dolls and Springsteen's debuts.. no doubt I've made some glaring omissions but hey ho.
Plus Burnley promoted back to the top flight, and Leeds embarrassed in the Cup Final..
My dad was 16 at the time and went on a lads' holiday to the Isle of Man that summer, they went to a Slade gig and though he was never really into them (he was more a Motown/Northern Soul/Van Morrison/Joni Mitchell man among so many others) he tells me it was an absolute riot. Unfortunately a few days later from their campsite they watched the Summerland disaster unfold :-(
Hi, TBO_ here, this isn't my alt account though! Dunno when this will be updated as for some reason I can't post in or reply to any threads. Think the site is broken. Hopefully I'll get it done soon! Cheers x
[don't shoot the messenger]
where were we ...?
Unexpected chilled disco-funk. There are better examples of the same thing, but it makes a refreshingly odd and relaxing change. Gorgeous piano dives and swoops. 7/10
They look like a haggard Destiny's Child, and there's a reference to this song in Kill Bill. Both of these things automatically make it good. It's also really delicate and uplifting at the same time, gentle soul harmonies distorted by punchy, summery brass. Lovely. 7/10
Wasn't looking forward to this, and the video's marred by lots of shrieky girls, but it's better than I expected... simple, straightforward boyband pop, full of plangent piano backings and gently memorable harmonies. It's better than most boybands today would be capable of, I'll give it that, but thi just isn't my sort of music. Shouldn't be letting that cloud my judgement, though, and the middle-8 brass section was an unexpectedly bombastic surprise. 6.5/10
Obviously one of the most fun-filled songs of all time. This doesn't need too much writing about it, because everyone in the world knows it (except WILL, weirdly enough...). His voice is James Brown-lite but still good, the bass and guitar are taut and funky as fuck, it manages to make a flute sound genuinely cool, he knows how to do it live... 8.5/10
My Uncle plays this a lot in the car and the house, so I know it really well and have always liked it. It just straddles the line between 'tender' and 'too smooth' and narrowly gets it right. There's almost nothing to this, yet it's still really gorgeous wonder-pop- kinda feels like a more banal version of some of the stuff Guillemots were making on their debut album, or certainly something they took inspiration from. Cool voice, too. 7/10
More warmed-up pop-funk, and this actually DOES fall the wrong side of the smooth divide. It's almost not there, despite some pleasing ambient textures and sax fills. There's what tries to be a big poppy chorus, but it's all so featherweight and throwaway, and not in a good way. 5/10
Peculiar: cheery reggae underneath a very standard MOR-pop number. There are some nice trombone licks there. The lyrics are good too, simple yet sad and emotionally direct, and he's relaxing and pleasant to listen to which provides a nice contrast with the subject matter, but there isn't really a lot to say about this, which in itself says it all. I've heard better music than this on The X Factor. 5/10
Very metrosexual. Not amazing, despite a surprisingly powerful, raw singing style and faux-ballsy attitude. 6/10
This is a cautionary tale in how to write JUST GREAT POP then spoil it by inserting a synth/brass line that sound like a whoopee cushion. I despise that more than Autotune.
I seem to forgive it in ska a bit more, though..
More like it! My first boyfriend bought me this when I was a slip of a lad at 15, 'cos my real name rhymes with Barry White. It's GREAT. Simple soul and strings which augment but don't intrude is all the backing any song needs, to be honest, and surprisingly few songwriters know how to couple the two. Then there's THAT VOICE. The resonance and tone of a thousand trains passing through a tunnel. 9/10
A youtuber comments: "If you split up with a girl and she had never heard this song before I think that if you sent her a recording of this song you had done yourself with a couple of friends on the instruments I think it would impress her so much that she would get back together with you. It is? worth a try anyone so if anyone on here has recently split with a girl who walked out on them why not record yourself singing this song with a couple of mates playing the instruments, sent it to her and see what happens."
He's spot on, and I can't think of a better way to describe this song- the perfect get-together, breakup, make-up and Christmas Number 1 song all rolled into one. 8/10
will do as many of these as I can (for 1975) before I get summoned to Morrison's- should be a laugh of a Friday afternoon. Really need to start updating this thread earlier in the day, but I have limited access to the computer most days.
Right, now for a bit of Quo. Everyone likes Quo, even if they're not wo/man enough to admit to it. This is entertaining, ballsy and very camp pub-rock. It's a lot poppier and tighter than I expected, and really rather good- it'd take quite a few listens before it went stale. 6/10
Very different- pleasing rocky soul. Lovely echo and reverb effects in the vocals. Does pass you by a bit, though, after a couple of listens. 6/10, but that could rise in future.
An odd mischmasch of Kinks-lite pop harmonies and tediously bland classic rock guitar solos. It's got some elegantly catchy little details and cute guitar and bass fills, but ultimately it's too banal and messy to really do or say anything. They're a 60s pop band with a drivetime rock group trapped deep inside, and it isn't great. 5/10
It is shite. He likes Al Stewart's concept album about wine too. AND James Taylor! OH DAD
I'm fine with James Taylor, plenty of good memories of listening to Mexico/You've Got A Friend on my mum or dad's holiday CD player, but I guess this MOR singer-songwriter obsession of the mid-70s would drive some people round the twist. Which led to punk, obviously
Absolutely superb. There really isn't any other word to describe this. Probably the only band to mix Ian Dury level British oddity with really anthemically poppy electronics and produce something uplifting and glorious. Imagine Damon Albarn and the bloke from Squeeze fronting Roxy Music, but in a way your auntie would love. It's THAT good. 9/10
Don't get this. It's supposed to be a beautifully sad song about death and the death of love, but it just sounds like a not very good version of 'I Dreamed About Mama Last Night'. False. 5/10
Thought they were much older than this! Think I recognise it from an advert somewhere. It's average swooning boyband fare with added touches of rock and surf-pop, but frankly there's much better music than this in the same milieu. 6/10
I'm kinda fond of this, in a shonky sort of way. Extremely cheesy and more than a bit amateurish, but he's got a likable voice and it knows it's rubbish and doesn't aspire to greatness and fall short- it's meant to be three minutes of silly throwaway fun and succeeds admirably in that respect. Fucking hilariously bad acapella intro and outro as well, needs hearing. 7/10
Probably the campest video ever. Glittery Christmas trees and everything. As for the song, it's the usual steamed-up country-pop nonsense, but quite endearing. 6/10 as she's got a fair set of pipes and real authority and confidence. This is a rubbish year, though. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZr0_ic1304
Two sexually repressed men in safari gear sing popera. Utterly peculiar. 5/10
Superb. Minimal, bleak and tragic. Ethereal majesty meets pop soundscapes. 9/10
I get its appeal a little bit more these days but I wouldn't give it a 9 - always preferred 10CC when they were a bit more upbeat. However, that's a relative term - back in the day they were far too good at writing songs and playing their instruments to appeal to a nascent young punk like me.
I just think it's so haunting and beautiful and sad- though that does reflect on my mood when I was doing the review- I'd been listening to Elliott Smith beforehand. I find 10cc a bit naff overall, fwiw
Cracking song, by the way. Fully deserves a 9, maybe a 10. Not many acts have three number ones from three completely different genres, let alone three excellent takes on them (OK some would say there were PC issues around Dreadlock Holiday but I'm pretty sure they didn't mean any harm..)
This is a very pretty and lively pop-reggae number. It's simple, cute and effective, combining classic jazzy fills with a modern pop sensibility and some authentic-sounding Caribbean horns. Yeah.... perfect summer heartbreak sort of stuff, really. Just what I need. 9/10
Why did they always wear tartan?
This is dull. 5/10
Wtf is this? Sounds like a ska version of The Vengaboys' 'Going To Ibiza'. Despite that, it's fun, kitsch, uplifting and lovable. 6/10 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ALD-rI8Q08
Now, is it likely that this is a ska version of the Venga Boys song, or do you think it's more likely that the Venga Boys song was a shitty rip-off of THIS song?
I just didn't expect it.
Yeah, this is more like it. Whilst it's a bit MOR for my tastes, it's cleverly groovy, detailed and sentimental all at once, One of my favourite soul groups. 7.5/10
Was very pleasantly surprised by the emotional directness and simplicity of his previous two Number 1s, and this is honest and blunt in a similar vein. It isn't as musically interesting, however, abandoning the slightly scrappy strings/guitar mix which made 'First Cut Is The Deepest' so blokily affecting, going instead for a straight assault on the heartstrings. Half the time it works, half the time it's too over-the-top. His voice is worryingly similar to Kelly Jones' but it's a sound I like 7/10
My Mum admitted earlier on that she used to fancy him, and still does too. I'm moving out.
He's got a very rich, full voice, and I love the use of a trombone part, but this is pretty average jazzy pop fodder with no real distinguishing features. He really goes for it and feels it and cares about the music he's making, but it isn't a strong enough tune to rise above its surroundings. 6/10
Thought I was really going to like this at first, as it began in a very similar way to a lot of Simon + Garfunkel stuff but with a bit more kick. But gradually it became all synth washes and boring ambient vocals. But there is something glorious and beautiful in the way it drags you in merely by washing over you- you catch yourself hooking onto little elements. 7/10
Bowie's first Number 1- what a song.
I find this very hard to analyse because it's objectively totally brilliant, but I'll just say it's a completely new kind of pop, everything before inverted in on itself, in the tradition of, ooh, The Beatles, Little Richard, T-Rex, Hendrix... a bold, bright new voice and one of the best videos of all time. 10/10, of course. Proud to be listening to this delightfully strange bit of genius.
Haha, a comedy version of the Tammy Wynette 'classic'. Quirkily savage nonsense. 8/10
Since I was a kid and used to read chart books for fun. But just know was the first time I've actually listened to it. Came as a surprise to discover it's mainly about a dog.
If you're not interested, don't read it. There are worse threads than this on the boards pretty much every day.
I may not agree with his opinions on some of the songs, but this thread (and particularly the 50s and 60s ones) has reminded me of a lot of decent tunes that are worth listening to again.
Just ignore the haters please.
Either you love this or you hate it. I love it, and I'm not a big Queen fan, either. It's deliciously silly, knowingly overblown and actually really good fun to sing along to. Yes, it led to Muse, but so what, eh? 8/10
...from the time of actual release. The "video" terrified me as a small kid but after it I always always hooked on music. I'm no Queen fan at all but this is beyond pop.
Is that why you chalked off two marks?
Sorry, been a while and I'm really tired tonight, slightly tipsy too.
Anyway, this is as camp and cheeky as pop ought to be, yet with a strange sadness and emptiness underneath, like a lot of ABBA's best stuff, really. 8/10
Apparently this is Midge Ure's pre-Ultravox project. Never liked the bloke, but this song's very good, if a little whimsical. It's dramatic, tense without being overblown, and let's face it, Scottish dudes mumbling about death and unrequited love over noisy guitars are always great. The chorus is a jerky, sub-bad-era-Beatles cop-out, but it's better (and much more interesting) than expected and gets a 7/10.
Quite liking this. It's a sort of laid-back jam, kinda smooth funky Motown, the kind of thing Stevie Wonder would go on to make only with all the rough edges left on. Some vibrant brass stabs and a suitably weird spacey keyboard solo. It shouldn't all work together, but it does, and it's a joyous celebration of whatever you wanna call 'soul'. 9/10
Rubbish video, sorry.
Maybe it's the wine, but I'm really enjoying almost every song tonight. This one's hardly original, but it's a delicate yet huge slowed-down clubtrack, and so listenable. She's got a fair voice on her, too. 6/10
Eurovision CLASSIC and the biggest-selling single of 1976. Whilst actually one of the weaker songs of 1976 so far, it's a pretty, elegant Kinks-lite ballad, and better than anything on Eurovision this year or last. Nostalgic whimsy, and there's nothing wrong with that at all. 6/10
Never liked this as much as their other singles,Super Trouper, the worst song ever recorded, aside. It sounds good today, though, kind of a move from cheesy pop to something more honest and emotionally-charged- kind of a proto-Winner Takes It All (which is their best song). 6/10
A new one on me; he looks like a plumber. Contains the line 'after wiping her hands on her apron', lovely touch.
Basically a shit version of 'I Dreamed About Mama Last Night', right down to his voice. I've said that before in this thread, haven't I?
Greatest song ever recorded. I mean that.
Elegant, smooth-as-silk pop-soul vibes here. It's catchy and strangely moving, despite being pretty run of the mill lovesong fare. There's something really -right- about this; it's just so much more affecting and worthwhile than music like this ought to be. A curious one. 7/10
Imagine if Marcos Baghdatis and Devendra Banhart mated, eh?This is like that, both visually and musically. 5/10
If I was a teenager in 75/76 I'd probably have had a sectionable breakdown. Especially with those hot summers.
Thank God for punk - even though it impacted on the charts somewhat indirectly.
As a man both confident and secure in my sexuality, I can appreciate Elton John's music for the genius it is. This, however, isn't great- twee pop balladeering is seldom acceptable really. They both give it their all but it never goes off. 6/10
I started listening to the charts as an 8-year-old around the time of the Elton/RuPaul version though (I did quite like it though but I couldn't really "understand" the sentiment :D)
Much more like it! Vibrant, poppy, yet weirdly melancholy- there's a real taut sadness behind this; you can't help viewing it nostalgically rather than as a celebration of being young.
Nah, fuck it, let's dance...
A new one on me, and likable in its own way, but country pop isn't my kind of music, except the odd Taylor Swift song. Some rather lovely steel guitars, though. 6/10
Again, pretty average, if not dull music, but oddly affecting in a sideways sort of way. Gently deeply soulful, which I can really get on with. 7/10
Chicago had some cool stuff, MOR at times, but I'm partial to Cetera's vocals and the overall harmonies.
A shit reworking of 'Down By The Riverside'. Not as bad as they can be, some of their music is truly atrocious. This is pleasantly cheesy, but realistically, no one should be listening to it twice. 5/10
Christmas Number One- nice to see it being a carol, or a reworking of one anyway. Banal music. 6/10
sorry, I really need to leave shorter breaks between these, but I don't always have access to the home computer.
God, this is beautiful. If you've been reading, you'll know that I'm not really a fan of ballads, but this is so subtle and textured that it's rather special. There are just enough parts, just enough going on, wonderful lyrics, orchestral pomp which enlightens but doesn't overpower... perfect. 9/10
Obviously Evita is one of the best-ever musicals. Again, a surprisingly subtle and minimal number, synthesised, breathy violin lines underpinning a voice sweetly innocent yet full of emotion and understanding. Really well-constructed song. 8/10
Everyone's least-favourite curly nuisance. Another ballad, but this one's much more conventional, and reminds me (oddly) of a slower, more delicate 'Bad Day' by Daniel Powter. I don't dislike it, and you can genuinely feel his heart breaking in places, but it just plods on without doing a great deal or changing the music. This kind of stuff is all about slight variation and changs in motion, and he's misread it. Gorgeous sax-and-glock solo, though, which gets it an extra mark. 6.5/10
We were very into our slushy ballads in 1977, weren't we? This is poor, though- she's got a big, colourful voice but the song is cheesy and full of French cliches- saxes and accordions, even the lyrics 'Chanson D'Amour' for god's sake. 6/10
I think it's because "Frenchness" in pop fits in much more with the sixties, with New Wave Cinema and all that. (In some ways I bloody loved the Peter Sarstedt and Serge Gainsbourg ones.) It just sounds sweaty and naff here, like a Camembert rotting in the back of a Megabus.
Massive chantalong chorus, but it doesn't have the dark magic of their earlier efforts. It's fun and I like it, but a band sets their own standards, and an ABBA song with a long guitar solo is not an ABBA song by my reckoning. Very Eurovision-y, whilst being a conscious attempt to move beyond Europop, so a failure on several levels. 6.5/10
What a strange piece of music. It's lovely, and unlike much I've heard before. Starts with a minute and a half of glistening keys and harmonies, a vocal fading in and out in ungraspable fragments, before settling down into a slow-burning funky soul tune. Those weird dual keyboards keep shimmering underneath, though, creating dissonance out of harmony and harmony out of dissonance, and working perfectly with Deniece Williams' light, slightly tinny voice. There's a good reggae-influenced guitar solo too- in fact the musicianship is superb throughout this. It feels of its time but completely modern- some of those little fills and drops and fractured beats are being made now, fgs! Amazing, amazing track. 10/10
Another straight-up-and-down unrequited love rocker. Really interesting use of standard rock instrumentation here, all 60s jangle-pop guitars and unexpected chords over drums and a tambourine. His voice is just exquisite- almost cracking and breaking every few seconds, as if even daring to reach a high note is too much to ask after what he's been through. The B-Side is 'First Cut Is The Deepest', which certainly doesn't do it any harm, despite being a better song. My only complaint about this is that it's not direct enough- 'First Cut' just screams at you from somewhere familiar yet unseen, whilst this covers some of it up with music. I understand why, but it puts me off it a bit. Still great anyway. 8/10
Wasn't expecting a lot from this really, but it's probably worth your time. It isn't as affecting as most decent country, but then again it isn't really 'country'. The lyrics are pretty cliched- 'my girl left me so I turned to whisky in a dingy bar'- but his vocal style is a nice mix of confidence and hurt. 6/10 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SDVkdcO8ts
The Jackson 5 as adults, in case you hadn't guessed. Michael's 18 in this and oh god- his voice. Nails every note. The vocal texture is almost perfect too, harking back to classic soul influences whilst imposing a smoother, cooler disco-pop style. It's very much the sound of a boy growing into a man in front of you, and it's wonderful. Good backing vocals, too, but the music gets wearing at points and really Michael is the main attraction here by a long way. 8/10 (but he'd get a 10)
Not very interesting. 5/10
Obviously one of he best songs ever recorded. Weird, bitty, distorted, yet pure, pure pop and a completely new light-and-dark sound. Most artists nowadays will never make something this forward-thinking and creative. An extraordinary blast of fun and angst all in one. 10/10
more to come later
Wasn't a -huge- fan of their last one, so expectations are pretty average for this.
It's not good, I'm afraid. Blankly harmonised, cod-operatic cheese with poor lyrics. The chorus is poptastic fun, but ABBA do this kind of thing much better. Early Europop rubbish. 3/10
Bit of a grainy video, sorry.
Apart from having the worst bandname ever, this is pretty decent, if horny, chilled funk. And I'm rather partial to me chilled funk. Lovely ambient synth washes and little melodies and cute hooks appearing and disappearing through the haze.Gentle spoken vocals and propulsive drums take it home in gorgeous fashion. It feels a bit bitty and badly-recorded, but then again that could be this video. 8/10
Last single Elvis released before his death. I'm not really a fan of his, but this is really very good. Funky keys, gently grooving basslines, and really strong, measured vocals. He feels it and gets into it without over-emoting, and keeps it simple and cool. There is something a bit kitschy about this and it doesn't have the urgency and essential quality of his early singles, but it's an enjoyable and unexpectedly retro 3 minutes. 7/10
Another surprisingly competent soul man. This has a real energy and motion to it, and there are some absolutely lovely piano glistens and vibrations. It's so well-produced- he manages to get a guitar solo and what I think is a banjo in there without detracting from the positive soul swing of the thing. Gorgeous. 7/10
Sultry, sexy and soulful. Strangely Swedish-sounding. Good pop, but I've heard better stuff every year on Eurovision. LOVE the artifical basslines though. 6/10
Again, an average effort- just doesn't hit the spot like 'Mamma Mia' and 'The Winner Takes It All'. It's decent, but they've made so much better stuff. Awful choral-sounding harmonies as well. 6/10
But this is an absolutely brilliant song.
Franz Ferdinand stole from this so blatantly for "Come on Home" from their debut album.
One of my least-favourite ever songs. People have tried to explain this one away as 'just good pop' but it isn't even guilty-pleasure level. He sings it well and the chorus is catchy, but come on guys- this just isn't good enough from the co-writer of most of the best songs of all time. It's really cheesy and dull and- damaging, to be honest. 2/10
awww yeahhh! It's 1978 and it's arguably the poppiest and best reggae tune ever to hit Number 1 on these shores. They never really recorded anything else as good, but who has? 9/10
It's the reverse in every way of Mull of Kintyre, which I don't think is the worst song ever but still bad enough to be the 70s Chasing Cars.
Their third UK Number 1, and for my money their best. It's as camp and glitzily glamorous as ever, but their inherent pop sensibilities and pacy, tight melodies manage to keep everything reined in and controlled. So listenable. 7/10
Then it just lapses into cheesy middle-aged-holidaymakers-in-Spain bollocks.
This is genuinely great. Quite funny to see obvious classics mixed in with dated bollocks.
read that as 'dad bollocks' first time around which was troubling
You're in for a treat
Back to their best. Weird, subtly devastating pop full of cutting electro-tinged meditations on love and loss. Sounds like a weaker Pet Shop Boys track, which is high praise from these ears. 8/10
Hmmm. I know this is a classic, and I actually really like Kate Bush, but it's a bit... simplistic. Her voice is unique, of course, but she's made so much more adventurous music in her time. It's just a ballad, a very delicate one, overlaid by some extraordinary singing. That's all it is. It's even got a grim Clapton-style guitar solo at the end. 8/10, not because I dislike it, but by her own high standards it's not *that* great.
like Im not sure its the most enjoyable of her songs.
But I am so in awe of it (and her) that I feel it would be wrong to give it anything less than 10/10, simply cos its so much more significant than the songs that do dip under 10/10
But I'll play devil's advocate and suggest some tracks from Hounds of Love are better and more realised?
This is kind of endearing, but otherwise not really acceptable as music. There didn't need to be a homage to one of the late 20th century's most boring painters, and it didn't need to be by a Mockney bloke called Brian. It's alright, though. 4/10
Regular readers might be expecting me to find this overly kitsch and unpleasant, and on one level it is. But it's hard not to love something as audaciously trashy and temporary. It's simple discoball fun and that's the point. 7/10
Never liked this lot. Hate the name, hate the stupid shitty cod-reggae sounds which, if you think about it, led directly to Just Jack, hate Mary's Sodding Boy Child with a passion. This isn't QUITE so bad as all that. It's second-rate karaoke ska, sure, and you needn't listen to it, but there are some pretty electronic flourishes and big melodies to see it safely home. 4/10
(written by Jim Jacobs)
Don't argue with me, 'Grease' is great. Travolta really, really can't sing, though, and macho posturing like this doesn't help. You know a song's a bit of a dud when the Glee version is better than the original. I like the poppy aesthetic and the youthful immediacy of it all, but there are so many cooler, better, more singable songs from Grease, fgs.
They've tried to set it up as some classic teen first-love song, but it's just too saccharine to do anything or go anywhere or say anything new which hasn't been tracked over 1000 times before.
It'll do, I guess. 6/10
Bollocks manga-inspired video, sorry about that. Decent tune, though. Gentle, yet full of power and slow-burning class. 8/10
Uh... yes please. 8/10
Some DISers would have a field day with the lyrical connotations, mind.
A bit more like it. They've succeeded where 'You're The one...' failed and made a brilliantly simple fuzzy teen lovesong. It perfectly captures that feeling of 'I don't know how this is going to go but it was good while it lasted'. 8/10
As he was just getting to perhaps the most interesting year in the entire run of #1s.
Having said that, I'll gladly carry this review on till the present day if TBO doesn't want to and it's okay with him...
It'd be nice if TBO had the time to keep this ticking over. Even if it was just until he got to a time when he got to the #1s he personally remembered, or something (which would mean he'd be over half way, I'd have thought).
I haven't seen much of him in the last six months or so.
Not as often as he used to, though.
He's taking a break from DIS until further notice. From what he was saying to me I think he's happy to pass on the baton to me and let me carry on this thread from where he left off, but just double checking with him. Even if it's the case, it'll be a few days at least:
a) I really need to give 100% with my imagination and "engage" with the music. All I need to do is live, no matter how miserable it is.
b) I've got major university commitments this week
c) By the time we get to the 21st century this could drive me insane.
Might be a few weeks yet.
Would like to coincide it with the Christmas number 1 (hi, AC/DC!) But got a real backlog of uni work after being told I couldn't change from Geography to Film and Screenwriting (though maybe this was for the best.) It'll come, though.
I've got to deal with Geldof first anyway.. eek.
But it's still on the Wayback Machine. I've saved it to my computer anyway, but here's the link:
Belated Happy New Year. I haven't been posting much here due to university and family commitments, but oh well.
Sorry about this but I can't carry this thread on right now. The reason being I'm now a fully paid-up member of the Popular comments team (http://www.freakytrigger.co.uk/popular, as "Patrick Mexico") and given Tom's had such a barnstorming start to the New Year, I would be the wrong person to do a number ones thread at this point as it would undermine the vast hard work he puts into it. To be honest, I'm also not the man for fourteen different things to say about Westlife.
I'll just have to move on and TBO can feel free to pass this on to someone else if he wishes. My apologies.