Helpless Dancer

The Endless Note

Blast From The Past – I Got The Music In Me

Kiki Dee (born Pauline Matthews, 6 March 1947, Little Horton, Bradford, West Yorkshire0,  is a singer with a career spanning more than 40 years.

She is best known for her 1976 duet with Elton John, entitled “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart“, which went to Number 1 both in the UK Singles Chart and the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart.

She sang backing vocals for Dusty Springfield, among others, and was well-regarded by other singers but did not achieve solo success in the UK for many years. However, her 1965 release “Why Don’t I Run Away From You” was a big hit on Radios London and Caroline in 1965, and her 1968 release, “On a Magic Carpet Ride”, which was originally a B-side, has remained popular on the Northern Soul circuit.

It was in fact hit songwriter Mitch Murray who came up with her stage name, and also penned her first single, “Early Night”.

In the United States she became the first white British artist to be signed by Motown, releasing her first Motown single “The Day Will Come (Between Sunday and Monday)” in 1970.

Here is another track from her Motown album “Great Expectations”

“Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing” – Kiki Dee

Without doubt her most commercial period was during her time on the Rocket label where she released two albums.

“Loving and Free” – Kiki Dee

and of course

To buy the music of Kiki Dee click HERE

May 11, 2011 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Old Music, Soul, Video | , | 2 Comments

Saturday Cover

“Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)” – The Who

February 26, 2011 Posted by | Cover Stories, Old Music, Video | , | Leave a comment

Friday Fun – Pommy Can You Hear Me

Below is a great video from Rutland Weekend TV which is a parody of Ken Russell’s movie version of The Who’s “Tommy”  it captures both the bombast over the top style of this and Russell movies in general.

Here is the trailer and a couple of clips from the original film.

Bonus giggle below is a Japanese appreciation of The Who and Pinball Wizard!!

November 26, 2010 Posted by | Humour, Movies, Uncategorized, Video | , , , , | Leave a comment

Cover Story – Your Song

Ellie Goulding has just released a great cover of Elton John’s brilliant “Your Song”

Ellie recorded ‘Your Song’ with close friend and Mumford & Sons star Ben Lovett who produced the track.

Department store John Lewis were so impressed with the track that they’re using it on their Christmas TV advert, however she has also released her own video which you can watch below.

Exciting news; you can download Ellie‘s sublime cover of the Elton John classic ‘Your Song’ on iTunes now!

Simply click here to download the sensational song for just 59p today!

You can also download ‘Your Song’ straight to your mobile phone – just text ELLIE to 80010 to get ‘Your Song’ on your mobile for just 99p right now!

(The offer applies to all mobile networks in the UK and the text will cost your standard network rate. Please note this promotion is not compatible with iPhone.)

‘Your Song’ is lifted from Ellie‘s upcoming release ‘Bright Lights’ – the expanded, special edition of Ellie‘s chart-topping debut album ‘Lights’ featuring brand new artwork and seven extra tracks.

For previous post on Ellie Goulding click HERE

November 21, 2010 Posted by | Cover Stories, New News, Video | , | Leave a comment

Saturday Sun (A Football Free Zone)

Today’s track is taken from Elton John’s demo sessions recorded at Dick James Music Studio in 1968.

The sessions had Elton John singing the songs of Mike Heron, John Martyn, Nick Drake and Beverly Martin arranged by Drake’s producer, Joe Boyd.

The sessions featured Elton John – vocals/piano, Linda Peters (later Thompson) – vocals, Jim Capaldi – drums, Simon Nicol – guitar, Pat Donaldson – bass.

Here is Nick Drake’s “Saturday Sun”

“Saturday Sun” – Elton John

Saturday sun came early one morning
In a sky so clear and blue
Saturday sun came without warning
So no-one knew what to do.
Saturday sun brought people and faces
That didn’t seem much in their day
But when I remember those people and places
They were rarely too good in their way.
In their way
In their way
Saturday sun won’t come and see me today.

Think about stories with reason and rhyme
Circling through your brain.
And think about people in their season and time
Returning again and again
And again
And again
And Saturday’s sun has turned to Sunday’s rain.

So Sunday sat in the Saturday sun
And wept for a day gone by.

To buy the music of Elton John click HERE
To buy the music of Nick Drake click HERE

May 8, 2010 Posted by | Cover Stories, Old Music, Uncategorized | , | 2 Comments

Lesley Duncan

Last week we lost another musical unsung hero, hopefully this post will spread the word.

Lesley Duncan (12 August 1943 – 12 March 2010) was an English singer-songwriter, best known for her work during the 1970s. She received a lot of airplay on British radio stations such as BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 2, but never achieved great commercial success.

Duncan was born in Stockton-on-Tees. Her songs included “Everything Changes” and “Sing Children Sing”. Elton John duetted with her in a version of “Love Song” similar to his own, on his album Tumbleweed Connection.

“Love Song” – Elton John

She appeared onstage with John in a 1974 concert at the Royal Festival Hall to perform the duet once again.

The live recording of “Love Song” was included on John’s Here and There album. The version on Tumbleweed Connection remains one of the few songs composed solely by someone other than John and Bernie Taupin or one of their regular collaborators, to appear on a formal Elton John studio album.

Duncan contributed backing vocals to Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon album as well as singing lead on the song “If I Could Change Your Mind” on the Alan Parsons Project album Eve. As well as writing and singing her own material, Duncan was a backing vocalist in the mid to late 1960s, most notably for Dusty Springfield and the The Walker Brothers. She co-wrote three songs with Scott Walker for the Walker Brothers.

After Elton John recorded “Love Song” this landed Lesley Duncan a recording contract with CBS / Columbia Records. Producer Jimmy Horowitz gathered some of the top studio musicians in England to record on Lesley’s albums including Chris Spedding and Peter Frampton. Her first album “Sing Children Sing” included Elton John on Piano.  “Sing Children Sing”, “Love Song” and “Help Me Jesus” would all be released as singles in the US. Top tracks from this album were “Mr. Rubin”, “Love Song” and “Lullaby”. These songs would all be covered by other artist like Olivia Newton-John and Long John Baldry.

In 1972 her second album “Earth Mother” was released. Unlike the first this was not available in the US. Top tracks from this album include “Time”, “Fortieth Floor” and the title track “Earth Mother”.

Her next album was “Everything Changes”. Highlighting the album are the tracks “My Soul” , “The Serf”, “Love Melts Away” and the title track “Everything Changes”. This lead to her signing with MCA records in the US in 1976

MCA released her next two albums “Moon Bathing” (Lesley’s favourite album), which again included the help of Elton John, and in 1977 “Maybe It’s Lost”.

After low sales of these albums Lesley Duncan was back to a singles artist releasing singles in the UK which was where she started, here is an old Northern Soul track of her’s from 1965 which was the B-Side of the “Just For The Boy” single.

“See That Guy” – Lesley Duncan

The last album Lesley Duncan appeared on was the 1979 release by Alan Parsons Project called “Eve” where she sang the track “If I Could Change Your Mind”.

“Sing Children Sing” was also re-recorded as a single in 1979 with an all star cast including Kate Bush, Pete Townshend and Phil Lynott.

In 2000 her albums started to be released on CD in the UK. “Sing Children Sing” was released in 2000 followed by “Earth Mother” in 2001. 

It is often when the rest of her albums will be released on CD the original master for those albums were lost in a fire. But, copies of the master have been found and hopefully they will see CD releases.

Lesley Cox (Duncan) died in March 2010 on the Scottish Island of Mull where she lived.

A special message from Lesley’s husband…..
March 12, 2010
“This afternoon I drove to the hospital at about 2pm and on the way I got a call that Lesley’s condition had deteriorated alarmingly. When I arrived at her bedside, the nurse had put on the Sing Children Sing album playing softly in the background. I held Lesley’s hand and after about ten minutes Love Song started to play. During the song I felt one or two tremors pass through Lesley’s body and, as her lovely song ended, she passed away. It was as peaceful, I think, as death can be and a relief after her years of struggle.”
Tony Cox

Click HERE to a link to a relevant article in ‘The Scotsman’ newspaper of 20 March 2010:

To buy the music of Lesley Duncan click HERE

To buy the music of Elton John click HERE

March 21, 2010 Posted by | New News, Old Music, Video | , , | 10 Comments

Life On Mars US

Finally managed to get around to watching the final episode of Life On Mars US last night.

The original UK series was gripping viewing and the US version obviously did not benefit from the surprise element that the original series had.

The principles of the show were the same with at least similar characteristics built into the roles in the show.

The ending however was even further off the wall than the UK original.

Here is the closing song.

“Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” – Elton John

And now I know
Spanish harlem are not just pretty words to say
I thought I knew
But now I know that rose trees never grow in new york city

Until youve seen this trash can dream come true
You stand at the edge while people run you through
And I thank the lord there’s people out there like you
I thank the lord there’s people out there like you

While mona lisas and mad hatters
Sons of bankers, sons of lawyers
Turn around and say good morning to the night
For unless they see the sky
But they can’t and that is why
They know not if it’s dark outside or light

This broadways got
Its got a lot of songs to sing
If I knew the tunes I might join in
Ill go my way alone
Grow my own, my own seeds shall be sown in new york city

Subways no way for a good man to go down
Rich man can ride and the hobo he can drown
And I thank the lord for the people I have found
I thank the lord for the people I have found

To buy the music of Elton John click HERE

February 16, 2010 Posted by | Old Music, Television, Video | , | 3 Comments

Lennon & Nilsson – The Lost Weekend

The Lost Weekend seems an appropriate title for a post given my current mood, however, it is really a opportunnity to post on one of Harry Nilsson’s less commercial albums “Pussy Cats” which was one of the products of John Lennon’s infamous “lost weekend” which lasted months rather than days.

In order to set the scene you have to go back to September 1973 when Lennon travelled to LA to get away from NYC and the now estranged Yoko Ono, with him was May Pang who ironically Ono had encouraged to have an affair with Lennon to stave off other non marital experiences!

In addition Lennon was still in the midst of a big dispute with Paul McCartney and had just experienced a big drop in sales of his solo output which had initially peaked with “Imagine”.

LA was to be the scene for the wildest period of Lennon’s life (even wilder than the Hamburg days).

Whilst Lennon wasn’t broke he had little liquid assets with his monthly allowance from Apple still being paid to Ono thus after a  stay at his lawyers apartment he accepted the offer of accommodation from Harry Nilsson who had been attending some of the shambolic Phil Spector produced sessions that Lennon had been recording since his arrival in LA.

These sessions were eventually partially salvaged via the “Rock ‘n’ Roll” album.

“Ain’t That A Shame” – John Lennon

Nilsson was living in a beach house in Santa Monica rented for him by his record company and already had two house guests messers Ringo Starr and Keith Moon, who was also in the USA to pass the time away whilst The Who were off the road.

As you can imagine (sic) this was a lethal combination which, following the collapse of the Spector sessions saw Lennon agreeing to produce an album for Nilsson and the three amigos agreeing to help Moon complete his ill-advised solo album “Two Sides Of The Moon”

From the album here is a version of Nilsson’s “Together”

“Together” – Keith Moon

This being the lessor evil than posting his version of “In My Life”

The Nilsson album “Pussy Cats” had the intent of being a much more serious project, however, Nilsson was suffering from a severe throat condition which limited his vocal ability to a great extent but he wasn’t willing to let Lennon know in case he pulled the plug on the sessions.

At the end of the first day of the session a guest arrived in the form of Paul McCartney who after four years of disagreement with Lennon had perhaps heard of his current state of mind and came on some sort of mercy mission.

McCartney agreed to “jam” but only if he played the drums (he did not want this to be perceived as a Beatles reunion) the session was later bootlegged.

This is perhaps the nearest to a Nilsson standard that they recorded.

“Don’t Forget Me” – Nilsson

Here are all the four musketeers with a “version” of THE Bill Haley song

“Rock Around The Clock” – Nilsson

Lennon returned to NYC in April 1974 where he salvaged after Capital Records paid a ransom to buy back the tapes from Spector.

Lennon and Ono made the first steps to reconciliation at the end of November 1974 when Lennon made a return to the live stage with Elton John at Madison Square Garden

“Pussy Cats” was released in 1974 buy HERE

“Two Sides Of The Moon” was finally released after much more drinking and re-recording in 1975 buy HERE

“Rock ‘n’ Roll” was salvaged and released in 1975 buy HERE

For the full story on the Lost Weekend see the new issue of Q Magazine

January 3, 2010 Posted by | Old Music, Video | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Long John Baldry

Long John Baldry, “Long” because he was 6’7″, had Rod Stewart as a featured vocalist in “The Steampacket” as did for a period piano player Reg Dwight and saxaphone player Elton Dean.

Reg was in awe of both Elton and John…..the rest they say is history.

“Baby Don’t You Do It” – The Steampacket

To buy the music of Long John Baldry click HERE

December 10, 2009 Posted by | Blues, Old Music, Video | , , | Leave a comment

Born To Boogie

born to boogie

"The Day That Pop Came Back"

The 70’s answer to Beatlemania was without doubt Marc Bolan though his boast that “we’ve done in a year what took The Beatles four years” was more ego than fact but let’s not let that spoil a good story.

marc bolan

With his transformation from being a mod through a folkie phase with the original Tyrannosaurus Rex to pop stardom with the re-formatted and re-named T-Rex complete it was no surprise that Ringo Starr, then Managing Director of Apple Films Ltd put forward a film  proposal to him in 1972.

It was agreed that the film should be built around two live concerts to be performed at The Empire Pool, Wembley on 18th March 1972.

The shows were recorded by Tony Visconti on The Rolling Stones Mobile Studio.

Between the opening “Cadillac” and closing cover of Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues” were all the glam hits

plus three acoustic numbers reflecting his continual love of his musical history.

“Spaceball Ricochet” – T-Rex

In order to make the film more than just a record of the concerts additional sketch material was filmed together with an Apple Records basement jam  which included Elton John and Ringo Starr.

“Children Of The Revolution” – T-Rex with Elton John and Ringo Starr

The film was premiered on 14th December 1972 and for many years the film was presumed lost then come 2003 272 cans of footage were located in a warehouse near Heathrow and with Ringo Starr’s approval Sanctuary Films carried out extensive restoration work from which the 2005 double CD and double DVD sets were sourced.

For more information click HERE

To buy the CD and/or DVD click HERE

October 27, 2009 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Movies, Old Music, Video | , , | Leave a comment

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