‘Raunchy punk rock’


As a supplement to the Revive 45 series, here are ten singles from June and July 1974 that got nowhere near the top 10 at all. They’re all (I think) British or Irish; mostly we’re in junk-shop glam territory; and, save for a couple of instances, we’re without benefit of video. They’re sequenced for your listening pleasure, but just in case you’re interested (you’re not), my favourites are the first and last.

I remember none of these at all from the time, so I’m using the words of contemporary reviewers to set the scene. And, as will become apparent, I’m leaning heavily on the writing of John Hutson in the Thanet Times. I know nothing about Mr Hutson, but he tended to review more obscure releases than did his contemporaries. And he may very well have been the first British journalist outside the music press to use the expression ‘punk rock’. Certainly I can’t find an earlier instance.

Scott Fitzgerald, ‘Judy Played the Jukebox’ (GTO)

‘A very Phil Spector-ish intro marks this debut recording by this pretty-faced singer from the Glasgow slums. He has a fair voice and after a few plays the tune does grow on you a bit. But it’s not really that remarkable and its success will inevitably depend on whether it gets enough plays on the radio.’ (Acton Gazette) Note: Written by Geoff Stephens and Tony Macualay.

Bilbo Baggins, ‘Saturday Night’ (Polydor)

‘Sheer rock from the moment the stylus hits the first groove of the record. An instant disco hit and with enough airplay it should have chart success.’ (Thanet Times) Note: Written by Wayne Bickerton and Tony Waddington.

Bandy Legs, ‘Ride Ride’ (WWA)

‘The record begins with a electronic noise like that of a spaceship taking off, giving way to raunchy punk rock at its best. The song is produced by Birchington resident Wilf Pine.’ (Thanet Times)

Brotherly Love, ‘Live Wire’ (RCA)

‘Slick stuff from three Liverpudlian brothers, with some wiggly electronics to liven things up. Written and produced by Phil Wainman.’ (Daily Mirror)

Trax, ‘Wasn’t It Nice?’ (Phonogram)

‘Orange hair is the gimmick for these five [sic] coloured boys from London who are the latest “discovery” by ace producer/talent spotter Tony Hall. Their first single is fast fluid soul number with a sweet sound.’ (Thanet Times)

The Monks, ‘Roller Coaster Rock and Roller’ (Rex)

‘Reminds me of the early Beach Boys sound as they put together some good up-tempo harmonies and keep the pace going with catchy guitar breaks.’ (Buckinghamshire Examiner) Note: The Monks were an Irish band.

Slack Alice, ‘Motorcycle Dream’ (Fontana)

‘Alice sounds like a mighty serious home-bred challenger for Suzi Quatro in the leather lunged lady department.’ (Buckinghamshire Examiner)

Sleaz Band, ‘All I Want Is You’ (Fontana)

‘A rocking number containing a singer with a Yes sounding voice.’ (Thanet Times)

Angel, ‘Good Times Fanny’

‘Mick Tucker and Andy Scott from the Sweet have been busy lately producing the first single for a new group called Angel. The record was written by Andy Scott and both of them have done a very good production job. We look like hearing a lot more from Angel.’ (Liverpool Echo)

Charlie James, ‘All Fingers and Thumbs’ (Polydor)

‘A steel guitar wafting around the backing, a chugalong beat and sweet voiced Charlie holding on to the high notes. It’s the kind of thing that the Osmonds could get away with. I hope Charlie does too.’ (Coventry Evening Telegraph)

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