Tag Archives: 1970

Eric Burdon & War – Spill The Wine (1970)

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Ex-Animals frontman Eric Burdon sang the lead on ‘Spill the Wine’. The song was released as a single in May 1970  and was War’s first chart hit. Paul Thomas Anderson used in the movie Boogie Nights as part of a pool party scene. R.I.P. Burt.

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The Beatles – Across The Universe (1970)

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The Beatles’s ‘Across The Universe’ off 1970’s ‘Across The Universe’.

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The Kinks – Strangers (1970)

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Beloved by diehard Kinks fans, ‘Strangers’ featured on their 1970 LP Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround, Part One, but was never released as a single. The Dave Davies line “If I live too long, I’m afraid I’ll die” was inspired by his old school friend George Harris. They were going to start a band, but Harris succumbed to bad habits and eventually died of a meth overdose. “Strangers on this road we are on/we are not two we are one.”

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Clarence Carter – Patches (1970)

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He’s had a long career, but I am not too familiar with Clarence Carter’s canon. However, the title track off his 1970 album Patches is a classic. Have a great weekend.

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The Five Stairsteps – O-o-h Child (1970)

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At about the same time that The Jackson 5 were making waves, the first family of soul, The Five Stairsteps, released the song ‘O-o-h Child’.  The family were Betty and Clarence Burke Sr.’s five children: Alohe Jean, Clarence Jr., James, Dennis and Keni. Maybe it’s just me, but that earworm chorus, the drum rhythm and the singing siren (at roughly a minute in) make me wonder why this disc only sold a million copies. Have a great weekend.

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Black Sabbath – Iron Man (1970)

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Containing one of rock’s greatest guitar riff, ‘Iron Man’ is hard rock personified. Tony Iommi’s riff is slow tempo, mind-blowing and apocalyptic. You won’t like the Iron Man when he’s angry. He featured at the end of the first side of their second album, Paranoid.

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Sixto Rodriguez – Jane S Piddy (1970)

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While George Harrison was knocking out the hits that he’d been holding back, Sixto Rodriguez was recording his talent for tomorrow. Not at all popular in 1970, Rodriguez would be rightly rediscovered 30 years later. ‘Jane S Piddy’ is off the singer-songwriter’s debut album Cold Fact.

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George Harrison – Isn’t It A Pity (1970)

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Coldplay and Chris Martin will always be under represented on this blog, but I’ll give him his dues. When suffering a touch of writers’ block, Martin reached for George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass. As he sat at the piano trying to play ‘Isn’t It A Pity’, he accidentally found the chord that became ‘The Scientist’. Fine song that it is, it is a pale imitation.

 

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Led Zeppelin – Friends (1970)

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Led Zeppelin 1970

Another track that sticks out for its disquieting string arrangement is ‘Friends’ off Led Zeppelin III. By 1970 had no shortage of pomp. Having returned from an exhausting tour of the US, the band retreated to Bron-Yr-Aur, a small cottage in the Dyfi Valley. Hats off to John Paul Jones. The bass player took the tranquility of their setting and created a string arrangement that would open a creative door – a precursor to ‘Kashmir’.

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Jorge Ben – Oba, Lá Vem Ela (1970)

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Jorge Ben Jor

Now if there’s a cult instrument that I like even more than the cowbell, it’s the monkey sound of the cuíca drum. Enter Jorge Ben’s ‘Oba, Lá Vem Ela’ off his 1970 pressing Fôrça Bruta. Throw in some sweeping strings and what you have is heaven. Jorge Ben, you are the man.

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Van Morrison – Into The Mystic (1970)

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Van Morrison moondance

If Moondance is the the yang to Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks‘ yin, I plump for the shady side every time. But to give the former its due, it’s a bonafide classic and features this undeniable masterpiece. “I want to rock ya gypsy soul!” Have a great week.

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The Doors – Peace Frog (1970)

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The Doors Peace Frog

Like Let It Bleed’s ‘Monkey Man’, The Door’s ‘Peace Frog’ sounds like one of the father species and key attractions in a zoo that would become known as Britpop. It features on the 1970 album Morrison Hotel. Have a great weekend.

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Freda Payne – Band Of Gold (1970)

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Freda Payne

The Motown house band, Funk Brothers, also surreptitiously played on ‘Band of Gold’. The song was written for Freda Payne by legendary Motown songwriters Holland–Dozier–Holland and released on their Invictus label. By 1970, H-D-H had had fallen out with Motown boss Berry Gordy Jr. in grand style over a dispute about royalties. So what were they doing instead? No less than writing and producing the seminal proto disco cut. Have a great weekend.

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Vashti Bunyan – Diamond Day (1970)

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Vashti Bunyan

A low key end to the week – I’m on leave and starting to relax. The hippy, whispery lyrics of Vashti Bunyan’s ‘Diamond Day’ were written at a time when Bunjan’s work had been rejected by the commercial world. Featuring on her debut long player Just Another Diamond Day, the song would become part of commerce itself when providing the backdrop for a T-Mobile Flext advert in the mid-noughties. Have a great weekend.

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Neil Young – Only Love Can Break Your Heart (1970)

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Neil Young again

Off his 1970 album After the Gold Rush, ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart’ was written for Graham Nash after his split from Joni Mitchell. Nash was Neil Young’s previous bandmate; Mitchell was a colleague who shared the same manager. That intimacy was originally lost on me when introduced to the song through Saint Etienne’s cover 20 years later. Have a great weekend. And Happy Valentine’s Day!

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