Joel Goldenberg: 10CC and others

Tammi Terrell

Before we continue with the terrific T list, a couple of short notes.

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Technology is moving so fast that, in terms of music, the way we used to listen is becoming obsolete — 78 RPM records are long gone, 45 RPM singles and vinyl LPs are popular amongst a fairly small and (necessarily) affluent audience, cassettes have a made a very minor comeback, and eight-track tapes died a necessary death, based on my experience with those clunky music receptacles.

Then came recordable CDs, and the ability to place numerous songs on them via MP3 encoding. After that was flash drives of even more mammoth size, and even huger portable hard drives.

But based on my listening habits, the above may become obsolete as well. The fact I can download songs from Spotify and YouTube music for listening in my car via a Bluetooth transmitter is lessening my desire to download or record at home.

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A Twitter tidbit — comedian Patton Oswalt (most famous from the TV show King of Queens) and I have "collaborated" to encourage singer Eric Carmen to release a retrospective box set of his career, including his stint in the classic band The Raspberries and his solo material, as well as his pre-Raspberries tracks.

We shall see... and now to the T list, which will be short and snappy.

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10CC: Two thoughts. I'm Mandy Fly Me is one of the most Beatlesque songs of the post-Beatles 1970s. And listen to this band's mid-1970s albums on a Dolby Pro-Logic II surround system. You will be amazed.

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Ten Years After: Yes, this band had amazing bluesy, guitar-based tracks in the late 1960s. But their most accessible rock moment is I'd Love to Change The World, which deserves a place in the classic roch pantheon. However, some of the lyrics may not be liked in 2019. Have a listen and you'll see what I mean.

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Tammi Terrell: This Motown artist's death at a very young age from a brain tumour in 1970 was one of music history's greatest tragedies. While her duets with Marvin Gaye were big hits, her solo career never took off. Maybe it would have if the utter classic All I Do Is Think About You (written and recorded in 1980 by Stevie Wonder) had been released in 1966, and not much later on the A Cellarful of Motown set in 2000.

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Joe Tex: He was somewhat of a soul-novelty artist. His Skinny Legs and All is loads of fun, but again, based on its lyrics, it might be subject to a radio ban in today's world.

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Them: This 1960s group, led by Van Morrison, is, of course, best known for the teen sex classic Gloria (not the Laura Branigan song, people). But the group's Mystic Eyes is one of the most ferocious things ever recorded. A must listen.

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Carla Thomas: Another sweet-voiced 1960s soul singer like Terrell, but she recorded for Motown's edgier rival Stax/Volt. Her B-A-B-Y might just be that label's quintessential song, in terms of feel and atmosphere, and a great sparkly organ part. Her yearning No Time To Lose is also a classic.

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Rufus Thomas: Carla's father, and like Joe Tex, a soul-novelty artist who recorded Bear Cat (an answer song to Hound Dog) for Sun Records, and flourished on Stax with Walking the Dog, also recorded by the Rolling Stones. My favourite of Rufus's is the very frenetic, and funny, Do the Funky Chicken.

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Timmy Thomas: Why Can't We Live Together is a pretty good, atmospheric song. But the fact a muddily, recorded mono demo could be a huge hit in 1973 is quite amazing, and was, of course, mighty profitable.

Next time: The Three Degrees, Three Dog Night and others.

 

 

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