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The Songfactor's Choice Top Ten Facts


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The Flirtations (previously The Gypsies) were an all-female musical group who recorded from the early 1960s through the late 1980s.

1964 they signed to Old Town Records, where they released their debut single "Hey There, Hey There." The song only achieved local airplay, but their next single was more successful. "Jerk It" was a major hit for the quartet in 1965, after the song charted at #111 (Pop Chart) and #33 (R&B).

Next the trio went to Deram Records in late 1968 and released a catchy Phil Spector-styled number, "Nothing But A Heartache". The B-Side was a Christmas song entitled "Christmastime Is Here Again." The record was then re-released in early 1969 with another B-side ("How Can You Tell Me") in the United States. In March the song entered the chart and entered the Billboard Hot Top 40 in May, peaking at #34. The song also made #31 in Cash Box.

In July 1970 they scored another hit with the original version of Tom Jones' "Can't Stop Loving You". The song bubbled under the Top 100 in the US at #101 and made #96 in Cash Box.

It is ironic that these women were not more successful. However, they have been rediscovered in the Disco and Northern Soul circuits of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the U.S..

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"Amy"

Pure Prairie League

Wrtitten by Craig Fueller. Released in 1972.

from allmusic:

Fresh out of the '70s country-rock scene emerged the melody-ridden "Amie," a charming little country-pop tune that would give the Ohio-based Pure Prairie League their second biggest chart hit, but would easily become their most memorable. Written by their lead man at the time, Craig Fuller, who had a voice that was custom-made for radio, "Amie" made it into the Top 30 in 1975 as Pure Prairie League's first charted single. The song originates from 1972's Bustin' Out, an album that utilized Mick Ronson to help put together its lush string arrangements and light, affable sound. FM radio automatically soaked up the single, as did the country stations, and while Fuller, as conscientious objector to the Vietnam War was doing alternate service working in a hospital in Kentucky , the rest of the band was enjoying "Amie"'s success. A demand by college radio prompted RCA to release the song a short time after it had made its mark, and "Amie" soon became one of the decade's most popular country-rock tunes. The band itself went through various personnel changes, and soon after Fuller was let out of prison, he went on to form American Flyer, replaced by lead singer Larry Goshorn. After Goshorn exited, the band enjoyed their highest of four Top 40 hits with 1980's "Let Me Love You Tonight," this time with Vince Gill as the frontman. The band scored hits with "I'm Almost Ready" and "Still Right Here in My Heart" in the early '80s, but like most of the country-rock bands of the time, Pure Prairie League faded into obscurity, with Gill enjoying a rather successful solo career in country music. Even after their demise, the band will always be remembered for two distinguishing characteristics; Luke, their Norman Rockwell-drawn cowboy character, and by Fuller's sweet voice which made "Amie" one of the genre's best songs.

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"I Can´t Get Next To You"

The Temptations

Written by Norman Whitfield/Barrett Strong

Released July 30, 1969 as a single. It was also a track of their album "Puzzle People".

It reached #1 in both US Pop Singles and US R&B Singles.

wikipedia knows it all about it:

I Can't Get Next to You" is a 1969 number-one single recorded by The Temptations and produced by Norman Whitfield for the Gordy (Motown) label. The song was the number-one single on the Billboard Top Pop Singles chart for two weeks in 1969, from October 11 to October 25, replacing "Sugar, Sugar" by The Archies and replaced by "Suspicious Minds" by Elvis Presley. The single was also a number-one hit on the Billboard Top R&B Singles for five weeks, from September 27 to November 1, replacing "Oh What a Night" by The Dells, and replaced by another Motown song, "Baby I'm For Real" by The Originals.

The single was the second of the Temptations' four number-one hits on the United States pop charts, and was also the best-selling single the group released.

Building on the foundation set by their previous "psychedelic soul" records from the Cloud Nine album, "I Can't Get Next to You" is a marked departure from with the Temptations' David Ruffin-led hits. Although it is in essence a love song like those earlier Smokey Robinson-crafted singles, "I Can't Get Next to You's" backing track features a high tempo, and a focus on piano, electric guitar, and drums that gives the song the feel of a Sly & the Family Stone recording.

"I Can't Get Next to You" features all five Temptations trading verses about how having all the powers in the world means nothing if a man cannot impress the woman he loves -- very similar to the lyrics of Ira Gershwin's 1935 standard "I Can't Get Started With You". Each member of the group sings a separate line of the song's verses; for example, the first verse begins:

Dennis Edwards: "I can turn the grayest sky blue..."

Melvin Franklin: "I can make it rain, whenever I want it to...".

Eddie Kendricks: "I can build a castle from a single grain of sand..."

Paul Williams: "I can make a ship sail on dry land...".

Each verse continues in this fashion, with Edwards or Kendricks delivering the pre-chorus and all five members singing the chorus of "I can't get next to you, babe/I can't get next to you." When performing the song live, the Temptations would perform the number with a stiff-legged dance routine that Kendricks devised from similar dance moves his children did around the house.

The single opens with the sound of applause, similar to a lively party. Dennis Edwards then interrupts the proceedings ("Hold on, everybopdy, hold it, hold on...listen!"), and the song proper begins. After a bluesy piano solo from Earl Van Dyke, the rest of the Funk Brothers studio band joins in and the first verse begins. "I Can't Get Next to You's" intro was sampled for the album version of the next major Temptations hit, "Psychedelic Shack", one of the earliest uses of such a technique.

"I Can't Get Next to You" was the second single from the 1969 Temptations LP Puzzle People, with "Running Away (Ain't Gonna Help You)", a slow ballad led by Paul Williams, as the b-side. The single was a number-one hit on both the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the Billboard Top R&B Singles charts. The song has been frequently covered, with the most notable cover being a 1970 version by Al Green, which strips the composition of its fast pace and multi-lead vocals, and instead renders it as a slow-burning plea for love. Green's cover, the title track of his 1971 LP Al Green Gets Next to You, reached number sixty on the Billboard Pop Singles chart, and number eleven on the R&B chart.

It was also later covered by Annie Lennox on her Medusa album.

In 1971 the British group Savoy Brown included a much slower and bluesier version in their album Street Corner Talking.

In 2002, Toto covered the song on their album Through the Looking Glass.

In 2006, Thee More Shallows out of San Fransico covered the song on an EP.

Credits:

Lead and background vocals by Dennis Edwards, Eddie Kendricks, Paul Williams, Melvin Franklin, and Otis Williams

Written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong

Produced by Norman Whitfield

Instrumentation by The Funk Brothers.

Recorded Hitsville USA (Studio A); June 23, June 24, June 27, June 30, July 2, and July 3, 1969

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"I Try"

Macy Gray

The biggest hit from this American singer.

Written by Macy Gray, Jinsoo Lim, Jeremy Ruzumna and David Wilder.

It was released as a single in September 1999 and is included in the album "On How Life Is".

It reached #1 in Australia and New Zealand; #5 in the US and #6 in the UK.

It won the Grammy for the Best female Pop Vocal Performance in 2000.

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"Peaceful Easy Feeling"

The Eagles

Wtitten by Jack Tempchin and released in December 1972, it was the third single from their first album "Eagles". It was produced by Glyn Johns. The B side was "Tryin´". The single reached #22 in the charts.

wiki:

This song was written about the women of San Diego, California.

The last few verses were written in the parking lot of Der Wienerschnitzel at the corner of First and Washington in San Diego.

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The Songfactor's Choice Top Ten #83

FOUR songs seeking facts:

Cowgirl In The Sand - Neil Young (1969)

Otherside - Red Hot Chili Peppers (2000)

Living For The City - Stevie Wonder (1973)

Mister You're A Better Man Than I - The Yardbirds (1968)

If you have any info on any of the songs mentioned anywhere in this thread, please feel free to post your knowledge here. Submissions on songs will be collated and sent to the main site and you will receive credit for your contribution.

The Songfish thanks you.

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"Peaceful Easy Feeling"

The Eagles

Wtitten by Jack Tempchin and released in December 1972, it was the third single from their first album "Eagles". It was produced by Glyn Johns. The B side was "Tryin´". The single reached #22 in the charts.

wiki:

Dern it, I was gonna say, "Then naturally it was written about ME," since I grew up in San Diego. But I was only 10 in 1972. *sigh*

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"Cowgirl in the Sand"

Neil Young

Written by Neil Young and performed by N.Y and Crazy Horse on his 1969 album "Everybody knows this is nowhere", and according to allmusic

Another one of Neil Young's most lasting compositions, "Cowgirl in the Sand" is a song that has graced Young's repertoire since its composition. Built on a simple minor to major chord progression (like "Down By the River"), it's a great platform for Young's most barbed guitar excursions. Lyrically, it takes aim at a promiscuous and possibly unobtainable girl, and the sense of regret and longing is tangible. A true classic, it was covered nicely on the Byrds' reunion album of 1973.

This 10.06 minutes lenght song was written by Neil Young while he was sick and had a 103 °F fever.

Revue from Rolling Stone:

...Young and Whitten circle, prod and light into each other like boxers in a sweaty fifteen-round match, the notes stabbing in and out, answering each other in short staccato bursts while the rhythm section stolidly keeps things from flying apart.

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"Mr You´re a Better man than I"

The Yardbirds

Written by Mike and Brian Hugg.

It was part of "Having a Rave Up", a 1965 compilation of singles and B-sides.

allmusic:

The Yardbirds' first recording while in the U.S. (while on tour), "You're a Better Man Than I" was originally written by the band Manfred Mann. The song was the Yardbirds' first of several stabs at a contemporary folk-rock type of song, and this recording succeeds without compromising the band's dark, threatening lyrics. The lyrics are striking, taking accurate aim at the hypocrites of society and politics, and the fact that men cannot judge each other, despite race, creed, or religion. Even the Vietnam War rears its head in the subject matter here, making this one of the most progressive songs of its era. A minor-key, folksy melody carries the song along, while Jeff Beck's sinewy electric guitar solo is the most identifiable ingredient in the brilliant arrangement. Yet the recording also shows singer Keith Relf's ability to sing a ballad quite well, making this one of the band's most balanced recordings of the period

We still need to know in which year it was released as a single... if the album was from 1965 the single couldn´t be from 1968... :P

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Otherside ~ RHCP

2000

album: Californication

the song is famous for it's unusual video:

It was directed by the award winning team of Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris and features a surrealistic, expressionistic, gothic style heavily influenced by the 1920 silent movie The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

Wikipedia doesn't have much more to say, maybe someone else knows more? :P

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I only know the same you found in wikipedia. Maybe this:

It was the third single from the album Californication, and confronts the battles ex-junkies have with their prior addictions

and this:

B-side(s) "How Strong"

Released January 11, 2000

Recorded 1999

Producer: Rick Rubin

Peak chart positions

#14 (US Billboard Hot 100)

#1 (US Modern Rock)

#2 (US Mainstream Rock)

#21 (UK Singles Chart)

#31 (Australia)

#33 (United World Chart)

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"Mr You´re a Better man than I"

The Yardbirds

Written by Mike and Brian Hugg.

It was part of "Having a Rave Up", a 1965 compilation of singles and B-sides.

We still need to know in which year it was released as a single... if the album was from 1965 the single couldn´t be from 1968... :P

The book I have shows it was released in Feb. '66 as a B side single with Shape of Things (DB7848).

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Otherside ~ RHCP

2000

album: Californication

the song is famous for it's unusual video:

It was directed by the award winning team of Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris and features a surrealistic, expressionistic, gothic style heavily influenced by the 1920 silent movie The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

The DVD gives me lots of stuff on the video:

The idea for the video came from a movie that Flea saw late one night while on tour. He found it so bizarre and creepy that it stuck in his head. He wanted to make a video that looked like that movie.

They didn't want to make the video too much like the movie, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. It was the result of an interest in German expressionist painting, cubism and a bit of Escher.

The band didn't play any instruments in the video... instead they had 'props' that they had to use as instruments. John Frusciante did not like this idea and had to 'play' a long rope.

The flying lips are from a Man Ray painting called "The Lovers"

Edited by Guest
added a quote
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"Living for the City"

Stevie Wonder

What an amazing song... :cool:

It was written by Stevie Wonder and was released as a single in November 1973. It reached #1 in the R&B charts and #8 in the Pop charts. The b-side was "Visions" and it´s part of

his "Innervisions" album.

Wikipedia says:

The song begins with Wonder describing the life of a poverty-stricken young boy in Mississippi. His family is poor, but his parents work hard and encourage him, in spite of the dreadful conditions they live in, which include lack of food and money and racism. As the record progresses, the tension and anger build in Wonder's voice, matching the growing frustrations of the subjects in the song.

A spoken interlude midway through the song has the young boy, now a young man, arriving in New York City for a new beginning. He is tricked into transporting drugs, arrested and sentenced to 10 years in jail. The tension in Wonder's voice boils over at this point into an angry growl, but then subsides again as he ends the song on a positive note. In commercial radio airplay, the spoken dialog is usually edited out, possibly because the word "*******" is used as he is thrown into a jail cell. Also, the last two verses, following this scenario, is omitted as well. The song ends, during the wordless instrumental break, leaving the listener, hanging, on which note is the song going to end on.

The spoken interlude can be seen as an electro-acoustic experiment, exploring the composer's main sensory input. Stevie Wonder's growling voice reveals the inner rage that has been building throughout the song. "Living for the City" still holds a substantial edge in social commentary.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Again, sorry for the lateness :crazy:

The Songfactor's Choice Top Ten #84

THREE songs needing facts:

John Barleycorn Must Die – Traffic (1970)

Stay With Me - The Faces (1971)

Solitary Man - Neil Diamond (1966)

If you have any info on any of the songs mentioned anywhere in this thread, please feel free to post your knowledge here. Submissions on songs will be collated and sent to the main site and you will receive credit for your contribution.

The Songfish thanks you.

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Katie, it´s always great to see you around... :bow: :bow: :bow:

Actually, it´s only "John Barleycorn". "JB Must Die" is the name of the album.

"John Barleycorn"

Traffic

Tarditional. Arranged by Steve Winwood.

Released in July 1970 in their album "John Barleycorn must die".

This old folk song is from the XVIth Century.

Chris Wood had heard The Watersons version of this song, released in 1965 and decided to include it in their album.

from wiki:

The character "John Barleycorn" in the song is a personification of the important cereal crop barley, and of the alcoholic beverages made from it, beer and whisky. In the song, John Barleycorn is represented as suffering attacks, death, and indignities that correspond to the various stages of barley cultivation, such as reaping and malting.

Some have interpreted the story of John Barleycorn as representing a pagan rite. It has also been suggested that John Barleycorn, or rather an early form of the song, may have been used by the early church in Saxon England to ease the conversion of pagans to Christianity. The reasoning behind this idea is that John Barleycorn represented the ideology of nature cycles, spirits and the harvest of the pagan religion (and may have represented human sacrifice also) but that the song was Christianised in order to show John Barleycorn as a Christ-like figure.

Barleycorn, the personification of the barley, encounters great suffering before succumbing to an unpleasant death. However, as a result of this death bread can be produced; therefore, Barleycorn dies so that others may live. Finally his body will be eaten as the bread.

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"Solitary Man"

Neil Diamond

Released as a single in Janueary 1966, from his debut album "The Feel of Neil Diamond"

Produced by Jeff Barry & Ellie Greenwich

It wasn´t an immediate hit but it reached #55 in the Bilboard Hot 100.

Nei Diamond said: After four years of Freudian analysis I realised I had written Solitary Man about myself.

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The Songfactor's Choice Top Ten #85

Only ONE song needing facts this week:

Hey Nineteen - Steely Dan (1980)

If you have any info on any of the songs mentioned anywhere in this thread, please feel free to post your knowledge here. Submissions on songs will be collated and sent to the main site and you will receive credit for your contribution.

The Songfish thanks you.

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"Stay With Me"

The Faces

Written by Rod Stewart and Ron Wood.

A track from their third album "A nod is as good as a wink... for a blind horse", recorded and released in 197.

It was released as a single in December 1971 (B-side was "You´re so rude")

It reached #6 in the UK charts and #17 in the US.

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"Hey Nineteen"

Steely Dan

Written by Walter Becker and Donald Fagen

Released in November 1980 as a track of their album "Gaucho".

The single reached #10 in the Pop charts.

allmusic says:

In a career filled with casually cruel songs, "Hey Nineteen" is probably Steely Dan's most overtly mean lyric, since it takes careful aim at the biggest neurosis of the duo's primary audience and pulls the trigger: "Hey Nineteen" was the song that finally came right out and told the baby boomers that not only were they not kids anymore, but that the kids of 1980 thought they were a bunch of boring old farts. The song's narrator is with a nubile young lass of the titular age, putting on the same moves that had worked on the sorority girls "way back when in '67" and getting nowhere at all. (The final insult is that the girl in question doesn't even recognize an Aretha Franklin song!) The song's ending is a typically ambiguous lyrical effort for the Dan: we're (quite deliberately) left unclear as to whether the singer's been left alone with "the Cuervo Gold/the fine Colombian" to which the ironically smooth L.A.-style backing vocalists led by King of Mellow Michael McDonald chant praise, or whether he's just resorted to getting the girl drunk and stoned enough to stop resisting.
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The Songfactor's Choice Top Ten #36

TWO songs needing facts this week:

If Not For You - George Harrison (1970)

Crazy Love - Poco (1979)

If you have any info on any of the songs mentioned anywhere in this thread, please feel free to post your knowledge here. Submissions on songs will be collated and sent to the main site and you will receive credit for your contribution.

The Songfish thanks you.

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