The Dave Edmunds classic, ‘I Hear You Knockin” was No.1 in the UK on this day in 1970, ending a great run of fine tunes to claim the nation’s top spot. As you may recall, I gasped in amazement in discussing Summer songs back in the, er, summer and duly listed the chart-topping singles which followed Mungo Jerry’s ‘In the Summertime’. To mimic Sinatra, Frank; Shatner, William; and Simpson, Homer (OK, not quite Homer, he was singing about beer), it was a very good year.
This was Australia’s: ‘Lookin’ Out My Back Door’ by Creedence Clearwater Revival.
Musically and creatively, 1970 was indeed a very good year. Syd Barrett released not only his first, but also his second, solo album (The Madcap Laughs, followed by Barrett). Black Sabbath and Atomic Rooster did likewise, managing to fill two LPs. Those were the days, eh? In an unintentional but quite perfect segue (I was, of course, thinking of the Mary Hopkins number), Paul McCartney released his more typically- (eponymously-) titled debut; John Lennon had John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band; and Ringo Starr, Sentimental Journey (with its pleasing sleeve, overlooked previously, to my great shame). The best of them all, though: George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass – which was actually his third solo effort.
What fine albums the year offered. Déjà Vu by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; Led Zeppelin III; The Who, Live at Leeds; Deep Purple, In Rock; James Brown, Sex Machine; Cat Stevens, Tea for the Tillerman; Neil Young, After the Gold Rush; David Bowie, The Man Who Sold The World… The list goes on.
From Pink Floyd came Atom Heart Mother.
It was the year of the Isle of Wight Festival, with Who, Hendrix, Havens and nobody else I can recall whose name starts with a ‘H’ sound (you actually remember Howl?). Also performing at the legendary event were The Doors, Free, Jethro Tull, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen and Donovan. Some line-up, I’ll say.
Sadly, there would be no future brilliance from Janis Joplin, as she died from a possible heroin overdose in Los Angeles in October at the tender age of 27. (The 27 Club, as some of us were discussing recently, filling the chatroom with gloom, but I like to think it makes a nice change from food and the weather.) There would be no more Beatles beyond Let It Be, which for many was accepted as an even greater tragedy. Simon & Garfunkel released their final, multiple Grammy award-winning album together too: the superb Bridge Over Troubled Water. All very sad.
Here are ten of my favourites from 1970 (many of them album tracks, rather than the more obvious single releases), starting with Badfinger, Pride of Swansea, whose tortured leader, Peter Ham, would later share 27 Club membership:
– Badfinger, ‘Come and Get It’
– Syd Barrett, ‘No Good Trying’
– Brook Benton, ‘Rainy Night In Georgia’
– Black Sabbath, ‘N.I.B.’
– James Gang, ‘Ashes, the Rain and I’
– B.B. King, ‘The Thrill Is Gone’
– The Kinks, ‘Apeman’
– Marmalade, ‘Rainbow’
– Quicksilver Messenger Service, ‘Long Haired Lady’
– Rare Earth, ‘Get Ready’
I look forward to reading yours; there are so many to choose from, so many forgotten gems to be reminded of. The chatroom doors will be thrown open with wild abandon tomorrow – that’s Tuesday – from 3pm (UK), should you care to join me in further discussion of the many sounds of 1970, the weather or food.