memories of the ’70s – Movin’ by Brass Construction

The disco era of the 1970s spawned many memorable one hit wonders, including one that came out of a jam session: Movin’ by Brass Construction.

The funk/disco band was working on its first album, and spent time in the studio working on various songs and sounds.

Thanks to Fred Frank and Sid Maurer, the band was signed to United Artists and decided on Movin’ as its first single, released in February 1976.

The song, a result of a 16 minute jam session by the band’s musicians, resulted in a shorter radio version and a longer album cut of Movin’, which focuses on instrumental sounds with minimal lyrics.

Released in March 1976, the album started climbing the charts and the song hit number one on the R&B charts, and hit 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. On the disco charts, the song spent four weeks at number one.

The song became a mainstay of radio playlists and was used by pop culture, showing up in the TV series Good Times and became part of the songs played at discos to keep everyone on the dance floor.


memories of the ’80s – Here I Go Again by Whitesnake

The mid ’80s weren’t just about dance bands and pop songs – the metal ballads were in demand like Here I Go Again by Brit metal band Whitesnake.

The song was first included on Whitesnake’s 1982 album Saints & Sinners, but was re-recorded and included again on their 1987 self-titled album.

The song was written by lead singer David Coverdale and former band guitarist Bernie Marsden.

The lyrics were slightly changed for the new version of the song, and a new music video was created. The first video featured Coverdale singing the song in a theatre, with the band on stage.

The second version of the video, created for the MTV crowd, showed Coverdale singing, while model/actress Tawny Kitaen in lingerie tries to gain his attention, while writhing on top of pristine Jaguar sports cars he’s driving.

The second time round proved the charm, with the song climbing the charts after being released in October 1987, and hitting the number one spot on Billboard Hot 100 the same month.

For a view of the distinctive second version of the music video Here I Go Again – Whitesnake. And the end of the story? David Coverdale married Tawny Kitaen in 1989.


memories of the ’70s – I Just Want to be your Everything by Andy Gibb

In 1976, the younger brother of the Bee Gees started working on his debut album Flowing Rivers, with the first single one that became a radio fave: I Just Want to be Your Everything by Andy Gibb.

Gibb spent time with his oldest brother Barry Gibb on the island of Bermuda, and worked on the album.

Barry wrote this song, and it became the lead single for Andy’s first solo album, Flowing Rivers.

The song featured Barry Gibb on backing and harmony vocals as well as Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh, which was recorded in Miami, Florida. The song was a lament to a woman about a man’s undying passion for her.

Released by RSO in May 1977, the song steadily climbed the charts, hitting the number one spot in July on the Billboard Hot 100. Knocked off by another hot song, Best of My Love by The Emotions, the song stayed in the top 10 and returned to number one status in October.

And the other competitor to the song? The Bee Gees How Deep is Your Love. A family affair on the Billboard charts with the Gibb brothers, as the soulful disco track was a popular track of contemporary radio.

And here’s I Just Want to be Your Everything Andy Gibb – a blast from the mid 1970s with its unique mix of dance, soul, disco and the notable song stylings of Gibb.



memories of the ’70s – Tony Orlando and Dawn

From a solo artist, to becoming a group act to starring in their own variety show, Tony Orlando and Dawn were an essential part of the sounds of the 1970s.

Orlando had made his name in the 1960s as a solo artist, but by the end of the decade, he was a demo singer, and falling far from the spotlight he used to command.

Approached by producers with the song, Candida, Orlando couldn’t record under his own name because of contractual obligations, so he recorded the song under the name “Dawn”, with four backup singers and studio musicians.

The song shot to the top of the Billboard charts, hitting number three in Fall 1970 after being released in July 1970. Orlando followed up Candida with the song Knock Three Times in November 1970, recorded with co-writer/singer Toni Wine.

The song hit number one in January 1971 on Billboard Hot 100, and Orlando asked Motown/Stax backup singers Telma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent Wilson to permanantly become Dawn.

The trio toured Europe and then went into the studio to record, with Wilson’s sister Pamela Vincent joining them on vocals. Now billed as Dawn featuring Tony Orlando, the group released their third single “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Ole Oak Tree” in 1973, garnering their third Billboard Hot 100 hit.

The group kept recording and garnering hits, adding disco-influences to their songs with tracks like Who’s in the Strawberry Patch with Sally and Steppin’ Out (Who’s Gonna Boogie Tonight”.

In 1974, the group was given its own variety show on CBS, filling the gap left by The Sonny and Cher Show when it ended. Like its predecessor, the show as a mix of comedy sketches, music and silly banter between the band mates.

In the next two years, the show furthered the band’s success and more hot singles were released including He Don’t Love You (Like I Do) and Cupid, gaining radio airplay and support on the adult contemporary charts. The show ended in 1976.

In 1977, the group split, after a six year run of hot singles, television performances and touring, having become a favourite of viewing and listening audiences.

memories of the ’80s – Money for Nothing by Dire Straits

In the mid ’80s, Brit rock band Dire Straits gained a new group of fans with its blues/pop song that was all about music videos with the single Money for Nothing.

Written by Dire Straits singer Mark Knopfler, the song refers to a not-so-smart working class guy, who watches the newfangled music videos and comments on the images portrayal of apparently idyllic lives of these fictional characters.

Released as the second single from their album Brother in Arms in May 1985, the song gained radio airplay on rock and contemporary radio stations because of the lyrics as much as the addition of Sting from The Police as a co-vocalist on the track.

Knopfler had to be convinced to do a video, which he thought would destroy music, and the concept was to animate the title character of the song. This unique concept convinced Knopfler and the video was released to MTV in the US for heavy rotation and became the first video shown on MTV Europe when it debuted in 1987.

The video was my lure to the music – with its cool animation and the haunting voice of Sting on the chorus, I was hooked on this song and played it endlessly.

The single hit the Billboard Hot 100 number one spot in mid September 1985, staying at the top for three weeks. The album Brothers in Arms sold one million copies and was one of the first albums of the era that was focused on the new format compact disc.

The album has become the eighth bestselling album in UK history, certified nine times platinum in the US and won two Grammy Awards in 1986. The album sold 30 million copies and would become the band’s last album of the decade, before reuniting in 1991.

memories of the ’70s – Rhinestone Cowboy by Glen Campbell

For a songwriter of the mid 70s it took a major recording star’s interest in his song to get to the top of the Billboard charts: Rhinestone Cowboy by Glen Campbell.

Written by Larry Weiss in 1974, the song appeared on his album Black and Blue Suite, but had no impact on radio or the music charts. Meanwhile Campbell was touring through Australia when he heard the song.

Returning to the US, he went to his label, Capitol Records, to ask to record the song. He identified with the song’s themes of pursuing his dream for the brass ring reward.

Recorded in February and March 1975, the single Rhinestone Cowboy was released by Capitol in May, charting from its release on both the country and pop charts throughout the summer.

In mid September 1975, Campbell’s Rhinestone Cowboy was the first song since 1961 to hit both number on on the Hot 100 pop and the Hot 100 Country Billboard charts. The song also hit number one on the Hot 100 Adult Contemporary charts, and hit number one in Canada and Ireland.

The single was certified gold and silver and became a popular addition to Campbell’s catalogue of music. In recent years, the song has been covered by Radiohead, Soul Asylum, Belle and Sebastian, Charley Pride, Loretta Lynn and David Hasselhoff.


memories of the ’80s – St. Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion) by John Parr

In the mid 1980s, a soundtrack’s title song that was also inspired by one man’s challenge became the number one song on Billboard: St. Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion) by John Parr.

Written by David Foster and John Parr as an inspirational theme song for Canadian athlete Rick Hansen, the song was originally called Man in Motion.

This was the name of Hansen’s round the world charity challenge to raise money for cancer and spinal cord injury research, inspired by fellow Canadian Terry Fox, who had tried to run across Canada to raise awareness and money, but couldn’t complete the journey when his cancer reoccurred.

Director Joel Schumacher liked the song and asked for it to be used for his film St. Elmo’s Fire, which was a coming of age film that opened in June 1985 with a star-filled cast of the brat pack: Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson, Mare Winningham, Andrew McCarthy and Andie McDowell.

The music video for the film version of the song was shot in one day, showing Parr singing to each cast member, while the Canadian version of the music video includes images of Hansen on his round the world challenge.

The song steadily rose on the charts during the summer of 1985 and hit number on Billboard’s Hot 100 on September 7, holding the spot for two weeks.

The song did well in other countries, hitting top 10 status in Canada, Austria, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.