10 Random Hits from the World of the Vinyl Single

10 hits from the world of the vinyl singleAs a teenager there was one, really important thing in my life. Music. And by music I am talking about singles. The BBC top twenty was all important to me and every Saturday night my mate Steve and I would drink beer and talk about women, sci fi and music. I bought numerous singles every Saturday. It’s very rare that I would buy something already in the charts for the full price. I’d usually wait until the record I wanted started to drop down the placings then I’d snap it up for half price. I spent a lot of time flicking through boxes of records in record stores with the end result that now, in 2016; I have a considerable amount of boxes of records. Ninety nine percent of them are singles. I was never one for albums because mostly albums let you down. You’d hear some great single by somebody new, buy their album and it rarely lived up to the single.

Singles are a whole different ball game in these days of downloading. There are those with even more records than I have but my records fill half a small room, whereas my young friends today have their entire music collection on their mobile phone or mp3 device. Not for them the allure of the soft dark vinyl or the album art or sleeve notes. No personal annotations like there were on my record sleeves with the discreet addition of the date I bought the record. The first single I ever bought was in 1973 and it was Olivia Newton-John’s version of ‘If Not For You’. Reduced to half price it was 24 pence. One day I’ll have to sit down and work out which was the last ever vinyl single I ever bought.
Here are a few of my very favourite singles.

I’m Not in Love by 10cc
Forget about the Smiths and Oasis and all those other whiney bands. 10cc were a proper Manchester band making some great music from the early seventies all the way through to 1983. There were two distinct groups within 10cc, Kevin Godley and Lol Creme and Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman. Godley and Creme left in 1976 to work with a musical device they invented called the Gizmatron and Stewart and Gouldman kept 10cc going until 1983 although the band did reform in later years. This fabulous track was recorded at Strawberry studios in Stockport and was originally an album track until public demand made the group release the track as a single.

I’ve Got the Music In Me by Kiki Dee
Most people associate Kiki Dee with Elton John and the hit single ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ but Kiki had a pretty successful solo career and this is a great up-tempo rock number.

Escape (The Pina colada Song) by Rupert Holmes
This was a hit in 1979. What I really love about it are the lyrics. It’s about two lovers who have perhaps lost each other but then find each other again.

Yesterday by the Beatles
Hey, it’s a list of great music! Of course there is going to be a Beatles track! This is really something of a Paul McCartney solo piece and it’s interesting to wonder how it might have turned out without the influence of George Martin, the Beatles’ producer but anyway, it’s a wonderful song. (I have to admit that this is one single I don’t have on vinyl though!)

Only You by Yazoo
Yazoo comprised Alison Moyet and Vince Clarke who later went their separate ways. There was a cover version of Only You by the Flying Pickets, a vocal group who were a group of out of work actors. Their version was just as good as the original and was a Christmas number one in 1983.

Into the Groove by Madonna
This was the theme from the movie ‘Desperately Seeking Susan’, one of my all-time favourite films. It’s actually a great candidate film for a 21st century remake because the plot of the film which involves a girl who follows the personal ads in a newspaper would be perfect for the current internet social media age. Check out the video below with clips from the movie.

Loves Theme by the Love Unlimited Orchestra.
Love Unlimited were, if you didn’t know, Barry White’s backing band and if you’ve never heard this before just imagine one of Barry White’s tracks without him singing and you’ll get the idea. I’ve always loved this single and there used to be a bar in Manchester I used to frequent called the ‘Playground’. It was a sort of disco bar and the DJ used this as his theme song. Read more about the Playground in my novel Floating In Space.

How Long by Ace.
Now this is a serious contender for my all-time favourite single ever. Written by Ace vocalist Paul Carrack who went on to work with other bands like Mike and the Mechanics and later become a solo artist. Paul’s other great songs include ‘The Living Years’ and ‘Over My Shoulder.’

The Way It Is by Bruce Hornsby and the Range.
A great eighties track dating from 1986. Bruce Hornsby was an American singer and songwriter. I’m not sure if Bruce had any other hits but this one is a great piano driven rock song that I’ve always loved.

Gonna make you a star by David Essex.
This was a hit in 1974 and I have written a post already about David and his white suit and the impact it had on me. Read more about it here. One quick word of advice though, don’t travel on a grimy old bus wearing a white suit!

If you enjoyed this post, why not try my novel, ‘Floating In Space’? Click the links at the top of the page to buy or for more information.

Top 100 all time Favourite singles

OK, it’s a bit flippant but hey, we all love music and here are my top 50 favourite tracks of all time. Check them out or download the very nerdy excel file here: 100besttracks

  1. Yesterday.                                                                 The Beatles
  2. You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.                                          Bachman Turner Overdrive
  3. One of These Nights.                                                  The Eagles
  4. Come up and see me                                                  Cockney Rebel.
  5. Night Fever                                                               Bee Gees
  6. Goodbye yellow Brick rd                                             Elton John
  7. Young Americans                                                       David Bowie
  8. Billie Jean                                                                 Michael Jackson
  9. American Pie                                                             Don McLean
  10. Into the Groove                                                         Madonna
  11. Riders on the Storm                                                  The Doors
  12. Bette Davies Eyes                                                     Kim Carnes
  13. You’re so vain                                                           Carly Simon
  14. Killing me softly with your song                                  Roberta Flack
  15. Baker Street                                                               Gerry Rafferty
  16. I’m not in love                                                          10CC
  17. Sexual Healing                                                         Marvin Gaye
  18. December 63                                                            The Four Seasons
  19. Walking In Memphis                                                   Mark Cohn
  20. How Long                                                                 Ace
  21. Superstition                                                              Stevie Wonder
  22. Don’t fear the reaper                                                 Blue Oyster Cult.
  23. The Way it is                                                            Bruce Hornsby and the range.
  24. The Power of Love                                                    Huey Lewis and the News.
  25. My Sweet Lord                                                         George Harrison.
  26. Changes.                                                                    David Bowie
  27. Lay Lady Lay.                                                           Bob Dylan
  28. All right Now                                                            Free
  29. Go your Own Way.                                                    Fleetwood Mac
  30. Dreamer.                                                                 Supertramp.
  31. I’ve got the music in me.                                          Kiki Dee
  32. Walking in rhythm                                                    Blackbirds
  33. The Hustle                                                                Van McCoy
  34. Get Back.                                                                 The Beatles
  35. Why                                                                          Carly Simon
  36. Killer Queen.                                                             Queen.
  37. Steppin’ out                                                              Joe Jackson
  38. The Story In your Eyes                                             Moody Blues
  39. Get here                                                                 Oleta Adams
  40. Angie baby                                                                Helen Reddy
  41. Run too fast, fly too high                                           Janis Ian
  42. Do it again                                                                Steely Dan
  43. September                                                                Earth, wind and fire
  44. Clean up woman                                                      Betty Wright
  45. Gypsies, tramps and thieves.                                    Cher
  46. Horse with no name                                                America
  47. Midnight train to Georgia                                          Gladys Knight and Pips
  48. Have you seen her?                                                 The Chi Lites
  49. Fire and rain                                                             James Taylor
  50. Young Hearts run free.                                           Candi Statton
  51. Smooth Operator                                                     Sade
  52. Nineteen.                                                                   Paul Hardcastle
  53. Marlene on the wall                                                 Suzanne Vega
  54. If you love somebody –set them free                        Sting.
  55. Made in England.                                                    Elton John
  56. Listen to what the man said                                   Wings
  57. The pino colada song.                                             Rupert Holmes.
  58. Big Yellow taxi.                                                        Counting Crows.
  59. A Thousand miles                                                   Vanessa Carlton.
  60. Desiderata.                                                                Les Crane.
  61. I shot the sheriff                                                        Derek and the Dominoes.
  62. Boogie on Reggae woman                                      Stevie Wonder.
  63. Time in a bottle.                                                       Jim Croce
  64. I’m Mandy, fly me                                                   10CC
  65. Gonna make you a star                                           David Essex
  66. Stay with me till dawn.                                           Judie Tzuke.
  67. It’s too late.                                                                Carole King.
  68. Alone again (naturally)                                           Gilbert O Sullivan.
  69. Loves Theme.                                                           Love unlimited Orchestra.
  70. The Living Years.                                                     Mike and the Mechanics.
  71. If you could read my mind.                                   Gordon Lightfoot.
  72. Axel F (theme from Beverly Hills Cop)                    Harold Faltermayer.
  73. Never let her slip away                                           Andrew Gold.
  74. Ride like the wind                                                   Christopher Cross.
  75. Answer me.                                                               Barbara Dickson.
  76. Leaving on a jet plane.                                            John Denver.
  77. Wired for sound.                                                      Cliff Richard.
  78. Golden Brown.                                                         Stranglers.
  79. Dancing in the moonlight.                                      Toploader.
  80. Chinese way.                                                            Level 42
  81. Looking for Linda.                                                   Hue and Cry.
  82. Reggae Tune.                                                            Andy Fairweather-Lowe.
  83. Where do you go to my lovely?                               Peter Sarstedt.
  84. Brown Sugar.                                                            Rolling Stones.
  85. Give me the night.                                                   Randy Crawford.
  86. Dolce Vita.                                                                Ryan Paris.
  87. Missing.                                                                     Everything but the girl.
  88. Baby I’m a want you.                                               Bread.
  89. License to kill.                                                          Gladys Knight and the pips.
  90. Car Wash.                                                                  Rose Royce.
  91. Pick up the pieces.                                                   Average White band.
  92. Can you feel the force?                                            Real Thing.
  93. Friends.                                                                      Shalamar.
  94. Stuck in the middle with you.                               Stealers Wheel.
  95. Down Town.                                                             Petula Clark.
  96. Video killed the Radio star.                                   Buggles
  97. January, February.                                                   Barbara Dickson.
  98. Only you.                                                                  Yazoo.
  99. Moon River                                                               Andy Williams.
  100. The Look of love.                                                     Dusty Springfield.


bubbling under

  1. Stay                                                                 Lisa Loeb
  2. Do you know the Way to san Jose            Dionne Warwick
  3. Start Me Up                                                   Rolling Stones
  4. Allen Town                                                   Billy Joel

Listen on Spotify! https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3QSNCQYaOpE6W49AdWN3RY?si=ZD41K1M1S7C7TA3GeFpnQw