“Street Fighting Man”

Please remember Hallmark “Top of the Pops” is consistently Britain’s best-selling L.P. record.

I’m back on the ‘Top of The Pops’ budget album roll after an absence of around three weeks. It was during my purge of the charity shops in Low Fell, just outside of Gateshead, that I found this release for £2.

The previous owner had scribbled his name – Brian Wilson, 7th August 1971 – on the back cover in pencil. According to a trusted website the album was released in July of that year, meaning young Brian had probably used up the rest of his pocket-money buying this soon after the release!

Kicking off side one is an acceptable version of “Get It On”, the T Rex Glam blockbuster. The musicianship, vocals and heavy production is all there but perhaps not the energy of the original. It appears that young Brian was a bit on the careless side playing this track because there’s a manky scratch mid-way through.

More hits follow with varying degrees of success, I don’t really need to hear “River Deep, Mountain High” at any time, never mind remakes.

I’ve never heard “Me And You And A Dog Named Boo” in the past but a check on 45cat indicates that Lobo had a top five hit with it in the summer of ’71. A radio friendly ditty, nothing else.

“Don’t Let It Die” is another song I’ve never heard before, it was a number two hit record by Hurricane Smith. Not sure how because it’s drabness is poisonous.

Smith was an engineer for the Beatles up to 1965. From 1967 he produced early Pink Floyd records and worked with the Pretty Things. So he was submerged in aural greatness. Shame his own hit sucks.

Over on side two the ‘Top Of The Pops’ session players tackle “Co-Co”. originally a hit for Sweet. This came along before their Glam Rock stompers and is a dreadful calypso inspired slab of ghastly waste. Written by duo Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman.

The drums sound wrong on the version of “Street Fighting Man” and as a version it’s quite lacklustre but I’m using it as my example piece for this set. No where near the standard of the Rolling Stones although the lead guitarist is getting a dirty sound from his weapon of choice.

The energetic version of “Won’t Get Fooled Again” is perhaps the strongest take on this collection. The backing is powerful, a decent pace throughout – with a drummer really giving his arms a work-out and a singer straining every vocal chord to get that Roger Daltrey mimicry.

Back cover liners:

Top Of The Pops albums, Nos. SHM 735 and 740 both hit the No. 1 spot on the “Record Retailer” National L.P. charts, topping such fabulous super stars as the Rolling Stones, and Simon & Garfunkel.

We’re so thrilled we want to climb the highest mountain and shout the good news to all the world.

Thanks again, you lovely Pop fans, for making possible this wonderful double.

On this album we feel we’ve made the best ever selection. So help us to complete a fabulous hat trick by rocketing this issue to No.1

charity shop purchase @ £2

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