my ten greatest popular rock songs from the 1970's and 80's.

Shenstone college Bromsgrove

A markershenstone college, bromsgrove -
Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, UK
[get directions]

My music history.

My music interest began in the 1970's when I was in my teens- after the flower power and bang in the middle of the rock era, when groups such as Black Sabbath Deep purple and the likes were in full swing and you could even go to your local and find a full band performing live music, not like the electronic wizardry that has taken over now.

My local venue for live music in the mid to late 70's was Shenstone teacher training college, Bromsgrove in Worcestershire (it is a council offices now!) Most Saturdays there would be live rock music on and I have such fond memories of those nights which have contibuted to my knowledge of the rock genre.

In true music style i will list them in reverse order, some of the groups you may have heard of - some not but if you like the music of the 70's and 80's you will identify with them.

#10 The cops are coming- The Heavy metal kids.

This track came from their album "Anvil chorus." I went to see this group in 1976 at shenstone college when they were on a tour promoted by a music publication called Sounds. The lead singer in those days was Gary Holton, who also appeared in the series Auf wiedersehen pet a 80's british television series about a group of British bricklayers who worked went to work in Germany. My funniest recollection from that night was watching Gary dancing on top of a 12 foot pa stack whilst the road crew were trying to stop the stack falling over!

Sadly Gary died in 1985, but the group have since reformed and touring.


Gary Holton and The heavy metal kids

#9 Ride like the wind - Christopher Cross.

This track I came across whilst watching a motor rally programme. its off the album Christopher Cross which was his debut album released in 1979. The album won five Grammy awards including best track, best album and best new artist. Christopher Cross was better known for singing " Arthur's theme (Best that you can do.) The theme tune to the film Arthur starring Dudley Moore. I like this track because of it's pacey sound.

Watch - Manfred mans earthband

#8 Blinded by the light - Manfred mans earthband.

This track came the album "The roaring silence" released in 1976, but I think their best album was "Watch" released later. I saw them perform this track at Birmingham in 1978 and can remember catching the 144 bus from Bromsgrove to Birmingham and getting to the Odean just in time to watch them. Chris Thompson was singing for them and we were truly blinded by the light at the end of the track as the stage was filled with bright flashing lights and fireworks. It was certainly worth the rush to get there. They are still touring now and would be worth looking out for.

#7 Speedking - Deep Purple

One of the biggest names in the history of Rock music, this track came from the album Deep purple in rock and was released in 1970. I never got to see this great group and would have loved to see Ritchie Blackmore perform the guitar riffs contained within this track. In 2000 the album was listed 78 th in the Q magazines best 100 albums ever! and in 2005 the album won the Classic rock roll of honour by British magazine "Classic Rock" in the best album category.

#6 Fair exchange - Be- bop deluxe.

This track came from their third studio album "Sunburst finish" which was recorded at abbey road studios in 1976, Their only chart bound single came from this album too " Ships in the night" The group formed in 1973 and was dissolved in 1978 by bill Nelson the lead guitarest/ vocalist. Apart from remastered albums there would be no reunions as Bill Nelson is one of only a couple of surviving members.

#5 All the young dudes - Mott the hoople.

This track was written for them by David Bowie and came from the album of the same name and was the 5th album from 7 recorded by the group as Mott the hoople in their seven year history. Originally from Herefordshire the group was formed from two groups (The soulents & The buddies) and the name was taken from a novel of the same name written by Willard manus and was about an eccentric who worked in a freak show. At the end of the mott the hoople reign Ian Hunter and mick Ronson left and two new members came in to form the group "Mott."

The band had a reunion in 2009 the group reunited for 5 sell out nights at the Hammersmith Odeon and all remaining members went back to their own projects.


Greenslade.

#4 Animal Farm- Greenslade.

Greenslade were formed in 1972 and this track came from the Time and tide album and was the last of four albums recorded before they disbanded in 1976. The group was set up with two keyboards players to embrace the electronic revolution which is evident in their music. The last track on the Tide and time - Gangsters was used as teh theme tune to a television series of the same name in 1975.

#3 The volunteer - Stackridge.

This is another group I was fortunate to see at Shenstone college in 1976. This track came from the album "extravaganza" and was the fifth album from a list of fifteen albums. The group was formed in 1969 and split in 1976, only to reform in the late nineties only to go on from strength to strength and even to this day have a busy touring schedule.

It's worth noting that they opened the first Glastonbury festival in 1970 and have been visiting since.

#2 No more - Snafu

Another 70's band this one led by vocalist Bobby Harrison and was formed in 1972. Although the band split in 1975 they recorded three albums of which this is from the second of the three- Situation normal. Although not a mainstream band the members went on to become members of more well known groups.

#1 Cinema show - Genesis.

I could listen to this group all day and never get bored I was fortunate to see genesis three times- 1976 at Birmingham Odeon, 1978 at Knebworth midsummer nights festival and at the Birmingham NEC in 1982. This track comes from their "Selling England by the pound" album, but I prefer the live version on the Seconds out live album.

With genesis where do I start? They formed in 1967 and have taken breaks, pursued solo projects, come back together for reunions and could well tour again but without Phill Colins who in 2011 announced that he ended his music career, which is a great shame as I consider he was the centre piece of the band

Selling england by the pound was their fifth album, but I think their best album was probably "The lamb lies down on broadway."

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