The Best of 70s Group Middle of the Road
Middle of the Road: With Sally Carr
The pop band Middle of the Road (featuring Sally Carr) was one of my musical guilty pleasures when I was growing up in the 1970s. I suspect the group was the the guilty pleasure of many others considering the amount of records it sold for a short time during the decade.
Part of the reason - actually a lot of the reason - had to do with Middle of the Road's lead singer, Sally Carr. As you will see from the following videos, Ms Carr loved her hot pants - and so did most of the male population of Europe. Tall and blond, knee high leather boots and with legs that seemed to go on forever, she was the epitome of Seventies style and fashion. And her voice was pretty good too!
In the UK, the band ruled the pop music charts for a couple of years, but then faded away from public view. On continental Europe, Middle of the Road's star continued to shine a little longer, particularly in Germany where the group continued to produce hit records up until the mid-1970s.
Although there have been personnel changes over the years, Middle of the Road continue to perform live. The band's performances are now restricted to the Oldies circuit, and these days Sally Carr has long since hung up her hot pants.
YouTube has created an upsurge in interest in the group, so for now, let's travel back to the early 1970s and relive the days when hot pants were in fashion and Middle of the Road were all over the radio.
Middle of the Road
The music is nothing cerebral, but the catchy songs still entertain!
1971: Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep: Middle of the Road
The summer of 1971 would never be the same as Middle of the Road hit to the top of the music charts in the UK and across Europe with what has become the band's signature tune. You either loved it or hated it, but there was no getting away from it.
It became the UK's third biggest seller of the year, but American visitors may remember a version of Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep by Mac and Katie Kissoon which hit the Billboard chart around the same time in 1971.
1971: Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum: Middle of the Road
No sooner than Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep had left the UK Top 20, Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum arrived.
Another nonsense title to a song with a catchy chorus propelled Middle of the Road to near the top of the best sellers list in the Autumn of 1971.
1971: Soley Soley: Middle of the Road
Middle of the Road's third single broke away from the silly titles, although what Soley Soley exactly means is anyone's guess. Nevertheless, the song's style was in complete contrast to the previous hits and showcased Sally Carr's tremulous vocals excellently.
Soley Soley would be the group's last Top Ten hit in the UK, peaking there in early 1972.
1972: Sacramento (A Wonderful Town): Middle of the Road
The band's penultimate UK Top 40 hit was its tribute to Californian city, Sacramento.
Judging by the promotional video here, Middle of the Road would have preferred to have been in sunny California, rather than on a canal in a dismal looking Amsterdam.
1972: Samson & Delilah: Middle of the Road
The last hit in the UK by Middle of the Road was an ode to the biblical characters, Samson and Delilah. Although the band's popularity was waning in the UK, it continued to be popular across Europe, particularly in Germany, where this song was yet another big seller.
Middle of the Road: The European Hits
Although Middle of the Road did not sell enough copies of these songs in the UK for them to become popular, in Germany the group continued to be a main attraction. These are their European hit tracks:
Bottoms Up (1972)
Yellow Boomerang (1973)
Kailakee Kailako (1973)
Samba D'Amour (1973 - no video)
Honey No (1973)
Rockin' Soul (1974)
1976: Everybody Loves A Winner: Middle of the Road
Middle of the Road's final hit anywhere was this song written by ex-Bay City Roller, Neil Henderson.
He had joined the group as a guitarist, but even his input could not change the fortunes of the band which never graced the music charts again. Like the previous few hits, this track only managed to register success in Germany.
Middle of the Road in 2009
Although the band continued to work into the 1980s, its appearance was restricted to television and live retro music concerts. At that time, Sally Carr had left the group, but during the 2000s it was asked to reform to take part in live music festivals in Europe.
Here's how the band appeared in 2009 at one of these appearances.
What is your favourite Middle of the Road song?
© 2010 Richard