The mid seventies, a bleak time for so many reasons, music included, but the news events are now things I genuinely remember happening at the time, not just from looking back at things like the moon landings. Although it seems like so long ago, many things were happening the world over that would change the pace of life for many of us, not least the creation of a little company called Microsoft, formed by some computer nerds - they seem to have done pretty well for themselves.
The one event that jumped out of the page was Phil Collins taking over as front man of Genesis, actually it wasn't that one. It was the shooting of Ross McWhirter by the IRA that I vividly remember. He was one of twins who founded the Guinness Book of World Records, and were on the BBC show Record Breakers hosted by Roy Castle. All names and details that will figure in anyones memory of my age, as will the memory of watching John Cravens Newsround on BBC1 when the headline story was of the killing. For a news show aimed at young children to have to cover a murder of someone who would have been expected to be seen on the following show was a defining moment. Trying to understand what the IRA was, and why they would want to kill a man who to me just had a good knowledge was potentially one of the tipping points in my love for news and current affairs.
Another major event that would definitely have an impact on my life from '75 was the election of a female leader of the Conservative party. Continuous news stories questioning whether we would see a female Prime Minister in the UK stick in my mind, but I won't dwell on, or name, her yet - in future years these posts have potential to be far longer. A little advance warning that while the music will continue to be the focus, there are some areas that I won't be able to gloss over in a paragraph or two.
The other area that I have mentioned before is that internal terrorism, bombings, assassinations are such a constant factor in the 7 years of my life so far that I have already started to become immune to noticing them as I read back on the events of each year. It is odd how the events yet to come changed the world so much and so drastically, where it seems that during the '70s people appeared to just carry on with life. Being so young I can't really remember any specifics at the time yet, but this was also the year that the Birmingham Six were convicted, and that wasn't the last ever heard of that case as we know.
Single: Give A Little Love - Bay City Rollers
What can you say about the Bay City Rollers? For a brief period in time they were "bigger than The Beatles" and as the cover of one of their greatest hits albums shows here, were possibly responsible for some of the worst crimes against fashion that have ever happened.
This single was one of their ballads, and following the same pattern of the boy bands of today, songs about unrequited love and appealing to a young teen demographic is a way to make money. Not for the band, like so many their history after the initial burst of success has made no-one a living except the lawyers. Various versions of the band have existed and continue to tour now under various names. Still all wearing too short trousers and too much tartan for any sane thinking follower! A stream of hit singles and then they dropped away almost overnight, not really one to spend your hard earned pennies on, then or now. Just look out for the old Top of the Pops specials to see them and the girls who screamed at them!
Album: Venus And Mars - Wings
Famously referred to by Alan Partridge as "only the band The Beatles could have been" Wings have always suffered as being the post Beatles band for Macca, and no reference to them can ever be made without mentioning Mull of Kintyre, that Christmas favourite. So having made the obligatory references, what of this album.
I am not going to pretend that I really like it if I am honest. There is nothing overall bad about it, the opener and title track starts as a folky number moving into a rock 'n' roll type and hippyish second track Rock Show. It gave the impression of music built by a committee not a song created for the beauty of itself. Magento and Titanium Man (I think it is fair to say that drugs played a part in the making of this) sounds like a band trying to sound like Wings. The last track on side one, Letting Go, was released as a single, and didn't break into the Top 40 in the UK. It sounds like a track you would have over the end credits of a particularly poor film as you are trying to leave the cinema.
Harsh but fair, quite how this has sold in excess of ten million copies I do not know, I can only assume it was as a result of people who bought anything he released. The second side doesn't really have any overly redeeming features, if you are interested I would try and find someone who can lend you a copy rather than buy it. The most noteworthy thing about this album is that the last track is a version of the theme to old TV Soap Crossroads, and this version was apparently used when characters died in the show.
So a boy band and an album by one of the most long lived and famous musicians ever that in a shorter summary I would simply say "don't bother". Not a great year for my birthday number ones. We move into 76 next time, the birth of Punk and all that will bring us, will I get some better birthday tunes?