Thursday, March 23, 2017

ROLLERAMA--Original and Cover Versions of Songs Made Famous By The Bay City Rollers

22 songs that every Roller fan knows...
but you've never heard 'em like this!

Compiled from my collection of rare and original vinyl, here's a playlist of Bay City Rollers' cover versions, as well as some of the original versions of songs that the band covered. Every song below was recorded, at some point, by the Rollers. I left off the obvious ones--"Keep On Dancing," "I Only Want To Be With You," "Don't Worry Baby" etc. to make room for rarely-heard gems and hard-to-find collector's items. There will also be a follow-up compilation featuring 'tribute' songs and BCR promotional records...coming SOON! ENJOY! And leave a comment if you like what you hear.

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1.       TINKER’S MOON-Shang-A-Lang
This is an early cover version of the Martin-Coulter hit, released on the Polydor label in 1974. Tinker’s Moon was a Canadian studio band assembled by Montreal producer, Ben Kaye. Three singles were released under this moniker, including “Shang-A-Lang” which reached #23 on the CHUM Radio (Toronto) chart in August, shortly after the BCR version became a UK hit. The single was also released in North America.
2.       KENNY-Give It To Me Now
The original 1973 version of “Give It To Me Now” (found on the Rollers’ debut album, “Rollin’”) was the second single released as ‘Kenny’, which was a studio project of producers Bill Martin & Phil Coulter. Originally, ‘Kenny’ was promoted as a single artist but eventually to compete with the Rollers’ success, a five-piece group was formed. Interestingly, the b-side of this single is entitled “Rollin’” and the song’s verse melody was later re-written as the 1975 Kenny hit, “Fancy Pants.”
3.       THE REFLECTIONS-Remember
Released on the Penny Farthing label in 1972, this is the original version of the BCR hit, written and produced by the team of Bill Martin & Phil Coulter. The chorus of “Sha la la la la la la la, shoo-be-doo ay” is yet to be added at this point. The Reflections version would be re-released in some countries after the Rollers’ version hit the charts.
4.       BIG JOHN’S ROCK ‘N’ ROLL CIRCUS-When Will You Be Mine
This is the original version from 1974, later sung by Eric & Woody on the Rollers’ “Once Upon A Star” album. Big John is John Goodison, a musical partner of hit producer, Phil Wainman, who also performed and produced 50’s-styled records by the Rock ‘N’ Roll Circus. Together, the pair penned the massive Rollers hit, “Give A Little Love.”
5.       STARBUCK-Manana
This is the b-side of an interesting single released in 1973 featuring a cover of the early Rollers’ hit “Manana.” The pair of Ken Howard & Alan Blaikley wrote and produced a few singles for this duo that featured Martin Briley (who later had an 80’s hit called “Salt In My Tears”) named Starbuck (not the same Starbuck that had a big hit with “Sky High” a few years later). Even the a-side of this record is Roller-related and can be heard later in this compilation.
6.       KENNY-The Bump
By this point in 1975, producers Bill Martin & Phil Coulter turned the ‘Kenny’ name into a BCR-influenced five-piece band and this song, a Roller b-side from the previous year, gets the hit treatment and charted at #3 in the UK.
7.       “CONVOY”-Saturday Night
This track is taken from a budget ‘soundalike’ LP released in the U.S. in 1976 called “Convoy.” Musician credits unknown.
8.       TIM MOORE-Rock And Roll Love Letter
Tim Moore was in a band called Gulliver at the beginning of the 70’s that also featured a young Daryl Hall. He enjoyed a solo career, and wrote hits for artists like Art Garfunkel. Even Keith Richards became a fan when he heard Moore’s 1975 version of “Rock And Roll Love Letter.” Note the extra lyrics not used in the Rollers’ hit cover version.
9.       EDDIE KENDRICKS-Maybe I’m A Fool To Love You
The great Eddie Kendricks from the original Temptations recorded Faulkner/Wood’s classic ballad on a 1978 Arista LP. Great version!
10.   ROGUE-Dedication
Rogue was a band featuring Guy Fletcher, who was the co-writer of “Dedication,” which they released as a single in 1975.
11.   JOHN PAUL YOUNG-Yesterday’s Hero
Two members of the great 60’s band, The Easybeats, wrote and produced the original version of “Yesterday’s Hero” for Australian teen idol John Paul Young in 1975. Producers George Young and Harry Vanda also produced AC/DC.
Released in 1973, this song was a Les McKeown favorite that made it’s way to a hit title track for the Rollers in 1977. Shel Talmy, known for his work with The Kinks, The Who and also Duncan Faure, produced the ‘string driven’ original.
13.   SHIELDS-The Way I Feel Tonight
Songwriter Harvey Shield released his own version of “The Way I Feel Tonight” as ‘Shields’ in 1977 on Atco Records.
14.   THE SANDPEBBLES-Love Power
This is the original 1967 version, also covered by Dusty Springfield and years later by the great Luther Vandross.
Iain and Gavin Sutherland recorded two different versions of this great song (originally in 1972 and again in 1977) that the Rollers performed on stage in their earliest incarnation with Nobby Clark. They finally got around to recording it with Leslie in 1977 and it became a fan favorite.
Another Sutherland cover that the BCR recorded for their “Strangers In The Wind” album.
17.   BOBBY VINTON-Summerlove Sensation
This is an interesting BCR cover released on Elektra Records in 1978. Bobby Vinton’s version was, like the Rollers’ version, also produced by Bill Martin & Phil Coulter, making it a double collectable.
18.   CHRIS EAST-Where Will I Be Now
This original 1978 version by Chris East (who also wrote the song) has a country-ish feel to it.
19.   STARBUCK-Wouldn’t You Like It
The Rollers recorded Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley’s “Wouldn’t You Like It” with Nobby Clark singing in 1972, but it remained unreleased until 2004. The later, well-known BCR song written by Eric Faulkner and Stuart Wood (from the 1975 album of the same name) is a completely different song altogether.
20.    “HUSTLE ‘76”-Saturday Night
Another “fake” version of “Saturday Night” from the 1976 budget ‘soundalike’ LP released in the U.S. called “Hustle ’76.” Musician credits unknown.
21.   ROLLBACK-Remember
A “Stars On” type medley of Bill Martin & Phil Coulter’s 70’s hits released in 1981 as a 7” and also an extended 12” single, spotlighting some of the Roller’s biggest hits, as well as Kenny and Slik.
22.   THE REFLECTIONS-Remember (Part II)
This is the instrumental b-side of the 1972 Reflections single.

1 comment:

  1. Thank You!!! Been a long time between posts but well worth the wait. Looking forward to the follow up.