Traveling Wilburys The
Billy Joel Cold Spring Harbor
Joel's début album
a song titled She's Got A Way,
which Lyn Paul
recorded as He's Got A Way.
Billy Joel The Stranger
The New Seekers recorded two of Albert Hammond's songs - I'm A Train and Down By The River.
I'm A Train was first recorded by the New Seekers in 1970 for the album Keith Potger and the New Seekers. It later featured on their 1972 concert album Live at the Royal Albert Hall. Hammond's version of the song was used as the opening track on his 1974 album Albert Hammond. It was selected for release as a single but failed to match the success of his previous release, Free Electric Band, a UK number 19 in the summer of '73.
Down By The River appeared on the New Seekers' 1972 US album Come Softly To Me. Hammond's version was included on his album from the following year, It Never Rains In Southern California.
Hammond's first success as a songwriter came in August 1968 when Little Arrows, a song he had co-written with Mike Hazelwood, became a number 2 hit in the UK for Leapy Lee. Quirky and catchy songs looked set to become the Hammond / Hazelwood trademark when another of their compositions, Gimme Dat Ding, became a Top 10 hit in 1970 for Pipkins.
The duo, however, went on to write more sophisticated songs, among them The Air That I Breathe (a hit for the Hollies in 1974 and for Simply Red in 1998).
Hammond also wrote hits with other songwriters. I Need To Be In Love (a minor hit for the Carpenters in 1976) was co-written with Richard Carpenter and John Bettis. When I Need You (a number 1 for Leo Sayer in 1977) was written with Carole Bayer-Sager.
Other Hammond hits include Willie Nelson's 1984 duet with Julio IglesiasTo All the Girls I've Loved Before,Starship'sNothing's Gonna Stop Us Now, a number 1 in 1987 and Aswad'sDon't Turn Around.
Overshadowed as a songwriter by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, George Harrison nonetheless wrote some of The Beatles' best songs, among them If I Needed Someone, Something (a Top 5 hit for The Beatles and for Shirley Bassey), Here Comes The Sun (a hit single in 1976 for Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel) and Taxman.
Harrison was the first of the ex-Beatles to have a solo number 1. Taken from his album All Things Must Pass, My Sweet Lord topped the singles chart first in the USA (in December 1970), then in the UK (on 30th January 1971). Although George Harrison claimed that his inspiration for the song had come from the Edwin Hawkins Singers' 1969 hit Oh Happy Day, a court ruling found in 1976 that Harrison had plagiarised the Chiffons' 1963 hit He's So Fine.
After My Sweet Lord, Harrison had a US hit with another track from All Things Must Pass. What Is Life? reached the US Top 10 and became a UK hit a year later for Olivia Newton-John. During the 1970s Harrison had further hits with songs such as Bangla-Desh, Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth), Ding Dong and You.
In 1981, following the death of John Lennon, Harrison paid tribute to him in his song All Those Years Ago. Recorded with help from Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney, the single reached number 2 in the USA and number 13 in the UK.
During the following years Harrison became fully absorbed in film production. Having already financed Monty Python's Life Of Brian (1979), Harrison's company Handmade Films produced hits such as Alan Bennett'sA Private Function (1984), Mona Lisa (1986) and Shanghai Surprise (also 1986).
In 1986 George Harrison returned to the recording studio with Jeff Lynne (ELO). The resulting album, Cloud Nine, included two hit singles: Got My Mind Set On You (written by Rudy Clark) and the nostalgic When We Was Fab (written by Harrison and Lynne).
In 1988George Harrison and Jeff Lynne teamed up (somewhat by accident) with Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty to record an album as the Traveling Wilburys. The album, The Traveling Wilburys Volume 1, and the lead-off single, Handle With Care, both become hits. Roy Orbison died shortly after this on 6th December 1988. The remaining Wilburys released a second album in 1990, titled The Traveling Wilburys Volume 3.
Following a 1991 tour of Japan, George Harrison retreated from public life. He made the news headlines in 1999 after an assault at his home in which he was seriously injured by a deranged fan. In 2001 the news broke that Harrison was suffering from an inoperable form of brain cancer. He died on 29th November.
The American songwriter Dick Holler has had his songs recorded and performed by a long list of artists, among them Tori Amos, Harry Belafonte, the Bellamy Brothers, Garth Brooks, Ray Charles, Cher, Bob Dylan, Marvin Gaye, Whitney Houston, Lobo, Smokey Robinson and Kenny Rogers. The best-known of his songs are Abraham, Martin And John and Snoopy vs. The Red Baron.
The New Seekers recorded two of Holler's songs: Reaching Out For Someone (featured on the album New Seekers Now) and The Greatest Song I've Ever Heard (from the album Together). The latter was released as a single in the United States (where it reached number 16 on the Adult Contemporary Chart) and in Singapore (where it reached number 1).
She's Got A Way was one of the tracks on Billy Joel's1971 début album Cold Spring Harbor. The song was retitled He's Got A Way for Lyn Paul's1975 album Give Me Love. Since then it has been recorded by (among others) Isaac Hayes and Curtis Stigers.
Although Billy Joel had recorded the song in 1971, he did not become a household name in the UK until 1978, when his fifth album The Stranger and the single from it, Just The Way You Are, both became huge hits. Just The Way You Are won two Grammy Awards (for Song of the Year and Record of the Year) and was also a hit single for Barry White in December 1978. The Stranger went on to outsell Simon and Garfunkel'sBridge Over Troubled Water and in so doing became the best-selling album ever on the Columbia label.
Billy Joel's' biggest-selling single in the UK is Uptown Girl, a number 1 in 1983. The song reached number 1 again in 2001 when it was covered by Westlife.
New Seekers Nevertheless
(I'm In Love
song One By One
on the B-side
of the New Seekers'
single Beg, Steal Or Borrow.
Elton John / Bernie Taupin
Elton John and Bernie Taupin began their songwriting partnership in 1967. Early compositions included Skyline Pigeon (recorded by Roger Cook) and I've Been Loving You Too Long (which lost out to Boom Bang-A-Bang in the competition to find the UK's entry for the 1969 Eurovision Song Contest).
Perhaps the most important of all their early compositions was Your Song (the tune of which Elton wrote in October 1969). It was first released in April 1970 on the Elton John album and became Elton's first UK hit single in January 1971. The New Seekers recorded a cover version for their album Beautiful People, released in May the same year.
Elton John and Bernie Taupin continued writing songs together until 1979 when Taupin moved to Los Angeles. By this time Elton John was well-established as one of the world's biggest rock stars, with four consecutive number 1 albums in the UK and seven in the USA. His hit singles were almost all John / Taupin compositions, including Crocodile Rock, Step Into Christmas, Bennie And The Jets, Philadelphia Freedom and Island Girl (all of which reached number 1 in the States). His only UK number 1 single by this time was a 1976 duet with Kiki Dee, Don't Go Breaking My Heart. This song was covered later that year by the New Seekers on their album Together Again (Lyn Paul was not a member of the group at this time).
The John / Taupin songwriting partnership was renewed in the '80s, bringing further success with albums such as Too Low For Zero (1983), Sleeping With The Past (1989) and Made In England (1995). Hit singles included I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues (featuring Stevie Wonder on harmonica), Sad Songs (Say So Much), Nikita and the UK number 1 Sacrifice (1990).
With the passing years, many of Elton John's and Bernie Taupin's songs have been recycled and often with more success the second time around - Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me became a hit again in 1991 when Elton John re-recorded it as a duet with George Michael; Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word (re-recorded with Blue) was a hit again in 2002. The most successful of all these re-recordings was Candle In The Wind. The original version, written as a tribute to Marilyn Monroe, reached number 11 in the UK in 1974. A live version reached number 5 in 1988. In 1997, however, following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, a new version of Candle In The Wind (with new lyrics paying tribute to the Princess) reached number 1 and went on to become the biggest-selling single in the UK (and the world).
Bert Kalmar (1884-1947) and Harry Ruby (1895-1974) formed their songwriting partnership in the 1920s, though they had written songs together before that. Kalmar was a successful vaudeville performer who wrote lyrics as a sideline. He formed a music publishing company, Kalmar and Puck, and hired Ruby as a song-plugger. The two men soon became good friends.
When a knee injury forced Kalmar to abandon the stage he took it up songwriting full-time. Although he and Ruby wrote with different partners, they both recognized that there was a special quality to their work together and became a lifelong team. When Kalmar died in 1947 Ruby lost his inspiration for composing and produced very little work after that.
Best-known as Gary Glitter's songwriting partner, Mike Leander co-wrote hits such as I'm The Leader Of The Gang (I Am) and I Love You Love Me Love. In 1972 Leander entered one of his compositions, One By One, in the Song For Europe contest. The song finished second to Beg, Steal Or Borrow and was issued as the B-side of the New Seekers' single. It was also included on the album We'd Like To Teach The World To Sing.
Leander first met with success in the 1960s as arranger and producer for the Drifters (Under The Boardwalk), Marianne Faithfull (As Tears Go By, Come and Stay With Me and This Little Bird) and Billy Fury (It's Only Make Believe). Perhaps his finest moment as an arranger was his score for The Beatles' She's Leaving Home, one of the best tracks on the album Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
The 1960s also brought Leander success as a songwriter, with hits for Paul Jones (High Time and I've Been A Bad, Bad Boy), Peter and Gordon (Lady Godiva) and Vanity Fare (Early In The Morning).
the New Seekers'
1973 hit Goodbye Is
Just Another Word.
John Lennon / Paul McCartney
Lyn Paul recorded the Lennon / McCartney classic Here, There And Everywhere with The Nocturnes (1968) and with the New Seekers. The song was originally recorded by The Beatles on their 1966 album Revolver. Although it has remained one of their most popular songs (covered by the likes of Petula Clark, José Feliciano and Andy Williams and even re-recorded by Paul McCartney for his album and film Give My Regards To Broadstreet), the only artist (to date) to have had a hit single with it is Emmylou Harris (UK number 30 / US number 65, 1976).
The New Seekers first recorded the song in 1970 for their second album Keith Potger and the New Seekers. The recording features Keith Potger on lead vocal and is similar in style to The Beatles' original. The New Seekers' second version was included on their 1974 album Together and features Lyn Paul on lead vocal. This rendition (more overtly romantic with a lusher string arrangement) begins with a dreamy 10 second intro and omits the opening lines "To lead a better life, I need my love to be here."
The New Seekers also recorded Lennon & McCartney's Ticket To Ride, though not in its entirety. Elements of the song were incorporated in a medley, with the opening line of Ticket To Ride ("I think I'm gonna be sad, I think it's today") being interwoven with the lyrics of the Seekers' hit Georgy Girl. The medley was featured on the 1972 album We'd Like To Teach The World To Sing.The Beatles' original version (taken from the 1965 album Help!) was their seventh number 1 single in the UK and their eighth in the USA. The song title contains a pun, Ryde being a town on the Isle of Wight, which John Lennon and Paul McCartney had visited in 1960.
Another Beatles' song, With A Little Help From My Friends, was used in the New Seekers' Friends Medley, which they performed in concert and which also appeared on their 1974 album Together. The original recording by The Beatles features Ringo Starr on lead vocal and was included on the band's 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. At the time The Beatles did not release the song as a single, though in 1978 it was released (without much success) as a double A-side with Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The song was subsequently a number 1 hit single in the UK for Wet Wet Wet (1988) and for Sam and Mark (2004).
The New Seekers' Friends Medley only includes the first verse of With A Little Help From My Friends, though the opening line "What would you think if I sang out of tune?" is sung as "What would you do if I sang out of tune?" in the New Seekers' version. Although the song is genuinely about friendship the line "I get high with a little help from my friends" (which is included in the New Seekers' version) shows that things really can go better with Coke ... or maybe marijuana! The third verse with its obvious sexual innuendo ("What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine") is not included in the New Seekers' medley.
Over thirty years after she'd left the New Seekers, Lyn Paul recorded a cover of the Lennon and McCartney ballad In My Life.The Beatles' original was a track on the 1965 album Rubber Soul. Lyn's version was included on her album Late Night.
Lobo (real name Roland Kent Lavoie) had a hit in 1971 with Me and You and A Dog Named Boo (UK number 4). It looked as though he'd end up being a "one hit wonder" but in 1974 he had another hit with I'd Love You To Want Me (UK number 5).
The New Seekers recorded one of his songs, Goodbye Is Just Another Word, which was a minor hit for the group in 1973. Lobo's version of the song, recorded the same year, is to be found on his album Calumet.
Rob Lovett was once one of the Virgil Brothers, an Australian trio (none of whom were actually brothers) heralded as the antipodean answer to the Walker Brothers. Mick Hadley (who was replaced by Peter Doyle after only a few weeks) and Malcolm McGee (later replaced by Danny Robinson) completed the line-up. In 1970, after the Virgil Brothers disbanded, Peter Doyle joined the New Seekers. Rob Lovett had already supplied the New Seekers with two of his songs, It's A Beautiful Day and Shine People Shine. Both songs were included on the group's second album Keith Potger & the New Seekers; both were co-written with Brian Peacock.
Brian Peacock had been a member of several bands: the Librettos (1965), the Playboys (1966) and Procession (1967-69). He later joined Gerry and the Joy Band (1971) and Western Flyer (1977). After Peter Doyle had joined the New Seekers Peacock and Lovett provided the group with another song, When There's No Love Left, which was selected as a single.
Five years after Peter Doyle had left the New Seekers (1978) the group recorded another of Peacock's songs, Anthem (One Day In Every Week). The song, recorded by Peacock when he was a member of Procession, was co-written with the band's lead guitarist Mick Rogers. Procession released the song as a single in Australia in January 1968 and again in February 1969. The first version, titled Anthem, was sung a cappella; the second version, re-titled One Day In Every Week, was given a more progressive arrangement. At the time Procession was managed by David Joseph, who later in 1969 also became the manager the New Seekers.
Macaulay burst onto the music scene in 1967 with consecutive number 1s - the Foundations' Baby Now That I've Found You and Long John Baldry'sLet The Heartaches Begin. Both topped the UK singles charts in November 1967. Subsequent hits included the Hollies' 1969 smash Sorry Suzanne (with lyrics by Geoff Stephens), Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes) by Edison Lighthouse and Pickettywitch'sThat Same Old Feeling.
In 1977Starsky and Hutch actor David Soul scored two big hits with songs by Macaulay and Stephens - Don't Give Up On Us (a number 1 on both sides of the Atlantic) and the follow-up Going In With My Eyes Open.
Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil are a husband and wife songwriting team whose best-known hits include: Blame It On The Bossa Nova (Eydie Gorme), Saturday Night At The Movies (Drifters), Looking Through The Eyes Of Love (a hit for Gene Pitney and for the Partridge Family), We Gotta Get Out Of This Place (Animals), Make Your Own Kind Of Music (Mama Cass Elliott) and Here You Come Again (Dolly Parton).
Collaborations with other songwriters include: the Drifters' On Broadway (written with Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller), the Righteous Brothers' You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling (written with Phil Spector), How Much Love (written by Barry Mann and Leo Sayer) and Don't Know Much by Linda Rondstadt and Aaron Neville (written with Tom Snow).
The New Seekers recorded a song by Mann and Weil, Holy Rolling, for their 1972 album Circles.
Between 1987 and 1992Richard Marx had a string of twenty Top 20 hits in the USA, including three number 1s: Hold On To The Nights, Satisfied and Right Here Waiting.
Although his recording career slowed down after this, Marx continued to have success as a songwriter. José Feliciano, Jack Jones, Donny Osmond, Cliff Richard and Bonnie Tyler all recorded versions of Right Here Waiting.
The song The Best Of Me, which was a minor hit in the USA for David Foster and Olivia Newton-John, also became something of a MOR standard, with versions by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Barry Manilow, Cliff Richard and Kenny Rogers.
Kenny Rogers had already recorded three songs by Richard Marx (Crazy, What About Me? and Somebody Took My Love) for his 1984 album What About Me?. In 2000 he recorded two more (Crazy Me and I Do It For Love) for his album There You Go Again.
In 2002Barbra Streisand included two songs by Richard Marx on her Duets album - I Won't Be The One To Let Go (sung with Barry Manilow, who co-wrote the song) and If You Ever Leave Me (a duet originally recorded with Vince Gill for her 1999 album A Love Like Ours).
In 2004 Marx won a Grammy Award for a song he had written with Luther Vandross. Dance With My Father not only won 'Song Of The Year', it also won Luther Vandross the award for 'Best Male R&B Vocal Performance'. Lyn Paul recorded a cover version of Dance With My Father for her 2006 album Late Night.