New Seekers You Won't Find
Another Fool Like Me
New Seekers I Get A Little
Sentimental Over You
Cat Stevens Teaser & The Firecat
Two of the tracks from Teaser & The Firecat,
Changes IV and Morning Has Broken,
were also recorded by Lyn Paul
while she was
a member of the New Seekers.
James Taylor James Taylor
Taylor's début LP
includes the song Something In The Way
which the New Seekers
recorded as Something In The Way
Geoff Stephens established himself as a songwriter in the early 1960s, writing hits such as The Crying Game (a Top 5 hit in 1964 for Dave Berry) and Winchester Cathedral (a hit two years later for the New Vaudeville Band). Stephens had originally recorded Winchester Cathedral with a group of session musicians but once the single had become a Top 5 hit on both sides of the Atlantic he found himself having to put together a band.
Although the New Vaudeville Band didn't last long, Stephens continued to have success, writing hits for Manfred Mann (Semi-Detached Suburban Mr. James), Herman's Hermits (There's A Kind Of Hush), the Hollies (Sorry Suzanne) and Scott Walker (Lights Of Cincinnati).
Stephens' success continued in the 1970s. He co-wrote the UK entry for the 1970 Eurovision Song Contest, Knock Knock, Who's There? The song, which was performed by Mary Hopkin, came second to the Irish entry, All Kinds Of Everything by Dana. He also wrote '70s hits for Cliff Richard (Goodbye Sam, Hello Samantha), the Drifters (Like Sister and Brother) and Sunny (Doctor's Orders).
Cat Stevens (born Steven Georgiou) began his pop career in 1966, recording for the newly-established Deram label. His first single, the self-penned I Love My Dog, reached number 28 in the UK. It was followed by two Top 10 hits, Matthew and Son (which reached number 2 in February 1967) and I'm Gonna Get Me A Gun (number 6 in April the same year).
After contracting tuberculosis in 1968 Stevens was forced to take time off. He resumed his career in 1970, recording Mona Bone Jakon for Island Records. The album (the first of nine) included the hit Lady d'Arbanville, which reached number 8 in the UK
In 1971Cat Stevens made his breakthrough in the USA. Wild World (from the album Tea For The Tillerman) climbed to number 11 in the singles chart and began a run of hits that lasted until 1979 and included four Top 10 entries (Peace Train, Morning Has Broken, Oh Very Young and Another Saturday Night).
Cat Steven's last album for Island was Back To Earth (1978). After this he converted to Islam, changed his name to Yusuf Islam and put an end to his recording career.
From the outset Cat Stevens' songs were popular with other recording artists. The Tremeloes had a Top 5 hit in February 1967 with Here Comes My Baby, followed a few months later by P.P. Arnold, who had a Top 20 hit with her version of The First Cut Is The Deepest.
In the '70s his songs were covered by artists such as Jimmy Cliff (Wild World), Linda Lewis (Remember The Days Of The Old School Yard), Rod Stewart (First Cut Is The Deepest) and the New Seekers (Changes IV). The New Seekers also recorded Morning Has Broken, which although not written by Cat Stevens, was closely associated with him.
Changes IV appeared on Cat Stevens' 1971 album Teaser & the Firecat and on the New Seekers' album We'd Like To Teach The World To Sing.Morning Has Broken (another track from Teaser & the Firecat) was a hit single for Cat Stevens in January 1972. The New Seekers included the song on their album Circles. It has also been recorded by (among many others) Judy Collins, Art Garfunkel, Nana Mouskouri, Kenny Rogers and Roger Whittaker.
Cat Stevens continued to be covered in the 1980s, '90s and '00s. The 1980s brought cover versions of Peace Train by 10,000 Maniacs and Wild World by Maxi Priest. '90s covers included Father and Son by Boyzone (the songwriting royalties from which were donated to charity) and Peace Train by Dolly Parton. In 2003Sheryl Crow recorded The First Cut Is The Deepest.
One of James Taylor's songs, Something In The Way She Moves, was included on the New Seekers' 1971 album New Colours. With Eve Graham singing the lead vocal, the song was re-titled Something In The Way He Moves. Taylor's version appeared on his début album James Taylor, which was released at the end of 1968.
Taylor's second album, Sweet Baby James, included the song Fire and Rain, which was inspired by the suicide of a fellow patient in a mental institution. "The first verse ['Just yesterday morning they let me know you were gone ...'] was a reaction to a friend of mine killing herself" he told Rolling Stone magazine in 1971. "The second verse of it [Won't you look down upon me Jesus. You got to help me make a stand ...'] is about my kicking junk before I left England. And the third verse of it ['Been walking my mind to an easy time, my back turned towards the sun ...''] is about my going into a hospital in western Massachusetts" (quoted from Fire & Rain: The James Taylor Story by Ian Halperin, page 107). Fire and Rain was released as a single and was a Top 3 hit for Taylor in the USA in 1970 (it only reached number 42 in the UK singles chart).
The second verse of Fire and Rain was used as part a medley on the New Seekers' 1974 album Together. The medley also includes George Harrison'sMy Sweet Lord and Day By Day (from Godspell). In contrast to Taylor's version, delivered in his characteristic understated style, the New Seekers' version is more dramatic, with Peter Oliver singing the lyrics as an impassioned plea to Jesus to "see me through another day."
The LP includes No Man's Land,
a song that the New Seekers
with Lyn Paul
on lead vocal.
The Who Tommy
original version of Pinball Wizard.
Pete Townshend Let My Love
Open The Door
The 5th Dimension Magic Garden
The 5th Dimension's
album of Jim Webb songs
includes a cover
of The Beatles' Ticket To Ride)
original version of Carpet Man. Lyn Paul
recorded the song
with the Nocturnes.
One of Richard Thompson's songs, No Man's Land, was included on the New Seekers' album New Colours. The song, which featured Lyn Paul on lead vocal, was originally recorded by Fairport Convention for their 1969 album What We Did On Our Holidays.
Thompson, who was one of the founding members of Fairport Convention, left the group in 1971. He recorded a solo album, Henry The Human Fly, in 1972 and then began recording with his wife Linda Peters. Between 1973 and 1982 (when their marriage broke up) the couple recorded six albums as Richard and Linda Thompson: I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight (1973), Hokey Pokey (1974), Pour Down Like Silver (1975), First Light (1978), Sunnyvista (1979) and Shoot Out The Lights (1982).
After this Richard Thompson resumed his solo career, recording a number of critically acclaimed albums such as Hand Of Kindness (1983), Across A Crowded Room (1985) and Rumour and Sigh (1990).
Lyn Paul recorded a medley of two songs from Pete Townshend's rock opera Tommy (Pinball Wizard / See Me, Feel Me) while she was with the New Seekers. Pinball Wizard had originally been a hit for The Who in 1969, rescuing the band's career when it looked to be on the slide.
At the beginning of 1968Pete Townshend had been convinced that it was all over for The Who. Having written what he thought was his masterwork, Townshend had been disappointed when I Can't Explain failed to give The Who that ever-elusive number 1 hit single. Then came Tommy.
The recording of the album began in September 1968 and took six months to complete. Pinball Wizard was released as the lead-off single. It entered the UK singles chart on 19th March 1969 and put The Who back in the Top 10 for the first time in almost two years. The album followed on 23rd May. Although it received only lukewarm reviews, Townshend was convinced that The Who had rescued themselves from the abyss. He was right.
The Who performed Tommy at the Woodstock and Isle of Wight festivals, at the London Coliseum and at the New York Met. On 20th December 1970, having toured it to death, the band performed Tommy at London's Roundhouse for what Townshend announced would be the last time.
Despite this Tommy lived on. In 1972Lou Reizner recorded a classical version with the London Symphony Orchestra. The New Seekers' version of Pinball Wizard / See Me, Feel Me followed in 1973. Then, in 1975, came Ken Russell's movie of Tommy, starring Jack Nicholson and Oliver Reed. Elton John's version of Pinball Wizard from the film became a hit in March 1976. Since then, Tommy has been staged on Broadway and in London's West End. The Who have even performed it again - in June 1989 at New York's Radio City Music Hall and in March 2004 at the Royal Albert Hall as part of Teenage Cancer Trust Music Week.
Harry Warren (1893-1981) is best-known for the film scores and songs he wrote with lyricist Al Dubin. These include the musical 42nd Street and songs such as We're In The Money, I Only Have Eyes For You (which Lyn Paul recorded for her 2006 album Late Night) and the Oscar-winning Lullaby Of Broadway.
After moving from Warner Brothers to 20th Century-Fox in 1939, Warren worked with lyricist Mack Gordon. Their songs included: I Wish I Knew and The More I See You (from the film Billy Rose's Diamond Horseshoe), Carmen Miranda'sO Yi Yi Yi Yi (I Like You Very Much), Chattanooga Choo Choo, performed by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra, and another Oscar-winner, You'll Never Know.
In 1945 Harry Warren began working for MGM. His successes here included a third Oscar-winning song On The Atchison, Topeka And The Santa Fe (written with Johnny Mercer) and That's Amore, a huge hit for Dean Martin, which Warren wrote with Jack Brooks.
On his 80th birthday (24th December 1973) Harry Warren was elected to the Songwriters Hall Of Fame.
Born on 15th August 1946, Jimmy Webb began writing songs as a teenager. His aim, he said, was "to emulate the Brill Building / Aldon sounds of the new young writers like Gerry Goffin & Carole King and Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil" (Record Collector, Issue 311, June 2005). Webb's talents flourished in the late '60s when his songs became hits for the likes of Glen Campbell (By The Time I Get To Phoenix, Wichita Lineman and Galveston), Richard Harris (McArthur Park) and the 5th Dimension (Up, Up And Away).
Jimmy Webb wrote many songs for the 5th Dimension. The album Magic Garden contained 11 Webb compositions. Among them was a song called Carpet Man, which became a Top 30 hit in the USA in February 1968. In the UK the song was covered by The Nocturnes, a group that included two future members of the New Seekers, Eve Graham and Lyn Paul.
The Nocturnes' follow-up to Carpet Man was another Jimmy Webb song, Montage, which featured Lyn Paul on lead vocal. Montage was originally recorded by Love Generation, whose version of the song was included on the soundtrack to the 1968 film How Sweet It Is!, a comedy starring Debbie Reynolds as Jenny and James Mason as her husband Grif.
Williams' 1971 LP
by the New Seekers
- An Old Fashioned
and Perfect Love. Lyn Paul
sang the lead vocal
Roy Wood Boulders
A solo album
that includes Wood's
version of Songs Of Praise,
a song he originally
wrote for the New Seekers
Crazy Horse Crazy Horse
includes Dance, Dance, Dance,
also recorded by Lyn Paul while she was with the New Seekers.
Paul Williams and his sometime writing partner Roger Nichols wrote many of the easy listening standards of the 1970s - I Won't Last A Day Without You, Rainy Days and Mondays and We've Only Just Begun (all three of which were hits for the Carpenters). Williams also wrote Evergreen, the love theme from the film A Star Is Born, which was a huge hit for Barbra Streisand in 1977. Although Williams recorded his own material, it is for his talent as a songwriter rather than his ability as a singer that he will be remembered. He had a weak voice and though he used it well to convey emotion, his songs are best-known thanks to the cover versions by other artists.
The New Seekers recorded four of Paul Williams' songs. Two of them, Brand New Song and Inspiration, featured Eve Graham on lead vocal. The other two, An Old Fashioned Love Song and Perfect Love, featured Lyn Paul on lead vocal.
An Old Fashioned Love Song was a Top 5 hit in the USA for Three Dog Night. The New Seekers' version appeared on the album We'd Like To Teach The World To Sing.Perfect Love was included on the New Seekers' Farewell Album. Lyn ranks it as one of her favourites. In an interview with The Beat magazine in 2012, Lyn said: "I just think that the lyrics to that are unbelievable. They really touch the heart."
Roy Wood was a founder member of the Move, the Electric Light Orchestra and Wizzard. The New Seekers recorded two of his songs from his days with the Move - Blackberry Way (a UK number 1 for the Move in February 1969) and Tonight (the Move's 8th UK hit single, which made its début on the charts a week ahead of the New Seekers' single Never Ending Song Of Love).
The New Seekers also recorded Songs Of Praise, a composition which Roy Wood entered in the 1972Song For Europe contest. The song came last but the New Seekers nonetheless included it on their album We'd Like To Teach The World To Sing.Roy Wood recorded his own version of the song, which was issued as the B-side of his 1973 solo single Dear Elaine (Harvest HAR 5074). It was also featured on his album Boulders (Harvest SHVL 803).
Perhaps not the first songwriter you'd associate with the New Seekers, Neil Young wrote Dance, Dance, Dance, a song that was included on the New Seekers' 1972 album We'd Like To Teach The World To Sing. Dance, Dance, Dance had been preciously recorded by Young's backing band Crazy Horse on their 1971 début album. Young himself also recorded the song (though his version has never been released) and often performed it in concert.
Neil Young later wrote new lyrics to the melody of Dance, Dance, Dance and re-titled the song Love Is A Rose.Linda Ronstadt recorded this version for her album Prisoner In Disguise. It was also released as a double A-sided single with Heat Wave (Asylum 45282) and became a Top 5 hit in the USA in 1975.
Neil Young was born in Toronto and raised in Winnipeg. After moving to Los Angeles in the mid '60s he had his first taste of success with the folk-rock band Buffalo Springfield. He quit the band in 1968 to pursue a solo career (though in 1970 he also recorded an album, Déjà Vu, as a member of the group Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young).
Young released two solo albums in 1969. Although the second of these, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, went gold in the USA, it wasn't until the release of his third album After The Goldrush (Reprise RSLP 6383), that he established himself as an international star. The LP entered the UK album chart on 31st October 1970, got to number 7 and spent 68 weeks on the chart. The album's title track was covered by the UK vocal group Prelude, who took the song into the singles chart in January 1974 and again in May 1982. The song has been covered by many other artists. Dolly Parton recorded it twice - the first time for her 1996 solo album Treasures and then for the 1999 album Trio II with Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt.
In 1972Neil Young had his first number 1 album with Harvest (Reprise K 54005). The album included Heart Of Gold (Reprise K 14140), his first (and only) US number 1 single and his only Top 10 single in the UK. Boney M covered the song on their 1978 album Night Flight To Venus.