August 1, 2016
I’ve just noticed that the Olympic Games are taking place once more. You know you’re getting older when it only seems like yesterday when I was watching the extravagant opening extravaganza of the 2012 games.
Although titled “The Official Munich Olympic Games Theme 1972?”, (released in the summer of 1972 by JK under the guise of “The Athletes Foot” on his own UK Records label), the question mark is obviously meant to be the disclaimer that, of course, it was in no way officially endorsed. In fact, I’m sure it was rather politically incorrect even back in 1972. The “cheerful games” are now mostly remembered for acts of violence and murder.
Anyway, lets not dwell on terrorism troubles of the past. Side one steals a tune that most will recognise and accompanied by marching boots JK sings stuff like “Though our brains are small, we’re still marching tall, super-conditioned for the final fray”. As usual, I head straight for the B side where, with either an act of genius or more probably out of laziness to quickly churn out some more “product”, JK just plays the A side sdrawkcab.
March 4, 2011
JK explains all on one of his infamous “b” sides.
“Bubblerock is here to stay” was the first LP released under JK’s own UK Records imprint as UKAL 1 in 1972. The idea was reasonably novel for the time. To cover famous pop songs of the (fairly recent) past, only giving them some unusual twist like Mr Tambourine man using lots of tambourines and Rock around the Clock as a waltz.
PS: The cover was of course drawn by J.Edward Oliver.
May 15, 2009
The former radio and TV broadcaster, newspaper journalist and pop song producer Jonathan King also found time to record a few hundred pop songs himself. Quite a few actually made the UK pop music charts in the 1960s and 1970s. Ironically one of the best singles he ever recorded never made the BBC Top 40.
“Round Round” was released in the UK in 1967 on the Decca label and looking at this sheet music it was evidentally also released in the USA on the Parrot label (as had been his 1965 UK hit “Everyone’s Gone To the Moon”). This catchy song received considerable airplay on the offshore pirate radio stations of the time. It even featured in pirate Radio London’s Top 40. Perhaps the Beeb “banned” it because of the drug references it contained although it was saying that drugs were/are a bad thing.
“Round, round out of your mind.
You think you’re seeing things.
I know you’re blind.
A million bright colours
Explode in your head.
Today you’re just high.
Tomorrow you’re dead !!!”
JK often successfully covered American or European pop songs.(“Let it all Hang Out”, “Hooked on a Feeling”, “Flirt”, “Una Paloma Blanca” to name but a few.) But it is his own material found on “b” sides and LPs that I find the most interesting. Even the 1970s hits have been airbrushed out of the oldies radio stations playlists for various reasons that have nothing to do with even whether the music was good (sometimes), bad (sometimes) or diabolically bad (often). But if you see any singles in the charity shops that say sung by, produced directed or conceived by JK (often on his own UK label) give them a listen. You may be pleasantly surprised.