Do you remember the days when you’d sneak your small transistor radio into school on a Tuesday so that you could hear the top 30 midweek chart rundown on the Johnnie Walker lunchtime show? Or even switching the telly off at 6pm on a Sunday and immediately turn on the radio to listen to the top 20 hits with Tom Browne? If you can’t then you’re probably either not from the UK or a lot younger than me. For me, there was a time when it seemed that the music charts were the be all and end all, if a record wasn’t in the charts then I probably hadn’t heard it or wouldn’t be interested in it. In the early to mid-1970s my musical taste was very much mainstream BBC Radio 1 or Radio Luxemburg and it was only when punk and new wave came along that my eyes and ears were opened up to music that wasn’t the usual chart fodder.
Looking through my record collection, there are a fair number of singles by well-known and popular artists that, for whatever reason, failed to seriously trouble the top 30. In 1978, following the success of “Mull Of Kintyre” and “With A Little Luck”, Wings released “London Town” only to see it reach the dizzy heights of 60 in the charts. Even Squeeze’s “[[Bang Bang]]” managed to peak at 51. How did that happen? Someone, somewhere, has to know. In 1979, Supertramp released the album “Breakfast In America” with the first 2 single releases breaking into the top 10. Their third single, “Goodbye Stranger”, was certain to be another winner, surely. Alas, number 57 was the best it could do. Illogical, if you ask me. In 1991, and after a 4 year absence from the charts, Alison Moyet returned to form with the fantastic “It Won’t Be Long”. The record buying public obviously didn’t think it was fantastic enough to exchange their hard-earned cash for and it languished at number 50.
Even at their most prolific, Squeeze had as many misses as hits and after 1981 only had one more top 20 success. This week’s cover is one of their many misses. I can only remember hearing “[[Satisfied]]” once on Radio 1 and that was on DLT’s Sunday morning show. John Jones’s version is faithful to the original and beautifully performed.
Next time I’ll be taking a closer look at the vinyl single itself in search of secret messages so, until then, toodle pip.