Feb 08

PILOT – “January”

FT + Popular64 comments • 4,408 views

#365, 1st February 1975

Well, first of all, love the intro and instrumental hook – glam guitars arcing over the track like a Red Arrows flypast – but then? The chorus of “January” seems feeble in contrast, with follow-the-bouncing-ball phrasing not exactly helping. So what we have here is a battle of the hooks – one huge, promising a much more expansive track than the mopey shrug the other settles for. I can buy that – he’s tongue-tied as his girl’s leaving, and the skyscraping bits are how he really feels – but this is still an annoyingly lopsided piece of pop.



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  1. 51
    Erithian on 19 Feb 2008 #

    Your mind is one sick place Waldo!

  2. 52
    Waldo on 19 Feb 2008 #

    I know, buddy. But what you gonna do?

  3. 53
    Marcello Carlin on 20 Feb 2008 #

    You’ve done it all! You’ve broken every code!

  4. 54
    Waldo on 21 Feb 2008 #

    Good one, Marcello. And bless you. One tries one’s best!

  5. 55
    intothefireuk on 21 Mar 2008 #

    I have no problem at all in elevating January to classic status. Yes, Magic was a better song and possibly so good that this pales alongside it but it shouldn’t be dismissed that easily. A bright and breezy pop gem (did The Feeling base their career on this ?) it seems to have aged well chiming more with me now than it ever did then. The soaring lead guitar, high pitched vocals & exquisite production are probably reminiscent of Beatles et al due to the fact that Alan Parsons is on production duties. By the way the first group to be dubbed the New Beatles was almost definitely the Macca produced Badfinger.

  6. 56
    Caledonianne on 24 Mar 2008 #

    #41 Like the Great Nations of Europe? ;-)

  7. 57
    Stuart P on 5 May 2009 #

    “oh the irony” … it got to No1 on Feb 1st!

    smashing record – distilled-essence-of-mid-70s-pop-fun. Spangles, Jamie & The Magic Torch, PlaySchool, Bod, jumpers for goalposts etc…

  8. 58
    Paulito on 7 Oct 2009 #

    The lyrics are dire and the lead vocal twee, but this song still has much to recomend it apart from the explosive power-pop intro. The melody is ridicuously catchy (in a good way), the vocal harmonies are delicious, and the neat guitar work is complemented by a McCartneyesque bassline that bounces and bobs along beautifully. A curate’s egg that survives as a minor bubblegum classic.

  9. 59
    Conrad on 7 Oct 2009 #

    Brilliant track, very surprised it hasn’t rated higher.

    The chorus does take the tempo down a notch, but the track works all the better for it doing so.

    And of course it features the firey fretwork of Ian “Wuthering Heights” Bairnson, who reminds me a bit of Bernard Butler circa “Animal Nitrate”

  10. 60
    Patrick Mexico on 5 Apr 2013 #

    Sorry to ask a silly question – but did these guys play TOTP actually dressed up as pilots, or was that someone else? I’m sure I saw a band with airline/military attire on one of those 70s retrospectives.. and no, it wasn’t Legs and Co, you retrospective perv-ez Musharrafs.

  11. 61
    Mark G on 5 Apr 2013 #

    Was it ‘Airport’ by The Motors?

  12. 62
    Patrick Mexico on 5 Apr 2013 #

    Yes, it was. Many thanks for the warp speed reply! Much debate on Youtube about whether those uniforms look a bit “Di Canio before this week..”

  13. 63
    glue_factory on 6 Apr 2013 #

    Somewhere between Di Canio, and Luxton and District Bus Company, with resemblance to an aviator coming in a distant third.

  14. 64
    Larry on 3 Nov 2014 #

    “Magic” is perfect, perfect, perfect. This ditty is forgettable.

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