Nov 06

MUNGO JERRY – “Baby Jump”

FT + Popular68 comments • 7,429 views

#297, 6th March 1971


MUNGO JERRY – “Baby Jump”Mungo Jerry’s shot at the mutant blues suffers from its proximity to Hendrix on the one side and T Rex on the other. Those sci-fi and glitter visions make “Baby Jump” sound like a smirk, not a strut, a cartoon growl that’s too broad to be funny (despite its clever-clogs lyrics). The band try hard to sound like wild men – but only the piano man, making his instrument into a toy laser pistol, manages it. Worst mistake though is the horribly unnecessary false ending, a perfect case study in how to kill a song’s energy and make it outstay its welcome. .




  1. 1
    Doctor Casino on 8 Nov 2006 #

    This outstays its welcome WAY before the false ending – and in fact, the sheer awkwardness of the stop-and-start (“AwrightawrightawrightAHHH!!”) actually kind of improves the song, everything else being so totally rote, predictable, and grating. 4 would be the appropriate score if not for the singer guy, who manages to make things even worse both through the vocal performance itself (which reminds me of when Dave Matthews tries to sound spooky, eg, “Halloween”) and the godawful lyrics. The Da Vinci/Mona Lisa thing is just hack songwriting, but the Humbert/Lolita thing is pretentious hack songwriting, and it’s as awful here as it will be when we get to “Don’t Stand So Close To Me.”

  2. 2
    Marcello Carlin on 8 Nov 2006 #

    The false ending actually leads to a very crude cut-and-paste reprise of the record’s opening 90 seconds, which lends more to its general cheapskate aura. Dr C loves it, but alas the record I cannot abide.

  3. 3
    Tom on 8 Nov 2006 #

    Yes in case I didn’t make it clear, the problem with the false ending is that it’s not a real ending.

    The other problem is that the “alrightalrightalright” just makes me want to listen to the FAR FAR BETTER Pipkins instead.

  4. 4
    Erithian on 8 Nov 2006 #

    What puzzles me is why this is the only Number 1 between 1961 and 1999 that I’m not aware of ever having heard. Was it so bad that none of the oldies stations play it, and I contrived to miss Jimmy Savile’s Old Record Club at just the right time?

    Mungo Jerry revisited the “Alright Alright Alright” theme with a song of exactly that title two years later. I remember reading the words in one of those proto-Smash Hits type magazines: “repeat “Alright” 16 times, then repeat whole song right through”, that sort of thing. Not a bad single though.

  5. 5
    Tom on 8 Nov 2006 #

    What was the 1999 song that broke your run!!

  6. 6
    Erithian on 8 Nov 2006 #

    One of the Westlife ones – mind you, when you’ve heard one…

    Struggling to recall hearing “You Make Me Wanna” by Usher the year before to be honest. Not a genre of music I waste much time listening to (dons tin helmet again)

  7. 7
    Marcello Carlin on 8 Nov 2006 #

    I vastly prefer the next number one Ray Dorset wrote, though it’ll be a long time before we get to that…

  8. 8
    Rosie on 8 Nov 2006 #

    I don’t especially like this song, and I’d almost think it’s one that, like Erithian, I don’t remember except that on listening again I recall the Lady Chatterley/Gamekeeper Humbert/Lolita bit and almost nothing else about it. Which says it all, really.

    I have to take issue with Doctor Casino though. Hack writing it may have been – certainly was in fact – but why does a literary reference make a lyric ‘pretentious’? As somebody who thinks being well-read is nothing to be ashamed of, I rather resent that attitude along with the very word ‘pretentious’. Perhaps somebody will reassure me that I’m misinterpreting something.

    Four seems about right although, Tom, you’ve given lower scores to better songs.

  9. 9
    wwolfe on 8 Nov 2006 #

    Having read this entry and the replies, I think I’ll stick with only having heard “In the Summertime” by Mungo Jerry and allow them to remain the likable one-hit wonders they were in the States.

  10. 10
    jeff w on 8 Nov 2006 #

    Since this is the last time Mungo Jerry will be troubling Tom, I would welcome some discussion about them in general.

    A few months back I borrowed from our local library a box set compilation of early 70s pop which had a whole bunch of Mungo Jerry UK hits on it (they had eight Top 40 singles in toto). I copied these tracks onto my work computer – and at the moment they’re still sitting there cos I don’t really know what to do with them. But they are of interest – and make me wonder who bought MJ records and how the group was generally regarded at the time.

    What struck me particularly is how diverse their hits were. “Lady Rose” is a slight retread of “In The Summertime” (with a little of Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May” thrown in) but, that apart, they all adopt different styles. For example, only “Baby Jump” has this gravelly Tom Waits-meets-Animal-from-The-Muppets vocal style. And while the lyrics to 2Baby Jump” are certainly dodgy, I do quite enjoy the vocal delivery of them. There are other minor pleasures here too: the guitar solo which is almost entirely one-note (albeit with octave leaping), the overuse of the piano glissandi, the sheer moronicness of the whole thing – which the false ending only enhances (notice that what happens after the “alrightalrightalright” bit seems to be a full-on repeat of what preceded it.

  11. 11
    jeff w on 8 Nov 2006 #

    haha – xpost with mr wolfe!

    I should add that MJ did go on to make two genuinely likeable singles circa 1973/74 – first (the confusingly titled) “Alright Alright Alright”, and secondly “Longlegged Woman Dressed In Black”. In fact if anyone has an mp3 of the latter they could YSI, I’d really appreciate it.

  12. 12
    jeff w on 8 Nov 2006 #

    (I see I am repeating some things others have already said. Sorry about that.)

  13. 13
    bramble on 8 Nov 2006 #

    I dont think the literary allusions here make it pretentious , less so than when we get to Sting and Nabokov.It’s that they seem a bit incongruous against the rest of the lyrics. It does stretch the imagination to think of Da Vinci saying of the Mona Lisa, ‘she’s got beautiful form, the best I’ve ever seen, I’m going to get her tonight, I dont care where she’s been’. I think the false ending was just copying what they did at the end of In the Summertime. On a note of extreme trivia, I think this might be the first number one since Russ Conway and Roulette not to have any drums or percussion (tambourines included) on it.

  14. 14
    Doctor Casino on 9 Nov 2006 #

    I agree wholeheartedly that there’s nothing to hide about being well-read, and in fact I’d love to hear a good lyric that invokes Lolita. My suspicion with lyrics like this is that they represent kind of a high-school English mentality, where you read one good book and become convinced that it’s the greatest book ever and that by waving around references to it you can project the appearance of well-readness. Put another way, there are certain references so well-worn that to employ them instantly conveys a naif posturing at erudition. I’m thinking as well of the awkward reference to Pavlov’s dog in “Brian Wilson” by the Barenaked Ladies….there’s this feeling that they read about these concepts/books, kind of got the basic gist of them, and then figured referencing them glibly in a lyric could cover for the lack of anything else to say.

    I would also lump in Smoky going on about Pagliacci! Either the audience is opera-hip enough to know who Pagliacci is or they’re not. If they are, then the song’s borrowing of that trope will be immediately obvious, and dropping the reference doesn’t add anything to the song, since it’s just one line that (like most of the lyrics to this underwritten track) just recapitulates the main point of the song: He’s a clown with tears. If the audience doesn’t know Pagliacci, then the lyric is going to sail right over their heads. Why put it in there, except to try and make the song sound smart and grown-up?

  15. 15
    intothefireuk on 9 Nov 2006 #

    A basic 12 bar blues which oddly is exactly the same as the following number one song, a certain ‘Hot Love’. However executed somewhat differently this seems to represent perhaps where the 60s ends and 70s really begins. As already stated elsewhere the vocal performance is pretty horrible and the overal production makes it sound like it was recorded in a dustbin. I have no idea how the hell this made it into the charts let alone number one as it has seemingly little of note about it. Bring on the glam.

  16. 16

    to slightly defend sting here — not a stance i usually opt for!! — the line in “don’t stand so close to me” is one of a whole sequence of “unreliable narrator statements” from the switching perspectives (he’s describing a dodgy pupil-teacher relationship, a lot of it via statements which are intended to be SEEN THROUGH as the deluded or self-exculpatory positions of the teacher, at the same time as invoking the actual sense of damaging lust): so it’s at least arguable that the line “He starts to shake and cough/just like the old man in/that book by Nabakov” is the situation as described from HER perspective (viz she is teacher’s pet type kid feeling she is being hit on), and is thus (in principle) GOOD writing — bcz she is the type of pupil who MIGHT reach for a comparison in a book she’s just been studying

    which is not to say sting can’t be MONUMENTALLY PRETENTIOUS at time — and may have been being so here also (i don’t actually think he pulls the device off properly — this line sequence in fact comes across more like objective POV than (as i’m suggesting it shd be heard as) harassed clever pupil POV: “It’s no use, he sees her/He starts to shake and cough/Just like the old man in/That book by Nabakov”)

    i have a fondness for the “dark sting” period, where he wz takin the role of creepy pervs and makin them the “hero” of his pop hits

  17. 17
    Tom on 9 Nov 2006 #

    Wikipedia has dark mutterings about a postal strike which played merry hell with the charts around this time – I would like to believe that Baby Jump in fact got to #32 and had to be promoted to No.1 when data for all 31 hits above it were lost!

  18. 18

    perhaps it was (later to be outlawed) secondary picketing spilling over from the long-running anti-“Grandad” strike at EMI?

  19. 19
    Erithian on 9 Nov 2006 #

    Once again, it’s a subject we should really be discussing in nine Popular-years’ time, but re “Don’t Stand So Close To Me”, I’m prepared to believe that Sting had actually read “Lolita”. What stands out for me though is how the words “shake and cough” are crowbarred in to rhyme with “Nabokov” – a clunkingly awful rhyme of a kind you get quite often with Sting (see also “Russians”, “Walking On The Moon”, etc etc)

  20. 20
    Doctor Casino on 9 Nov 2006 #

    Worse, to rhyme with “Naaaaahbuhkov!”

  21. 21
    Dadaismus on 10 Nov 2006 #

    I don’t rememeber this song, or is it just the title i don’t recognise?

  22. 22
    Erithian on 10 Nov 2006 #

    I was just discussing this over a pint at lunchtime, and my friend recalled part of the lyric:

    “She wears those see-through sweaters, she likes to wear her stockings black
    And if I see her tonight, you can bet your life I’ll attack”

    Could be part of the reason it doesn’t get played on oldies radio!

  23. 23
    Chris Brown on 10 Nov 2006 #

    Although I’m British, this is well before my time, and so remains one of the declining number of chart-toppers I’m confident I’ve never heard (there’s certainly more than one to come, though).

    This is the era when that postal strike precluded Record Retailer from compiling an album chart (Guinness books used to award Bridge Over Troubled Water an unbroken run across this period, but they were persuaded to use an alternative source in later editions). Maybe the postmen were picketing outside record shops and one person managed to scrape through and buy this. ;-)

  24. 24
    Marcello Carlin on 11 Nov 2006 #

    At Club Popular last night we agreed that this was perhaps the most obscure of all British number ones. It does, however, boast one of the best piano lines of all British number ones, so I’d be inclined to give it one out of ten just for that.

  25. 25
    Doctor Mod on 15 Nov 2006 #

    This song made no impression in the States, but I knew I knew it from somewhere. This morning I woke up remembering–it features in the background during a crucial scene in The Crying Game. All things considered, it takes on a whole new meaning in this context.

  26. 26
    Mark Grout on 27 Nov 2006 #

    Well, I like the godammn record.

    ALso, this was another one of those “maxi-singles” where you got a b-side on the same side as the A, and a 15 minute “live” recording of two tracks on the actual b-side.

  27. 27
    margothz on 14 Dec 2006 #

    wow, you ppl just plain don’t really like Mungo Jerry music at all, huh? Sounds like to me, lol. Ok, so you don’t like this type of music.
    The song ‘Baby Jump’ .. I like it. It sounds good. lol. It has a really good beat. I think it’s cute, lol. Then again, hmm, I guess it’s only because I’m female. dear god, oh well. hah hahhh…….
    Their other songs are pretty good as well. Yeah, I’m just one person. I love music. Just my opinion. heh……
    .. have a good one anyway people..
    : )

  28. 28
    Waldo on 23 Feb 2007 #

    Marcello is right. Many has been the time when I’ve been discussing pop and rock with people of my age and older how so many simply don’t remember this topping the charts. An obscure Number One indeed.

    I happen to think it’s a belter and the references to Lady Chatterley and Lolita are most amusing and should be taken in the tongue-in-cheek manor Ray Dorset intended them. Mungo Jerry, it must be remembered, were a fun band and “Baby Jump” is a busting little piece of honky tonk rock. Credence could have used it.

  29. 29
    and everybody elses Mark G on 19 May 2008 #

    funnily enough, I thought about CCR when I heard “Baby Jump” soundtracking a bouncy castle yesterday.

    Still, I think it’s yes obscure, but damn awesome.

    The grimiest record to get to number one ever?

  30. 30
    and everybody elses Mark G on 19 May 2008 #

    Oh, and about having fake reprises: So did “In the Summertime”

  31. 31
    fornetti on 31 Aug 2008 #

    I do not believe this

  32. 32
    angel70 on 30 Jun 2009 #

    First this song was in the live-set of Mungo Jerry – who was 1971 in the Melody Maker Top 5 of the best live bands – just after the Stones!
    The festival-goers loved it. So the band decided to release it as a single. And it worked – Mungo´s second No.1. As a young german guy I loved this song – and it was the first single I bought from my small money. The song was so different to all other tunes I heard from the radio. So wild, so catchy – for me it was perfect! A rock-song without drums – because the band used it´s first drummer one year later with the Blues-Single OPEN UP. Yes, Mungo Jerry used different styles of music!In The Summertime is jug-band music, Baby Jump and Alright Alright Alright are rock-numbers. LADY ROSE is a pop-song. And do not forget the single YOU DON´T HAVE TO BE IN THE ARMY TO FIGHT IN THE WAR! Great content and a hymh for the young european guys who want to do social work instead of going in the army. Ray Dorset, the band-leader, was winning 3 Ivor-Novello Awards (music-oscars) for penning differnt Mungo-songs!

  33. 33
    wichitalineman on 2 Jul 2009 #

    More kudos for the Mungos: Earl Brutus based their entire sound on Open Up (a 3-day week, mud-brown sound to rival Mouldy Old Dough); Alright Alright Alright, a re-write of Et Moi Et Moi Et Moi, was the only UK chart appearance by laconic chanteur Jacques Dutronc, aka Mr Francoise Hardy. Apparently the decisive factor in Francoise’s work with Blur in the nineties was Damon’s resemblance to the young Jacques. Her duet with Ray Dorset, a reworking of Bebe Jump, remains one of my idle daydreams.

  34. 34
    Stevie on 29 Sep 2009 #

    Sorry for the delay in commenting, but I loved this record at the time. Think it was the visual image conjured up by the words (“she wears those see through sweaters” etc) to an adolescent, but seeing it sung by Ray Dorset on TOTP made it seem rather pervy!

  35. 35
    Mark G on 17 Nov 2010 #


  36. 36
    andsayyoutried on 2 Apr 2011 #

    I’ve never seen a list of Tad Doyle’s favourite songs, but if I did….

    I’d go as far to say this is the filthiest – in many senses – number one of all time. I was going to put this one down to the ‘early part of the year’ effect, but that doesn’t really fit the end of February. Maybe a combination of the postal strike and it ‘being by the blokes who did that “Summertime” one’? Whatever, the most anonymous – and by that token, easily one of the most interesting – to ever hit the top.

  37. 37
    andsayyoutried on 2 Apr 2011 #

    The fact it didn’t take long – well, for those days – to reach the summit suggests that the postal strike may have plated a very large role indeed. Enough to keep the rancid ‘Another Day’ from the plateau anyway, which works for me.

  38. 38
    wichita lineman on 2 Apr 2011 #

    My way into this was K-Tel’s 40 Number One Hits , released in 1977. I don’t think I’ve EVER heard it on the radio.

    I tried to convince Terry Staunton at NME that this should be the cover art for what became Ruby Trax. Shame!

    Also, I wanted to bags covering Baby Jump for the comp, but was told that Blur already had. The conspiracy deepens.

  39. 39
    andsayyoutried on 2 Apr 2011 #

    I wish that had been the case wl, but as it was we had to make do with their take on ‘Maggie May’ – probably the most perfunctory runthrough on the entire album. They proved with ‘Substitute’ that they could “do” covers as well, so it was doubly disappointing. So much so Alex James refused to even appear on it.

    Actually this does have a bit of a Seymour vibe to it, could see it shoehorned into a medley with ‘Fried’!

  40. 40
    Mark G on 4 Apr 2011 #

    I thought it was “Substitute” that Damon hated and Alex didn’t play on.

    To the extent that it’s never appeared on any other release apart from the “Who Covers Who” album, and that Damon won’t even have it in the house!

    It is better than “Maggie May” though.

  41. 41
    Lazarus on 26 Feb 2012 #

    On Smooth Radio’s Double Top 20 right now! Although hardly fitting the station’s remit.

    I would have had no idea it was them if the Kid hadn’t just introduced it.

  42. 42
    Mark G on 27 Feb 2012 #

    It’s the Small Faces’ “Universal”, with the guitar solo from Squeeze’s “Take Me I’m Yours”…

  43. 43
    punctum on 27 Feb 2012 #

    #41 – oh Christ, we had to switch the radio off when that came on! Awful x Pi to the power of infinity.

    Also, “Kid,” 1969 chart not that great. Six Motowns, maybe, but what a depressing top five. Engelbert in the restaurant with everybody else laughing at him, Donald Peers wrestling haplessly with Offenbach (not a patch on Robert Wyatt’s take on the same tune on Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard), Peter Sarstedt haha haha…

    Memo to both Double Top 20 and Pick Of The Pops: PLAY RUPERT BY JACKIE LEE

  44. 44
    Jimmy the Swede on 27 Feb 2012 #

    I seem to be the lone nut here who loves both “Baby Jump” and “Where do you go to…”. I can say no more than that.

    Query: Was the Rupert Jackie Lee the same Jackie who sung “White Horses”? I remember being totally agog with the little blonde Austrian girl in the latter of those two shows. I was probably about nine.

  45. 45
    Lazarus on 27 Feb 2012 #

    Yes it was the same Jackie (or Jacky, the spelling seemed to vary). Not to be confused with Jackie Trent, of course. “White Horses” and “The Lightning Tree” are among my favourite TV themes from the period.

    Is “Baby Jump” acquiring a new radio life? It was the subject of a question on Pop Master this morning. The contestant thought it was by Marmalade. FAIL.

  46. 46
    wichita lineman on 28 Feb 2012 #

    Well, it sounds as much like Reflections Of My Life as In The Summertime I s’pose.

    Re 44: Went to Paris last weekend. Got as far as a cafe next to the Sorbonne and… damn you Sarstedt!!! The bloody song was stuck in my head until I got back onto the Eurostar. It overrides any actual French music in my head whenever I go there.

    Swede, you may be interested to know Jacky/Jackie has her own youtube channel, including her own recollections of White Horses:


  47. 47
    jeff w on 28 Feb 2012 #

    ‘Rupert’ was played on POTP recently (18 Feb). Possible I have missed MC’s point?

  48. 48
    enitharmon on 28 Feb 2012 #

    Lazarus @ 45: It was (part of) the subject of a question on Radio 4 literary quiz show The Write Stuff a week or so ago, so perhaps you’re right. The other part of the question was Shakepeare’s Sister (#674). Host James Walton also made reference to the number ones either side of them, to the effect that George Harrison and T Rex were much to be preferred to Wet Wet Wet and Right Said Fred. Populistas will not be surprised to learn that I concur.

    Some years ago there was a spinoff quiz concerned with pop music rather than books and writers called [FX: frantic googling] All The Way From Memphis. I rather enjoyed it but it didn’t have legs apparently.

  49. 49
    Jimmy the Swede on 28 Feb 2012 #

    Lazarus – I am grateful for your confirmation.

    Lineman – Thank you also for the Jackie link. As I mentioned on the Sarstedt thread way back when, Paris is a city I can never tire of and I too have strolled down the Boulevard Saint-Michel past the Sorbonne with eyes raised in search of Marie-Claire’s fancy apartment. My reaction was less “Damn you, Sarstedt!” and more “You’ve got no chance, Pete, and you know you haven’t!”, which is really the story of the song. Fuelled by a number of glasses of vin de maison from various establishments (an excellent choice as no Paris cafe would have pisswater as its house wine), the recurring theme of my continuing fantasy was “Pete out – Swede in”.

    Yeah, I know…

  50. 50
    wichita lineman on 28 Feb 2012 #

    Apparently there’s “a friend of Sacha Distel” already living there. Which may be a euphemism.

    Baby Jump will also get ref’d on a new album out in May (cough).

  51. 51
    AndyPandy on 28 Feb 2012 #

    Re Jackie Lee and ‘White Horses’ (voted best children’s telly theme of alltime somewhere)- she’s great she used to take loads of time (may still do)saying thanks to all the people on YouTube who praised the song and invariably (the vast majority who seemed to be born between about 1960 and 1970)mentioned it as being part of their earliest memories. Personally it’s always been one of my favourite tunes and remember it from as far back as when we lived in our first house when I would have been 3 (when it started) and 4 (when we moved) so it was great when she replied to my comment.

  52. 52
    Billy Smart on 28 Feb 2012 #

    “There’s a little bear/ Like you’ve never seen before/ Who’s a lot of fun”…

    Infant chronology is an inexact science, but I’m pretty sure that ‘Rupert’ is the earliest song that I can remember. Until recently, I hadn’t heard it for about 35 years, but it still sounds *really* good – enchanting and magical, and without any of the frequent flaws of children’s music, not creepy nor cutesy nor arch.

  53. 53
    Jimmy the Swede on 28 Feb 2012 #

    51 – The same group you speak of (in which I myself slot in at pretty much the top) would no doubt be equally nostalgic about mice in windmills, unicorns playing silly games and Terry Scott’s brother. An age of innocence to be sure. And then there was “Robinson Crusoe” and that wonderful score.

    Happy Days indeed!

  54. 54
    Lena on 7 Jun 2012 #

    Life’s small victories: http://musicsoundsbetterwithtwo.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/i-am-woman-paul-mccartney-another-day.html Thanks for reading, everyone!

  55. 55
    wichita lineman on 21 Jun 2012 #

    Can I nominate the American Baby Jump? Looking through a list of the US 1975 no.1s just now I found one I’d never heard of, let alone heard – Black Water by the Doobie Brothers. Gave it a listen on Spotify…. nope. Never, ever heard it. I won’t spoil it by telling you what it sounds like. OK, I will. Lyrically, a Creedence tribute to the south; musically, quite contemporary sounding, with a plaid shirt Americana feel (there’s a fiddle, for a start). But it’s no What A Fool Believes.

  56. 56
    punctum on 21 Jun 2012 #

    Much played by Johnnie Walker and others on Radio 1 at the time and a certified American(a) classique, is “Black Water.”

    You never hear “Bad Blood” anywhere though, if we’re talking US ’75 number ones.

  57. 57
    Jimmy the Swede on 21 Jun 2012 #

    I’m totally amazed that Lineman has never heard “Black Water” before. It’s true that it never charted here but it was, as Punctum notes, not without its champions over here, including notably and predictably Swede’s great hero Johnnie W. I say predictably because “Black Water” quite frankly is sublime. I have already juxtaposed it being top in the US with “If” by Telly Savalas, which was top here at the same time. I wouldn’t hesitate in suggesting that “Black Water” by the Dobbie Brothers is not just a good but a brilliant record. The a-cappella exit is breathtaking.

    Neil S engaged Mr Dwight to do the backing on “Bad Blood”, of course.

  58. 58
    punctum on 22 Jun 2012 #

    Still in ’75, I don’t recall ever having heard “He Don’t Love You (Like I Love You),” a US #1 for Tony Orlando and Dawn. But then we didn’t get their Donny and Marie-style TV variety show.

  59. 59
    Mark G on 22 Jun 2012 #

    If it wasn’t for Radio Luxembourg doing the American Chart rundown back then, I’d have not heard a whole bunch of those US only hits.

    This’d be from around 1973, as I remember “Right Place, Wrong Time” and “Such a Night” Dr John. Having said all that, I can’t place the two songs mentioned, but no doubt I’d be “Oh, that” if I tracked them down..

  60. 60
    punctum on 22 Jun 2012 #

    I’ve got a Rhino Dr John best of that has both these tracks on it.

    Ah, the Fab 208 US countdown with Bob “It’s A Good One, Gang” Stewart from that noble American city of Liverpool. “Americans” by Byron McGregor, anyone?

  61. 61
    Jimmy the Swede on 22 Jun 2012 #

    Johnnie Walker, of course, used to play the current US number one at 1pm every Friday. This was the first time I heard “Sad Eyes” by Robert John (1979). John also wrote it but was clearly influenced by the Bee Gees. The record was played to death here but still flopped big style. I never understood why.

  62. 62
    wichita lineman on 22 Jun 2012 #

    Wow, I’d never have guessed Black Water was so well known. I’ll probably hear it everywhere I go now.

    Punctum, I heard Dawn’s He Don’t Love You for the first time a while back – it was disappointing re-titled cover of Jerry Butler’s He Will Break Your Heart. Good for Curtis Mayfield’s bank balance if nothing else.

    Swede – Sad Eyes is a great song isn’t it? Robert John’s an odd one, like the next generation’s Lou Christie. He had a minor UK hit in ’68 with If You Don’t Want My Love, how to describe… kind of soft-rock two-step with doo wop influences.

    Don’t think I’ve ever heard Neil Sedaka’s Bad Blood, ever.

    Anyone recall Maureen McGovern’s The Morning After? Not me!

  63. 63
    Mark G on 22 Jun 2012 #

    The local radio station used to get rid of multiples via phone-ins, I might have got that one.

    Bad Blood, yeah sure you have its call/response stuff.

    And funny about Bob Stewart, when I got to hear Tony Prince’s real accent on some documentary well after the event, that was shocking…

  64. 64
    Snif on 23 Jun 2012 #

    The Morning After – featured in Irwin Allen’s beginning-of-the-disaster-movie-series “The Poseidon Adventure” (lip synched by Carol Lynley) which she followed up with “We May Never Love Like This Again” from the equally disastrous “The Towering Inferno.”

    Funny thing about Black Water is that I used to love the acappella bit at the end, then got fed up with it and preferred the fiddle-driven business at the start.

  65. 65
    Mark G on 27 Jan 2016 #

    Baby Jump! Congrats to Wichita and co..

  66. 66
    lonepilgrim on 19 Jul 2018 #

    I remember the postal strike mentioned by Tom way back at #17 and it does provide a thinly plausible reason why something as inconsequential as this might have reached the top of the charts. It’s like a PG muppets riff that overstays its welcome. I’ve listened to it several times and I still have no clear memory of it other than a repetitive racket

  67. 67
    Jean Le Tallec on 23 Apr 2021 #

    Not much of a song, granted, but there’s a weird ‘vibe’ about this song that I quite like. 6/10 from me.

  68. 68
    Gareth Parker on 9 May 2021 #

    I actually quite like the griminess and swampiness of this record. A generous 7/10 here.

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