Oct 07

GARY GLITTER – “Always Yours”

FT + Popular46 comments • 5,539 views

#351, 22nd June 1974

GazGary Glitter is a liability on his own record: “Always Yours” sparks to life each and every time the backing boys yell the title hook, and then the momentum gradually putters away as weak-lunged Garry oohs and aahs and cheeky-boys through the verses. One foot in light entertainment and one in rock’n’roll, the single has pace and punch but ultimately never manages to successfully marry its bovver and brylcreem sides.



  1. 1

    haha great sleeve! i like how the base of the letters in his name look like platform boots! (anyone know what that font is called? i ought to and don’t)

  2. 2
    Marcello Carlin on 29 Oct 2007 #

    I suspect that to many, even prior to GG’s downfall, “Always Yours” was his “Baby Jump,” the slightly inexplicable number one which has never been revived. I remember it well, though, and clearly he and Leander were trying to pull off another “Tiger Feet” though the backing is more Lieutenant Pigeon than Mud with the dank, staccato pub piano which suddenly goes bonkers at the end.

    Musically it’s the most interesting of his trio of number ones but I agree that as an experience it’s yet again ruined by his pseudo-saucy vaudevillian turn, really dragging pop otherness down into the realm of Little and Large (“your sneaky, cheeky boy” indeed!). As for “here I come with a special one,” no thanks – is this the equivalent to Bill Hicks’ routine about Hulk Hogan’s Special Love Hold?

  3. 3
    Tom on 29 Oct 2007 #

    Did the “next on popular/previously on popular” links break?

  4. 4
    admin on 29 Oct 2007 #

    er, sorry about that – hoped nobody would notice. i upgraded WP at the weekend, and a lot of category FD has changed behind the scenes, and it broke those links, so i removed them. I HAVE STARTED a fix. promise

  5. 5
    Erithian on 29 Oct 2007 #

    In my mind I tend to bracket this with Adam Ant’s “Goody Two Shoes” from eight years later – both by performers whose “Elvis Year” had come and gone, but there was still enough fuel and fanbase left to put a good rollicking track at number one before the rot set in. And indeed they were two not entirely dissimilar songs. Funny, thinking about the distance in time between the two tracks, I went from being a first year at big school to a second year student, so the period feels as long as any eight-year span in my life possibly could.

    The oddity is that around this time the Glitter Band started having hits that were better, and eventually bigger, than their Leader’s: “Angel Face” was a gem, “Love In The Sun” one of the highlights of ’75, and the run didn’t stop for a good while. Mind you, in terms of sex appeal they made Slade look like the Backstreet Boys.

  6. 6
    Erithian on 29 Oct 2007 #

    “here I come with a special one,” indeed MC!

    Or this from his later “A Little Boogie Woogie”:
    “… and though I know you ain’t quite sure
    you’re getting so excited ‘cos you don’t know what’s in store…
    So what you’ve got to do is keep our little secret
    Do what I tell you to and leave the rest to me
    I’m guaranteeing you when I get in this kind of mood
    I’ve got a little something I can introduce to you…”

  7. 7
    Helen Highwater on 29 Oct 2007 #

    Here’s a novelty – a number one I have no recollection of whatsoever! There’ll be lots of those before long, but this is the first since I’m Still Waiting and that was the first in ten years or so.

    Mind you, it’s probably not surprising. Linguists amongst you, or those who took the trouble to track down an Icelandic dictionary, will know that I was ensconced in Canada for the next three months so didn’t have access to UK chart material.

    I’m not a fan of Mr Glitter – his unsavoury habits aren’t relevant to this, and I don’t think that Always Yours is one of his monuments.

  8. 8
    stevem on 29 Oct 2007 #

    Worth noting the title of the B-side in that picture – ‘I’m Right, You’re Wrong, I Win’. O RLY GG?

  9. 9
    intothefireuk on 29 Oct 2007 #

    It’ll no doubt be a blessed relief to some that this is GG’s last visit here – it’s a pretty sorry effort as well. This single certainly broke free from the accepted Glitter beat and not in good way. I seem to recall that Glitter had semi-retired with ‘Remember Me This Way’ (a far more fitting epitaph). This was probably a marketing strategy but it meant that this single acted as a (or at least felt like) a career re-launch single. Unfortunately , for GG he seemed to be launching himself toward the chicken in a basket circuit whereas the Glitter band continued having hits with his discarded formula.

    It’s a very strange experience, growing up listening and watching a pop star become cool, then uncool, then off the radar, then have a Xmas novelty hit, off the radar again, then become a pantomime figure lauded by student unions and everyone’s favourite camp uncle only to eventually end up a dispicable figure whose name you shouldn’t mention and whose records you dare not play. I think part of the problem with Glitter’s music is that it was designed to be enjoyed in a party environment – and that is when it is most uncomfortable to listen to. There can be no shared enjoyment when we all know what he is (or always was). I can still manage the odd listen and if I’m compiling 70s compilations (or Xmas ones) for the car or Ipod I’ll always include his stuff but it is now a tainted experience. To highlight that awkwardness, my Son (who is 9) found an old Glam Rock video in my collection and without my knowledge had been watching it. He asked me to compile a CD for him with a number of Glam tracks on it but he specifically wanted me to include GG tracks on it. I didn’t see any real harm but then it came to light he had taken the CD into school and been playing it in class. God only knows what the teacher thought.

  10. 10
    doofuus2003 on 30 Oct 2007 #

    I wasn’t anti-Glitter at the time, but I cannot recall this at all, even the title barely rings a bell. GG did have some kind of normal life, he had a house in Somerset somewhere. One of my friends went to buy a pedigree dog at some woman’s place and it turned out to be GG’s house.

  11. 11
    Marcello Carlin on 30 Oct 2007 #

    Not quite GG’s last visit here, strictly speaking – there are two future number ones which feature him as a “guest” – but musically the Glitter Band were streaking (not in the Ray Stevens sense) far ahead of him; ’74 alone saw three great singles in “Angel Face,” “Just For You” (which sounds like Killing Joke) and “Let’s Get Together Again” (as subsequently covered by the Human League on their criminally underrated 1990 album Romantic?).

    The great lost GG single is “When I’m On, I’m On,” released in 1981 on the world-famous Eagle label, as he was clawing his way back from bankruptcy and the Human League and others were “rehabilitating” him by covering his songs and paying due tribute to his influence (see also Morley’s GG interview in Ask). No one played it much apart from Peel, and it wasn’t a hit, but it’s surprisingly brutal with stark synths doubling up the trademark beat – a missing link between Gary Numan and Earl Brutus – with GG sounding especially bitter: “I DIDN’T COM-PROM-I-YISE!” he roars. “COME ON AND TAYYYYKE MYYYYY PLAAAAAAACE!” (i.e. “come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough” to paraphrase another number one far off into the future). In hindsight it’s a bit like listening to Charlie Manson having a go at glam. Profoundly disturbing.

  12. 12
    Marcello Carlin on 30 Oct 2007 #

    “A Little Boogie Woogie” as subsequently covered in the eighties by Shakin’ Stevens as part of his shortlived and frankly bizarre foray into Hi-NRG; his TOTP performance of same, featuring bin liner-clad dancers, falls just short of inexplicable.

  13. 13
    mike on 30 Oct 2007 #

    “All right tonight’s the night
    I can’t wait any longer
    I’m turning out the light and locking up that door
    You might put up a fight
    But you’ll be crying out for more
    When you’ll be getting what you really came here looking for”

  14. 14
    Marcello Carlin on 30 Oct 2007 #

    Girls Aloud really ought to do a cover version.

  15. 15
    Helen Highwater on 30 Oct 2007 #

    I’m sorry, I don’t really understand this horror of GG records today. I can understand fully why one might not want a nine-year-old to be alone in his company, knowing what we now know (or, at least, have been led to believe.) Why listening to his records from more than thirty years ago should be seen as particularly corrupting is baffling.

  16. 16
    Marcello Carlin on 30 Oct 2007 #

    I don’t think “corrupting” is the right term. “Icky” or “nausea-inducing” might be more apt. Some artists can transcend, some can’t. See “I’m The Leader Of The Gang” comments for fuller discussion of these issues.

  17. 17
    Tom on 30 Oct 2007 #

    Yeah there’s a kind of perfect storm of creepiness with GG, mostly because:

    – his schtick was ALWAYS “old giffer gets down with the kids”
    – plus the whole pied-piper “leader” element of same
    – and his addiction to nudge-wink music hall innuendo in the lyrics

  18. 18
    Erithian on 30 Oct 2007 #

    And there’s a sense in which it goes even further down creepy avenue with those lyrics from “A Little Boogie Woogie”. We’ve been laughing at them a bit (or have we?) but then it was a barely remembered number 31 hit. I only remembered the first two lines I quoted at #6 above, and googled the rest, and to find that in 1977 he was using the classic phrase “keep our little secret” is more than a bit sinister.

    Having said that, if we can divorce the records from what we now know, I did consider “Boogie Woogie” to be a return to form at the time, and also thought “Always Yours” was the pick of his three number ones. And like I said before, when my twins were at a 7th birthday party a while back, and the compilation CD (dating from before PC World-gate) came to a GG track, no-one turned a hair.

  19. 19
    Tom on 30 Oct 2007 #

    I do think you can overstress the hindsight stuff, which is why in the reviews I tried to deal with it all at once the first time he popped up. When I actually listen to the records I’m put off them by his voice more than his crimes.

  20. 20
    Mark G on 30 Oct 2007 #

    And once again, here I am to say: You think those lyrics are creepie, check the lyrics to “Happy Birthday” off the “Touch Me” LP…

  21. 21
    mike on 30 Oct 2007 #

    I barely remember GG’s “Boogie Woogie”, but have very clear memories of the Shakin’ Stevens hi-NRG version; it was played “ironically” at our local Fashion Victim Disco, but the lyrics that I quoted always stuck in my throat.

    As for “Always Yours”: yes, a forgettable Number One – and also the final Glam Number One, and as such already slightly out of time. My sister held her 10th birthday party while it was at the top of the charts, and so we duly bought it (the “Can’t have a disco without having the Number One” rule being applied again), but it had nothing like the impact of “Tiger Feet”, four months earlier. (R.Dean Taylor’s “There’s A Ghost In My House” did the pre-teen dancefloor business on the day, as did Sparks “This Town”.)

  22. 22
    Marcello Carlin on 30 Oct 2007 #

    Ah, you should have used the Fab 208 chart because both got to number one there (sponsored at the time by Peter Stuyvesant cigarettes IIRC).

    I would reckon that we’re still about 18 months away from the last true glam number one but suspect that everyone will have a lot to say about that particular monolith…

  23. 23
    mike on 30 Oct 2007 #

    The 208 chart (presented by Bob Stewart, who I believe wasn’t actually American at all, the wily old faker) was indeed sponsored by Peter Stuyvesant: the fags with true International Departure Lounge Glamour! (That wasn’t the slogan, just my perception of the brand.)

  24. 24
    Erithian on 30 Oct 2007 #

    We could have some glam-definition wars in that case Marcello. Arguably we could have been 30 years away from the last glam number one if the Darkness had made it!

    But to keep the discussion to the mid-70s, the monolith you’re alluding to – wouldn’t the band count as post-glam? And there are still a few number ones to come from acts who emerged at the time of glam but didn’t get to number one during it. Without going into it thoroughly, there’s the Major Tom series, a Lennon tribute and the upcoming Christmas number one for starters. Just a few thoughts to kick off the debate if there’s going to be one!

  25. 25
    intothefireuk on 30 Oct 2007 #

    In my book Glam rock carried on into the late 70s – Sweet / Mud / Glitter / Glitter Band / Steve Harley / Bolan / Sparks / Quatro all carried on having hits. Although they were increasingly less glam, some more than others carried the flame onwards aided by TV shows like the incredibly naff ‘Supersonic’. Glam itself fed into, and became part of a number of other genres including disco & funk, heavy metal & punk. I would agree with MC that the last glam number one was probably at the end of 1975 but you could argue they were never really glam anyway. Still I guess we’ll get that debate then.

  26. 26
    Waldo on 31 Oct 2007 #

    Sir Garfield again and I have to say that this one was rather good. Lost for once was his trademark terrace chant and replacing it we have a fast-paced pop number which rattles along quite tidily. I suppose the retrospective gag which is begging to be made here concerns the earnest proclamations Glitter makes that he will “never, never let you go” and remain “always yours”. Oh, really? Even when she hits eighteen, Gary?

  27. 27
    Marcello Carlin on 31 Oct 2007 #

    Another thing. The Beatles. “Well she was just seventeen/You know what I mean!” What exactly did you mean, Sir Paul?

  28. 28
    Erithian on 31 Oct 2007 #

    Well at least she was legal! Sir Paul has admitted to fancying the Queen in his youth, so it could have been worse (it would rhyme as well)…

  29. 29
    Waldo on 31 Oct 2007 #

    Macca has always had something for Brenda, this is true. At her Golden Jubliee, Paul graced her with “Her Majesty”, the final track from “Abbey Road”, the last line of which is “one day I’m gonna make her mine”. The look of bewilderment on Brenda’s wrinkled, tired old boat had to be seen to be believed.

  30. 30
    Marcello Carlin on 31 Oct 2007 #

    Over the Buck House breakfast table, late 1969:

    Queen: I say, Charles, do you know who these ruffian Beatle chappies are?
    Charles: Errrrmmmm, mother, can’t say they ring a bell in one – I prefer the Three Degrees mmm.
    Prince Phil: It’s still 1969 Charles.
    Charles: Ummmmmmmmmm…

  31. 31
    Waldo on 31 Oct 2007 #

    …Princess Margaret: I’m surprised you don’t remember them, Mummy. You gave them all gongs a few years ago at the behest of Mr Wilson.

    Brenda: Oh, really, Meg, you KNOW I never remember anything I do for that horrid little man!

    Charles: Ummmmmmmmmm…

  32. 32
    Erithian on 31 Oct 2007 #

    There’s a picture of the line-up after the Royal Variety show where the Beatles are meeting the Royals. Paul is greeting Princess Margaret and his gaze is surely taking in the Royal cleavage.

  33. 33
    Waldo on 31 Oct 2007 #

    Princess Margaret in her youth was totally scrummy and adored men. She effortlessly collected many “admirers” and quite honestly, it would have been the height of bad manners not to acknowledge the royal, ahem, command.

    From Gary Glitter to Princess Margaret…That’s a match that never happened, I’m sure!

  34. 34
    Marcello Carlin on 31 Oct 2007 #

    She is alleged to have had a thing going on with Peter Sellers.

    I saw Princess Margaret tottering around with difficulty outside Kensington Palace a couple of months before she died. She was wearing huge shades and was lucky not to bump into me since she was slaloming in slow motion like nobody’s business. Looked as though she wanted to be on another planet altogether.

    As for Gary Glitter in his youth – let’s just not go there…

  35. 35
    Waldo on 31 Oct 2007 #

    No, let’s not.

    Margaret and Sellers, yes indeed. Also, it is said, the artists who took “Amazing Grace” to the top in 1972.

  36. 36
    Helen Highwater on 31 Oct 2007 #

    What, all of them?

    Reminds me of an old joke.

    An elderly Welsh couple are looking back on many, many years of marriage and reminiscing.

    “I have something I want to confess to you, Myfanwy,” says Iestyn. “I have been unfaithful to you twice in all those years. One time was with a girl in Ypres in 1916 [I said it was an old joke!], and the other a widow in Amiens in 1945.”

    “Oh Iestyn!” says Myfanwy, “I forgive you. For I, too, have been unfaithful twice. Once with the Llanmyddfy Male Voice Choir, and once with the Third Carmarthen Light Infantry.”

    And now I shall, as they say, retrieve my weatherproof outdoor garment.

  37. 37
    Marcello Carlin on 31 Oct 2007 #

    I also remember Ryan and Ronnie.

    I believe the Princess Margaret/Dragoon Guards business may have been the original inspiration for the Rutles’ “When You Find The Girl Of Your Dreams In The Arms Of Four Drunken Scotsmen From Hull.”

  38. 38
    Waldo on 31 Oct 2007 #

    Then there was the business with John Binden and his party piece with the beer glasses, which amused Margaret greatly. It amused Noel Coward even more…

  39. 39
    Mark G on 31 Oct 2007 #

    And didn’t Morrissey title one of his songs after PMarg’s comment about cocaine?

  40. 40
    Lena on 31 Oct 2007 #

    “Interesting Drug”?

  41. 41
    Mark G on 31 Oct 2007 #


  42. 42
    Billy Smart on 13 Feb 2009 #

    NMEWatch: 8 June 1974. Roy Carr is not impressed.

    “Of all this week’s one hundred or so releases. this is by far the best example of calculated formula-selling. Simply take hold of that Mud-stained Tiger Feet beat, give it a Resurrection Shuffle, deck it out with the usual trade mark trappings, let it loose, sit back and watch it plough up the charts.”

    No single of the week. Also reviewed;

    Mott The Hoople – Foxy Foxy
    The Drifters – Kissin’ In The Back Row Of The Movies
    Roy Wood – Going Down The Road
    Leo Sayer – One Man Band

  43. 43
    Sheled on 18 Jul 2009 #

    mY FAVOURITE Gary Glitter song, aside from You Belong To Me + Papa Oom Mow Mow.

    I Know, You Know…

  44. 44
    TommyT on 28 Jul 2011 #

    Gary Glitter is still one of my favourite performers. I’m 26 now, and I remember feeling so betrayed in the 90s when it all came to light, but, I do still feel the media have something dodgy going on there, I still believe he was setup somewhere along the way.

    I play his tracks all the time and I couldn’t give a f what people think about it!

  45. 45
    lonepilgrim on 22 Oct 2019 #

    I have zero memory of this and if it wasn’t GG bellowing I’d rate it more highly. Fortunately the arrangement swallows up hi voice in the stomping wall of sound to make this his best number 1 – although not quite in the same league as RnR Pt 1

  46. 46
    Gareth Parker on 9 May 2021 #

    Not a great song in my opinion. The beat is there, but for me there’s not much to cling onto here. 4/10.

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