Nov 04

THE SHADOWS – “Foot Tapper”

Popular10 comments • 2,641 views

#149, 30th March 1963

Slightly anaemic end to the Shadows’ run of number ones, the title illustrative of reduced ambitions: from the exotic vistas of 1960 to a little something to get the toes going (follow-up sadly not called “A Nice Tune You Can Whistle”). Feet do indeed tap but the liveliest thing about this record is the vigorous workout the drumkit gets – a spark is definitely missing.



  1. 1
    bramble on 7 Sep 2006 #

    I think the spark went after Tony Meehan and Jet Harris left. Brian Bennett was a technically much better drummer but boring and Jet Harris was the punk face of the Shadows – Licquorice Locking and John Rostill were anonymous bass players by comparison

  2. 2
    wichita lineman on 14 May 2008 #

    Licquorice Locking also seems responsible for the Born Again Christian aspect to Cliff & The Shads. Accounts of their Great Leader in the early thralls of stardom suggest an out of control libido; Jet Harris’s alcoholic tendencies had something to do with the singer shagging his wife. Jet, a true hero, won’t hear a word against Cliff. In such circumstances he’s a better man than I – and it’s easy to see why Cliff took to religion.

  3. 3
    pete on 15 May 2008 #

    In the teeny singles satchel I had inherited from my parents* Foot Tapper held a special place amongst the Beatles and the Dusty singles. It was the only instrumental. Thus as a star struck tiny, I had a slight suspicion that while it was quite snappy, it wasn’t quite finished. Therefore it was exciting, and incumbent upon me to write lyrics for it. Not actually being able to write all that well (I was 5) I developed a form of scat singing over Foot Tapper except for the thoroughly unimaginative chorus which went:
    “Your a Foot Tapper
    I’m A Foot Tapper
    We are all Foot TAPPERS”

    *My parents got a high end stereo in the mid seventies, which became the provenance of my Dad, who had been convinced by the salesman that playing of any record older than 1970, mono or anything not Prog would damage it. Their loss was my Dansette gain!

  4. 4
    DJ Punctum on 15 May 2008 #

    I should point out that this was originally commissioned for a Jacques Tati film but Tati never used it and thus it was seconded for Summer Holiday purposes. Has also had a useful extended second life as the theme tune for Brian Matthew’s Sounds Of The Sixties R2 show.

  5. 5
    wichita lineman on 8 Jun 2008 #

    Tom – the follow up wasn’t called ‘A Nice Tune You Can Whistle’, but the flip of ‘Guitar Tango’ in ’62 was ‘What A Lovely Tune’.

    Next up was the quite beautiful Atlantis which shares Wonderful Land’s wide-eyed vision. It stalled at 2 but (from memory) was once voted the best record ever by anyone on a Radio Merseyside poll.

  6. 6
    Paulito on 21 Jan 2012 #

    As Tom says, this one does what it says on the tin but not a whole lot more. Pleasant but a bit lame.

  7. 7
    lonepilgrim on 24 Jan 2015 #

    this is most familiar to me as the music for The Sound of the 60s where it seems perfectly suited to background ambience. The title suggests limited ambitions and stasis, something that would be challenged, if not swept away entirely, by the beat groups waiting in the wings

  8. 8
    Jimmy the Swede on 9 Apr 2017 #

    Whoops! That was a bit of a jinx from the Swede, wasn’t it! Dear ol’ Brian Matthew has gone again and this time the umpires will not be calling him back. A wonderful broadcaster and someone even the pop stars looked up to back in the day when the sun was rising. I have caught Bannockburn’s “Sounds of the Sixties” a couple of times and predictably it appears to be not much more than a sixties chart show, accompanied by his 50 year-old mantra “I remember dashing out to buy that one”. Brian always delved much deeper, serving us up not only obscure fare but linking it up with information that was never anything other than interesting, if not fascinating. Many of us were outraged when the BBC axed him. The asinine management literally dealt him a mortal blow. We are unlikely to encounter a broadcaster like Brian again – urbane, friendly and courteous, the antithesis of many of the morons at the helm today. The mantle may indeed have been passed on (and I’m not referring to SOTS) but I’m afraid it’s been passed down and not up. Brian Matthew was indeed “our old mate”. RIP.

  9. 9
    Callum Stewart on 30 Dec 2020 #

    Surprised to see this score so low. The jaunty palm-muted guitar work is very different from the reverby whammy-bar happy playing on other Shadows hits and it gives it a feeling of forward momentum that some of the others lack. My favourite Shadows tune.

  10. 10
    Gareth Parker on 6 May 2021 #

    A jaunty little number this one, in my eyes. A 6/10 from me.

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