top 7 musicals

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Singles Reviews: Jimi Hendrix, Four Tops, Jeff Beck

Peter Jones, Record Mirror, 25 March 1967

CAT STEVENS: ‘I’m Gonna Get Me A Gun’ b/w 'School Is Out’ (Deram DM 118). 
For me, his best yet. Slowish opening as Cat explains how he is demoralised, then it jerks into big-sounding life. Easy to remember melody, with pulverising backing… credit Mike Hurst and Alan Tew. Song is Instant Commercialism, with the usual strong words. This is a real performance job. Cat ever improves. Flip: Another unusual song but it didn’t click so forcibly.


MANFRED MANN: 'Ha! Ha! Said The Clown’ b/w 'Feeling So Good’ (Fontana TF 812). 
Light-toned, this, and very pacey and with some clever instrumental tricks behind. Group vocal mostly and in a different vein to the last few Mann-made epics. Must be a hit for sheer professionalism and sense of style — but maybe not a massive smash. Flip: value for money here, a good number from Hugg-Mann team.
 

JEFF BECK: 'Hi Ho Silver Lining’ b/w 'Bolero’ (Columbia DB 8151) 
I’m sure this is a hit song — and I’m pretty sure this is a hit treatment by the new solo figure on the scene. Curious sound effects early on, then into a commercially staccato beating number, with a catchy chorus phrase. And Jeff’s guitar gets a fair amount of space, too. Flip: a virtuoso (and noisy) guitar instrumental, self-penned.
 

JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE: 'Purple Haze’ b/w '51st. Anniversary’ (Track 604001). 
This one takes a bit of explaining. Not, to me, as instantly commercial as 'Hey Joe’, but it is rather a stronger showcase for this wild-haired talent. That groaning guitar and that fury-tipped voice—nobody goes to sleep while Jimi’s in full flight. Very exciting in the buildup. Flip: In some ways more restrained, which is a novelty.


FOUR TOPS: 'Bernadette’ b/w 'I Got A Feeling’ (Tamla Motown TMG 601). 
A tremendous performance again that big-swelling and big-selling sound, highlighting a song that may be just a shade short on commercial melody. High peak of urgency most of the way and the arrangement is a gem. And it does represent an effort to get away from the overall sound of their last couple. Liked it, I tell you. Flip: A perky big-beater but not quite so distinctive.


PETER AND GORDON: 'Sunday For Tea’ b/w 'Start Trying Someone Else’ (Columbia DB 8159). 
A Carter-Lewis song, and a simple sort of thing about the boy looking forward to having Sunday tea with his girl. Nothing too ambitious—its just a pretty little tune, extracting romance somehow out of even passing the sugar-bowl! Grows on you, this one. Flip: A bit of a tear-jerking, a slower pace.

GUY DARRELL: 'Crystal Ball’ b/w 'Didn’t I’ (CBS 202642) 
Been plagued by people telling me how good this is—and now I finally agree. Certainly it puts Guy strongly on the hit trail, in a semi-singalong and good-time style — shades of the Spoonfuls we had not long ago. A good song and a good arrangement and a good production and I know it’s getting deejay support. Watch it climb. Flip: good performance but song is routine.

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TOP 20 - 04/30/16
20) Lukas Graham - 7 Years [Debut]
19) G-Eazy f/ Chris Brown & Tory Lanez - Drifting (+1)
18) The Chainsmokers f/ Daya - Don’t Let Me Down (+1)
17) Jeremih - Oui (=)
16) DJ Snake f/ Bipolar Sunshine - Middle (-4)
15) Selena Gomez - Kill ‘Em With Kindness (=)
14) Nick Jonas f/ Tove Lo - Close (=)
13) Drake f/ Wizkid & Kyla - One Dance (+5)
12) Rihanna - Needed Me (+4)
11) Meghan Trainor - NO (-4)
10) Alessia Cara - Wild Things (+1)
9) Justin Bieber - Company (+1)
8) Ellie Goulding - Something In The Way You Move (=)
7) Rihanna f/ Drake - Work (-1)
6) Carly Rae Jepsen - Run Away With Me (+3)
5) Fifth Harmony f/ Ty DOLLA $ign - Work From Home (=)
4) Tinashe - Ride Of Your Life (-2)
3) Mike Posner - I Took A Pill in Ibiza (SeeB Remix) (+1)
2) Rihanna - Kiss It Better (-1)
1) SNAKEHIPS F/ TINASHE & CHANCE THE RAPPER - ALL MY FRIENDS (+2)
Contenders:
ZHU - Faded
Flume f/ Kai - Never Be Like You
Dreezy f/ Jeremih - Body

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TOP 20 - 05/14/16
20) Chris Brown - The Grass is Greener [Debut]
19) Jeremih - Oui (-4)
18) Ellie Goulding - Army [Debut]
17) Beyoncé - Sorry [Debut]
16) Lukas Graham - 7 Years (=)
15) Ariana Grande - Dangerous Woman [Debut]
14) The Chainsmokers f/ Daya - Don’t Let Me Down (+5)
13) Justin Bieber - Company (-1)
12) Selena Gomez - Kill ‘Em With Kindness (+2)
11) Nick Jonas f/ Tove Lo - Close (+2)
10) Rihanna f/ Drake - Work (=)
9) Calvin Harris f/ Rihanna - This Is What You Came For (+9)
8) Alessia Cara f/ G-Eazy - Wild Things (+1)
7) Rihanna - Needed Me (+1)
6) Carly Rae Jepsen - Run Away With Me (-3)
5) Snakehips f/ Tinashe & Chance The Rapper - All My Friends (-3)
4) Drake f/ Wizkid & Kyla - One Dance (+3)
3) Rihanna - Kiss It Better (-2)
2) Mike Posner - I Took A Pill in Ibiza (SeeB Remix) (+3)
1) FIFTH HARMONY F/ TY DOLLA $IGN - WORK FROM HOME (+4)
Contenders:
Alicia Keys - In Common
Ariana Grande - Into You
Zedd f/ Kesha - True Colors

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TOP 20 - 11/7/2015
20) Calvin Harris & Disciples - How Deep Is Your Love (-2)
19) Demi Lovato - Confident (+1)
18) Rudimental f/ Ed Sheeran - Lay It All On Me [Debut]
17) Kaskade f/ Ilsey - Disarm You [Debut]
16) Major Lazer f/ Ellie Goulding & Tarrus Riley- Powerful (+1)
15) Tori Kelly f/ Big Sean - Hollow [Debut]
14) Meghan Trainor f/ John Legend - Like I’m Gonna Lose You (+5)
13) JoJo - Say Love [Debut]
12) Adam Lambert - Another Lonely Night (+2)
11) Ellie Goulding - On My Mind (+4)
10) Taylor Swift - Wildest Dreams (+3)
9) Hailee Steinfeld - Love Myself (+2)
8) Selena Gomez - Same Old Love (+1)
7) The Weeknd f/ Nicki Minaj & Eminem - The Hills (-2)
6) Elle King - Ex’s & Oh’s (=)
5) Justin Bieber - What Do You Mean? (+2)
4) Drake f/ Kehlani & Charlie Puth - Hotline Bling (-3)
3) Shawn Mendes & Hailee Steinfeld - Stitches (-1)
2) Tinashe f/ Chris Brown - Player (+1)
1) ADELE - HELLO (+3)
Contenders:

Sam Smith - Drowning Shadows
Ariana Grande - Focus
One Direction - Drag Me Down