The Move – Chinatown (1971)

Chinatown is a song performed by The Move. Released in 1971, this was The Move’s penultimate release reaching number 23 on the UK singles chart. Recorded at the same time as the band’s alter-ego Electric Light Orchestra were laying down tracks for their first album. Former Move vocalist Carl Wayne claimed it was his favourite song by the band. The b-side was a Lynne penned song Down on the Bay. The single (with an edited version of “Chinatown”) was issued on MGM, but quickly withdrawn (probably prior to regular stock copies pressed, although yellow label promos have been seen). The single with the same edit was almost immediately issued on United Artists.

[Dedicated to Niels Boe Sørensen]

Elton John – Levon (1971)

“Levon” is a song written and recorded by Sir Elton John with lyrics written by Bernie Taupin. It is from John’s fourth album Madman Across the Water and was recorded on February 27, 1971. The song reached #24 on the Billboard Hot 100. Bernie Taupin, who wrote the lyrics for “Levon”, was inspired by The Band’s co-founder, drummer, and singer Levon Helm to name the title character after him. The Band was apparently Elton John’s and Bernie Taupin’s favourite group in those days. The “Alvin Tostig” mentioned in the song (Levon’s father) is, according to Taupin, merely fictional. Elton John and his civil partner, David Furnish, named their son “Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John”. He was born on Christmas Day 2010.

Elton John – Tiny Dancer (1971)

“Tiny Dancer” is a 1971 song by Elton John with lyrics by Bernie Taupin. It appears on John’s fourth album, Madman Across the Water, and was released as a single in 1972. It was certified Gold on May 19, 2005, and Platinum on August 19, 2011, by the RIAA. The song was written by Taupin to capture the spirit of California in 1970 encapsulated by the women he met. It has become known that the song is about Taupin’s first wife. The song was dedicated to her on the album Madman Across the Water. The cast of Almost Famous (2000) sing along to the song while riding in the tour bus, and it is also featured as instrumental incidental music in a phonic reference to Penny Lane as Russell realises Penny has set him up to do the right thing by William. Canadian DJ Deadmau5 made a remix of the song.

[via Christian Mongsgaard in Lejre]

Fleetwood Mac – Future Games (1971)

Future Games is the fifth studio album by British rock band Fleetwood Mac, released in 1971. It was their first album with guitarist Bob Welch and the first to feature Christine McVie as a full member. Without the 1950s leanings of departed guitarist Jeremy Spencer, the band moved further away from blues and closer to the melodic pop sound that would finally break them in America four years later. After the band completed the album and turned it in, the record label said that it would not release an album with only seven songs, and demanded that they record an eighth. “What a Shame” was recorded hastily as a jam to fulfill this request. A heavily edited version of “Sands of Time” was an unsuccessful single in the United States and some other territories. However, the album did get airplay on FM radio. The title track “Future Games” was later re-recorded by Bob Welch for his 1979 solo album The Other One.

[via Henrik Queitsch in Copenhagen]

Can – Bring Me Coffee Or Tea (1971)

We love Can. One of the funkiest, freakiest groups of all time, their exploratory mix of pop, psychedelia, jazz and, perhaps most importantly, rhythm, was never so potent as on their 1971 double album Tago Mago. That’s why we can’t wait for the remastered 40th anniversary edition Tago Mago – featuring a bonus CD of 50 minutes of unreleased live material from 1972 – which is now set to appear on November 14. And there’s more. Over to Mute Records… [Source]

The Beach Boys – A Day in the Life of a Tree (1971)

“A Day in the Life of a Tree” is a song written by Brian Wilson and Jack Rieley for the The Beach Boys. It was released on their 1971 album Surf’s Up. The lead vocals were performed by co-writer Rieley, who was also the Beach Boys’ manager at the time. The song was covered in 1996 by Matthew Sweet for an album benefiting the Honor The Earth campaign.

[via Peter H. Olsen – dedicated to Margo Guryan]

Slade – Coz I Luv You (1971)

Chas Chandler had put Lea under pressure to write a new track for a single. Lea turned up at Holder’s home unexpectedly with his guitar and violin with an idea for a song with a Django Reinhardt/Stephan Grapelli hot club sound. The track was written in half an hour. This began the writing partnership of Holder and Lea which would carry on throughout Slade’s career. Originally the band felt the song to be too soft and so clapping was added to the recording. The misspelt titles also became a trademark for Slade, causing a great furore among teachers up and down the country.

B-Side (“My Life Is Natural”):

[via Peter H. Olsen]