POP MUSIC was once so new and daring: it’s shocking to think that it’s over 50 years old. Some standards have been around for over half a century… What, then, were we listening to 50 years ago? It was an odd year, 1970. The influence of the older generation saw a good deal of old school easy listening in the charts – while the movements that were to develop during the 1970s were not yet established. Come with us – whether it’s down memory lane or to unknown territory – and remember or find out what it was all about.
Smokey Robinson spent just one week at number 1 with his Miracles before being replaced by Freda Payne with Band of Gold – another expression of sorrow arising from an imperfect relationship. Did people listen to the lyrics – which seem to describe a man who would not consummate his marriage with a virgin bride? Or did they just pick up the general notion that the man had done wrong to his woman?
This song is the bride’s lament: she sees herself as the victim of something she cannot understand or explain but which is not what it should be. The marriage contract has been broken. Sadly, it reminds us of UK society in the late 60s and early 70s, when women were very much the junior partners (second class citizens) in marriage and most other aspects of society. Thank goodness things have changed. They have changed, right? Haven’t they?
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