Groups no longer fashionable

Saturday 27th January

It is strange how bands which were one really popular, in fact sometimes huge, are now either forgotten, or relegated to the bargain bins.  It is even seen as incredibly uncool to admit to liking them.

I will give just three examples, but I am sure there are many more.

Traffic – this was almost the first Supergroups.  Stevie Winwood left the fairly successful Spencer Davis Group and joined up with Dave Mason, Chris Wood and Jim Capaldi.  They hit the psychedelic wave just as it was breaking with hits like ‘Paper Sun’, ‘Hole In My Shoe’ and ‘Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush’.  They made some great albums too, especially ‘Dear Mr. Fantasy’.

They were fairly short-lived though, Mason leaving and then Steve himself.  But they re-convened in the Seventies and had a string of great albums.  But they are barely heard of now.

!0 CC – this was also almost a Supergroup. formed by Graham Gouldman (already a successful songwriter, especially for The Hollies {another great forgotten band}), Eric Stewart and two friends Kevin Godley and Lol Crème.  They produced immaculate ‘Pop’ music, but always with a slight edge.  Their first single ‘Donna’ soared to 2 in the charts, followed by ‘Rubber Bullets’ (controversial as they were being used in Northern Ireland).  Hit after hit followed  – Wall Street Shuffle, I’m Not in Love (voted favourite song in the Seventies) and I’m Mandy, Fly Me.  I loved everything they did, including some great albums.  The band split in ’76 with Godley and Crème releasing even better albums as a duo.  Stewart and Gouldman continued for a while.  To admit that you love 10CC now gets you very strange looks.

ELO – The Electric Light Orchestra was formed by Roy Wood (previously of The Move) and was an attempt to combine Classical and Electric Music.  Joined by multi-instrumentalist Jeff Lynne they were huge all through the Seventies.  They had singles but were mostly an album band.  The line-up changed a few times and when Roy Wood left ELO really became Jeff Lynne, who wrote and produced everything and a few session players.  Brilliant albums followed each other, culminating in the trio of ‘A New World Record’, ‘Out of the Blue’ and ‘Discovery’.  ELO were massive, with World Tours and mega record sales.  They could do no wrong.  Jeff eventually went solo in the early Eighties and wasn’t so successful.

All three of these bands are barely talked about now but were huge once.