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The Rubettes
"The Best Of"

© Polydor Bow

June 25 - July 01, 2017

Year of Release: 1990
  • Sugar Baby Love
  • Tonight
  • Under One Roof
  • I'm Just Dreaming
  • Julia
  • Little 69
  • Don't Do It Baby
  • I Can Do It
  • Juke Box Jive
  • Little Darling
  • Cheri Amour
  • Baby I Know
  • You're The Reason Why
  • Ooh La La
  • The Sha Na Na Song
  • Foe Dee Od Dee

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    Do you remember the old K-Tel LP albums? One in particular, was K-Tel's Sounds Spectacular. Click here for the album. The K-Tel albums were never released on CD, and they should have, because they were like the "NOW Series" we see today. Popular songs by different artists, on one album. In gathering all of the songs to make a CD of your own, and getting the original recordings was to hunt down either the original albums the songs on Sounds Spectacular were from, and/or from Best Of/Greatest Hits compilations.

    One particular track was "Sugar Baby Love" by The Rubettes. Like many, the 1970s Decade was labelled as the "worst decade" in music. My honest opinion is not true, because of the many varieties of music genres throughout the entire decade. But... I can make an exception in The Rubettes hit -- It is, one of many, of 1970s songs that were considered "bad." Another better word, "lame." But, listening to it decades later, it is not as bad or lame, comparing to today's music.

    And, in The Best Of Rubettes compilation, it is interesting to hear of other hits they had. The Rubettes were more popular in the UK, as "Sugar Baby Love" reached the #1 position.

    From the liner notes of The Best Of: The "Rubettes" first made No. 1 in 1974 with their classic "Sugar Baby Love."

    Originally consisting of members Alan Williams (vocals), John Richardson (drums), Mick Clarke (bass), Tony Thorpe (guitar), Bill Hurd (keyboards) and Pete Arneson (keyboards). The "Rubettes" went on to became a major musical force, achieving record sales that ran into millions on a worldwide basis.

    In addition to their internationally known "hits" such as "Juke Box Jive" and "I Can Do It," they found themselves producing records especially tailored to the particular tastes of nations like France and Germany. "Ooh La La" and "Julia" were but two, both bit "hits," and the controversial "Under One Roof" although frowned upon by the media in the UK, was hugely successful in Germany.

    The "Rubettes" were one of the first bands to venture into Eastern Europe during the mid-seventies which was an accolade indeed to their success at the time, and to this day they still perform "live" making T.V. and concert appearances throughout the world. In 1989, they supported the "Bee Gees" on their European tour.

    The Rubettes were basically music session men. The high falsetto in their biggest hit "Sugar Baby Love" was Paul Da Vinci (real name Paul Brewer). He did not join the group after the success of their hit. He would persue his own solo career.

    Other hits by the Rubettes were "Tonight," as this song easily fitted the style of "Sugar Baby Love." "Juke Box Jive," "I Can Do It" were the others. All three songs' lead vocals were sung by Alan Williams. The controversial "Under One Roof" told the story of a gay man, who was disowned, and later murdered by his father.

    Also to mention, that alot of the songs contained here, are in the glam rock style. "Juke Box Jive" could have easily been recorded (or even written) by Marc Bolan of T. Rex. Maybe even by the Ramones. Call it Glam Rock, Poppy Rock of the '70s "Little 69," "Don't Do It Baby". (Catch the falsetto in that one.) And "Dreamy Pop", as in "I'm Just Dreaming." Where most others would call it just plain "lame" ("Julia") On the Pop'pish "Little Darling," I can hear the early years of another band, 10cc. (To point out, this song is one the "better tunes.")

    "Cheri Amour" is more of a Rock song, yet with high/falsetto vocals. [Yes, lame...] Another band that comes to mind... The Raspberries with Eric Carmen. (No, the Raspberries were a great band; much better than the Rubettes. Although again, some may say that the Raspberries also MAY have had some lame recordings too.)

    "Baby I Know" is really not that bad. It's more of a 1970s Pop/Rock track. Raspberries'ish.

    "You're The Reason Why" -- Group member Tony Thorpe insisted the trademark vocal harmonies on this song be removed. He was outvoted by other members of the band, as Thorpe believed he was fired. The band announced he had left, due to ill health. Thorpe wanted to get away from their glam image. The group's success began to wind down afterwards. "You're The Reason Why" is more of an upbeat Rock track. Maybe Country'ish?

    "Ooh La La" focuses more of the doo-wop/glam style the group had incorporated in their many songs. This song is quite good, compared to others. More nostalgic. Speaking of doo-wop, "The Sha Na Na Song" -- is this based on the 1950s group ShaNaNa? The answer is no, as the song is based on trying to pass classes in school. Yet, Rock and Roll was already on the mind, as in this line: "With my mind on other things until that school bell rings/And in my childhood dreams, I would hear Little Richard scream."

    Ending the album is the glam rocker, "Foe Dee Od Dee." Another nostalgic style, as in the early years of Rock & Roll. The Ramones could have easily belted this one out.

    Call it lame, call it Pop, call it Rock. The Rubettes' The Best Of is a look at Glam Rock to categorize their musical style. This may have paved the way for what would become more of in the late 1970s, Punk Rock. Glam Rock bands such as T. Rex and The Ramones come to mind. Yet their biggest hit was "Sugar Baby Love" -- one of the lamest songs of the 1970s. I don't remember hearing this song on the radio with all the other hits I would remember in the years to come. I only remember their biggest hit from K-Tel's Sounds Spectacular. The Rubettes were much more popular in the UK. Actually, they were originally from England. Nine UK TOp 40 Singles by them, and they're all here on this Best Of: "Sugar Baby Love," (1974, #1), "Tonight" (1974, #12), "Juke Box Jive" (1974, #3), "I Can Do It" (1975, #7), "Foe-Dee-Od-Dee" (1975, #15), "Little Darling" (1975, #30), "You're The Reason Why" (1976, #28), "Under One Roof" (1976, #40), and "Baby I Know" (1977, #10).

    Their hit song may have been lame, but looking back on it now, it is one of those 1970s songs that one will either remember, or easy to forget.

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