Thursday, August 22, 2013

Hold Her Tight: Barry Blue: "Dancin' (On A Saturday Night)"

As this blog meanders into much-dreaded thing known as The Fog, there are some small comforts along the way, and this is one of them.  The mid-70s were not such a terrible time that songs like this couldn't be hits; indeed it was because of their somewhat slapdash naivete that people got through it at all, I sense. 

Not that Barry Blue (nee Green) was naive.  He had been working in the music business for years (much as Suzi Quatro had, and yep, they're born in the same year too) and was already probably figuring out that his real metier was in songwriting and producing; but this is an utterly charming song, unpretentious, with an odd nod to, of all things, Greek music (not since "Bend It" has this blog heard anything so Greek*) and the fact that he can't really dance that well is the clincher here - this is may be pop but it is the people's pop, if I may put it that way.  This is bubblegum in the best sense - fun, innocent, his "bluejean baby" being his center, his joy, the bliss of dancing being the one thing on his Bob Stanley (hello!) noted in his essay about Blue, this wasn't even supposed to be Blue's song - it was written by him and Lynsey De Paul** for the band Mardi Gras, but Blue decided to do it himself, and thus ended up on tv wearing a blue satin jumpsuit and coming across as the nicest Glam star around.  However, as the Glam era ended, he had the good sense to move back into producing and songwriting, and I will be getting to one of his best productions in 1977, which showed that he had an ear for funk as well as bubblegum - Heatwave's immortal "Boogie Nights."

Girls wearing blue jeans, dancing, good times - here it's catchy fun, but with the next song, it sounds as if it's a matter of life and death, no more, no less.    

*Greece had a kind of hypnotic hold on the UK psyche at this time - sure, it was a relatively nice place to go for a vacation, but then so was Spain.  Perhaps Greece was more hip at the time?  Seen as more exotic in some way?  (And now that I think of it, why was the cheese shop in the Monty Python sketch playing bouzouki music in the first place?)

**He and De Paul wrote her hits "Sugar Me" and "Getting A Drag" amongst others; songs that couldn't be further from this one if they tried.

1 comment:

Mark G said...

The temptation to "stick"/"re-use" the formula caused Barry to create "Hot Shot" and use Russia as a replacement for Greece. Ended up with a right old dog's breakfast.