Sunday, 21 July 2013

SINGLE: The Motors - Dancing The Night Away (1977)


UK - Virgin VS 196 (September 1977)

If I was to ask you what was voted the number one record in John Peel's Festive Fifty poll for 1977, the year that punk swept the UK, chances are you might say The Sex Pistols or The Clash. In fact, they peaked at positions 11 and 9 respectively. Meanwhile, both the number 3 and number 1 positions were held by The Motors, and this particular track held the top position.

The Motors rose from the ashes of pub rockers Ducks Deluxe (as did Graham Parker & The Rumour and The Tyla Gang). Signing with Virgin (then still an independent label), Dancing The Night Away was their first single. It gained considerable radio play, and the band appeared on The Old Grey Whistle Test to promote it.

I clearly remembered the song being on the radio a lot at the time, but never caught the name of the artist. Frustratingly, when my Mum took my sister and me into Jack Hobbs' Records in Eastleigh, and I tried to explain that I wanted a record about dancing away (not helped by the fact I was only four-going-on-five years old), we somehow ended up with Baccara's Yes Sir I Can Boogie.

I'm shuddering now, just thinking about it...

Anyway, the song stayed stayed lodged in my mind, and when I did eventually find out who it was by (some 12 years later!), I was fortunately able to track down a copy.

I assume the Baccara record ended up in a landfill site somewhere in Hampshire.

Dancing The Night Away has turned up on a number of "punk" compilations in more recent years. The Motors weren't a punk band, of course, but at least it makes this marvellous record relatively easy to find.

The Motors would hit the top ten the following year with Airport, but Dancing The Night Away would inexplicably stall at number 42. I assume shopkeepers continued selling Baccara records by accident, as they went to number 1...

WHERE TO FIND IT:

101 Punk & New Wave Anthems (EMI/Virgin CD 2010)
Airport - The Motors' Greatest Hits (Virgin CD 1995)


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