Most people wouldn’t argue with the theory that Johnny Cash’s musical rebirth in the 90s introduced the legendary country icon to a whole new audience. Under the watchful eye of producer Rick Rubin, Cash applied his distinctive style to some great rootsy material and covered tunes by Beck, Nine Inch Nails, Soundgarden, Tom Petty and Depeche Mode along the way.
In the autumn of 1977, a most unlikely star made his big breakthrough on the UK music scene. A jerky and energetic man sporting Buddy Holly spectacles, Elvis Costello was to make regular appearances on Top of The Pops over the next couple of years. The power in most of his musical arrangements was immediate, but lyrically, this was a man who was a cut above. Spewing more sneering puns than anyone would likely hear on hit singles until Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine would make their breakthrough in 1989, Elvis cut a very distinctive presence.
Looking back, the three years between the disco and pop oriented sounds of 1976 and the majestic jumble of influences that fill 1979 are a huge gulf. By 1979, disco was on it’s last legs, punk had firmly given airtime to what we now think of as new wave and the pop music of the day was about as strong as it had been since 1975.
1977 saw a change on the UK music front as punk made a fairly grand entrance. It wasn’t the giant new broom that revisionists will have you believe, as disco and pop still had a strong grip and the prog rock bands remained a fixture in the album charts.
Perhaps the greatest thing the punk movement brought was the idea that such energy could be used to create great three minute songs. In 1978, utilising the energies of punk and a firm grasp of radio friendly pop choruses, bands like Blondie and The Jam went from strength to strength.
In 2010, London based singer-songwriter Mick Terry released ‘The Grown Ups’, a debut album with a personal quality. Its creation came as a surprise, since Terry wasn’t especially planning on recording an album after returning to music after a family-raising break. Since 2012, he’s been working on a follow-up. Real Gone caught up with him in January 2015 to find out if it’s almost finished…