Sunday, 3 October 2010
Once upon a time there was a group of five Scottish musicians who were the biggest UK act of their era and to whom induced a hysterical phenomenon in their mainly female fans not seen since the heady days of The Beatles (a beat combo of the 1960's from Liverpool).
You would deck yourself from head to foot with Tartan attire often hand sown with scarves wrapped tightly around your wrists, you'd scream and hug your television on each and every time they were on.
If you were lucky you'd go roller-spotting hoping to catch a glance of any band member, whilst out and try desperately to get hold of one.
You bought each and every record they issued the minute it was, buying the magazines featuring them, the annuals and as much of the merchandise they issued. Back in 1975 much of the slick multimedia promotion of today simply didn't exist nor did the technology such as cellphones so we didn't have ringtones and screens to download.
They were your all embracing passion and for most of us romantic interest rolled in one. I was obsessed with Stuart 'Woody' Wood!
But by the late 1970's a few line up changes along the way their star had dimmed and it was like Abba a few years later, fashionable to deny any liking for them suggesting compared to the 'grown up' rock acts it was light weight pap.
This was to forget a couple of things namely that the band could play their own instruments and in Eric's case very well, that many established acts used session musicians and in any event those of us between 7 and 14 at the time simply could not get into ten minute songs or two record concept albums of the kind artists such as Yes made.
It had to be short, catchy with a easy to understand lyric connected in some way to concepts we understood like romance, love, dancing or being friends. The appeal of a song such as Summerlove Sensation was that of nostalgia for the seaside holiday and the new friends you made and hoped to see again next year and needless to say it was tailor-made for us.
All that stuff kind of explains why over 30 years on many of us remain smitten by the band - OUR band - and Salvo Records decided for the first time ever to issue a four cd box set devoted to the original incarnations of the band and for that matter between Sony Music and 7T's Records their studio albums we cherished back then are available in the cd era.
They called it Rollermania-The Anthology!
For a long period the singles issued from 1972 to the issuing of Remember in early 1974 had been hard to find on record as sales were low and not available on cd and one of the great things about this set is they have issued them for the first time.
Equally they have issued 'Are You Cuckoo?' a song that was a b side of a 45 in the UK but a track in the US version of the Dedication album of 1976 for the first time on cd.
This set has in chronological order all their UK singles and b sides plus stand out album tracks from 1971 to 1981's Ricochet album that had songs featured on the 'Burning Rubber ' movie the band was featured in.