1970s Liverpool Bands: The Real Thing.
Liverpool Band The Real Thing.
Not my usual 1970s Liverpool band article, but nonetheless The Real Thing get a mention in my ‘70s –‘80s Punk and New Wave memoir, Bombed Out! as they were cresting a wave of their own in the late 1970s and just prior to (then slightly overlapping with) the Punk Explosion in Liverpool.
In 1976 they got to Number One with You To Me Are Everything, which is probably their best-known record, although another two songs I’ve added You Tube links to below, Can’t Get By Without You (which got to Number Two in the UK charts in 1976) and Can You Feel The Force (which got to Number Five in 1979) were also big sellers in the late 1970s.
As such, the band supplied the soundtrack for my pre-Punk teenage disco experiences of the mid-1970s.
The Real Thing was formed in 1970 by Chris Amoo, Dave Smith, Kenny Davis and Ray Lake (Eddie Amoo joined later), all from racially mixed but economically deprived Liverpool 8. In 1972, they appeared on TV’s Opportunity Knocks, although David Essex rather than Hughie Green is credited with bringing them to international attention, when they toured with him in 1975.
In 1977 the band released an album called Four from Eight, which was originally to have been called Liverpool 8 in honour of the neighbourhood the band had grown up in, but their record company rejected the title.
One of the tracks on the album was called ‘Liverpool 8 Medley’, a combination of three songs; ‘Children of the Ghetto’, ‘Liverpool 8′ and ‘Stanhope Street.’
The use of the politically-loaded word ‘ghetto’ to (accurately) describe a part of Liverpool back then ruffled some feathers in hypocritical Britain, and the album did not sell well, although the excellent track ‘Children of the Ghetto’ survived and has been recorded by many artists since then, including Mary J Blige.
I never liked their song Let’s Go Disco (I was well into Punk by then), which was recorded as the soundtrack to a raunchy Joan Collins/Oliver Tobias film, called The Stud, released in 1978, but I’ve also added a You Tube link to that too, because there’s some fantastic 1970s synchronized, sequinned disco dancing in it.
Great stuff, and a great Liverpool band.
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You To Me Are Everything:
Can You Feel The Force (Great video of Dutch TV appearance)
Can’t Get By Without You
Let’s Go Disco (worth it just for the sequinned, synchronised dance footage)