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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

THUNDERCLAP NEWMAN : Something In The Air [1969]

Thunderclap Newman was a 1960s UK one-hit wonder group.  Formed by The Who's Pete Townshend (and The Who manager, Kit Lambert), he produced the group and played bass on many of their songs.
The main songwriter/singer/drummer, John "Speedy" Keen was the chauffer/roadie for The Who.  He got a big break writing a track for "The Who Sell Out" album.  The group was formed after this.
This is their best-known song, with a strong melody, memorable vocals, and well-arranged guitars (by 15-year-old Jimmy McCulloch!).  The swelling string section was arranged courtesy of Pete Townshend.  Interestingly, at 1:57 the track goes into a rollicking piano figure by Andy "Thunderclap" Newman (a style he used on various other tracks of their sole album).  Soon enough, the song gets back to business at 2:55, with extra guitar and horns.
This song has been covered numerous times over the years, and has been used in many films (such as "Almost Famous"); still a staple on many classic rock stations!

Song : "Something In The Air" by Thunderclap Newman
Single A-side (Track Records 604031) May 1969

Lineup :
John "Speedy" Keen : vocals, drums
Andy "Thunderclap" Newman : piano
Jimmy McCulloch : guitars
Bijou Drains (a.k.a. Pete Townshend) : bass, production, string arrangements

Link in title.