The traffic to the blog slows up over the Festive period, and it’s therefore something of an opportunity to take a bit of a breather.
Over a period of 26 days, I’ll be posting a single never previously featured on its own before – it might have sneaked in as part of an ICA or within a piece looking at various tracks – with the idea of an edited cut’n’paste from somewhere (most likely wiki) and then all the songs from either the vinyl or CD.
R is for Right Back Where We Started From released by Maxine Nightingale as a single in November 1975.
Some songs just sound so great coming out of the radio that they stay with you forever. So it is with a Top 10 single from when I was just 12 years old:-
Maxine Nightingale was 25 years old when this single was a hit. British-born, of Guyanese parents, she began singing in groups while still at school, and by the time she was 16, was a vocalist in a cabaret band, and playing to club audiences all over the country. She cut three solo singles in the late 60s/early 70s, but none of them achieved anything. She then spent a number of years as part of the cast in the musical Hair, initially in London before taking the lead female role in the German production.
Newly married and with a daughter, she returned to London but took time off after doing a limited amount of session singing as it was impossible to juggle work and being a mother. One of her appearances in the studio had caught the ear of producer Pierre Tubbs, who asked his friend, J. Vincent Edwards if they could come up together with a show-stopping tune for the vocalist.
The song was written in a matter of hours, and within a few days of being asked, Maxine was in a small demo studio in London putting down her vocal. She was still reluctant to think about a career and her preference was that, should it be taken up by a label, it be released under a pseudonym. She also asked for a flat, one-off session fee for her performance, (probably around £25) but Edwards convinced her that would be a bad idea, and she should take her cut of the royalties instead.
Tubbs and Edwards pulled everything together using session musicians. The first label it was offered to was United Artists who pounced on it. The speed at which things were moving helped persuade the singer that it should go out under her own name. It reached #8 in the UK, but more importantly it would get to #2 on the US Billboard Chart. All this led to a proper contract for Maxine Nightingale resulting in three albums in the late 70s (the image at the top of this post is the sleeve of the debut album…the single came in a plain sleeve as there hadn’t been any time to take professional, publicity photos).
She never really came close to repeating the success of Right Back, and in many ways, Maxine Nightingale is regarded as something of a one-hit wonder.
My own love for the song has never left me, and I’ve aired it a few times in the pre-match build-up at Stark’s Park on Saturday afternoons, often in the important games as we chased promotion to a higher division.