Seven in Seven #5: Eddy Amoo, The Real Thing and “You To Me Are Everything”

Day Five of my challenge to write seven posts in seven days….

I’m seriously starting to flag now and noticed that I’d pressed the publish button last night without changing the tags, or finishing the post title. All sorted now but it seems my kind of blogging is not short and snappy enough for a daily post, and however hard I try I can’t seem to make them any shorter.

There is a reason for this self-imposed madness however – I have applied for a course at our local college and have the interview next week. I am unsure whether I have enough spare time on my hands to take up the mantle of being the Highlands’ oldest undergraduate, so needed to test the water. Will no doubt keep you all informed on progress however, as I do love to “over-share”.

Inverness-College.jpgI mentioned earlier this week that I’d not written a single tribute this year for anyone from the world of music. I usually rely on Mark over at So It Goes… to keep me updated on who has indeed passed away, as he is usually first off the mark (pun intended). Today he has written about Eunice Gayson, the first Bond girl, who apparently died yesterday at the age of 90. Back in February, Mark announced the passing of Eddy Amoo from the group The Real Thing. I jotted this down in my “blogging notebook”, as they were definitely a group whose songs feature heavily in the tracks of my years.

image-5-liverpool-band-the-real-thing-40-years-young-277404072
Eddie Amoo

If like me you turned 16 in 1976, you will remember that it was dubbed the Long Hot Summer, and for teenagers it was a great time to be alive. We had far more freedom in those days and I don’t think sunscreen had even been invented yet. We lived in blissful ignorance of the damage the sun could wreak on our future middle-aged skin, so just kept topping it up with cooking oil to ensure we turned a “healthy” golden brown. I spent a lot of time that summer with friends at the local youth club. This was the last year we were deemed age-appropriate to attend, as once you turned 17 you were cast out into the world of pubs and “discotheques” – All very grown up, and not at first as comforting as our old youth club, so we made the most of that last summer where it was our fellow school chums who chose and spun the discs.

But I digress – The reason I mention the legendary summer of ’76 is because one of the songs we loved to dance to at the aforementioned youth club was this one, You To Me Are Everything by The Real Thing. It reached the No. 1 spot in July and stayed there for three weeks. It still makes me smile, for in my subconscious it will always be linked to that long, hot summer, when being a teenager was a lot less stressful than it is today. Perhaps it was because of those trousers we used to wear – Who could get hot and bothered with all that fabric flapping about?

You To Me Are Everything by The Real Thing:

The Real Thing were from Liverpool and became the most successful black British group of the 1970s. Although they prided themselves on writing their own material, brothers Chris and Eddy Amoo decided they needed to be more commercial in order to get radio play. With this pop/soul classic, penned by Ken Gold and Michael Denne, they did just that, with bells on. Their follow up record, Can’t Get By Without You made it to the No. 2 spot later on that year.

What I hadn’t realised however was that Eddy Amoo had been in a group called The Chants back in the 1960s. They played the Cavern Club and once had the privilege of having the Beatles act as their backing band (much to the chagrin of Brian Epstein I should add).

chants
The Chants

After the commercial success of the mid ’70s started to wane, Eddy Amoo returned to the “message songs” he had always wanted to write. “I started to feel that I wanted to really project what had happened to me and the people that I’d grown up with in my songs,” he said. The Real Thing released “4 From 8”, an album exploring the four band members’ experiences of living in Liverpool 8, which covered the troubled Toxteth area. The album included Children of the Ghetto which has become a Liverpool favourite. Eventually it would be covered by Philip Bailey of Earth, Wind and Fire and Mary J Blige, making it a popular protest song.

RIP Eddy Amoo

You To Me Are Everything Lyrics
(Song by Ken Gold/Michael Denne)

I would take the stars out of the sky for you
Stop the rain from falling if you asked me to
I’d do anything for you your wish is my command
I could move a mountain when your hand is in my hand

Words cannot express how much you mean to me
There must be some other way to make you see
If it takes my heart and soul you know I’d pay the price
Everything that I possess I‘d gladly sacrifice

Oh you to me are everything
The sweetest song that I could sing
Oh baby, oh baby

To you I guess I’m just a clown
Who picks you up each time you’re down
Oh baby, oh baby

You give me just a taste of love to
Build my hopes upon
You know you got the power boy
To keep me holding on
So now you got the best of me
Come on and take the rest of me
Oh baby

Though you’re close to me we seem so far apart
Maybe given time you’ll have a change of heart
If it takes forever boy then I’m prepared to wait
The day you give your love to me won’t be a day too late

Postscript:

Don’t think it’s just me, but the set in that Real Thing clip looked very odd. Also, I felt there was something familiar about it. Back in my first year of blogging I wrote another Summer of ’76 post (link here) and one of the featured songs was this one, Get Up And Boogie by Silver Convention. I think they’ve been somewhat rearranged, but those “things” that litter the set are most definitely the same. Very odd indeed. Does anyone recognise the show these two 1976 acts might have appeared on?

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days - I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 50 years ago the song "Alfie" was written by my favourite songwriting team Bacharach and David - The opening line to that song was "What's it all about?" and I'm hoping that by writing this blog, I might find the answer to that question.

10 thoughts on “Seven in Seven #5: Eddy Amoo, The Real Thing and “You To Me Are Everything””

  1. Ah, the delights of further education. I hope you get from it what you hope, Alyson. I’ll be interested in hearing all about it here, if you have time!

    As for The Real Thing, this song holds a very special place in my heart too…from it’s rerelease a decade later. A story for another day, perhaps.

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    1. I wanted to apply last year but dithered about too much and missed the deadline. This year I have applied in time but might have too many responsibilities. Will see what happens with the interview and take it from there – You’ll no doubt all be the first to know!

      As for the song, a story for over at your place hopefully?

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    1. Suffice to say it has nothing to do with statistics or numbers! The world of finance served me well for many years but definitely time for a change. Early days still – Watch this space!

      Yes only two more to go, so I think I will do it, but as a test it has shown me that it’s not always easy to find the time (for my kind of blogging). Like you, I think a post a week is about right. Hasn’t helped of course that this week I have had our biggish garden to lick into shape.

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  2. Wishing you lots of luck – sounds exciting! I think it’s great to get on courses/learn new stuff for as long as possible in life. I’ve sadly had to give up my French after several years due to a change in timings and just having too much work, but have vowed to myself that should I cut back in the future and still have capability and money, I’ll definitely take it up again, along with a few other new things. An aunt of mine was a great example; she kept enrolling on adult education courses right into her 90s (all sorts of quite high brow subjects – art history, literature etc.) and lived to 99 with a sharp mind right to the end!

    I remember the Summer of ’76 very well too. I turned 13 that year so it was quite a significant time – indeed my trousers flapped about with all that fabric but, with all those new teenage hormones raging I still got rather hot and bothered…..

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    1. Thanks – We’ll see how this next stage goes but a few hoops to jump through yet. I have to be continually learning new stuff or I start getting twitchy. This blog has been great as my posts often revolve around finding out about things I’ve always wondered about, but never properly investigated – The music obviously, but also facts about the moon (and such like) and the science behind it. Hopefully I’ve been able to pass it all on as well. Good for your aunt – Sadly it doesn’t seem to matter how much you use the grey matter, the sharpness all seems to be down to good luck. Like you probably, I know of many older people who had phenomenal brains in their day but then ill health struck – The thing that scares me most I think.

      They always say if you remember the 60s, you weren’t there – When it comes to the summer of ’76, everyone seems to remember it! What a great time to be a teenager and yes even despite the flappy trousers, we still got all hot and bothered (and ran out of cooking oil!).

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  3. Thanks Alyson, I do hope that didn’t sound tactless about my aunt, I just meant there’s no upper age limit to getting on these courses if you’re able to, but yes of course the health of both our bodies and minds in older age can be a very arbitrary thing, and we can take nothing for granted – just hope to do what we can for as long as we can. Indeed that side of things scares me too.

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    1. Oh dear, when I said “good for your aunt”, I of course meant just that – It’s great when we are able to learn new things right into what would have called old age, but as you say, just so arbitrary. A friend’s mum, who regularly used to win the Times Crossword prize, now doesn’t even recognise her. It does scare me, but it seems a combination of keeping fit and healthy plus keeping the mind sharp is the best mix – Cross fingers anyway.

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  4. It was still called Sun Tan Lotion in those days I think Alyson, and I don’t remember SPF measurement existing then either – it was one size fits all! Best of luck with the course – in creative writing I hope? You’re a natural.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, a nice bottle of Ambre Solaire was all we had back then with no SPF to speak of – Brown oil that kind of dyed your skin and then roasted it in the sun. Being Scottish and fair skinned I worry about all that damage done in my youth, but can’t turn the clock back now.

      As for the course, I heard today that I have a place – Now I just have to work out the logistics of how I can make it happen.

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