THE LEGEND OF XANADU

Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky,

Mick and Tich

1968

Fontana Records

Click the image above to hear a brief extract

IN the book Born In Another Time, Joe takes a lot of stick from his mechanic about his taste (or lack of it) in music. He and Rick had been collecting ‘singles’ as they were known since they were in their mid-teens. A weekly trip to the record shop would see part of their pocket money spent on one of the latest hits that had caught their attention on the previous Thursday night’s Top of the Pops or on Alan Freeman’s Sunday chart show on Radio 1.

Rick claimed that he was the one with taste, saying: ‘I collect the good ones: Lindisfarne, Slade, The Stones, Queen. Joe's into the more fluffy stuff: White Plains, the New Seekers, Blue Mink. He's even got some David Cassidy, that's how sad he is.'

Whether or not you agree, here Joe chooses a handful of numbers from his collection that he listened to in the Seventies during his time with Wimbledon Dons. Many would be belted out from tinny Tannoys at speedway stadiums up and down the land and these all have memories for him - and perhaps you, too.



I would have been only about 12 when I bought this. I used to love looking through record shops - we were spoilt for choice in those days. You could put on headphones in a booth and they would play the record for you. We used to throw ourselves around the dance-floor to Xanadu. I loved the kind of whiplash sounds.

GOOD MORNING STARSHINE

Oliver

1969

CBS Records

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This was from the musical ‘Hair’ of course - which we loved, even though we were too young to go and see it. It was all about the hippie movement, opposing the Vietnam War, sexual revolution and even nudity on the stage. We lapped it up. It was a big thing in its time but it’s probably a bit tame by today’s standards.  

THE BANNER MAN

Blue Mink

1971

Regal Zonophone

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I don’t know what it was about this record that made it stick in my head. I just remember hearing it being played at so many speedway tracks and I suppose it brings back memories of my earliest riding days with Canterbury Crusaders. That was my first team place and Rick and I knew we were on our way. I couldn’t have asked for a better start.  

WHEN YOU ARE A KING

White Plains

1971

Deram

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This was a really special one for me. It was our song - Mary’s and mine. They played it at a disco we went to while I was doing a TV commercial down in Eastbourne. I’d only known Mary for a few weeks and we didn’t get married for a long time after that but I knew already that I never wanted to be parted from her.

BEG, STEAL OR BORROW

The New Seekers

1972

Polydor

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Rick could never understand why I liked the New Seekers but it wasn’t just because I knew Marty Kristian. I thought they made some really good records and they certainly should have won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1972. We went all the way up to Edinburgh to watch that. Rick said he would only go in disguise but I think he enjoyed it.

DANCIN’ (ON A SATURDAY NIGHT

Barry Blue

1973

Bell Records

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Didn’t everyone like this one? Well, I bet everyone danced to it at some time or other. They played it in all the discos for years. I remember there was another one of Barry Blue’s songs, ‘Do You Wanna dance?’ that did the rounds for ages.  He used to write for other people as well so there might be other songs of his that I like without knowing it.

WANDRIN’ STAR

Lee Marvin

1969

Paramount Records

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I bought this just for a bit of fun. Lee Marvin couldn’t sing but Wandrin’ Star went right to number one in 1970. I think it was because we all went to see ‘Paint Your Wagon’. That was the film it came from, about the California Gold Rush. Reg Hartley had a deep gravelly voice and he could do a great impression of Lee Marvin singing this.  

RAG DOLL

The 4 Seasons

1964

Philips Records

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This is a real oldie. The record actually belonged to my dad and I can’t remember when I first heard it but he used to play it a lot at home. I suppose it just reminds me of school days. In those days the flip side of a record often had a good song on it as well. This one had the original version of ‘Silence is Golden’ and that was a hit years later.

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

Queen

1975

EMI/Parlophone

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This one’s for Rick, really. He was a great ‘Queen’ fan. Still is, I expect. He bought everything they put out but, even if you weren’t a fan of theirs, you could hardly fail to admire Bohemian Rhapsody. Freddie Mercury had so much talent, it was a real shame when he died. I always thought his voice had such a great quality.

THE HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN

The Animals

1964

Columbia Records

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‘The House of the Rising Sun’ was released before my record-buying time but I got this copy in a record shop in Putney when we had the flat there. It was second-hand even then but in almost perfect condition and it still is now. It’s a great song and I love Eric Burdon’s voice. I think the Animals version was a number one hit on both sides of the Atlantic.  

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Joe Barnes’s Desert Island Discs

“ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ Listen to some brief extracts straight from the original vinyl records… SpeedwayFiction Speedway like it used to be! Home