16 Songs, 53 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Before naming their group Middle of the Road, singer Sally Carr, drummer Ken Andrew, guitarist Ian McCredie, and his bassist brother Eric were called Part Four. But it was Giacomo Tosti’s extreme band makeover that made this Best Of compilation possible, starting with Middle of the Road's infectious first single: a cover of Lally Scott’s bubblegum tune “Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep.” Middle of the Road’s version, with stompy rhythms and handclaps, ended up selling more than 10 million copies. Carr’s childlike voice is better exemplified on the less catchy “Tweedle Dee Tweedle Dum” and the band’s curiously titled attempt at country-pop, “Sacramento (A Wonderful Town).” And though the blonde bombshell lead singer was obviously the band’s nucleus, together the members could pull out some amazingly congruent vocal harmonies on par with ABBA—just listen to “Samson and Delilah,” with its marimba accompaniment, and the sun-dappled “Love Sweet Love.” The mellower “Try a Little Understanding” and “Rainin’N Painin’” show the band trying its hand at soft rock.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Before naming their group Middle of the Road, singer Sally Carr, drummer Ken Andrew, guitarist Ian McCredie, and his bassist brother Eric were called Part Four. But it was Giacomo Tosti’s extreme band makeover that made this Best Of compilation possible, starting with Middle of the Road's infectious first single: a cover of Lally Scott’s bubblegum tune “Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep.” Middle of the Road’s version, with stompy rhythms and handclaps, ended up selling more than 10 million copies. Carr’s childlike voice is better exemplified on the less catchy “Tweedle Dee Tweedle Dum” and the band’s curiously titled attempt at country-pop, “Sacramento (A Wonderful Town).” And though the blonde bombshell lead singer was obviously the band’s nucleus, together the members could pull out some amazingly congruent vocal harmonies on par with ABBA—just listen to “Samson and Delilah,” with its marimba accompaniment, and the sun-dappled “Love Sweet Love.” The mellower “Try a Little Understanding” and “Rainin’N Painin’” show the band trying its hand at soft rock.

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About Middle of the Road

One of those uniquely '70s groups, Middle of the Road were a Scottish pop vocal group whose singles "Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep," "Tweedle Dee Tweedle Dum," and "Soley Soley" were huge European hits, selling in the tens of millions. Formed by Sally Carr (vocals), Ian McCredie (guitar), Eric McCredie (bass), and drummer Ken Andrew in 1970 (the group had been playing together since 1967, but under the moniker of "Part Three") Middle of the Road had trouble finding success until they uprooted from the United Kingdom and settled in Italy. There they met famed producer Giacomo Tosti, who revamped the group, and molded them in the sound and image that would take them to pop heights. 1971 would see the release of their first single, the mega hit "Chirp Chirp Cheep Cheep," as well as an album of the same name. The song would reach the upper echelons of charts all over the continent and propel the once unknown Scots into the pop consciousness almost overnight. More singles followed, as well as a handful of albums, but by 1976 the musical landscape had changed and Middle of the Road eventually called it a day. The band would make a return on the retro circuit performing well into the 21st century, albeit under the aegis of Middle of the Road featuring Sally Carr. ~ Chris True

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