SINGLES 1975 – 81
The Mungo Jerry singles 1975-81 were largely recorded for the Polydor label and although none charted in the UK, Ray had quite a lot of success in Europe and beyond…
Ray Dorset on the move to Polydor…“The management negotiated a good new deal with Polydor prior to the contract with Pye running out but, by the time the new deal had come in to operation, the people that my management had dealt with left the company to set up their own label.
“Punk was coming in and the A & R people at Polydor in England were not really very interested in the Mungo recordings, I think that they thought that we were past our sell by date, although Chris Parry did say to Freddie Hyaan the MD (Freddie used to manage the Dutch band, Golden Earring) that I wrote f*****g good rock songs”.
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THE POLYDOR SINGLES
CAN’T GET OVER LOVIN’ YOU
Mungo Jerry’s debut single for Polydor was Can’t Get Over Lovin’ You, released in the UK in a plain standard Polydor bag and was given little or no promotion and unsurprisingly didn’t chart.
Tracks: Can’t Get Over Lovin’ You/Let’s Go.
MUNGO JERRY: CAN’T GET OVER LOVING YOU – (Polydor)…
“Vocal is everything on this relaxed, jog-pop record. Lead singer Ray Dorset sounds a bit Presley-ish at times. Hook line is given special emphasis and stays with you….HIT!
The follow-up to Can’t Get Over Lovin’ You was the summery, Hello Nadine, another Ray Dorset composition that despite not charting in the UK, was a big success abroad and remains particularly popular in France.
An earlier demo was recorded and has appeared on a subsequent compilation collection.
Tracks: Hello Nadine/Bottle Of Beer.
“Barry thought that this would make a good single and we recorded a version of it with Dave Wilkie on the piano just before he left the band to joining the ‘bogus’ Fleetwood Mac line up.
“Bob Daisley, Dick Middleton and Dave Bidwell were in the band at this time. We recorded the song again when Colin was back in the band and we were working at Nova Studios in London on what was to become the Impala Saga album.
“I played bass, guitar, percussion, bouzouki, professional stylophone, harmonica, vocals, and Colin played piano on the track”.
IT’S A SECRET
A non-UK release, It’s a Secret was another of those Polydor singles that made it big abroad, topping the charts in what was Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) and also doing particularly well in France.
British based fans were keen to get their hands on this one for their collections as the b-side, English Girls was only available on this single at the time.
Tracks: It’s a Secret/English Girls.
Ray Dorset on It’s a Secret…“The people at the UK division of Polydor were now interested in being ultra hip and they only seemed to want Punk/New Wave, which It’s a Secret certainly was not.
DON’T LET GO
Radio 1 initially played the song several times – for ONE day – and it was described by Dave Lee Travis as “what a fantastic song” on his show, but this summery offering with Joe Rush’s washboard prominent captured perfectly, the feel and fun vibe this particular line-up had.
The a-side was backed by a superb piece of rockabilly on the flip side called Give Me Bop.
Tracks: Don’t Let Go/Give Me Bop.
Ray Dorset on Don’t Let Go…“Don’t Let Go did get a lot of plays initially and went in to the UK charts at around number 65 but the record company failed to do any more work on it.
“This track was produced by the late Alan Blakely from The Tremeloes.
“I thought that it was a good recording, maybe it should have sounded happier.
Another great non-UK release written and recorded by Ray Dorset with session musicians became known amongst Mungo fans as ‘gypsy-rock’.
Many of these hard to find tracks such as Lana made their way on to a compilation album called Six-a-Side, a godsend for UK fans at the time who couldn’t buy the material at home.
Tracks: Lana/Give Me Bop.
Ray Dorset on Lana…“I really liked this recording. This was produced by my old friend Roberto Danova and he used the musicians that had been on the Cliff Richard and Olivia Newton John recordings, which he also did on the hit version of It’s a Secret and the other tracks that he produced with me for Polydor.
“Even the backing track of Lana sounds good and stands up on its own with no vocals”.
HEAVY FOOT STOMP
Taken from the Lovin’ In The Alleys, Fightin’ In The Streets album, this one featured Mick Eve from Gonzalez on saxophone.
Mungo Jerry has always excelled at rockabilly, Ray has a natural feel for it, and the b-side, That’s My Baby was another prime example of this.
Tracks: Heavy Foot Stomp/That’s My Baby.
MUNGO ROX EP
This new single, or EP featured three tracks taken from the Lovin’ In The Alleys, Fightin’ In The Streets LP, the lead track All That a Woman Should Be also opened the album.
The other two tracks were Dragster Queen and, shorter than the album version, Get Down On Your Baby. The EP title was Mungo Rox.
Tracks: All That a Woman Should Be, Dragster Queen/Get Down On Your Baby.
Mungo explaining that his ‘jeans are the tightest’ and that ‘we are the coolest’. The fan club described the track as having a kind of football chant vibe.
The b-side was Let’s Make It from the Ray Dorset & Mungo Jerry album.
Tracks: We’re OK/Let’s Make It.
DANCIN’ IN THE STREET
Dancin’ In The Street, by Ray Dorset & Mungo Jerry was to be his last Polydor single.
The first 10,000 copies were to be issued in bright coloured vinyl in clear plastic sleeves with a limited edition of 12″ discs for promotion purposes.
The coloured vinyl singles never happened.
Tracks: Dancin’ In The Street/Rockin’ On The Road.
WHAT’S HER NAME WHAT’S HER NUMBER
The first single on Ray Dorset’s Satellite label was a nice piece of Pop, What’s Her Name, What’s Her Number backed by a superb rock’n roll, boogie track, Why D’You Lie To Me.
Tracks: What’s Her Name What’s Her Number/Why D’You Lie To Me.
ROLLIN’ & STROLLIN’
Released at the same time was Rollin’ & Strollin’ under the name of The Insiders who were basically the Mungo band playing ‘whole-hoggin rhythm and blues’ as the press ads proclaimed.
With Ray now was, Dick Middleton on guitar, Doug Ferguson on bass, and Boris Williams (later of The Cure) on drums.
Tracks: Rollin’ & Strollin’/She Had To Go.
This one was most notable for the brilliant sleeve design by former Polydor art director Jo Mirowski who had designed Mungo’s Polydor album sleeves.
The package, Mungo’s Summer Fun Package featured two new tracks. Summertime Holiday and, Hooray It’s Party Time and Goodtime Goodtime from the previous album.
Summertime Holiday was to originally called ‘Seaside Holiday’. But after interest was shown in Germany, and thinking (incorrectly) that they don’t have any beaches, it was changed to reflect that.
Tracks: Summertime Holiday, Hooray It’s Party Time/Night On The Town, Goodtime Goodtime.
KNOCKING ON HEAVENS DOOR
Mungo Jerry’s reggae version of the Bob Dylan classic said to be the great man’s favourite rendition of his song.
The b-side was pretty tasty too, a slice of ‘Gypsy Rock’ called Hazel Eyes although the Dutch issue had Heart Of Fire from the Together Again album for the flip side.
Tracks: Knocking On Heavens Door/Hazel Eyes.
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