Song Of The Day 3/27/2015: Tony Christie featuring All-Seeing I - "Walk Like a Panther"

Sheffield, Courteous But Firm: We end this apologetically uninformative week of Sheffield music with something that involves two of the city’s most iconic musical figures. Tony Christie is best known as one of Britain’s most straight-laced pop singers of the ’70s. I’m not sure who in America we could compare him to. Neil Sedaka, there’s one. In fact Christie and Sedaka have a very close association: Sedaka and Howard Greenfield wrote Christie’s most branded hit, “Is This the Way to Amarillo.” It got to #18 in the British charts in 1971, but was much bigger in its afterlife. In 2005 it was re-released as a charity single to benefit Comic Relief and went straight to the top of the charts for seven weeks. That’s an eternity in the British charts. And then there was the version Christie did for the World Cup called, in a glorious, sadly beautiful pipe dream, “England, Win the World Cup.”*

After years of dormancy and bales of unopened letters Christie recorded the song “Walk Like a Panther” with electronic duo All Seeing I in 1999. “Walk Like a Panther” was written by Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker, one of his patently marvelous tales of cardboard bravado in the face of a disinterested ex. (He also wrote something just as brilliant for Nancy Sinatra.) I love this video; it tracks all the deprecation of the era of convenience, whilst Tony saunters through the pop-up mall throng in brightly-colored threads, clinging to his considerable animal magnetism as shiny objects fall and consumerism turns all the young’uns into fodder for George A. Romero. I get an unreasonable amount of hope from this video.

My tab is all paid up, so that’s it from Sheffield.

*(P.S. -- I make this joke only because, as an American, I don't expect my country to win the World Cup until I've long been worm feed. If then.)

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