summer of 76

When the temperature hits 30 degrees in the UK, as it has done the past few days round our way, my mind goes back to 1976.

It was a Summer when high temperatures were the norm for weeks on end.

Typically I had a student job packing biscuits in a factory on 12-hour night shifts.

The money was good, but given the heat of the day, it was almost impossible to sleep.

The soundtrack to these lazy, hazy, crazy days of Summer was Elton and Kiki’s monster number 1 hit ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,’ which stayed at the top of the singles charts in the UK for 6 weeks.

Kiki was signed by Fontana in the 60s and later Motown, but it was only when Elton’s Rocket Records took her on that the hits started to appear.

John, who produced her, always said it was difficult to get her to recreate her best ‘live’ work in the studio.

If I remember one anecdote correctly, he was once reduced to running naked across the studio floor in an effort to get her to relax.

When you compare her vocal performances on the tracks below – especially a tremendous live version of ‘I Got the Music In Me’ – you get what he means.

Still, she’s a great singer who continues to record and perform.

Elton John & Kiki Dee – Don’t Go Breaking My Heart

Kiki Dee Band – I Got The Music In Me

Kiki Dee – Star

Kiki Dee – Amoureuse

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