Middle of the Road (band)
Middle of the Road is a Scottish pop group who have enjoyed success across Europe and Latin America since the 1970s. Before ABBA established themselves in the mid 70s, Middle of the Road were the sound of early europop with their distinctive harmonies and lead vocals from Sally Carr. Four of their singles sold over one million copies each, and received a gold disc: "Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep". "Sacramento", "Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum" and "Soley Soley". By early 1972 the group had sold over five million records.
Middle of the Road
Middle of the Road in 1972
|Also known as||Part 4 (1967)|
Los Caracas (1968-1970)
|Past members||Sally Carr|
Original lead singer Sally Carr, drummer Ken Andrew, guitarist Ian McCredie and his bassist brother Eric McCredie, founded the band on 1 April 1970 in Glasgow, Scotland. They had already played together under the name Part Four since 1967 and later in Latin American style under the name Los Caracas. Under the name Los Caracas they won the UK TV talent show Opportunity Knocks. They moved to Italy in 1970 because they had not found success in the United Kingdom. There they met the Italian music producer Giacomo Tosti, who gave the band their distinctive sound and gave them their international break.
The band had their first and biggest hit record in the United Kingdom with debut UK single, "Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep" to reach #1 in the UK Singles Chart in June 1971 and keep it for four more weeks. In all, Middle of the Road had five hit singles in the UK during 1971-1972. The band had especially strong success in Germany, where they achieved eleven Top 40 hits in 1971-1974. As an example of this, Frank Valdor was fast to adapt Sacramento as his "party records". Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep and Sacramento were played a lot on Scandinavian radio. In the Dutch Daverende 30 the group had four number 1 hits in the period 1971-1973.
In 1974 early Bay City Rollers member Neil Henderson joined the band on guitar. He wrote and co-wrote songs for Middle of the Road (including the singles "Rockin' Soul" and "Everybody Loves a Winner" and 1974 albums, You Pays Yer Money and You Takes Yer Chance and Postcard, all released in Germany via Ariola like their first German LP, Music Music).
In 2016, Middle of the Road's founding guitarist Ian McCredie received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Scottish Music Awards in Glasgow. In 2017, Middle of the Road released their first single in over 20 years, a live recording of their 1970's hit Soley Soley, performed in front of 20,000 people in Berlin's Waldbühne amphitheatre.
- Sally Carr (born Sarah Cecilia Carr, 28 March 1945, Muirhead, Lanarkshire) - vocals, percussion
- Ken Andrew (born Kenneth Ballentyne Andrew, 28 August 1942, Bearsden, Glasgow) - drums
- Ian McCredie (born Ian Campbell McCredie, 15 July 1947, Partick, Glasgow) - guitar, flute
- Eric McCredie (born Eric Campbell McCredie, 17 July 1945, Partick, Glasgow; died 6 October 2007, Glasgow) - bass
- Neil Henderson (born Neil Fulton Henderson, 11 February 1953, Glasgow) - guitar
- Anne Katherine Watson (born Anne Thomson, 2 December 1951, Partick, Glasgow) - for a time in 1975 as guest keyboard player and vocalist and who did session work
|Year||Album title||Chart positions|
|1971||Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep||−||3|
|1972||The Best of Middle of the Road||−||−|
|You Pays Yer Money And You Takes Yer Chance||−||−|
|1981||Something Old Something New||−||−|
|1994||A New Chapter||−||−|
The first four album releases were on RCA.
|1971||"Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep"||1||2||2||1||1||2||2||Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep|
|"Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum"||2||15||−||−||6||7||5|
|1972||"Sacramento (A Wonderful Town)"||23||1||−||1||1||1||1|
|"Samson and Delilah"/"Talk of All the USA"||26||2||−||3||11||1||1|
|"Bottoms Up"||−||2||−||−||8||5||5||Drive On|
|"Samba D'Amour"||−||35||−||−||−||−||−||Music Music|
|"Honey No"||−||31||−||5||−||−||−||Drive On|
|1974||"Rockin' Soul"||−||31||−||−||−||−||−||You Pays Yer Money and You Takes Yer Chance|
|1976||"Everybody Loves a Winner"||−||43||−||−||−||−||−||Non-album single|
- Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 298/299. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
- Moore-Gilbert, Bart (11 March 2002). The Arts in the 1970s: Cultural Closure. Routledge. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
- "Thank you for the music: How Scots band Middle Of The Road inspired Abba". The Sunday Post. 15 July 2018. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 363. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.