The Analog Kid’s iTunes music folder contains almost 95,000 songs, so you may think that I own everything by everybody. Not so fast, my friends– even a collection that large is bound to have some true one-hit wonders and/or obscurities mixed in with the 1,298 Bruce Springsteen songs. In this continuing series, I will feature an artist that has exactly one song in my entire digital library.
“Yellow River” was the only U.S. hit for Christie, a British rock band led by bassist/vocalist Jeff Christie. Christie originally wrote “Yellow River” for fellow Brits The Tremeloes, and they recorded their version in early 1970. The Tremeloes weren’t happy with the results, so producer Mike Smith wiped the vocal and replaced it with Christie’s voice. The resulting single topped the charts in the U.K., and went as high as #23 on the Billboard Hot 100 in November of 1970.
I had forgotten all about “Yellow River” until 2001, when I first heard R.E.M.’s b-side cover version. Bassist Mike Mills sang lead on the track, as he often did whenever R.E.M. covered ’60s and ’70s pop songs (“Love Is All Around” and co-lead on “Superman,” for example). I tracked down Christie’s original version on a Rhino Super Hits Of The ’70s compilation, and it remains the only Christie track in my entire library. It feels just a little bit lonely next to the 1,210 R.E.M. songs…
Christie: “Yellow River” (Christie)
From the album Yellow River
Epic Records, 1970
The first rule of The Analog Kid blog is that if you write about a song on the Analog Kid blog, you share the song on the Analog Kid blog.
The Tremeloes: “Silence Is Golden” (Crewe/Gaudio)
From the album Even The Bad Times Are Good/Silence Is Golden
Epic Records, 1967
R.E.M.: “Yellow River” (Christie)
B-side of the CD Single All The Way To Reno (You’re Gonna Be A Star)
Warner Brothers Records, 2001
R.E.M.: “Superman” (Zekley/Bottler)
From the album Lifes Rich Pageant
I.R.S. Records, 1986
R.E.M.: “Love Is All Around” (Presley)
From the soundtrack album I Shot Andy Warhol
TAG Recordings, 1996