The Magic Highway


In April 2012, Jeff Christie was asked by BBC Coventry and Warwickshire presenter Clive Eakin to name his seven favourite songs of the 70s (including one of his own) for the program Seventies Jukebox, and provide notes for his selections.

live Eakin

Clive Eakin

Choosing my list was an impossible task and it covers only a fraction of great music. I know full well as soon as I've sent this, other songs will pop into my head that should've made the list.

1. Foxy Lady: Jimi Hendrix (Band of Gypsies live, 1970)
I toured with Jimi in 1967 with my then band Outer Limits on the last of the great 60's package tours, which included Pink Floyd, The Move, Amen Corner, The Nice, and Eire Apparent. There were so many great and special memories, but Foxy Lady was his usual opener on that tour and in the backstage dressing rooms I'd always get the shivers when he started the song with a slow-one note feedback crescendo, followed by his jump, stomped-feet to wood-board stage count-in, as the band exploded into the opening bars! What a privilege to be on the same bill for three weeks!

2. God: John Lennon (Plastic Ono Band)
The Beatles disband but incredibly still made innovative, cutting edge music. The raw emotion on this album and pared down sparse simplicity illuminate this brilliant song with counterpoint piano from John and Billy Preston and beautiful vocal performance from the Prince of Pain, Winston by name, victory attained!

T-short3. Won't Get Fooled Again: The Who
Follow that!
   While in The Outer Limits I played support to The Who on several occasions, at the Queens Hall in Leeds and Leeds University. I also shared a t-shirt billing with them (well, not quite shared!) ... see right. To this day they are still, for me, one of the most exciting, dynamic bands to have come out of England.

4. Born To Run: Bruce Springsteen
The Boss rules!

5. Band on the Run: Paul McCartney
How can you pick one, when so many great songs were penned by him. I met Paul and Linda at Abbey Road in the early '80's for a big charity event and book launch by Tim Rice and Mike Reid, which hosted many many artists who had number 1 hits since the British hit parade began in the 50's. There was nothing big time about him, he knew who I was and was warm and friendly towards me. He knows that his presence can have an intimidating effect on people, they are so in awe of him, so I think he tries to put people at ease.

6. Do it Again: Steely Dan
Becker and Fagen can do no wrong for me, they are just unbelievable!

7. Doolin' Dalton/Desperado (reprise): The Eagles
Quivers down the backbone! Another great band, great songs and obviously Hotel California has become emblematic for them and it's a wonderful track, but for me the Desperado album was a stunner and the line-up including Bernie Leadon and Don Felder was perfect. Don Henley's voice is soulful and heartfelt.

8. For All Mankind: Christie
The title track from the second Christie album, and a long way from Yellow River. A song that still resonates with me and wishing for world peace is never out of fashion as far as I'm concerned. I am, was, first and foremost a songwriter with a need to not be tied to formulaic repeats and railed against the corporate machine's (record company) trying to control my output to just that. They only seemed to get behind the country rock style of the the three hits Yellow River, San Bernadino and Iron Horse, but I wrote much more than that and in many styles or genres. I wrote about what I felt and that covered many aspects of what I was exposed to and felt strongly about.