The Magic Highway


The German magazine Good Times ran a segment called MOMENTS in its May 2011 issue. It featured momentous occasions which altered the course of music history. Its Number 5 Moment focussed on the origin of Yellow River.

Good TimesTHIS Moment lasted a full 165 seconds, or 2:45 minutes. In June 1970, the single Yellow River came out, and many pop fans wondered as they saw the band's name on the label and picture cover: Christie.
   It belonged to the composer of the song, Jeff Christie. He was already known by collectors of rare UK singles, for his time in the Deram band The Outer Limits, of which the Leeds-born singer and guitarist was a member.
   And now this gigantic, commercial catchy pop tune, which almost sounds like The Tremeloes.
   But it didn't just sound like them, it was them.
   The songwriter Jeff Christie offered the song Yellow River to the management and they recorded the song. But Chip Hawkes and company were after different sounds on the trip to do more "serious" music.
   And because of their hesitation, Jeff Christie had enough and tried to do it by himself. The song went back and the producer Mike Smith had a different idea: keep the already existing music, but let Jeff Christie do the vocals by himself.
   The rest is history: more than three million singles were sold.
   For The Tremeloes, it was an own goal. When the Christie version was in the charts it was too late. The Tremeloes recorded the song in Spanish, but it was not that successful.
   You can also find the Tremeloes' versions on albums. But the money only went into Jeff Christie´s accout.