Get this crazy baby off my head!



Blue - Life In The Navy - 1974 - RSO / Polydor

Blue, the engaging, melodic pop rock band from Scotland played on the world famous BBC John Peel Radio Sessions programme seven times during the 1970's. John Peel, himself said "That Blue are a remarkably fine band is beyond dispute". Many people associate John with obscure avant garde progressive rock. True, he did promote music of this genre, but he always "had his ears open" for current talent, and noticed the quality in Blue's music. The band's s/t debut album was critically received by Radio stations and media throughout the world. At one stage, in the early seventies, Blue's Hugh Nicholson played with the brilliant and very successful Scottish pop rock band, Marmalade. He wrote two of Marmalade's great songs, "Cousin Norman" and "Radancer". Hugh wrote the majority of Blue’s material, and the song "Gonna Capture Your Heart", from the 'Another Night Time Flight' album, written by Hugh, is a good quality pop song . It was a minor hit for Blue, Stateside, but is still a well remembered tune, and still receives regular airplay. Blue's music may be classified as "pop" music, but not in the same sense as some of the ultra-commercial,, mid-seventies bands like the Bay City Rollers, Mud, and dozens more. These guys were of the same ilk as other contemporaries, like Gallagher & Lyle, and McGuinness Flint. They could play, and write high quality material. They were not "manufactured" and appealed to many rock music lovers. Much of this popularity was due to the late, great John Peel, who knew good music when he heard it. Hugh Nicholson, himself was quoted as saying, - "We weren't formed for any specific market,". "Nowadays, they manufacture a lot of bands." Rolling Stone magazine once hailed their music as "the kind of record I can't get enough of". "Sad Sunday" is a good song with excelent guitar work, but all the songs are good. Try and listen to Blue's debut s/t album. It is full of clever, melodic, and very catchy songs. It received some great reviews on it's 1973 release. "Life In The Navy" is arguably a better album. For albums in the same vein, listen to Crosby Stills Nash & Young's "Déjà Vu" album, and 10 cc's "Bloody Tourists " album. NOTE - A.O.O.F.C is not saying that "Life In The Navy" is a classic album like the aforementioned recordings, but there are similarities with the sound of CSN,&Y, and the clever lyrics, and melodies of 10 cc.


Sweet Memories
Sad Sunday
Atlantic Ocean
Max Bygraves
You Give Me Love
Big Bold Love
Mr. Moon
Let's Talk it Over


Ian McMillan - bass, vocals
Hugh Nicholson - guitar, piano, vocals
Robert 'Smiggy' Smith - guitar, vocal
Timmy Donald - drums, vocals
Guest pedal steel player - Ben Keith

Recorded at Alembie Studios, San Francisco, & produced by Elliot (Mc) Mazer


Blue was a British pop/rock group formed in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1973 by Timmy Donald (b. 1946, Bristol, Avon, England) (drums), Ian MacMillan (b. 1947, Paisley, Strathclyde, Scotland) (bass, guitar, vocal), and Hugh Nicholson (b. 1949, Rutherglen, Strathclyde, Scotland) (guitar, vocal, keyboard). Signed to Elton John's Rocket Records label (John also produced them), they released their self-titled debut album, then added Robert "Smiggy" Smith (b. 1946, Kiel, Germany) (guitar) for their second, Life in the Navy. They were then reorganized, with MacMillan and Nicholson remaining and adding Charlie Smith (drums) and David Nicholson (guitar). This lineup scored a U.S. singles chart entry and U.K. Top 40 hit with "Gonna Capture Your Heart" and recorded the third album Another Night Time Flight (1977) and the fourth album Fool's Party (1979), after which Blue broke up. © William Ruhlmann, allmusic.com


BLUE began life in 1973 with Hugh Nicholson, formally of 'The Scots of St James' 'The Poets' and Marmalade. Ian MacMillan of 'The Boots' The Sabres' 'White Trash' and 'Cody', plus drummer Timi Donald from 'The Pathfinders', 'Quiver' and 'White Trash'. They signed a recording agreement with Robert Stigwood's record label RSO and their debut album 'BLUE' received critical acclaim worldwide from the likes of 'Rolling Stone' magazine, Radio 1's 'John Peel' Melody Maker, Billboard and many more. 'Red Light Song', 'I Wish I Could Fly' and 'Look Around' were performed on the BBC's 'Old Grey Whistle Test'. These were followed by the turntable hit 'Little Jody' which featured a new recruit to Blue ex Stone The Crows guitarist Jimmy McCulloch, who later left to join Paul McCartney's 'Wings'. Blue then embarked on a coast to coast US tour with replacement guitarist Robert Smith (Smiggy) playing alongside Muddy Waters, Taj Mahal, The Beach Boys. The second album for RSO, 'Life in the Navy' was recorded and produced in San Francisco by Elliot Mazer, who had just produced the 'Harvest' album for Neil Young. Blue toured extensively in the UK and Europe promoting the album. After this period drummer Timi Donald along with Guitarist Smiggy left the group to be replaced temporarily by drummer and percussionist Jeff Allen formally of 'East of Eden' 'The Beatstalkers' and having also performed with 'Van Morrison', 'John Martyn' and 'Mick Taylor'. Dean Ford lead singer with Marmalade helped out with vocals and harmonica on the 'John Peel Sessions'. Hugh's brother David Nicholson having played with 'The Poets' 'Matthew's Southern Comfort' came in on bass guitar and keyboards with Charlie Smith drummer of 'Dream Police' and 'Marsha Hunt's 22' replacing Jeff during the Rocket Records period. Sir Elton John saw Blue performing at a Kiki Dee concert in Bradford, England in 1976 and signed them to his Rocket Records label. The debut album 'Another Night Time Flight' produced by Elton and Clive Franks launched Blue into the USA and UK singles charts with Hugh's composition 'Gonna Capture Your Heart'.Tours in the USA and the UK followed with Blue playing alongside KiKi Dee, Jimmy Buffet, The Small Faces, Leo Sayer and on their performance at the Reading Festival Elton joined them on-stage playing piano. The second Rocket album 'Fools' Party' was promoted in Germany touring the country with top German group 'Lake'. In October 1979 the group relocated to Los Angeles, parting company with Rocket Records. They continued performing at various venues throughout California including a residency at the Central Club (later The Viper Club), The Palomino,The Troubadour and The Roxy where they played alongside The Band whose guests were Dr John and Joe Cocker. Their album 'The LA Sessions' was recorded at The Band's (The Last Waltz) Shangri-la Studios, Zuma beach, California. In 1983 Hugh returned to the UK where he continued writing and recording. Ian MacMillan joined Hugh on various sessions. © www.ncorps.eu/acatalog/BLUE_HISTORY.html

BIO (Wikipedia)

Blue was a Scottish pop/rock musical band, which was formed in Glasgow in 1973. Formed and fronted by ex-Marmalade guitarist Nicholson, Blue signed to RSO Records and released eponymous debut album the same year. Nicholson was a member of Marmalade between 1971 and 1973, writing fifteen songs to fulfil their Decca recording contract including the hits 'Cousin Norman, Back On The road, and Radancer before he left to form Blue. He wrote the majority of Blue’s material, including their most recognised number - "Gonna Capture Your Heart". Earlier in his life, he had been a member of the 1960s Scottish rock outfit, The Poets. Debut single "Little Jody" on RSO Records, was a turntable hit but failed to chart. It was recorded before the late Jimmy McCullough joined the band, a revised version of the it appeared on a compilation CD 'Blue 20'around 2003, and was highly praised by Radio 1 presenter John Peel attracting a certain amount of airplay,when it was originally released but did not chart. They then added another guitarist, Robert 'Smiggy' Smith (born 1946, Kiel, Germany) before recording and issuing their second LP - Life in the Navy for RSO. This revised line-up did not last for long, following a dispute with RSO, only MacMillan and Nicholson remained. The duo then added Charlie Smith (drummer) and David Nicholson (Bass), and it was this line-up that signed to Elton John's Rocket Records Label and scored a U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart entry, and UK Singles Chart Top 40 hit, with "Gonna Capture Your Heart" their debut release from the 'Another Night Time Flight' album which was produced by Elton and Clive Franks. Blue were to release two other singles from the album which were turntable hits but failed to enter the top forty singles chart. They released one other album for Rocket Records 'Fools' Party'in 1979 before parting with the company and re-locating to Los Angeles, California, where they spent 3 years compiling new material and playing the local clubs like The Roxy with 'The Band'(Bob Dylan's), The Troubadour, The Palomino, Madame Wong's and the Central Club (later The Viper). Unsuccessful in securing a record contract with their new material, they returned back to the UK in 1983, shortly before which Blue released the single 'Don't Wanna Make You Cry'/ 'Moonlight' on the Zuma Label (ZOOM 1, 1982). Hugh Nicholson also released 'Love You Made A Fool Of Me' (ZOOM 4, 1984), and whilst continuing to record with Ian MacMillan also wrote and produced four songs for Gary Numan 'Radio Heart' 'London Times' 'All Across The Nation and 'Like A Refugee (I Won't Cry)' All entered the UK Singles chart apart from 'Like a Refugee.' In 2003 the remaining personnel Hugh & David Nicholson and Ian MacMillan took the then high flying boy band Blue to court. It was a high profile High Court case over the use of the band’s name. But the 1970s band Blue under extreme pressure from the judge who had opined that "it is not difficult to distinguish between the present day pop group, and the original users of the group's title". subsequently came to an agreement that they could continue to share the name.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this nearly forgottten little gem!

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi! Anonymous. Thanks for comment. It'a a good album, and one of the first albums I ever bought! I still like listening to it...Full of quality. Keep in touch

Anonymous said...

Please re-up Blue!

Thanks in advance,


A.O.O.F.C said...

NEW LINK to this album @

Thanks to Evermore Blues, & Gert!