I can trace my love of pop music back to a few songs from 1976, when I was all of 8 years old: “December 1963 (Oh What a Night)” by the Four Seasons; “Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart” by Elton John and Kiki Dee; “Dancing Queen” by ABBA; and “Saturday Night” by the Bay City Rollers.
“Saturday Night” was close to bubblegum pop as you could get – something I still hold dear to my heart. The song itself is pretty simple, with a spell-out of “S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night!” chiming throughout the song. The verses are unassuming, with a popular I- iv-IV-V chord structure (Think “Stand By Me”‘s chord progression.).
The refrain gets a little more interesting, with a nice sing-along melody accompanied by a pounding drum beat. But the chorus is glorious; the band sings “It’s just a Saturday night,” jumping up a full octave on “night,” as the bass descends note by note from IV down to I.
I don’t know what it was about “Saturday Night” and the other songs of 1976 that drew me toward them; they’re all sing-along pop jewels that I still listen to today, and most of what I listen to are derivatives of these songs. But I was obsessed with “Saturday Night”; I didn’t know what a IV chord was at the time. But something about the song struck me, and it’s the same thing that strikes me when I hear a new pop jewel with Beatle-like tendencies. (The Bay City Rollers were one of a hundred bands to get the “Next Beatles” tag thrust upon them.)
“Saturday Night” was a staple in the lip-synching concerts that my friend Mark and I performed for parents and friends. We even won a talent show with it, playing tennis rackets for guitars.
(The Bay City Rollers were Scottish; could it be that I have a thing for Scottish bands too, with my adoration for Del Amitri and Teenage Fanclub?)
I’d like to think that it was somehow genetic, that there’s a pop music gene and that I was destined to love “Saturday Night,” destined to hear it and destined to go on to be a pop music lover. But regardless, 1976 was when it all started. Thank you, Bay City Rollers.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.