Ralph McTell - Streets of London

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From TOTP 1975 

"Streets of London" is a song written by Ralph McTell. It was first recorded for McTell's 1969 album Spiral Staircase but was not released in the United Kingdom as a single until 1974. It was his greatest commercial success, reaching number two in the UK singles chart, at one point selling 90,000 copies a day and winning him the Ivor Novello Award and a Silver disc for record sales.

The song was inspired by McTell's experiences busking and hitchhiking throughout Europe, especially in Paris and the individual stories are taken from Parisians - McTell was originally going to the call the song Streets of Paris; eventually London is chosen for its arguably more sonorous name. The song contrasts the common problems of everyday people with those of the homeless, lonely, elderly, ignored and forgotten members of society.

McTell left the song off his debut album, Eight Frames a Second, since he regarded it as too depressing, and did not record it until persuaded by his producer Gus Dudgeon, for his second album in 1969. A re-recorded version charted in the Netherlands in April 1972, notching up to #9 the next month. McTell re-recorded it again for the UK single release in 1974.


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Artist: Ralph McTell
Video title: Streets of London
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Category: Pop
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