One part London rich kid, another part Australian waiter, songwriting duo Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman’s songs have more hooks than a pirate convention, scoring number one hits on both sides of the Atlantic. Helping to define glam rock by writing for bands like The Sweet, Mud, and Suzi Quatro, Chinnichap combined retro 50’s rock and rock with 1970’s long haired drugs. They also scored some surprise hits in the 80’s and 90’s with Tina Turner and Huey Lewis. Chinn still pens songs for folks like Ariana Grande, one was featured in some Disney movie.
Here are Chinn and Chappman’s greatest hits, along with a couple great misses thrown in.
The Sweet: Ballroom Blitz
One of the cornerstones of glam rock, The Sweet made this one a classic. Remember Tia Carrere’s version in Wayne’s World?
Toni Basil: Hey Mickey
Besides singing this one hit wonder, Philly girl Toni Basil is also a respected choreographer. Pushing 80, she still shakes her tail feather at her dance studio. Also check out her amazing cover of Devo’s “Be Stiff.”
Suzi Quatro: 48 Crash
Oh my God, I love Suzi Qautro. One of Joan Jett’s Idols, she was most famous in the US for portraying Leather Tuscadero on Happy Days. She also played herself on Absolutely Fabulous. Hell of a Bass player too.
The song was written on a dare, after Chinn and Chapman boasted that they could write a song about anything and still score a UK number one. They silenced the haters when they wrote this hit song about the US stock market crash of 1848 combined with a naughty subtext about erectile dysfunction.
Exile: Heart and Soul
Did you know this Huey Lewis tune was a cover? Neither did I. One of the best riffs in history.
Here is the original version which the News faithfully followed.
Tina Turner: You Better be Good to Me
I’ve always been good to you, Tina. Chinnichap added collaborator Holly Knight to write this one.
Mud: Tiger Feet.
I have no idea what tiger feet are either. It was the 70’s. No one does.
The Arrow: Touch Too Much
Speaking of Joan Jett, these guys also wrote “I Love Rock and Roll.”
Smokie: For a Few Dollars More.
Here a tear-jerker about a honky tonk angel.
Peter Noon Shoo Be Do Ah
The Herman’s Hermits frontman croons this ode to nostalgia.
Racey: Lay Your Love on Me
Wow. I think Mongomery Burns did the choreography for this one. Great chorus and organ riff though.
New World: Rooftop Singing
I know it’s only Rock and Roll…