The story of Standing In The Road
As the story goes, one night David Farmer had a dream about a rhythm, one with strange whispering type chants in the background. David: "I got out of bed and put it on this antiquated tape recorder. Later we started jamming on the rhythm in the studio and Tom put down this bass pattern which sort of came out of nowhere. Eddie and Alan picked it up and for two and a half hours we jammed on the tune.
"At one time Alan got bored and picked up a biscuit tin and started banging it. Eddie said, "That sounds good!" and we all started hitting Coke bottles with sticks and that created the rhythm section in the middle. We never wrote down the words, they just came while we were jamming. Noel (Walker, their producer and manager) heard it, and said, "That is your first single." It was like a scene from a movie."
Though this happened in January 1972, and the band quickly got into the studio to lay their masterpiece down on tape, disaster struck - lead singer Tom Farmer got laryngitis, undoubtedly due to the combination of the band's punishing live schedule and his throaty style of singing, not helped by the fact he smoked. Twin brother (and non-smoking) David was depping live on lead vocals, night after night, but when it came to the recording, their producer was not satisfied with the drummer's voice. It was some nerve-wracking months before Tom's voice was back to normal and the track could be finished.
The band were convinced they had a hit on their hands - if they could only make sure it got heard!
The single was finally released in June 1972, and submitted to the BBC to be considered for inclusion on their playlist. The record was duly listened to by the Powers That Be, but no such commitment was forthcoming. Instead, the decision kept being deferred, week after week, much to the band's mounting frustration.
In the meantime, they took matters into their own hands. During their shows they would announce that they were about to play their new single, and that the record could be purchased direct from the band (records that they had craftily bought at music shops beforehand, and which were enthusiatically snapped up by the punters).
Finally, on one of their regular visits to a record store to pick up more copies
came the words they had been waiting to hear:
"Have you guys seen the charts this week?"
Standing In The Road was listed as the number one new entry.
And then came the clincher - they were invited to appear on Top Of The Pops.
Sales of the single leapt 400% the week that they appeared on the show,
and the song was on its way up the charts at long last.
Standing In The Road went on to hit #4 in Britain,
selling 275,000 copies worldwide,
and was the #70 best-selling single of 1972.