Hello: New York Groove (1975)

 |   |  1 min read

Hello: New York Groove (1975)

Interesting story here in that UK/European and US audiences probably know very different versions of this song which took short-lived (but inevitably resurrected) British glam-rockers Hello into the top 10 in Britain.

The song, which is pretty simple, was written by Russ Ballard, formerly the guitarist in Argent (former Zombie-man Rod Argent's band). He'd previously provided Hello with their debut single You Move Me in '72. It did nothing but the band's cover of the old Exciter's hit Tell Him from the early Sixties got them a chart foothold in '74.

By the following year after another couple of failed singles they were on the hunt and Ballard re-appeared with this song for which he'd written down the title, and not much more, on a flight to New York.

The rest of the lyrics were made up in the studio and the band stomped on trestle tables in their platform boots to get that “New York groove”.

That is the version British and European audiences are most familiar with.

But in '78 when guitarist Ace Frehley of Kiss was looking for material for his solo album – when all the members did their simultaneously-released solo outings – he somehow heard the song (he says he doesn't recall the Hello version, although this was a period when he wasn't recalling much) and decided it was perfect for him, New Yorker that he was.

It was the surprise hit from the various Kiss solo albums, took Frehley to number 13 on the US charts (it went nowhere in the UK) and gave him a signature song.

There's not a lot to it as Ballard admitted later: “I guess it surprised me because it's so incredibly simple . . . [it] still gets played at major sporting events in the city like at Giants Stadium.”

The other odd thing is that, given Frehley was the guitarist in Kiss, the song doesn't have a guitar solo.

And weren't his solos his trademark?

Here's Ace's version.

New York Groove, by Ace Frehley

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Bike: Save My Life (1996)

Bike: Save My Life (1996)

Unless you actually know Andrew Brough, he is one of the great lost figures in recent New Zealand rock. One of the songwriters in Straitjacket Fits alongside Shayne Carter, he jumped/was pushed... > Read more

Townes Van Zandt: Rake (1969)

Townes Van Zandt: Rake (1969)

Few of Townes van Zandt's dedicated followers would know that he once played Carnegie Hall in New York, an unlikely venue for a man who later had a reputation as a difficult, morose and poetically... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE VODAFONE PACIFIC MUSIC AWARDS FINALISTS (2017): The envelopes please . . .

THE VODAFONE PACIFIC MUSIC AWARDS FINALISTS (2017): The envelopes please . . .

The finalists for the 2017 Vodafone Pacific Music Awards have been announced and the awards – now in their 13th year – include a wide range of new artists and established legends.... > Read more

THE JESUS PAPERS by MICHAEL BAIGENT: Abandon hope, all ye who enter here

THE JESUS PAPERS by MICHAEL BAIGENT: Abandon hope, all ye who enter here

When the court case between two of the authors of The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail and Dan Brown, author of The DaVinci Code, was being played out in London a couple of years ago, commentators... > Read more