DIAMONDS IN THE SHADE (Jigsaw Up)

“Love Fire”
Jigsaw (1975)
Billboard: #30
Recommended source: Anthology

Jigsaw was a British band that had a history indistinguishable from dozens of other almost-might-have-beens until they scored a big international hit with “Sky High” in 1975.

Like a lot of things that seem to come from nowhere, it came from somewhere…and not just anywhere.

The band’s leaders, Clive Scott and Des Dyer had knocked around as a hard rock outfit since the late sixties, been talked into a new pop direction by the suits at their label after six years worth of stiff singles, then dumped unceremoniously when that didn’t get them anything but another stiff.

Along about then, their career seems to have been rescued by a song they wrote in the new vein called “Who Do You Think You Are?” becoming a big hit in the UK for the immortal Candlewick Green (who even I, an aficionado of this stuff, confess I don’t remember) and a small hit in the U.S. for Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods (following up their own immortal “Billy Don’t Be A Hero” which damaged or enlightened teenage lives in about equal measure back in ’74).

That all led to another label, another album, another bite at the apple, which turned out to be “Sky High,” one of the best singles of the era and perhaps the finest example of Power Pop Disco (the only competition is Ace Frehley’s “New York Groove”….don’t make me judge!).

And then, of course, they had to follow that up.

Which they sort of did

“Love Fire” is “Sky High” made over. Not quite as compelling all around, unless it catches you in the right mood…and you wonder what would have happened if the two singles had been released in reverse. Would “Love FIre” have then been the breakthrough and “Sky High” the re-hash?

Perhaps. I don’t think it would have changed the chart positions. It would have left me with one less earworm to track down when I first started listening to the radio, though. “Sky High” was, ever after, easy to find. Having missed “Love Fire” in the record stores when it was released, I had to wait for the years to go by  (and Rhino’s Have a Nice Day series) to hear it again.

It had stuck.

And it still sounded pretty darn great to me…not something I could say about every recovered memory mind you….

“Love Fire” was the last real blast for Jigsaw. They soldiered on and then went the way of all rock and roll flesh. Nothing left but a smile!