In 1976 there was a musical hurricane approaching. What had started out in a few north London watering holes was now gathering momentum and making inroads in the provinces - the blue touch paper that had been lit by pub rock, via high energy R&B acts like Doctor Feelgood and Eddie & The Hot Rods, was about to explode in a cavalcade of three chord punk hedonism and gob; with a few safety pins thrown in for good measure. Step forward Johnny Rotten and Joe Strummer (and bring your contingent with you).
There was only one snag, however: not everyone got the memo. Or if they did, it got lost in translation. Or, maybe, just maybe, some recipients just chose to ignore it. Which leads me nicely to the Rubettes. In 1976 the wheels had well and truly come off their hit-making machine. As had their trademark white berets. Sugar Baby Love couldn't save them now. The red warning light was flashing angrily and they were in what can only be described as limp home mode.
So what do they do? Not having read said memo, they blagged their record company into letting them record a fourth album (bearing in mind platters 2 & 3 had tanked) and in so doing recorded this rather fetching folk rock (minor) classic with, listen for yourselves, some proggy noodlings in the middle. Did it save them? Of course it didn't. It too tanked. Spectacularly.
The Rubettes - Sign of the Times (1976)