WATCH: “Driver’s Seat” by Sniff ‘n’ The Tears LIVE – 1980 on Dutch TV

I know you know this song by heart, but who remembers the band “Sniff ‘n’ The Tears? The British band made eight albums over the years, starting in 1979, but “Driver’s Seat” off their debut album Fickle Heart was the only real hit they ever had. In fact, the song didn’t do nearly as well in the UK not because the public didn’t like it, but because the record label had a problem pressing the record and it didn’t hit the stores until months after their performance on the highly rated “Top of the Pops” TV show. Oh well. I’ve also read that the album was recorded in 1977, but took almost a year to get out as the record company was changing its distribution system. Shortly after it came out in 1978, the band started to fracture and eventually members went their different ways.

Here’s more on the song from Wikipedia:

“Driver’s Seat” is a 1978 song by the British band Sniff ‘n’ the Tears that appears on their debut album, Fickle Heart. The band is considered a one-hit wonder as “Driver’s Seat” was their only hit.   The genesis of the song dates back to 1973 and a demo tape recorded for a French record label by singer/guitarist Paul Roberts for the band Ashes of Moon. However, that band broke up and, at the suggestion of drummer Luigi Salvoni, Roberts re-formed it as Sniff ‘n’ the Tears with guitarists Laurence “Loz” Netto and Mick Dyche and bassist Nick South. They shopped the demo tape and signed with the small Chiswick label in 1977.  According to Paul Roberts, “Driver’s Seat” isn’t about driving, but rather “fragmented, conflicting thoughts and emotions that might follow the break-up of a relationship”. One of the key decisions in arranging the song was to start with drums and progressively introduce other instruments.

It took me quite a while to find this LIVE version of the song (plenty of lip-syncing versions) and while I’m not thrilled about the sound on this video, it does capture a great performance by the band on Dutch TV in 1980.  (I’ve also included the official music video version below, for comparison.) Here’s they are, from 1980, Sniff ‘n’ The Tears with their only hit “Driver’s Seat” complete with lengthy keyboard and guitar solos!

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