5-4-3-2-1

Album: Manfred Mann's Cock-A-Hoop (1964)
Charted: 5
  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • In 1964 the English rhythm and blues band Manfred Mann was asked to provide a new theme tune for the ITV pop music television program Ready Steady Go!. They responded with this song. Keyboardist Manfred Mann told Uncut: "My big contribution was to regard the program as if it were a rocket taking off, and countdown to blast off: '5-4-3-2-1.'"
  • The song sampled lines from Tennyson's "The Charge of the Light Brigade." Vocalist Paul Jones told Uncut: '"Always onward, rode the six hundred.', comes from Tennyson and is one of the most famous lines in British poetry, so I thought we'd start with that. Then I carried on with the quote – 'Down the valley on their horses they thundered' and rhymed with 'blundered' – before deflating the whole construction with 'Uh huh, it was the Manfreds.' It was the Bo Diddley-type humor of that. It wasn't just the rhythms, Bo Diddley was a big influence on me in the way he wrote about himself. So that's what I was thinking."

    Bassist Dave Richmond added: "The time constraints meant '5-4-3-2-1' had to be only so long to fit with the titles of Ready Steady Go! Obviously it was written with that in mind, though Paul managed to get a plug for the band in there too, which I thought was rather clever. It was quite a revolutionary concept at the time, referencing yourselves in song on a major TV show."
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 1

  • Gethyn from UkManfred Mann fans might be interested in a new single produced by Mike Hugg - it's called Ozone by RedLipZ and is a song about his hometown, Gosport in Hampshire. It's a great feelgood 'up' song - check it out on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4einBRI3zjc or ozonesong.com
see more comments

Andy McClusky of OMDSongwriter Interviews

Known in America for the hit "If You Leave," OMD is a huge influence on modern electronic music.

Kevin GodleySongwriter Interviews

Kevin Godley talks about directing classic videos for The Police, U2 and Duran Duran, and discusses song and videos he made with 10cc and Godley & Creme.

Director Nick Morris ("The Final Countdown")Song Writing

Nick made some of the biggest videos on MTV, including "The Final Countdown," "Heaven" and "Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)."

Booker T. JonesSongwriter Interviews

The Stax legend on how he cooked up "Green Onions," the first time he and Otis Redding saw hippies, and if he'll ever play a digital organ.

"Stairway To Heaven" Lawsuit: A TimelineSong Writing

Untangling the events that led to the "Stairway To Heaven" lawsuit.

The Girl in That SongFact or Fiction

Billie Jean, Delilah, Sara, Laura and Sharona - do you know who the girls in the songs really are?