5-4-3-2-1

Album: Manfred Mann's Cock-A-Hoop (1964)
Charted: 5

Songfacts®:

  • 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."

Comments: 2

  • Paul Jones from GuildfordYour lyrics for 5,4,3,2,1 are wrong in several places. I know - I am the author.
  • 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
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