Five years before they scored their biggest U.S. hit with “You Sexy Thing”, the band Hot Chocolate, after a brief fling with the Beatles’ Apple label (which put out a 45 of the group’s cover of “Give Peace a Chance”) made their first trip up the British charts with this single “Love Is Life”, a song that marks the intersections between R&B and bubblegum, the Carribean and the spaghetti Western, with its dramatic arrangements of winds and strings over a calypso-inflected beat. Though it became a top 10 hit for the group, they would have trouble following it up; and in the meantime their songs were becoming bigger hits on the other side of the Atlantic – only for other artists. Stories hit #1 with their cover of Hot Chocolate’s “Brother Louie” and Canadian hard rockers April Wine hit the Top 40 with “You Could Have Been a Lady”. So inconsistent was their singles performance that it wouldn’t be until 1974 that they released their first full-length album Cicero Park. In the last couple of years, the British 7ts label has put out some really wonderful reissues of the band’s heyday records. The reissue of Cicero Park includes a second disc compiling their early singles starting with “Love Is Life” (sadly – no “Give Peace a Chance”).