Sunday, May 15, 2005

something for the weekend

When we got our first stereo, my dad got out all of his old 7-inch singles, which were kept in an old ice cream tub - cool. At a young age I just thought that most of them were naff and embarrassing and over the years I would use them to fill up compilations tapes for friends – the songs were short and the chances are that people wouldn’t have heard them!

Gradually I grew to love many of the songs as they represented the state of pop in a time pre-Beatles, and they seemed to tie in with my love of 1950s graphics, styles and B-movies.

A lot of the time I would play songs for their titles alone – James Darren’s “Goodbye Cruel World” promised to be a peerless Joe- Meek-style 50s death song a la “Johnny, Remember Me”. It turned out to be about a guy running off to join the circus, complete with comedy sound effects, which made me love it even more!

One of the songs I played relentlessly was Nino Tempo & April Stevens’ “I’ve Been Carrying A Torch For You So Long That I Burned A Great Big Hole In My Heart”, which held the record for the longest song title for 20 years, unsurprisingly.

Nino Tempo & April Steven - I’ve Been Carrying A Torch For You So Long That I Burned A Great Big Hole In My Heart

I loved that song so much that I listened to it for about 10-15 years without playing the other side – which turned out to be the A-side.

Nino Tempo & April Steven - Deep Purple

“Deep Purple” is one of the strangest songs I’ve ever heard, a weird woozy soft-psych masterpiece from a time before psychedelia. The strange off-kilter chord progression, wacky vocal harmonies, wheezy harmonica and the weirdly sexual spoken section in the middle. It was a revelation to hear it and I bitterly regretted never having turned the single over before!

Released in 1963, Atlantic Record boss Ahmet Ertegun thought that “Deep Purple” was the worst thing that Nino & April had recorded. It won the 1963 Grammy Award for Best Rock and Roll Recording - in your face!

Visit Nino Tempo & April Stevens for a more complete history
Buy Nino & April

No comments: