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Spectropop - Digest Number 1132

               SPECTROPOP - Spectacular! Retro! Pop!

There are 25 messages in this issue.

Topics in this digest:

      1. Re: Madison Time (Hit It !)
           From: Art Longmire 
      2. Re: Disco / Chubby / Cameo-Parkway / Frankie Valli
           From: James Botticelli 
      3. Re: The First Disco Records / Vintage Latin
           From: James Botticelli 
      4. Re: Disco
           From: James Botticelli 
      5. Re: The First Disco Rekkid
           From: James Botticelli 
      6. Re: Disco
           From: Sebastian Fonzeus 
      7. Re: House Of The Rising Sun
           From: Bill George 
      8. Re: Disco
           From: Art Longmire 
      9. Gay lyrics - The Purple Gang
           From: Doug 
     10. Re: Japanese Bubblegum CDs
           From: Rat Pfink 
     11. One hit wonders and bucking the trends.
           From: Steve Harvey 
     12. Re: Cameo-Parkway & ABKCO
           From: Billy G. Spradlin 
     13. Re: Japanese Bubblegum CDs
           From: Billy G. Spradlin 
     14. Happiness???
           From: Andres 
     15. Looking for Mob cd or songs for dad?
           From: Chris 
     16. Re: In The Hollies Style
           From: Mike McKay 
     17. Re: Sugaree
           From: Mike McKay 
     18. Disco, Donna,  and Hallelujah 2000
           From: Jimmy Crescitelli 
     19. Re: Cameo-Parkway & ABKCO
           From: Herb 
     20. Re: Beatles
           From: Mike McKay 
     21. Re:  Wild Thing
           From: Jerry Lintelf 
     22. Re: Beatles - Born Too Late
           From: Paul Bryant 
     23. Re: In defence of Revolution In The Head
           From: Paul Bryant 
     24. Disposable Artists ?
           From: Simon White 
     25. Re: Disco's Bad Rap
           From: humthefirst2bars 

Message: 1 Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2003 22:37:19 -0000 From: Art Longmire Subject: Re: Madison Time (Hit It !) Simon White: > Can we have a Madison thread please, please? Is it just me or do the Madison's dance steps (as described on the record) seem REALLY complicated? Bad for me-I'm a rotten dancer! But it was a cool LOOKING dance anyway, at least as it was done in the movie "Hairspray". Art -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 2 Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2003 17:32:57 -0500 From: James Botticelli Subject: Re: Disco / Chubby / Cameo-Parkway / Frankie Valli Simon writes: > So my definition of "disco" in this sense has to be a record that > was SPECIFICALLY made to be danced to in a club. Therefore, I > nominate Chubby Checker as the first Disco artist, Cameo/Parkway > as the first disco label and Chubby's version of The Twist as the > first DISCO record. Not Hank Ballard's because Hank has a whole > history before "The Twist" and it was just another release for him. Not to split hairs on this one but the terms disco and discotheque are not the same. They occured at different times. So how about Chubby as Godfather of the Discotheque? And Cameo Parkway had Eddie Holman doin' ballads, The Twilights singing soft girl group harmony, Bobby Rydell doin' pop rock. Other examples I'm sure exist in their roster that don't fall into the discotheque category. Mike Edwards: > Very true and Chubby Checker specifically referred to clubs in his > songs. Examples are: "Pony Time" (the Union Hall), "Dancin' Party" > (the Hall) and "At The Discotheque". Good luck with the sleeve notes > on the upcoming Cameo-Parkway compilation CDs. They couldn't be in > better hands. > > I don't believe anyone has played Frankie Valli's "You're Gonna Hurt > Yourself" on radio since it was on the Hot-100 in 1966. I had it in heavy rotation when I did the Lost & Found show on WMBR in Cambridge. Great fingerpopper. Heavy rotation only meant it was played more than once. Which was our general obscurantist rule. It got played ONLY once. If you missed it tough. We were some serious radio weenies all trying to find the ultimate forgotten gem. -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 3 Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2003 17:56:03 -0500 From: James Botticelli Subject: Re: The First Disco Records / Vintage Latin Simon White: > My definition of "disco". . . has to be a record that was > SPECIFICALLY made to be danced to in a club. Therefore, I nominate > Chubby Checker as the first Disco artist, Cameo/Parkway as the first > disco label and Chubby's version of The Twist as the first DISCO > record. Stuffed Animal: > This is a valid argument, to be sure. I have always considered the > Cameo-Parkway label's output the direct ancestor of '70s disco music > (don't forget that Neil Bogart was involved with both Cameo-Parkway > and Casablanca, the creme de la creme of disco labels). Salsoul I think was la plus creme. > But don't forget about all those great Latin dance records from the > '50s like "Ran Kan Kan" (Tito Puente) and "Mambo Number Five" (Perez > Prado). Those were certainly made for nightclub dancing, too. I had the pleasure of DJing a party the other night where they specifically asked for a lot of Latin. I was in my glory playing Joe Cuba's 'Bang Bang' (the toot toot beep beep which was later picked up for Donna Summer on 'Bad Girls') along with La Plata Sextet, Jack Constanzo, Perez Prado's "Manhattan" (is there a better Living Stereo sound out there??), Tito's original "Oye Como Va". I augmented it with some Latin breakbeat type stuff like Sunnyface, Los Chicharrons, Nicola Conte, Gerardo Frisina, Comoestas (from Japan),Ursula 1000 and Freddy Fresh. Latin is as good as it gets sometimes. -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 4 Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2003 17:41:03 -0500 From: James Botticelli Subject: Re: Disco Simon White wrote: > Boy, here's the same old tired tired argument trotted out again twenty > years later! Exactly... > The majority of disco didn't suck at all but much of the stuff you > heard on the RADIO did because it tended to be the "pop" end of it all. Seconding this emotion as well. Disco was really just black vocal groups singing uptempo in the beginning. Trammps, Intruders, O'Jays, Blue Notes, and the thousands of others who didn't make it. In THAT sense it was the 70's version of uptempo doo wop. It was part of the tradition that was invaded by guitar bearing angry white guys. It's that music that really didn't join the continuum. > Add to that the blatant racism that defined it as BLACK music and the > blatant HOMOPHOBIA by the middle of the road AOR rock mainstream and > the genre was effectively killed off. Except it didn't go away, it just > went back to the clubs where it was meant to be in the first place - > because that's where it worked. Yup -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 5 Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2003 17:34:03 -0500 From: James Botticelli Subject: Re: The First Disco Rekkid Bill Brown wrote: > A record cannot truly be called "disco" unless there was some > computer programming involved in the production. You're joking, right? -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 6 Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2003 23:56:16 +0100 From: Sebastian Fonzeus Subject: Re: Disco Steve Harvey wrote: > Sorry Stuffed Animal, but I have to agree with Bob Seger and his > sentiment, "Give Me That Old Time Rock and Roll". I have nothing > against dance music, but the majority of disco did sux. Low grade > lyrics plopped over a dance tempo. Melodies didn't seem to essential > to most disco music. I think part of the popularity of disco came > from the push the industry gave it. Simon White wrote: > Boy, here's the same old tired tired argument trotted out again > twenty years later! The majority of disco didn't suck at all but much > of the stuff you heard on the RADIO did because it tended to be the > "pop" end of it all. Add to that the blatant racism that defined it > as BLACK music and the blatant HOMOPHOBIA by the middle of the road > AOR rock mainstream and the genre was effectively killed off. Except > it didn't go away, it just went back to the clubs where it was meant > to be in the first place - because that's where it worked. Seconded. I was about to answer the initial negative remarks about disco but just got disillusioned by it all and scrapped the mail. Recommended reading: "Last Night A DJ Saved My Life - The History Of The Disc Jockey" by Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton. It takes all parts of the spectrum into account - musical, technical, social etc. - from the late 19th century up until today. Essential reading. The paperback edition is about 7.99 so don't miss out. Take care! /Sebastian -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 7 Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2003 19:06:01 EST From: Bill George Subject: Re: House Of The Rising Sun > ..."House Of The Rising Sun".... I always liked the Jody Miller version. -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 8 Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2003 23:06:50 -0000 From: Art Longmire Subject: Re: Disco I too was one of those who didn't much like disco-however, having said that, I hated AOR rock if anything even more. I just didn't much care for most of the mid-to-late 1970's musical styles. To me, disco was too much of a commercialization and simplification of Black musical style. I can remember many of the Black artists of the '60s and early 70's bitterly criticizing disco's emergence-it killed off many a promising career, although some of the older artists were very successful at recording it-Johnny Taylor comes to mind, along with the Trammps, whose "Disco Inferno" is an excellent tune. I notice in recent years I've heard more of the more obscure disco songs and many, to my surprise, are quite good...your point is well taken that the radio stations tended to play the worst of the disco songs (or the most commercial-same difference)? One of my rules of thumb is never to condemn whole categories of music, and I guess I should stick to that rule when it comes to disco as well. I remember back in 1977 the one really good rock station in town suddenly switched to a disco format-it was the one station in town that played a lot of terrific sixties stuff-and left music listeners with the wonderful choice of half a dozen disco stations and another half dozen AOR rock stations. I gave up on commercial radio completely at that point, but public radio and college radio came in to save the day! Art -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 9 Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2003 01:28:38 -0000 From: Doug Subject: Gay lyrics - The Purple Gang Phil Milstein wrote: > Good one, which reminds me of another. You don't need to be Sigmund > Freud to recognize what's going on in "Jailhouse Rock": > > Number 47 said to Number 3 > "You're the cutest jailbird I ever did see > I sure would be delighted with your company" > > Extending this lavender theme a bit further: > > "The whole rhythm section was the Purple Gang" Phil, LOL! The "Purple Gang" referred to in Jailhouse Rock was actually the notorious Detroit area group of mobsters of the 1920s and 30s who went by that name. You can look it up! Doug -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 10 Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2003 20:29:30 -0500 From: Rat Pfink Subject: Re: Japanese Bubblegum CDs Mark wrote: > I've seen some reference to a Japanese bootleg series with the horrid > title "Bubblegum MF", probably no doubt due to a language barrier and > someone not knowing what a vile word that is. I believe there is also > a Sunshine Pop series with the same vulgar title. There's another series called BubblePOP MF, I think it's up to volume 5 at this point. > Who can tell me some info on this series such as what's on them, where > to order, etc. Here's the track lists for the volumes that I know about: The sound quality is so-so, most tracks are recorded from vinyl (without much cleanup) or ripped from other CD sources, however some of the tracks sound like they were sourced from MP3. It's a mixed bag, and they ain't real cheap at $16.95 apiece, but there's around 30 tracks per volume and a decent number of rarities. As far as I know you can only buy them on eBay, check for a seller named "hairlesspider". -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 11 Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2003 19:20:50 -0800 (PST) From: Steve Harvey Subject: One hit wonders and bucking the trends. Of course there have been lots of one hit wonders. My point is that disco rarely spawned acts that survived past a couple of hits. However, many soul and rock acts did have many hits and, some even evolving musically while continuing to hit the charts. The industry has been filled with crooks since day one. However, by the 70s they seemed to have it down to a science. The present state of radio and records can be traced to the 70s. At least in the 50s and 60s you could turn on the radio and hear decent stuff. FM extended the shelf life of rock into the early 70s before the programmers slithered out and beat any creative urges into the ground for good. -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 12 Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2003 05:10:41 -0000 From: Billy G. Spradlin Subject: Re: Cameo-Parkway & ABKCO Thats great news, I HOPE Klein is telling the truth this time, and he will find someone or a reissue company who knows (and loves) the material to remaster and package it the right way. Abkco was supposed to release a Cameo-Parkway box set years ago but nothing hit the shelves. Billy -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 13 Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2003 04:49:38 -0000 From: Billy G. Spradlin Subject: Re: Japanese Bubblegum CDs My copies of the Bubblegum MF series have all been from CD-R trades. I dont know a legit place to get them. Now and then someone sells those CD's on E-bay (do a search for "Bubblegum CD") so check there. It's not often I endorse bootlegs but whoever is putting these together is doing a wonderful job. A lot of rare 45's from super- obscure bands, with a few familar cuts from favorites like the Banana Splits, Tommy Roe and The Archies. Sound quality is fairly good from vinyl dubs. I think the series is into the 30's now! Billy PS: if you think the useage of the english language on that CD is bad, check out the examples on -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 14 Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2003 09:22:43 +0300 From: Andres Subject: Happiness??? Tom Taber on "Happiness Is A Warm Gun": > (PST) If you pronounce "happiness" the way Mrs. Charles De Gaulle > would (remember that old joke?) it gives that song a whole different > meaning. Dear Tom, could you please explain what this joke was about to a miserable foreigner for whom English isn't a mother tongue. Thanks, Andres -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 15 Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2003 06:31:08 -0000 From: Chris Subject: Looking for Mob cd or songs for dad? Hi there, I just recently came across this board. Here's my question. With Christmas coming up I'm looking for something really good to get him. He always talks about growing up listening to The Mob. He went to a few of their shows, and said that they were one of the best bands to see live. He's been looking for years for a cd of the Mob or even a cd with just any of their songs. SO basically I'm trying to find a cd/record with The Mob songs on it. The important ones, "I Dig everything about you" and " Give it to me"! So if anyone knows a place where I could order this cd or any info at all would be very helpful. Thanks. P.S. I saw some 45's on Ebay, but we don't have a 45 player! Thanks again! Chris -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 16 Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2003 01:38:27 EST From: Mike McKay Subject: Re: In The Hollies Style David Coyle wrote: > Re: "In The Hollies Style" is probably one of the best, if not THE > best, non-Beatles British beat LPs of the era. There are so many > great songs on the album, starting with the medley of "Nitty Gritty/ > Something's Got A Hold On Me" which is a great kickoff. Very live > sounding. Not a lot of hits on the LP, but great music nonetheless. > One of my favorite is "You'll Be Mine," an understated number with > 12-string acoustic guitar, complete with solo. "Please Don't Feel > Too Bad" is a great beat ballad, which was referred to simply as > "workmanlike" when it later appeared on "Not The Hits Again," which > is a good compendium of the Hollies lesser-known tracks of the 1963- > 66 era. Some of the best numbers of the beat group era were > workmanlike, in my opinion. My favorite from "In the Hollies Style" is "Time for Love," a simple but very atmospheric two-parter featuring Alan Clarke and Graham Nash and a great loping bass line. Speaking of which, I've heard it alleged that Tony Hicks often played the bass on early Hollies albums, as original bassist Eric Haydock wasn't always up to snuff. There's a wonderful driving high-register bass part behind the harmonica solo of "Put Yourself in My Place" from the US "Hear! Here!" album. If Tony played bass on anything, I'll bet he did on this. -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 17 Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2003 01:31:20 EST From: Mike McKay Subject: Re: Sugaree Justin McDevitt: > To my question: A few nights ago, I was listening to the oldies > channel included in the specific satellite package that I subscribe > to. Just after listening to a great recording of Bobby Freeman's > Betty Lou's Got A New Pair Of Shoes, a song was played that I really > enjoyed; (a real rocker). In all the years I've been listening to > rock 'n roll, I've never heard this track. Based on the lyrics, I > believe that the song is title Sugaree, Sugaree; not to be confused > with Sugaree; a track from Jerry Garcia's 1971 first sole Lp. The > artist on this track sounded like Ronnie Hawkins. Any assistance > would be appreciated. Paul Balser: > The song "Sugaree" was recorded by a man named Rusty York. I believe > the year was 1959. Rusty operates Jewel Records in Cincinnati Ohio. To which Ken on the West Coast added: > The song is indeed "Sugaree". It's by Rusty York on Chess 1730 & was > written by Marty Robbins c 1959. Actually, Marty Robbins' "Sugaree" goes back farther than that, as Marty himself can be heard and seen singing it on one installment of a series of color films done by Albert Gannaway in Nashville between November of 1954 and December of 1956. These films aired some 20 years ago on PBS under the name "Classic Country." -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 18 Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2003 03:38:18 EST From: Jimmy Crescitelli Subject: Disco, Donna, and Hallelujah 2000 Personally, Donna Summer's "Love's Unkind" ROCKED, I guess because it sounded like the Crystals after they were put through a mellow cycle. It has a slowed-down Then He Kissed Me riff, yet stomps along nicely -- complete with a spoken break. (Best friend steals boyfriend; mama gives advice: "Someday... you may find... a lovahhhhh.") VERY cool. And has anyone ever heard Casablanca's Hallelujah 2000? It came out in about 1977, and is a glorified, screaming, handclapping, shrieking, disco version of Handel's Messiah. I remember dancing madly to this at the Ice palace in NYC, and it was like we were all at a mad revival meeting. Stunning composition. A few years later I played it for some elderly Baptist people and they almost fell off the couch. ==Jimmy== -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 19 Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2003 07:01:53 -0000 From: Herb Subject: Re: Cameo-Parkway & ABKCO Hi, Some of the Cameo Parkway material is available as released on Liberty Bell CDs Vol. 1 to 5. Vol 1 starts with Butterfly -- Charlie Gracie and ends with Let's Twist Again -- Chubby Checker. Vol 2 Bristol Stomp -- The Dovells to Wildwood Day -- Bobby Rydell Vol 3 Birdland -- Chubby Checker to Lovey Dovey/You're So Fine -- Bunny Sigler (also included: Long Tall Sally -- The Kinks; Wild Thing and Mellow Yellow -- Senator Bobby; Heavy Music -- Bob Seger & Last Heard) The above three I guess is like a "history" from beginning to end. Vol 4 is a mix starting from Daddy Cool -- The Rays to Lazy Elsie Molly. Vol 5 is a mix of mid-60s and starts with I Took My Baby Home -- The Kinks to Billy Sunshine -- Evie Sands (also includes: Here We Go -- Bob Sled & the Toboggans; four by Bob Seger & LH (East Side Story, Sock It To Me Santa, Persecution Smith, Chain Smokin', Vagrant Winter); Shake -- The British Walkers; threee by The Kinks, etc.... Liberty Bell has also issued combo CDs (2LPs) by Bobby Rydell, The Dovells, Dee Dee Sharp, The Orlons, The Tymes and Chubby Checker (one of which includes: Down To Earth with Dee Dee Sharp and Chubby Checker and Bobby Rydell doing each other's hits). Some of the above I have seen on Midnight Records in New York (they don't list the cuts) and Continental Records near Toronto, Ontario (Google will take you there) which lists the cuts. A local record/CD store does a lot of importing and they have some of the above. Another series was put out via Cam Park Records (8 volumes) that consists mainly of Vocal Groups Billy Abbott & the Jewels, The Taffys, The Turbans, The Orlons, The Skyliners, The Tymes, etc. etc. Where to get the immediate above I do not know. I got them at the record store in Toronto that I mentioned. They have some copies of these Cam Park discs - which ones I can't say but I did see them this past weekend. I hope the above helps. Herb Toronto Canada PS: If Liberty Bell would only (somehow) re-issue John Zacherlie's Monster Mash LP, a dream would come true :) -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 20 Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2003 01:55:12 EST From: Mike McKay Subject: Re: Beatles Clark Besch wrote: > Right! I have an aircheck of WKYC in Cleveland on which all four > tracks from the UK Rubber Soul left off of the US version are played. > They had done the same thing earlier with "I've Just Seen a Face" > and "It's Only Love" from the UK "Help!" album. I love talking about > those first times I heard Beatles songs. Two stories: I heard the "Yesterday and Today" album for the first time on WKYC's "Beatle Hour," a regular Sunday night feature. I taped this on my Voice of Music reel-to-reel, and still have the tape. They had a habit of presenting albums on that show by segueing between Side One, Track 1 and Side Two, Track 1, then Side One, Track 2...etc. To this day, I can still hear the sequence of "Drive My Car" segueing into "And Your Bird Can Sing" into "I'm Only Sleeping" into "Nowhere Man"! But my most memorable "first Beatle hearing" was "Strawberry Fields Forever." I was a big fan of Dick Summer's "Nite Lite" show on WBZ Boston, and I stayed up way late on a school night (at least 1:00 or 2:00 a.m.) to hear his promised first airing of it. When I heard the false ending, with the backwards mellotron coming back in, I was positively psychedelicized! I can truthfully say that this moment had a profound effect on was like nothing was gonna be the same from that point forward. -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 21 Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2003 00:48:01 -0800 (PST) From: Jerry Lintelf Subject: Re: Wild Thing David Coyle wrote: > The other day, I was in a Sam Goody store, and I saw a clerk > wearing a button that said: "Q: Who Was The First Group To Cover > 'Wild Thing'?" Apparently Sam Goody's chain has a new pop music > trivia game for sale in its stores, and this was a tie-in. Do you > know how much it took for me to keep from saying "The Troggs" and > explaining how the Troggs had gotten it from a recording made by > an LA club band? (I forget who it was...) I think it's by The Wild Ones. I have it on a UK United Artists compilation LP from the '60s called "16 Great Hits" with a cute girl on the cover. -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 22 Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2003 03:00:42 -0800 (PST) From: Paul Bryant Subject: Re: Beatles - Born Too Late Michael wrote: > I enjoyed reading the various accounts of when you first heard > particular Beatles records. That's the main drawback I feel about > being a later generation Beatles fan (I'm 34). Sure, I can still > enjoy the recordings on their own merit, and I have my own nice > memories of when I first heard certain songs and albums...But by not > being around when they were first released, I'll never know what > they really sounded like at the time... I dig what you say, and I was indeed around. The first one which hit me like a train was Please Please Me which seems to be entirely made up of hook lines. Each new single was looked forward to - which radio show will be the first to play it? - but I confess that by 1965 I was thinking that the Beatles just weren't as exciting as these newer groups - The Who, The Byrds, The Lovin' Spoonful (we were kind of spoiled for choice in those days). So then, just when the Fabs seemed to be fading - wham! Revolver! I should also point out that for me and many other kids in Britain, singles were all we could afford. So I had to catch up on many early album tracks & hear them out of sequence like you. I often wonder how young music fans regard the huge mass of great stuff from (let's say) the 60s and 70s. I myself had to catch up on the good 50s stuff, but I was only a decade behind - what if you were starting out today?! The mind boggles. pb -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 23 Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2003 03:28:03 -0800 (PST) From: Paul Bryant Subject: Re: In defence of Revolution In The Head Someone said: > All Beatle fans and Spectropoppers alike should have by their beds a > copy of Revolution in the Head by Ian Macdonald, the best book about > the Fabs & a good shot at the best book on pop music ever. Michael replied: > I'm afraid I disagree with this comment. I wasn't too crazy about > that book. First, it just seemed to me like a large portion of it was > little more than Mark Lewisohn's Recording Sessions book reworded.... In defence of Revolution in the Head, here is a lengthy quote taken at random. Macdonald is discussing "Help!" (the song). This is not just a rewrite of Lewisohn. He precisely locates each song within its moment of Beatle history, pop history and actual history. Anyway, here we go - judge for yourselves: "Seven weeks into shooting, The Beatles' second film was still scheduled as "Eight Arms to Hold You", yet neither Lennon nor McCartney fancied writing a song to accommodate this octopodous concept, and in the end director Richard Lester, perhaps acknowledging the slapdash and directionless tone of the project, decided on "Help!". Written almost entirely by Lennon at his new home in Weybridge, the title song began in mid-tempo, but was speeded up slightly during recording to make it more commercial. Lennon later resented this for compromising his conception, yet the group needed another hit. In fact "Help!" retains its authenticity through the emotion in its author's voice. Looking back on this song in 1980, Lennon recalled it as a cry for help from the depths of what he referred to as his "fat Elvis" period. Mentally exhausted by two years of continual touring, he was isolated and alienated in his multi-roomed mansion in the stockbroker belt of London's western fringes. His marriage damaged by his orgiastic round of groupies and whores on the road, he felt unsustained by his faithful and attentive wife Cynthia, who, concerned for her husband's health, made no secret of disapproving of his drug intake. All of this amounted to a personal malaise that would expand to overwhelming dimensions during the next two years. Musically the song offers neither artifice nor distance. So characteristically horizontal that its verse consists of one repeated note trailing off into a wail, the song opens on an unhappy B minor, climbing stepwise via a sixth to a pleading scream as A major arrives to stabilise the harmony. With no relieving middle eight "Help!" perpetually slides back to the anxiety and tension of B minor. Only in the song's moaning final sixth is the tension wearily resolved." Macdonald wraps up his piece on this song by telling us what it displaced from the No 1 spot in the US (I Got You babe) and what it was succeeded by (Eve of Destruction) & so places it within what was being talked about as folk rock. And also he mentions the then ongoing US Labor Department's protectionist attempt to prevent British pop performers touring in America (which I had completely forgotten). All in all, this is for me great rock writing. pb -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 24 Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2003 13:33:07 +0000 From: Simon White Subject: Disposable Artists ? Not wanting to be toooooo contentious, but are we really saying that early '60s artists like the Crystals, Ronettes, Fabian, Chubby Checker, Dee Dee Sharp -you name 'em - were really any thing more than the product of the studio production teams? Sure, there's a degree of success after a certain peroid for some of them, but mainly not. Shangri-Las without Shadow Morton? Ronettes without Spector? Uh, no. Even the Motown artists stuggled after they'd left their main producers behind. Groups like The Drifters, Platters etc, only exsisted in people's minds - they didn't know or care in the main who it was up there on stage - they just wanted to see a group doing those hits. This is not to put any of those people down because they are and where all seriously talented individuals. But to say "The disposable artist really reached its heyday during disco" is plainly not true! -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 25 Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2003 11:38:24 -0000 From: humthefirst2bars Subject: Re: Disco's Bad Rap Stuffed Animal wrote: > Disco didn't suck any more than any other kind of music did. There > were both good and bad records The Bee Gees weren't too shabby. Try walking out of Saturday Night Fever without humming and strutting :-) -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------

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