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Spectropop - Digest Number 191


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There are 8 messages in this issue of Spectropop.

Topics in this Digest Number 191:

      1. Golden Oldies
           From: "Martin Roberts" 
      2. Classical Gas
           From: James Botticelli
      3. Similar songs
           From: Dan Hughes 
      4. Hooked On A Feeling - Jonathan King
           From: Paul Urbahns
      5. Re: Other "thefts" 
           From: Marc Wielage
      6. Hooked On 
           From: LePageWeb
      7. Re: Other thefts
           From: Rex Patton
      8. Re: Other thefts
           From: Gregg Luvox


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Message: 1
   Date: Sun, 24 Jun 2001 00:15:06 +0100
   From: "Martin Roberts" 
Subject: Golden Oldies

While awaiting the new Lou Christie/Tammys release it
prompted me to have a look through my newer UK/European
CD's that may have been missed by Spectropopers.

The Marvelettes "The Essential Collection" sub titled
"The Best Of" UK Spectrum554 8592 rel. date '99. 6
unreleased. 

The Velvelettes "The Best Of" UK Spectrum544 467-2 rel
'01. All the USA '99 CD tracks plus 4 unreleased. All
the Spectrum releases seem to be budget buys these two
>from HMV Oxford St. for GBP 6.99 each.

Samantha Jones "Surrounded By A Ray Of Sunshine-The UA
Recordings Vol 1" UK RPM199. 4 of the best British Girl
Group tracks from the former Vernon Girl, inc.
unreleased and great booklet on this 20 track release
(I'd suggest passing on Vol 2 though.)

France Gall "Baby Pop" French? Philips 539 842-2. Didn't
hold out that much hope for this when bought - but hard
to leave a record shop empty handed! Her most well known
(in Britain) 65 Eurovision Song (winner?) "Poupee de
Cire Poupee de Son" is not on this straight LP reissue
>from '66 only 12 tracks but it's great!

Francoise Hardy "The Vogue Years" UK BMG74321 822322 rel
'01 A must buy. 50 tracks of the very best of French,UK
(Charles Blackwell) & even US (Mickey Baker) pop. Can't
find any of my favourites missing, great Spector Sound A
Likes, great attitude & great looks! Good colour booklet.
All of these are French language recordings so I'd guess
English vocal's compilation to follow. But don't wait
buy this now! For those new to Francoise's charms start
at track 14 her version of The Joys "I Still Love Him"

But what's going on here 5 Euro CD's with appeal to
Spector fans and no mention of the King of Spectropop
reissues Mick Patrick?  Of course not! You can't walk
into a record shop in England with out spotting and nine
times out of ten buying Mick's latest compilation. The
hardest working man in CD reissues usually, with the man
who doesn't have a Wall Of Sound but all the walls,
floor, stairs, chairs, cupboards, bath etc,etc Malcolm
Baumgart.

Keeping in the Gaelic mood:- Petula Clark "En Vogue
(Beat en Francais)" UK Castle CMDDD 214 rel'01 another
50 track double CD, great pics and with Mick's name at
the end (along with Richard Harris) great sleeve notes.
All songs sung in French and most more Girl Group
slanted than her usual 'pop' style. Some very good
recordings but I still find her to "clean/smiley, smiley"
for my tastes. Jack Nitzsche produced her, "Downtown" is
a classic and sleeve notes talk of sales of over 68
million, think this is my problem not hers!

Shirley Ellis "The Complete Congress Recordings" UK
Connoisseur Collection VSOP340 rel '01. Thought she was
to R&B/dirty sounding for my tastes! Maybe thats down to
the guilt I still feel for singing 'naughty lyrics' to
"The Clapping Song" when a boy.But a great (cheap 8.99)
way to get all her Congress (including Calello) releases.
This and the next both compiled & sleeve notes by the
M&M's.

"The Sound of Bacharach" UK Westside 894 rel '01. 27
tracks from Scepter, Wand,  Musicor & various later Ace
LP's/CD's. Wonderful early New York Soul Ballads from
Tommy Hunt, Chuck Jackson, Jimmy Randolph & The Isley
Bros. Female sides from The Shirelles, Maxine Brown,
Tammi Terrell & Big Maybelle.Great hits by Gene Pitney &
also B J Thomas but by this time Bacharach & David's
music had long lost its edge, to smooth & easy listening
for my tastes.

Enough!

Martin


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Message: 2
   Date: Sat, 23 Jun 2001 21:42:01 EDT
   From: James Botticelli 
Subject: Classical Gas

Add to the classical music users society "Lullaby Of Love"
The group? Ah......let me think........Oh well, they say
the memory is the second to go...

Jimmy Botticelli


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Message: 3
   Date: Sat, 23 Jun 2001 03:48:31 -0500
   From: Dan Hughes 
Subject: Similar songs

I have always been struck by the identicality (?) of
the line in the chorus of the Drifters' I Count the
Tears:  "Nah nah nah nah nah late at night" and the
line in the chorus of the Grass Roots' Let's Live For
Today:  "Nah nah nah nah nah live for today."

---Dan


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Message: 4
   Date: Sat, 23 Jun 2001 09:55:11 EDT
   From: Paul Urbahns 
Subject: Hooked On A Feeling - Jonathan King

David Mirich writes:

> I can start us  out by pointing to the hit song from
> 1973 called "Hooked On A Feeling" by Blue Swede.  There
> is a segment that goes "A oooga, Chaca ooooga ooooga
> ooooga, Chaca ooooga ooooga ooooga ........"  This group
> must have gotten their hands on a Brian Wilson Smile
> session bootleg tape where this section was lifted. 


Dave,

Truth of the matter is, the English musician Jonathan
King (Everyone's Gone To The Moon fame) did the original
version. In his two CD Greatest Hits set from England he
explained that he finally realized you could not
copyright an arrangement when this Swedish Pub band
copied his arrangement note for note issued it and had a
number 1 hit.

The two CD set does include the original version of the
song as he issued it in England and it went nowhere. He
has had quite a few hits in Europe I understand, but
only one of consequence in America.
Paul Urbahns


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Message: 5
   Date: Sat, 23 Jun 2001 14:40:46 -0700
   From: Marc Wielage
Subject: Re: Other "thefts" 

David Mirich, Ph.D. asked on the SpectroPop group:

> What are other examples of blatant
> "lifting" of songs or segments of songs?  I can start us
> out by pointing to the hit song from 1973 called "Hooked
> On A Feeling" by Blue Swede.  There is a segment that
> goes "A oooga, Chaca ooooga ooooga ooooga, Chaca ooooga
> ooooga ooooga ........"  This group must have gotten
> their hands on a Brian Wilson Smile session bootleg
> tape where this section was lifted.

>------------------------------------------<

Not necessarily.  That arrangement was created by
British singer/producer Jonathan King for his own Top 30
British hit, which was the first to add a reggae beat
and "ooba-chakas" to the refrain.  Could King have heard
the SMILE session tapes?  Anything's possible, but I
personally think he was a fairly innovative guy in his
own right, especially for his time.

There are a million "Copycat" hit songs out there that
lift part of the melody or lyrics of another hit.  It's
a bottomless pit of a subject. Here's just a few:

Air Supply - "Even the Nights Are Better" / "Arthur's
Theme" [songwriter Burt Bacharach once said in an
interview he considered suing them for using the melody
to his hit, particularly on the phrase "the best that
you can do." On the other hand, Burt's own 1958 hit "The
Blob" featured a sax solo lifted almost note-for-note
>from Bill Justis' 1957 Top 5 instrumental hit "Raunchy."
(!) ]

Beach Boys - "Surfin' USA" borrows Chuck Berry's melody
to "Sweet Little Sixteen." They got sued and eventually
had to share royalties and songwriting credits.

Michael Bolton - "Love is a Wonderful Thing." Bolton got
sued big-time on this by The Isley Brothers, who wrote
an identically-titled (but very different) song.  While
I don't think those songs are all that close -- even
though Bolton eventually lost, to the tune of millions
of dollars -- his song is very close to that of Marvin
Gaye's 1969 Top 5 soul hit "Too Busy Thinking About My
Baby."  [I think this might be the all-time biggest
plagiarism suit, just under George Harrison's "My Sweet
Lord / He's So Fine" from 1970-71.]

Johnny Bristol - "Hang On in There Baby" has a melody
that's uncannily similar to Barry White's 1973 soul hit
"Never Never Gonna Give You Up," complete with
occasional narration and "mmm's."

Dino, Desi & Billy's "I'm a Fool" is note-for-note, the
same song as "Louie Louie."  (And even that is arguably
borrowed or influenced by a dozen other R&B songs.)

And a lot of singer/songwriters rip off _themselves_. 
Is there a difference between Neil Diamond's "Forever in
Blue Jeans" or "Yesterday's Songs," both from the late
1970s/early 1980s?  Naaaa.

I could go on forever.  There's hundreds of songs like
this, to the point where you could do a pretty good
article on the subject.

Moving closer to the present:  I worked on the music
video to Cutting Crew's "I've Been in Love Before" back
in 1987.  At one point, I turned to their producer and
said, "hey, is it just me, or does part of this chorus
sound just like Bob Welch's late-1977 Top 10 hit
'Sentimental Lady?'"  He laughed and admitted I wasn't
imagining things.

And don't even get me STAHted about white rock groups
that rip off old R&B and blues songs from the 1930,
1940s, and 1950s.  (Led Zep in particular.)


--MFW

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
-= Marc Wielage      |   "The computerized authority   =-
-= MusicTrax, LLC    |       on rock, pop, & soul."    =-
-= Chatsworth, CA    |                                 =-
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-


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Message: 6
   Date: Sat, 23 Jun 2001 23:49:12 +0900
   From: LePageWeb 
Subject: Hooked On 

Doc Mirich sez:

> the hit song from 1973 called "Hooked On A Feeling" by
> Blue Swede.  There is a segment that goes "A oooga,
> Chaca ooooga ooooga ooooga, Chaca ooooga ooooga ooooga."
> This group must have gotten their hands on a Brian
> Wilson Smile session 

I don't know about that, but the song, written by Mark
James (Suspicious Minds), was first a hit for B. J.
Thomas in 1968. Thomas' version didn't have any of that
"ooga ooga" stuff in it. I don't know where the idea to
add all that weirdness came from, after all HOAF is
otherwise a straightforward pop song. At the time, not
many had access to SMiLE outtakes - maybe only the rock
elite like Derek Taylor and the Beatles...

Strangely, that ooga-ooga "arrangement" part of the
song became so identified with Hooked on a Feeling that
anyone recalling the song today inevitably thinks of it.
Of course, whoever thought up that part (or, as you
suggest, borrowed it) does not have songwriting credit.

The B. J. Thomas version is very good, by the way.
Hooked on a Feeling is a great pop song on its own
without the "ooga ooga" bit. Come to think of it, the
Heroes and Villians single doesn't suffer much without
it either...

Not that this has anything to do with the subject at
hand, directly anyway, but I came across this quote
>from Van Dyke Parks on the demise of SMiLE which I
found rather interesting...

"I had assumed that all we had done would be clarified
in the following weeks, but before that had a chance to
happen Brian had a nervous collapse. What broke his
heart was Sergeant Pepper. The year before, the Beatles
had gone to LA to listen to the eight-track Smile
sessions, and what they were looking for is revealed on
that album. It was improper for the Beatles to take the
musique concrete approach that Brian had started, and it
was grievous because they were so obviously better than
that. (London Guardian, 12.10.99)"

Jamie


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Message: 7
   Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2001 02:20:37 -0400
   From: Rex Patton
Subject: Re: Other thefts

Dave Mirich wrote:

> What are other examples of blatant
>"lifting" of songs or segments of songs?

In regards to other thefts, an obscure but really obvious
one is Ocean's "Put Your Hand In The Hand" which is a
total rip off of Don Shirley's 1961 instrumental hit,
"Water Boy." Another obvious one is the Eagles "The Long
Run" which is just Otis Clay's "Tryin' To Live My Life
Without You" with different words. Then there's Bob
Seger's "adaptation" of Frankie Miller's "Ain't Got No
Money" for "The Fire Down Below."


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Message: 8
   Date: Sat, 23 Jun 2001 23:57:27 -0700
   From: Gregg Luvox
Subject: Re: Other thefts

Dave Mirich wrote:

> What are other examples of blatant
>"lifting" of songs or segments of songs?


Great topic to inspire posts, by the way. I must chime
in to note Joe Jackson's appropriation of Badfinger's
'Day After Day' for his 'Breaking Us In Two' - although
there might be a classical origin that I'm not aware of.

Gregg Lopez



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