JOE SIMON: Moon Walk (Parts 1 & 2) (Monument MON 1042).
A hackneyed, dull brassy “dance” song that gets nowhere, but is doing amazingly well in America. The “Walk” better be a gas to dance, to compensate for the pedestrian song!
CRAZY ELEPHANT: There’s a Better Day A Comin’ (Na, Na, Na, Na); Space Buggy (Major Minor MM 672).
Good enough if predictable Bubble Gum, with heavy beat – trouble is, I think it’s probably too frantic and fast for dancers at this moment. Nicely dated corny, really bad, guitar and sound effects instrumental flip – so much so, it’s a gas!
ARLO GUTHRIE: Alice’s Rock and Roll Restaurant; Coming In To Los Angeles (Reprise RS 20877).
The song of the film of the song, by Woody’s boy. Their influence was the same, so naturally he will sound Dylan-ish to untutored ears. The message is that “you can get anything you want, at Alice’s rest-o-ront” . . . including Alice’s Cook-book? More Folk-Rock on flip.
*** Continue reading “January 31, 1970: Joe Simon, Crazy Elephant, Arlo Guthrie, Jake Holmes, Neil Young”
B. J. THOMAS: Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head (Wand WN 1).
No. 1 in the U.S. Chart; a Bacharach and David song of exquisite niceness; from the upcoming boffo Paul Newman-starring “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” flick; a pick to click!
CANNED HEAT: Let’s Work Together; I’m Her Man (Liberty LBF 15302).
Wilbert (“Kansas City”) Harrison’s original of this chunky beater (raved about in “Rolling Stone”) has been around in America for some time, and is now finally a hit there. Good – very good – though the Heat’s version is, I’d dig to hear Wilbert’s Great sounds on the frantic flip. I always goof when tipping these boys, but this time they ARE due for a tour! Go, go, Harvey Mandel!
THE CONTOURS: Just A Little Misunderstanding; First I Look At The Purse (Tamla Motown TMG 723).
Having re-released so much old R & B material, British record companies are now hoist with their own petard: they’ve so successfully brainwashed the public into equating “Soul” with ’65/’66 vintage sounds that they now find it difficult to get the trickier modern R & B rhythms across – and have virtually stopped trying to do so. Out of the current U.S. R & B Top 50, only eight titles are available here (of which three are on L.P.s) . . . no wonder people are saying “Soul is dead”. (These old Contours “bang-bang-bang” dancers always were good, and could happen here now.)
CHART CHANCE. Continue reading “January 10, 1970: B.J. Thomas, Canned Heat, The Contours, The Other Brothers, Nina Simone”