January 31, 1970: Joe Simon, Crazy Elephant, Arlo Guthrie, Jake Holmes, Neil Young

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.
***

JAKE HOLMES: Saturday Night; The Diner Song (Ember EMBS 269).
Jake, who recently appeared on Polydor, here comes in with a “boing” prior to a break-neck beat inventively-arranged “modern” song, which features some Middle-Eastern sounding fast guitar. Good complex flip, too.
***

NEIL YOUNG: Oh, Lonesome Me; Sugar Mountain (Reprise RS 20861).
Neil (of CSN&Y, of course) has slowed down Don Gibson’s old song so much that even at 78 rpm it still sounds slow (albeit at that speed, it’s more like “I Got You, Babe” by Tiny Tim!) . . . it’s O.K. Folk-Snooze. Jangly flip.
***

RICK NELSON: She Belongs To Me (MCA MU 1106).
Ricky’s got a big U.S. hit with his pleasant-enough version of Dylan’s song. It’s a pity Jimmy Burton no longer backs him on guitar – still, there’s some nice steel amongst the heavy humming here.
***

NANCY WILSON: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You; Do You Know Why (Capitol CL 15624).
Grrr! Yeah! My own favourite of the week, this slow sizzling burner of a beauty is jazzily wailed (whatever Miles Davis may say) by Nancy to a great bluesy big band backing. It’s the same song, but otherwise just FORGET the Frankie Valli/Andy Williams versions! A super-sexy smoocher, with a less jazzy but similarly nice M.O.R flip. She’s due here, so maybe a CHART CHANCE?

LOUIS ARMSTRONG: Hello, Dolly; You Are Woman, I Am Man (MCA MU 1110)
. . . this is Sydney, Dolly! Yes, it’s the record that broke the Beatles’ monopoly of the top of the American Charts, way back when (Spring 1964). What nostalgia, even though it’s not actually one of my old favourite songs from way back then! With the flick doing big business now, this must have a chance again. Flip from “Funny Girl”, so it’s a great package for all you Broadway buffs.
CHART CHANCE.

MONGO SANTAMARIA: Cloud Nine (Direction 58-4086). Brassily percussive, it goes great with Santana and Chicago for discotheques.
***

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