Saturday, May 28, 2011
Fine Cars, Fine Cigars
Today, we again get to hear from that mysterious man of the Tin Pan Alley label, "Lance", whose name is always printed with quotes. We last heard from "Lance" when in March of 2010, when he was heard singing about the "Hat Me Father Wore".
Today, he's telling a fairly incomprehensible story, involving the acquisition of two important categories of possessions, "Fine Cars, Fine Cigars". And this record brings up an interesting question, that being whether anyone involved in the making of Tin Pan Alley records in the mid 1960's was competent at their jobs.
At different points on this record (both sides), the guitar player misses easy chords (and how about those solos?), the bass player appears confused as to what song they're playing, and the drummer seems challenged by his assignment which (on the A-side) is mostly to hit the snare drum on the off beats. And "Lance" repeatedly demonstrates very poor ability as a singer - as an added bonus, if you listen closely, you can hear "Lance" clear his throat at about the 2:04 point.
All this is on top of the story being told in the song, which I find genuinely difficult to follow, and this is not enhanced by the clunky melody that the song-writing whizzes at Tin Pan Alley affixed to the words. The whole thing adds up to a truly enjoyable listening experience, as I hope you'll agree:
The title of the flip side of the record, "Troubles", could likely be a description of the goings-on during the recording session for this single. Amazingly, one second into the track, the bass player either plays a note completely by accident, or at best, plays the wrong note, and it's downhill from there - the bass being out of tune doesn't help, nor does a remarkably poorly played organ. There also seems to be an inadvertent (or poorly executed) edit around the 1:47 mark (that's not a file error, that's how the record plays).