Sunday, February 05, 2012
I don't often feature the Ronnie label - I find their product particularly bland, with a production sound that is typically anti-septic enough to add another layer of disinterest to my reaction to their records.
With that background, I was particularly unprepared to hear what I heard when I put the needle on Jill Donner's rendition of "Tropical Ecstasy". Because here we have the most blatant plagiarism I think I've ever heard on a song-poem 45. Sure, I've heard songs where the musicians copped the feel, or even some of the chords and melody of another song. And I've even heard song-poems where the self-proclaimed "writer" sent in the words to an existing song as their own composition.
But in this case, the opening of this record is a note-for-note copy of Martin Denny's "Quiet Village", the biggest hit that the exotica movement ever claimed, a top ten smash from 1959. If you're not familiar with that record, you can hear it here.
Now have a listen to today's offering:
The flip side of this record, "Bitter Tears" is exactly the kind of recording that keeps me from featuring more of Ronnie Records song-poems in the first place: