Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Cara is Blue, and Sonny Thinks You Want to Cry


The Air label typically released song-poem material produced by other companies - I can't think of one which didn't feature performers associated with one of the song-poem factories, and there are multiple examples of a record on Air Records existing on another label, sometimes in differing sound quality.

There are examples of both duplicated songs and questionable song quality on today's feature. The first song on this EP is a song called "Sugar", sung by Cara Stewart (with Orch). I'm not including it here, because I've already shared the exact same recording (which comes from the Lee Hudson song-poem empire) in a previous post, except that the release I've already featured appeared on the tiny Caveman label. You can find that enjoyable (if poorly written) song here (although, oddly, Orch didn't get the credit they deserved on the Caveman release of this material - perhaps it was a contractual issue).

The other Cara Stewart (with Orch) song on the EP is the equally enjoyable "I'm So Blue". As usual, Lee Hudson provides his dreamy backing, and Cara sings with that irresistible smile in her voice, one that can almost lead you to overlook the sad story she's telling us.



The flip side of the record comes to us from the Globe song-poem consortium, featuring their go-to guy, Sammy Marshall (with Orch). While the two songs on the A-side sound just fine, the songs on the flip sound to me as if they were literally mastered off of another 45. Given that, as I said, many Air 45's feature songs which also appeared on other labels, this is entirely possible. Sadly, the crappy sound on the songs on side two of this EP are far from the only recordings on Air Records which were released in this level of sound quality.

And that's kind of a shame, because the first song on this side has some appeal, with a peppy beat, a warm Sammy Marshall (with Orch) vocal, and some fun instrumental stuff going on in the backing track here and there, especially that opening guitar. I'd never claim this is great stuff, only borderline okay, but I'd still like to have heard it in decent sound quality.



"You Want to Cry", also featuring Sammy Marshall (with Orch), finishes off the disc. The sound quality again sucks, but I'd be hard pressed to work up the energy to care, as I doubt I'd want to hear this one twice even if it was digitally remastered and released in the highest sound quality ever achieved.



It's impressive how different "Orch" sounds from the A-side to the B-side. It's almost as if there were two different bands playing. Oh, wait...


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