Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Okay, this one is weird on several levels. As I've documented here (in posts which are, unfortunately, not currently able to play sound), the Cinema label and it's generic band "The Real Pros", started off as what appears to have been a one man band with one of those early '70's living room organs which would play the rhythm and chords for you, while you soloed (whoever this person was, he made some of my all time favorite song-poems - thanks, dude!).
Then, early in the label's existence, they transitioned over to the crew that were also making records for MSR - Rodd Keith, Dick Kent, Bobbi Blake, etc. The first of these records appear perhaps halfway through the 1972 run of records (Cinema's record numbers indicate the year they were made). Some feature the one man band on one side and the MSR crew on the other.
This one falls within that time period, but I have no idea who is singing - perhaps someone out there does. That's one element of the weirdness. The much bigger element is the sound of the thing.
The first song, "The Daydream of a Girl", is fairly straightforward, with lyrics full of pain, not unlike a hundred others, although they are, to my ears, a bit more effective than a lot of "you hurt me" song-poems. But what's with this arrangement? The guitar starts us off, but the track is dominated by a wah-wah'd organ - probably the same one the one man band used, based on the other settings used for coloring of the piece. But I find the whole thing has just a strange feel.
Download: The Real Pros: The Daydream of a Girl
But "Daydream" is downright mainstream compared to its flip side. "Lonesome Sad and Blue", features more of that wah-wah organ, a badly strummed guitar and otherworldly production. I picture this being recorded in a cave, a mile from anyone other living souls. It has an acutely lonely sound, and this is one of those sessions I would LOVE to have been at. It's creepy and amazing at the same time.
That said, the performance is half-assed on virtually everyone's part (sort of like if those on "The Basement Tapes" were just learning to play their instruments and to sing), and the lyrics are painfully direct and tell a sad story with little style. With all of that said, the melody and chord changes resonate with me. And I think that's because a significant parts of the melody are lifted almost directly from "Spanish is the Loving Tongue", at least in the tune sung in my favorite version, by Ronnie Gilbert, which you can hear here.
Download: The Real Pros: Lonesome Sad and Blue