Monday, July 17, 2017
I thought I'd send out something extra special today, especially in light of the fact that I've been sharing more like three "song poems of the week" each month instead of four for most of the year.
So.... here's a FULL album from MSR, titled "New Songs for '71", featuring Dick Kent and the Lancelots on most of the tracks, and Bobbi Boyle (Bobbi Blake, I do believe) and the MSR singers on the remainder.
Just a few notes:
- I believe that "Hot Pants and Leather Boots That Shine" has traveled the song-poem collector circuit, although I'm not sure. I just know that I'd heard it before getting this album.
- Even though that's the case, it is not, by far, in my estimation, the most interesting track here. The next to last song on side, for example, "Do Right", stood out to me for it's ridiculously simplistic sloganeering, and the final track on side one, "California City" is a marvel, in the way it seems to be wanting to tell a story, but simply repeats the same incomprehensible and pointless anecdote twice.
- The most amazing track here, by far, is on side two, and is called "Forty Going North". I was actually inspired to get up and make sure I still had the same album on the turntable, so different was this from anything else on the album, and indeed, from anything else MSR was doing around this time. Truly an amazing track.
I have not separated out the tracks - they are linked here simply as side one and side two.
Download: Dick Kent and the Lancelots and Bobbi Boyle and the MSR Singers - New Songs for '71, Side One
Download: Dick Kent and the Lancelots and Bobbi Boyle and the MSR Singers - New Songs for '71, Side Two
Friday, July 07, 2017
Well, here we are, with a patriotic tune, appropriate for the week, just a few days late for Independence Day. And it's an early effort by Norm Burns and the folks at Sterling records, from that brief period when they were making a few wonderful, early-'60's sounding rock and roll records. The release comes just a few label numbers after the unimpeachable "Darling, Don't Put Your Hand On Me", which may well be my favorite song-poem record, and which you can hear here.
"Twenty-Three" isn't the equal to that masterpiece - and what is? - but it's a solid record in the same genre, clearly cut from the same cloth, with another unique Norm Burns vocal, and a lyric that tells its story effectively enough. Interesting enough, the lyricist here is female, but wrote a song from the point of view of a young man who has been drafted.
Download: Lew Tobin's Orchestra, Vocal, Norman Burns - Twenty-Three
On the flip side is a straightforward, sad ballad titled "Lost in Hopes of You". The singer's been gone for awhile, and has learned that, in his absence, his sweetheart has found another. Since this has the same lyricist as "Twenty-Three", it seems at least possible that writer Mary Genco saw this song as being from the perspective of the same person who was portrayed on the flip side, a few months later.
Download: Lew Tobin's Orchestra, Vocal, Norman Burns - Lost in Hopes of You