Friday, September 19, 2014

The Sea and The Mountain

Howdy, Y'all,

First, I want to address a question I got from an anonymous poster last week, who asked where I get my replacement phonograph needles. I get mine from I had to enter the brand name and item number of my turntable, I think - it's been awhile since I used them for the first time.

And now, on with the countdown:

Much more often than not, when I've shared a mid-period Tin Pan Alley record - whoever the singer, but often Mike Thomas - my comments have been dismissive or satiric. And I think in having a listen to the attached songs, many would find those comments well deserved.

But here we have one with many of the drawbacks of other TPA records of the era - limited lyrics, limited instrumentation, somewhat limited musicianship, perhaps not the best choice of musical setting for the lyrics - and yet, I kind of dig it. The DIY sound here works a bit better than usual, Mike Thomas stays on pitch and seems more suited for this particular material than I can remember on any of his other discs.

I do think a more dramatic setting might have worked better about a song which pays tribute to those who died at sea, and also serves as a warning to those who feel "The Call of the Sea", and yet.... this is sort of enjoyable...

The flip side, "High on the Mountain" strikes me as pretty much a throwaway - it's 87 seconds long! It has some of the same qualities of "Sea", but nothing to distinguish it, or to make me want to hear it again.


Timmy said...

I don't know what this makes me seem like in your opinion, but I actually think "Sea" is a legit top number. The singer reminds of a certain Mr. Al Stewart. I THINK the lyrics are perfectly genius & the music isn't nearly bad. Now, the "Mountain" tune is well, so-so at best.
As always, Thanx for gracing us all with these rare songs of a long gone era.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. I don't know if I'm being influenced by your writing - but I kinda dig it too, and can't put my finger on the reason why! Obviously, it's not great moments in music, or even great moments in song-poems, but it's certainly competent! If I had written this song, I'd be happy with the result!

I like the b-side! The drummer's having fun. A song-poem folk tune! Oh my gosh, you're right, 87 seconds, it's over before it even begins!

Both of these tunes sound as if they were one pass, that's for sure! Ca'ching!!!