Monday, January 04, 2016
IT'S LEAP YEAR, MAN!!!
Today we salute Kansan Tom Clare, who felt the drive to create lyrics for songs (and perhaps the music, too - who knows?), and had the wherewithal to form his own label and contract with one of the best song-poem factories to produce his songs.
Yes, he chose the Lee Hudson company, who assigned his stable's dependable male performer, Jeff Reynolds, to record what was perhaps the Clare Records label's first release, one which is particularly appropriate in this first week of 2016 - "It's Leap Year Man".
I love the sound of this record. It features perhaps the most lush, thick harmonies behind the lead vocal on any Hudson recording - that's an area in which he usually excelled, but he outdid himself here. The whole track has a wonderful, dreamy feeling to it. The only place it falls a bit is in the lyrics: For reasons which will become clear in another post, Mr. Clare was clearly aware of the Leap Year tradition that it is on Leap Year Day when the women can and should pursue the men. Yet, these lyrics are all about the male protagonist portraying Leap Year as a special time which will help him get the right girl. Huh?
Well, don't let that distract you. Just luxuriate in the wonderful sounds created by Lee Hudson and Jeff Reynolds:
Download: Jeff Reynolds - It's Leap Year Man
To my ears, lightning did not strike twice, in any way, on Mr. Clare's second offering, "I Will Forgive, But I Can't Forget You", which sums up the focus of the lyrics in one clunky title. This seems to go on way too long, even at a brisk 114 seconds.
Download: Jeff Reynolds - I Will Forgive, But I Can't Forget You