Frank’s Faves on Fridays

Gallery – “Nice To Be With You” (1972)

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When I saw the names of both the band and the song, I was convinced I’d never heard it before. I didn’t remember anything called “Nice To Be With You”, and I certainly didn’t remember any band called Gallery. But then the song started and I was instantly transported back to 1972 when, as an 11-year-old, the glorious tunes in “Nice To Be With You” seeped into my (developing) musical veins – and stayed there. Listening to it again I was struck by how much of it I had remembered. (All of it.) Great stuff. It’s one of my favourite soft rock songs. But what’s with the song lasting only 2:38? That’s way too short. As soon as it finished I played it again. Now, I wonder if Gallery recorded any other songs…

Smoking Popes – “My Lucky Day” (1995)

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I vaguely recall reading about a band called the Smoking Popes ages ago in a music magazine. I think. (There’s something rattling around in the back of my brain saying “Yes, I’ve heard of the Smoking Popes”.) Anyway, I played it and liked it. I found it a likeably loose power pop song – sort of like a bar band playing a power pop song, or maybe a power pop band playing a bar band song. Either way, I liked it. Incidentally, and this has nothing to do with anything, but the Genre tag in the song was listed as “Emo”. I don’t quite know why that was so, but it’s now tagged as “Power Pop”.

Bobby Fuller Four – “I Fought The Law” (1965)

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Now, this is a song I’ve heard plenty of times on the radio, but never actually listened to. You know, analytically. It’s time to dissect “I Fought The Law”…
By the way, this will be a running commentary:
1. 0:00 – Drums start in the left channel only, something I never noticed that before. And there’s something else I never noticed before, either: although the drums are in the left channel with a closed hi-hat playing eighth-notes, there’s an open hi-hat in the right channel on the off-beat (2 and 4). Well I never. Who would’ve known? (Er, the musicians recording it, I guess.)
2. 0:06-0:12 – That has to be the cleanest electric guitar sound I have ever heard. (It’s in the right channel.)
3. First verse (0:12) – Great background vocals. They’re just bubbling under the main vocals. Excellent.
4. Refrain (0:42) – I love that bass line.
5. Refrain (instrumental) (1:05) – I love the chord voicings on that clean, clean electric guitar in the right channel. Very nice.
6. The percussive triplets in the verse (1:22) – They’re fabulous. Very simple, but very effective.
No wonder people consider this song a classic. Now that I’ve listened to it properly (i.e., paying attention to it), I think it’s a great song.

Los Bravos – “Going Nowhere” (1966)

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Groovy. For me, it’s a psychedelic song with a dash of “It’s Not Unusual“. I’d never heard “Going Nowhere” before. That singer sounds familiar, but I can’t quite figure out who he sounds like to me. I’ve just heard the song a few more times and I like it more with each listen. And it still reminds me of “It’s Not Unusual”. Oh, I just found out courtesy of Wikipedia that Los Bravos’s biggest hit was “Black Is Black“. Now it occurs to me: that’s who the singer reminds me of. He reminds me of the guy who sings “Black is Black”.

Bonus instrumental:

Al Hirt – “Java” (1964)

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I thought I’d never heard “Java” before because the title wasn’t familiar, but as soon as it started I went “Aaah, yes.” That is one magnificent tune. This is precisely the kind of stuff I can’t get enough of. Now, if you’ll excuse me I think I’ll play “Java” again…

5 Responses to Frank’s Faves on Fridays

  1. fitzall says:

    'Now, I wonder if Gallery recorded any other songs…' so I thought is this just a throwaway line or is there a genuine interest? Well I'm having a guess it was genuine – Gallery had 2 more of any note – 'I Believe In Music' & 'Big City Miss Ruth Ann' – on their way to you.

    Los Bravos also had 2 other minor hits in Oz, both written by Vanda & Young – 'I Dont Care'&'Bring A Little Lovin' – also on their way.

    It was also a 'thing' in the 60's to do 'reply songs' like replying to 'Save The Last Dance For Me' with 'I'll Save The Last Dance For You'. She Trinity replied to 'I Fought The Law' with 'He Fought The Law' Corny, but on its way to you

  2. Peter says:

    Hey, OneSize:

    “'Now, I wonder if Gallery recorded any other songs…' so I thought is this just a throwaway line or is there a genuine interest? Well I'm having a guess it was genuine -…”

    I'm glad that was your guess, because my interest in hearing more Gallery songs was genuine.

    “…Gallery had 2 more of any note – 'I Believe In Music' & 'Big City Miss Ruth Ann' – on their way to you.”

    Excellent. Much obliged.

    Los Bravos also had 2 other minor hits in Oz, both written by Vanda & Young – 'I Dont Care'&'Bring A Little Lovin' – also on their way.

    Even more excellent.

    It was also a 'thing' in the 60's to do 'reply songs' like replying to 'Save The Last Dance For Me' with 'I'll Save The Last Dance For You'. She Trinity replied to 'I Fought The Law' with 'He Fought The Law' Corny, but on its way to you

    Thanks. I only knew of one 'reply' song, and thanks to my awful memory I've completely forgotten what it is. I'm keen to hear those ones you mentioned. To the YouTube!

  3. Peter says:

    Oh, I just remembered that answer song: it's “He'll Have To Stay” by Jeanne Black, and it's the response to “He'll Have To Go” by Jim Reeves.

  4. Mr Tanner says:

    Hi all, talk about reply songs, what about the reply to Eamons “Fuck It (I Don't Want You Back)” by Frankee “Fuck You Right Back” Sorry about the language but thats the title to the songs.
    Gary

  5. Peter says:

    Hey, Mr. Tanner: Thanks for those two. (But I won't thank the artists for the names they gave their songs. How terribly terribly… uncouth.)

    Oh, I must tell you (and everyone else):

    I've recently had a minor avalanche of emails containing reply songs (or as Wikipedia calls them, “answer songs“), so I thought I might start a new series.

    I thought about giving this new series the unimaginative title of “Reply Songs”, but then it occurred to me: why not ask people what they'd like it to be called?

    So, if you don't like the idea of seeing the words “Reply Songs” as a heading for a series of posts on this blog, what would you like to see instead?

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