Song of the day: Brook Benton – "Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear To Tread"

I first heard this song a couple of years ago on a golden oldies radio station, and by the time it had finished I thought to myself “That is demented.” There are so many things in this song that I could point out, but it would make this post too long – plus you have ears and you can hear the demented aspects of it yourself.

I’ll just point out my favourite bits:

  1. The singing. To me, Brook Benton’s singing in this song is ultra-bizarre. The inflections he uses, the occasional swooping, those randomly-placed “Mmmm”s etc. all make for a rather unique listening experience.
  2. The tempo. For a supposedly innocuous late-50s/early-60s song, it’s performed at a fairly breakneck tempo.
  3. The string section. Those violins are all over the place. That’s some of the most manic string playing I’ve ever heard in a pop song. I don’t know who wrote the string part for this song, but I’m picturing someone who was given the job of scoring the string part accidentally took amphetamines instead of their usual heart medication, stayed up for three days straight, and wrote the string part in a last-minute frenzy just before the recording session. And the thing they do at the very end of the song – jawdropping.

I love this song for the reasons stated above – and many, many more:

Brook Benton – “Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear To Tread) (1960)

Link

Brook Benton – “Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear To Tread) (alternate mix) (1960)

Link

“Fools Rush In” has been recorded plenty of times. You can hear most of them on this page at the Songbook blog.

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