Song of the day: Normie Rowe – "Do Re Mi"

March 24, 2012

I’ve been rummaging around in the pile of Normie Rowe songs I recently acquired to find something that’ll make up for the awfulness of the Normie song I played you yesterday. (Sorry about that.) I’m pleased to say that I found one I like a lot.

Here’s Normie with a cover of an R&B ditty:

Normie Rowe – “Do Re Mi” (1966)

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And here’s the original:

Lee Dorsey – “Do-Re-Mi” (1962)

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I must admit that I prefer Normie’s cover. It’s all a matter of personal taste of course, but for me, Normie’s version has a lot more… er… um… something that the original doesn’t have. I don’t know how to put it in eloquent rock critic terms. Oh, I know. I think it has a lot more “zazz”.

However, I must also admit that I think the piano solo in Normie’s version (from 1:08 to 1:26) is one of the worst piano solos in a rock song I have ever heard. I was shocked* by it. Considering it’s the piano player in the band, I was shocked at how out of time he/she was in most of that solo.

To your relief, Normie won’t make another appearance here tomorrow.

(*Not in a “My legs have gone missing!” kind of way, but in a “I’m surprised at how bad that piano solo is” way.)

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Song of the day: Normie Rowe – "Maybe Tomorrow"

March 23, 2012

Last week I played you “Hello”, a song by Australian-hearthrob-from-the-60’s Normie Rowe. It turned out to be more popular than I thought it was going to be. (My original thought was “not at all”.) Quite a few people liked Normie and his red jacket, and suggested I find and listen to some more of his stuff. At the time I posted “Hello”, I had a grand total of nine Normie Rowe songs. I now have 151.

One of those newly-acquired songs is called “Maybe Tomorrow”, and when I saw the title my eyes lit up as I thought: “Beauty! It might be a cover of the Badfinger song called ‘Maybe Tomorrow‘”.

Alas, it isn’t (and it’s dreadful*) – but I’ll play it anyway because you can hear them both and compare the two:

Normie Rowe – “Maybe Tomorrow” (1981)

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Badfinger – “Maybe Tomorrow (1968)

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I’ll try to find you a better Normie Rowe song for the next time**.

(*That’s my opinion. You, on the other hand, may adore it.)

(**Unless you say rather assertively: “Don’t you dare play anything else by Normie Rowe”.)


Song of the day: Normie Rowe – "Hello"

March 17, 2012

Here’s Australian 1960’s heartthrob* Normie Rowe with a song that some people might call “cheesy”, or “kitsch”, or “outdated”. I call it “hummable”:

Normie Rowe – “Hello” (1970)

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Update: I’ve just discovered that the MP3 of “Hello” is sped-up, thereby causing Normie to sound like someone other than Normie (e.g., Davy Jones**). Here it is at the proper speed:

(*Normie was one of many. In Australia, as in other countries around the world, there were plenty to go around.)

(**Thanks to Curty Ray for pointing that out.)


Song of the day: Railroad Gin – "A Matter Of Time"

November 3, 2009

Today’s song isn’t particularly power-poppy, but my friend Stonefish suggested it*, and it’s rare, and unusual, so…

Here’s Brisbane band Railroad Gin with “A Matter Of Time” (1974):

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“A Matter Of Time” appears on the band’s debut album, A Matter Of Time, which was recorded in 1974 but released in 1975. No, I don’t know why either.

(Here’s a small review of the album: it sounds very early-70’s. I can hear shades of jazz rock, prog rock, Santana, Chicago, Woodstock, and a pile of other things – all accompanied by long, long hair. If that’s your scene, man, then you’ll probably enjoy it.)

Railroad Gin were apparently hugely popular in Brisbane in the early 70’s. I have absolutely no recollection of any Brisbane bands in the early 70’s. This is probably due to me being a South Australian boy listening to South Australian radio in, er, South Australia in the early 70’s. However, according to this page, Railroad Gin “often played in Adelaide” (I don’t remember that), and “A Matter Of Time” “topped the charts there” (I don’t remember that either).

Boy, there’s so much Australian rock history I still don’t know…

Anyway, “A Matter Of Time” reminds me of two other songs. First of all, the feel of the song (or “vibe” if you want to get all Seventies) reminds me a lot of Santana‘s “Oye Como Va” (1971):

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That vibe also reminds me a little of “Lady Montego” by Ayers Rock which was released around the same time (1974). (Unfortunately, the video for “Lady Montego” reminds me of this scene in This Is Spinal Tap.)

But most of all, the main vocal melody in “A Matter Of Time” makes me wonder (“Ooh, and it makes me wonder…“) if the writers were at all familiar with “It Ain’t Necessarily So,” one of the songs in George Gershwin‘s opera Porgy and Bess – especially this Australian version:

Normie Rowe – “It Ain’t Necessarily So (1965)

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I’d say yes.

By the way, there are two versions of “A Matter Of Time,” one much longer than the other (the short version is at the top of this post). It’s basically the same song played twice, but played in two different ways. The first half is entirely instrumental, played not by yer standard guitar, bass, and drums, but with orchestral instruments (cor anglais, strings, and flute). The second half of the song starts at the 2:30 mark (this is where the short version begins) when the band comes and plays the rest of the song in its own jazz-prog-rocky way:

Railroad Gin – “A Matter Of Time” (long version) (1974)

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(*Thanks, Stoney!)