Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Old Music Tuesday: Doo Wop Edition

Little Anthony And The Imperials: Shimmy Shimmy Ko Ko Bop (Stateside, 1959)
The Cadillacs: Gloria (Stateside, 1957)
The Flamingos: I Only Have For Eyes For You (Stateside, 1959)

A CD of Doo Wop Classics arrived in the post this morning. Like most people under 65 I'd never thought about the whole street-corner, pompadour shtick too much before, in fact, before listening to it this is what I knew about doo wop:

1. George Clinton was in a band called The Parliaments.
2. Tom Waits mentioned Little Anthony (Anne-thoh-knee!) And The Imperials in the song, Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis.
3. Cliff Richard covered Shep And The Limelights Daddy's Home, like, a while ago (that's not him, by the way).
4. There is no 4.

So anyway. The music. It's good! You'd have to be mad to listen to 30 tracks of it (or, indeed, anything else) on the trot, but these three are well worth your attention. The Little Anthony track is pure, late 50s pop gloriousness. It's got a Tiki, exotica flavour, a rattling guitar line and some oh-so-cheeky lyrical twists... Hurray!

The Cadillacs' track sounds like it was recorded in a cave, but within seconds of listening to it you'll imagine yourself in the bar of some one horse town spinning the ice round your large drink with just the barely-functioning fairy-lights for company. The piano player appears never to have actually played the instrument before. The vocal is insane. I love it.

The Flamingos' tracks is beautifully produced with some brilliantly atmospheric reverb and perfectly subtle instrumentation. It flits between looking deep into the early 1960s and gazing back longingly towards some imagined post-war romanticism. It sounds utterly wonderful on headphones too.


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