Monday, August 13, 2007

Basement Crates: 24

Cyril Ornadel:
Love At First Sight (Je T'aime Moi Non Plus)
Both Sides Now
(CBS, 1970)

I bought this Cyril Ornadel LP a decade ago for three reasons.

1. It was cheap - less than a quid.
2. It looked right - two utterly fake post Summer Of Love hippie-chicks lounging in a field rendered purple and pink by off-the-shelf, 10 shillings a yard, acid-wash photography.
3. It has a version of Je T'aime Moi Non Plus on it and then, like now, I just can't resist that record. I think it might be the greatest record ever made. Having said that, I tend to think a lot of records are the greatest records ever made.

Anyway, like all great junk-shop records, a lot of this is nonsense, but these two tracks are odd and lovely and back-lit with quiet invention. I don't think I even knew Both Sides Now when I bought it and , if I had, I might have been thrown by the perversity of getting what sounds like a sousaphone to harumph across Joni Mitchell's melody, leaving it mercury heavy and molasses slow where, say, Davy Graham had thrown himself at it full-tilt and made it pie-eyed and feather-light (while, inevitably, singing it a quarter tone out).

Anyway, my band partner Ronnie and I loved this record so much it hurt. In the pre-internet days of 1997 (well, it was pretty much pre-internet for us) we wondered who Cyril Ornadel actually was. Then Ronnie got a gig making music with Sasha. His manager was Guy Ornadel, who turned out to be Cyril's son. We couldn't quite believe it. Neither of us ever met Cyril, but we sampled his version of Portrait Of My Love for a tune we made called Theme From A Lazy Life. I, much later, spent a very, very weird weekend with Sasha in Las Vegas where much craziness and bad, bad behaviour ensued. So, it all worked out nicely in the end.

Thanks Cyril. For everything.

8 comments:

FireEscape said...

"a Cornish folk trio called King Arthur's Sandals"
You made that up, didn't you?

Rob said...

Yes. There never was a "Merzbow style pain-core" band called Thump either :(

FireEscape said...

I sense a new sport inventing such bands. How about a "Death Cab For Cutie style cuddlecore band called Knee Socks".

Rob said...

Hahahahaha! A Red House Painters style mope-core band called Damp Hankie

FireEscape said...

The post-New Order/Joy Division surly dad dance band called Third Reich.

the mammary gland said...

Hi Rob
For some reason I cant play the files, either in itunes or using WMP. this is a shame. Like you think I think Je T'aime is one of teh best songs ever...

Rob said...

Hey Stephen: How odd... I just alt-clicked Je T'aime and it downloaded straight away. Was fine on iTunes too - will email you direct links

the mammary gland said...

cheers Rob, its great by the way, I do love a bit of harpsichord!