Wednesday, 15 April 2015

The show must go on

Great songs with stuff going wrong, artists laughing, whether it be a great belly laugh, a creeping case of the giggles or a snort. Sometimes equipment breaks, sometimes lyrics are forgotten. The phone will often ring. It doesn´t matter.

I love them. It reminds us that our talented, mysterious music heroes are just normal folks, trying to hold it together.
Or not, as the case may be.

Apart from Ella, she´s a pro.

Elvis - tons of laughing tracks.

Elvis´s recording of Are You Lonesome Tonight interspersed with some serious giggles (  became quite well known, but it wasn´t a one off. Elvis quite often had to contend with questionable lyrics, and gloriously failed to hold it together.
These attempts at Beach Shack are lovely. Looks like we caught him at the "silly hour".
This attempt at Datin´never stood a chance.

George Harrison - Miss O´Dell

Miss O´Dell was Chris, an employee at Apple and general assistant to the Harrison gang. Harrison reportedly promised to write a song about her (as Leon Russell had, with Pisces Apple Lady) and instead came up with a much more insightful song about himself. It is rare in this period of Harrison´s career to be sounding so socially apathetic, or maybe it´s more of an exhaustion witht he pretence of the people around him. He has nothing to say about the war or poverty and is bored to tears of pollution. It´s not desolate, just tired, and maybe a little playful. Maybe he is just having a little fun with people´s expectations of him.
Anyway, he says "rice" instead of "night", and the concept of rice "rolling on right up to his front porch" sets him off. He tries but fails, relapsing a few more times before the end.
There´s an especially delightful chuckle at 1.17

Led Zeppelin - In my Time of Dying

Right at the end there when plant is singing his last few notes, Bonzo coughs and splutters. Plant in a singing reply says "cough" and Bonham yells "That´s gonna be the one isn´t it?!"

Bob Dylan - Rainy Day Woman #12 &35

Rather than one specific incident, it seems that this song was born out of one big laugh. Dylan himself cracks a few times and there´s numerous whoops from the party gathering in the background.

Ella Fitzgerald - Mack The Knife

"Oh whats the next chorus, to this song now.... it´s the one now, I don´t know"
Ella can even make buying time and hoping for a prompt sound wonderful. She forgets the words but keeps it together and whips out a mean Louis Armstrong impression.

The Police - Roxanne

You´ve probably never noticed, but there´s a fluffed piano note and laugh in the first few bars.

Genesis - Anything She Does

Just after the final note of this song Phil makes the exact noise my Dad makes when he fluffs a shot in golf. It sounds like a noise of dissatisfaction, but they kept the (wonderful) take, so who knows?

The Kingsmen - Louie Louie

At 0.56 the drummer Lynn Easton says "Fuck!" apparently because he fluffed something. Also, after the guitar solo, singer Jacky Ely comes in too early and drummer Easton redeems himself by filling the time with some interesting drum work. Great song, but it´s all gloriously ramshackle, who knows what´s going on.

The Mamas and The Papas - I Saw Her Again

Quite a well known one, this, but it did begin as a mistake. Doherty comes in too early for the chorus at 2.44, but it worked, so they kept it. It was written by John Phillip supposedly about his feelings on his fling with Mama Cass, which in turn was some kind of revenge for Michelle and Denny´s affair. Messy or what......

The Rolling Stones FEATURING all hail the queen MERRY CLAYTON - Gimme Shelter

Merry Clayton was called last minute, in the middle of the night, to join this session. Hair still in curlers she decided to blow them out of the room.
As her voice breaks the second time in her phenomenal vocal solo we hear Mick exclaim "wooo!" 3.02

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