Monday, August 27, 2007

Go Large

Some bits of music get hold and never let go, and I've always been a sucker for slightly over the top vocals.

When I first heard this on the radio in 1976, I dismissed the country guitar, and the lyrics - sexist, crass or what ?

"I must have been through about a million girls
I'd love them and I'd leave them alone"

Macho country boilerplate. I was listening to Vaughan Williams and roots reggae at the time.

But something happened half way through, when the guitar solo kicked in. Vocalist Mickey Thomas (no relation) came on for the second half as if all nine Muses had chucked sugar in his tea, whooping and hollering to transform the song. It wasn't my kind of music at all, but by the third or fourth hearing I was hooked, waiting to hear him give the phrase 'love's got a hold on me' a good shaking.

Ladies and gentlemen, with suitably cheesy video, Mr Elvin Bishop.

Completely different and yet strangely similar, this is just another clever, tasteful bit of Wyclef Jean, complete with Marleyesque vocals - until Mary J Blige comes on to wind the whole thing up into a call-and-response shouting match with no vocal limits. Wonderful. 911.

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