The lyrical theme of ‘6060-842’ seems pretty mundane for the B-52s. Tina goes to the ladies room, sees a phone number scrawled on the wall, and so decides to ring it. Hmm… doesn’t sound like it’s gonna be a tale the measure of “the time our car was hijacked by the devil” and the like. Still this IS the B-52s, and recognisably so, “if you’d like a very nice time, just give this number a call” reads the unlikely graffiti. So something must happen. The band are optimistic too, bouncing along excitedly on a jumpy new wave rhythm. Tina, we reckon, is much like the band. She lives for wild parties and crazy adventures. This 6060-842 could be just the ticket. “Oh my gawd! I’m gonna give that there number a ring. You see if I don’t!” So she drops a dime in the phone slot and, “prays she gets the line.” She’s biting her lip, stabbing her nails into her finger tips, “come on… come ON!!!”
But pause a moment. Is she really so naïve? Does she really think a “really nice time” awaits her? In the gnarled and weather beaten hands of a social realist singer-songwriter, the number 6060-842 would lead to abuse, to prostitution, and ultimately, to death. In the hands of the B-52s? I don’t know, you tell me. A debauched toga party in a 1950s vision of the future…? Well, it’s neither. It’s just a brilliant anti-climax. You see Tina and the B-52a might be deranged, but the world they live in is not. It’s bloody typical. She dials 6060-842, and can’t get through! “The number’s been disconnected…” monotones the operator. But Tina won’t accept this, no, and neither will the band. They can’t end the track with Tina accepting the disappointment with a sigh of weary resignation, “ah well, nevermind… maybe next time.” No, no, this anti-climax has worked them up into an angry frenzy. Ricky Wilson vents his frustration with viscious slashes of electric guitar whilst Tina just keeps dialing and dialing, and getting rebuffed and rebuffed, “HELLO!!!” “sorry…” The track probably ends with them all smashing up the phone box. A superb, and much over-looked track.
I first discovered this track on Connie's box set "Souvenirs." An impassioned soft start builds to a frenzy of despair. A snazzy, kick-ass band backs Connie (Don Costa arrangement, I think???). Liza would have loved to sink her teeth into this one!
from Connie & Clyde (MGM) available on CD - The Swinging Connie Francis (Audiophile Records)
sleipner: listen to the thea gilmore version, sheer class
In a Morricone mood today...just a quickie.
From the soundtrack of The Exorcist 2, this insane little ditty sounds like a fifty-fifty mix of the Batman theme and library music "black metal", with added harpsichord and italian-style wordless screaming. There's also a middle eastern thing going on in there, and the whole ting is just madly energetic.
This song makes me happy in ways it probably wasn't supposed to.
I think this is my favorite version of 'Miserlou'. A really scintillating one, backed by Edmundo Ros's band, with a lot of bongos and an extra little 'Ba Ba Ba' rhythm added in. I believe the US pressing of this superb LP is called 'Fire and Frenzy', but my copy, oddly, is Brazilian, bought in Holland, so I'm entering the title as it was on the record. To me, the album is quite the best thing I have by either Caterina or Edmundo, and I'm quite a Caterina fan, so that's saying something.....
Very possibly the 'Lab's most beautiful song. Sounds vaguely barouque beneath all those layers of floating voices & technological acumen. The whole thing races by at a dirge's pace, constantly hinting that it's about to be set loose into a frenzy, but always kept reined in. Appeared as a b-side on the "Wow & Flutter" single.
from Wow & Flutter (EP), available on CD (Duophonic)
Ok, I feel kind of lame for recommending two tracks called 'out of this world' in one sitting, but as soon as I remembered this one, I felt compelled to recommend it. Before I became completely obsessed with the kind of smooth bossa-influenced stuff I've been recommending, my big thing in music was that it had to be twangy. This is quite twangy, but in a very tasteful way. An incredibly haunting song whoever it is performed by, 'out of this world' here gets its other-worldliness from Buddy's incredible multitracked guitars - the main tune is played on the slide guitar, while several other parts relentlessly pick out accompaniments. It's hard to categorize this track really - it's not remotely funky or particularly rocking, yet it's very catchy and undeniably compelling.
A cute and amusing song from the 1948 musical, 'Inside USA', this song is perfect for Ms. Dearie's adorable voice. She swings thru a state-by-state list, hilighting what each state is famous for, at first on a factual basis, then going off in a whimsical frenzy with such phrases as, "Pencils, come from Pencil-vania, vests from Vest Virginia, and tents from Tent-essee, they know mink where they grow mink, in Wyomink, a camp chair in New Hampchair, that's for me!" I'm amazed that the Farelly Brothers haven't gotten this one to use in one of their films yet!
from Blossom Dearie, Soubrette, Sings Hit Broadway Songs (Verve MGV 2133) available on CD - Blossom Dearie - Verve Jazz Masters 51 (Verve/Polygram 529906)