Tuesday, January 26, 2016

WAS (NOT WAS) "KNOCKED DOWN, MADE SMALL (TREATED LIKE A RUBBER BALL)"


Knocked Down, Made Small (Treated Like a Rubber Ball)   (Don Was - David Was) - 3:05 
 
With Sweat Pea Atkinson handling the lead vocal, the soul-meets-rock mash-up results were staggering. I remember hearing the tune on the radio one afternoon and wondering who the world these guys were.  I then saw the MTV video and was equally stunned.  I may be way off target, but I always thought the tune was about spousal and child abuse and I remember the original MTV video (with some serious bad mid-'80s production work), having a plotline that seemed to support that contention.  The video was subsequently edited deleting the abuse part of the story, 

Regardless of the song's intent, one of the classic '80s tunes.  By the way, YouTube has both of the promotional videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGgRipOH0nY 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nqKOFNA6dg


The tune was tapped as a single:
   7" format
- 1983's 'Knocked Down, Made Small (Treated Like a Rubber Ball)' b/w 'Man Vs. The Empire Brain Building' (Geffen catalog number 7-29407)

  12" format
- 1983's 'Knocked Down, Made Small (Treated Like A Rubber Ball)' and 'Bow Wow Wow Wow' b/w 'Smile' and 'Shake Your Head (Let's Go To Bed)' (Geffen catalog number PRO-A-2079) 
 
  

Sunday, January 3, 2016

BETTYE CRUTCHER "UP FOR A LITTLE DOWN"

Bettye Crutcher only recorded one album during her life and for some reason I thought I'd sold my a couple of years ago.  Crutcher was better known as a songwriter, but she had a great voice and if you ever get a chance to buy it, pick up a copy of 1972's "Long As You Love Me".  Anyhow, discovering I still had a copy of the album I decided to give it a spin to see if it was as good as I remember.  For the most part it was.   The one track I didn't remember being as good was 'Up for a Little Down'



If you're a certain age (say your mid-'50s like me), then you're liable to have fond memories of some of the Bacharach-David tunes Dionne Warwick turned into mega hits.  Admittedly many of their collaborations leaned to MOR, but it was quality MOR with hooks that were beyond reproach.  Why am I mentioned this?  Well this breezy tune could easily have come from the same source - if you've ever smiled when hearing 'Do You Know the Way To San Jose', or 'I Say a Little Prayer' you were liable to get the same feeling listening to this one.  Another track where you had to wonder how Stax missed the ball.

Friday, January 1, 2016

WEST "JUST LIKE TOM THUMB'S BLUES"



Funny how this one caught my attention ...  Someone was interested in buying the parent album.  I pulled it from the stacks, but they never followed up with payment.  I was about to re-file it when I started looking at the liner notes and remembered the band's cover of this Dylan tune.




While the Dylan original is a classic, West's version is simply one of the best unknown Dylan covers out there - almost as good as anything The Byrds ever did.   They gave the tune a killer country-rock twang and the group vocals are breathtaking.  When I hear this track it just oozes that unique mid-'60s vibe that is so special.  

Here's a link to a YouTube clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTP9CU9_onk