Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Long John Baldry • Cuckoo & Baldry's Out

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From his time as a handsome Pop star in the 1960s, to fronting a couple of bands, Long John Baldry eventually found his way to singing the Blues in the 1970s. It was the music he loved, and where he felt the most comfortable. But even in the 1960s, when he was hitting the UK Pop charts with hits like "Let The Heartache Begin", he was laying down his blue-eyed-soul vibe down like few could. That would include on his 1966 recording "Cuckoo",  which I love. I have it on the album 'Looking at Long John: The UA Years', a yummy collection, by the way. Please enjoy his recording of "Cuckoo".

Between the 1960s and the 1970s, Long John changed up his style and his look a bit. His matinee idol headshots were replaced by pictures of a Blues man, someone with a career aimed at touring clubs, not scheduling an appearance on 'Top of the Pops'. Hell, I think he looks good either way. His voice had a more pronounced rasp, giving is more of an edge than he had earlier. Could have been spending all that time in clubs, I suppose.

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I wanted to get the week off to a rousing start with a little bit of boogie-woogie, Long John style. In 1979, he released 'Baldry's Out', a tongue-in-cheek album title that not only referenced the title track, but also the fact the singer had been an out and proud gay man for some time already. There is a saucy feel to the album, which combined a few classics, like his version of "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'", the Righteous Brothers classic written by Phil Spector, Barry Mann, and Cynthia Weil. Long John sang it as a duet with Kathi MacDonald, and it made it on the charts in both the United States and Canada. It was a surprise hit in Australia, where the song went to #2 on the Pop charts. Bill Medley, of the Righteous Brothers, classed this the best remake of the song. But like I said, I wanted to have a bit of boogie, so here is the title track, "Baldry's Out".

Unfortunately, neither album is available on online in the US. You can find it one music stores, like Amazon, as an import. Have a swinging week!

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