May 1, 2015
In the 1970s and 1980s there were loads of pre-recorded cassette tapes (and quite often LPs as well) available that consisted of compilations of hit pop songs from prior years/decades. K-Tel and Ronco usually did the right thing and used the original recordings. More unscrupulous companies would emblazen “Hits by the original artists” across the fronts. What they neglected to say was that, yes, the hits might have been technically by the original artists, but they were often inferior re-recordings of the hits made years later by groups who may or may not at that time consist of all or even any of the original line-up. Sometimes they were live recordings of these “hits”. Now this may have been fine if you were a completist/collector of the bands in question. Mostly I just felt that I’d been ripped off.
In the autumn of 1967 there was a hit that became massively popular in the States and went on to become a staple on the multitude of oldies radio stations. So much so that until quite recently it was claimed to be the second most played song on american radio. Written by the Adrissis and sung by a middle-of-the-road band the tune was catchy enough to be a hit again a few times in the future by other, lesser bands and to be covered over the following decades (often spectacularly) by a wide spectrum of artistes.
A few (or many?) years after the hit, said band re-recorded the tune for a cheap-as-chips cassette label. Perhaps they’d had more practice by then. Perhaps the guy playing the electric piano was better. Perhaps its just my cloth ears. I dunno. But surprise, surprise this “version” is far far better than the original single (in my humble opinion).