Sunday, March 25, 2012

Doo Wah Diddy

This is a classic bit of Baby Boomer jangle-rock, and when you think of it, a fascinating tune. On the one hand, it's a typical bit of mid-60's British Invasion fluff. On the other, had they given it to a bona fide purveyor of such stuff, say Petula Clark, as good a singer as she is it still would have just sat there like a bowl of soggy Weetabix. Instead, the singer (who I believe is not the actual Manfred Mann) is someone who owes his style almost entirely to R&B, down to the little aside at 1:56 - "ah mean it." At the same time in each verse there's a fanfare, for heaven's sakes, with a tympani - "She looked good (budduh-dudduh boom), she looked faahhn (budduh-dudduh boom)…."

I just love the way the two styles are thrown together on a small piece of vinyl to work it out amongst themselves. Whether the resulting hit tune is a blend or a conflict-in-progress, it is in any case a great metaphor for the way the Brits taught us to listen to our own music back then. We owe you guys!

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