Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Bobby Freeman: The Mess Around/Little Girl Don't You Understand (Josie 928)

1965 found Bobby Freeman just off a wave of success with the previous year's "C'mon and Swim" and its sequel "S-W-I-M." That didn't mean he was slowing down at all. In fact, this item, while nowhere near the hit that "C'mon and Swim" was, still managed to crack the Top 100. If this were a better world, it would've gone all the way, but that only leaves more killer movers for us to discover, if you get my drift.

Anyway, with "The Mess Around," we have another new dance that just hit town. "First, you glide/then you stride/then you and your partner walk side by side." Sounds simple. It opens with a piano roll that makes you anticipate one of Freeman's 50s recordings, but that wild, jerky guitar work shoots it right up to '65. Add to that girlie chorus, a smokin' sax solo and a driving beat and you got another winner in Freeman's calibre.

But hold your horses. "Little Girl Don't You Understand" is just as good if not better. This time, Freeman takes a couple moments and lets loose a couple of wild howls to compensate for his straightforward vocal delivery. The pace is much more frantic and that jerky guitar is back. And there's enough time for a great guitar break midway through.

Freeman would continue recording up through the mid 70s, not just for Josie (where he was a longtime fixture), but for King, Double Shot and other labels. This single is definitely one worth looking for, whether you're a Bobby Freeman fan, or just a nut about cool 2-siders like I am. You pull up a straight flush either way with this one.

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