Friday, August 19, 2005

The Fireflies - Stella Got A Fella


Some fun for a Friday. I got this record in a big box of stuff I bought in St. Louis last year. When I got home, I learned that the flipside of this was a sizable hit in 1959, a song called "You Were Mine". Too bad that side is instantly forgettable teen crooner stuff. It's the kind of thing you'd listen to once and never wish to hear again. That's what makes "Stella Got A Fella" such a great surprise. You'd never guess it was the same bunch of guys. But this happened a lot. A group would put a mushy ballad on record and hide something great over on the b-side. Then, voila, here it is waiting to be discovered all these years later.

Lyrically, "Stella Got A Fella" has a very common theme - guy likes girl, girl finds someone else, guy ain't happy. But this is no sad little pouter. From note one, you're in for a treat, with rockin' guitar and a very danceable beat. The guys in the band are whooping it up throughout the song and there are two guitar breaks, with the first being an extended one! Funny thing, a few seconds into that first break, the sound engineer turns down the volume. Poor guy had probably made one too many records like what's over on the a-side of this and couldn't handle it when these guys really cut loose. And cut loose they do. Yeesh, what a racket! The tune, less than two minutes in length, fades during the second break. You're left wanting more. And you got it, with a mere placement of the tone arm.

1 comment:

dream_weight said...

There's a quality about this raver that evokes early Brit-invasion rock. Then I discovered that the recording was licenced to Top Rank in the U. K. and released there, also in 1959. U. K. rockers of the day such as Lonnie Donegan and many others worshipped "American" b-sides as somehow more authentic. So we know what happened; they garbage-picked the rock of the U. S. and then sold it back to N. A. as their own. In fairness, U. K. rockers never denied this; in fact, they gloried in it.
Secondly, although the song is licenced through BMI (according to the label), it does not appear in the BMI Repertoire title d.b. A listing of song composed by Gerry Granahan does appear, but Stella is not included. Who are Nelson & Reynolds?