Sunday, August 07, 2005
The Lafayettes: Life's Too Short/Nobody But You (RCA Victor 47-8044)
Ever see the film "Hairspray?" There's a scene in which this group (or what was left of the group by 1988) plays "Life's Too Short" for the swingin' teens on the Corny Collins Show. They're called "Baltimore's own." Seems like this must've been a big local hit, though it only reached the lower edges of the Billboard charts in 1962. #87 to be exact. That said, this is a pretty cool 2-sider with a mover and a slow groover to choose from. "Life's Too Short" is the slow one, basically a two-note song in which the singer tells his baby she'd better get ready for him.
Life's too short
to mess around
Don't you give me no stuff, child
Don't you put me down.
The musical accompaniment is chopstick-style percussion, heavy bass, light guitar strumming and a piano riff. There is a part where the singer goes "Oh oh" and the whole backup band acts up like it's finally gonna start moving, but it soon goes back to the way it was at the beginning and stays that way for the rest of the song. "Nobody But You" is even better. This time the singer starts out by rapping:
Y'know when all the other girls pass me on the street,
they give me my cue,
'cause it makes me realize,
right there and then, darlin',
that I don't want nobody but you.
That's right, heh-heh, I said....
Then, all hell breaks loose. The band kicks in and the singer goes nutzo: "NOBODY! NOBODY! NOBODY! AWOWWWWWWWWWW! He grunts, growls and screams as bass, guitar, piano and sax wail out behind him, before it all kicks to a close.
So there ya go, another one-shot, but a very cool one-shot at that.....at least as far as chart hits go. This was the only thing that ever charted from this group and I don't know if there are any other recordings. Maybe other gems await discovery. Who knows?