Friday, September 09, 2005

Lee Marvin: Wand'rin' Star (Paramount PAA-0010)

You want to talk bad? I mean, REALLY, REALLY bad? Well, lovers of camp, feast your ears on this.....though it might have you puncturing your eardrums.

Okay, maybe I am being a bit extreme. After all, we're not talking about Donny Osmond here. We're talking about Lee Marvin a respected tough guy actor in cool killer movies like "Point Blank" and "The Dirty Dozen," right? Well, it just so happens that one of 1969's biggest movie fiascos was a film version of an Alan Jay Lerner/Frederick Loewe musical called "Paint Your Wagon." Its stars were those singing sensations Clint Eastwood and yes, Lee Marvin. Hence, this 45.

Granted, I have not seen the film in its entirety. Three hours is a bit much for that kind of movie. I did see the part where Martin sings this song while on a trek through the rain. The record, obviously, is only the audio portion of the experience, but that's all you'll ever need or even want.

Martin's character in the picture, from what I've read, is that of a drunken prospector. Listening to this, you might think you're more likely hearing a drunken bullfrog. You know you're in trouble when you hear the male chorus humming the melody at the beginning and then Marvin comes in singing the words at least TWO OCTAVES BELOW the chorus! It sure sounds like two octaves anyway.

"IIIIII WUZ BORRRN UNDER A WAHHHN-DRIN' STAHR!" Marvin bellows in his best hangover voice. He sounds like a grouchy drunk being aroused out of his sleep. He sounds that way the entire song. There's nothing arranger Nelson Riddle can do to disguise the fact that the man CANNOT SING! Your jaw is guaranteed to drop to the floor!

Strangely enough, this record is said to have actually made the top of the charts in Britain. And they say the sun never sets on the British empire............

1 comment:

Baltic Sharkie said...

well... it was a good song.