Friday, September 23, 2005

Rosie and The Originals - Give Me Love

First, I want to thank Scott over at the excellent CRUD CRUD blog (see our links section) for hipping me to this one. He recently posted it along with soundfile and I made a mental note to track down a copy. Then BAM!, there it was at the record fair in St. Louis. As good as it sounded over on his blog, the 45 is a greater animal still.

"Give Me Love" is the flipside of "Angel Baby" a sizeable hit for Rosie and the Originals in late 1960. But if you're expecting a female vocal, you'd be wrong. The story here is that "Give Me Love" was invented on the spot because the group had nothing ready to put on the flipside of the record and one of the band members got a chance to sing lead. Here's where it turns into the age old story of something spontaneous and immediate becoming something great. It so happens the vocal wound up being perfect for the song.

I'm not sure what my favorite part of this record is. Maybe it is the raw, yearning vocal. Maybe it's the lo-fi sound. Or perhaps it's the sparse instrumentation that mainly rears its head between verses. That is, if you can call them verses at all.

The singer pleads his baby to hold, kiss and treat him right. When he finishes, the sax gets solo time. After the next verse comes a guitar that's so raw and minimalist, yet so great that it makes me want to round up all of the so-called guitar gods of the past 40 years and make them listen to this over and over until they see the errors of their ways and repent. Ah, but that horse is already long since out of the barn now isn't it?

The finished product ends up being a near perfect concoction and I sure feel lucky having finally discovered it 45 years after its release. It's the kind of thing that'll keep me searching for still more treasures from the past. My only disappointment would be if it were the last one I ever found.


Brian Marshall said...

Reportedly, this was one of John Lennon's favorite records.

Todd Lucas said...

And it's a really good one. Not the kind of thing that rocks your socks off but still really raw and inspired.

Brian Marshall said...

One other thing: "Angel Baby" was a much more than sizeable hit: It made it all the way to #5 on the Billboard Top 40 charts in 1960. To me, that's a lot more than sizeable.