Monday, August 06, 2007
Baker Knight and the Knightmares - "Hallucinations" + a Tuesday bonus
It's a hot, humid Tuesday here in southern Illinois. Yesterday, the mercury topped out at a season's high 98 degrees and today promises more of the same. It's hot, hot, hot! So, while staying out of the heat, I thought that I'd do something really unusual like posting to the ol' blog.
Today, I have something just as unusual as a blog post, "Hallucinations" by Baker Knight and the Knightmares. Baker Knight formed the Knightmares way back in 1956 and it was that year that he wrote and released the outstanding, early rocker, "Bring My Cadillac Back". Knight became a proficient songwriter, with artists from Rick Nelson and Elvis to Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. recording his songs. Along the way, he also made a lot of his own records, releasing material on a number of labels, including Decca, Jubilee, Coral, RCA, Checker and Challenge.
Fast forward to 1967, when Knight and his band were in the middle of making a string of singles for the Reprise label. It was then that the Knightmares and he recorded the self penned "Hallucinations". The song is part garage rocker, part pop and part whacked out lite pysch.
"Hallucinations" opens right away with vocal and other sound effects over a rock and roll guitar. During the very first verse, fuzz guitar makes its presence known, as the backing vocals provide a sort of haunting, trippy backdrop. Knight sings about seeing a girl right in front of him, who promptly disappeares when he reaches for her, kind of making "Hallucinations" the kid brother of "I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night". The song is upbeat and has just a terrific hook, a coup of outstanding songwriting all the way around.
Last month, when I posted my list of St. Louis record show finds, Stuart Shea of the Baseball, Music and Real Life blog left a comment, asking about one of the records I listed. So, today I thought that I'd post it here for his and, hopefully, everyone else's enjoyment. As you may have already guessed, based on the label scan, the record is "It Won't Be Long" by the Clefs of Lavender Hill.
Best known for their wonderful "Stop! Get A Ticket", the Clefs of Lavender Hill don't disappoint here, with a rockin', faithful to the moptops remake of The Beatles' classic. Those who know "Stop! Get A Ticket" also know the band had some great harmony vocals. They put them to good use here. Just check out those refrains.