Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Great (Almost Annoying But Not Quite) Lost Singles of the Seventies

From 1970, and produced by the great Sir George Martin, please be patient and try to enjoy Seatrain and their actual Top 40 hit "13 Questions."




Seatrain featured the late Andy Kulberg, an alumnus of The Blues Project, who were and are one of my favorite bands of all time. That said, and I'm pretty sure I actually saw them at some point, I remembered Seatrain's music only barely, and this particular song not at all. In fact, the only reason I bothered to unearth it is because -- to my astonishment -- the guy singing lead here is none other than Lloyd Baskin, the same guy who sang lead on that pre-Velvet Underground record by Lou Reed and John Cale I wrote about last month.

In any case, as far as "13 Questions" goes, when I listened to it the other day I couldn't quite decide if I liked it or not; I finally warmed up to the thing about half way through, which I guess is a way of saying it takes a really long time to get where it's going. As for the rest of the album, there's an amazingly high level of musicianship throughout, but the songs -- including perhaps the first (and certainly the most irritating) cover of Lowell George's usually ingratiating "Willin'" -- just leave me cold.

And if you can hear a George Martin influence in the above, you are more perceptive of ears than I am, that's for sure.

10 comments:

FD13NYC said...

George Martin probably did the Moog solo.

TMink said...

Sounds like Kansas.

And maybe George made them use a "proper" ending.

Trey

Anonymous said...

Their secret weapon was fiddler Richard Greene, kind of the Clarence White of that instrument. best track on the album was the closer, a version of Orange Blossom Special.

Ken J Xenozar said...

Um, yeah. I would classify under "dreck". IMHO
Ken

Rinjo Njori! said...

It's like a bad 70's theme music to a show mix. Steve, a suggestion

"Satisfied" by Greg Kihn from the eponymous debut... might fit this category

steve simels said...

I haven't heard that Kihn album in a while...I'll check it out.

Faze said...

How 'bout "Story of Job"? That was always my choice for one tolerable song from this album. It was original in its way.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting to hear. This song was in my college's rathskellar jukebox, and I never knew who it was (til now). I vote thumbs down. It reminds me of that sad dark period of jazz/rock fusion from the early 70s. But I give Richard Greene, a bona fide breakthrough bluegrass guy (played with both Bill Monroe and Clarence J. White), mucho credit for the sheer nerve it must have taken to play fiddle in a progressive outfit. Question: Seatrain's version of Willin' -- am I wrong or is it kind of a mashup with the theme from Shaft? - AP

Edward said...

It's been a long time since I've heard this, but it certainly got lots of airplay in the 70's in the DC area. Hearing it again it just reminds me of Spinal Tap during the Tap phase.

Brooklyn Girl said...

I listened to the first few minutes of the live show over at Wolfgang's Vault ... that was about all I could stand. Snoozeville.