Monday, July 26, 2010

Compare and Contrast: Extremely White People Sing Motown...

...specifically, two covers of Mary Wells' sublime "You Beat Me to the Punch." Co-written by Smokey Robinson, who, as you may recall, was called America's Greatest Poet by no less an authority than Bob Dylan.

First, from late 1964, here's a Merseybeat take by ex-Searcher Tony Jackson's ill-fated followup combo.

Jackson was the bassist (and frequent lead vocalist) of what's considered the classic Searchers lineup, and as you can plainly hear, there's more than a hint of his old band's "Needles and Pins" in this track.

And now from 1976, here's Nutley, NJ's finest The Hounds (featuring myself on inadequate guitar and background vocals) with a slightly more traditional rendition.

Those little piano-and-organ flourishes are, of course, very echt 60s, and in fact straight from the Ruby and the Romantics playbook. On the other hand, you'll notice that our version is a good twenty seconds shorter than Jackson's, due to our following the inviolable rule for white punk kids attempting classic R&B -- if you don't have much soul to speak of, speed the damn song up.


TMink said...

Light and airy!


steve simels said...

Tastes great -- AND less filling!

Gummo said...

This may be my favorite Hounds song so far. Love the light reggae/tropical feel. Definitely not what I'd expect from a bunch of Jersey degenerates.

Keep'em coming, steve.

Oh, hell, when can we order our The Collected Hounds CDs?

Sal Nunziato said...

Why wasn't this on Stiff? Nice job.

Anonymous said...

Great Sounds from the Hounds! I Dig it!

J. Loslo said...

I half expected Jackson & Co. to just stop playing that song & go ahead and do "Needles and Pins" again. The Hounds' version is much better.

Anonymous said...


Stop making excuses for the Hounds, they made some damn fine music!!!!

Cindy was a damn fine singer.

As to why the Hounds were never on Stiff or any other label besides their own, it was because they broke up just as all the indy labels were getting started.


Anonymous said...

Had completely forgotten this lovely Cindy vocal, so sweet, and the rest of you harmonicats sound so young and adorable... xo Kerri