Thursday, June 20, 2013

Baby That is Rock 'n' Roll: Part Deux

As they did with many things, the great songwriting team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller (fellow Red Sea pedestrians, if you catch my meaning) pretty much nailed it back in 1959.

For The Coasters, and no artist or group of artists ever had a better Svengali:

Did you ever hear a tenor sax
Swinging like a rusty axe
Walking like a dog
Down in a hollow log
Baby that is rock 'n' roll

Did you ever hear a guitar twang
Chingy chingy chingy chang
Ever hear the strings
Doing crazy things
Baby that is rock 'n' roll

That ain't no freight train that you'll hear
Running like a railroad track
Its just a country boy, piano man
Playing in between the cracks

You say that music sounds absurd
You can't understand the words
Well honey if you did
You'd really blow your lid
'Cause baby that is rock 'n' roll
 That, my friends, is the purest poetry.

As is this record.

The McCoys' brilliant 1966 cover of Ritchie Valens' "Come On Let's Go."

Has there ever been anything that lasted less than three minutes that was better than this?

I think not.


Gummo said...

Has there ever been anything that lasted less than three minutes that was better than this?

I'll have to ask your girlfriend.


Thank you, I'll be here all week. Try your waitress and be sure to tip the veal!

Anonymous said...

(Ignoring Gummo): Thanks, that was delish. Plus handclaps, yay.

FD13NYC said...

Nice cover! Forgot about this one.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful rocker, great rediscovery.

Let's not forget an equally great McCoys' track you featured a while ago: "Beat the Clock". I guess The McCoys are too often forgotten when great rock & Roll is discussed.

Allan Rosenberg

Anonymous said...

"That ain't no freight train that you hear
Rollin' down the railroad tracks."


Anonymous said...

Produced by the same guy who produced "My Boyfriend's Back": Richard Gottherer (?). Also produced Blondie, Yachts, Robert Gordon, etc.

Dave said...

It's not difficult to hear all of Ritchie Valens recordings. I think he would have been a giant, not just as a singer and guitarist, but as a songwriter. I like the McCoys, but to answer your question, yes, I can think of an under-3 minute creation better than this: Ritchie Valens's version of the same song. To me, in comparison, this is sluggish compared to the original. But then I like the Vibrations' "My Girl Sloopy" more than "Hang On Sloopy," too.