Thursday, December 17, 2015

Well, Maybe One More Time

From 1987, and their brilliant The Sound of Music album, please enjoy The dBs -- with the incomparable Syd Straw on guest vocals -- and the (should have been a massive hit) Peter Holsapple-penned (and sung) "Never Before and Never Again."

God, what a great song, and their voices fit together like Gram and Emmylou.

I should add that there are people who are of the opinion that the dBs never really recovered artistically from the departure of estimable co-founder Chris Stamey. Those people are -- what's the word I'm groping for? -- wrong.


James Lynch III said...

My former burrito waitress! Love her

Anna said...

Totally agreed. "Like This" and "The Sound Of Music" were both chock-full of songs that should have been big hits...but the world's just not fucking fair.

OTOH, another criminally overlooked album was Holsapple/Stamey's "Mavericks"...I got an advance cassette with different versions of a few of the songs via my brother who was working at a Rhino subsidiary. Peter and Chris just picked up where they left off, and beautifully. "Angels", their cover of Gene Clark's "Here Without You" and "She Was The One" were all standouts, but there's not a duff track on it, really. And I remember being pissed that one of the songs on the cassette promo, "The Hollywood Waltz" didn't make the final cut. Peter always did do great waltzes–see also "I Want To Learn To Waltz With You", one of the Continental Drifters' best.

Anonymous said...

The lyrics are much cooler than the melody. Not crazy about the treatment either. It really wasn't the same after Stamey. Fan of all things Holsapple, but The Sound Of Music is one of the weaker efforts, IMHO. Don't think this comes close to rising to the level of Gram and Emmylou. Not even "Leather and Lace." Which isn't to say I dislike the album or song entirely.

But speaking of Syd, there's this, if you can forgive the vocal-heavy mix.

VR - Bumping my brains into one of them pink clouds.

Anonymous said...

Oops, same link as yesterday. Here's the right one.


Anonymous said...

She's a tad annoying and flawed in a live setting. Her talents are much better tempered in the studio. So she's just another in a long string of artists I feel equivocal about. One could never make that case about Emmylou or Lucinda, who are fabulous.

VR - First I capture the inner you. Then I go.

Anonymous said...

Lucinda is boring in person.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Emmylou Harris and Lucinda Williams have surrounded themselves with tremendous musicians throughout their careers. For me their shows are just as much about the bands as they are the singer.

Lucinda may be married to her music-stand with lyric sheets, but every band she's had has been a mother. Gurf Morlix, Kenny Vaughan, John Jackson, Doug Pettibone, Buddy Miller, David Sutton, Don Heffington, Val McCallum and the rest of Jack Shit; Butch Norton, Charlie Sexton, Greg Leisz and Stuart Mathis have been anything but boring over the years. Like having a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon with your boyfriend and chasing it with some China White. Then cuddling in a soft, fragrant bed of soporific bliss. Mmmm.


GLLinMO said...

It needs to be said- at least by me - that this is one of the best album art covers of all time. It still hangs in my office.

I was living in western VA when this album came out. VA Yech may not be the biggest music Mecca, but I made a number of dBs fans while I was out there. Including me future wife. She did not know it at the time.

Robert said...

So glad to see you (and most commenters) share love for the dBs, easily my favorite janglepop band, yes, over REM and the original Let's Active: such smart songwriting incorporating all sorts of influences they must have been exposed to in the Upper South, melded into lovely pop with such high-end (in both senses of the word) production. It truly was unfair they were overlooked so terribly. You would know: is it true what I once heard, that each label they signed with failed after the release of their album?
-- A reader who remembers receiving Stereo Review each month and scouring it for your latest selections (and then for your often even-better dismissals)