Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Here Comes the Night

Saw BANG!: The Bert Berns Story over the weekend.

Bottom line: If it's playing anywhere near you, run do not walk.

The incredible music aside, there are so many great stories told in the flick that it would be criminal for me to give any of them away. That said, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that a) the song-writing production team of Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein, and Richard Gottehrer -- better known as the guys in The Strangeloves who pretended to be Australians -- may be the funniest comedy trio since the Marx Brothers and that b) I had no idea that Van Morrison, who gets lots of screen interview time, is so normal.

Oh yes -- the music. Most of the songs in the film -- all either Berns-written or produced or both -- will be familiar to anybody who's listened to pop music in the second half of the 20th century. But one track in particular, for me, was a revelation.

This is one of the most spine-tingling vocal performances I've ever heard, and after you listen to it, I think you'll agree that Freddie Scott deserves to be talked about right up there with the greatest soul singers ever. It's not on the movie soundtrack CD, alas, but there's a comprehensive Scott best-of that you can still find at Amazon.

Have I mentioned that you should run not walk to see this if it's in your neighborhood?


Gummo said...

OK, that looks Amazing.

Where is it playing?

steve simels said...

The IFC. In the Village.

YankeeBoy said...

I saw it last week and I definitely agree that it is a must-see for any music fan.

pete said...

Great arrangement. I've heard the song from several artists but this is the definitive.

Anonymous said...


Freddie Scott's version is really great but the Solomon Burke version will always be the definitive version on my playlist.

Captain Al

Anonymous said...

1) Actually, I checked a couple of on-line music retail sites and "Cry To Me" by Freddie Scott IS on the soundtrack cd - it's track #16 (out of 21, I believe).

2) Saw the movie a couple of months ago in Toronto. After the screening, Bert Berns' son Brett, who put the film together, participated in a half-hour Q&A with the audience. He said of all the people they interviewed in the movie, he was most terrified of the prospect of talking to Van Morrison. But he said when they actually met, Morrison put him at ease very quickly. Brett said he was disappointed that Neil Diamond declined to appear in the movie; they approached his representatives several times but never heard back from Diamond. The book that Joel Selvin, who's interviewed briefly a couple of times in the movie, did on Berns a couple of years ago is well worth checking out, too.

3) It may not be entirely fair, since the man's not around to be interviewed (he died in 2008), but Jerry Wexler comes off as a monumental dick in the film, IMHO.

J. Lag

Anonymous said...

Wolfman Jack used to play the fuck out of Freddie Scott's "Are You Lonely For Me?" on XERB. So did Magnificent Montague.

Around that time my dad took me to lunch at the restaurant inside Harris' Department store. This was after he bought me this totally bitchen and understated 18kt gold mesh necklace that I still wear today. I got all straight A's, so he rewarded/spoiled me.

After we ate, we wandered into the record department. My intention was to get the new Simon & Garfunkel record (Parsley, Sage), but when I flipped through the racks I saw that those long awaited debut LP's from Buffalo Springfield and Tim Buckley had come out since the last time I looked. Both of them were already pretty popular in the area. Buckley's "Wings" was getting some airplay between 9 and midnight on Berdoo radio. And the Springfield's "Clancy" was a hit in So Cal.

My dad said he'd buy anything I wanted. So I scooped up those three along with "Dusty Springfield's Golden Hits" and a Manfred Mann Greatest Hits. Plus a 45 of Freddie Scott's "Are You Lonely For Me?" That was the first time I had ever seen the Shout label.

Fast forward about three months and the fog is pea soup thick in the area. Sometimes the schools would start late or call the whole day off if it was bad enough. The only way to check the status was to tune into the local C&W station. At the time, I wasn't much of a country fan, but the station played "Mental Revenge" by Waylon Jennings and I knew I was going to have to get that record. It just knocked me out.

School got called off. Sandy and I celebrated and went shopping that day. Like I had planned, I scored the Jennings single and Spencer Davis Group's "Gimme Some Lovin'" LP. But what I didn't figure on was that there was a whole LP by Freddie Scott called "Are You Lonely For Me?" At the time "Cry To Me" was just beginning to get airplay on XERB. I was flush with cash so I took a chance and bought it. Besides he looked cool smokin' that frajo on the cover, even if the chick he was posin' with was a dog. Man was it a great LP. Right up there with Otis and Wilson. "Who Could Ever Love You" comes to mind.

As far as "Cry To Me" goes it rivals Burke's. It also has the benefit of being recorded several years later. Burke is fantastic but the arrangement was a little dated, even by 1967 standards. Personally, I think Tom Petty did a killer version. But it's really hard to fuck up a great song.

Get the CD comp or die. It has "Am I Groovin'" to boot.


Anonymous said...

'all straight A's'...something a bit more exalted than straight As that only an eternal wunderkind could achieve.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

'all straight A's'...something a bit more exalted than straight As that only an eternal wunderkind could achieve.

Gotta watch out for those curved ones.

buzzbabyjesus said...

I was immediately reminded of my favorite Nick Lowe song: Endless Sleep


Anonymous said...

Looks like I was right about Freddie Scott but wrong about the format; it does not appear that SONY/LEGACY has done a CD of the soundtrack yet, only a digital download. Which strikes me as weird, since most of the people who know/care about Berns are probably older and would want a physical product. Another music-biz head-shaker...

J. Lag