If there was anything funnier than seeing butch professional working class Geordie Eric Burdon 'turning on and tuning in' with his hilarious 'New' Animals project (Whose four albums are a consistent laugh a minute), its hearing Erics biggest psychedelic era 'hit' 'San Franciscan Nights' being covered by Gabor Szabo backed up by ex-Ray Coniff singers, The California Dreamers;who had also seemingly 'Turned on and Tuned In', and told Ray to shove his easy listening miesterwerks where the sun don't shine.
They rebeled by making soft psychedelic sunshine pop (aka Easy Listening with paisley neckerchiefs) backing vocals for jazz also ran bandwagon jumpers in suits and ties.
That should show Ray Coniff a thing or two.
My earliest musical memory was hearing 'A Day In The Life'(Beatles version I may add!) on the Jimmy Young Show on BBC Radio 1 when one was about three. It frightened the living bejeeesus out of me,and had nightmares about the Beatles coming to get me.The Beatles in my dream were all dressed in Leather,like in the Hamburg years.I Couldn't believe it when I first saw the pictures of the Fab Five in Hamburg....exactly as I had imagined them!? Horrifying!
The version by Gabor and the California Nightmares manges to squeeze every ounce of drama,psychedelia, and danger out of the Sergeant Pepper classic,and leave just a dry lifeless husk behind.....it takes some special kind of insipid anti- talent to be able to turn out some flavourless product thats akin to a platter of beige unseasoned cous cous.
The punks hated The Beatles,but never did anything to flesh these emotions out,whereas Szabo and the gang manage to make the fab four irrelevent in the very same year they released their concept album that launched a thousand dreary clones.
Erstwhile Sitar mate Bill Plummer, makes an appearance on the neutralising of Jefferson Airplanes "White Rabbit";but nothing neuitralised the psych legend of the Airplane more than the fact that they eventually morphed into Starship,who were unforgiveably responsible for giving the world "We Built This City"(on Rock'n'Roll)...for which they should be put on trial for, declared incredibly GUILTY,then sentenced to a lifetime of listening to non-stop world music and French Reggae.
This dazzling display of Lysergic anti-venom, is astonishing in its power to neutralise anything meaningful and makes pointlessness seem like a desirable career path.
But why then do I love it?....I'm kind of jealous of its bland power and ability to dispel the myth of the Narcisistic fools who made the original tunes,and paint over the colours of the Psychedelic bandwagon with two coats of magnolia matt emulsion......Dare to be Bland.
A1 San Franciscan Nights 3:18
A2 A Day In The Life 3:20
A3 Twelve-Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming To The Canyon) 3:00
A4 To Sir With Love 2:28
A5 White Rabbit 2:30
A6 Guantanamera 3:09
B1 Saigon Bride 2:10
B2 The End Of Life 2:55
B3 Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds 3:44
B4 Are You There? 3:31
B5 W.C. Fields 3:40