Tuesday, November 08, 2011

30. Love, "My Little Red Book" (1966)


There's something so deliciously infectious about this nicely appointed little rave-up. It hooks on right away with a fast-tempo'd nervous high-hat pitter-pat and fine rubbery bass figure and builds up its impossible head of steam so efficiently you're probably not even half aware how good it is until it's over. You have to hear it again, almost immediately, or anyway I always do. It just had to be a surefire hit on the '60s discotheque dance floors. I don't know how it could miss. And it all seems so hit/miss unlikely now too: I get a big kick, first, out of the fact that it's a Burt Bacharach/Hal David song, featured with pipe organ (and too slow!) as recorded by Manfred Mann for the kooky mid-'60s comedy, What's New Pussycat? (written by Woody Allen, starring Peter Sellers, and with Tom Jones turning the title theme into a big hit). How in the world did it ever fall into the orbit of Arthur Lee? I don't even care. I'm just glad it did. Lee and Love were authors of the great album Forever Changes, recommended to anyone who doesn't already know it, but this was from the band's first, self-titled album, appropriately enough kicking it off with this burst of pure sugar rush energy. Speed, speed, speed, haste, haste, haste, the thing just moves. It's got so much propulsive momentum indeed that I almost get nervous when it plays, but the Bacharach melody and composition is as sweet and beguiling as anything he did. If it's an unexpected alliance of pop forces, it's also one that works as well as practically any other out there. Play it play it again, play it again!

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