Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Spring, "Shyin' Away" (1973)


Earworm: Approach with caution. Produced by Brian Wilson (it says), featuring his then-wife Marilyn with Diane Rovell, formerly the Honeys, "Shyin' Away" is one of the last things we got from Spring before the acrimonies of divorce and various hapless comeback efforts threw it into obscurity for good. Even an obscure band from the UK had the legal clout to force the change of name to "American Spring." Such indignities do not prepare one for the pure confectionery pleasures of "Shyin' Away," which is approximately what you would expect, from the times and from the talent. Equal parts TV theme song and nagging early-'70s AM radio style, it's got something that went to work on me when I finally crossed it more than 30 years on: the upbeat chug-a-lug, the whispery clarion vocals climbing over one another, the swoops and darts of the verse melody, the way it sails into the chorus like a boat into a harbor at sunset. It's a terrible earworm but a beautiful one for all that, one I do not mind hearing when I wake or it comes floating into my head at all hours. It has its chin out and is plucky as hell. Wilson got top billing for production but most parties seem to agree that his contributions were much less than those of David Sandler, a point underscored by the songwriting credit on the 45 (their last of three), which goes to "D. Sandler - B. Wilson - D. Rovell." I think even Sandler might agree it's running away the best thing he ever did. For me, I'm pretty sure I saw the drama play out in the movie Grace of My Heart. I can never quite get it out of my heart now, let alone my head.

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