viernes, 18 de junio de 2010

Nicky Hopkins - Waiting For The Band

Nicky Hopkins - Waiting For The Band (Nicky Hopkins) del LP Columbia KC 32074 - 1973

Hace unos pocos días, buscando cierto instrumental, me encontré de nuevo con esta gran canción, todo un derroche de melodía. Creo que se nota que está compuesta con piano. No en balde Nicky Hopkins fué, probablemente, el pianista con el historial de colaboraciones más apabullante de la historia del rock:
The Beatles (juntos y por separado), The Rolling Stones, Marc Bolan, David Bowie, The Who, Gene Clark, Joe Cocker, Donovan, The Easybeats, The Kinks, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Jefferson Airplane, Steve Miller Band, Graham Parker, Rod Stewart, Matthew Sweet, y varios miles más.

Curiosamente, y aparte de alguna que otra banda sonora, este británico internacional editó únicamente tres LPs a su nombre (1966, 1973 y 1975). Esta entrañable "Waiting For The Band" aparece en el segundo de ellos y primero en el que se atrevió a cantar, "The Tin Man Was A Dreamer". Por cierto, esa guitarra tan característica y discreta pertenece, como no, a su amigo George Harrison.

Nicky dejó este mundo imposible en 1994 pero, probablemente, vivió más en sus cincuenta años que muchos de nosotros en varias vidas. Y además de sus incontables sesiones como músico de estudio para otros artistas, nos dejó pocas pero muy buenas muestras de su propia música. Como esta canción que hoy te traigo. Reflexión nocturna de un sesionero, aquí está la letra:


The night was black,
it was the blackest that I've ever seen
I stopped a stranger and asked which way to go
He slapped me on the back,
and then he laughed and then he looked at me
Then he said, Sir, you can't get there from here,
no, no, no, no

Without a road
I cannot make it back to you
Without a light above I cannot find the way
Turn on your love light,
Let it shine like a peek and wait, you see me through
Cause baby how can I be happy without you.

Faster my heart is beating, faster and I'm all alone
Strangers are all around me, no one will tell me where to find a phone
It's like sitting in the studio waiting for the band to come
Sitting in the studio waiting for the band to come

And if the band don't come
by early in the moming
I'II have to find a way to have myself survive
Cause if the band don't show
by early in the moming
Then I'II be over darling, waiting for the band to come

Slower, I'm getting slower I've heard these songs so much before
Lower, I'm sinking lower, pretty soon you'll find me on the floor
Under the piano waiting for the band to come

Sittin' waitin' for the band to come


A few days ago, searching for a certain instrumental, I met again with this great song, a monument in melody. I think it's evident it was composed with piano. Not in vain Nicky Hopkins was, quite probably, the pianist with the most striking sessions list in rock's whole history: The Beatles (together and one by one), The Rolling Stones, Marc Bolan, David Bowie, The Who, Gene Clark, Joe Cocker, Donovan, The Easybeats, The Kinks, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Jefferson Airplane, Steve Miller Band, Graham Parker, Rod Stewart, Matthew Sweet, and several thousands more.

Curiously, and a few film soundtracks apart, this international british only released three proper LPs to his name (1966, 1973 and 1975). This warm "Waiting For The Band" belongs to the second of them and first one where he dared to sing, "The Tin Man Was A Dreamer". By the way, that characteristic and discreet guitar belongs, obviously, to his friend George Harrison.

Nicky left this impossible world in 1994 but, probably, he lived more in his fifty years than many of us in several lives. And apart from his countless sessions as a studio musician for other artists, he left few but quite more than good samples of his own music. Like this song I'm bringing you today. Nocturnal comment of a session man, its lyrics are up there above this text.


jueves, 3 de junio de 2010

The Oscar Bicycle - On A Quiet Night

The Oscar Bicycle - On A Quiet Night (P.F. Sloan) CBS 3237 A - 1968

Force West era un sólido grupo de Bristol que publicó más de media docena de singles entre 1965 y 1969. Incluso daban la nota al ser uno de los poquísimos grupos británicos de la época, si no los únicos, que utilizaba una avioneta propia para muchos de sus desplazamientos, ya que su manager era también piloto y poseía una Piper de seis plazas.

Además también fueron, muy probablemente, el primer grupo del mundo en versionear a Los Brincos: Al año siguiente de su edición original, "Mejor" fué convertida en "All The Children Sleep" para el cuarto single de la banda en 1967. Aunque, por alguna oscura razón editorial, venía firmada por el productor del disco, Clive Westlake.

El caso es que en 1968, año mágico, se decidió hacer un experimento con el pop psicodélico, como era casi de obligación, y alejarse un poco de su sonido habitual de pop convencional, cercano a The Fortunes, por ejemplo. A tal efecto, grabaron un curioso y atractivo single. La cara B, "The Room Revolves Around Me" ha aparecido en alguna que otra recopilación de psico-oscuridades. No así la cara A del single en cuestión, "On A Quiet Night", una preciosidad firmada por el inefable P.F. Sloan, que a buen seguro debieron encontrar medio camuflada en el tercer LP de The Association, "Insight Out", transmutando la soleada limpieza californiana del original en una deliciosa y continental semilisergia nocturna. Para redondear el asunto, se buscó un nombre adecuado a la intención, y el single fué publicado finalmente bajo el nombre de The Oscar Bicycle.

Por cierto, no me habría importado en absoluto que el final de la canción se prolongara durante unos minutillos más...


Force West was a solid band from Bristol who released more than half a dozen singles between 1965 and 1969. They could even claim to be one of the very few british groups of the times, if not the only one, who were using a private aeroplane for many of their trips. Their manager was also a pilot and owned a six-seater Piper.

Also, most probably, they were the first group in the world to cover an original song by spanish band Los Brincos: One year after its original release, "Mejor" was changed into "All The Children Sleep" for the fourth single of the band in 1967. Although, because of some dark publishing reason, it was credited to the record producer instead, Clive Westlake.

Anyway in 1968, magical year, it was decided to make an experiment with psych pop, as it was almost mandatory, and step a bit beyond their usual conventional pop sound, in the vein of say The Fortunes. To this effect, they recorded a curious and attractive single. The B side, "The Room Revolves Around Me" has already appeared in some of the well known psych-obscurities comps. Not so the A side of the single, "On A Quiet Night", a beauty written by the unutterable P.F. Sloan, which quite surelly was found half lost on The Association third LP, "Insight Out", transmutating the sunny californian neatness of the original into a delicious and nocturnal continental semilysergy. To round things up, a proper name according to the intentions was selected, and the single was finally released under the moniker of The Oscar Bicycle.

By the way, I wouldn't have minded at all if the ending of the song would have lingered on for a few little minutes more...