Monday, December 05, 2011

7" review: Lovin' Spoonful - Alley Oop / Night Owl Blues

Lovin' Spoonful
Alley Oop/ Night Owl Blues

I had no idea that Black Friday was also another Record Store Day. Among the things released and available on that day, Sundazed released this - an outtake from Lovin' Spoonful's first album (available on the reissue of it) and an extended version of the closing track of the record.

Back around the time I posted an entry that appreciated the band's Everything Playing album, I considered ordering their debut, Do You Believe in Magic. It's the only album of theirs that I don't own and I really wanted to hear "Night Owl Blues." The opening seconds of that song are really light years from the band's lighter fare, such as that album's title track (though I will say the backing track of that song has a lot of drive). John Sebastian blows an extremely dirty harp intro that gets especially raunchy against Zal Yanovsky's echoey guitar chords. These weren't any ordinary white kids copping the style. This is genuine.

I haven't heard the song since I sold my two-fer Kama Sutra Best Of album about two decades ago. It wasn't a tragic loss, but something I would enjoy revisiting. So when I saw that was on this single, I was sold. Plus Zal's guitar solo doesn't fade out after three minutes. It goes for another chorus or two before Sebastian comes in, Joe Butler takes things into double time for a few bars and the whole thing wraps up neatly.

"Alley Oop" is indeed the novelty song originally done by the Hollywood Argyles. The band turns it into something of a garage rave-up, at least as far as the tempo goes, which gives it a nice bump, along with vocals by Zal.

At $8, these Record Store singles can be a little steep, but considering I would've paid more for a CD reissue that I'd probably set aside after a spin or two, this was a good investment.

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