Friday, November 4, 2011

Lady Godiva - Peter and Gordon

Lady Godiva
Peter and Gordon
Capitol  ST 2664

I've been listening to a lot of British Invasion of late.  As a teen it was my favorite genre of pop music.  When I was really young, I liked Peter and Gordon because of their proper English accents and nerdy looks, but as I got older they seemed corny to me and I was only interested in them because of Peter Asher's connection to Paul McCartney and the handful of McCartney songs they recorded that the Beatles never did.  I look at the pictures on the back cover of this album and think that the boys look pretty cool, like wannabe Byrds, but unfortunately the music inside is mostly sappy.  It is hard to believe that this record came out in 1967, it would have been outmoded in 1964.  Compared to their increasingly ambitious peers Chad and Jeremy, not to mention every other significant British Invasion group, they seem hopelessly square.  To their credit, the two best songs were written by Asher and Gordon Waller, "Morning's Calling" and "Start Trying Someone Else."  The latter is just a decent romantic ballad, but the former is one of their few credible rock songs, an excellent folk-rock song with lovely lyrics about escape and heartache.  "Morning's Calling" is the best Peter and Gordon song that I've ever heard not written by a Beatle.  It is worth the purchase of this album in itself, although you can also find it on the b-side of the "Lady Godiva" single.  "Lady Godiva" is a novelty song with a music hall flavor, it is pretty catchy if you like that sort of thing.  It was their last top ten single.  The remainder of the album is made up of cover songs, none of which are very good.  In their hands the Beatles' "If I Fell" loses all its bite and becomes overwrought teen pablum.  Corny crooning predominates on "Till There Was You," "Young and Beautiful," "When I Fall In Love," and "Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing" which are also hampered by hackneyed arrangements.  I do like their melodramatic version of "The Exodus Song" which has some emotional power.   There is a yearning quality to the vocal on "A Taste of Honey" that cuts through some of the muzak.  The boys come on like the English Righteous Brothers on "Baby I'm Yours," it is not exactly soulful but it is kind of dynamic.  This isn't a good record, but I'm not sorry I bought it.  Recommended for people who think British accents make everything sound better.

No comments:

Post a Comment