Ed's Favorite Obscure Albums #1: The Wild Ones - "The Arthur Sound" (UA, 1965)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Ed Bishop, May 13, 2006.

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  1. Ed Bishop

    Ed Bishop Incredibly, I'm still here Thread Starter

    Very interesting album and time capsule from NYC band, c. fall 1965. Kind of a '65 version of Joey Dee & The Starliters, the Wild Ones weren't really so wild, but a fair(if not exceptional)quintet, also with a prominent organ and a singer of middling talents...:D

    Beyond its music, the album is interesting for other reasons. First, though he didn't have a high-profile career, one of the members, Jordan Christopher, did go on to an acting career, first in the cinema of the '60s(RETURN OF THE SEVEN), and in such later films as STAR 80 and BRAINSTORM, along with many TV appearances.

    Also notable is one Sybil Christopher, seen in the front cover shot(by the legendary Richard Avedon). When I first bought this album many years ago(the recent copy is my 2nd mono press of it), didn't realize that Sybil Christopher used to be Sybil Burton, Richard's first wife(and mother of his children). Turns out, after the breakup, she moved to the USA and hung in NYC, eventually meeting up with Jordan and the group.

    The 'Arthur' of the title was apparently some club she had renovated and attempted to turn into a hip nitespot. How well she did I've no idea, but somehow did managed to get her resident band--and hubby--on the Billboard Lp charts, to #149 in November 1965. No hits, but it's worth noting that the two originals here--"Wild Way Of Living" and "People Sure Act Funny"--found their way into a 1966 B-film, The Fat Spy.

    It's a 'live' album out of the Dee school, and to be fair, it does have that slightly thin and distant 'live' feel about it, though the crowd's enthusiasm is not overwhelming except at the end, when they whoop a little too much...:D

    The lineup:

    Side 1:

    1. It's Not Unusual
    2. My Little Red Book
    3. I Can't Help Myself
    4. My Girl
    5. Wild Way Of Living
    6. You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'

    Side 2:

    1. Dancing In The Streets
    2. (I Can't Get No)Satisfaction
    3. Foolish Pride
    4. People Sure Act Funny(When They Get A Lot Of Money)
    5. Around The Corner
    6. What's New Pussycat?

    It's interesting that the album is bookended by two Tom Jones hits. This suggest the group was aiming toward a more adult audience...at least at first glance. But the three Motown covers--fairly inept, as you'd expect...:D--remind us of their likely garage band origins before Sybil spiffed them up. They also cover "My Little Red Book"(Manfred Mann arrangement--I still think Arthur Lee did more with it), do Ok(under the limited circumstances)with "Lovin' Feelin'" and "Satisfaction," while predictably inferior to the Stones, is fun to listen to if only for the value of hearing them do what a thousand other bands at clubs probably did at the time--their best, which wasn't really good enough...:laugh:

    Really cool to hear this one again...in the original mono(UAL 3450).

  2. Joe Koz

    Joe Koz Prodigal Bone Brotherâ„¢ In Memoriam

    Sounds interesting, Ed! Can you post any pictures of this band and/or album? I'd love to see it...
  3. MikeM

    MikeM Forum Resident

    Youngstown, Ohio
    Ed, I have this album somewhere too, but it would take me considerable digging to turn it up.

    So since you have it in front of you, is "Around the Corner" the same song The Duprees did on Columbia in 1964? If so, it's a great one...sort of the urban version of "El Paso."
  4. been thinking about My Little red Book recently

    About the "My Little Red Book" chord / arrangement differences . . . .

    I used to be with you about the Love take on the record being better than Manfred Mann / Burt's version (after all I heard the Love version first) . . . but after time I've come over to Burt's POV that Love "got the wrong chords" and in fact missed the whole point of the lyrics.
    Sure, the Love performance has chutzpah and the anger, but the protagonist in the song is a loser. The slightly sour chords of Burt's version is intended to underscore that. I think part of the reason that Burt (and now I) think Love got it wrong is that Arthur Lee obviously failed to note that the protagonist is the one 'sinking to the bottom', not the interchangeable babes around him. The singer of that song shouldn't sound assertive at all, he's been sunned and rightly so.

    Now, if you want to take the same chords and arrangement, and add new lyrics then you've got a winner. "My Little Red Book" though is really about a guy who has no clue what a jerk he's been.

    Just my two cents . . .
  5. Ed Bishop

    Ed Bishop Incredibly, I'm still here Thread Starter

    One and the same...inspired, so it's been said, by WEST SIDE STORY, FWIW.

    At the moment, no, no scanner installed(yet). Can't find the album cover on the net, either, after a cursory look. Given some of the stuff that's been reissued over the years, surprising this one apparently wasn't.

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