Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by mark winstanley, Apr 4, 2021.
I think that's my main issue with it really
I heard this song before the album because it was in the show in 1982 and I bought the vinyl bootleg The Late, Late Show from the Essen 1982 broadcast and it had "Bernadette" on it. Of course, it is entirely derivative of Little Richard but so what? Definitely works as a live number which is mostly what I know it from and it is probably suited as a blast of rock n roll to wrap up side two after a series of songs that challenge the listener quite a bit. Sort of an "it's only rock n roll" moment at the end of the album.
Bernadette: Any opportunity to let Dave wail on in his high register works for me. I assumed because he was the lead vocalist, and the lyrics so basic, that he must have written it. Wrong! I guess because Dave now had another creative outlet with his solo albums, Ray must have called it even and at least let him sing lead on one song. This song killed live in 1983 and the recorded version doesn't sound far off.
Wouldn't "Long Distance" have made a much better closing track, with "Bernadette" thrown in on the "cassette only" version? As it was, back in the day many of us had to buy the album twice to hear that song! If only Ray had been up for producing The Replacements second album, Tim, that sounds a bit like this, only much muddier.
I’m struck dumb as to what to offer up about this one. It’s not that I dislike it, not that at all. The young me loved that they could shed their metaphorical tweed jacket (with elbow patches), roll up their sleeves, and get their hands dirty. Step down from the usual astute social commentary to spit out a snotty, snarky, Stones-y kiss-off. What I notice now is that it boasts a witty, playful lyric; one that the New York Dolls might have enjoyed sinking their teeth into. And I know, oh, do I know, that Dave’s vocals are an acquired taste, but to me, on this track at least, it’s like the warm sun on your back. It puts pep in your step. And I never really noticed, until this homework assignment, just how much I like that short sax solo. Why does Ray never include these horn guys in the credits? After all the heavy weather on State of Confusion, this is a nice breath of fresh (hot) air rushing in from an open window. Sure, ‘Bernadette’ is a lower-rung Kinks track, but I never cross the street when it’s heading toward me. It’s never skipped, and always welcome.
This comment mirrors my own to a T. I had forgotten that Heart of Gold was on this record. I have it on the Come Dancing comp and it comes across like another latter day classic. Not in the same rarefied air as Better Things for me, but a great song!
This is the unreleased outtake from the bootleg acetate recorded during the Give The People What They Want sessions in 1981. It's got the extra verses but Ray's vocals were redone for the final recording.
Has to be the Four Tops.
Given Dave's precarious financial position in this song shouldn't big brother Ray advise him on some low budgeting?
I suppose Ray felt like he had to give Dave something to do on this album, "Listen Dave, it's not much of a song but if you can pull off a Bon Scott impersonation I might think about putting it on the album".
Smart guys as there are several vocal and musical overtones that hint at their classic brooding "I'll Be There" hit!
Thanks. Was there a longer version that was released at the time as a B-side (and has since remained un-reissued) though or am I misremembering?
So, this is a love or leave it track as expected. I've brought up hints of Dave's vocal style that verges on grate (or great for some maybe?) on this track in posts past so here we are.
As I mentioned above this was recorded during the Give The People What They Want sessions but some final overdubs including redone vocals may have been done during the State Of Confusion sessions.
There is an officially released alternate mix as @ajsmith suggests. For a B-Side no less!?!
This mix is drier and has less of the gloss, sheen, and reverb I talk about all the time. There are two guitars and they have better left/right stereo separation here than the album version which has them both centered. The piano is also mixed louder which is evident right from the start with the three eighth note pickups during the count in that were mixed out of the album mix. This also has the extra Ray redone (compared to the acetate) vocals in the bridge in it plus the sax from the album mix not on the acetate.
Personally this is the better mix of the two to my ears. The album mix is just more congested overall.
This was released on both UK singles 7" and 12". Unreleased in the US and never on CD anywhere.
Bernadette (UK Single Mix)
Until today I always heard it as 'you've made a career out of poncing off all the men you've slept with' which I know doesn't make any sense in context!
It makes perfect sense.
seek to obtain (something) without paying for it or doing anything in return.
"I ponced a ciggie off her"
I always thought it was that, as well - I still do!
In fact it's "punting" that makes no sense and, listening to it again, I'm pretty sure it is "poncing". Another one to bamboozle their newfound American audience. There are few more English sentences than the dictionary example I posted, "I ponced a ciggie off her".
Well, there you have it! Despite being from the UK myself (if somewhat northerly of London to put it mildly) I was only familiar with ‘ponce’ as a noun.
Same.... I just wasn't sure how to word it...
You obviously haven't seen anything like enough episodes of The Sweeney.
It’s true I’ve seen very little of The Sweeney: none in fact!
"Bernadette": I know that some of my fellow Avids seem not to like this song. I'm the exact opposite. It really didn't do too much for me when I first heard the album, but now I appreciate it as the Little Richard homage that it is. Perhaps the Georgia Peach should have covered it himself. I do like the alternating vocals of Ray 'n Dave, as well as the sax part which is a reminder that the sax was thee rock 'n instrument before the electric guitar supplanted it. It's a great rocking closure to the album, especially considering the heaviness of the previous song.
This track has the effect of a wild dog that was chained to the back of the barn during the ball and at the end he is let off the leash at last. After all he is a family member, so we must forgive him if he threatens to spoil the whole album with his screaming. It is somewhat refreshing in its primitive tone, unpretentious lyrics and as a bonus it does have a modest hook.
"I ponced an 'arry off that geezer, would you Adam'n'Eve it?"
Lyrics quoted from the song Blur never dared to write.
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