Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Muscle Bustle

There’s more summer pop magic right here. Yes, I know I spoil you. Today it’s Muscle Bustle by Donna Loren, a great girl group romp from the 1964 film Muscle Beach Party.

Written by Brian Wilson and Gary Usher with the - to me - mysterious Roger Christian, here’s where I hand over the reins to Mr Harvey Williams, who knows everything about Brian Wilson and his associates, and has kindly offered these insights:

Roger Christian (or as he was sometimes known, Hot *Rod* Rog) was an LA disc jockey, and occasional writing partner of Brian. I have his "Little Street Machine" (or similar) somewhere. He doesn't exactly have a voice made for singing, so he basically narrates the song instead of singing it. I kind of like his lyrics as an evocation of the lifestyle, but more often than not they're basically lists of engine parts. The Hanes Manual of rock lyrics.

My favourite beach movie clip is here:
The Beach Boys “Little Honda”. Watch out for the girl shimmying next to Dennis (from around 40s in). Oh, I see you've already spotted her...what a woman.

Thanks, Harvey. Now would be a good time to remind anyone who hasn’t got a ticket for Harvey’s gig on Friday with Rose Melberg and The Dreamers to get one. Remarkably, there are still a few tickets left.

This would also be a good time for me to confess that last week I was remiss in posting Theresa Lindsey’s Gotta Find A Way from the old Goldmine compilation, Ultimate Girl Groups. That version has been remastered very badly and sounds well below par.

Better by far is the original 7”, which you can hear right here. It may have a couple of crackles but it’s got the rasp and guts and full-bloodedness absent from the reissued version. I believe Ms Lindsey when she sings the original.

If you can find it, however, the Ultimate Girl Groups compilation is worth having. You won’t know how you ever managed without Madeline Wilson’s Dial ‘L’ For Lonely or Cheryl Williams’ Everybody’s Happy But Me or the Sherrys’ Put You Arms Around Me after you’ve lived with them for even just the shortest time.

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