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Friday on my Mind 209: Eloise. RIP Barry Ryan

I’ve been meanning to post Eloise here for ages but never quite got around to it. Sadly its singer Barry Ryan died last month. He had a few minor hits in the UK when in partnership with his twin brother Paul, who eventually gave up being onstage in favour of being a songwriter. Apparently influenced by Richard Harris’s success with the Jimmy Webb song MacArthur Park, Eloise was the fruit of that and became a no 2 hit in the UK (with some chart compilers having it at no 1.) Paul predeceased Barry in 1992. So it goes.

Eloise is almost sui generis (despite any comparison to MacArthur Park.) It doesn’t really sound like any other 1960s song. It could be said to be overproduced and overwrought but once heard is never forgotten. Dave Vanian of The Damned liked it so much he had the band record it in 1986, when it reached no 3 in the UK.

It was released under the credit Barry Ryan (with The Majority) but is always referred to as if Barry Ryan were the sole performer. He certainly gave it his all in the recording.

The follow-up to Eloise, the similarly overblown Love is Love, can be listened to here and The Damned version of Eloise here.

The clip is from the German pop show Beat Club.

Barry Ryan: Eloise

Barry Sapherson (Barry Ryan,) 24/1/0 1948 – 28/9/2021. So it goes.

Not Friday on my Mind 68: Soul Deep

This was the third UK hit for the Box Tops but it only reached no 22. It’s become something of a classic, though.

This clip sounds to be the recorded version played over footage of a TV appearance.

The Box Tops: Soul Deep

Friday on my Mind 208: That’s the Way God Planned It

Billy Preston holds the singular distinction of being the only other artist to feature as a named collaborator on a Beatles single. That was with Get Back and its B-side Don’t Let Me Down, both credited to The Beatles with Billy Preston.

In the wake of that he had a top ten hit of his own in 1969 with this song though.

Billy Preston: That’s the Way God Planned It

Friday on my Mind 207: The Price of Love. RIP Don Everly

Don Everly, half of pioneering rock music duo the Everly Brothers, who had an undeniable impact and influence on musical acts who succeeded them, including The Beatles and Simon and Garfunkel, died earlier this week. (I noted his brother Phil’s passing in 2014.)

Don was 81. (Astonishingly, the obituary in the printed edition of the Guardian said he was survived by his mother, who has therefore reached a very good age)

By the time I got to listening to music in the mid-60s the Everlys star had waned somewhat but their harmonies still had a distinctive edge.

This song, written by the brothers, was the Everlys last big hit in the UK.

The Everly Brothers: The Price of Love

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Isaac Donald (Don) Everly: February 1/2/1937 –21/8/2021. So it goes.

Friday on my Mind 206: Western Union

This is a very typical USian mid-60s sound. I certainly hear echoes of the Monkees.

The sentiments of the song are a rewriting of Return to Sender though.

The Five Americans: Western Union

Friday on my Mind 205: Birds and Bees

Another Deram release, this time DM 120. It was a top thirty hit only.

It has that baroque sound characteristic of mid 60s British pop though.

Warm Sounds: Birds and Bees

Friday on my Mind 204: Here it Comes Again

I saw in the Guardian during the week that Barry Mason died last month.

Songs to his credit include Delilah, The Last Waltz and Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes.

Many of his songs were written in collaboration with Les Reed whose Death I noted here.

Earlier than those songs he had written this hit for The Fortunes.

The video is clearly the recording played over TV footage.

The Fortunes: Here it Comes Again

John Barry Mason: 12/7/1935 – 16/4/ 2021. So it goes.

Friday on my Mind 203: Baby Now That I’ve Found You

I’ve always liked the drum fills on this, the Foundations’ first hit.

Their lead singer on the Top of the Pops appearance couldn’t quite reach the high note on ‘Baby’. (Yes; acts did used to sing live on TOTP sometimes.) He’d left by the time of Build Me Up Buttercup, now forever known to me as the xylophone song.

The Foundations: Baby Now That I’ve Found You

That TOTP performance is here.

Not Friday on my Mind 66: Are You Sitting Comfortably?

The source of that “glorious age of Camelot” quote I linked to in Tuesday’s review post of Lavie Tidhar’s “King Arthur” book By Force Alone.

The song is from The Moody Blues album On the Threshold of a Dream released in April 1969. A languid, ethereal, atmospheric track. Quite unlike the book I might add.

The Moody Blues: Are You Sitting Comfortably?

Friday on my Mind 202: Different Drum

This was most people’s introduction to the voice of Linda Ronstadt as she was the lead singer in the Stone Poneys. The song had been released before by the Greenbriar Boys but wasn’t a hit. (Nor was the Stone Poneys’ version a hit in the UK.)

Its writer though was Mike Nesmith of the Monkees. He offered the song to them but the show’s producers turned it down. He recorded it himself in 1972 and his version has a much more ‘country’ feel.

The Stone Poneys: Different Drum

Michael Nesmith: Different Drum

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