Song Of the Day: December 30, 2005
The Tremeloes – Gentlemen of Pleasure
Epic Records 45, 1967
1967. Hendrix. Pepper. I Can See for Miles. Satanic Majesties. The Tremeloes? In hipster London circles you might as well have been talking about whatever the UK Lawrence Welk equivalent was. Ok, so Here Comes My Baby was a bit of fun in the Caribbean a la the Hollies Hey Carrie Anne, and extra points on that for pepping up a Cat Stevens plodder, but Silence Is Golden? Suddenly You Love Me? Yeeuchhh! Giving the people what they want, I guess. I liken them to the Association, professional do-gooders making the sun shine through inoffensive rainbows. Only with less talent.
So to my surprise upon receiving from a friend a box of 45’s from the 60’s (mostly crap, with some Bee Gees, Box Tops, and Brenda Lee floating around) is the Here Comes My Baby single with this killer psych-pop B-side. Smoothly delivered vocal melody, nice tambourine action, and that great echo-laden bass driving things along, louder than every other instrument (awesome that the bassist misses a note in the middle of the first chorus). I love the way the arrangement keeps changing during that really long instrumental break (for a pop tune), the drummer kicking it out near the break’s end with the crazy bass runs. Remarkably, aside from the verses, the back-up ooh-ahh-doo-doo vocals pretty much are in effect for most of the tune, something you just don’t hear these days, certainly not in indie rock. Such great stupid lyrics, too: basically advice about how partying with your boys all night in the swinging clubs will cure shyness. Of course, the booze helps.
This song led me to pick up a Tremeloes collection, and man is it weak (though Even the Bad Times are Good has a few good points). Nothing else like Gentlemen of Pleasure, though, which isn’t even on it. There is a comp out now called “What a State I’m In” which allegedly contains the secret freakbeat/psych-pop Tremeloes rarities. Dare I risk getting burned again for a sweet taste?