THE GRAHAM BOND ORGANIZATION-Wade In The Water/St. James Infirmary U.S. Ascot 2211 1966
Today's specimen is the first U.S. pressing of a Graham Bond single (and I believe the sole example of a U.S. Graham Bond Organization single). It is unique because unlike it's British issue (Columbia DB 7471) "Wade In The Water" is not coupled with the dreadful reading of "Tammy" ("St. James Infirmary" was the A-side for February '66's Columbia DB 7838 where it was backed by "Soul Tango") !
The U.S. 45 version of "Wade In The Water" is a different recording than it's U.K. cousin and it was the version that was used on their debut LP "The Sound of '65". It's classic G.B.O. at their finest. Bond's "Phantom of the Opera" style intro on the B-3 kicks off one of their best instrumental tracks ever. Every member of the band sweats blood on this, Bond is a wild man on the organ as Ginger Baker pounds the shit out of his kit doing his best Elvin Jones breaks while Dick Heckstall-Smith squeezes some bending notes out of his double sax parts and Jack Bruce plays the straight man and is strangely restrained! "St. James Infirmary" is equally amazing. Bond wails like a bluesman possessed and sounds like he means every word he's singing as if he's in mourning. Heckstall-Smith's horns are positively haunting turning the number into a mournful dirge.
Both tracks are featured as bonus tracks on the Repertoire CD reissue of the G.B.O's "There's A Bond Between Us".
Hear "Wade In The Water":
Hear "St. James Infirmary":
|Messrs Baker, Bruce, Heckstall-Smith & Bond: The G.B.O.|
|The less cool UK. pressing w/ crappy "B" side.|