Thursday, September 18, 2014

More U.K. Obscurities On U.S. Labels: Amen

AMEN CORNER-High In The Sky/Run, Run, Run U.S. Deram 45-7521 1968

Today's topic was Cardiff, Wales favorite sons Amen Corner's fourth U.S. 45 release issued in October 1968 . It was released previously in July in the U.K. as (DM 197) where it became their highest charting record reaching a respectable #6.  No such luck in the U.S.A where their name would never pop up in the Billboard chart readings.  Issued in conjunction with their U.S. Deram LP "Round Amen Corner"  it was one of the first numbers I ever heard by them and still remains a fave.

Amen Corner's strength in my book always lay with their strong horn section twin sax attack of Allan Jones and Mike Smith which in my estimation helped compensate for lead singer Andy Fairweather Low's occasionally strained voice. "High In The Sky" benefits from the strong horn section as well as a nice fairground style feel to their churchy Hammond and grooves along quite nicely. The pounding, fluid James Jamerson style bass line weaving in and around the horns and Hammond is a further indication of how shit hot this band was.

"Run Run Run" suffers from the above mentioned tendency  by Fairweather Low in the vocal department, who like Chris Farlowe always seemed to be given numbers with keys he could never quite hit.  And regardless of what the musical backing is like (it's not at all un-listenable) it's lame, the tune itself is pretty weak as well.

Both sides can be found on the Deram CD reissue of their LP "Around Amen Corner".

See a half assed mime attempt from German TV's "Beat Club" below:

Hear "Run Run Run":

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