Wednesday, July 6, 2011

More U.K. Obscurities On U.S. Labels: The Pudding

THE PUDDING-The Magic Bus/It's Too Late U.S. Press 45-PRE-5010 1966

The Pudding go down in history as another band who pre-dated a Who version of a Pete Townshend track.  Their version of Pete's "Magic Bus" hit the streets in the U.K. in April 1967 (Decca F 12603), The Who's version would not be released until October 1968 (as Track 604024).  The band also added a "The" to the title, I'm not sure who there were or where they came from sufficing to say they were a British trio and I'm afraid i know little else of them. Band's covering Pete Townshend tunes that the Who did were nothing new, The Untamed had covered the "My Generation" LP track "It's Not True" (U.K. planet PLF 103, December 1965) and the Mersey's did likewise with "So Sad About Us" (U.K. Fontana TF 732 July 1966), among many others.

The Pudding's version of "Magic Bus" in no way resembles the Duane Eddy meets Bo Diddley mannerisms of The Who's version, and it differs a bit from Pete's demo (which like The Who's eventual version utilizes wooden blocks for percussion).  The Pudding instead utilize some bongos to pick up the percussive vibe and the vocals are laid back with the instrumentation kicking in with a light hearted fair (possibly the work of session men as there's a harp, guitar, bass ,drums and even a brief bit of trumpet).  It's fairly pedestrian at first but for me it's charm grows after repeated listenings. The B-side, "It's Too late" is dreadful business, middle of the road balladry accompanied by some vibes which don't succeed in making it soulful.

3 English guys known as The Pudding
"The Magic Bus" appeared on Bam Caruso's "Rubble Volume Six: The Clouds Have Groovy Faces", which also forms part of their groovy "Rubble One" box set.  The flip has not been reissued, and with good reason.

 Hear Pete Townshend's demo of "Magic Bus":

Hear the Pudding's version of "The Magic Bus":

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