Saturday, October 8, 2016

Great Obscure U.K. 60's R&B Sides: Truly Smith Does Chris Clark

TRULY SMITH-I Wanna Go Back There Again/The Window Cleaner German Decca DL 25 304 1967

I first became aware of U.K. 60's female vocalist Truly Smith when I saw a photograph of a French E.P. of hers in a booklet of French 60's 45 and E.P. picture sleeves that came with a dodgy Eva records album in the 80's. I saw the E.P. first hand in Paris and was intrigued by her dollybird look but it wasn't until the late 90's that I came across our subject today at the Princeton Record Exchange when they were selling 45's that had once belonged to Radio Free Europe. I took a chance and decided to hear what she was all about with this German pressing of her doing Chris Clark's "I Wanna Go Back There Again". It was issued in the U.K. in August 1967 (Decca F 12645) and beat the Clark original to a UK release (which didn't come out until January 1968!). This pressing came out in September of '67 and was her sole German release.

"I Wanna Go Back There Again" is believe it or not BETTER than the original version to my ears.  It's more uptempo and though Truly Smith's voice is entirely different than Chris Clark's I find her delivery is a bit more enjoyable to my ears than Clark's husky tone and the musical backing is actually a bit more dance-able.

The flip side "Window Cleaner" sounds like it could be a groovy social observation in the style of Barbara Ruskin, but nothing doing.  It's a dreadful little ditty with muted horns that recall the New Vaudeville Band at their ickiest and another dreadful example of how 1920's were ever so briefly "hip" in 1967.

"I Wanna Go Back There Again" was recently unearthed for Decca's CD comp "Love Hot Me: Decca Girls 1962-1970", it's flip has thankfully not.

Truly Smith on "Beat Club" German TV:

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