Monday, June 26, 2017

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

THE AMEN CORNER-World Of Broken Hearts/Nema US Deram 45-DEM-85201 1967

Amen Corner's second U.S. single was the October 1967 release of the Pomus/Shuman composition "The World Of Broken Hearts" (first cut by Sissie Houston in the US on the Congress label the previous year, which was arranged and conducted by Mort Shuman). The Amen Corner's first version was issued in the U.K. the previous month as Deram DM 151 where it reached #24 in the national charts.

"The World Of Broken Hearts" works for Amen Corner in no small part due to their excellent production by Noel Walker. Starting with some subtle organ and and bass and Andy Fairweather Low's vocal the brass slides in subtly in conjunction with strings  before exploding and then fading out again for the verses and bursting back for the chorus. The churchy Hammond and and powerful horn section are always an asset for the band on their Deram sides and this cut exemplifies that.

Photo by David Wedgbury

The Fairweather-Low original "Nema" ("Amen" spelled backwards geddit?) starts with a catchy little piano/Hammond lick and bursts into a frantic Hammond n' horns orgy . Like the A-side it has quiet parts that are jarred by the power of their brass section (later to form Judas Jump after the band's 1970 dissolution) and the swirling Hammond. There's an almost "psychedelic" feel to it all. The best part is near the ending at 2:43 that utilizes the same chord changes later to crop up as "Baba O'Reilly" by The Who. Here the horns and Hammond pound out a tough riff before Fairweather-Low chants "N is the first, E is the second, M is the third, A is the fourth glad you bought our record" and it all ends.

Both sides can be found on the CD issue of their debut Deram LP "Around".

Hear "World Of Broken Hearts":

Hear "Nema":

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