Sunday, February 11, 2018

Chris Farlowe's English #1 Sinks In America

CHRIS FARLOWE-Out Of Time/Baby Make It Soon US MGM K 13567 1966

Chris Farlowe unfortunately was not able to transfer his U.K. #1 smash reading of the Stone's "Out Of Time" when it was released here in the States in August of '66 (three months after it's U.K. issue as Immediate IM 035). This was curiously not his first US 45, that honor belongs to his previous US 7", a mega rare issue of "Just A Dream"/"What You Gonna Do" which he cut with The Thunderbirds on the obscure Philly label General American way back in January 1965.

Fans of The Rolling Stones will recognize the backing track on Farlowe's reading of "Out Of Time" from the version on their "Metamorphosis" collection as it's the exact same version Mick Jagger sings over.  One would surmise this was done as a guide vocal for Farlowe although you never know. Regardless of which came first it brought Farlowe a U.K. #1 (and was at that position when England won the World Cup!). It was his first hit in his home country and sadly subsequent releases failed to reach the same heights or even remotely close to that coveted chart spot. Led by Art Greenslade's heavy duty string scoring it's not one of my favorite tracks by him (I've long preferred his pre-Immediate records stuff with The Thunderbirds). I also prefer The Stones more simplistic reading rather than this bombastic reading.  I think my chief complaint is that Farlowe always seemed to be singing out of his range on a lot of Immediate material and this one is no exception.

The flip, "Baby Make It Soon", was penned by Eric Woollfson (later of the Alan Parsons Project) and Andrew Loog Oldham. It's a halfway decent soulful ballad but nothing terribly impressive in  my estimation.

Both sides have appeared in a variety of places as Farlowe's Immediate material has been licensed (legitimately or on the never never) to everybody and their brother so there's no shortage of places to hear them (with orchestration by Art Greenslade and production by Mick Jagger again). They're both available on two in print UK Chris Farlowe CD collections "Handbags & Gladrags: The Immediate Collection" and "Out Of Time" available for purchase on CD or download from Amazon.

Hear "Out Of Time":

Hear "Baby Make It Soon":

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