Sunday, February 18, 2024

Simon Dupree and The Big Sound's Debut

SIMON DUPREE AND THE BIG SOUND-I See The Light/It Is Finished U.K. Parlophone R 5542 1966

British act Simon Dupree and the Big Sound could best be compared to an act like Zoot Money or The Small Faces in that they were a band who cut sometimes trippy pop records while retaining a very soul/r&b sound onstage but ran the difficult gamut of trying to balance the two. 

They made their debut in December 1966 with this Five Americans cover "I See The Light" (first issued by The Five Americans in the U.S. in November 1965 and issued in the U.K. in September 1966). The Simon Dupree version is a bit more frantic than the original and replaces the jangling guitar lick underneath with some descending brass scales meshed in with the frenzied organ (a Simon Dupree trademark). My favorite part of the number is the way the guitar and bass do this wiggy little solo. One can imagine that the number was no doubt a center piece to their live show as their performance of it on German TV's "Beat Beat Beat" (see link below) will prove!

The flip side, "It Is Finished", is an interesting mix of Herb Alpert style trumpet and a soulful but poppy arrangement. The band's Schulman brothers (Derek-lead vocals, Phil-vocals, sax, trumpet, French horn and Ray-guitar, violin and trumpet) were multi instrumentalists and they come to fore in this number with an interesting mix of Farfisa, horns and violin. 

Both sides are available on a host of Simon Dupree and The Big Sound collections, the most recent being a two CD set "Part Of My Past" which collects all their 45 and LP tracks in addition to a host of unreleased material released during their relatively brief (1966-1969) career.

Hear "I See The Light":

Watch the band perform "I See The Light" on German TV's "Beat Beat Beat":

Hear "It Is Finished":

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