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New Zealand Music Month - Day 11 - Dave's Ramblings [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Daveosaurus

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New Zealand Music Month - Day 11 [May. 11th, 2009|05:17 pm]
Daveosaurus
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I've unearthed some more really old stuff this time.

The Hi-Revving Tongues started off their recording career by trying to be a psychedelic band. Their first single, Illusion, was recorded at a time when there was one (1) known sitar in the entire country, and a different band had first call on it, so they had to improvise. Improvise they did, by doing weird things to guitar strings and tuning and effects and coming up with quite an odd sound which didn't really sound much like a sitar, but didn't sound much like anything else either.

Unfortunately this band, although one I never thought was that obscure, don't even have a stub on Wikipedia; the best web site I could find at short notice with information about the band is here. In their day they were most famous for a version of Rain and Tears, but this song below, Tropic of Capricorn, is (1) a better song, (2) as far as I can tell, it's an original (although if it isn't I'd like to know who wrote it so I can track down more of their music), and (3) I actually recall hearing a few times on the radio back when I was young. It's also on a CD I really need to get back one of these years off the friend I loaned it to.

Anyway here, courtesy of You Tube, are Chris Parfitt - vocals; Mike Balcombe - lead guitar; Bruce Coleman - organ; John Walmsley - bass; Rob Noad - drums.

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Comments:
From: cajetan65
2009-05-11 07:33 am (UTC)

Tropic of Capricorn

Pretty sure that it's a cover, alas. I'll do some digging in some authoritative sources later tonight and let you know definitively...

I agree about the song: as I obtained a copy of it by morally dubious means more than twenty years ago. Haven't played it in nearly as long. Like the organ bits in it :)
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[User Picture]From: southerndave
2009-05-11 08:07 am (UTC)

Re: Tropic of Capricorn

You'd think the reference to "streetcars" in the chorus would be a bit of a dead giveaway... but th' Dudes managed to mention streetcars in Walking in Light (much to Ian Morris' embarrassment as reported in the booklet to "Where Are The Girls?") so it might just be the problem Richard Thompson talked about in one interview with him I've read: that the language of rock'n'roll is a bit too American.
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From: cajetan65
2009-05-11 08:13 am (UTC)

Re: Tropic of Capricorn

It MIGHT be an original... I dug up quite a number of songs by that title: but in the wrong style or era to be that particular one.

Short of sighting the vinyl (and who knows how truthful THAT is ;) - one can't be absolutely sure.

A lot of people claim that the song is "psychedelic." I don't think it is. Sure, it has a slow keyboard middle eight, and fuzz tone guitar. So there might be an Strawberry Alarm Clock or (more likely) an Electric Prunes influence. But lyrically and structurally, it's as "pop" as can be.
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[User Picture]From: southerndave
2009-05-11 08:41 am (UTC)

Re: Tropic of Capricorn

I have just been flicking through the first edition of Dix (the second edition is currently out on loan) and he doesn't mention anything about whether it's an original or not (and I'd be disinclined to trust him anyway since he lists Rain and Tears as an original!) I've just never seen a songwriter credit for the song (expletive deleted "How Was The Air Up There?" with its lack of any songwriter information...)

I wouldn't call Tropic of Capricorn that psychedelic either... Illusion is a bit more like it (if you get the chance, have a listen to the compilation CD "A Day In My Mind's Mind").
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From: cajetan65
2009-05-16 09:50 pm (UTC)

Re: Tropic of Capricorn

If this song is an original - then the author is mostly likely Mike Balcombe (pictured at bottom left on the album cover)
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[User Picture]From: southerndave
2009-05-24 10:04 am (UTC)

Re: Tropic of Capricorn

Further to a quick investigation of the bands you mentioned, I am now listening to Incense and Peppermints. I have vague recollections of the song but didn't know who did it. You bastard.
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