8 August 2008

Barnaby Rudge - Joe, Organ & Co

Barnaby Rudge

Label: CBS
Year of Release: 1968

On the last Beatles cover versions update, I briefly mentioned the Morgan Studios in North London and the tight circles of talent that operated in that environment. Barnaby Rudge is yet another Morgan "project", in this case a cockney hippy character created by studio hands Wil Malone and Danny Beckerman.

Sounding for all the world like a Deram-era David Bowie single, "Joe, Organ & Co" is really just a curious novelty track with a slightly melancholy edge. Focussing on the adventures of an organ grinder and his monkey, it is a simple piece punctuated by sound effects and undercut by a slightly downbeat lyric, the entire package reflecting the child-like nature of a lot of vaguely psychedelic pop of the period.

Despite plugs on several record stations (where Wil Malone was on occasion interviewed in character) the single wasn't a hit. Wil would later have more success in the nineties, working on the string arrangements for Massive Attack and The Verve - this is such a far cry from the style of those artists that it's hard to even make a connection, although I for one would love to hear Richard Ashcroft's cover version of this ditty.

I've included the B-side "Railway Jim" here for reference as well, a sprightly piece of nonsense which borders on irritating. Sadly, I don't have any access to the numerous Barnaby Rudge tracks which were apparently left in "the can" (as they say) although I find it hard to imagine how a whole album of this material could work.



Anonymous said...

Is there possibility to download this song, because I can't find it anywhere...?

23 Daves said...


If you go to the Sharebee link above and click on "Badongo", they definitely still have it available for download. Simply enter the letters you can see into the text box on the right, click "Download the file", and Bob's Yer Uncle.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much, it can be hard to find some old bands like this on internet, even Last.fm doesn't have a description for that artist... So thanks again, and greetings from Croatia. Lucija ;)