12 November 2009

Cupids Inspiration - My World

Cupids Inspiration - My World
Label: NEMS
Year of Release: 1968
It's rare, but every so often a single falters which in all other respects seems absolutely like a sure-fire hit. Not only is it a sleek, classy beast, filled with all the production trends of the time, it also has straightforward hooks and melodies even the Mums and Dads can nod along to, and a chorus which is so damn persuasive as to remain in your cranium for the next year after one solitary listen. I'm a realistic man, people, and I understand that much of what I upload to L&TTB wouldn't usually get within a sniff of the Top 75, much less the top ten. Sometimes, however, I have to wonder what went wrong.
"My World" is a superb single, make no mistake about that, which came hot on the heels of Cupids Inspiration's other (inferior) hit "Yesterday Has Gone". Like its predecessor, "My World" utilises lead singer Terry Rice-Milton's voice to its full potential, but this time backs it with an orchestra so blasting it could quite easily peel wallpaper away. This single is so ridiculously unsubtle that its a neon-coloured delight, a screaming statement of intent which couldn't have failed to get the average listener's attention - the only close comparison I can draw is to ask you to imagine the arrangements at the end of Suede's "Still Life" given double the amount of power. All this would mean nothing if the tune itself weren't a triumph too, and of course it is - the natural, care-free verses leading effortlessly into the wind-tunnel of the chorus.
Whatever, the orchestral bombast of the disc must have rankled with the public, or perhaps nobody played it on the radio - it only climbed as high as number 33 in the charts, and that was Cupids Inspiration's career (more or less) over and done with. Occasionally, though, I have to wonder if some enterprising advertising executive will use this on a television commercial and hoist it up into the charts again - both I and a number of other Internet speculators have often wondered if this is a sleeping giant of a disc.


The Confused said...

A superb single though personally I think "Yesterday Has Gone" was the slightly better song since it has a more "Universal" hopeful message. Why this failed to be as big a hit is a bit of a mystery since it had everything going for it.

I was just thinking earlier today before I saw this post about how so many records from the 60's had grand orchestrations... them were the days when orchestras were used regularly on pop records, but sadly over the years the costs became so prohibitive and worse once the 80's came along, they began using synths instead of the real thing since it was so much cheaper... and sure enough the records suffered.

One of the worst examples was when The Damned had a hit with "Eloise." Barry Ryans's record company missed the boat forcing Barry and Paul to do some dodgy deal where they remade those hits. Bsrry was in great voice but hearing those amazing Paul Ryan orchestrations replicated by synths is utterly depressing and horrid!

I did have brief contact with Terry Rice Milton 3 or 4 years ago and I can tell you he's extremely proud of his Cupids Inspiration discs and really happy that people still enjoy them. He did enjoy a brief revival of sorts in the late 80's when "Yesterday" became a minor hit which even had a ghastly 12 inch remix of it. I have that 12 incher and only listened to the remix once in utter horror. Thankfully the other side featured "Yesterday" and "My World" in original stereophonic glory and got played to death!

23 Daves said...

That's interesting - I had no idea there was any kind of reissue of Cupid's Inspiration product. I agree that a remix sounds like a terrible idea, though. I think I'll steer clear!

I can think of a few examples of orchestrations on eighties, nineties and noughties records, but I think the crucial difference is that more often than not the orchestra either takes a very background, wispy role, or feels very tacked on to make the disc sound like more of a "big" production. In material like "My World", it sounds like an integral part of the single rather than an afterthought. And nobody could ever describe it as sounding 'wispy' either...

The Confused said...

The remix is truly horrific. They simply took the 1968 stereo mix, sliced it here and there, added some FX and below all THAT, is a horrible late 80's dance beat. Best avoided!

"Yesterday Has Gone" ended up with another lease of life as a duet between Marc Almond and PJ Proby which it was hoped would resurrect Proby's career commercially. Almond has some amusing tales to tell about that in his autobiog, notably Proby's idea for the video!