4 August 2010
The Darwin's Theory - Daytime/ Hosanna
Label: Major Minor
Year of Release: 1966
"She just takes me halfway there/ I tried and tried and tired/ I didn't get anywhere".
Why yes, it's yet another moping rock and roll nursery rhyme about some evil woman failing to give a man his conjugal rights. At the slightly messy, dirty end of rock culture in the sixties, women either featured in lyrics as delightful, sprightly darlings on the dancefloor, or evil hussies who just didn't "give out" often enough. In its own way this kind of stereotyping was just as offensive and conservative as the kind of stuff going on out in Easy Listening land about finding the perfect housewife.
Still, sentiments aside, "Daytime" is actually a solid piece of early psychedelia. Supposedly performed by The Darwin's Theory, it's actually French beat combo Les Cinq Gentlemen in disguise for the benefit of the British market. Radio Caroline boss (and owner of the Major Minor label) Phil Solomon caught them live on a trip to France and was so blown away by their show that he offered them a deal there and then. He had originally hoped that they would translate one of their tracks "Si Tu Reviens Chez Moi" into English and re-record it, but for whatever reason, this was not to be. Therefore, all English audiences were ever given was this track, alongside the chaotic, five-mad-bastards-going-berserk-around-a-piano flipside "Hosanna". I don't know about you readers, but I always like to imagine they're playing a game of musical chairs around the instrument, hence all the audible excitement and huff and puff on the recording.
"Daytime", on the other hand, is a simple piece of Dylanry featuring a mourning organ, repetitive riff, and strangely haunting melody. Due to Solomon's fingers being in another pirate-shaped pie, it achieved quite a bit of airplay on the good ship Caroline (the first time I ever heard the track was on an old, crackly tape recording of a sixties Caroline show) but this failed to translate into success. Les Cinq Gentlemen were therefore left to continue with their careers in France, issuing five EPs in the process which are highly sought after by collectors both at home and abroad these days.
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