2 October 2010

Second Hand Record Dip Part 62 - Count Prince Miller - Rupert The Bear

Count Prince Miller - Rupert The Bear

Who: Count Prince Miller
What: Rupert The Bear
Label: Penny Farthing
When: 1972
Where: Wood Street Market, Wood Street, Walthamstow, London
Cost: 50p

Proof is right here, if we really needed it, that no cover version has ever been considered too absurd or too outlandish for a reggae artist.  For this is indeed the children's TV theme given a decidedly mellow feel, with high-pitched, screeching (and I presume studio-treated?) vocals delivering the chorus.  Whilst sixties psychedelia played with the idea of fairytales and backgarden creatures being drug-influenced, I'd be tempted to say that this tackles the subject of everyone's favourite Nutwood dwelling bear from a rather more doped-up perspective.

The B-side "When We Were Children" even continues the theme gamely, referring to the songs mothers sing to their offspring and the simplicity of those comforting times, which lyrically is very close to the same under-explored topic as Pink Floyd's "Matilda Mother".  It didn't seem as if anyone in 1972 was really ready for toytown reggae or twee reggae, though, but the thought of a gang of menacing looking skinheads grooving on down to the "Rupert The Bear" theme tune is an enticing one.

Count Prince Miller had a cult reggae hit the previous year with "Mule Train Parts One and Two", but is perhaps better remembered in mainstream society for his role as Vince in the eighties sitcom "Desmond's".    Both these performances outshine "Rupert The Bear", but it's a peculiar career blip and anomaly I couldn't resist uploading here.


The Confused said...

The mind boggles. Why on Earth anyone thought the world wanted this song in reggae style is anybody's guess especially since Jackie Lee's charming original version was by then 2 years old! Still, 38 years on, amusing to hear nevertheless.

23 Daves said...

It's the old rule of reggae records, I think - nothing, no matter how recent or how inappropriate, is considered beneath covering. I believe there was even a reggae version of the "Neighbours" theme doing the rounds in the eighties, but my memory isn't playing ball with me today, and I can't remember who did it.

Anonymous said...

hi :) first visit to your blog, great stuff on here..

i read the FAQ to find out how to download tracks.. but one isn't downloading.. I get the filename, try to save download the file, but the box says 'waiting for..." (the file service) and hangs.. no download.

Can you please check on this and see if the llink is busted in someway? I would love to hear count prince miller's version of Rupert the bear theme... bizarre, odd, and a "must-hear" for sure, never heard of this one before but i want to download it.

thanks in advance ;)

23 Daves said...

Sounds to me as if Box.net might have been having some downtime or a few problems earlier. It seems to be working fine on my machine, so please try again... if you're still having problems, check to see if the firewall on your machine is blocking box.net for any reason, and that your flash software is up to date.

Anonymous said...

23 Daves - thank you for your info... I discovered that the reason it would not download is that I was using firefox.

when I tried to download using Internet Explorer, it downloaded immediately - in seconds :)

I think the flash player is up to date in my Firefox, but maybe that is the reason?

anyway, thanks for posting it, I am looking forward to hearing this.

With all the strange reggae covers, I'm surprised that nobody did a reggae cover of David Bowie's "the laughing gnome".. maybe that was one song that WAS too bizarre to cover? LOL

Marty said...

Wow.I have this single! Good site,by the way!