20 October 2010

Second Hand Record Dip Part 63 - Peter Sellers - Thank Heaven For Little Girls

Peter Sellers - Thank Heaven For Little Girls

Who: Peter Sellers aka Chef Inspecteur Jacques Clouseau
What: Thank Heaven For Little Girls/ Singin' In The Rain
Label: United Artists
When: 1978
Where: Out on the Floor Records, Camden Town, London
Cost: Two Pounds

Peter Sellers was absolutely no stranger to the album and singles charts by 1978 - his reinterpretations of The Beatles "Hard Day's Night" and "She Loves You" sold incredibly well for comedy records, as did his oft-quoted novelty hit "Goodness Gracious Me".  Then there was a run of hits with The Goons, of course, which took in such strange top ten hits as the "Ying Tong Song" and "I'm Walking Backwards For Christmas".  Whereas most comedians and comic actors usually become one hit wonders (if they're lucky) when recording studio time beckons, Sellers was, in comparison, a bankable star.  No Lenny Henry was he. 

Recorded for the benefit of the "Revenge of the Pink Panther" motion picture, "Thank Heaven for Little Girls" was a rare misfire, and one which has since become quite collectible amongst Sellers fans.  It's not hard to see why the public ignored this one, as without the visual accompaniment of Inspecteur Jacques Clouseau's awkward body language and pratfalls, we're left with tunes which add (and comedically subtract) very little to or from the originals.  True, there's the blare of car horns at the end of the B-side "Singin' In The Rain" which hints towards Clouseau's idiotic awkwardness, and there are amusing vocal inflections to enjoy, but it's not particularly close to gold, feeling like a strange promotional exercise rather than a fully-fledged comedy record.  It's a peculiarity, and a much-forgotten novelty record which seems to have been wiped from Sellers' CV since.

The prices for this one vary bizarrely on the market.  I've seen collectors trying to sell it for anything between £6-£22 before now, but I managed to pick up this (admittedly not mint) example for a couple of shiny golden coins.  As somebody who isn't a collector of all things Sellers, it's safe to say I probably wouldn't have bothered to pay much more than that for it.  

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