18 December 2010

Second Hand Record Dip Part 67 - Marty Feldman - A Joyous Time Of The Year

Marty Feldman - A Joyous Time Of The Year

Who: Marty Feldman
What: A Joyous Time Of The Year/ The B Side
Label: Decca
When: 1968
Where: Wood Street Market, Walthamstow, London
Cost: 50p


It's surprising how infrequently Marty Feldman's name crops up in the British media these days.  At his peak, he was one of the foremost comedians of the sixties and seventies, winning two BAFTA awards, and appearing on a stream of TV shows which utilised his apparently "jazz influenced" comedy style to enormous success.  Here he is with John Cleese, and you can witness him playing the part of Igor here if that's your particular bag.

One of life's irrepressible performers, and by all accounts a bag of insane and unpredictable energy at times, Feldman took to the music industry in a manner which many of his contempories must have envied.  Whilst flop singles from British comedians are so ubiquitous in second hand shops that it seems pointless even mentioning it, Feldman's work is among the few I would argue is undeserving of the infamy.  His tunes are an extension of his personality, and the frothy excitement behind most of the work almost manages, in some cases, to give the impression that it was partly improvised (not entirely impossible, actually).

His Christmas single "A Joyous Time Of Year" is a sarcastic piece of nastiness stabbing a dirty digit at the inconveniences of Yuletide.  In it he lists the various miserable aspects of the season - the cost of his wife's present, for example, "could have bought Mornington Crescent", and idiots buying children trumpets ("blowing dischords in my ear") is another inconvenience which is given an airing.  The song is capped off brilliantly by Feldman listing an itinerary of utterly hopeless presents (which still sound better than my haul last year, incidentally).

More interesting still is the B-side where Feldman decides he can "say whatever he wants" because nobody listens to flipsides of records anymore, and proceeds to spread slander about various radio DJs, saving most of his unpleasantness for Tony Blackburn.  Perhaps they did hear the B-side after all, for this single simply did not sell, and Feldman's career as a comedy singer failed - but unbelievably, both tracks and his album "I Feel A Song Going Off" have been made available on iTunes by Decca Records.  To listen to the tracks in full, purchase them either from there or from another online retail outlet.  In the meantime, enjoy the snippets below.

1 comment:

Chris Brown said...

I think Morcambe & Wise did a version of that B-side too, but without the DJ references. I presume whoever wrote the music just left some space for the comics to improvise their own sections.

Good track though. Thanks for alerting us to it.