19 January 2011
Back Street Band - This Ain't The Road (b/w "She's Clean")
Year of Release: 1970
Well, it would seem that first impressions can be incredibly misleading - I had assumed that the Mike Berry behind the production of this single was the same Mike Berry behind the tribute to Buddy Holly and of "Are You Being Served?" fame, but apparently it's an entirely different songwriter and producer who has been covered in great depth over at the Purepop blog.
"This is the Road" is one of many late sixties/ early seventies singles which took the Lennon blueprint of creating a slogan-driven, foot-stomping song which tries to bulldoze you into submission with its incessant repetition. It actually manages to be a bit more commercial and perhaps almost as effective as a lot of early Lennon singles (and certainly more interesting than "Cold Turkey") and as such has been put on a few sixties collectors want lists. There's an anthemic quality to it which also isn't terribly shy of the work of the Gallagher brothers, two other Beatles imitators who, had they been around during the seventies, might have been tagged with the "late period popsike" description on a few occasions.
Oddly for a flop record during this period, the single was issued twice by Ember, once in November 1969 when it was backed with "Daybreak", then again in July 1970 as a re-recorded version with "She's Clean" on the flip side this time. My version is the latter one, and it's clear that somebody at the record label thought that this was an absolute, guaranteed hit single, and perhaps considered the November failure of the record as an example of some solid gold goodness getting lost in the pre-Christmas market. Whichever executive made the decision to re-issue the record must have been sorely disappointed when it failed for a second time, and the Back Street Band were seemingly not afforded any further chances in the studio.
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