11 July 2011

Three Good Reasons - Nowhere Man

Three Good Reasons - Nowhere Man

Label: Mercury
Year of Release: 1966

Some time ago, I made a solemn vow not to upload any more Beatles covers to this blog unless there was an exceptional reason to do so, believing that far too many were just lazy xeroxes of the Fab's originals. However, bizarro novelty covers would be allowed, and so too would perfectly decent discs like this.

What the rather mysterious Three Good Reasons achieved with "Nowhere Man" is by no means radical, subversive or weird, but it is interesting. The vocals in the track are handled by female vocalist Annette Clegg, who brings a slightly spiteful, folksy tone to the proceedings. Whereas Lennon was largely writing about himself in a despondent fashion in the original but coyly buttering it up with pop melodies, Clegg sounds like a scolding finger-pointer here, which gives the track an abrasive edge it ordinarily lacks, foresaking vocal harmonies for a bit of grit. It takes a spark of originality to make a cover version sound like an enjoyable alternative to the original rather than a poor facsimile of the original, and Three Good Reasons are most definitely in the former camp here. "Nowhere Man" might not trump The Beatles, but it does strangely highlight how much they were influenced by Dylanesque folk rock by this point in their careers, and it does so in a pleasingly zippy, zinging way.

Three Good Reasons released two other singles - "Build Your Love" and "The Moment of Truth" - but never really achieved mainstream scucess. "Nowhere Man" was their best shot of the big-time, peaking at number 47, and as for where they are now, your guess is as good as mine. Information, as always, would be welcomed.


3gr said...

Hi. Re your blog on Three Good Reasons version of Nowhere Man. I was the lead singer at the time. My name was Ann Mccormack. The Clegg you mention is Peter Clegg guitarist. We are still friends after all this time. As a matter of interest,Derek Lister is compiling another book, which is to be published next year and The Three Good Reasons are featured in it.Regards and thanks for your comments on the disc. Best Wishes....Ann.

23 Daves said...

Hi Ann, thanks so much for dropping by and giving an update, and for correcting my error regarding your surname! I really enjoyed your performance on this record and wonder if you (or any of the others) are still engaged with music in any way?

Thanks again for commenting.

3gr said...

Hello again Dave.Not directly engaged with music now, just do the karaoke when I get chance,and pleased to say I still have a good singing voice,same with Peter,but happily both my sons are in bands and both great musos and singers.We had a great time during our era in the 60s and its nice to see our records are still selling on Ebay after 45 years!!(doesn't feel like it)...the grandchildren are rather amused by it.Don't know what happened to the other member of TGR.Nice to chat...Bye..Ann.

Nada Danic said...

Hi, Danny (Radivoj) the third member of the original lineup is my dad. Best wishes, Nada.