1 August 2011
Paul Jones - The Dog Presides/ The Sun Will Shine
Year of Issue: 1968
I doubt Paul Jones is unfamiliar to many readers of this blog. One of Portsmouth's finest sons, Jones enjoyed huge success as the lead singer of Manfred Mann, before departing their unit in 1966 to become a solo superstar. Or, at the very least, that was the plan. The reality was rather different, as the public chose to continue purchasing Manfred Mann singles without him as lead singer, whilst his own musical career seemed to plummet into ever-more diminishing returns and selective audiences. Rather than licking his wounds quietly, Jones became incredibly adept at diversifying his career, appearing in films and television programmes, and even becoming a DJ on the cultishly popular BBC Radio Two Rhythm and Blues programme.
This particular 1968 flop release is a peculiar affair indeed, having a rather hymnal Bee Gees composition on the A-side which, to be frank, doesn't bear much scrutiny or analysis. It's the track unfairly tucked away on the flip which is the real jaw-dropper. Featuring Jeff Beck on guitar, Paul McCartney on drums and Paul Samwell-Smith on bass, "The Dog Presides" is a supergroup track in all but name, and is a raw, pounding beast featuring all members playing to the best of their abilities. Bluesy, furious and insistent, even Jones' harmonica playing sounds spontaneous and ragged, and being present in the studio at the moment this was recorded must have been a very memorable occasion indeed. The fact that it's talked about so infrequently these days is really due to the fact that EMI seemed to completely fail to capitalise on the collective and merely hid the track out of sight behind a pop number - the phrase "missed opportunity" barely covers their error.
Unfortunately, due to the commercial availability of both tracks I can't really upload them in full here, although you can buy "The Dog Presides" on iTunes, and of course there's a full YouTube clip of it should you care to go wandering in that direction.
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