23 April 2012

The Zippers - My Sailor Boy/ Pretend You're Still Mine



Label (when issued): Hickory
Year of Release: 1964


You wait four years for an acetate to show up on "Left and to the Back", then two come along at once. Either I've suddenly become a very wealthy man, or I've managed to find a cheap source for a couple (guess which. It shouldn't be hard).

I'm afraid I've only managed to draw complete blanks about The Zippers, who would seem to be an all-female group from America with definite soul leanings. This was their only British single, but what a single it is - "My Sailor Boy" on the A-side is raw, ragged but decidedly Pop, and fizzes with energy and enthusiasm. With some records, false bonhomie creeps through the sterility of the slick production and multiple takes and ruins the potential energy of a track, but this genuinely sounds like unsuppressed gusto.

The B-side "Pretend You're Still Mine", on the other hand, is a brilliantly performed ballad in the style many retro-leaning female singers of the present day would applaud. It's brooding and very well sung, but once again there's a sense that this is a fairly immediate, quick recording of a great performance.

A lot of soul records belly-flopped in the UK on their first issue - including some Motown ones which are now legendary - and this seems to be yet another disc which didn't find a mainstream audience at the time. Regrettable, as I'd like to have heard more from this lot. Excuse the pops and clicks again, but an acetate of this age is never going to be in tip-top condition.

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