22 October 2012

Gliss Anders - Toy Piano/ Whistling Plowboy


Label: Ember
Year of Release: 1962

Short, sweet and snappy instrumental singles were surprisingly common in the early sixties prior to the Beat Boom, and here is one such example.  "Toy Piano" by the mysterious Gliss Anders is two minutes of tringing, dinging toyshop melodies dominating over a subtle orchestral backing, with a B-side which is (it's not unfair to say) more of the same.  You can imagine Joe Meek sat in his Holloway home listening to this, thinking to himself "I wish I'd had that bloody idea", then finally "See, I always knew it was a poor idea" when the disc failed to chart.

My mother hadn't even met my father when this single was released, but records like this one do bring back some memories for me. Brief novelty singles of this ilk were much loved by Radio Two DJs in the eighties desperate to fill in short time slots before the news arrived, so my mind's ear is filled with Jimmy Young's voice intoning the latest petty complaints of middle-aged suburban listeners in an unnecessarily dramatic way, such as: "...and Mrs Elaine Saunderrrss of Sydenhammmm writes: 'I wish they would introduce a cat's licence. The local tom cats regularly urinate on my doorstep, and it stinks to high heaveennnnnnn'. Now, to take us up to the news, here's a lovely little tune....."

However, you may have problems of your own, and he always did tend to favour "Nut Rocker" anyway. The tedious man.



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