1 November 2012

Ola - What A Way To Die/ That's Why I Cry



Label: Big T
Year of Release: 1968

We've met Ola once before on this blog, via the utterly fantastic single "I Can Wait".  Since that was featured here I've DJ'ed the record in a number of places and have frequently been approached by punters asking for more information on it - with its Motown rhythms, clanging mod guitars and sheer energy, all the right elements should have been in place for a crossover hit at the time.  It was even featured on "Top of the Pops" in 1967 but that wasn't enough to push it above the Top 40 watermark.

"What A Way To Die" is another piece of the story, and is a far cry from that disc, being a huge old Procol Harum influenced ballad. Tellingly, this was issued via the small Transatlantic record label in the UK rather than Decca, who had clearly given up on the band's chart prospects at this point.  Whilst it has the same intensity to it as their other records, in truth Ola's voice isn't particularly well cut out for this sort of thing - it sounds better put to use yelping on rock records rather than last dance of the evening numbers, and this does remove some of the record's impact.

Still, this has been a part of the pack of many collectors of psychedelic pop singles, and still picks up a lot of love for its heavy organ sounds.  I would still advise potential Ola (and the Janglers) listeners to look elsewhere in their catalogue for thrills, where they'll find plenty of better recordings to spare.  They were the first Swedish act ever to chart in America, and trust me, there are some good reasons for that.

Sorry for the pops and clicks on this, I gave this a thorough clean and also tried filtering the audio, but trust me, some record dealers have very rum ideas about what "VG++!!!" records should sound like.  

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