28 February 2018

The Langleys - Green Island/ You Know I Love You

Brother-sister duo from Belfast with pretty beat pop. 

Label: Fontana
Year of Release: 1965

The Langleys were Jerry Langley and Mary Perpetual Langley from Belfast who both enjoyed rich and varied careers, whether as part of the duo, or as solo artists. 

"Green Island" was their first crack at the big time, and as a duo is certainly their biggest selling single, even if it failed to chart. This isn't particularly surprising - despite its fluffy naiveté, it's nonetheless a touching and deftly performed song about their native country. The frothy chorus may have some readers reaching for their sickbags, but for me it stops just short of being saccharine and sounds like exactly what it probably is; two teenagers who have yet to become too weary and cynical about the world performing a very pretty track.

The flip "You Know I Love You" is a bit more credible, being a slice of faintly soulful beat pop which was penned by the male half of the duo. Both sides are aided by very effective, but uncredited, arrangements.

Of the pair, Mary - or "Perpetual" as she was occasionally more commonly known - went on to have the most successful recording career, scoring contracts with both Shel Talmy's Planet label and CBS. Her recording of "Surrender" with its Talmy production is frequently heralded as her best piece of work, and while she never managed to score a proper hit, her performances were always very strong indeed. With a bit more luck, and perhaps more care with her promotion, there's every possibility she would have had a more prominent career.

Sadly, she died in an accident in 1988 at the age of 38, apparently at a point in her life where another record contract seemed likely. Her brother Jerry went on to pen "Ask Any Woman", which was one of Sandie Shaw's possible songs for the "Eurovision Song Contest" in 1968, and is still active as a musician. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Another rarity David !!

Thank you so much, Albert