24 March 2010

Clodagh Rogers - Spider

Clodagh Rogers - Spider

Label: RCA
Year of Release: 1969

This blog is two years old this very week, and as we break open the Babysham, salute second hand record store owners everywhere, and tread snack food into the carpet in a way so wild and wanton that even Vernon Kaye would blush with embarrassment, let's slip on a Clodagh Rogers single, shall we? No, that doesn't sound right.

In truth, if you told me that two years from now I'd be uploading Clodagh Rogers singles to "Left and to the Back", well, I probably wouldn't have been that stunned, actually. The purpose of this blog was always to try and shed light on the uncollectible and unloved as much as it was to occasionally shine up a piece of vinyl which has had years of critical acclaim on its side, then plonk it on the stereogram. Clodagh Rogers' career has now diminished to the extent that the only album of hers you can buy on CD is a "Best Of", and that definitely doesn't include this little beauty.

Clodagh's popularity in the UK during the sixties and seventies is something which seems to have become erased from the collective consciousness. Failing to win the Eurovision Song Contest in 1971 surely can't have helped her career (and she even received death threats from the IRA for representing the UK, thus probably wondering why the hell she bothered at the end of the night), but the decade still didn't see complete inactivity, as she trotted off professionally and reliably from one variety show and chat show to the next. As familiar a middle-of-the-road face then as somebody like Katie Melua is now, she was deemed 'a safe pair of hands'.

Kenny Young - who we spoke about before, remember? - was largely responsible for the production of her records throughout both decades, and whilst it would be logical to assume this didn't include any of the man's more wigged out work, assumptions are dangerous, as many a reader of this blog knows. "Spider", the flip-side to the minor 1969 hit "Biljo" is actually a creeping, guitar fuzz smothered, hollering piece of slightly psychedelic leaning pop which is likely to surprise anyone ready to entirely dismiss her output. Originally issued as a solo single by the man himself, Clodagh's version is already beginning to get a name for itself on collector's sites, and what was once a piece of 50p bin fodder is now starting to slip into the Psych section of second hand record stores with modest price increases attached.

It's not the best thing you'll hear all week, but it's certainly further proof that preconceptions about recording artists of any era - but most especially the sixties and early seventies - are there to be whacked back down time and time again. Still though, the A side doesn't do much to challenge your notions about her style... but you can't have it all.


Anonymous said...

None of your Box links work for me. I've tried two browsers.

Thought you might like to know.

23 Daves said...

This is odd - they're working fine for me both at home and on my work internet connection (very slow, very dated). I'm also not signed into Box. Is anyone else having problems?

Are you sure your internet security settings aren't interfering in some way, anonymous?

Anonymous said...

Me again - thanks for replying and you are correct. Firefox was blocking third party cookies. I changed this and now the Box links are working.

Spider sounds interesting - similar to Fox.

23 Daves said...

That may be because Kenny Young also worked with Fox in the seventies. So there you go!

Unknown said...

just listen if you get the chance, to clodagh's albums of the 60's/70's what a contrast to the bubblegum styles that most people credit her with.brilliant songs in a huge varity of will be vry surprised

23 Daves said...

Thanks Kenneth, I'll definitely try to do that. I freely admit I'm no huge expert on Clodagh Rogers beyond the obvious - but if Kenny Young is involved, and there is more material like "Spider" out there, I'd be happy to dip in.

Anonymous said...

Love Biljo....Save Me...