1 May 2010

Second Hand Record Dip Part 53 - RB Greaves - Who's Watching The Baby (Marjie)

R.B. Greaves - Marjie

Who: RB Greaves
What: Who's Watching The Baby (Marjie) (b/w "The Gods Watch It All")
Label: Ember
When: 1977
Where: Music and Video Exchange, Camden High Street
Cost: 50p

I'm assured that this was a bit of a lucky second hand record dip in all, since this single frequently retails to collectors at much grander prices than 50p - the man on the till even questioned its pricing with the store manager when I bought it. Nonetheless, it's still the same faintly ridiculous fare we've come to know and love from this particular part of the blog.

RB Greaves is actually the nephew of Sam Cooke, and had a brief burst of success in America during the sixties with the number two hit "Take A Letter Maria" and its other chart-bound cousin "Always Something There To Remind Me". This particular tale of child neglect and debauchery failed to click with audiences at all, and that's none too surprising - soul songs about families worthy of a Jerry Springer appearance have never really been popular with the public. "Who's Watching The Baby (Marjie)" is full of drama, beginning when Greaves walks into a bar to find "a couple in the corner making love to each other/ the woman was my wife". Unsurprisingly, he's infuriated - but not just by the fact that she's having an affair, but by the fact that their baby has been left unaccompanied at home. He flies into an indignant rage and does some nasty damage with a glass which causes him to become imprisoned for murder. Oh, the terribly damaging flickers of temper that adultery provokes. In France he'd have had a much shorter sentence, mark my words.

To be fair to Greaves, the B-side "The Gods Watch It All" is a much classier affair, being a smooth and slick burst of political righteousness. "Marjie" is, on the other hand, a career oddment. Sadly, due to the fact that both tracks are amazingly available commercially on iTunes, I can only really give you sample edits below. I don't intend to make a habit of this kind of thing, but on occasion it may happen.

British label fans may also like to note that this appears to have been the final release on stalwart indie Ember Records, unless anyone can inform me otherwise.


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