25 October 2020

Slade Brothers - What A Crazy Life/ For A Rainy Day

The Canuck duo with their final stab at UK chart success

Label: Pye
Year of Release: 1966

We've already talked about The Slade Brothers' unusual beginnings in British showbiz the last time we met them in November 2018. While I've occasionally wondered about the veracity of the claim that their career was kickstarted after a chance meeting with Joan Collins' father on a Liverpool-bound ship, I suppose stranger things have happened; the unexpected chart success of the "One Pound Fish" market crier for one thing.

While Pye must surely have been tempted to give up on the pair before the point of this final release, "What A Crazy Life" actually seems to evidence one enthusiastic last try at pushing them over the line. It's actually a strong composition from the bankable Cook and Greenaway songwriting team, and earned them airplay on Radio Luxembourg and releases around the world. Its production is also considerably less threadbare than some of their earlier singles, with a flowery and stomping Johnny Harris orchestral arrangement beneath the boys. 

For me, though, the beauty is on the flipside which has been even more ignored over the years. "For A Rainy Day" is penned by the duo and it shows they were able to write complex, intriguing songs which were head and shoulders above a lot of the pop pack. With swelling organs, pinging harpsichords, and subtle, shifting moods throughout, it actually resembles the likes of The Mamas and Papas at their finest, transporting a West Coast mood to a drizzly British shore. It's astonishing this one seemingly hasn't been compiled somewhere yet - it's a prime candidate for a "Tea, Battenburgs and Baroque" styled LP (Don't go looking for that compilation, by the way - it doesn't exist). It's also one of the most appropriately Autumnal songs I could find for a current blog entry.

"What A Crazy Life" has been compiled very recently on the Cook and Greenaway compilation "Men Of The Moment", and can be purchased in all the usual places. It's also available on YouTube here.

You can find an mp3 of the B-side below, and remember to just go straight to Box if you can't play the preview below.


john111257 said...

The flip is a great tune, a new one to my ears, will add to my 60s lost and found classics

23 Daves said...

I was so surprised when I heard it. Having trouble getting many other people to listen, though!