Friday, April 4, 2014

Zoot Money's Last 60's R&B 45

ZOOT MONEY-Nick Knack/I Really Learnt How To Cry U.K. Columbia DB 8172 1967

















This was arch ligger/looner and London Hammond n' horns legend Zoot Money's 9th U.K. 45 and his final one as Zoot Money's Big Roll Band (stock copies on 45cat.com show the label credits as "Zoot Money and The Big Roll Band" but my Demo copy just credits "Zoot Money") before they morphed into the psychedelic outfit Dantalian's Chariot (whom we profiled here).

"Nick Knack" was penned by the legendary song writing team of Tony Colton and Ray Smith (responsible for many compositions among them The Shotgun Express debut 45 and the flip of above mentioned Dantalian's Chariot single). The tune itself is a play on the "This Old Man" nursery rhyme. The  lyrics, about a man who drinks all night, never goes home and got "rolled and rolled and stoned", are perfectly suited to Zoot Money who's late night drinking antics were quite legendary in the 60's (he was name checked on it in Georgie Fame's live version of "Keep Your Big Mouth Shut" on the "Two Faces Of Fame" album and Brian Auger lionized him in "George Bruno Money" on his "Definitely What!" LP). The musical backing is standard '66 Big Roll Band with strong horns and bluesy guitar c/o a young Andy Somers (later Andy Summers of the Police) and is a pretty raucous, but entertaining affair.

Zoot Money in action late 1966

The flip "I Really Learnt How To Cry" (a Zoot Money/Andy Somers original) shows the band breaking new ground by deviating from their usual r&b based sound. Opening with an acoustic guitar and some subtle organ with the horns sliding in slickly during the chorus it sort of anticipates his 1968 solo LP "Transition". Strangely his voice starts to break towards the end and as the number the number fades out his voice suddenly feeds through a weird oscillating effect!

Both sides on on Repertoire's highly recommended and fully comprehensive CD compilation "Singles A's & B's".

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