Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Let's fight for people's rights (Bill Elliott etc) #112

Bill Elliott and The Elastic Oz Band God Save Us/ Do The Oz (Apple, APPLE 36, 1971)

A Lennon side project this one. Bill Elliott would later spend time as a Dark Horse recording artist as part of soft rock duo Splinter but here he's the vocal replacement for John. Former Beatle roadie, Mal Evans, had suggested Bill and John's guide vocal was replaced with Bill's.

John and Yoko are co-credited with Mal Evans AND Phil Spector with production!!!! What the hey? This must be one of the most unique production credits ever. In case you're wondering what Mal brought to the party - he recorded/produced Bill's vocal.

The Oz of the song refers to a radical underground newspaper published in London that was targeted by the man at the time. There was an obscenity trial and John wanted to show his support. Hence the single.

I quite like it (I'm a Lennon completist so I would say that) - it's got spunk and spirit and heart and it's nicely played (Ringo on drums, Klaus Voormann on bass, John guitar) and sung. It was never going to be a hit but nevermind. Everyone's hearts were in the right place.

Hidden gem: The B side and A side were swapped around at the last minute and so the more general God Save Us became the A side with the specific Do The Oz support becoming the B side. It's Ono influenced in it's directness and reminds me of Scumbag on the Zappa collaboration.

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