Saturday, January 18, 2014

Lord, we don't need another mountain (Bacharach/David) #117

Tom Clay 1 What The World Needs Now Is Love 2 Abraham Martin And John /The Four Tops Reach Out I'll Be there (Motown, Gold 51, ?) 

I think this piece of cynical Motown product came out in the late eighties, after The Four Tops had returned to Motown. Someone in the marketing department at EMI had a thought and here we are.

It's a weird combo - DJ Tom Clay's 1971 creation is paired with the sublime Levi Stubbs lead vocal from 1966. Go figure.

I remembered hearing the Clay song in the early seventies on the radio - must have been - there was no music TV, interweb, social media aside my friends at Mt Albert Grammar lending me stuff, so - must have been the radio.

As you know I'm a sentimental old fluff and growing up I was obsessed with American culture. I loved the Kennedys and Martin Luther King so this 'song' left a deep impression.

Of course MLK's dream speech creates goosebumps still and I love Edward Kennedy's eulogy that's included here along with the real time sounds of the assassinations.

The use of the Bacharach/David song is inspired. For years growing up I thought it was about the events. I interpreted the mountain in the title metaphorically for many years.

There is a really wistful melancholy aspect to the music that seemed perfect - still does.

Hidden gem: The official B side is the Four Tops song but I have the single filed in the F's because how can this song be side 2?? Impossible. Levi Stubbs is immortal and this Holland Dozier Holland song is a classic. 

The Four Tops are easily my favourite Motowners - as big as Hendrix, Sonny Terry/Brownie McGhee, Miles, Coltrane and Chuck Berry as far as I'm concerned.

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