Saturday, June 29, 2013

Apple Records: Try Some, Buy Some

One of the conditions of Phil Spector’s relationship with Apple Records was that the label would help reinvigorate his wife’s career. A condition that The Beatles apparently accepted, as several of the Fab Four were fans of Ronnie Spector’s music as the Ronettes’ lead singer.

The 1971 single “Try Some, Buy Some” backed with “Tandoori Chicken” was Ronnie Spector’s only output on the label. George Harrison wrote “Try Some, Buy Some” while “Tandoori Chicken” was co-authored by Harrison and Phil Spector. The two songs could not be more different with “Tandoori Chicken” sounding more like a 50s rocker with “Try Some, Buy Some” a more melancholy recording with very confusing lyrics.

It has been said that “Try Some, Buy Some” was Harrison’s personal disillusionment with organized religion and was inspired by messages of televangelists. Others have speculated that the song was about drugs or even prostitution. Ronnie Spector has admitted that the song was difficult to learn and sing. She cited that one of the reasons was that she did not understand what Harrison was trying to say lyrically. That makes several of us.

The production is fantastic, as Phil Spector employed his famous “Wall of Sound” technique. The single only made it to #77 on the American charts and failed to chart in the Top 50 in Britain. It was probably due to the public’s interpretation that the song was about drugs and that alone kept it from performing better chart wise.

Personally, I like “Tandoori Chicken” much better and it may have had a better run – as during the period there was a resurgence and revival of old rock and roll shows and the public were clamoring for less cerebral music. The only thing against “Tandoori Chicken” as an "A" side in 1971 is the subject matter. The average recorded buyer probably never had or even heard of this spicy bright red/pink Indian dish. I’ll probably feature “Tandoori Chicken” as a Friday Flipside in the future, as it is a great but simple rock tune.

While “Try Some, Buy Some” failed to reinvigorate Ronnie Spector’s career, the tracks used in her recording were recycled by George Harrison for his 1973 “Living in the Material World” album. Although used the same recording, Harrison mixed the tracks differently.

Well known musicians appearing on the backing tracks included Gary Wright and Leon Russell on keyboards, Klaus Voormann and Carl Radle on bass, Jim Gordon on Drums, and Harrison and Badfinger’s Pete Ham on acoustic guitar. John Barnham provided the choral and orchestral arrangements. The orchestra contained mandolins, strings, brass, a harp, and percussion.

No comments:

Post a Comment