Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Parrot Records: House Of The Rising Sun

Frijid Pink is one of the few American acts signed to Parrot Records, as most of the label’s artists were British Decca acts licensed to its American arm of London Records. Frijid Pink’s only Top 40 hit was recorded in 1969, and their hit version of “House of the Rising Sun” almost didn’t happen.

According to their collective memories, the band had some studio time remaining, and so they broke into a jam of “House of the Rising Sun,” but they considered it a throwaway track at best. After hearing the cut, WKNR Detroit’s program director Paul Cannon urged the band to use “House” as their single instead of “God Gave Me You,” which was being issued by Parrot.

The label’s execs listened to Cannon’s recommendation and turned their attention to “House of the Rising Son.” So close were the two singles’ release dates, they sported consecutive numbers as Parrot 340 and 341. Both singles sported “Driving Blues” as their flip sides.

Quite a bit different than The Animals’ #1 hit of five years earlier, Frijid Pink’s guitar centric version was much heavier than the previous hit which was organ centric. In addition, Frijid Pink’s versions was recorded in common time while The Animal’s hit was played in 6/8 time. While the time signature was different, Frijid Pink’s version credited The Animals’ Alan Price as the author – even though the arrangement of this traditional tune was different. The song also featured a wah-wah pedal on the guitar – characteristic of the music of the period.

“House of the Rising Sun” peaked on the Hot 100 at #6. In addition, it was a #1 record in Germany and Norway. The song also hit the Top 10 in the following countries: #2 in Switzerland and Poland; #3 in Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Austria; #4 in The UK and Israel; #6 in Sweden and Belgium; and #7 in Greece and Ireland. Not bad for an impromptu jam that the band felt was not worthy of release.

No comments:

Post a Comment