Bobbie Gentry, Bobbie Gentry’s Greatest! (1969)
Used to play in this Irish band, up and down the North Island we’d go – weekends were spent away usually, and for a time there we were busy, really busy. And it was pretty good fun. I liked it because it was my job too – it gave me the chance to practice writing (something I’m still doing, now) every day. And then I’d make just enough coin to live by driving up the coast and playing a bunch of songs I didn’t really care about and many that I learned to love. And it got pretty interesting too – because we’d play four and five hour sets, sometimes longer even, there was a marathon gig at a biker’s club where we felt we could not leave. They simply demanded we keep playing. They kept producing cash to make us stay, drug-money twenties in wads. And so we played for seven and a half hours one night. And this was on top of me rehearsing with another band and auditioning for a third. That was a big-big day! Anyway, we started branching out and getting into some rock’n’roll and we covered a few things where we added a bit of an Irish “treatment” if you like. And other times we didn’t bother at all – just served up the song. It was at this time that I first remember hearing Ode To Billie Joe – I mean, I might have heard it before, but I learned it on stage one night, in Palmerston North. The band just launched into it – because they’d played it long ago, before I was a member. I don’t think they even knew that I didn’t know it. But damn it was a great song to play. I just loved the slinky groove/feel of it. And it had me buying up a few Bobbie Gentry bargain CDs – hearing more stuff, and getting versions of that song. Well, this is the first Bobbie Gentry record I ever bought. And I bought it just last week. As soon as I picked it up I had floods of “Irish band” memories. And that’s – truth be told – why I bought it. Sometimes (often) with second-hand record buying you just cave to the nostalgia, bow down and be down with. No shame.
Sample Track: Sweet Peony
The Vinyl Countdown is a document of every LP I listen to, brand new discoveries and old-old favourites; extremely pre-loved, previously abandoned or with the shrink-wrap having just been removed it’s all here at The Vinyl Countdown