Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Fabian Speaking of teen idols...

So how did that work? Well, you take a handsome guy, make sure he has an attractive voice, give him a few songs, and let him loose. Worked well enough with Frankie, whose voice was like velvet, with Bobby Vee, whose voice was artificially reminiscent of Buddy Holly, with Bobby Rydell, not the best singer but given a gem like Forget Him he could do wonders.
Fabian, though, is where the system breaks down. He was handsome enough. The problem with Fabian was that they forgot the voice part. Looks alone don’t do it.

In spite, though, of his rather nasty sounding vocal equipment, Fabian managed to rack up 10 hits on the top 100 (8 top 40); the girls must have been too busy salivating to listen.

He complained, Fabian , decades later, about lack of recognition. Never got his due, he says. I hear his picture is in the dictionary next to the expression “not clear on the concept.” I saw him at the free grandstand show at the Red River Exhibition one year; he was terrible. Peter Noone was on the bill, so was Felix Cavaliere.

This album is called Greatest Hits, it was released only in Canada on the Quality Label and follows the pattern of the other albums in the series which included Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, The Everly Brothers, Frankie Avalon, Paul Anka, Lawrence Welk, Jimmie Rogers, The Chordettes, Jerry Lee Lewis etc. The pattern was 10 tracks, and the same cover design.

His surname, by the way, was Forté.


Turn Me Loose – Not a song to a girlfriend who’s stayed too long. No. It’s a let-me-at-em song. All well and good, but with a voice like that it sounds like he’s being let loose in quicksand. From the spring of 1959.
Tiger – A rather effeminate image, isn’t it? Fabian does his best to convince us. Rock and roll, in the worst Cameo-Parkway style from the summer of 1959.
Hound Dog Man – Comparing himself to Elvis wasn’t a good idea. From the winter of 1959 / 1960.
This Friendly World – Fabian does a ballad, and he’s no better at ballads than at rock and roll. The B side of Hound Dog Man and a hit at the same time.
Come On And Get Me – That’s some invitation he issuing here. From the fall of 1959.
I’m A Man – Our hero huffs and puffs but convinces no one. Even the pre-pubescent girls weren’t buying; it only went to number 31. From the winter of 1959. Not the Bo Diddley song and not the Spencer Davis Group song.
About This Thing Called Love – Fabian waxes philosophical – not profoundly so, but philosophical nonetheless. This has a kind “gypsy” feel to it. From the winter of 1960.
String Along – A hit also for Rick Nelson. The guitar vamp in this sounds ridiculous. I like Ricky. From the winter of 1960, the flip of About This Thing Called Love.
Got The Feeling – This hit from the fall of 1950 was the flip of Come On And Get Me. Line for the ages: “You got me burnin’ like a piece of toast.”
Kissin’ And Twistin’ – His last and lowest placing single was an attempt at humour if I’m not mistaken, about how you can’t kiss your girl while you’re dancing the twist. Good point, I suppose, but why would you want to? From the fall of 1960.

1 comment:

Belle said...

OH My Goodness... one of momma's very very favorites!Swoon...

Locations of visitors to this page