Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Adam Faith

Adam FaithThe Beatles put England on the musical map. But The Beatles did not invent UK pop. In fact, prior to Love Me Do those royal isles were a hotbed of Bobby Vee wannabes. Cliff Richard was king, but there was also Johnny Kidd & The Pirates, Emile Ford & The Checkmates, The Tornadoes, Dicke Valentine, Russ Hamilton etc etc. I would love to tell you that a treasure chest of unknown delight awaits he who ventures to explore this underappreciated genre, but I’d be lying. Most of it is pretty lame.

That’s where Adam Faith comes in – lame. Ok, maybe I’m being unfair. But maybe I’m not. The truth is that it took The Beatles to bring out the best in Faith; prior to that he was king of pizzicato and fey romance.

I got this collection from a Russian web site; I actually paid money for it. Not a lot, but money nonetheless. The title is A’s B’s and EP's, and I would assume that all his hits are on here, but I’d be wrong. Faith had 17 songs on the UK top 20 between 1959 and 1964, and only 13 are on this collection. Also missing are his 2 North American hits. Nobody can do anything right…

Adam Faith:

What Do You Want – Freud’s lament reduced to pop song status. His first hit, it reached number 1 in the fall of 1959.
Poor Me – This self-pity tale reached number 1 early in 1960.
Someone Else’s Baby – This tale of lost love was a hit in the spring of 1960.
When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again – I can’t say this isn’t strange…
Diamond Ring – A song of undying love.
Summertime – Faith attacks Gershwin. Gotta admire the effort, if not the result.
Greenfinger – Could be a sequel to Diamond Ring.
How About That – Not the Dee Clark song. From the summer of 1960.
Easy Going Me – From the spring of 1961.
Who Am I – The female chorus puts this squarely into the Bobby Vee rip-off category. From the winter of 1961.
Lonely Pup (In A Christmas Shop) – Gooey. And what, may I ask, exactly, is a Christmas shop? From the Xmas season of 1960.
Wonderful Time – Up there? No. Down here. It’s what you think it’s about.
As You Like It – Apologies to Shakespeare. From the fall of 1962.
A Help Each Other Romance – A bit of Elvis, a bit of Cliff, Adam’s abortive attempt to rock out.
The Time Has Come – An I’m-sorry song. He sings of love’s return, and things won’t be the same. How perceptive.
Face To Face – The frustration of not being able to contact someone. Just wait, he says, till you’re face to face with me. Never gonna happen pal…
Don’t That Beat All – Adam goes country. Can’t say he never tried.
Mix Me A Person – Yes Dr. Frankenstein…
The First Time – The Mersey sounds finally catch up with our hero. His style is transformed by whoever it was who was managing his career. Somewhat surprisingly the new style suits him. From the fall of 1963.
So Long Baby – Back to the old style…
We Are In Love – And back again…This is probably as good as much of what you’ll hear by, say, The Fourmost, The Merseybeats, Gerry & The Pacemakers, etc. From the winter of 1964.
Made For Me
A Message To Martha – A song of separation. This is a Bacharach / David song more famous by Dionne Warwick (Message To Michael). From the winter of 1964 / 1965.
It Sounds Good To Me – It sounds ok, “good” is pushing it.
It’s Alright – This isn’t on the CD. It was Faith’s North American breakthrough, or it would have been had it done better than #31. He had another record that reached #97, (Talk About Love) before disappearing forever

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