AboutA blog in which I plunge the depths of a strange, misunderstood and mostly forgotten record collection. One never knows what lies at the bottom of the stack.
Song Sung Blue/Gitchy Goomy 7-inch single - MONO
Uni Records, 1972
I’ve never been a big Neil Diamond fan. I admit he performed some undeniably great pop songs (Sweet Caroline, Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon, Cracklin’ Rosie, among others) but he also produced a ton of sappy-ass crap, in my opinion.
Maybe it was just lame production where every single song seemed to have a string arrangement for it. Or maybe, just maybe it was the fact that Neil Diamond was a pretty cheesy dude, Vegas to the hilt, but not so over the top Vegas like Elvis (rhinestone capes) that it gets kinda postmodern funny. I think the Diamond suffers from being too cheesy to be cool but then not cheesy enough to be cool. It’s a tough break and kind of unfair, really. There are enough 70s photos of him protruding chest hair in poly shirts that we would blame his stylist if musicians like him actually had them back then.
I’ll be straight with you. I don’t know if I had ever heard Song Sung Blue before, even though it went to #1 on the Top 100 in 1972. It has such a 70s Nashville feel to it (think Anne Murray or the countrified Elvis Presley phase) that it probably gets little to no play on the oldies radio stations these days, and Neil Diamond certainly wouldn’t get any play on today’s country radio, even the classic country stations.
The song, to me, is pretty weak anyhow. While Neil’s voice is in fine form, there is no emotional attachment to this tune whatsoever. The only thing it makes me feel is like blowing my brains out against the wall—which is something I usually don’t like to do when I’m listening to a record. Thumbs down.
The B-side, Gitchy Goomy, is much better, although I have absolutely no idea what the hell he’s talking about—isn’t the Gitchy Goomy like a river or something? A sweet little pop song that’s about like every other Neil Diamond song you ever heard. It’s basically Cracklin’ Rosie slowed down about 20 bpm, which is okay with me. When Neil says, “We’re gonna make it through Gitchy Goomy,” I suppose he knows what he’s talking about, because I sure don’t.
A mono recording on this 45, which is kinda cool. Probably makes it a collectable, right? Yeah, sure.
Somebody named Ken M. owned the record at one time. How do I know this? His name is written on the 45 using a piece of white tape. Evidently Ken was afraid he would lose it and so he printed his name on the label. Or maybe he liked to loan out 45s to people who never gave them back. Suppose we’ll never really know. Ken, if you’re out there, I hope you made it through Gitchy Goomy.
As I was cleaning my basement this weekend and moving around boxes of old books, videos, comics and other cool stuff I’ve collected over the years, I came across my vinyl record collection. I spent many, many years hunting down records—both LPs and 45s—and I amassed a few thousand of them. They’re randomly thrown together into old milk crates and cardboard boxes: everything from classic rock and 70s punk to old-time fiddle music, Beethoven concertos and 7-inch Stax singles. They have stayed packed away for years, hidden amid the basement clutter.