Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Oliver: Gumball - Light Shines Through/High or Low [Peel Session] (1 December 1991)

Not every American group in 1991 was trying to set itself up as a Nirvana clone.  New York based Gumball's second session for Peel showcased a band for whom glam rock had seemingly never ended.  With a vocal mike smothered in echo, and the guitars cramped up with a little bit of organ on the side, they delivered five "stompers" as they used to be called in 1972.

Their session may have been one of the most eclectic I've heard on any Peel recordings.  Their own compositions, showcased here, have a wonderfully lascivious rock'n'roll energy to them.  If there was a tortured psyche in this band, they were too busy trying to be The Sweet for anyone to notice.  The early 70s sound was clearly important to them given that they launched their session with a cover of The 39 Lashes section of Jesus Christ Superstar before later producing a muscular cover of one of the tunes from the time when Ringo Starr appeared to be on course to have a solo career every bit as successful as his former bandmates.  So impressed was I by the Gumball cover of Back Off Boogaloo, that I raced to hear the original.  It's a fine song for two-thirds of its duration at which point Ringo's self professed inability to come up with good endings for his songs kicks in.  But for all that, only Paul McCartney's My Love could equal it in terms of the "solo Beatles in 1972" discography.  I wish Gumball had had a crack at Big Barn Bed....

The best record released by a former Beatle in 1972?

No comments:

Post a Comment