Wednesday, September 4, 2013

"96 Tears" by Garland Jeffreys

Song#:  0526
Date:  03/14/1981
Debut:  86
Peak:  66
Weeks:  7
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Hitting on genres like rock, soul, and blues, New Yorker Jeffreys wrote songs both personal and political with race being the focus of some of his earlier songs and performances. His 1973 self-titled debut solo album didn't make any waves, but when he moved to A&M and issued "Ghost Writer" in 1977, folks started to pay attention including Rolling Stone which named him the year's Best New Artist. Although he didn't have chart hits and the albums were not best-sellers, he cranked out three more LPs for A&M before moving over to Epic and releasing 1981's "Escape Artist." Finally, he got a bit of commercial reception when this first single got onto the chart. The recognition was short-lived and it ended up being his only song to reach the chart.

ReduxReview:  It is odd that an artist who is known for their songwriting gets on the chart with a remake (see below). But it's not the first time that has happened. With some assistance from some E Streeters and Lou Reed, this is a pretty crunchy version. There is nothing really original offered here, but it sounds good and meaty. (If you want a really hot remake of this song, check out Aretha Franklin's soul version.)

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) This is a remake of the 1966 #1 hit by ? and the Mysterians.  2) After his debut album came out, Jeffreys released a one-off singled called "Wild in the Streets" that was arranged by Dr. John. Although it didn't hit the chart, it was an underground hit and it eventually found it's way on his second album "Ghost Writer." It has been considered his most popular song. (It is pretty great, so look it up and give it a listen.)


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