Falsetto From A Diff'rnt Ghetto

:: Yes Miss, No Miss ::

:: Mr. Cool ::

Before there was The Smiths, The Fall, The Buzzcocks, Joy Division, The Chameleons, and just about every other band I moped and gnashed my teeth to in high school, there was Sweet Sensation. Now this isn't the Sweet Sensation from the 80's that the guys at Soul Sides probably have on cassingle, this is a soulful Manchester act from the 70's. Hey, how come since the UK version came first, they didn't make the American version call themselves Sweet Sensation USA?

I'm loathe to mention a certain very popular American TV show where people compete for the right to make awful pop music, but since that sort of thing has been in the news a lot lately, it's appropriate to tell the tale of Sweet Sensation. The young band was discovered by Tony Hatch (a very successful Pye Records producer, worked with Petula Clark on "Downtown", etc...) on a UK talent show program called New Faces, and were marketed as a sort of Jackson 5 act, with the very youthful and somewhat Michaelesque Marcel King on lead falsetto. Their album Sad Sweet Dreamer did pretty well, scoring a #1 in the UK with the title track, but subsequent efforts were not as well received, and in the end they reportedly couldn't even make it as the British entry in the 1977 Eurovision song contest.

These two songs are from Sad Sweet Dreamer, and one is funky (Mr. Cool, natch) and one is sort of breezy Philly soul (Yes Miss, No Miss), except that if you carried your school books around in a black briefcase in Philly, you'd probably get your ass kicked. All the elements are here - clavinet, disco flutes, absurdly pronounced cymbal sounds, fonky bass, fonky horns, wah guitar, and of course some string parts boogied in directly from Hustle central. Dig it.

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Sunday, May 28, 2006 8:33:00 AM


I have been enjoying your blog and music since I found ya a few weeks ago. I got the blog small ages, but that is not important. I was wondering if you wouldn't mind telling me what your set up is for recording your LPS. I've tried a few ways and it sounds like I'm recording music playing in the next room. Not good. Wanna enlighten me?? Great job by the way and I am not just saying that because I need your assistance, but if it helps, what the hey. Thanks,

Tuesday, May 30, 2006 10:05:00 AM

Hey Clea,

Two of the three of us use a turntable plugged into an EMU 1820 Soundcard dock, which has a dedicated phono input and grounding wire right on it. I think you can still get them, though I heard they might be getting discontinued. They aren't the cheapest option, as the soundcard is meant more for multi-track recording than just ripping vinyl. The other Robot dude has a very nice CD burner unit with a hard drive, and he rips his stuff from record to CD, then to mp3 on his computer. That's kinda pricey too.

There's a new product, a turntable with a USB plug-in, that I've been reading about, but I am not sure if it's available yet. Looks pretty cool, and goes for under $200. You could see a lot more vinyl blogs if those things work well:


Sunday, June 04, 2006 10:14:00 AM

Thanks so much for the help. I actually tried one of those USB turntable things and it kind of sucked, mostly because we have a beautiful old but truly awesome turntable and needle and the USB one was craptastic. I sold it on ebay the next week. But I will look into the sound card thing. Your recordings all sound pretty darn good over there. Probably in part due to your informed picks. Thanks again, truly.


Sunday, June 25, 2006 12:20:00 PM

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