:: Lance - Even Then (I Loved You) ::
Note: This is a reposting of the very first Record Robot piece. (Enjoy?)
One of the biggest thrills a record freak can get is stumbling across something that, upon first glance, defies description. When I found this in a crowded, dingy bin at the back of Cheapo in Minneapolis, I knew it was gold, or at least what I consider to be gold. See, sometimes you need only to look at the cover of something to know it’s gonna be good, or so bad it’s good. Judging from the artwork, I reckoned I was getting some wispy acoustic rock, or maybe even hard rock, because I first thought the volume knobs on the guitar were a heavy metal umlaut over the “A”.
It’s neither. This record is like Gary Wilson without obvious hints of mental illness in the lyrics. Now, I can’t really tell if this song is meant to be funny or not, but regardless of the intent, it’s something else. I would’ve paid a princely sum to be able to watch the vocals being tracked, especially if Lance looks anything like the drawing. That being said, no one besides a mustachioed beau with a shark tooth necklace and a multi-collared Chess King man-blouse that looks like it was stolen from Dez Dickerson’s closet in 1983 could possibly bleat out these words with such proper-key-be-damned white boy passion. Now please don’t think I don’t like this record, because I do. Every time I listen to it, I am amazed. Oh, Lance! My favorite part is after the first chorus, when he delivers the line “It was magic!” in a voice that would make Doug Henning envious, were he not dead. This is smooth jazz from the decidedly unsmooth, and according to the credits, Lance did it all himself. Oh, Lance! The flipside is a blatantly Prince inspired keyboard-funk wreck called “Lady, Lady Love Me.”
This 45 came out on Asland Records, and in doing some research I learned that this label’s address is actually his home address, and he still lives there according to the Internet white pages. I may own the only release to ever come out on this “label”, numbered AR1957, which I am guessing is his birth year, and not an indication that 1,956 releases preceded this one. I considered calling him up, maybe asking what year this record is from (I’d have to guess the 80’s), and get some background info, but then I would have had to explain this piece.