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Saturday, April 7, 2012

"Wondrous Place"

Billy Fury - "Wondrous Place" (1960)

Does more with less.

Holding a special place in the hearts of Britons but never making it in America is normally a sign I'm going to be disappointed in a song choice by the book. This is an exception, it's got a spooky sexy feel to it that seems amazingly risky and risque for 1960. Performer Billy Fury was the second act to record the tune, but the first to get it to chart. He actually recorded a couple of versions, this later one sounds like his 'Vegas Period' with horns and a bigger richer vocal. Years later, two English front men: Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys) and Miles Kane (The Rascals[no, not the 60s group]) formed The Last Shadow Puppets and covered the song as the B side to their debut single. It's a faithful cover with a spooky organ instead of the bass and guitars of the original, also the vocals are clearer and theirs has a great guitar solo.

Fury is purposefully over exaggerating a lot of his words here; Baby's comes across as having almost three syllables; two of which are at the beginning, and whenever he uses a 'wh' sound it sounds like he's trying to stage whisper sweet nothings into my ear. All of this was part of his very sexualized very Elvis reminiscent stage persona. Renowned early British Rock and Roll TV producer Jack Good produced the track, and together with Fury created and helped promote his British Elvis act. Britain got their own sexy rebel that was almost too hot for TV. Ironically, Fury died at age 42, just like Elvis had. 

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