Monday, July 22, 2013

Some Of The Dion's Finest

From his 1968 single "Abraham, Martin & John," check out the b-side only "Daddy Rollin'," Dion's paean to heroin, recorded, as Dion explains, "in the back of a bowling alley with a bunch of Jamaicans." What a groove!

If you're only familiar with Dion as a teen idol fronting The Belmonts, or maybe just recently stumbled across his current catalogue of blues releases, I strongly suggest giving his last two records of the 60's a spin.

1968's "Dion" and 1969's "Wonder Where I'm Bound" are both solid and underappreciated, especially the latter, which covers it all from doo-wop to folk to psych and blues, all featuring one of the greatest voices in music.


buzzbabyjesus said...

"Daddy Rollin'" sounds like something from The 13th Floor Elevator's "Easter Everywhere". I'm glad he survived his heroin habit.

Dave said...

It's been decades since I've listened to Daddy Rollin'. His voice sounds higher than in any of his songs, almost like Billy Joel's in "Cold Spring Harbor."

steves said...

I've always liked him.

I just finished reading the Phil Spector bio, "He's a Rebel," and it mentions the Dion album that was half-produced by Spector, "Born to Be with You." I'm real curious to give it a listen as I'm not familiar with that album at all.

William Repsher said...

Think about how strange it must have been to be a 50s rock fan by the late 60s. Chances are, you're around 30 years old. The decade started out pretty good -- all those Spector hits, girl groups, Motown, Roy Orbison, etc. But the Beatles came along in 1964, and things took a hard left turn in the next three years. Real hard. "What is this shit?" sort of hard when you turn on a radio and can't believe the stuff you're hearing.

It seems like your youth is forgotten, and I guess the concept of "oldies" stations is just starting around that time, so a station like WCBS is the one place you can count on to hear your kind of music.

You catch wind that Dion has a new album out. Hey, Dion, Runaround Sue ... can't go wrong! So you rush out and buy it, put it on the turntable ... and what is this folkie protest shit? Man, you got to be kidding me! First Bobby Darin loses his mind, now this guy?! Granted, something along the lines of "Teenager in Love" would sound silly coming from a grown man, but come on, man, you can do something like "The Wanderer"!

It always seemed a bit innocuous at the time that John Lennon would go on about how much he loved Chuck Berry. But think about it, that was music that was roughly 10 years old and it was already being portrayed as from another age (although it wasn't).

It was a good thing a 50s revival kicked in during the early 70s ... life must have seemed pretty strange the few years before than if you were a 50s fan!

Gyro1966 said...

Go to Twilightzone Blog and hear twoof the Dion albums mentioned here.