Friday, 15 April 2011

Hurricane Smith - Oh Babe, What Would You Say? (1972/ No. 4/ 16 weeks/ Columbia)

"Have I a hope or half a chance
to even ask if I could dance
with you?
Would you greet me
or politely turn away?
Would there suddenly be sunshine
on a cold and lonely day?
Oh babe!
What would you say?"

Norman Smith was already well into middle age (he'd engineered The Beatles and produced Pink Floyd for EMI) when he became a short lived pop star, which accounts for the delightful 1950s old fashioned styling of this song.

It’s got a funny structure, with two verses being followed by two choruses. This makes the climax of the second verse particularly effective, when - having asked his "sweet lollipop" to dance - the singer gets carried away with visions of a future contentment ("such a lot to say"); walking her across the milky way, caressing her every night and bringing her flowers every day, before he returns to the matter in hand -

"But anyway!

What would you say?"

- And cue jovial sax solo.

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