Saturday, 23 July 2011

Wayne Gibson - Under My Thumb (1974/ No. 17/ 11 weeks/ Pye)

Recorded in 1965, but not a hit until 1974, when this beat boom cover version became a Northern Soul floor filler... Though as it was released on 'Pye Disco Demand', a label derided by Northern Soul purists, perhaps it never had much of a cognoscenti Wigan Casino audience.

There's a fascination to functional recordings of songs. In 1965 Wayne Gibson's management must have thought that his best chance of making a name for himself would have been through rushing out a single version of a current Rolling Stones album track. Hence the frenetic, panicked, rushed quality of this. While in the Stones version you're enticed by the chiming quality of the xylophones, here you can't escape from a churning, queasy, supa-compressed-sounding Farfisa organ. The guitars scrape the riffs like a wire brush. Gibson sounds like he's at a pitch of high emotion, unlike the more saturnine menace of Mick Jagger.

The result of this is that all of the shadows and desperation of what may be Jagger & Richards' most misogynist song are accelerated in this version, stripped of any mask of cool, but become an intense dervish dance of wounded feeling, hard to tear yourself away from.

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