Mike Sheridan’s Lot (Roy Wood hanging out the back window)
Listen/Download – Mike Sheridan’s Lot – Take My Hand
Welcome back to the Leg of Iron, in which we whip a little tuneage up into your earholes in the hopes that you might find it pleasing.
It was a blazingly hot and busy weekend, lots of furniture assembly and relocation so that the little ones might move into a room of their own. Aside from the fact that a bit of overzealous wire removal by yours truly knocked out our phone service, it was a success.
As I write this the boys sleep soundly on the other side of the wall.
The tune I bring you today is a great example of how ‘out of sight/out of mind’ things can get when you’re consuming music at a fast pace.
I first heard today’s selection 25 years ago, passed on to me on a mix tape by my man Mr Luther (one of the great musical prosthelytizers of our time). I dug the hell out of it then, but as is often the case, was unable to obtain my own vinyl copy, so sometime in the ensuing decades, when cassettes were either passed on to someone else or outright discarded, my only copy of Mike Sheridan’s Lot performing ‘Take My Hand’ was lost.
Until – that is – Mr Luther, now relocated securely in the digital age, was kind enough to make me a stack of mix CDs, which I promptly placed under the CD player in the car, and into rotation in my ears.
I’m about four songs into one of said discs when all of a sudden the pleasure centers of my tired brain are all snap-crackle-popping and I’m remembering how much I love this song, and all I can remember (not being able to grab the song list while driving) is that I recognize Roy Wood’s voice in the mix.
As soon as I got to the next red light, I grabbed the sleeve and see that the tune in question is (as previously mentioned) ‘Take My Hand’ by Mike Sheridan’s Lot, and proceed to replay the song at least five times until I reached my destination.
Naturally, as soon as I got home I hit the interwebs to see if I could secure myself a copy, only to discover that the record in question is not only impossibly rare but probably as expensive as most impossibly rare things of a similar quality are.
However, I found out that the tune had been comped back in the day (1983) by the food people at Edsel, kind of the precursor to companies like Sundazed, i.e. they specialized in high quality reissues of 60s music aimed at the collector market, with lots of groovy pictures and liner notes.
I procured a copy of the 30 year old reissue of the 45 year old song, and here we are.
‘Take My Hand’* is a bit of spectacular UK Beat perfection. It is propulsive (slap on the headphones and dig that bass drum), filled with hooks, harmony vocals (part of which is the voice of the young Roy Wood) and just the tiniest bit of soul woven into the chorus and the bridge.
It’s one of those records that manages to include all the standard machinery of the Beat era, yet also has that something extra that indicated that something new was on the horizon. It’s not all that far removed from some of the more progressive stuff that was starting to surface around that time, yet still has an innocence to it.
That it should have been a huge hit is without question, but as is always the case in the 64-68 time period, there was so much high quality stuff out there it was inevitable that something good was going to fall by the wayside.
I hope you dig it, and I’ll be back later in the week.
*I vaguely recall some memory of this being a cover of another band’s song, but I haven’t been able to find confirmation