Ian & the Zodiacs
Listen – The Crying Game – MP3
I figured that for the first music post here at Iron Leg I ought to grab something out of left field (and that I already had digitized…). That selection is a rather uncharacteristic number by one of the (unjustly) dim lights of the British Beat era, Ian & the Zodiacs.
Formed in Liverpool, Ian and the Zodiacs – like the Creation a few years later – were much bigger on the continent (especially Germany) than they were in the UK.
I first got into them back in my garage punk days because of two particularly intense, punky sides, ‘Why Can’t It Be Me’ (an absolute proto-punk epic with a monumental guitar riff) and ‘Na Na Na Na Na’.
It was years later when I happened upon their version of ‘The Crying Game’, which coincidentally happens to be one of my favorite ballads. I – like most people – first became aware of the song when it was used in the movie of the same name (and rerecorded, not too shabbily, by none other than Boy George). The original hit version of the song was by Dave Berry, another Beat era cat who was fairly huge in the UK and Europe but never really hit over here in the States.
My favorite version of the tune (which I have to dig out and digitize) is a cover by Brenda Lee (I shit you not), which takes the built in melodrama of the song and ratchets it up exponentially to the point where it seems as if the turntable is about to burst into tears.
The Ian and the Zodiacs version is a little rougher around the edges than the Berry original, and actually bumps up the tempo a little, edging into slow-dance territory.
Either way it’s a great record.
A few years back there were a bunch of reissues of Ian & the Zodiacs LPs for the Star Club label, but as far as I can tell they appear to be out of print.