The Swinging Blue Jeans
Listen/Download -Swinging Blue Jeans – What Can I Do Today
I don’t know about you, but I’m in the mood for some late period beat group ish.
Aside from the fact that their hit version of Chan Romero’s ‘Hippy Hippy Shake’ was on one of the very first records I ever bought, and that I always dig their cover of ‘You’re No Good’, I never knew much about the Swinging Blue Jeans.
They were one of the original Merseybeat groups, Liverpool born and raised, and like the mighty Beatles, starting out as a skiffle group.
The recorded half a dozen singles (and an LP) for HMV in the UK (Imperial here in the US) hitting the charts, three of them in the UK Top 10, ‘Hippy Hippy Shake’ grazing the US Top 20 in 1964.
Their sound was firmly in the beat group tradition, and despite their choice in cover material, largely free of an R&B edge.
I happened upon the tune I bring you today – 1966s ‘What Can I Do Today’ – while prowling through an old box of 45s, flipping them over to check out the B-sides.
Good thing I did too, because right there on the flip of their version of ‘Don’t Make Me Over’ was a jangly, little gem.
Written by the team of Fletcher and Whitworth (I have no idea who they were, but they also wrote at least one song for the Montanas), ‘What Can I Do Today’ starts off with a guitar line that echoes the lead guitar from the Animals ‘It’s My Life’ and some rumbling drums.
The record has a great, late-period beat boom sound to it with just the tiniest bit of 1966 tossed into the mix to make it interesting.
I’m not sure, but Terry Sylvester may have played on this 45 during his time with the group (in between the Escorts and his move to the Hollies).
This was their second to last 45, and the last one to make any dent in the charts, making the Top 40 in the UK and charting regionally in the US and Canada.
There were a few scattered 45s as Ray Ennis and the Blue Jeans between 1966 and 1969, before the band moved into nostalgia mode.
I hope you dig this one, and I’ll be back next week.