Listen/Download – Friday Night & Saturday – Going Nowhere
The tune I bring you today was one of those nice surprises you happen upon when you spend a lot of time digging around in records.
I should start by saying that though I didn’t know this particular record, the song on it was already a favorite of mine via the stunning version by Los Bravos.
The small, Detroit-based Tuba label was of interest to me, mainly for its soul and funk offerings by artists like Derek Martin, Johnny Lytle and Richard’s People.
I had surmised – after seeing a Tuba discography – that their offerings were probably not exclusively soulful.
Though I have not managed to track down copies of many of these 45s (there were only 15 of them, and a couple of LPs) I did manage to pick up the record you see before you today, via a friend’s sale list.
It was only after the record made its way to me via the US postal service and I had a chance to listen to it that I discovered that it was in fact the same song as recorded by Los Bravos.
Once I realized that, I finally took the time to peruse the writing credits and discovered that ‘Going Nowhere’ was in fact written by two Americans, Estelle Levitt and Ruth Sexter.
Though I haven’t been able to locate any biographical information on either of the composers, tracking down their songwriting credits reveals that they both seem to have been active in pop music circles in the 50s and 60s, having had songs recorded by Frankie Avalon, Herman’s Hermits, Lulu (Levitt co-wrote the amazing ‘Love Loves to love Love’), the Seekers and others.
My educated guess is that Levitt and Sexter were likely working out of New York (as was producer Lou Stallman) and since Tuba picked up some of it’s masters from the East Coast I’ll go ahead and assume that the group Friday Night & Saturday (about whom I have been able to discover nothing) were too.
Their version of the song (which appears to be the original, having been released a year before the Los Bravos version) is taken at a much slower pace, and with a singer who’s delivery is decidedly uninspiring, especially when compared to Los Bravos singer Mike Kogel.
The arrangement of the Friday Night & Saturday version is centered around an almost surf-y guitar, heavily reverbed/tremeloed and the whole thing is delivered in a different key (maybe changed by Los Bravos to accommodate the higher range of their singer).
The end result tends toward the garage end of the spectrum, whereas Los Bravos managed to turn the tune into a Freakbeat classic.
It is an interesting artifact, and I hope you dig it.
I’ll see you all next week.