2 of Clubs
I hope the new week finds you well.
The single I bring you today is something I picked up a while back, and it took me some time (and a little bit of research/perspective) to wrap my ears around it.
2 of Clubs were a Cincinnatti-based nightclub act that recorded five (very interesting) singles for the Fraternity label in 1966 and 1967.
The duo, Linda Parrish and Patti Valentine seem to have been straddling the line between pure 1966 rock/pop and a slightly more mainstream ‘entertainer’ thing (for the details on 2 of Clubs, dig the Spectropop article about them).
Their discography – as brief as it is – contains some very interesting things, including an excellent, garagey version of Petula Clark’s ‘Heart’ (also done by the Remains) and a cover of Garnet Mimm’s ‘Look Away’.
Today’s single, a cover of ‘River Deep, Mountain High’ backed with the original ‘You Love Me’ was their fourth outing, Produced by Carl Edmondson, the 2 of Clubs take on ‘River Deep, Mountain High’ has some hard-hitting drums, but also features a backing track that sounds like a not-too-distant cousin of Johnny Cash’s ‘Ring of Fire’.
‘You Love Me’ is an unusual pop number, marked by some interesting combo organ sounds and tight harmonies.
2 of Clubs had some regional success, especially with their second single ‘Walk Tall’ which mad a substantial mark in the Midwest in 1966. Their version of ‘River Deep, Mountain High’ made the Top 40 in Cincinnatti but nowhere else.
The duo created a really cool mixture of showbiz polish and just he tiniest bit of rocking edge. I suspect – listening to their singles – that the second half of that equation came naturally, and might very well have moved to the fore were they given the opportunity to record more (there was apparently an LP in the works when they broke up).
The duo split in the late 60s. Their records aren’t hard to find or expensive, and ‘Heart’ was included on the Ace ‘Girls With Guitars’ comp.
I hope you dig the sounds, and I’ll see you next week.