Welcome to another poptacular week at the leg of iron.
Today’s selection is one of those records that blew me away the first time I heard it, and I have to thank Miriam Linna for the introduction.
It was a few years back when she posted the record on Facebook and had to go out an find myself a copy immediately.
I was already aa committed fan of Sonny and Cher/early solo Cher, but didn’t happen to have a copy of her 1966 ‘Cher’ LP and had never encountered the song ‘I Feel Something In the Air’ (alternately titled ‘Magic In the Air’) before.
Written by Sonny Bono, but never released as a single in the US (it came out in the UK and the Netherlands, and there’s a clip of her performing it on the German Beat Club TV show), ‘I Feel Something In the Air’ is (at least in my opinion) Sonny’s finest bit of Wall of Sound (once removed), demonstrating that he was paying very close attention while in the studio with Phil Spector.
The instrumentation is deep and layered, with guitars, keyboards, bass, glockenspiel and castanets laying down a lush foundation over which Cher (in rare form) delivers the beautiful melody.
The lyrics are perfect teen drama, and the overall feel is like prime/eary Spector carried forward into a more od, Sunset Strip vibe.
The bridge of the song, which features some flamenco guitar, and then launches into a thundering drum break, and then a short, suite-like section, almost shifts the song into ‘teen opera’ territory.
The backing is pure Wrecking Crew, with none other than arranger Harold Battiste’s NOLA homeboy Mac Rebennack on guitar.
The album is highly recommended, with great production and Cher’s version of the Changin’ Times (who were out on tour with Sonny and Cher in 1965) ‘Pied Piper’, which I think aces out the Crispian St Peters hit.
I hope you dig it, and I’ll see you all next week.
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