I’m talking about the great Tim Friese-Green of course. He was essentially the 4th member of Talk Talk and co-produced and co-wrote their classic albums Colour of Spring, Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock. However, he was also the producer of Tight Fit’s rendition of the Lion Sleeps Tonight. So, can anyone top that as a move from the none-more Pontins, absolute end of the ‘Top of The Pops’ pier to the lofty heights of utterly sublime, immaculate and revered Art Rock?
I like it when people from the world of ‘serious music’ collide with the more Pop-tastic end of things. I’m sure everyone reading this knows that Pete ‘King Crimson’ Sinfield wrote ‘Land of Make Believe’ for Bucks Fizz and indeed the very premise for my post is played out daily in the Fripp/Wilcox household. Listening to the preposterously brilliant Chart Music Podcast recently reminded me that Tim Friese-Greene was not only born into a family of pioneering photographers and filmmakers and was a virtual member/producer on those majestic and powerful Talk Talk albums (from It’s My Life to Laughing Stock) but he also produced Tight Fit. There must be more?
Following his death, I’ve been listening to Don Covay. He was the epitome of party soul, typified by his biggest hit, See Saw. His backing band was aptly named The Goodtimers. Suddenly, he teamed up with The Jefferson Lemon Blues Band and released a full-on throaty blues album, The House Of Blue Lights. It was a completely unexpected musical diversion quite different to the rest of his catalogue. It was a musical hand-brake turn.
All the best groups develop their sound and some, such as Bowie, wilfully defy expectations but there aren’t many that do something out of character and then immediately go back to their usual delivery. I thought of Talk Talk and Spirit Of Eden. However, looking back, I can hear some of Spirit in their previous album and Mark Hollis continued to explore the Spirit style in his solo albums.
I’m convinced The Afterword can come up with more examples of the musical handbrake turn.
In the meantime, compare and contrast But I Forgive You Blues with See Saw. (The link to See Saw is in red underneath But I Forgive You Blues. I can’t seem to embed it).