This is the first real occasion where Spoke Records have ventured into the murky territory of archaeological restoration. But when the artefact in question is a previously unknown 1967 blue-eyed soul stomper from Gene Pitney, we felt the time was right to immerse ourselves fully into sonic renovation.
What we had in our mitts was a battered-to-buggery Emidisc acetate of barely audible brilliance. We had to go the extra mile and reconstruct the recording using state-of-the-art technology (namely SADiE Prism Sound) and now with the blessing of Gene’s widow, Lynne, and songwriter/performer Mike d’Abo, we present to you a ‘She’s A Heartbreaker’ era Gene Pitney track backed by d’Abo and the core of Manfred Mann.
What remains a mystery is why this recording has had to wait until its 50th anniversary before receiving a deserved release. No.1 Pitney collector Del Baggott assumes chart success gained from the likes of ‘Something’s Gotten Hold Of My Heart’ and ‘(In The) Cold Light Of Day’ would have persuaded Gene’s management to stick with a winning recipe.
Late ’67 saw Gary Hamilton release a Tony Meehan produced pop-sike variation on the Decca label.
As an extra bonus, the front sleeve photo is a previously unpublished shot from a 1967 studio session. For those interested, a soundclip of the acetate in its original state can be heard on our website: www spokerecords.co.uk
“Gene Pitney was not only a fine singer and artist, but he was also an incredibly talented songwriter – Ricky Nelson’s ‘Hello Mary Lou’ being just one of many hits he had as a writer. To me, Gene Pitney’s finest record was the first record I ever heard him sing on the radio. That was ‘Twenty Four Hours From Tulsa’, a Bacharach & David song. I was totally captivated by, and not a little envious of, the little croak in his voice he used from time to time during the song. It was a towering vocal performance.
I also adored his recording of ‘Something’s Gotten Hold Of My Heart’, a Cook & Greenaway song which showed off his voice to amazing affect. This man is sorely missed and stands tall amongst the truly original Pioneers Of Pop from the greatest era… The Swinging Sixties!”
Mike d’Abo January, 2017. With thanks to Lynne Pitney, Mike d’Abo and Del Baggott.