Monday, February 28, 2011

Song of the Week: Bobby Bland -- I've Been Wrong So Long/Cry, Cry, Cry

I've Been Wrong So Long

Cry, Cry, Cry
In my younger years I ran across a reprint of a Davey Jones and the Mannish Boys single. The A-Side was a decent enough song called I Pity The Fool. It grabbed my attention if for no other reason than mod kingpin, Davey Jones, would go on to fame as David Bowie, and, secondly, the song's title was the catch phrase of the criminally underrated actor, Mr T. Not long later I would find myself sifting through dusty record bins in Albany, California when I ran across the same song on a bitching looking orangey and purple label. The song was now being performed by the marketing disaster of a name, Bobby Bland. I figured it was worth the dollar being requested of me and I put it in my stack. Long story short, Bland's original kicked the butt of little Davey Jones' version of I Pity The Fool like Mr. T would kick the butts of evil South American strongmen every week on TV. I said to myself, "I pity the fool who tries to cover a Bobby Bland song, fool."

That introduction to Bobby "Blue" Bland set me to gathering his records whenever I ran across them. Soon enough I was picking up Turn On Your Love Light, which astute record collectors will recognize as a song from Them's second album. Then Stormy Monday Blues, while not the best version I had ever heard, it was clearly the version from which Them learned the staple song. Then I picked up Cry, Cry, Cry, a beautiful and nicely restrained song that showcased Bland's powerful and soulful voice as good as any song I had hear him do. But the flip-side, ahh, that flip-side, was a real head-scratcher. It was one of those songs that made me just stop and listen. It sounded so different.

The song is I've Been Wrong So Long and it is our SoTW. The cool opening guitar riff made me run to my bass and try to figure it out. But as soon as I got the bass in my hands, the song went into a very unpredictable direction. Suddenly I found myself listening to a German style polka or march. WTF just happened? Then, as I struggled to learn that, the song moved into a powerful soul ballad. Holy crow that was cool! I just love it when a song comes so far out of left field that the listener is hit with a sonic fist to the ear. That's what this song does for me.

Cry, Cry, Cry b/w I've Been Wrong So Long was recorded in Chicago on August 3, 1960 and was released on Duke Records #327.

I hope you enjoy. Until next time, We'll see you On The Flip-Side!


  1. I have heard this before - a friend shared a collection of his tunes with me a few years ago. But I hadn't noticed the curious tempo changes and excellent production of this song. I particularly like the guitar work - dig the sparse descending riff after the first refrain part "Now I know, yes" and the leads coming out of the main choppy tempo segment - and the bluesy fluid piano runs during said segment which are a nice counterpoint to its choppiness. That segment is like something Kurt Weill might compose.

  2. There is just a ton of stuff going in that song. All of it good.