Monday, July 22, 2013

A&M Records Spotlight: Captain Beefheart - Diddy Wah Diddy/Who Do You Think You're Fooling?

Diddy Wah Diddy
Who Do You Think You're Fooling?
I'm going to spin a bunch of my favorite records from one of my favorite labels all this week. A&M Records may not have the same garage cred as Dunwich Records, Tower Records, J-Beck Records or Fenton Records, but A&M put out some really remarkable stuff in the 60s and even held the torch for some great musicians well into the 70s.

A&M Records was founded in 1962 by Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss (hence, the A and the M) and immediately went to work publishing an eclectic mix of local LA bands and licensing music from lesser known UK bands for release in the US. We'll start the day off with one of those acts who fell into the eclectic LA music scene category.

A&M gave Captain Beefheart (born Don Van Vliet) his start with the release of Diddy Wah Diddy/Who Do You Think You're Fooling in March of 1966. The A-Side a cover of the traditional blues song (no, Bo Diddley did not write it) and the flip-side an original composition. Captain Beefheart's version of Diddy Wah Diddy is arguably the best version of the oft-recorded song. Blind Blake, Bo Diddley and The Remains could all make an argument for their version being the best. Dark and brooding, Captain Beefheart shows off his gruff voice and strong harmonica skills to perfection on Diddy Wah Diddy. Both sides show a musician who, like so many of his contemporaries in the mid-60s, was not trying to follow the path laid down by The Beatles or Rolling Stones. That's evident on both sides.
We'll see you tomorrow On The Flip-Side with more A&M Records.

1 comment:

  1. Cool 2sider. Freakin' Great Bo cover, maybe the best. I dig The Sonics version too. Hälsning!