Monday, December 9, 2013

Parrot Records Spotlight: The Alan Price Set - I Put A Spell On You and Iechyd Da

I Put A Spell On You
Iechyd Da
By popular request (one anonymous request to be exact), On The Flip-Side will feature each day this week a different single from the US based Parrot Records.

Parrot Records was created in 1964 as a subsidiary of London Records to release singles licensed from the UK version of Decca Records. Got it? While it was mostly a front to release these UK recordings, Parrot Records did, however, release a few US based records. We'll try to hit some of both this week. One note before we move on to today's single, we want to lay it out there that from a graphic design stand point, few company's had a cooler looking label/sleeve combination. 

The first record in our Parrot Records Spotlight is from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. The artist is The Alan Price Set, and as any serious Flip-Side reader will know already, Alan Price was the founding member of The Animals. He was also their earliest casualty, exiting the band he formed by mid-1965.  In March of 1966, his new band, The Alan Price Set, released their second single in the UK, a cover of the oft-covered Screaming Jay Hawkins song, I Put A Spell On You. In this writer's estimation, hands down the finest version to be committed to wax. A month later The Alan Price Set version was released in the US on Parrot Records, his first US release. As one can well imagine, the single failed to light the world on fire. But that doesn't mean it isn't great. Not a chance. Alan Price's beautiful organ work builds slowly from a smoldering ember to a full on blazing fire. at 1:53. But Price's strong vocal work doesn't get lost by his immense organ skills. He belts out the vocals with confidence and composure and brings the song to a soaring conclusion. 

The Flip-Side is included here today. It is the Alan Price composed jazz instrumental Iechyd-Da. We hope you enjoy.
Until tomorrow, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

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