Tuesday, April 10, 2007
J. P. Rags - Scruffety (1968)
I think you can best describe this release as lounge music for hippies (or maybe a lounge lizard's idea of hippie music, I'm not sure)--I can imagine someone in the audience asking for some orange sunshine with that martini. A casual listen will suggest that you've found a sweet, somewhat innocent pop relic. However, if you listen closely you'll soon realize that this is pretty silly stuff (lyrically speaking). Especially the spoken word, philosophical interludes--they're downright ridiculous. Rags (real name D. Cox) writes lyrics that wouldn't be out of place on a greeting card and delivers them with a with a childlike (or perhaps childish) quality make him come off as a sort of an unholy cross between Scott Walker (sans gravitas) and Mr. Rogers (with a joint).
Check these lyrics:
I heard a sightless man describe great beauty he had touched
And I admired his sense of smell so very much
Impressed by how his ears could see
I wondered just how it would be
If I could smell her soft clean hair
Upon my pillow lying there
But don't let that turn you off to the record. Silly isn't always bad & this record certainly has its moments. I don't know much about the band but Nilsson contributes a blurb to the back of the lp cover & Larry Goldberg & Doug Cox produced it.
This was a request--I believe based on the Rags track that appeared on the Mystic Males compilation. I liked that track too, but it was on the short side--I'll let you be the judge of how he holds up on a whole album.
1. Soul Sunrise 2. Wonderful World of Children 3. Don't Watch Me 4. Something to Think About 5. Portrait of a Soft Woman
6. Scruffety 7. Porch Song 8. Bells of Saint Barbara 9. Posession Is 9/10 of the End 10. Talkin' 11. Still Life 12. Let's Get Together Again
Enjoy the music (now reposted).