Thursday, April 27, 2006

Quote of the Day

Jeff Grimshaw on Gene Pitney's hit version of the Ned Washington/Dmitri Tiomkin movie theme "Town Without Pity":

For one thing, it doesn’t sound like an actual song so much as it sounds like some bizarre, over-the-top Saturday Night Live parody of an actual song. Musically it’s a close cousin to sleazy burlesque numbers like "Night Train" but the huge brass section pumps so much testosterone into the arrangement it’s something else entirely. It totally transcends ‘sleazy’ and crosses over into ‘clinically insane.’ And of course wailing away on top of this, there’s the late great Gene Pitney. He takes on a brass section roughly the size of Patton’s Third Army and fights it to a draw; he grabs the tune by the throat, slams it into the dresser, frog-marches it into the bathroom, sticks its head in the toilet, slams the lid, and flushes repeatedly. "Had enough??" pants Gene. "Town without Pity" stands up, dripping, spits out 15 or 20 teeth, and says, "Is that all you got, bitch?" But it's not! Gene's got plenty left!! What a singer! What a song! It’s like Ali versus Foreman! Or more properly, Alien Versus Predator, in that no matter which one wins, we lose . . .