The Poppy Family - Which Way You Goin' Billy? / Endless Sleep
Sometimes I buy shit that I don't have a clue about, just out of curiosity, because it has interesting looking cover art, a good band name or song title, or is on some really obscure, independent old label. Most of the time I end up owning a piece of historical garbage that makes me cringe every time i flip past it until I remove it from my record collection. But, as we all know, occasionally you mistakenly stumble across something really great and it makes all those wasteful purchases justified. Well, this record is a piece of shit. End of review.
No, but really, this record is fucking awesome. Half of it anyway. The B side. I could take or leave 'Which Way.' There's nothing especially note-worthy about it, except that it can get stuck in your head, but you don't really want it there. Oh but the B side is a killer. Jody Reynolds wrote this song, and actually had a pretty big hit with it in 1958, but I must've been living under a rock in 1958 cuz I never heard of it before. Anyway, this song fucking slays and is dark as fuck. Read them lyrics.
The night was black, rain falling down
look for my baby, she's nowhere around.
Traced her footsteps down to the shore,
'fraid she's gone for ever-more.
I looked at the sea, and it seemed to say
'I took your baby from you away."
I heard a voice cry from the deep
come join me, baby, in my endless sleep.
Why did we quarrel? Why did we fight?
Why did I leave her alone tonight?
That's why her footsteps ran into the sea
That's why my baby's gone from me.
Jody Reynolds' version had an extra verse about running into the sea and saving his lady, but the Poppies left that verse out, thereby making the song even cooler. This may have been Terry Jacks' finest moment in his musical career. Certainly much more respectable than that fucking pitiful and embarrassing 'Seasons in the Sun' bullshit he ended up doing. Now I think he's a lumberjack in Canada or some shit. Who knows. Susan Jacks (the singer, also his wife at the time) was a total babe to boot.
Also, I think this gem of a song is only available on this 45, as I've never seen it on any of the collections of theirs that I've found since picking this up. Hooray for compulsive record shopping!!!