Tuesday, September 19, 2006

My version is better than yours part 2: Top Down Time – The Rockaways vs The Dantes

The Rockaways –Top Down Time / Don’t Cry (Tomorrow’s tears tonight) –Red Bird RB 10-005 (US 1964)

The Dantes –Top Down Time/How Many Times –Rotate Records 45-5008 (US 1964)

With summer definitely faded, what a perfect time to celebrate this classic summer anthem. First and foremost Top Down Time is a great great song effortlessly evoking the idyllic teenage summer...really making the scene, listening to my favourites like Jan & Dean now with teenage cuties in tow.
The Rockaways did the original and It’s a Bright Tunes (Tokens) creation produced by Artie Butler. It has a full East Coast snappy yet crackly production . The Dantes did the appropriate West Coast cover version which attained local hit status and it comes out somehow simpler and purer. It also adds brownie points by highlighting a wailing falsetto during the chorus. Produced by Joe Rock (who he?), it’s my favourite, but this is also probably due to having been exposed to it for longer (you can find it on Pebbles Vol 3). Anyhow both versions are great and the song has an emotional content that still resonates strongly with me. I hope that summer never ends

In our next instalment of My version is better than yours: Clap Your Hands and Stamp Your Feet: Bonnie St. Claire vs
Funky Family


Euphonic said...

Yes, what a truly great song - I recently secured copies of both singles in quick succession, having long loved it like you on Pebbles Vol. 4 (Vol. 3 was the "acid punk" volume).

But the Dantes record is not in fact a "West Coast cover version"; the band was actually from Carnegie, Pennsylvania, in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. And it was in Pittsburgh that they had a local hit, not on the West Coast as far as I know. It was not really a cover in the then sense of the word, but more of a revival, coming one summer later than the Rockaways version (1964 vs. 1965).

Joe Rock was a local entrepreneur most famous as the manager of The Skyliners ("Since I Don't Have You") - a group on whose lush style the B side of the Dantes record, "How Many Times," is a pastiche.

Purepop said...

Thanks for the info...it's up there with the Fun We Had (Ragamuffins) for sure...

Anonymous said...

Is this the original "lets do the time warp" from "Rocky Horror" ? It sure sounds like it.