Friday, September 07, 2007

My Version Is Better Than Yours Part 6 –Incorporating the Mike Berry story Part 2: Round The Gum Tree:Fire VS Real McCoy

Fire –Round The Gum Tree/Toothie Ruthie –London 45 -20048 (1968 US issue)
Real McCoy –Round The Gum Tree/ I Will –Target 7N 17704 (1969 IRL)

We are talking Bubblegum here and with a capital B! Fire were a trio from Hounslow featuring future Strawb Dave Lambert, they are more widely celebrated for their classic Psych/ Freakbeat number My Father’s Name Was Dad (Decca). Mike was producing this later Fire session.

MB: Time was running out and their songs were not coming together, so I showed them this song that I knew we could finish before we ran out of time.

At 1 minute and 32 seconds you can see his point and it’s also a very simple but catchy tune, even the backing vocals are sped up sounding like the Chipmunks on Helium.
MB: After we finished the session, I said to myself –What I have done here? –I’ll never work in this business again.

Later Mike received a phone call… “Hello Mike –Dick Rowe (head honcho at Decca at the time) here –I have to say that Round The Gum Tree is the most commercial song I’ve ever heard, we must release it and it will be a huge smash

MB: I thought it was a prank call and I put the phone down on him, but rang back to check and it was actually him...

Fire’s Round The Gum Tree wasn’t the predicted smash, but Irish showband Real McCoy gave it another shot. Their version is longer with added Psych guitar effects and even a key change. Whatever version you prefer, this song sounds like a real hit, just a shame that it wasn’t issued in the US as The 1910 Fruitgum Company

Click below for edits of Fire’s and Real Mccoy’s versions of Round The Gum Tree


steve said...

Remarkable. Nice one, Robin. I agree - this would've stood up quite strongly to the K-K gear. I prefer the Fire version cos it's so super-extreme, like they totally went for it, whereas the Real McCoy sound like they think they're above this kinda shit (although their 'potato...' verses have great claps...). Oooh, wish I'd written this one.

toppop100 said...

After much consideration, I decided in favour of the Real McCoy version. I think it has a better feel, prefer the female vocal to the chipmunks, and like the Led Zep guitar effect they added. The Fire version has the better bass part though - the Real McCoy bass part is just too simple.

ger said...


divshare doen't work anymore

can you repair?



Purepop said...

Sorry, but Divshare have screwed up and about 250 sound clips have gone missing, so it would be a huge task to re-record the missing clips...I hope to get this together at some point though

ger said...

well..........good luck!!!!!!!!!!