Tuesday, July 25, 2006

My version is better than yours Part 1: Don’t Let Go – Rats vs Light Fantastic

In the left corner we have RATS (no, not The Rats who released the wonderful Bolanesque Turtle Dove the same year) and in the right corner we have LIGHT FANTASTIC (who also released some OK stuff in the mid 70’s on MAM and Penny Farthing)

Rats - Don’t Let Go/ Dragon Child –MAM 113 (1974 UK)

This is the original version released in February ’74. The first thing that strikes you is that it’s played really fast and perhaps too well. The drumming is not basic enough and is nearly “funky” during the verse. Things come together nicely during the chorus as the drums thump away simplistically and the vocals chant out the words with gusto. The solo is horrid –is it a synth or a sax? It sounds like a chicken pulled out of someone backside anyhow (makes a refreshing change).
It’s a great song, but this version just doesn’t deliver. The B side – Dragon Child is some form of Rockin’ progressive Jazz Rock fusion. It’s also played really fast and is somehow akin to Van Der Graaf Generator on speed…

Light Fantastic –Take Me, Shake Me/ Don’t Let Go –Blue Jean BJS 701 (1974 UK)

Released 6 months later, this one is the bomb! Tempo?…check, handclaps?…check, loud crunching guitars?…check. The song really comes into its own here: It’s basic, but with a great production and nice touches (she said whispered) and it thuds along as it should. The guitar solo could be The Move, detuned guitar strings and all. A great song given its rightful rendition and …it’s only the B SIDE!!!! Take Me, Shake Me is the bastard son of Bend It and Bend Me, Shape Me with a bit of Silver Machine thrown in. It’s a cool Glam Stomper with another great production job from Bob Andrews. No doubt about it - Light Fantastic are the WINNERS with their fine coupling…

In the next episode of my version is better than yoursTop Down Time: The Dantes vs The Rockaways.

PS: You can find The Light Fantastic version on Boobs –The Junkshop Glam Discotheque- RPM 298

Hear Light Fantastic

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