Sunday, August 19, 2007

Joan Baez and Phil Spector - You've Lost that Loving Feeling

This one ranks right up there with Patti Smith doing You Light Up My Life for weird, unexpected pleasure. The night, as the promo poster has it, "when the in crowd turned out to see the in crowd." Filmed at The Moulin Rouge Club in Los Angeles, sometime in 1966, and released in October of that year. A very nervous - or stoned, he appears to be holding a joint - Donovan introduces Joanie who does maybe not the best version of The Righteous Brothers classic, but certainly pulls off a journeyman's job, and it's nice to see her attempting to work out of her comfort area.

It made me wonder whether the idea for the cover came out of her recording sessions with brother-in-law Richard Farina, who was producing a so-called "rock-'n-roll" album for her at the time of his death, the same year as The Big T.N.T Show was filmed. Baez ultimately decided not to release the sessions, citing that the material was too different in style for her, and not very good. But it's more likely simply to have been that Phil Spector, who is backing Joan on piano, co-wrote the song, and produced The Big T.N.T. Show.

As well as Baez, Spector, and Donovan, the Byrds, Ray Charles, Petula Clark, Bo Diddley, The Lovin' Spoonful, David McCallum - who was a teen heart throb at the time thanks to The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and conducted a big band version of Satisfaction - Roger Miller, The Modern Folk Quartet, the Ronettes, and Ike and Tina Turner all appeared in the 93-minute concert film. Notables in the audience included Frank Zappa and Series of Tubes favorite, Sky Saxon of the Seeds. The Big T.N.T. Show occasionally shows up on one of the cable channels, usually when TMC or the like is having a rock-and-roll theme night. If you get the chance to catch it, go for it.

1 comment:

Stephan said...

I first heard abt the T.N.T. Show 3 yrs ago, and was astounded to see demure Baez tackle an R&B std in her own inimitable style. It did come across as a little odd, the catchy rhythmic beat with her plaintive folksy voice, and Spector didn't miss a beat! Ironic, that he really did lose "that lovin' feeling" later in life, with one of his paramours, in a very drastic way. Sad, what fame can do to a man like that.