Got The Fever

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Gloria and Marc

This edition of Got The Fever finds me listening, quite by accident, to Gloria and Marc on my random play list. What better couple to post?

Gloria had minor hits early in her career and then went to England where she met up with Marc who was by then a certified rock power player racking up multiple hits as T-Rex. They had a son together, Rolan Bolan. They went out the night of September 16, 1977, had a few too many, and she took the wheel. They crashed and Marc was killed. I believe that it was in an Austin Martin.

Gloria was part of a group called The Blossoms along with Darlene Love and Fanita James. Their own records didn’t go far, but you can hear them as backing vocalists on "Rockin'
Robin" (Bobby Day), "Chain Gang" (Sam Cooke), "Goodbye Cruel World"(James Darren), "Johnny Angel" (Shelley Fabares), "Monster Mash" (Bobby Pickett), "Be My Baby" (Ronettes).

Biggest success for them? When Phil Spector was having problems with his girl band The Crystals, he used The Blossoms to record a new song called “He’s A Rebel”. He released it as being sung by “The Crystals.” Biggest disappointment for them? They only received studio fees for their performance. “He’s A Rebel” was, of course, a monster hit.

Now, Marc … what can we add to his legend? Nothing. But we can perhaps just lay out the facts. An innovator who inspired countless peers such as Bowie (listen for the T-Rex line in “All The Young Dudes”) and Ian Hunter to start with. Much sought out and hung with the upper elite of rock. The man just about invented glam rock on his own. He was the very essence of cool and stately aloofness in his time. He is one of the few in rock who led and did not follow. As they say, his legend lives on. I’ve always loved this quote by him: "I've always got something interesting to say...as long as the right person asks the right questions" Perfect.


Tainted Love
That authentic 60’s sound replete with handclapping, strong thumping bass, echo chamber and spot on 4/4 rhythm guitar. All that helps to give this a much lighter feel and strongly shows its soul flavor. Quite a completely different song listened to in that text – very different than the version Soft Cell did somewhere in the 80’s. It’s a shame that this went nowhere, but make up for that by hearing it here.

Once I ran to you (I ran)
Now I'll run from you
This tainted love you've given
I give you all a girl could give you
Take my tears and that's not nearly all
Tainted love
Tainted love

Rabbit Fighter
Could be my favorite T-Rex song of all time. Maybe. Take it all in - the double lead guitar, the bluesy swirling and swaying styling, the almost whispering but controlling vocal, the cannon-like quality of the drums. I remember hearing this everywhere I went well into the 90’s. Ok, I was the one who always brought it and played it.

Shady politician in my bed
Tying bolts of lightening to his head
Call me Rabbit Fighter
You know its true
'Cos babe I'll rabbit fight all over you


When He Touches Me
Now THIS should have been a hit! This is Gloria’s torch song and she is smoldering hot lava in your head when you are properly adjusted to accept her. She begins by detailing how she’s being abused, accompanied by the guitar, organ and drums. Then she rips open a new one when she sings about how nothing else matters – accompanied by silk smooth backing vocals. And, let’s give the horns their props. Can I get a witness on this one by sister Gloria? Somebody, please! And yet, she knows that it’s wrong what he does to her. She knows this, but she can’t leave! Listen in a around 2:55 when she unloads holy hell, almost leaving us trembling in tears.

He’s mean to me
He’s so bad to me
He uses me
Refuses me

When he touches me,
The way he touches me,
Nothing else matters!

Ballrooms Of Mars
A haunting song drenched in attitude that has a feel like it is just barely able to refrain itself from breaking out. And those guitars again – you gotta love a crazy but perfect pairing of acoustic and electric. Remembering that it was innovative in its time of course.

You talk about day
I'm talking 'bout night time
When the monsters call out
The names of men
Bob Dylan knows
And I bet Alan Freed did
There are things in night
That are better not to behold

You dance
With your lizard leather boots on
And pull the strings
That change the faces of men
You diamond browed hag
You're a gutter-gaunt gangster
John Lennon knows your name
And I've seen him – Rock!


Gloria Jones: Tainted Love (42)
From ? [196?]

Gloria Jones: When He Touches Me (38)
From: Deep Soul Inferno [197?]

T-Rex: Rabbit Fight (23)
T-Rex: Ballroom Of Mars (18)
From: The Slider [1973]

Addendum March 28, 2006: A 'hats off' to JB for taking the time to send me the link for "Deep Soul Inferno" that has the Gloria song.

4 Comments:

  • "When He Touches Me" is flat awesome. My mp3 comes from a compilation album called "Deep Soul Inferno," which is the kind of title that makes you want to hear the whole thing. Here's a link to the track listing, if it'll show up properly on Blogger. Otherwise,just google the title: http://www.mmguide.musicmatch.com/album/album.cgi?ALBUMID=1373457

    By Anonymous jb, at 9:00 AM  

  • jb - You're right - the track absolutely screams and I risk repeating myself when I say that that THIS should have been some form of a hit! Someone is going to discover it, in the same way "I Will Always Love You" was captured from the scummy obscurity pit, and garner massive attention for the selection.

    A pox on those that neglected Gloria's version!

    By Blogger wzjn, at 5:25 AM  

  • When She Touches Me was originally? a hit for Mighty Sam and Rodge Martin also did a great version that came out on Bragg in 1966. Gloria's version is superb.

    Bolan met his death in a Mini - another iconic British car, but not quite an Aston Martin.

    By Blogger Darcy, at 7:02 PM  

  • I never figured this out, but Bolan was killed in a Mini, notorius in those days as four wheel death traps. Royalties couldn't dried up that quick.

    I always thought Gloria should have covered "Nothin' But A Heartache" by the Flirtations. And Bolan should have started tapping some the obscure Motown catalog, "Loves Gone Bad" comes to mind.

    Mark R.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:28 PM  

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