of cabbages and kings, of arks and attics – the pseudo-psychedelic sound of chad & jeremy 1967-1968 (part 3)

THIS IS THE THIRD of five ar­ti­cles de­voted to the trio of al­bums and their re­lated sin­gles that Chad & Je­remy re­leased in 1967-1968. OF CABBAGES AND KINGS and THE ARK and the sound­track to 3 IN THE ATTIC re­flect the more ‘pop’-oriented psy­che­deli­cism of the Eng­lish mu­si­cians at the time and have long been held in a bit of con­tempt by older afi­cionados and col­lec­tors of Six­ties psych. Too bad, as they are al­most uni­formly fine record­ings!

There were no sin­gles is­sued from OF CABBAGES AND KINGS as A-sides. In No­vember 1967, the track ti­tled Ed­i­to­rial—a piece from The Progress Suite—was re­leased as the B-side of Chad & Je­re­my’s new single, Painted Day­glow Smile (Co­lumbia 4-44379). It is more than ob­vi­ously Mc­Cart­neyesque and would not have been out of place on SGT. PEPPER. Un­for­tu­nately, this record also went nowhere. Painted Day­glow Smile was remixed and ex­tended by one minute for in­clu­sion of the duo’s next album, THE ARK (1968).

Chad & Je­remy fol­lowed OF CABBAGES AND KINGS with an­other album of sim­ilar sound and in­tent, THE ARK. Re­leased in Au­gust 1968,it avoided the ex­per­i­men­talism of the pre­vious album and was in­stead a rea­son­ably solid col­lec­tion of twelve (pos­sibly) lysergic-tainted pop songs—closely re­lated to the songs on the first side of OF CABBAGES AND KINGS. But prior to its re­lease, a new single was is­sued …


Al­most the en­tirety of Chad Stuart and Je­remy Clyde’s ex­cur­sions into psy­che­delic pop-rock music can be found on three al­bums: OF CABBAGES AND KINGS and THE ARK (Co­lumbia CS-9471 and 9699) and the sound­track to 3 IN THE ATTIC (Side­walk (ST-5198). As these records so very little, few people aside from the duo’s diehard fans heard any of these al­bums during the Psy­che­delic Six­ties. If we did, we tended to laugh at them—unfortunately.

It would be nice to have someone to care for

In April/May 1968, Co­lumbia is­sued Sister Marie / Rest In Peace (Co­lumbia 4-44525). The A-side was specif­i­cally recorded as a single in hopes of a hit. The B-side was one of the stronger tracks from OF CABBAGES AND KINGS—and one that I sug­gested in my pre­vious post would have made a fine single by it­self.

Sister Marie is a fine track—for an album track. It most cer­tainly does not have “hit single” writ large upon it. The verses are too gen­tile, too man­nered. The cho­ruses work much better, but the whole sounds a bit like Paul needing a John middle-eight. The flip-side would have made a stronger im­pres­sion to the few people who ever got to hear a Chad & Je­remy single in 1968.

Like the other sin­gles as­so­ci­ated with the three psych-pop al­bums, this record sold slightly more than nothing at all. Need­less to say, it is rather rare. Need­less to say, no one cares very much.

Should you want to com­pare both sides, I in­cluded a video of Rest In Peace in the second part of this essay.


Chad And Je­remy - Sister Marie

Look, the Ark—it is bearing down

In­dulging Mr. Stuart and Mr. Clyde’s every whim, THE ARK cost $75,000 to record and produce—a small for­tune at the time—yet sold so few copies that many people didn’t even know it had been re­leased! In fact, Usher had gone so far over budget to pro­duce this stiff of a record that Co­lumbia ter­mi­nated his em­ploy­ment as a staff pro­ducer!

“This album was to be our swan song, al­though we didn’t know it at the time. (Or did we? Je­remy was hell bent on an acting ca­reer, so all the signs were there.) This LP marked the end of Je­re­my’s lyric writing as well.” (Chad Stuart)

While the album was still ba­si­cally a Chad & Je­remy album (soft songs, gently sung, strummed gui­tars), the pro­duc­tion was fan­tastic lush ex­ces­sive bold silly and in­cluded every­thing under the sun but the prover­bial kitchen sink! (And you’ve just beed double-clichéd …) It over­laid the songs with a sense of drama and lysergia-driven cre­ativity that the ac­tual per­for­mances of the duo and the lyrics be­lied.

Plus there was too much of the then au cur­rant fas­ci­na­tion with old Eng­lish music hall sounds that had begun to plague British bands in the wake of When I’m 64—and clashed sillily (sic) with the oth­er­wise tasteful use of sitar and tabla. My old Gold­mine com­pa­triot William Ruhlmann re­viewed the album for All­Music:

“[THE ARK is] an­other psy­che­delic mish­mash of styles—Indian one minute, music hall the next—of a kind so many pop­ular per­formers had been in­dulging in at the time in hopes of making the next SGT. PEPPER. The dif­fer­ence was that most of Chad & Je­re­my’s peers had gotten it out of their sys­tems the year be­fore. But C&J were upper-class types who took nat­u­rally to the pre­ten­sions of the form—they thought they were making Art.”

The title song is by Mr. Clyde is a rather awk­ward at­tempt at pop po­etry with an al­lu­sion to the ark of the Old Tes­ta­ment mythology.

 

Chad & Je­remy - The Ark

Side­walk Re­quiem was one of the first pop songs written about the as­sas­si­na­tion of Sen­ator (and Pres­i­den­tial hopeful) Robert F. Kennedy ear­lier that year in June. Side­walk Re­quiem was a plainly folk-based pop song with no at­tempts at ly­ser­gi­cism. It is very se­rious song about a very painful horror—one that its com­poser ex­pe­ri­enced and felt more per­son­ally than most Amer­i­cans.

Side­walk Re­quiem marked a low point for me and thou­sands of others. I had been working in Robert Kennedy’s pres­i­den­tial cam­paign and the events that tran­spired at the Am­bas­sador hotel were a crushing de­feat for all of us. Per­haps it’s ap­pro­priate to re­veal a his­tor­ical foot­note here: the day after the as­sas­si­na­tion, I and sev­eral people who were working in the cam­paign, re­ceived a pic­ture post­card from Hong Kong with the cryptic mes­sage, ‘The same goes for you.’ This was mailed be­fore the as­sas­si­na­tion and the writer ob­vi­ously knew what was about to happen. Need­less to say, that was my first and last brush with Amer­ican pol­i­tics.” (Chad Stuart)

On the other hand, the title of Painted Day­glow Smile bor­ders on self-parody. The song it­self is an­other track that nods rather ob­vi­ously to­wards SGT. PEPPER—and I am not saying that as a com­plaint. It is a lovely track, up to a point. Midway through (at 2:00 min­utes), the track abruptly segues into some­thing that sounds like Chad and Je­remy had been paying too much at­ten­tion to the New Vaude­ville Band—and I am saying that as a com­plaint. The track is a per­fect ex­ample of the good and not-so-good as­pects of the album in 3:29.

 

Chad & Je­remy - Painted Day­glow Smile

The video above presents us with the album ver­sion of Painted Day­glow Smile. It is ap­par­ently a remixed ver­sion of the orig­inal recording from whence the single was mas­tered and is also one minute longer.

A kind of pacific stoned wistfulness

A rea­son­ably lengthy and en­tirely glowing re­view of THE ARK ti­tled “Hidden trea­sures: Chad and Je­remy – The Ark” by Alexis Petridis can be read on the Music Blog site. And please note that Mr. Petridis’ use of the un­cap­i­tal­ized “pa­cific” here means “calm and peaceful; loving peace; not wanting war or con­flict.” 

“Chad and Je­remy are re­mem­bered for little more than being posh—a shame be­cause their sunny, gently psy­che­delic final album was gen­uinely amazing. You could argue that THE ARK is a record very much of its era but that’s not quite true. One of the umpteen rea­sons for its failure was prob­ably that THE ARK ar­rived out of time. Its emo­tional tone is a kind of pa­cific stoned wistfulness—as you might ex­pect from a duo who must have re­alised in their heart of hearts that their 15 min­utes of fame was up …”

In Oc­tober 1968, Co­lumbia is­sued Paxton Quigley’s Had the Course / You Need Feet (You Need Hands) (Co­lumbia 4-44660), hoping that the the new film Three In The Attic, fea­turing a score written by Chad and je­remy and fea­turing the A-side, would be a bit of hit you see and some of the at­ten­tion would find its way to the Co­lumbia records then on sale. Paxton Quigley is cer­tainly one of the more up­beat num­bers on the album, its in­sis­tent rhythm moving the track along at a nice pace.

 

Paxton Quiglys had the course Chad and je­remy

The song’s arrange­ment is ul­ti­mately a bit too complex—unnecessarily so, in my opinion—for many AM radio sta­tions at the time. And you will have to trust me that few, if any, oh-so-hip FM “un­der­ground” sta­tions would touch a Chad & Je­remy record, re­gard­less of its psy­che­delic lean­ings.

Maybe it was the sunshine or the windowpane

While re­searching this piece, I stum­bled over an ar­ticle ti­tled “Chad & Je­remy & LSD” by Kim Cooper orig­i­nally pub­lished in Scram mag­a­zine #9 (“a journal of un­pop­ular cul­ture”). Cooper sees Stuart and Clyde’s “per­verse world-view” ex­pressed through the songs on OF CABBAGES AND KINGS. Anyway, I en­joyed her overwhelmingly—and no doubt excessively—positive re­view so much that I thought I would allow her the last few words on the record here on my blog:

THE ARK is pop­pier than OF CABBAGES AND KINGS, but less co­he­sive, and the plethora of guest-writers sug­gests that the boys were having some dif­fi­culty coming up with a full set of tunes. Maybe it was the sun­shine, or the win­dow­pane, or Gary Ush­er’s golden touch. What­ever in­de­pen­dent forces con­spired to work their wiles upon Chad & Je­remy, the fact re­mains: OF CABBAGES AND KINGS ex­ists and it is per­fect. Call it one of the gems of the psy­che­delic era, and marvel at the im­prob­a­bility of it all. And maybe wonder, just in passing, what Peter & Gordon might have lurking in the vaults.”

Ms. Coop­er’s com­bined re­view of OF CABBAGES AND KINGS and THE ARK is just over 1,950 words in length. From these, I pinched 426, so there’s lot’s more to read on her site. So click on over to the scrammagazine.com and read Kim Coop­er’s writing as Kim Cooper in­tended it to be read …

In 2006, Sun­dazed reis­sued THE ARK on com­pact disc with three bonus tracks, in­cluding two pre­vi­ously un­re­leased out­takes, Letter To A London Girl and Pipe Dream. In 2009, it was reis­sued by Rev-Ola with the same bonus tracks.

 

Chad & Je­remy - Painted Day­glow Smile



 
 

Subscribe
Notify of
Rate this article:
Please rate this article with your comment.
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x