No, don’t go. Really, this is just the start!
Picture the scene: It’s 1978 and me, my older brother and mother are visiting the sprawling metropolis that is Kettering. I am 8, maybe 9. We are in the record section of WH Smiths. My brother (and he won’t thank me for announcing this to the world) has persuaded my mother to buy him the single which is Number One: “Rivers of Babylon” by Boney M. Being a precocious little brat, I insist that she also buys me a single, and announce that I too want a copy of the same record. Mother, quite rightly, refuses, and asks me to choose another one smartish. My bottom lip thrust out in a massive gib, I decide I’ll have the next best thing: the Number Two single. And that, my friends, was “The Boy From New York City” by Darts.
And lo, my addiction to records began.
Ok, this doesn’t exactly fall into the stone cold classic category. Firstly, it’s a cover version. Not always a bad thing, and at least I can cling to the knowledge that the original, by The Ad Libs was produced by Lieber and Stoller, of whom I’m assuming you need no further introduction. Secondly, 50s-esque doo-woppy bands were ten a penny in the late 1970s and early 1980s (see Showaddywaddy, Manhatten Transfer, Rocky Sharpe and the Replays). But there’s something about this song that even now, 36 years later still makes me want to pop on a zoot suit, click my fingers and start pleading harmonically to “Cool Cool Kitty” to tell me ’bout the Boy From New York City”.
Go on, give it a go: Darts – The Boy From New York City
Buy it here: Doo-wop
PS – a couple of weeks ago, I bought me and my brother tickets to see Jesus and the Mary Chain on the “Psychocandy Revisited” tour. I mentioned to him that I was writing this blog, and recounted the above story. I mention this now for three reasons; firstly, because he insisted that “Rivers of Babylon” wasn’t the first record he ever owned (I rather feel he missed the point of me writing this) and that that particular triumph went to “Mull Of Kintyre” by Paul McCartney and Wings (Yeh, like that’s any better!), and secondly, so you can see I’m a nice guy who treats his older, much better off, brother every now and then, and thirdly (and most importantly) so you realise there is some good stuff coming soon, just not in the terribly near future. Stick with me!