musicology #224

communication #2

(Al Green – How Can You Mend A Broken Heart)

sliding out of that beautiful piece of musicology from Sade into this next slice of the musicology pie, written by the brothers Gibb, (Barry and Robin), produced by the legendary Willie Mitchell and delivered, in spades, by the ‘Reverend’.

listen tune….


16 thoughts on “musicology #224

  1. what so great about this song for me is that nothing is rushed; the vocals and instruments take their time to do thier own pieces then the next bit is allowed to gently do its thing


  2. You said it sir…… in “spades”… bundles and bundles of ’em!!!!

    What a choice! Softly, and yes, gently, it blows me away every time. This is one of the few tunes which I just HAVE to listen to again and again when I hear it.
    (just played it again…. who’s that playing such a mean organ?).

    I wonder when this was first recorded because I somehow missed – or ignorantly ignored – this beautiful expression of emotion first time around. And that it’s a brother’s Gibbs composition is a real shock to my “purist” sensibilities (strange – and off thread I know – the background story to The BeeGees “Saturday Night Fever” keeps cropping up around me: here’s just one interesting tit-bit, apparently the “hero” is based on one of the early 60’s London Mods… Perhaps there’s more to the brother’s Gibbs than first meets the Soul(full) eye!!)

    Anyway, as I was saying, having missed the first blossom of this gem, I came to it (in frustrating snatches) by way of the film Notting Hill. After that I searched and searched for a copy… without success. And then, long after having given up the search…. I heard the full version compliments of a good friend…. thanks Nigo (yep, on one of the titanic musical battles of the early noughties).

    Sadly, I must have somehow “smudged” it to death ‘cos it soon gave up the ghost on me… until now that is.

    Many, many thanks


  3. Charles Hodges on the keyboard.
    recorded in December 1971,
    (written by the brothers in 1970),
    released in January 1972 on the album
    ‘Let’s Stay Together’

    can’t say I have seen the film so no connections for me there. but this cat Nigo sounds like he knows his musical onions..!!


  4. no..I stand corrected it was written and recorded by them in London, early 1971 and, I must confess, that the Bee Gees are quality…not that I own any of their music but credit where credit’s due.


  5. a poignant lament indeed, so suited to his soulfull voice…in answer to his question I’m reminded of the tale of the two wolves inside of us and inclined to ‘feed the joy wolf’ whenever possible.


  6. That’s what I ment by “wondering when”. In fact I should have said “I wonder how” as well: how could such a gem have passed me by? I mean, I had – and played to death – a copy of that Al Green album.
    I can only think this track must have had a whiff of “commercialism” around it i.e. songwriters credits to brother’s Gibbs!!!
    Yes, how stupidly blinkered can one be. Honest, your honour, I can only put it down to my simplistic, cocky, “purist” musical choices/attitudes around the times in question.

    On “Nigo” and musical onions…. a dark horse that one… respect is due!!


  7. I hear that…although I must say that, for me, there is only the one wolf inside. maybe two sides to the crafty dog but only one wolf. in the same way that there’s only one life to live. hope that makes sense.


  8. True, true Anonymous. There is only one life to live. But unlike dogs or wolves we humans have choices (or so we lead each other to believe). Thus, the wolves Countess speaks of are simply metaphors for those choices i.e. the way that “one life” is lived. The question here is… Are Dogs Crafty?
    Here’s hoping that makes sense!!


  9. yes it does makes sense. the only question would be whether we can choose to live the life we love and so love the life we live?


  10. P.S.
    It goes without saying that “what the Countess speaks of” is my humble opinion… and nothing but my opinion (yer honour)


  11. Yessss, there you have it…. “choices”.
    I read you… Can we? Do we? Are we allowed to? Are choices in fact choices? It goes deeper and deeper…………..

    By the way, I’m currently listening to and reading up on a relatively “unsung hero” of the sixties and a Mod icon to boot i.e. Georgie Fame. And guess what? Among great songs long forgotten like “Gotta Go” (naming just one of many good rocking songs) I came across this one….. “I Love The Life I Lead, I Lead The Life I Love”…. How’s that for synchronization


  12. Before heading off to my evening meal I just had to play this again (and again) especially after listening to Dennis Brown’s version of It’s Too Late. (themusicologist#230)

    Words fail me… emotions and solidarity don’t!!


  13. P.S. When relating, referring, researching the sound of early sixties mod/modernist I think it wise never to forget, or worse, ignore the influences of the “British Boys”. Find a copy of Georgie Fame’s Gotta Go…. play it loud, watch the reactions of those around you….. guaranteed to bring a smile to their faces!!


  14. Watched a programme about the sixties on a French/German TV station last night (the French are into “mod” big-time I hear) and who d’ya think got an airing? Oui, Oui… Georgie Fame. And guess what? He played/sung “Gotta Go”…. and it sounds even better now than it did back in the day in my opinion…. Certes oui!!!


  15. Dedicated to themusicologist.

    A poignant lament indeed countess… but still as beautiful as the first day… even though – or perhaps because – it brings tears to the minces!


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