Sunday, October 23, 2011
Sunday Night Schmalz: A Taste of Honey
Remember Herb Alpert doing his early-sixties signature song "A Taste of Honey"? It's the hit track from the album showing a model covered in "whipped cream" with a seductive look on her face, and it's a sort of cliche of swinging sixties pre-rock bachelor pad music. Well now forget about that. Here's a version of that song from Andy Bey and the Bey Sisters, the singing group that launched the career of the amazing honey-voiced singer Andy Bey, who is quite still around. Recorded in 1964, this version slows the tempo way down and takes the song from the height of the party to late night at the bar. What is in other hands almost cloyingly perky is transformed into something else altogether. All of a sudden it's introspective melancholia, the perfect accompaniment to a neat glass of booze, some dim lights, and, like tonight, a chilly evening with dark streets that may or may not lead you to where you expect them to.
I didn't know it before looking it up for this entry, but it's originally from a 1960 Broadway show and was also popularized by... The Beatles. When I was younger I didn't get this kind of slow, bittersweetly lush vocal music. But as a middle-aged gay man this stuff seems to get right under my skin.
"I will return...
I'll come back for the honey and you."