THE GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD
807) Caleb Quaye — “Baby Your Phrasing Is Bad”
A “magnificent” (liner notes to the Chocolate Soup for Diabetics Volumes 1-5 CD comp) and “very fuzzy guitar driven song” (Vernon Joynson, The Tapestry of Delights Revisited), that is an “over-phased slice of distorted guitar, power drumming and wacked-out vocals”. (liner notes to Mojo Presents Acid Drops, Spacedust & Flying Saucers: Psychedelic Confectionery from the UK Underground 1965-1969) David Wells rhapsodizes:
[W]hat a record it is. If Strawberry Fields Forever/Penny Lane is rightly regarded by the proverbial man in the street as the classic double-sided British studio psych pop record, then Baby Your Phrasing Is Bad/Woman of Distinction is, as far as the cognoscenti are concerned, its nearest subterranean equivalent. Distant disembodied vocals, fried lyrics, lashings of phasing, reverb, distortion and backwards tapes — what’s more, Caleb even remembered to write a couple of pretty good songs as well. Possibly he never issued another solo single because this one was impossible to top; then again, maybe it was just that nobody was interested (with the notable and curious exception of pirate station Radio Scotland, apparently). . . .Record Collector: 100 Greatest Psychedelic Records: High Times and Strange Tales from Rock’s Most Mind-Blowing Era
Some might have whispered to Caleb “Baby, your phasing is bad”, but they were jerks!
Of Caleb, Mojo tells us that:
Born in London, but of Ghanaian descent, Caleb Quaye enjoyed a long and successful career as a backing musician and session player (Nilsson, Lou Reed, The Who, Elton John) for the best part of two decades. . . . [Elton John] is rumoured to have played keyboards [on “Baby”] . . . . He and Quaye . . . in 1969 would together record a (still unreleased) album under the name of The Bread and Beer Band [see #175].liner notes to Mojo Presents Acid Drops, Spacedust & Flying Saucers: Psychedelic Confectionery from the UK Underground 1965-1969
Wells adds that:
Back in the second half of the 1960s . . . he was employed as resident guitar-prodigy-cum-teenage-studio-whizzkid-producer for Beatles publisher Dick James’s company . . . . Quaye . . . would play on pretty much every recording made by . . . Elton John, from such heavily psychedelic late 60s demos as Regimental Sergeant Zippo to million-selling releases like the 1976 double album Blue Moves. . . . When he found religion in the early 1980s . . . Caleb sold what, according to drummer Roger Pope, was the biggest private record collection in the country to Elton . . . .Record Collector: 100 Greatest Psychedelic Records: High Times and Strange Tales from Rock’s Most Mind-Blowing Era
“In 1968, Quaye played guitar in Elton’s touring band, a position he occupied on and off for the next decade, as well as forming Hookfoot.” (liner notes to the Chocolate Soup for Diabetics Volumes 1-5 CD comp)
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