The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

If You’ve Been Seeking P.F. Sloan…

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“I have been seeking P.F. Sloan/But no one knows where he has gone…” With those lyrics, Jimmy Webb immortalized the reclusive songwriter, admonishing listeners, “Don’t sing this song, it belongs to P.F. Sloan.” But when Webb wrote those words in 1971, Sloan had only been away from the music scene for three or four years; in fact, he was a quite prolific writer in the years between 1964 and 1967, often in collaboration with Steve Barri. Sloan, already an established writer of pure pop songs like “Secret Agent Man” and “Summer Means Fun,” made the transition to folk rock with the controversial “Eve of Destruction,” and began to record his own, less overtly pop-oriented material. And then he was gone. Webb told MusicTalk magazine that “P.F. Sloan is the heroic figure of the songwriter who goes out and keeps writing no matter what. The guy was hot, and he was one of the first…who wanted to be a singer, and it was tough to do that.” Sloan called the moment he heard Webb’s ode “a divine moment” and it was for many listeners, too, despite its lack of chart success.  Webb’s song, in short, kept the legend of P.F. Sloan alive.

So for those readers of The Second Disc who have been seeking P.F. Sloan, look no further. Not only has Sloan returned to the public eye (his “comeback” album, Sailover, was released on the Hightone label in 2006), but on June 8, Ace will unleash the latest volume in its ongoing Songwriters Series, which has already honored such luminaries as Goffin and King, Mann and Weil and Bacharach and David. It’s called You Baby: Words and Music by P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri, and it traces the evolution of Sloan and Barri’s songwriting. Like most of the volumes in this series, You Baby walks the line between familiar hits (Barry McGuire’s “Eve of Destruction”), rarities (Murray the K’s “Sins of a Family”) and offbeat cover versions (Mel Torme’s groovy take on “Secret Agent Man,” anybody?). 

Ace differs from many of the labels covered here at The Second Disc because they produce as many themed compilations/anthologies as straight album reissues. But Ace shares the same mission as many of those other specialist reissue labels, in that their goal is restore great music to print. They succeed mightily, and You Baby looks like a terrific addition to their already-remarkable catalog. A 10,000-word essay drawing on new interviews with Sloan and Barri is promised, along with the usual copious amount of photos and memorabilia. (Ace’s liner notes are generally second to none!) Read the tracklist after the jump!

  1. Another Day, Another Heartache – The 5th Dimension (Soul City 755, 1967)
  2. Can I Get to Know You Better – The Turtles (White Whale 238, 1966)
  3. Take Me for What I’m Worth – The Searchers (Pye LP NPL 18120, 1965)
  4. Where Were You When I Needed You – The Grass Roots (Dunhill 45-5-4029, 1966)
  5. Kick That Little Foot, Sally Ann – Round Robin (Domain 45-1404, 1964)
  6. You Baby – The Mamas and The Papas (Dunhill LP D/DS 50006, 1966)
  7. You Say Pretty Words – Ramona King (Warner Bros. 5432, 1964)
  8. (Here They Come) From All Over the World – Jan and Dean (Liberty 55766, 1965)
  9. Let Me Be – The Turtles (White Whale 224, 1965)
  10. Summer Means Fun – Bruce and Terry (Columbia 4 43055, 1964)
  11. Meet Me Tonight, Little Girl – Philip and Stephan (Interphon 7711, 1964)
  12. Please Don’t Go – Yvonne Carroll (Vee Jay 592, 1964)
  13. Goes to Show (Just How Wrong You Can Be) – Joey Paige (Mira 211, 1966)
  14. The Sh-Down Down Song (You Better Leave Him Alone) – The Ginger Snaps feat. Dandee Dawson (Dunhill 45-D-4003, 1965)
  15. A Must to Avoid – Herman’s Hermits (MGM 13437, 1966)
  16. Can’t We Go Somewhere – Terry Black (Tollie 9026, 1964)
  17. I Found a Girl – Jan and Dean (Liberty F-55833, 1965)
  18. Secret Agent Man – Mel Torme (Columbia LP CS 9335, 1966)
  19. Someday Soon – Betty Everett (Vee Jay CD 707, 1993)
  20. Tell ‘Em I’m Surfin’ – The Fantastic Baggys (Imperial 66047, 1964)
  21. You Sure Know How to Hurt Someone – Ann-Margret (RCA CD 69389, 2001)
  22. Another Day, Another Heartache – P.F. Sloan (Varese CD 066157, 2001)
  23. On a Quiet Night – The Association (Warner Bros. LP 1696,  1967)
  24. The Sins of a Family – Murray the “K” (Red Bird single)
  25. Eve of Destruction – Barry McGuire (Dunhill 4009, 1965)

Written by Joe Marchese

May 13, 2010 at 01:15

Posted in Compilations, News, Reissues

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