Friday, 18 October 2013

It's Complicated

Today's brace of badness comes from journalist David Wigg, and its further proof that broadcasters should never be allowed inside a recording studio - at least not to try and record a pop song (if only Reginald Bosanquet had taken note!)

Wigg, probably best remembered for conducting a series of interviews with the Beatles as the group was dissolving which appeared in 1976 on the double album The Beatles Tapes (and which the band tried, unsuccessfully, to have banned), had been the pop music reporter for the Daily Express and an interviewer for the Radio One show Scene and Heard. He was also great friends with the late Freddie Mercury. Unfortunately we catch him here around a decade before he met Fred, covering a song by Chris Andrews of Yesterday Man fame.

In London, at the height of the Swinging Sixties, pretty much anyone who looked the part or had the connections could get a record released. It's clear though that some of them should never have bothered. Wigg, with a recognised 'name' in the pop world, was a reasonably obvious choice for a producer looking for a quick hit; throw in a writer with the credentials of Chris Andrews - who, besides his own mega hit had written a string of chart entries for Sandie Shaw and Adam Faith - and surely the result was bound to click with the young, hip and happening audience?

However, Life Is Complicated is a ridiculous record: Wigg's performance is flat and atonal and the bombastic backing (a Chris Andrews trademark) tramples all over the vocal. Its B-Side, Turning Round, is little better: to me Wigg sounds like a bored geography teacher at a karaoke party trying to convince his listeners that he really is a fun chap, honestly. The jolly girl backing singers and the arrangement, by Des Champ (who would go on to bigger things with Chicory Tip and Vanity Fair) are lively enough, but what little voice Wigg possesses is completely unsuited to the material.

Thankfully this appears to have been his one and only stab at pop superstardom: David wisely chose to return to the other side of the microphone (taking a brief detour to write the liner notes to the Bulldog Breed album in 1969) and is still working today, writing regularly for the Daily Mail.

Thanks to the excellent Lord of the Boot sale blog for the image.

1 comment:

  1. Played on the UK offshore pirate radio stations, never a hit, but a classic !!


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