“Always Unknowing”: Roxy Music, Forever Uncertain

Phil Manzanera squeezes off soulful guitar lines, particularly during the instrumental coda, on “Always Unknowing” – the flip side of Roxy Music’s Top-20 hit from 1982, “Avalon”:

This languid and forlorn Bryan Ferry composition remained a B-side for 20 years or so until included in a remastered CD mix of Avalon.  “Always Unknowing” was also included on 1983 Warner Brothers B-sides and rarities compilation album, Attack of the Killer B’s.

Attack of the Killer B's

“Louie Louie”: Languid, Listless

One year after Stu Phillips recorded a spectacularly soporific reading of “Tired of Waiting for You,” The Sandpipers released a similarly sluggish take on the garage rock classic, “Louie Louie” – it, too, makes me laugh:

Louie Louie EPWere Stu Phillips and The Sandpipers part of a mid-60s “torp pop” trend?

What’s in a Name:  The Sandpipers – whose 1966 debut A&M single, “Guantanamera” was a Top 10 smash – had unknowingly appropriated the same name as a trio of Pensacola, Florida girls who enjoyed musical backing from a young Duane & Gregg Allman (as The Allman Joys) when they auditioned for Columbia in 1965 with Bob Dylan’s then-producer, Bob Johnston.  Spectropop has the back story – with photos.

The Most Literal Cover Version Ever

I remember having a good laugh the first time I listened to Stu Phillips’ ever-so-sleepy arrangement of the Kinks’ classic, “Tired of Waiting for You”:

The original Kinks hit was recorded in late 1964 and released January 1965 in the UK (one month later in the US).  Stu Phillips, interestingly, arranged and recorded his version just three months later on May 21st.  I am struck by the dichotomy between the swiftness of his response and the torpor of his results:

This “torp pop” approach will be re-examined in Zero to 180’s next piece on The Sandpipers.

Stu Phillips

Could this sort of “languid pop” have set the stage for future indie subgenre, “slowcore“?