Listen: Land Of 1000 Dances / Cannibal & The Headhunters Cannibal1000.mp3
Often covered through the years, there were two ‘Land Of A Thousand Dances’ floating around during the mid 60′s. Thee Midnighters and this one. For some reason, Cannibal & The Headhunters’ rendition was live with an audience, sounded wilder, and with a band name like that, I couldn’t help it becoming my preferred version. Oddly enough, this wilder take was also the bigger hit, peaking on Billboard’s Hot 100 at #30. Through it’s entire initial chart run the single was always listed on the Rampart label, yet I have both a Rampart and Date pressing in my collection.
I never thought twice about it, just figured the logical explanation was Rampart was a tiny indie (indeed it was – from East LA) and when the record started getting traction, a major, or in this case, a major’s smaller imprint (CBS distributed Date) picked it up to take national. Oddly enough, that’s not what happened. Charting in early ’65 and peaking a few months later in May – for some reason (who will ever know?), Date reissued it a year or so later in summer ’66, when it sort of re-charted, meaning it Bubbled Under The Hot 100 for two weeks, peaking at #106.
Now why should anyone care about this? As far as I’m aware, no one does. But little things, about a record business era gone forever, I find vastly interesting. I wish someone out there was a former Date employee. I’d have a lot more questions about that infamous lime green label.