Listen: I Can Only Give You Everything / Them
This came on Little Steven’s Sirius station yesterday. I was in the car, literally flying down the FDR. It was a bizarre Saturday, as though New York had been deserted. There was no traffic. None.
Not only did the mere sound of Them completely lift my mood, it also reminded me I’d never heard ‘I Can Only Give You Everything’ on the radio in my entire life. Released during summer ’66 makes it a good four, going on five decades later that the record is finally getting some airplay. A mitzvah indeed.
Like ‘Gloria’ before it, I recall ‘I Can Only Give You Everything’ being covered by seemingly every American punk band during the 60′s. In so doing, Them were immortalized and, I guess to Van Morrison’s annoyance, tarred with those horrible garage band shackles.
Make no bones about it mind you, ’66 was a great year for Them when it comes to US singles. Four in all, and every one locking their place in music history as being perfect: ‘Mystic Eyes’, ‘Call My Name’, ‘Richard Corey’ and this.
So when the very first notes came through the dash, my involuntary reaction cranked the volume, and in a way too, purposely forced me to miss the 23rd Street exit, Bobbie Graham‘s drumming so driving I needed to keep speeding along to catch the song’s priceless dynamic moment at :47, when that Farfisa organ drops right as the second verse begins.
Seriously, the combination made me feel a little high. New York’s skyline almost overpowering the senses on a warm yet chilly spring day, hearing this long forgotten piece of musical perfection loudly and basically having the FDR entirely to myself at 70 mph.