Listen: I Don’t Believe It / The Cryin’ Shames
Never knew until recently that The Cryin’ Shames released anything other than their three Joe Meek produced UK Decca / US London singles during ’66 and ’67. “I Don’t Believe It’, from ’73, was a few generations later not only back then but even by today’s standards. My guess is the band’s singer, Charlie Crane, who produced this and is clearly the recording’s lead voice, used his group’s original name to attract even the slightest factor of recognition toward their comeback.
‘I Don’t Believe It’ is actually the record’s flip, and basically somewhat better than it’s topside. The mix could have taken this quite close to Northern Soul territory, but was just too off the mark for that possibility. It kind of approaches sonic disaster if truth be told. No one could miss the cheesy ‘Shaft’ wah-wah’s piercing out too loudly at :58. Simultaneously though, the messy mess has become a main attraction for me. I do love these early 70′s UK assembly line shlock 7′s, the kind issued regularly by British Decca especially. If someone had told me Junior Campbell produced this one in a blindfold test, I wouldn’t have blinked.
But out of jail free cards get issued when Charlie Crane’s involved, whose incredible vocal take immortalized his band’s ’66 version of The Drifters’ RnB hit, ‘Please Stay’ from ’61. Admittedly not achieving anywhere near the shimmer that Joe Meek got in his Holloway Road studio for both The Cryin’ Shames and Charlie Crane, it’s still impossible not to appreciate this guy’s voice.