Thursday, July 17, 2008

by Brian Andrew Marek #18

Pete Dello - Into Your Ears (1971) + 10

"a supreme piece of melodic sensitivity, not just a worthy successor of the way initiated with Honeybus and Dello's unique conception of pop, but the perfect culmination of a very personal way of understanding songs as conveyors of the most intimate emotions, full of charm, caprice and beauty" - an uncredited quote found on the Internet, perfectly describing this perfect album
I can't give this album measured praise and won't attempt to. This is, simply put, an exquisite collection of songs - as melodic as McCartney, uncluttered in its arrangements, and featuring lyrics that alternate between direct simplicity and an almost Syd Barrett-like ability to convey a deep emotional resonance that bypasses conscious thought entirely. Like much great art, it's bittersweet and melancholy yet somehow leaves you feeling full of hope and joy in the end.

Of particular interest to me is the song "Uptight Basil" which, if one reads between the lines, seems to explain why Pete quit Honeybus (and, for that matter, why there'd never be a sequel to "Into Your Ears"). Dello, for all his "crazy" lyrics and whimsicality, was far too sane to play ball in an industry that puts artists on a treadmill and squeezes them dry of their creativity like so many oranges. He'd clearly rather be winding that clock, making that bed or sweeping that floor than "lighting up our misty winter's night" as a falling star, burning up in the stratosphere. And who could blame him?

I simply have nothing negative to say about this record, except that even with ten bonus tracks, I still find myself wanting more when it's all over.

This album has been available at Time Has Told Me for just over two years, and as far as I know, the current link is still available, but I ran across a copy of the latest remaster which features not two but TEN bonus tracks and figured my fellow Dellomaniacs would like to make an upgrade. Now I just need to save up some money to buy the Spanish double LP virgin vinyl reissue (insert Homer Simpson drool noise here)...

01. It's What You've Got [0:03:18.23]
02. There's Nothing That I Can Do for You [0:02:38.27]
03. I'm a Gambler [0:03:17.72]
04. Harry the Earwig [0:02:24.50]
05. Do I Still Figure in Your Life [0:02:42.50]
06. Uptight Basil [0:02:43.56]
07. Taking the Heart Out of Love [0:02:56.27]
08. On a Time Said Sylvie [0:02:26.63]
09. A Good Song [0:03:03.15]
10. It's the Way [0:02:09.14]
11. Go Away [0:02:26.36]
12. Arise Sir Henry [0:02:44.08]
13. Uptight Basil (Magic Valley version) [0:02:29.26]
14. Taking the Heart Out of Love (Magic Valley version) [0:03:23.00]
15. I'm a Gambler (Magenta version) [0:03:28.29]
16. Go Away (Lace version) [0:02:30.31]
17. Working Class Man (Red Herring) [0:02:43.03]
18. Tattered Robe (Magenta) [0:03:40.20]
19. I'm a Gambler (Lace version) [0:03:32.27]
20. Delighted to See You (previously unreleased demo) [0:02:34.02]
21. Hold Up, Fold Up (previously unreleased) [0:03:25.66]
22. Texas Candy (previously unreleased) [0:02:17.35]



Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is one of my fave records ever, but I never heard the bonus tracks. So, thanks a million for this!!!

18 July, 2008 01:36  
Anonymous Sodafizz said...

This is one of the greatest albums ever created. I first discovered it about a year ago. Thanks for posting this extended-tracks version, which I didn't know existed.

18 July, 2008 06:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks-hear me only-is the most played track on my ipod [4000+ tracks!]

18 July, 2008 22:50  
Blogger dj hot grits said...

aah, i love this record. thanks for sharing it again, as i have also never heard the bonus tracks. the version of "do i still figure in your life" found here is like no other. i also enjoy the colin hare solo album, though i dont place it as highly as 'into your ears'.

19 July, 2008 14:31  
Blogger ge said...

If Pete weren't still alive he'd roll over in his grave that he's losing sales but gaining fame thanks! He's super, as were Honeybus...but seriously now, folks...he made big £s in auto sales do i recall? now given the current state...

20 July, 2008 20:33  
Anonymous Brian Andrew Marek said...

I'm starting to have my doubts about the generally accepted story that the former Mr. Dello is some kind of major mover in the British automotive industry. A Google search of his real name Peter Blumson brings up pages about Pete Dello and one PDF document of phone numbers which, to my reading, suggests he may be a salesman further down the chain of command in some automotive parts firm.

I just can't help but thinking that the name of the owner of a whole string of dealerships (or whatever the claim happens to be) would show up on the Internet on at least one site that wasn't a bio of Pete Dello. Unless of course he cooked up another pseudonym just to sell cars under?

Besides my usual doubts about any vague, unproven assertion plastered all over the Internet, I just have a difficult time imagining the author of these songs being some kind of top-flight businessman just for what they tell me about him as a person. You may as well tell me that Kevin Ayers is a CIA agent!

Myths, legends and rumors stick to obscure, reclusive artists like flypaper. I was just reading a bunch of stuff about Leon Redbone last night that's a hoot - simply because he has so little to say about his identity and background, rumors have flown through the years that he was really Andy Kaufman, Frank Zappa (up until their deaths, anyway) and the actor who played Father Guido Sarducci!

Anyway, that's my new pet theory I wanted to share, I'm curious what others have to say. I don't claim to be any kind of researcher so somebody with a bit more ambition may be able to prove me wrong or right.

As for royalties, I haven't the slightest doubt that spreading the word in this manner can only be beneficial to his bottom line. That is, assuming the royalties are actually making their way from the record company to the artist - an assumption which, sadly, is often false in this bastard of an industry.

One final thought: Just so everybody is clear on this, my doubts about the "Uptight Basil sells Bentleys" theory are not intended as any disrespect to Mr. Dello/Blumson. I love, respect and adore great songwriters, not salesmen or businessmen, and it matters not to me what he does with his days now so long as he is happy and comfortable.

21 July, 2008 00:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thankyou for introducing me to this wonderful music...trampsterdave

23 July, 2008 19:04  
Blogger fiscus1 said...

Great album. I have the original vinyl (LP and 45s), the CD reissue on See For Miles and I had even ordered the latest reissue on Hanky Panky. But, since they never got back to me with an invoice that included the shipping charges, I'm estatic to be able to get this download.

23 July, 2008 22:57  
Blogger ge said...

Hey BAM,
I guess each case is unique; in my own, having this whole CD in pretty nice fidelity means I'll not seek & buy the reissue. [Others might be persuaded to spend if no graphics came from downloads, which I dont care about].

I never would have even known Honeybus if I hadn't taken a chance and bought a bootleg at a shop in the 90s.

How many artists on their sites offer whole mp3 albums for free? not many...I think I know why

01 August, 2008 22:40  

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