Thursday, February 5, 2015

Vanilla Fudge -- "You Keep Me Hangin' On" (1967)

Why don't you get out of my life
And let me make a new start?

(So have you figured out the two themes of this year's 29 Posts in 28 Days?)

I'm breaking all the rules by featuring this song today.  

After all, I featured the very same recording of "You Keep Me Hangin' On" on 2 or 3 lines a little over three years ago – November 29, 2011, to be precise.  (You can click here to read what I had to say back then.)  And I never feature the same song twice.

(What, never?  Well . . . hardly ever!)

But if there's ever a recording to break the rules for, it's this one.

"You Keep Me Hangin' On" was probably the Supremes' best single ever.  (Keep in mind that the Supremes had no fewer than twenty top-ten singles between 1964 and 1970 – including twelve number one singles.)

Why Vanilla Fudge chose to cover that particular song is a mystery to me.  Their over-the-top, take-no-prisoners style of playing wouldn't seem to be a good fit for a classic Motown pop song.

But the quartet from Long Island knocked it out the park . . . as this absolutely maniacal video of Vanilla Fudge's live performance of the song on The Ed Sullivan Show demonstrates:

(I need to go lie down with a cool washcloth on my forehead.  Can you excuse me for a few minutes?)

The video of the boys performing the song on The Ray Anthony Show is almost as bizarre as the Ed Sullivan performance.  The quartet of go-go girls who cluelessly gyrate to the music are fascinating to watch, but the quality of the video and the sound is not as good:

Here's the album version of "You Keep Me Hangin' On," which was released in the summer of 1967 on Vanilla Fudge's eponymous debut album.  (That album consisted of covers of relatively recent pop songs, including the Beatles' "Ticket to Ride" and "Eleanor Rigby," the Zombies' "She's Not There," and Cher's "Bang Bang."

Click below to buy the single version of the song from Amazon:

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