Laurie Mayer ‎– Dust In The Wind And Bright Blue Night

Label:
Y II Records ‎– YII T 003
Format:
Vinyl, 12"
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postpunkmonk

postpunkmonk

May 11, 2012

To answer your obvious question, yes; the A-side is the overly familiar mid-70s top 10 hit from Kansas®. Torch Song had done amazing things with unlikely cover versions on their two albums prior. Bobbie Gentry’s “Ode To Billie Joe” had been given an electro workover on the album “Wish Thing” that had taken the song as far as possible from its country-pop 1967 origins while still honoring its intentions to the fullest. Then the band’s cover of Blind Faith’s “Can’t Find My Way Home” from their second album is hands down – my favorite cover version of all time! Has Ms. Meyer managed to redeem the steaming hunk of cheese that was Kansas’ calling card in 1977*?

In a word, no. Oh, her vocals are a beguiling as ever. The band turn in a polite arrangement but at the end of the day, the song has not even begun to transcend it’s Midwest-Prog-Lite® origins. There’s only so much you can do with a poor song, it seems. Quite frankly, they needed all the help they could get on this one, and unfortunately, the endlessly inventive William Orbit sat out production on this one, leaving the chair to Meyer and label owner Dick O’Dell. The track’s 4:30 length has the unfortunate tendency to sound interminable minutes longer under actual listening conditions.

Far more in line with expectation is the single’s B-side. “Bright Blue Night” could be a track off of “Ecstasy” and the fact that Orbit produced it [and probably played nearly everything on it] means that it is much more accomplished and stands as an honorable offshoot of the Torch Song legacy.

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