37. “THE MAN FROM LARAMIE” – JIMMY YOUNG

Weeks at number one: 4 (14th October – 11th November 1955) / Length: 2m21s / Label: Decca

Notable for…Jimmy Young was the first act to score number one hits with their first two singles. His third and last single reached no.3, so a pretty great chart record.

MELODY & HARMONY ~ 4 : What I dislike is the length between the melodic phrases, which makes the words seem a bit stilted. With a more capable tune it could all sound a bit more off-the-cuff and better suit the storytelling mode.

WORDS ~ 7 : Character study of a work-hard play-fair cowboy who you might find somewhat two-dimensional (at most). But the wordplay is inventive, and I have never experienced better use of poetic license than that required to enable the rhyming of “coyote” and “outshoot”.

VOICE ~ 7 : unbelievably cute when he holds that last note. cho kawaii

STRUCTURE ~ 5 : A1-A2- B-A3-B-A3….the numbers mean the same tune, but different words. I don’t know if that’s how they do it in real music books.

PRODUCTION & ARRANGEMENT ~ 4 : So much potential for sound effects and production quirks goes largely untapped. C’mon, what right-minded producer wouldn’t stick in at least a gunshot or two?

COOLNESS/STYLE ~ 2 : Talking about a cool person is not the same as being one, and it’s hard to believe that this Man would’ve been mixing with Jimmy Young’s crowd

ORIGINALITY/NEWNESS ~ 3 : Shares its name with a film form the same year, so presumably it featured in that, and presumably Jimmy Young’s version wasn’t the original. Let me look it up… Al Martino had a version that got to no.19…probably his was the film one

CATCHYNESS ~ 7 : Satisfyingly

CONNECTION/EMOTIONAL HOLD ~ 5 : It’s like he’s telling the story of my life

MORALITY/INTENT ~ 4 : Inhabits a land of cliches, from “the ladies” to “the fearless stranger”, everything and everyone is tropes

OVERALL ~ 48/100

Spotify here, lyrics here, or buy it: CD or mp3

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  1. […] NUMBER ONE MUSIC DIGEST incompetent analysis of all uk no.1 songs, 1952 – Skip to content SITE EXPLAINEDRATINGS EXPLAINEDPREDICTIONS « 37. “THE MAN FROM LARAMIE” – JIMMY YOUNG […]

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