Interesting song fact

Following a link from David J., I clicked on a link Shawn Macomber included more or less in passing.

Although the link was about the Rod Stewart song Maggie May, it included information about the song In A Broken Dream, by Python Lee Jackson. I have that somewhere, on a K-Tel or similar LP, and had always thought that “Python Lee Jackson” was a name Rod Stewart had used when he was starting out. I never looked it up, though, and it appears that I was mistaken.

From research… The story unfolds like this. Disc jockey John Peel had signed the group (Python Lee Jackson)to his Dandelion record label, but they were having problems with the vocals. From the liner notes of a little misunderstood – The Sixties Sessions: Around October 1968 – or possibly month or so later – Rod recorded the infamous In a Broken Dream with Python Lee Jackson. Although originally put down as a guide vocal, Rod’s performance was so strong that the band’s lead singer, Dave Bentley (who’d penned the song), never got around to putting his own vocals over the top. Although it flopped upon its initial 1970 release, it became a huge worldwide hit when reissued in 1972. As Rod later recalled: “It was all John Peel’s fault. He said, ‘come down and show this guy how to sing the tune’. So me, being naive, and in no particular group at that time [which was patently untrue – Rod was always in a group, and was at that time in the Jeff Beck Group], I went and showed him how to sing it. Then suddenly, three years later, it ends up as a hit single. I don’t think Peely had anything to do with that, though. On the other side of the single [the 1970 release] there’s a really bad version of the Temptations’ Cloud Nine, with me singing the wrong words. But it wasn’t called ‘Cloud Nine’ on the record…they renamed it ‘So Fine’ [NB: Rod got it wrong – it was actually mistitled Doin’ Fine]. I didn’t even get a mention.” Peel was quick to confirm he had nowt to do with the reissue: “It all happened about four years ago … I’d seen this Australian group called Python Lee Jackson at the Arts Lab in Drury Lane. We tried various singers on the song and one of them happened to be Rod. I didn’t particularly want to issue anything with a session singer because it wouldn’t be representative of what the group was really like, so when Miki Dallon [who’d produced the session] offered to buy the tapes, I was more than willing to sell…” The initial 1970 release, on Dallon’s Youngblood label, had indeed paired up In a Broken Dream and Doin’ Fine (YB 1017); however, a different B-side, Boogie Woogie Joe (which didn’t feature Rod), appeared on the 1972 reissue (YB 1002). Rod had also recorded a third track with the band, The Blues, which appeared on their album, In A Broken Dream (SYB 3001), and was later paired up with (a by now correctly titled) Cloud Nine on a 1976 Younglood single (YB 1077). Confusing or what ? [NB: Rod later said that the fee he was paid for singing these three tracks was a set of new mats for his car!!!] — liner-notes by N. E. Fulcanwright

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