Saturday, 30 November 2013

Retro Vinyl: Hey Jude/Hey Bing! - Bing Crosby (London Records,1968)

Hey Jude/Hey Bing!
London Records
This LP from 1968 finds Der Bingle getting down with the hipsters and turning out renditions of popular songs of the day including Both Sides Now (Joni Mitchell), Those Were The Days (Mary Hopkin), The Straight Life (Bobby Goldsboro) and Hey Jude! (The Beatles).

Much has been written about this LP on the internet. It certainly doesnt appear to be regarded as one of Bing's high points, particularly for his apparent lack of enthusiasm for the title track Hey Jude!. I've given this find a few spins in recent weeks and I have to be honest - I quite like it!

It's fair to say Bing's voice is maturer than a few decades earlier (he was well into his 60s by the time he recorded this) but there still seems to be a sense of fun in performances of songs such as Livin' On Lovin' and Little Green Apples and sentimentality in Both Sides Now and Those Were The Days.

Bing's cover of the fab four's Hey Jude opens the album, and its not a bad version. In fact when you get to the chorus he just offers his traditional "Bom, Bom Bom Bom B Bom Bom" in true Crosby fashion. Some people might suggest that Bing isn't really that enthusiastic with his delivery here, I suggest this is just the legendary crooner putting his own mark on the song, and I'm even thinking he had a mischievous twinkle in his eye when he did it...

Co-incidentally Bing covers the first two singles released on The Beatles Apple Records label, Hey Jude and Mary Hopkin's Those Were The Days on this album.

Hey Jude/Hey Bing has never had an official CD release and I see Amazon have MP3 versions of the album although these appear to have been dubbed at the wrong speed. So its a dig through the charity shops I'm afraid... happy hunting!

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