Keep Searchin' - The Del Shannon Thread

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There weren't that many artists who really bridged the '50s/'60s gap. Bobby Fuller and the Shangri-Las come to mind, but Shannon was a unique case. I don't know if I agree with Richie Unterberger's Allmusic Guide assertion that "he looked forward to the British Invasion with his frequent use of minor chords and his ability to write most of his own material," but he was nevertheless right there, doing a cover of "From Me to You" before the Beatles even broke in America. And then he toured with Peter and Gordon, who recorded his "I Go to Pieces." He turns around and records a version based on their arrangement and then you're really in the '50s/'60s gray area. As late as 1967, he's going for a hit by recording a Monkees song ("She") and it sounds great.

I got his The Further Adventures of Charles Westover album (from 1968) at a swap meet last year and it's become one of my favorite records. My favorite tracks on it are "Thinkin' It Over" and "Runnin' On Back," both of which feel like there's still an early rock and roll element that was working for him as late as 1968 and not sounding anachronistic.

timellison, Sunday, 12 May 2013 21:21 (seven years ago) link

i have nothing to contribute except to say that "Runaway" is a perfect song. he has plenty of perfect songs and i'm sure plenty here have pet favorites, but "Runaway" is seriously just 100%, immortal, good as advertised. clavioline!

infirm neophytic child (zachlyon), Monday, 13 May 2013 01:00 (seven years ago) link

I searched all over YouTube for the American Graffiti "Runaway" clip, but no luck--10 clips, not that one. (From memory, it's the scene where Mackenzie Phillips gets angry at Paul Le Mat and jumps out of his car.) That's where I first heard and fell in love with the song.

clemenza, Monday, 13 May 2013 01:12 (seven years ago) link

I first heard "Runaway" as the theme music for "Crime Story" when I was a little kid (my sister loved the show)

I believe they used a Todd Rundgren-produced (and inferior in retrospect) rewritten re-record by Del, probably the last major exposure he had before checking out (his Jeff Lynne stuff being released posthumously, and he had also been under consideration for replacing Orbison in the Wilburys).

I love "Stranger In Town" so much. It's like a Shangri-La's song told from the boyfriend's pov:

Sheela-Tubb-Mann, You Real Know-It-All (C. Grisso/McCain), Monday, 13 May 2013 04:25 (seven years ago) link

two months pass...

so is the Tom Petty-produced album any good?

first I think it's time I kick a little verse! (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 28 July 2013 15:15 (seven years ago) link

one month passes...

That album is on Spotify, Alfred. Just put it on this morning and knocked out by this:

timellison, Friday, 6 September 2013 23:56 (six years ago) link

I screened the complete "Crime Story" last month, and after hearing it 42 times, I've finally come around on the 80s "Runaway". The music video is pretty cool, an expanded version of the early episode credits sequence concentrating on footage from the pilot plus Del performing with cameos by Steven Lang (on sax!) and Dennis Farina.

A Made Man In The Mellow Mafia (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 7 September 2013 01:19 (six years ago) link

one year passes...

That album is on Spotify, Alfred. Just put it on this morning and knocked out by this:

You know it's a Stones song, right? (Also, tho I'm admittedly late to the party, it doesn't appear to be on Spotify anymore)

Anyway, I just discovered his record with Lynne, which has this, which is totally gorgeous:

Naive Teen Idol, Thursday, 20 November 2014 22:44 (five years ago) link

one year passes...

Born on this day in 1934. Single from 1970, co-written with Brian Hyland:

timellison, Wednesday, 30 December 2015 20:36 (four years ago) link

cumpleaños del shannon

niels, Wednesday, 30 December 2015 21:08 (four years ago) link

"Runaway"'s brilliant, but I always think of him alongside Gene Pitney, and I think Pitney had more great songs.

clemenza, Wednesday, 30 December 2015 22:50 (four years ago) link

Didn't realize both were in the HOF--Shannon was inducted in 1999, Pitney three years later.

clemenza, Wednesday, 30 December 2015 22:54 (four years ago) link

three years pass...

Surprised no one talked about The Further Adventures of Charles Westover.
Such a great psychedelic pop album.

nostormo, Thursday, 28 November 2019 21:16 (eight months ago) link

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