Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Melbourne song of the month: 'The Loved One'/The Loved Ones (May 1966)

The first in a monthly series celebrating Melbourne’s coolest tunes...

Those handclaps. That relentless, rhythmic guitar. That crazy intro — all 38 wild seconds of it, building in intensity until finally… finally… we hear those unforgettable lyrics ‘Yonder she’s walking’ and we have lift-off! 

Ah yes, 'The Loved One'. 
What a masterpiece. Totally unlike any other song of its time (or any since, for that matter), The Loved Ones’ amazing second single made #15 in the Melbourne charts and #2 in Sydney, effectively catapulting the band to the screaming heights of the local music scene. 

Released in the same year as two other eternal Australian classics, The Easybeats’ 'Friday on My Mind' and 'Sorry', 'The Loved One' holds its own in this illustrious company. All five members of The Loved Ones previously played in respected Melbourne jazz outfits (The Red Onions and The Wild Cherries), and it shows. The level of musicianship; the deviation from the 4/4 time so popular with beat, rock and pop groups of the day; the unusual structure — make no mistake, this ain’t some predictable three-chord stomper. 

Actually, it’s bloody hard to dance to! But who cares, when you’ve got Gerry Humphreys' beautiful bluesy vocals to enjoy, and that famous, soaring chorus to sing along with?
Brown-eyed handsome man: Gerry Humphreys (photographer unknown)
Voted number 6 in APRA’s list of 10 Best Australian Songs in 2001, 'The Loved One' remains a treasured part of Melbourne’s musical heritage to this day. 

** PS The clip for this song is actually part of a larger film, Approximately Panther, an absolute time-capsule of a doco following Go-Set journo Douglas Panther as he delves into Melbourne's 60s youth culture and chats with some of the key personalities of the day. I won't say too much more at this point, as Approximately Panther deserves its own dedicated post -- sooner rather than later... (And now it has one...check it out here)

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