Wednesday, May 12, 2004

How Do You Like It?

Ah, Andrea True, where are ye now?

It's funny how memory plays tricks on you, and how a visual can effect your perception of a song. I missed "More, More, More" when it first came out, and knew it mainly from a hoary video that used to show up on VH1 now and then—a clip from the old Don Kirschner's Rock Concert, showing Ms. True alone on stage, nearly immobile in movement-constricting hot pants, lip-synching in a perfunctory manner, face blank from boredom or Quaaludes—every inch an autopilot pornbot.

When I remembered the song at all, I recalled something cold and affectless, straight pulsing fours and disengaged vocals—something vaguely European, proto-electro in the Grace Jones stylee.

Imagine my delight, then, to re-encounter the song itself and to hear how joyous and human it sounds. Barrelhouse piano, and sunny acoustic guitars; a horn section that sounds like a moonlightling Dixieland group, eschewing the staccato jabs of Motown for a warm interplay, including an extended flugelhorn solo (!); and a rhythm that actually swings, clip-cloppy woodblock and all¹.

The greatest revelation, though, is Andrea's voice. It's not a big instrument, but her wry, amused delivery suits the wink-nudge lyrics—equating voyeurism with true love—to a tee. (Imagine—a porn starlet sings about the joys of making porno. Write what you know, I guess.)²

¹ I can't find any information about the personnel of that swingin' little band, I fear. And the actual sound of the record is due mainly to producer/arranger Gregg Diamond, who proves equally mysterious: I couldn't even get a definitive spelling of his name, which may in fact have been "Greg."

I gather, however, that he was the same Gregg Diamond who played with Jobriath, the allegedly-unjustly-neglected glam-queer pioneer—to whom I was recently introduced by Fluxblog, and who's sure to merit an entry of his own at some point (perhaps along with the Moby Grape) as an exemplar of the dangers of industry hype.

² So where is Andrea True now? Long retired from the music biz, after recurrent throat ailments robbed her of what little voice she had. She lives in Florida, works as a psychic reader, and to all appearances has her head screwed on straight—which is usually more than one can hope for in from either an ex-porn star or an ex-pop star, let alone both. Good on you, Andrea: that's how I like it.

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