You’re just a natural born beehive
Filled with honey to the top
But I ain’t greedy baby
All I want is all you gotBig Hunk O’ Love
It was 10 years ago today* that The Jim Jones Revue released the single ‘The Princess & The Frog’. I know, I know. Time flies. Tempus fukit, or something like that. It is one of those moments when I know we can all remember where we were and what we were doing at the time.
But for those ingrates who missed it first time around then Mr Revue, in his infinite mercy, has allowed you a second bite at the cherry in the form of Jim Jones Revue Here To save Your Soul: Singles Volume One**, released in 2009.
I bought this on the back of falling hard for the Jim Jones Revue Burning Your House Down LP, which is still an awesomely exhilarating shot in the arm best experienced for the first time on a long car journey on a rainy night. I snatched Here To save Your Soul up one lunchtime in Probe Records, not really clocking the fact that I already owned 25% of the music on it and definitely not clocking the fact that there were only 3 tracks here not available on the band’s debut LP. And so it goes.
Regardless, let us in the spirit of true rock and roll experimentation drink 14 whiskies and throw ourselves shirtless into the drumkit of life; Here To save Your Soul is a near perfect soundtrack for that sort of beat catharsis.
Do you really need me to tell you what ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Psychosis’ sounds like? just imagine being trapped in a lift between floors with Little Richard (in full pompadour) and his band for 14 hours straight. That takes you halfway there. As for the other 50% just imagine trying to sleep against a wall of Marshall stacks while Jerry Lee Lewis was playing for his very soul. Yes, that loud.
Of the three non-LP tracks my favourite is their cover of ‘Big Hunk O’Love’, partly because it’s how I think of myself and partly because they exercise something akin to restraint on this one and really give Elliot Mortimer some space to do his thang on piano.
Mind you, I may actually deny ever having written that last paragraph because their cover of ‘Good Golly Miss Molly’ is truly, deeply, fuckingly, psychotically good. Everything in the studio pushed into the red zone, valves blowing all over the place, the Jones’s never make the mistake of concentrating on the rock at the expense of the roll. I genuinely don’t think I have ever heard anyone cover Little Richard as well as this.
Here To Save Your Soul kicks off side 2 on a real high with ‘Princess & The Frog’, which may simply be the best rock ‘n’ roll song recorded after 1959. You can barely make out a single word over the distortion and the insanely crackling electricity of it all apart from ‘I’m a man, I’m a man / Gonna show you how’, which I assume can only be a reference to wiring a plug correctly, or something of that manly ilk.
Look. basically, you open yourself to this and you will let a glorious, distorted, joyous din into your life. This is as close as we born-too-lates can ever get to grokking that astonishing first RnR buzz first hand.
The Jim Jones Revue were a glorious flame-out while they lasted, a fabulous tonic to anything too considered and too posed. They landed on our planet, burning hot bright blue and righteous then (before I ever quite got around to seeing them live) they’d gone, ridden off on their high horse.
This music makes me truly grateful to be alive. That’ll do.
*well, yesterday actually, but what kind of psychopath actually fact checks these things. It’s not like I’m the president of the USA, or something and held to scrupulous levels of honesty, probity and notjustmadeituponthetoiletness, is it?
**to be known as Here To Save Your Soul from here on in. This will save unnecessary usage of pixels. Working towards my 1537: Pixel Neutral By 2022 pledge