Sunday, July 22, 2012

Is The Knight Being Tight On Romance?

With the Yardbirds previous two singles failing to rise high on the charts, management brought in producer Mickie Most to "rescue" the band.  Three pop oriented tunes would be the next singles, starting with Ha! Ha! Said The Clown, written by Tony Hazzard.   In the UK Manfred Mann had a hit with this tune, so Most hoped to replicate that success in the US with the Yardbirds version.  Rumor has it that the only Yardbird on this record is the singer Keith Relf, and that the backing band was the New York pop outfit Cyrkle.   Apparently Rick Neilsen - the awesome guitarist in Cheap Trick - played keyboards on this track.  Needless to say this enjoyable bit of pop fluff was totally at odds with the guitar-driven sound of the Jimmy Page-led Yardbirds.  It does have some odd time signatures and sprightly organ lines.  The lyric subject jumps from knights of the middle ages to a modern day carnival.  The US-only single climbed to #45 before disappearing from view.

1 comment:

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

Cue the timpanist! But I admittedly always liked this one though a rocker it's not. Relf sounds kinda Daltry-ish & indeed the song coulda come out of a Who (or Kinks) opry, don't you think? In any event, has no trouble snagging a coveted spot in my my Top Ten Rock Songs Featuring Clowns ... :-) But haven't heard this in years; thanks for posting.