Saturday, July 23, 2016

Annette Peacock "I'm The One" RCA Records (1972)

Annette Peacock "I'm The One" (RCA Records)  1972

I'm approaching this album as a David Bowie lunatic-fan.  And beyond that, more likely through a Mick Ronson (Bowie's guitarist in the Ziggy years) connection.   Annette Peacock put out an album in January 1972, called "I'm The One" on RCA Records.   In 1974, Ronson made his first album, and on that record he did a version of two Peacock tunes,  "I'm The One," Seven Days", and oddly enough, an Elvis' "Love Me Tender," which is more of a cover of Annette Peacock's version of the Elvis classic.   So many years later, it was astonishing to hear Peacock's album.

When hearing the album now, one can hear slight traces of the Bowie/Ronson sound, but also Mike Garson, the long term keyboard player for Bowie, also appears on this album. Perhaps before his association with Bowie?  Nevertheless, it can be just a matter of taste, but I do believe there is a link between this album and the world of Bowie.  Besides the obvious, like the Ronson connection, this is a very strong soulful jazzy avant- pop with an unique way of handling a moog.  Great jazz players on this album, like her husband at the time, Paul Bley, makes this a fascinating listen.  The first minute or two of the title song is simply majestic, due to its orchestration, and it reminds me a bit of Bowie's "Sue."   Not surprising, because this is music once heard, will stick in your DNA for awhile.   And it's like three different tunes wrapped in this one song.  And again, the arrangement is multi-textural.  The moog playing with the horns and the voice (which I believe she sings through the moog) is both soulful as well as being futuristic, in that 70s sense, sound.   There is likewise a Nina Simone touch throughout the album.  A perfect hybrid of jazz, songwriting pop, Brazilian music and avant-garde flourishes here and there.

And again, it's enchanting that Mick Ronson cover three songs from this album, on his first solo effort.  Ronson is for sure a musician who loves arrangements.  And this album is very much about jazz orchestration as well as being off-kilter pop.  A great record.

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