Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Track of the Week: Elenore by The Turtles

The Turtles had already struck it big with a few hit singles by the time it came to make their new record. Of course, the record company wanted to duplicate the success of "Happy Together," which reached number one. And of course the band wanted to do their own thing and did not appreciate the labels insistence a song very similar to "Happy Together." So, what do they do? They make a record where they get to pretend to be a different band on each track, using a different musical style on each one (The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands). And they also write a parody of the song the label wanted, complete with over-the-top, sugary-sweet sentimental lyrics. And it became another hit. [Songfacts]

That does not mean the song was produced like it was a throw away. Bongos set up a really cool, laid back beat for the first verse. As the chorus approaches the song picks up and explodes in the least serious expression of love in a song ever. Nobody could seriously write or sing, "Gee I think you're swell." And imagine telling your supposed love, "You're my pride and joy, et cetera." It is as if the singer just gives up on trying to come up with words! That also happens to be my favorite part of the song. (Like, oh well, just...I love you or whatever? And...um, yeah, that you're my pride and joy, et cetera. So, you wanna go out or what?)

The second verse introduces an eerie organ for a few bars. It fits in well because the whole song is so strange. And to top it off, a falsetto voice screams "One more time!" as the song is coming to a close and they repeat "Elenore, gee, I think you're swell. Ah, haaaaa!" A perfect comical ending to a perfect comical song.



Lyrics
You got a thing about you
I just can't live without you
I really want you, Elenore, near me
Your looks intoxicate me
Even though your folks hate me
There's no one like you, Elenore, really

Elenore, gee, I think you're swell
And you really do me well
You're my pride and joy, et cetera
Elenore, can I take the time
To ask you to speak your mind
Tell me that you love me better

I really think you're groovy
Let's go out to a movie
What do you say, now, Elenore, can we?
They'll turn the lights way down low
Maybe we won't watch the show
I think I love you, Elenore, love me

Elenore, gee, I think you're swell
And you really do me well
You're my pride and joy, et cetera
Elenore, can I take the time
To ask you to speak your mind
Tell me that you love me better

Elenore by The Turtles

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