- Artist: Spontanes
- A Side: Where Did I Go Wrong
- B Side: Ain't No Big Thing
- Label: United Artists
- Format: 45s
But this 1968 disc has proved so very hard to acquire over the decades, why it would be so elusive when it was released on a national label is a small mystery. But that’s how we like it, no rhyme or reason to its validated rarity.
The first chosen a-side was a 1966 recording, so very typical of Carolinas "Beach Music" as The Spontanes serve up a fabulous version of The Radiants - "Ain't No Big Thing" something of a Beach Music anthem. This 8 man blue-eyed gathering hit bulls-eye with this horn assisted stroller as the silky lead vocal sets the tone, with 2nd. lead with an equally enthralling voice rebounds off the his teammate. A duet of magnificent upfront vocals from James Bates & Ronnie Owenby, gelled together with a purring vocal-group harmony in the background. Different enough to be considered brilliant, vocally electric. How dare they nearly better this Chicago classic... many think they did.
But the real thrill-side is on the flip a spectacular 1968 D.I.Y. session from the group. Ironically whether by coincidence or intent Jackie Gore of the "Embers" used the same title a year later on their Atlantic release. The Spontanes original usage of the title is a totally different song, with every note as good. "Where Did I Go Wrong" penned by lead singer James Bates to suit his vocal to the maximum, just glides on into your heart, on the back of those seamless backing vocals carry the song along on a wave of rippling horns from the three man brass section of Bill Stewart on Saxophone, Terry Ransom & Dick Lowe on Trumpets with Terry Ransom adding more richness to the mix, doubling on the Trombone as the team effort amalgamates as the male vocal choruses flow in. You quickly find it's charm traps you into repeated plays, as you try and absorb all the high points, of which there are so many.
WARNING you will end up singing this brilliant slab of "Beach Music" that crosses over into stunning easy-going Northern Soul territory. That is so very in-demand at the moment. Little wonder then, that United Artists promoted the 1968 song to their "Plug Side" as it went to press. Its persuasive ways being so overwhelming.
Begging the question why this 8 man team never recorded and released more 45's, they obviously had the manpower and ability to do so.
Condition Reporttwo flawless promo labels, voinyl reveals the merest sleeve storage hairline. as you can hear it plays crisp and totally clean. MInt minus throughout.
- Title: Where Did I Go Wrong
- Title: Ain't No Big Thing
- Year: 1968
- City: Charlotte, NC