Friday, September 12, 2008

Together Till the End of Time, Spencer Davis Group (1966)

Note: Another guest blogger is haunting our midst today, one KarmaSartre, as he's known in the blogosphere. KS had the great good luck to grow up in and around San Francisco so he's a veritable font of knowledge and insight on my favorite topic. He's got one of the most wicked senses of humor that I know, but he takes his baby boomer music very seriously, so here he is on one of his favorites:

One of the most beautiful songs in the history of rock and roll, Together Till the End of Time was written by Motown producer and songwriter Frank Wilson and was the lead track on the Spencer Davis Group's Autumn '66 album. Like most of their great songs, it was stunning, pure Stevie Winwood. His 17-year-old pipes are magnificent. I had heard his version of Georgia on My Mind (why didn't he play Ray in the movie?) , so I knew his capabilities were even greater than his Force-9 performances on Gimme Some Lovin and I'm A Man.

If you can hear it through your tears, Together Till the End of Time conveys the youthful promise of love as the pathway out of this place ... and a better life in the future ... and "Wouldn't It Be Nice"... and young lovers at the edge of an absurd, madding, thoughtless society ... and "there's a new world somewhere, they call it the Promised Land" ... and holding tight to each other before spinning forever into oblivion. We have heard that before.

But the melody is almost painfully beautiful, and Stevie's vocal, the soulful wailing of a 90-year-old in the precocious body of a young man blessed with perfect pitch, an incredible range, and a supernatural sense of the blues, separates it from all the rest. It's a song to live for.

I saw Stevie perform with Traffic, right after Dave Mason had left. He played organ and ran the bass line with the foot pedals, then broke out his guitar for a perfect "Dear Mr. Fantasy" - he was radiant. Then, decades later, back in the high life, he nearly lulled me to sleep with the low spark of his high-heeled dirge. Oh, would that he had sprung Together ... on me.

1 comment:

Mombi said...

Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous...