1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

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Archive for the tag “Buffalo”

Working On A Good Thing – The Outlet

Working On A Good Thing – The Outlet

Working On A Good Thing – The Outlet

The Outlet were a band featuring Clive Clader (who went on to produce loads of stuff), Neil Herbert (who had a number 1 hit with ‘She’s A Woman), Robert Schroder (who wrote and produced loads of other hits), Greg Brown and Howie Jones (who were both in The Attraction) and Peter Vee (who had solo hits and hits as part of Buffalo). With this line-up, it was no surprise that they had a couple of Springbok Top 20 hits.

The second of these hits was ‘Working On A Good Thing’ and was the more successful of the 2 hits, going to number 2 and spending 14 weeks on the charts. Calder and Vee wrote the song which has the same cheeky rhythm as The Beatles’ ‘Ob La Di Ob La Da’. It is self abandoned pop that has no shame in being so. The gentle lilt of the music dances playfully with the almost understated vocals and that all sits nicely in a catchy groove.

As with songs of that era (1970), it is a short piece, clocking in at just over 2 minutes 15 seconds so is almost over just as you’re getting into it. One wonders if, when The Outlet recorded it, they knew that they were working on a good thing. The whoops and yelps in the background of the song seem to indicate that a bit of a party was going on in the studio, so I suspect they knew.

Where to find it:
Various Artists – The Best of SA Pop Volume 2 (1994) GMP, CDGMPD 40486 (CD)

Video:

Born To Be Wild Medley – Buffalo (featuring Peter Vee)

Born To Be Wild - Buffalo

Born To Be Wild – Buffalo

There is something a little amusing that a song called ‘Born To Be Wild’ is covered by a band whose name is one of the Big 5 animals. But then again, the original was by SteppenWOLF. However, where the original was a rock song, Peter Vee and his band turned it into disco rock. The medley stats off with Crazy Elephant’s ‘Gimme Gimme Good Lovin’’ moves into Tommy James & The Shondells (Billy Idol’s version hadn’t been invented back then) ‘Mony Mony’, spends some time running through an instrumental tribute to The Kinks (‘All Day And All Of The Night’ and ‘You Really Got Me’ before finally easing into the old Steppenwolf classic.

Clocking in at just over 14 minutes, this would have been a DJ dream back in the late 70s early 80s. The mixing was already done, the songs were classics that everyone on the dancefloor could sing-a-long to, the beat was just right for the time, the guitars meant you could really crank the volume up and given the length of the track, you could just leave it playing while heading off to grab a drink, or chat up a girl.

So, find an old mirror ball somewhere, set it going in the middle of the lounge, send the neighbours away for the evening and then dance the night away, just you and your air guitar and of course Buffalo’s ‘Born To Be Wild Medley’

Where to find it:
Disco Fever – Various Artists, (July 1999), Gallo, CDREDD 627 (Out of print, so you may struggle)

Video:

The Tips Of My Fingers – Peter Vee

The Tips Of My Fingers – Peter Vee

Peter Vee - The Tips Of My Fingers

Peter Vee – The Tips Of My Fingers

Peter Vee has been involved in the South African music business for a long time. He began his career by joining The Invaders in 1962. He has worked with The Four Dukes, Sons of She, The In Crowd, The Staccatos, The Outlet and Buffalo. He has worked as a musician and producer. In between all this he found time for a solo career which produced 4 SA Top 20 hits, including ‘The Tips Of My Fingers’ which entered the charts on 11 January 1974, spent 11 weeks in the top 20, peaking at number 8. This was to be the highest position he gained as a solo artist (‘Working On A Good Thing’ by The Outlet which he co-wrote with Clive Calder made number 2).

The song is about not grabbing love when the opportunity arises. “I had your love on the tips of my fingers, but I let you slip right through my hands,” Vee laments in an early Cliff Richard voice. The song flows back and forth between tender refrains and crescendos of the chorus, all well-oiled by some slick production.

Where to find it:
Various Artists – The Best of SA Pop Volume 3 (1994) GSP, CDREDD 610

Video:

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