Peter Sarstedt: Mary Jane (1969)

 |   |  1 min read

Peter Sarstedt: Mary Jane (1969)

If people remember UK singer-songwriter Peter Sarstedt for anything at all it is his European-sounding ballad Where Do You Go to My Lovely? . . . and perhaps his summery follow-up One More Frozen Orange Juice.

Both were hits in '69, the former winning him an Ivor Novello songwriting award.

Sarstedt was the younger brother of Eden Kane -- he of Boys Cry fame -- and his other brothers Richard and Robin also briefly troubled the charts.

But although his '69 self-titled album contained tracks with acid-drenched titles like I Am a Cathedral, No More Lollipops and Many Coloured Semi-Precious Plastic Easter Egg -- and also the countrified My Daddy is a Millionaire which makes you wonder if it was directed at Gram Parsons -- his song Mary Jane (used as a coded reference to marijuana, as in Lennon's What's the New Mary Jane) seemed to take quite a contrary stance to the liberal enjoyment of drugs.

In fact in this very disconcerting piece you'd think Mary Jane was as debilitating and as dangerous as heroin, certainly as addictive if you believe the lyrics.

The arrangement by Ian Green (who worked with Cilla Black and Timi Yuro, and arranged Something in the Air) makes this like the soundtrack to a toker's version Man with the Golden Arm -- with a little of Dave Dee's whiplash from Xanadu thrown in just so you know the Devil is on your tail.

It's an odd one.

For more one-offs, oddities or songs with an interesting backstory use the RSS feed to get the daily updates From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Ron Wood: Seven Days (1979)

Ron Wood: Seven Days (1979)

Back when he was "the salaried Stone", guitarist Ron Wood -- before he became Ronnie -- was regularly knocking out solo albums. Of course he could call on some stellar assistance and... > Read more

James Darren: Goodbye Cruel World (1961)

James Darren: Goodbye Cruel World (1961)

One of the most popular shows on American television in the late Fifites/early Sixties was the Donna Reed Show, a middle-class family of mum (attractive and smart Donna Reed) the doctor dad... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST WRITER CHRIS CREE BROWN on Tony Palmer's film about the life and music of Benjamin Britten

GUEST WRITER CHRIS CREE BROWN on Tony Palmer's film about the life and music of Benjamin Britten

There's a wonderfully poignant tale about Benjamin Britten and (Sir) Michael Tippett. Britten, along with his long-time companion and inspiration Peter Pears, were both British pacifists and... > Read more

Jeff Beck: Blow by Blow (1975)

Jeff Beck: Blow by Blow (1975)

Even the guitarist's biggest fans concede Jeff Beck rarely makes a truly satisfying album, but this -- the seventh under his own name -- was the exception. In 1968 after his stint in the... > Read more