Jimmy Conwell: Second Hand Happiness (1967)

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Jimmy Conwell: Second Hand Happiness (1967)

Once a compilation was simply a collection of hits (and many misses) by a particular artist/group or a pulling together of songs in genre (Nuggets), a year or a series like Now That's What I Call Music! (today up to Vol 103).

These days compilations are much more diverse: location (be it Portland or Manchester or the neo-psychedelic scene around Dunedin), genre (Southern country-soul, doo-wop), themes (smoking, the Vietnam war, murder ballads) and more are all out there.

Elsewhere likes the oddities like how classical music became the plundering ground for pop writers, the sequel songs to hits (mostly misses) and so on.

Although aware of the lowrider car culture which was located around east LA when young Mexican and American-Mexican would chop, channel and renovate their cars into mobile art objects, we did not know that there was a specific soundtrack which would accompany the culture.

712MWHzXKtL._SL1200_This is Lowrider Soul is a 24-song collection (Kent, through Border in New Zealand) from which this dreamy track is lifted. It is overwhelmingly black soul from the Sixties and not too far removed from doo-wop and sentimental Fifties ballads, which must have been very unfashionable in the days of upbeat Motown and Stax.

And this particularly tragic heartbreaker full of self-pity was the popular B-side to his minor hit Northern Soul rarity Cigarette Ashes.

It sounds so far out of its period – the Summer of Love, hippies, psychedelic music and more strident soul – that it actually sounds timeless.

Perhaps emotional self-flagellation and a plea for another broken heart to find you never gets old.

Hand-me-down love is better than no love at all?

We will revisit the This is Lowrider Soul 1962-1970 again soon, it is a treasure trove of such achingly emotional, close harmony, string-soaked songs about teenage heartbreak. Check it out.

For more one-offs, oddities or songs with an interesting backstory see From the Vaults

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