Prompted by a joking mention of Tony Orlando’s hit “Candida” in another, totally unrelated, thread, I felt compelled to come here and praise two absolutley perfect pop masterpieces. here’s a link to a clip that includes both songs.
First, these are wonderfully crafted songs (Orlando didn’t write them, as far as I know). Candida, especially, has a lovely melody. And the arrangements are wonderful. No doubt all the instrumentalists are unknown session men, but every part is perfect. Candida has a great accoustic guitar part that you might not even notice if you weren’t listening for it, but you’d miss it if it weren’t there. Both songs have great, melodic bass lines that complement the melody nicely. And everyone remembers the arrangement of Knock Three Times – I mean, the “knock three times”, emphasized by the drums on each word, and the “twice on the pipe”, followed by two beats on a cowbell (or, for all I know, a real pipe in the studio), make the song unforgettable. And horns! I miss horns. Synthesizers suck.
The lyrics are great, too. Candida tells a great story, as does Knock Three Times. Knock leaves us hanging – does she knock three times on the ceiling, or does she rap twice on the pipe? I hope she knocked three times and met him in the hallway – you’re definitely on the singer’s side when you listen to the song. And the lyrics are about longing and desire and love, and not just about sex. Although the songs are sexy.
Second, Orlando had a nice tenor voice, and a gift for phrasing and communicating the song. He really gets you on his side.
And finally, to a twelve year old boy (when these songs were big hits), the sight of Dawn was life-changing. To this day, I can remember being mesmerized by Thelma Hopkins swaying her hips to the music. God, she was gorgeous (as was Joyce, the other half of Dawn).
Definitely not fashionable to admit that you think this was great music. You won’t be able to show your face at the next [fill in name of latest hipster band] or hip-hop show. But you know you love these songs. Come on, admit it. Bubblegum is irresistable.
Next, the Andy Kim appreciation thread.