John Lennon called this song “one of the great strange records”
John Lennon might just be one of the most influential musicians of all time, his impact on the world is still rife today if you switch on the radio. It is in part down to Lennon’s eclectic music taste which he drew inspiration from. Famed for listening to just about everything, the former Beatle took the best sonics to help him mould his own sound.
Lennon was never tied down to just one genre throughout his career and he was never shy to mix things up. It is evident in his vast repertoire of material that he produced from his time with The Beatles to his solo work to his time with The Yoko Ono Band. Experimentation was at the heart of his process.
One band that Lennon fell into a bizarre love affair with was Rosie and The Originals who had success with their debut single ‘Angel Baby’ all the way back in 1960. It found it’s way to number five in the Billboard charts at the time and has never really appeared on anyone’s radar since.
The Beatle loved the song so much that he would go on to cover the track in 1973 eventually being psothumously released on the 1986 album Menlove Ave. A remixed version was released in 2004 as a bonus track on a reissue of Lennon’s 1975 Rock ‘n’ Roll album. In the intro, Lennon calls it one of his favourite songs and says, “send my love to Rosie, wherever she maybe.”
However, it was the B Side ‘Give Me Love’ which juxtaposed the glorious ‘Angel Baby’ track that really blew the former Beatle away but for completely different reasoning—due to its absurdity.
The story behind ‘Give Me Love’ provides some light on to why it sounds so was invented on the spot because the group had nothing ready to put on the flip side of ‘Angel Baby’ and Rosie handed over vocal duty to one of her bandmates to muse lyrics on the spot, which somehow ended up being imperfectly beautiful.
Lennon professed his love for ‘Give Me Love’ telling Jonathan Cott: “This is really one of the greatest strange records, It’s all just out of beat, and everyone misses it. The A-side was the hit, ‘Angel Baby’— which is one of my favourite songs — and they knocked off the B side in ten minutes. I’m always talking Yoko’s ear off, telling her about these songs, saying, ‘Look, this is this! This is this… and this… and this!'”
Listen to one of the ‘greatest strange records’ below and see if you agree with Lennon’s statement.