Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Black Legend 'You See The Trouble With Me'

Chart Peak: 1

'You See The Trouble With Me' provided Italian duo Ciro Sasso and Enrico Ferrari (AKA Black Legend) with a No. 1 dance hit of monster proportions... Barry White originally took the track to No.2 in 1976 - but if you thought this version featured his vocals you'd be wrong - the vocals are provided by rising star, and occasional Barry White impersonator Elroy "Spoonface" Powell!
Not a very 21st century name, that. Elroy "Spoonface" Powell sounds like a jazz musician from the days when records were called "sides", somebody Phillip Larkin would have been a fan of. I don't think this'd be his kind of thing at all.

Of the unprecedentedly large total of Number One singles in 2000, a disproportionate number were cover versions of songs that had peaked at 2 in their original incarnations. 'You See The Trouble With Me' is a slight exception in that it did start out as a track which sampled Barry White's voice (and I think some of the import versions of the single that made the Top 75 still featured him) but in the UK at least clearance was not granted, hence the arrival of the impersonator. The gimmick of the original track was that instead of sampling a studio track, it used elements from a live performance, with crowd noise and snippets of White's between-song patter and what was presumably the end of the previous song before he starts. Diligently as this is all replicated by the session players on this version - and you can see why Spoonface had some people fooled - it seems to rob the track of some of its originality and make it more of a cover version. None of this stopped the eventual UK release entering the chart at the very top but, as with many tracks then (and now, for that matter), it seemed to peak too soon and was on its way out pretty fast. Over a decade later it seems a bit thin, although that pulsating synth sound must have made sense at the time.

Available on: Tune!

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