Saturday, January 3, 2009

You Son Of A Gun

And a very happy birthday to Van Dyke Parks, the eccentric musician, producer and arranger who´s best known for his collaborations with Beach Boy Brian Wilson on the legendary Smile album. A genuine musical jack of all trades, and a master too, he also worked with artists as diverse as Grace Kelly, The Byrds, Little Feat, Frank Black, Joanna Newsom and The Mighty Sparrow.

Van Dyke, who started out in showbiz as a succesful child actor in the fifties, made an ideosyncratic bunch of solo records over the years as well. Parks was a critic´s darling whose albums didn´t sell, and it´s easy to see why. His songs are often filled to the brim with diverse musical ideas, where the extremely complex arrangements, although undoubtedly very clever, can have a suffocating effect on the listener. There´s one song in Van Dyke Parks´ oeuvre that gets me any time though. And that´s John Jones, from Discover America, his ´72 ode to calypso music. "John Jones... you son of a gun". Try it. It´s infectuous.

Van Dyke Parks - John Jones MP3

1 comment:

Unknown said...

thank you for posting about this song and the artist who sings it, i have been looking all over google trying to find John Jones. i love it!