Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Terry Jacks - Put The Bone In (1974)

'Put The Bone In' may be the best example of what constitutes 'the perfect B-side'.

On its Bell Records 45 release in 1974, the song was paired with Canadian singer / songwriter Terry Jacks' hugely popular one-hit wonder, 'Seasons In The Sun'.

In the 1960's, Jacks had some minor success performing and recording with The Chessmen, a rock band based in Vancouver, B.C.

By the end of the decade he'd paired with singer Susan Pesklevits (soon to be Susan Jacks) as part of the sunshiny-pop group, The Poppy Family.

That group released a couple of albums and had charting hit records in Canada and the U.S., but the band (and the marriage) dissolved in 1973, just prior to Jacks' solo success.

The Terry Jacks release of 'Seasons In The Sun' altered many lyrics in its translation of a song originally written and recorded by Jacques Brel in 1961.

Part of the success and notoriety of the record was likely due to its combination of overt over-sentimentality and an air of mystery surrounding possible interpretations of the story it tells.

This blend speaks to the way in which a huge Top-40 radio hit does not necessarily need to be a masterful composition of beauty or subtlety.

On the perfectly 'throwaway' B-side to the single, Jacks amplified all those qualities of the 'hit' side, but added crypticism and an air of innuendo that leaves one wondering how firmly his tongue may (or may not) have been planted in his cheek all along.

Listen to:
Terry Jacks - Put The Bone In
(Bell Records 45, 1974)
(click for audio)

- For more on Terry Jacks and 'Seasons In The Sun', follow links to Super Seventies RockSite and allmusic.Com.


Timmy said...

Thanx for this post. I remember when "Seasons" was a hit on the radio, most everybody thought it was way geek anthem type hype stuff. But, never heard the B side, gee, I wonder why... It's great!

K. R. Seward said...

I wonder if, while she was at it, the struck dog's owner picked up another bone for "Shannon" or some sugarcubes for "Wildfire".

(Sorry--still living out maudlin plotlines from 70s Top-40 hits . . .)

yesyesyes said...

Soul Asylum put this on their Hang Time CD.

Anonymous said...

I had this 45, and at the end of the song, after it fades out, if you turn it way up you can hear someone (Terry?) say, "Awww man..." or something to that effect, as if something had gone wrong during the recording.

Just a Diva said...

I had this 45 also - whenever I sang this, my friends thought I made it up! I also remember the the comment at the end. I didn't hallucinate in the 70s after all!

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