Making Love (At The Dark End Of The Street) - Clarence Carter
I'm a sucker for good talkies, whether it's Guy Clark rambling on about some wino or maestro Joe Tex giving you a sermon on the perils of infidelity. And this is one of the best, a B side that gets me every time, from the moment he starts off, apologetically like some salesman grabbing at your sleeve on a street corner:
"I'd just like to take a little of your time here
to talk about two words that folks always like to use
they always talk about "making love".... or should I say " making luuuve"
and then he takes his sermon to extraordinary places (literally), and though I have no idea what his point is, and there's so many exquisite memorable bits in it
"why horses like to make love"...."we like to make love in a car children huh huh huuh"..."women like to slip around too"....."and some of you out there.....may have come from the suburbs"
not least the slow build up of the Pachelbel Canon in D Major style backing provided Rick Hall's Fame Studios Muscle Shoals house band. Even down to the strings! Never has a baroque classical motif been put to better use, taking Carter's cover a million miles away from the James Carr original. Instead of preaching against fidelity, Clarence seems to be doing the opposite: extolling its virtues, glorying in the inevitability of eventually being discovered. Or is he?
Which goes to show, soul music can be a combination of words, random ponderings on a subject, and music, and somehow your subliminal spirit knows what he means and is moved by it even though you can't exactly say what his point is.
Listen again and what you hear is an extended rumination on love affairs. Which is why it ends in a tragic operatic climax.
".....at the dark end of the street
that's where we always meet
hiding in the shadows where we don't belong
living in darkness oh Lord behind on our own
One day they're going to find us
oh they're going to catch us somewhere
don't let 'em find us
I know they're going to find us one day
It may not be long
it may be sooner than we think....."
Or is he really talking about death? I haven't a clue. The more I listen the more I love it, and the less I understand it.