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(I Wanna) Love My Life Away - Gene Pitney

It took me years to get over the fallout from Pitney's massive 1963 hit "Twenty Four Hours from Tulsa". It was the custom, every Saturday night for around a decade way before the invention of Karaoke, for every middle-aged, second rate crooner in the country to hie to their nearest pub and, about an hour before closing time, drunkenly and tunelessly blare it out. The song would be dispatched slowly and painfully, the singer standing on a table accompanied by either the juke box or a pimply local band for whom it was part of their contract to back local clientele as the evening drew to a close. It usually sounded like a cross between a bunch of schoolboys torturing a cat and a fat man chasing a bus.

Once the scars had healed, I realised that Tulsa was a blip, and that Pitney was a great singer, and no mean songwriter besides. He wrote the wonderful "He's a Rebel" for the Crystals (see post December 18 2017) among others.

He wrote "(I Wanna) Love My Life Away", his first chart entry way back in 1961 but still as refreshing and light as a summer breeze, with Gene double tracked on the exquisite chorus harmonies and, one suspects, on the "bap bap" background vocals and the middle eight.

A real Mr Mulliner Buck-U-Uppo, one for getting you up and going in the morning.


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