Friday, May 16, 2008

Chicago Cubs - The Chicago Cubs Sing

(Chess, 1969)

A handful of
Chicago Cubs step up to the mic for a soulful little rocker about the team’s chances in ’69, and, gosh bless ’em, the thing ain’t half bad. In fact, I’ll give “Pennant Fever” a hearty recommendation for being by far the least embarrassing combination of sports and music that I’ve ever heard. And though that compliment sounds backhanded (the sports/music bar being pretty fruggin’ low), this single really IS a fun piece of music that transcends its natural haw-haw novelty status on every front. Yeah, it’s just a baseball-centric rewrite of “Fever,” but the singing is respectable, the backing is some exciting piano-driven jump biz, and the canned crowd noise that gets dropped in from time to time sounds more like explosions of Who-style feedback. Do I love this song? I THINK I JUST MIGHT! Sheesh, even the instrumental B-side, “Slide,” shocks with its funky organ tootling. Don’t forget the sleeve, either: Seven square-looking Cubs in street clothes are gathered in the studio, armed with lyric sheets and beer to sing the praises of their can’t-miss club (lookin’ good, Gene Oliver!). Too bad they ended up pulling a choke-job late in the season and finishing a distant second to the Mets. Oh well; at least we can sleep easy knowing we got this single out of it all.


Donald Brown said...

Well I'm not sure what exactly you mean by combination of sports and music ... does Dylan song "Catfish" count, or how about that Warren Zevon song "Hit Somebody" about the National Hockey League? But my vote is gonna be Cheech and Chong's "Basketball Jones." Which I may still have the 45 of somewhere...

Hit Dog said...

Personally, I demand a whole heapin' side of embarrassment with my sports related records. Which is why "Get Metsmerized" is my favorite 45 by a professional athletic franchise. Aside from "Blown Through Your Blowholes" by the '79 Hartford Whalers. A great record, albeit one I invented meself.