Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Bad Company - Ladies Of Spain

Bad Company - Ladies Of Spain (BC Recordings, 2001)

This week brought the news that Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek had died at the age of seventy four following a long battle with cancer. He formed The Doors with Jim Morrison in 1965 and was responsible for the band's signature organ based sound. Following Morrison's death in 1971 Manzarek played in various groups, including work with Philip Glass and former Door Robby Krieger, and remained an active musician into his final years - RIP.

While I'm not aware of any drum'n'bass records that sample Manzarek's playing there are a few that feature Jim Morrison's vocals, such as Bad Company's 'Ladies Of Spain' which appeared on the second volume of their Book of the Bad series of EPs. This format allowed them to experiment a bit and this strange and haunting track begins with an atmospheric intro featuring the following lines:

"Angels and sailors
Rich girls
Backyard fences

Dreams watching each other narrowly
Soft luxuriant cars
Girls in garages, stripped
Out to get liquor and clothes
Half gallons of wine and six-packs of beer
Jumped, humped, born to suffer
Made to undress in the wilderness.

I will never treat you mean..."

These lines are from the beginning of 'Angels and Sailors' which appeared on An American Prayer, an album of Morrison's poetry that was released in 1978 after Manzarek and the other remaining members of The Doors reunited to record backing tracks. Around these vocals Bad Company (in this case Fresh & Maldini) craft a suitably rock-influenced track which features a psychedelic guitar riff over a dark, insistent bassline. This guitar riff also featured on John B's 'Let Rip' and he revealed in a thread on Dogs On Acid that this is actually from a royalty free sample CD.

Fresh would go on to sample An American Prayer again on 'Cactus Funk '02' from 2005 which uses Morrison's vocals from 'Roadhouse Blues' and 'Bird of Prey'.

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