blatantly bad 70s songs: oh babe, what would you say (hurricane smith)

what would i say? how about what the fuck, for starters?

please dear Lord above, i do not mean to be unkind to the dead, as we lost norman hurricane smith only this year. but please, explain to me how a man who engineered nearly 100 Beatles songs, produced early Pink Floyd; and even produced one of the first rock concept albums by the Pretty Things, tell me: how did he also produce this saccharine piece of shit?

better yet — how on EARTH did it hit the Billboard Top 5?

i used to think this was Buddy Hackett on a dare. it wasn’t. apparently, the british mr. smith wrote this for another artist and ended up singing it himself. lucky for us, it was a major transatlantic hit.

luckier for us, the rest of his hits never made it across the pond.

G-d help anyone who rocks us like a hurricane. at least, like this one, who mostly rocks us to sleep.


15 Responses to “blatantly bad 70s songs: oh babe, what would you say (hurricane smith)”

  1. Apparently being an engineer does not imbue one with talent in the music writing and performance arenas. Even my questionable music taste can find nothing positive to say about this one. Fortunately, it has no real hook to it, either, so you haven’t gotten it stuck in my head. Nyah nyah.

  2. wow yeah that is bizarre. I had never heard that. Being a connosieur (spelling?) of weird music though, i’m awfully glad you posted this. The other song i listened to on YouTube called “Who Was It” actually reminded me a little of Supertramp, so not too surprising for him to have hit the top 40. not the best voice i’ve ever heard, nor the best singing style (or lack thereof) but i’ve also heard much worse.

  3. One (original) word: barfamous.

  4. The longer it plays, the more it wakes up my memory… yep, I am pretty sure I’ve heard this before…. I almost like it!

  5. Wow. That was BAD. Hands down, horrifyingly bad. I agree with Todd, though—there is much worse out there. Keep ’em coming!

  6. Yikes! This guy was older than my father (he doesn’t look 49). I’ve always assumed that this was some kind of Al Jolson imitation. For some reason, it never bothered me, though I can see how it could drive someone crazy. I first heard this in a store where they were selling those plastic imitation ’30s “cathedral” radios, which seems fitting. I think its “otherworldlyness” made its more grating qualities easier to take than those of say, a Cher song. No surprise that it was recorded by a sound engineer; the production quality on the record was flawless (though, of course, you can’t tell from this TV clip). The sound quality on records like this (eg. Java by Al Hirt or Hello Dolly by Luis Armstrong) was usually better than that of the average rock record.

  7. Oh God I remember how this song used to hurt my ears and I was 12 years old at the time.My mom thought it was Carol Channing singing

    • ,Norman was the bee’s knees.
      It’s an English saying folks.
      Real Star to start singing at his age.
      God bless, Hurricane.

  8. Norman Stanley Says:

    Like Hurricane Smith Singing

  9. I don’t know why, but for some reason I’ve always liked this song. When I saw Hurricane Smith singing the song, I was surprised. People are never what you imagine. I know what you mean though, it is very odd. At the same time it’s also catchy? No? oh well.

  10. Marianne Says:

    I couldn’t disagree more. Hurricane Smiths songs are mesmerizing. The music is amazing and the lyrics are wonderful. He sings them so beautifully. His songs speak to the heart and the soul. I am not alone when I say that I can’t get enough of Hurricane Smith’s music. The world needs his music now more than ever. This generation would benefit greatly from this
    Master singer/songwriters melodies. Anyone who doesn’t appreciate his songs and his gravelly voice and I have about 30 of his songs isn’t really listening to this fine man’s legacy to the world. Rest in peace Norman Hurricane Smith and thank you for giving me so many hours of peace and joy.

  11. I agree, great voice, a few million must have thought so ,seen as it got to the top in the states. He also sang who was it , a track off Gilbert osulivans. Back to front album. Personal choice. not shit knob ed

  12. amsterdamsummer Says:

    Love the early PF records, love the Beatles, love SF Sorrow, and love this too. If you can’t hear the influence that Smith on the acts he produced in this songs, you’re not listening.

  13. James Roy Says:

    You are a tin-eared idiot, quite frankly…”Oh Babe…” is a great song, and the only “piece of shit” are the pieces stuck in your ears…

  14. Luiz Augusto Azevedo Says:

    A great song that always move me when I hear. Its 20s vibe brings a Stanley Kubrik movie to my mind: “The Shinning”. The Jack Nicholson’s allucinations…

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