Sunday, February 03, 2008

Roger Daltrey: Say It Ain't So Joe

Years ago I heard a song called "Say It Ain't So Joe" and was haunted by it, but had no idea who it was by. Then they invented the internet and I discovered it was written and sung by Murray Head.

Murray Head is the older brother of the actor Anthony Head of Buffy fame. He appeared in two prominent British films - The Family Way (1966) and Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971) - and achieved fame as a singer in 1984 with "One Night in Bangkok" from the Benny, Bjorn and Tim Rice musical Chess. But he is better known in France, where he enjoys a high reputation as a singer and songwriter.

There is a recording of Murray Head singing "Say It Ain't So Joe" on Youtube, but it is audio only. So I have chosen a performance of the song by Roger Daltrey instead; it is almost by The Who, as Keith Moon and John Entwistle are playing on it too. In any case, Daltrey's interpretation of the song is very close to Head's.


Anonymous said...

I, too heard that song years ago, the Daltrey version, and have been looking for it ever since. I thought it was a flip side from a Who record, but I never got anything until I remembered 'Empire falling apart' from the lyrics. Thanks!

Kevin, a big Who fan.

Anonymous said...

As a kid I used to fall asleep listening to Radio Caroline; it must have been around the same time. The song really stuck in my head but I never heard it again until I googled it recently. Just as haunting today as it was then. I wish I knew then what I know now: or perhaps not.

Mike Castro said...

Interestly this was alwo covered by Gar Brooker from Procol Harem fame. It had a hainting guitar solo which I have always wanted to hear again.

Scott Jackson, Gahanna, Ohio USA said...

The Hollies' performance of this song from their 1979 LP "5317704" is, to my ears, better.

Roger's voice has never been suited to ballads, in my opinion. Roger also R-E-A-L-L-Y struggles to reach some of the high notes.

Allan Clarke's voice is more "dramatic" than is Roger's, and fits this song much better than Daltry.

Here's an audio-only performance of this album track.

Anonymous said...

Murray Head wrote "Say it ain't so" for a rock opera about Atlantis that never went into production.

Seth Bek said...

Well NOW there IS a video of Murray Head performing THIS tune live (posted on YouTube after your comments were written here) Thanks for the info about the song !!

Anonymous said...

I must say that I appreciate the way Roger Daltrey sings the song. I find his version almost haunting. Daltrey put it on an album back in 1977. The title of the album is "One of the Boys" and can be obtained on CD from Amazon for $58.88