I recently sat down to watch a DVD of a British film called Spivs which means (a slick dressed man offering illegal goods at bargain prices) which was made in 2005 and stars Ken Booth who is probably more well~known for his recent TV series ‘Rebus‘. In this stylish comedy/drama Scott plays an upscale con~man who ends up looking after two Albanian children in London when one of his little scams going horribly wrong!
In the film which I really enjoyed our hero arrives home after a particular bad rainy night of dodgy dealing in the underworld and pours himself a large brandy, but before sitting down to put his feet up he puts a 45 record on his turntable and boy what a record it is! An R&B classic that I had never heard before! WHO WAS IT I WONDERED!
When the credits rolled at the end of the film I froze the screen on the songs featured but as the songs where in the smallest of lettering it was hard to read what the song title was and there was no performer listed, but the Beatmerchant was on the case!
The following day I searched for the song through Google on the internet and started with the many reviews of the movie, but not one of them mentioned any of the songs or the music from the film SPIVS and there was never a CD soundtrack released as there was only four songs featured in the film!
Finally after over 3 hours on the net I found the title of the song and it was called ‘Bad Boy’ and I checked the song on the allMusic site and there were over 800 versions of that song title listed including the Beatles, John Lee Hooker and Larry Williams to name but a few, but they weren’t the right versions. I narrowed it down to a good Mink DeVille version which was the right song but not the version from the film, but we were gettin’ on the right track baby! Next I turned to YouTube and put in the title ‘Bad Boy’ and there it was half way down the listings by a group called the Jive Bombers a four piece vocal group from New Jersey on the Savoy label.
I played it once and then over a dozen times and I was in 2 minutes and 53 seconds of Doo~Wop Heaven!
Life is just a bowl of cherries!
Why did this superior version stand out so much even though it was not the version from the film, well the lead vocal by Clarence Palmer is outstanding as he uses his voice like an echo on this outstanding track ~ it’s sounds a bit like when a CD gets stuck on the same vocal part or a wah wah pedal which is used with a guitar but this reverb vocal effect is very distinctive and became their trademark sound on this record which scraped into the charts in 1957 as did their follow~up 45 ‘ Cherry‘. There is not much if anything available on CD by the Jive Bombers but I did discover that the song was used in the soundtrack to the John Waters film ‘Cry Baby’.
Footnote: The song ‘Bad Boy was written by Lil Armstrong wife of trumpet player Louis so that is my next little adventure! Stay Tuned!
Does anyone know who the version in the film is by!