Friday, 26 January 2018

Zorba the Creep

Three years after his huge success in the international hit movie Zorba the Greek, Hollywood’s go-to swarthy he man (in the days before Telly Savalas became a megastar) Anthony Quinn recorded a talk-sing single… and it’s everything you would hope it would be.

I Love You and You Love Me is horrible. The flip side, Sometimes (I Just Can’t Stand You) is slightly redeemed by its’ intended levity.

Released in 1967, both sides of this horror were written by Harold Spina, although I’m not sure how he dared cop a credit for I Love You… as the music is a complete rip off of Spanish Eyes. Spina (1906-1997), was an American composer of popular songs, best known for his work with lyricists Johnny Burke and Joe Young on songs such as Annie Doesn't Live Here Anymore, My Very Good Friend the Milkman (recorded by Fats Waller), The Beat of My Heart, and I've Got a Warm Spot in My Heart for You. He also collaborated with lyricist John Elliot for several songs, including It's So Nice To Have A Man Around The House, a hit for Dinah Shore.

A further 45, Fall In Love in Rome and Carissima, was issued in some European countries. During the 70s Quinn would make a number of other recordings, many in Italian. he even took a pop at Eurodisco on the terrible French 45 Nous Deux... C'est Fini.

Quinn was born Antonio Rodolfo Quinn Oaxaca on April 21, 1915, in Chihuahua, Mexico, during the Mexican Revolution… the same conflict that had brought Cosme McMoon, Florence Foster Jenkins’ accompanist, and his family to the States. The star to-be grew up in El Paso, Texas before the family moved to Los Angeles. As a young man he took up boxing to earn money, then studied art and architecture under Frank Lloyd Wright. When Quinn mentioned that he was drawn to acting, Wright encouraged him. Quinn said he had been offered $800 per week by a film studio and didn't know what to do. Wright replied, ‘Take it, you'll never make that much with me.’ Quinn later revealed that the contract was for less than half of that. He began his film career in 1936.

A fecund old devil with at least 12 children to his credit, during a long and (mostly) distinguished career, Quinn won two Oscars and was nominated for several more. He appeared or starred in such classics as Viva Zapata!, La Strada, Lust for Life and in the controversial religious epic  Mohammad, Messenger of God; the title was later changed to The Message after a spate of terrorist attacks and death threats. He also flirted with the mafia… but then, who didn’t?

The a-side (and both sides of the European 45) resurfaced two years later on the album In My Own Way… I Love You, but by that time Quinn’s style of sing-speak had been usurped (and would be taken to the Number One spot in the UK) by Lee Marvin and Wand’rin’ Star. According to Spina, the idea for the album came about after the pair got drunk together at a California beach house. They ended up with a whole LP’s worth of mostly unlistenable and barely-concealed chauvinism. Dig out a copy at your peril!  

Quinn died in Boston in 2001, aged 86.

Apologies for the quality of the B-side, I had to crib it off YouTube. I’ll replace the link once I find a better copy, but until then…

Enjoy!

Download Love HERE


Download Sometimes HERE

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