On paper, Gene Pitney's not the type of singer that I'd ever be predisposed to liking. He didn't do anything you could describe as rockin', nothing all that twisted, nothing funky. He wasn't even really on my map, until I heard "Town Without Pity" on an oldies station. That was a long time ago, when there were radio stations that actually got to somewhat deeper tracks of the sixties; you know, as opposed to Motown and Beach Boys type stuff. Luckily, back then records like "Town Without Pity" were still plentiful at thrift stores, and the sufficiently thrashed copy I scored has been in the stash ever since.
So, here's the rundown. "Town Without Pity" was his second record, and was the title song of the film with the same name. (From what I remember, the film was good, but it's been years.) It's got this sort of sleazy noir thing going on. His first record, "(I Wanna) Love My Life Away", has him on multiple instruments, multi-tracked vocals, and it was written by him. "Mecca" is down there because I dig the ever so subtle Middle Eastern flavor, sirens somewhat wailing, and a most awesome guitar solo, even with some flute guy sticking his ass in there. "That Girl Belongs to Yesterday" was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, the first song written by them to reach the top 10 in the UK, in 1964. (Pitney was also present at some of the sessions for the first Stones' LP a couple years earlier, and has a piano credit to his name). The other two songs down there were written by Pitney, and you should already be well aware of them. If not, catch the hell up.
~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~Listen:
Gene Pitney - Town Without Pity mp3 at Snuhthing Anything
Gene Pitney - (I Wanna) Love My Life Away mp3 at Joe Troiano's Blog
Gene Pitney - Mecca mp3 at David Fulmer
Gene Pitney - That Girl Belongs to Yesterday mp3 at Jonathan Turley
Written by Gene Pitney:
The Crystals - He's A Rebel mp3 at Joe Troiano's Blog
Ricky Nelson - Hello Mary Lou mp3 at Snuhthing Anything