Repost: Adventures Through The Mines Of Mellow Gold 2

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While I definitely think it’s too early in this site’s life to start reposting anything on a regular basis, it’s also the summer and I’m trying to take advantage of the season instead of spending all of my free moments hunkering down in front of my laptop. So occasionally, I’ll be reposting some of my Mellow favorites. Feel free to comment or ignore. I’ll be back for Chart Attack! on Friday; until then, remember how freaking LAME Paul Davis was?

Adventures Through The Mines Of Mellow Gold
Part 2: Paul Davis Edition


We’ll talk about Paul Davis: The Man, The Myth, The Gentle in a minute. First, let’s get into the music.

Paul Davis – I Go Crazy (download)

Grab the song first, then we’ll talk.

What problem might I have with “I Go Crazy,” you may be wondering. It’s a valid question. After all, it’s pretty enough. Gentle vocal (and some unexpected ventures into the bass range). Light, unobtrusive strings. A 5-note riff on the keyboard after the chorus, stolen from Dennis DeYoung’s “Babe,” (update: reader Jhensy has pointed out that “Babe” came out after this single, so if anything, DeYoung is the dirty thief) that is guaranteed to become an earworm (or, near the end of the song, a buzzing fly). I don’t quite get the bluesy keyboard riffing at the end, but I’ll forgive it.

My problem is this.

Think of the songs you know that mention “going crazy” somehow in the title. I came up with “Let’s Go Crazy” by Prince, “I Go Crazy” by Queen (a b-side, but I’m a big Queen fan) and of course, who could forget the classic “Goin’ Crazy!” by David Lee Roth? (all of us, apparently.)

But here’s my point. All of these songs that mention going crazy have a sound reminiscent of someone perhaps, oh, I don’t know…going crazy. Not Paul Davis, however.

Here. Just for the hell of it, here’s a crude mashup of the four tracks. Excuse the sonic quality; I’m trying to prove a point. Tell me if one of these things is not like the others.

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At no point in “I Go Crazy” does Paul Davis actually sound like he’s really going crazy. Going Introspective? Maybe. Going Doubtful and Inquisitive? Sure. But we all know what this song should have been called. It should have been called “I Go Mellow.”

If Paul Davis is indeed going crazy when he looks in her eyes, then my friends, it’s the wussiest kind of crazy there could ever be. And that’s why it’s in the mines of Mellow Gold.

So listen back to those vocals. If you don’t already know what Paul Davis looks like, get an image in your head.

Whatcha got? Accountant? Small lil’ guy, neat, black hair? Maybe a suit? That’s what I’ve got. In fact, if you do a Google image search for Paul Davis, many of the images seem like they could be him.

This is Paul “I Go Crazy” Davis.

Motherfucker looks like Gregg Allman! This guy should be…I don’t know. Ripping a mean guitar solo? Smoking dope? Having his way with women? And instead, he’s approaching them gently, and giving them the message that he’d like to love them just a little bit, and if they’re not happy with it, then TOO DAMN BAD, WOMAN then it’s okay, they can leave, they don’t have to stay. He doesn’t want to offend anyone. (Looks down at the ground, shyly, shuffles his feet)

Which brings us to song #2.

Paul Davis – Cool Night (download)

I ask you this: do they get any smoother? Any more mellow? I seriously don’t think it’s possible.

Like “I Go Crazy,” this song is actually quite pretty. Gentle, unobtrusive backing vocals. This one actually has a drum beat to it, which means that it’s considered a Paul Davis “rock” song, I suppose. There are two main differences between “I Go Crazy” and “Cool Night,” however: the first difference is that “Cool Night” sounds exactly like you’d expect it to sound. Unlike track 1, we’re not expecting Paul Davis to go batshit insane on a song called “Cool Night.”

The other difference happens at 2:33. Paul Davis actually does go a little crazy. He lets his Gregg Allman-esque hair down and does something truly ballsy: KEY CHANGE!

I love the key change. When I sing this song to myself, I never have the patience to get to the chorus after the guitar solo. I always do the key change right away. That’s how much I love the key change.

I quoted him last week, but I’m repeating Mike’s quote in case you missed it. Mike sums up the emotion behind many of the Mellow Gold hits:

“I love you so much that I will never bother you again” or “come on baby, just allow me to be in your beatific presence and I will not even think of putting any kind of sexual move on you. I promise.”

That’s “Cool Night” in a nutshell. “If it don’t feel right, you can go.” I almost can’t believe he’s making the statement. A guy who looks like that? Come ON! I keep wondering if it’s a Jedi mind trick of some sort. Does the woman stay? Does she leave him to go find the guy from Firefall? (Whoa!) It’s a mystery, friends. A cool, mellow mystery.

I was going to end this post after two songs, but what the hell. Paul Davis had one more Mellow Gold hit in the ’80s.

Paul Davis – ’65 Love Affair (download)

Or as I like to call it, “The Boy From New York City.” I mean, come on. Right from the first few notes, I heard the similarities – and this was before the “doo-wop didddy-wop-diddy-wop doo” bit. Hmmm…the keyboard part in “I Go Crazy,” and now this…is Paul Davis pulling a Robbie Dupree?

If “Cool Night” was considered Paul Davis’ “rock sound,” “’65 Love Affair” features him firmly ensconsed in the “speed metal” phase of his career. Could we have done something about those drums? How about that awful 2-beat hit that’s supposed to sound like clapping or…something?

I’m not saying that Davis didn’t do a semi-respectable job of resurrecting the golden-oldie soul sound. However, the lyrics leave a little tons to be desired: “Well I asked you like a dum-dum/You were bad with your pom-poms/You said, ‘ooh wah go team ooh wah go!’ Ooh-ee baby I want you to know/” And he does mention in the chorus:”’65 love affair, we wasn’t getting nowhere.” I wonder if it’s because he told the girl she could leave if it didn’t feel right?

“I Go Crazy,” “Cool Night,” “’65 Love Affair.” I’m using all of these songs to make a point. That point is this: Paul Davis is a sissy.

I kid, I kid. I give Paul Davis credit, actually: the pop sensibilities of both “’65 Love Affair” and “Cool Night” were a departure from his previous country sound, and Davis was so disgusted with the commercialization of his music that he essentially quit the business altogether. Can you blame him? Look at those “’65 Love Affair” lyrics again. Also, here’s a crazy fact: Paul Davis was shot in 1986…and survived! (No word on whether he was shot by the woman who left because it didn’t feel right.)

Paul Davis seems to be doing just fine these days. He lives in Mississippi and likes to fish.

You have to wonder, though: did Paul Davis kill the fish? Did he catch it and tell it that it could go back in the water with the other fishes if it wasn’t happy? When the boat stalls, does he mutter “I Go Crazy?”

Hope you enjoyed this expedition into the Mines of Mellow Gold. Let’s do it again next week!

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  • http://www.benphillip.com Ben Phillip

    Great stuff!  In case you did not know, Paul Davis used to get high…  watching his daughter grow!  He professes as much in "Sweet Life" which, in my opinion, is the most mellow out of all of his hits.  The beginning of the song almost puts you to sleep with it’s tinkling keyboards.  Then, he begins to talk about being broke, but whenever he holds his woman tight, to get high of course, and makes love, he feels rich in his shack.  Here is his wussiest moment in this song – "We’re living such a sweet life, oh what a neat life Sharing my love with you."  I always thought love was neat; I tell my wife that every night!  Meanwhile, they are broke, their friends are successful, and she cannot get a job because he is busy getting high by sitting on the couch stroking her hair or painting her toenails.

  • http://www.septenary.blogspot.com allen

    just the fact that you namechecked “Let’s go crazy”, which was to be my suggestion for a song inclusion from The Works in an idiot’s guide, tells me that you really must do one.
    As I said in the Jefito comments, I am down if you want assistance. In fact, I would relish the op.

  • Michael K

    <<M*therfucker looks like Gregg Allman! >>  …or the dude from the Oak Ridge Boys! 
    Seriously, Jason you owe me a clean shirt.  You posting that picture followed by that comment made me spit Diet Pepsi (caffeine free of course) all over myself.
    And that keyboard freakout at the end is killer.  ;-)
    Michael
    (who also wonders why all the flowers had to die) 
     

  • skip

    All this Paul Davis makes me wanna hear the other songs…can anyone post Sweet Life, or Love or Let me Be Lonely or Do Right?

  • Tony Billoni

    I gotta say:  "’65 Love Affair" reminds me of a stripped-down, sensible "Rosanna."  And I’ll take ’65 Love Affair any day.  I don’t hear "Boy From New York City" in it, though.
     
    Also, "Cool Night" is mellow as mellow should be.  And if a lady couldn’t bed her some Gregg Allman back in the day, (perhaps you had to be Cher quality), then she could settle for Paul Davis.  Probably less risk of herpes!

  • http://www.augustone.blogspot.com Malchus

    So, I was looking over the Mellow Gold archives the other day, checking out past posts that I missed before I began reading the sit and I remember thinking, “Damn, I missed the Paul Davis tracks.” And lo and behind… you just made my Wednesday so much better…. and mellower.

    Thanks, Jason.

    Rock on, brother…. or should I say, Sail on….

  • http://www.viruete.com Viru

    AMAZING!  Just this morning I was thinking and singinf 64 love affair going to work, I check your blog, and there you are, talking about Paul Davis!!! Great post.

  • http://mulberrypanda96.blogspot.com/ Robert

    Next week I’m going to steal some songs from my mom’s “Classic Soft Rock Collection” CDs while I’m visiting her and my dad, and I hope all three of these Paul Davis songs are on them. My parents got married in 1965, so I think they’ve always liked “’65 Love Affair” for that reason. I remember rollerskating to that song in kindergarten, and although it’s corny, I still like it.

    I’m from Macon, GA, and so are the Allman Brothers. In the late ’70s Cher was occasionally spotted at the Piggly Wiggly grocery store in Macon, shopping for her and Gregg and maybe even li’l Elijah Blue. I remember Tom Hanks saying on the very last “Late Night With David Letterman” in ’93 that when he was a bellhop in his early 20s, he took Gregg and Cher’s bags downstairs for them one time and really liked how Gregg called Cher “toots,” as in “tootsie,” so Hanks started calling his girlfriend that.

  • Stephen

    Shit, I’m in Mississippi all summer. Why is it I seem to be dangerously close in proximity to 80% of Mellow Golders? Is god telling me I need to write a book?

  • Stephen

    Post Script: My father was actually good friends with Gregg and Duane (more so with the latter) at Castle Heights Military School in Lebanon, TN way back when they were boys (4th or 5th grade). Was even in choir with them; hence why he likes to say he sang back up for the Allman Brothers.

  • Elaine

    And he has a cool true story about the Allman brothers being choir boys.

  • http://onthetrailofthegreat.blogspot.com Spence

    Man, where do you find this stuff….
    Totally agree with that incredible key change though – thanks for the warning!!! ;)

  • http://mulberrypanda96.blogspot.com Robert

    Lebanon, TN … I had no idea there were so many towns named Lebanon in this country until I moved from Atlanta to Chicago in 2003.  I think I passed through three Lebanons — in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Indiana — on my way to Chicago.  The woman at AAA pronounced the Indiana town as "Luh-bear-ee-on" when I was trying to find a hotel where we could stay after the first day of driving; when I asked her to spell the town’s name for me, she condescendingly sighed, then said "L-E-B-A-N-O-N."  I looked at what I’d written down: "You mean Lebanon?"  She paused for a few seconds, then said, "Oh, I guess you’re right."  Put on your glasses, lady!  That "n" isn’t an "r" followed by an "i"!

  • http://bettyrockermusic.com Betty Rocker

    Remember when I asked who Paul Davis was? All you had to say is that he sang 65 Love Affair and Cool Night…the lightbulb would have gone off. Had no idea he was the mastermind behind all three mellow golds!

  • http://popdose.com/the-twenty-second-day-of-mellowmas-lost-mellowmas-the-first-fogelmas/ The Twenty-Second Day of Mellowmas: Lost Mellowmas — The First Fogelmas

    […] Paul Davis couldn’t make it […]

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