BCB 100 songs: "This Can't Be True" - Eddie Holman

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Bent Fabric
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BCB 100 songs: "This Can't Be True" - Eddie Holman

Postby Bent Fabric » 01 Jan 2018, 15:25



There's some impatient ADHD part of me that thinks "Well, surely I can just post a clip of the song and people will go mad for it in droves", but...that type of outsourcing feels like a slippery slope.

Anyhow - a lot of my enthusiasm for this particular recording/piece of music (I first heard it in live performance as performed by some friends of mine and then went back and found the record) stems from the fact that it is relatively new to me. It's not like I've got to sit here and describe some decades-long relationship with something like "Fool on the Hill". It's still got that "new car smell".

I know Holman from his hit, of course - which I do love. That this song came five years earlier boggles my mind, because...in its own way, it seems considerably more advanced.

I guess if you've got a voice like his, you'll want material that features it.

Why is this one so dreamy? I'm noticing that he starts each cycle with his "moneymaker falsetto", and then works his way gradually down to a - no less emotive - more conventional and relaxed range. The chord changes are (for lack of any better word) seriously modern - these very "earth shifting" movements that create a striking emotional drama. Which makes sense - he's singing about new love. Shit is happening.

I love the character of the track like crazy (the clanging guitar, the piano/bass/drums acting as a sort of "emphasis sledgehammer" on certain accents). The backing vocals really illustrate my ongoing obsession with "pre-psychedelic psychedelia"...I know I've talked to others here about girl groups, doo wop, etc. that get into this hazy narcotic territory...it's a trip I like taking and...zero side effects.

Your three minutes may differ from mine, but...I'm secretly hopeful that you'll have similar epiphanies and ecstasies.

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Re: BCB 100 songs: "This Can't Be True" - Eddie Holman

Postby Harvey K-Tel » 01 Jan 2018, 15:37

That's pretty fantastic. Thanks for the turn-on.
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Re: BCB 100 songs: "This Can't Be True" - Eddie Holman

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 01 Jan 2018, 16:06

That’s a great track.

I went on a pretty big Eddie Holman kick s few years back - but it was this song that got me going:

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Re: BCB 100 songs: "This Can't Be True" - Eddie Holman

Postby Pansy Puff » 01 Jan 2018, 16:42

Yes!
Have this on the Cameo-Parkway box set. I think of this stuff as "backroom soul": aiming to ape Motown but doing it their way and hence creating a new sound. Sometimes due to necessity and sometimes through intent.
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Re: BCB 100 songs: "This Can't Be True" - Eddie Holman

Postby Charlie O. » 01 Jan 2018, 17:17

Darryl Strawberry wrote:Have this on the Cameo-Parkway box set.

That's where I discovered it - one of several holy fuck how have I not heard this before? moments on the third and fourth discs of that set.

Though it's very much of it's time (I mean that in a good way), I hear some ghostly echoes of The Flamingos (their "Love Walked In" maybe more than their "I Only Have Eyes For You" - only six years before this, though it must have seemed a previous generation at the time, as it does now)...


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Re: BCB 100 songs: "This Can't Be True" - Eddie Holman

Postby BOLLY BEE » 01 Jan 2018, 19:36

So I'm going to have to get hold of this Cameo-Parkway box now, then!

That voice is fabulous! and yeah, all those little bits (the pulsing bass, that clean Telecaster (?) sound, the organ) that really add something. Fuck of a track, JSJ!
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Re: BCB 100 songs: "This Can't Be True" - Eddie Holman

Postby Darkness_Fish » 01 Jan 2018, 19:42

Hmm, obviously not really in my comfort zone, and it doesn't do an awful lot for me. He has a decent enough voice, but the production/arrangement seems more interesting than the actual song. That backing vocal do-do-do-do-do-do-do is quite lame, but sounds almost haunting because of it's hollow, echo-ey nature. A bit Joe Meek.
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Re: BCB 100 songs: "This Can't Be True" - Eddie Holman

Postby Georgios » 01 Jan 2018, 21:32

Fantastic and slightly other worldly record. My take on this is that it probably fits in with the ''Sweet Soul'' sound. Highly emoting slower tempo numbers with a clear lineage going back to Doo Wop in the backing harmonies and production.

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Re: BCB 100 songs: "This Can't Be True" - Eddie Holman

Postby fange » 02 Jan 2018, 00:08

Yes! Eddie fucking Holman, what a voice - great choice of track, Bent.

That hazy, dreamy feeling is carried so smoothly and effortlessly by Eddie and the band that you just know it's anything but that easy to nail it so well.

Georgios wrote:Fantastic and slightly other worldly record... Highly emoting slower tempo numbers with a clear lineage going back to Doo Wop in the backing harmonies and production.


Yes, same here. The sense of echoes Charlie mentions is very real for me too, like the Flamingos or a group i discovered later The 4 Dukes, doing something like this. And for me, '4 Walls' has been my go-to Eddie Holman track for several years.
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Re: BCB 100 songs: "This Can't Be True" - Eddie Holman

Postby Rayge » 13 Jan 2018, 13:09

I think it's lovely. Is that a falsetto, though, or just a counter-tenor at the top of his range?
I never heard this before - not sure it was ever released in this country - and don't see it as an attempt to copy anything, let alone Motown, which had yet to discover its trademark sound when this was released. It's more a move on from doo-wop, with the singer separated from the rest of the vocalists. I always associated Cameo-Parkway with Philadelphia, a mix of Bandstand fodder such as Bobby Rydell with some sweet black pop, such as this and the Tymes, or Dee Dee Sharp and my particular favourites from the label(s) the Orlons, with Rosetta Hightower's not-so-sweet rasp up front.
Big thumbs up and thanks for the introduction from me.
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Re: BCB 100 songs: "This Can't Be True" - Eddie Holman

Postby Charlie O. » 13 Jan 2018, 17:21

Rayge wrote:... let alone Motown, which had yet to discover its trademark sound when this was released.

This is from '65.
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Re: BCB 100 songs: "This Can't Be True" - Eddie Holman

Postby Rayge » 13 Jan 2018, 17:32

Charlie O. wrote:
Rayge wrote:... let alone Motown, which had yet to discover its trademark sound when this was released.

This is from '65.

Ah. I was thrown by it saying 1962 on the label. But now I look closer that's a copyright rather than performance right - must refer to the label design. So scrub that reference to Motown's evolving style, but I still think that sweet soul sound has more to do with Philly and pop than Detroit and Motown.
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You can't play a tune on an absolute

When the ball sleeps it dreams it is a Frisbee

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. Love is the law, love under will