DAVE BERRY – “Picture Me Gone” / “Ann” (Decca F 12513) November 1966
I’m very cross about this. I know it’s not Dave Berry’s fault but I don’t think I’ve ever heard such a ham-fisted backing for a long time – and that girl chorus! SOMEONE must have been joking.
This was originally done by super Evie Sands. It is a good song and will give Dave Berry a big hit which is nice because he is a nice chap. The point is this: they have taken the original arrangement almost note for note but managed, through some devious reason, to lose all subtlety and feeling.
Honestly they could be singing a shopping list for all the realisation of the words. And that is a shame.
(Disc & Music Echo, 05/11/66)
The title implies a soulful ballad – but don’t be misled. It’s a snappy toe-tapper, with crisp punchy brass and an enthusiastically chanting girl group, plus a vigorous shake beat. Dave performs it well, in uncomplicated gimmick-free style – and is aided by the fact that, despite the relatively fast pace, it’s still pretty tuneful with a repetitive chorus you can join in.
Totally different to “Mama”, and won’t have the same appeal, but will probably register.
FLIP: The Cruisers joining Dave, both vocally and instrumentally, on this rhythmic ballad. Pleasant listening – sounds a bit like Cliff and the Shads.
Change of heart and tempo from the maudlin “Mama” – a fine performance by Dave over a backing chorus. He remains one of the most distinctive of stylists. And the lyrics are fine.
FLIP: a gentle ballad, sort of hymn to a girl.
(Record Mirror, 05/11/66)