The acknowledged yardstick for musical inoffensiveness seems to be whether you could play a record to your Grandma.
I'm working from memory here, because neither of mine are still around. I can say though that I never remember either of them ever owning a record. Not even the two singles that Grandmas in the 70s seemed to have to possess by law - Ennio Morricone's 'Chi Mai' and Lena Martell's 'One day at a time'. Sweet Jesus.
The reason I’m waffling in admittedly characteristically obtuse fashion is by way of introduction to our cassette today, the distinctly Granny-friendly 'Lefty' by Art Garfunkel.
There's absolutely nothing here to scare anyone’s Granny - but that's not to say it's not an enjoyable experience (far more so than my recent foray into Art’s ‘Watermark’ as you may remember).
The album features a cover photograph of a much younger Art (probably still referred to back then as ‘little Arthur Ira’ I would imagine) in a baseball stance preparing to face the pitcher. Art holds the bat left-handed, hence the album’s title.
The big hitter here (see what I did?) trumpeted by the sticker on the cassette’s box is Art’s version of The Tymes’ doo-wop classic ‘So much in love’. While the original is one of my all-time favourites, Art’s version is pretty pleasing too.
Others standing out are a very slow version of gap-toothed smoothy Percy Sledge’s ‘When a man loves a woman’ and ‘Love is the only chain’, which starts unremarkably but develops into a very addictive Fleetwood Mac (‘Tango in the night’ era) style cracker.
Also featured is Stephen Bishop’s ‘King of Tonga’. It’s not much cop if you ask me, but it is the only song I know that mentions Tonga. I’d be fairly certain that Tonga’s national anthem may also mention Tonga too. Just a hunch.
So there we have it. Art Garfunkel’s ‘Lefty’. I’m just off for a haircut.
Label – CBS
Year – 1988