Sep 07

DAVID CASSIDY – “Daydreamer”/”The Puppy Song”

FT + Popular49 comments • 4,648 views

#339, 27th October 1973

Superior metaphysical wetness from Cassidy – on “Daydreamer” his thin voice sounds utterly wrung-out, a flopping ineffectual adenoidal rag of a thing. It would be intolerable except that it suits the song so well. Effective touches abound – the switch from “ecstasy” to “make-believe”; the lovely flute at the end, piping lotus-eater David further into dreamland. On the flip we have the grotesque bonus of “The Puppy Song”, a whimsical ditty which Cassidy attacks with sneers, whines, and gurgles. The combination borders on disturbing – hard to think of a teenpop single where the singer sounds so honestly unhappy with the whole process. If this had been the start of a trajectory into existential art-pop a la Scott Walker, I wouldn’t have been in the least surprised (though given the limitations of Cassidy’s voice, perhaps we’re lucky it wasn’t).



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  1. 26
    Waldo on 1 Oct 2007 #

    Precisely. Totally awful. “The Letter” may have been over in about thirty seconds but what an absolute cracker. It was number one in the US at this time. The only guys of our generation NOT to have heard of The Box Tops were those two “comedians”. Very disappointing. Low grade humour from a couple of guys who should have done better.

    See me…

  2. 27
    Brian on 1 Oct 2007 #

    There is a great cover of ” The Letter ” by Joe Cocker on the ” Mad Dogs & Englisman ” LP. One of the better live albums. I generally hate live albums – but love going to concerts. Anybody else feel the same ?

  3. 28
    Andy on 2 Oct 2007 #

    I remember being jealous of what my younger sister had with David Cassidy because despite my love of Sweet and Slade it wasn’t the strange, unconditional love that a pre-teen girl has for a pretty young boy. I guess my brother was jealous as well because he took a compass to my sisters Cassidy collection.

    BTW Sparky’s Magic Piano is probably the scariest record ever made – I heard it Sunday morning and it still sent shivers up my spine…weird controlling talking pianos are not a good thing!

  4. 29
    Marcello Carlin on 2 Oct 2007 #

    David’s heartfelt columns in Fab 208 magazine – “DAVID ASKS: WHAT ARE WE DOING TO THIS WORLD?”

  5. 30
    Billy Smart on 2 Oct 2007 #

    I always think of Cassidy as the Prince Hamlet of teenpop – a golden boy laid down by a very grown-up sense of doubt, regret and confusion. It somehow seems inevitable that the White City death would cast shadows over Cassidy’s career, rather than happen to the Osmonds – who have always struck me as a ruthlessly efficient entertainment machine by comparison.

  6. 31
    Waldo on 2 Oct 2007 #

    I think Billy’s comparison is touching. Without a doubt Bernadette Whelan’s death devestated Cassidy and was “outragious fortune” indeed.
    On a lighter note but still on Shakesperian pair-offs and since The Who will not be troubling us and are therefore a spoiler-free zone, how about Keith Moon for Caliban?

  7. 32
    Erithian on 2 Oct 2007 #

    If pop stars were Shakespearean characters – love it – more please.

    A favourite quiz question – who has had a UK number 1 single and also has (genuinely it seems) an ancestor in the dramatis personae of Shakespeare’s “King John”?

  8. 33
    Billy Smart on 2 Oct 2007 #

    I do know that in the 1970s there were plans to stage a rock’n’roll Othello on Broadway starring Sammy Davis Jr. with Jerry Lee Lewis as Iago!

    Whenever I hear Johnny Cash’s version of I Can See a Darkness, I imagine him as Prospero, throwing away his book and staff.

  9. 34
    Marcello Carlin on 2 Oct 2007 #

    Catch My Soul, written by Jack Good and directed for the screen by Patrick McGoohan, with Richie Havens as Othello and Tony Joe White as Cassio. Jerry Lee may well have played Iago in the stage version but in the film it was one Lance LeGault.

  10. 35
    Waldo on 2 Oct 2007 #

    Johnny Cash as Prospero. Good. I can see it.

    Lemmy flitting around as Ariel I probably couldn’t…

  11. 36
    Waldo on 2 Oct 2007 #

    Bonnie as Lady Macbeth. She’ll scweam and scweam and scweam…the noo!

  12. 37
    Erithian on 2 Oct 2007 #

    I take it from the “scweam and scweam” bit that you mean Bonnie Langford. Now Bonnie Tyler would make a terrific Lady M.

    How about Meatloaf as Falstaff?

  13. 38
    Snif on 3 Oct 2007 #

    “Now Bonnie Tyler would make a terrific Lady M.”

    Walking down corridors at night, with curtains blowing, singing “Out, damn Spot”….and Banquo’s ghost played by a schoolboy with glowing eyes?

  14. 39
    Brian on 4 Oct 2007 #

    Johnny Rotten as Puck.

  15. 40
    Brian on 4 Oct 2007 #

    or Johnny, rotten as puck.

  16. 41
    Erithian on 4 Oct 2007 #

    Nobody took up the quiz question at #32 (or everybody knew it, perhaps) – the answer is Chris de Burgh. Look forward to a lively discussion about him in due course…

  17. 42
    Rosie on 5 Oct 2007 #

    Was this really a double A side? I remember Puppy Song much more vividly than Daydreamer, mainly I suppose because it’s such a terrific bouncy tune that wriggles in the head without being intrusive. Still prefer Harry Nilsson’s version though (he wrote it, didn’t he?) which made a nice counterpoint to Without You

  18. 43
    mike on 15 Oct 2007 #

    According to a friend of mine who used to be in her fan club, “The Puppy Song” was actually written by Harry Nilsson for…

    …Mary Hopkin!

  19. 44
    trevor on 3 Jan 2008 #

    The OFFICIAL CHARTS COMPANY do not compile the chart…the chart is compiled by MILWARD BROWN for the OFFICIAL CHARTS COMPANY.

  20. 45
    punctum on 1 Sep 2011 #

    TPL: just when I thought I could not be stopped, when my chance came to be king…


  21. 46
    lonepilgrim on 1 Sep 2011 #

    that is another wonderful piece of writing Marcello – DC always did have a melancholy air about him

  22. 47
    Lena on 5 Nov 2013 #

    In which David Bowie misses trouble: http://musicsoundsbetterwithtwo.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/irresistible-david-bowie-sorrow.html Thanks for reading, everyone!

  23. 48
    Christian Louboutin on 13 Oct 2014 #

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  24. 49
    Lazarus on 22 Nov 2017 #

    So … we say goodbye to another 70s icon – RIP David, my sister will be especially upset. I’ve come back to his music a bit in recent years – ‘Could it be Forever’ stands up well to this day I think. He did eventually get to do his own thing, with a long career in musical theatre, but perhaps what he really wanted was to be a rock star. He had a troubled post-fame life it has to be said.

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