20
Jan 04

PERRY COMO – “Magic Moments”

Popular14 comments • 1,627 views

#69, 28th February 1958

Hard to imagine a kindlier record than this – Perry’s cosy armchair voice, the clip-clop rhythm, the profoundly tender lyrics, and that instant, innocent melody. The first time I heard it, a few years ago now, I loathed it at once: it seemed self-satisfied, settled, devoid of the drama I wanted from pop. Now I think I was wrong – about the song first of all; it’s a superb bit of craft precisely because simple contentment is such an un-pop emotion and “Magic Moments” captures it perfectly. I was wrong about contentment, too: despising it is a mark of envy or silliness, in my case probably both. I may not want the particular picket-fenced happiness Como is singing about but I won’t mistake that for rejecting happiness itself.

(But what about that lyric, anyhow? Hayrides, hops, touchdowns – again I’m tickled by the idea that these trigger-images for the ideal American life worked on UK ears as a most wondrous kind of exotica!)

6

Comments

  1. 1
    rosie on 23 Jul 2008 #

    So, two in a row for the Bacharach/David team. How often has that been done by a writing team, I wonder?

  2. 2
    Tom on 23 Jul 2008 #

    Did Chinn/Chapman get two in a row at any point?

    And Lennon/McCartney during the height of Merseybeat surely did! (goes to check – yes: “Bad For Me” and “She Loves You”)

    But – bunny alert – a notorious late 80s writing and production team never did as far as I can tell.

  3. 3
    DJ Punctum on 24 Jul 2008 #

    Chinn and Chapman, yes – “Tiger Feet” followed by “Can The Can.”

    Also the late eighties writing and production team of whom you are doubtless thinking managed THREE in a row. And they managed another two in a row on top of that.

  4. 4
    Tom on 24 Jul 2008 #

    Really! Wow – writing as well as production?

    I used to have a big list (photocopied from an edition of the Good Book) of writing credits on #1s but it got lost in the house move.

  5. 5
    DJ Punctum on 24 Jul 2008 #

    Whoops – my mistake; production only, in which case George Martin etc. would also count…

  6. 6
    Mark G on 24 Jul 2008 #

    If we’re in correction mode, I’ll also say “Bad To Me” not for.

  7. 7
    mike on 25 Jul 2008 #

    And still in correction mode: “Tiger Feet”/”Devil Gate Drive”.

  8. 8
    DJ Punctum on 25 Jul 2008 #

    *mega-sigh*

    Yes…I’m about five years away from being asked by the nice man in the white coat if I know the name of the Prime Minister…

  9. 9
    wichita lineman on 25 Jul 2008 #

    B-side alert: Catch A Falling Star, another swaddling-cosy number. “Love may come and tap your shoulder” – ah, so THAT’S how it feels!

    Bacharach and David didn’t even make the US Top 20 with Magic Moments or The Story Of My Life. Maybe they thought they owed us one when they gave Alfie to Cilla.

  10. 10
    rosie on 25 Jul 2008 #

    Ah, now Wichita, that’s interesting: Catch a falling star seems much more familiar to me from childhood than Magic Moments (not that the latter wasn’t familiar). I didn’t know it was a B-side.

  11. 11
    Matthew on 11 Jan 2009 #

    Ruined forever for me by the Quality Street commercials, but this is still very nice. The whistling alone dissipates the most pervasive of my blues just like that. (Lots of whistling in 50s #1’s, isn’t there? Seems like most of them feature whistling round about this time.)

  12. 12
    Billy Smart on 27 Apr 2009 #

    Light Entertainment watch: All of these shows survive;

    CHRISTMAS NIGHT WITH THE STARS: Perry Como (1958)

    PARKINSON: with Perry Como (1977)

    PERRY COMO SPECIAL: with Perry Como (1971)

    PERRY COMO’S CHRISTMAS IN AUSTRIA: with Perry Como (1979)

    PERRY COMO’S CHRISTMAS IN MEXICO: with Perry Como (1976)

    PERRY COMO’S HAWAIIAN HOLIDAY: with Perry Como (1977)

    PERRY COMO’S OLDE ENGLISH CHRISTMAS: with Perry Como (1977)

    THE ROYAL VARIETY PERFORMANCE: with Josephine Baker, Ted Rogers, Noele Gordon, Roy Castle, Paper Lace, Perry Como, Paul Melba (1974)

  13. 13
    crag on 13 Apr 2011 #

    DESERT ISLAND DISC WATCH:

    Peter Mansfield, Scientist, Physicist, Nobel Prize winner (2006).

  14. 14
    Phil on 21 Feb 2016 #

    NOT DESERT ISLAND DISC WATCH: Zaha Hadid, on DID as I write, describing the task of an architect as experiencing beauty around the world so as to “bring these magic moments to your locale”. I so hoped she’d follow that by giving the nod to Perry, but no dice. Actually she chose Bryan Ferry doing These Foolish Things, which I hadn’t heard for a while and don’t want to hear again any time soon. (No mean crooner, Ferry, so why does he take that song One, Emphatic, Word! at a Time!, like William Shatner on speed?).

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