Pop music owes several debts to Caribbean emigrants who built their own sound systems out of frustration or fun. This is one of the smaller ones: Emile Ford’s vocation was sound engineering, the music was a lucrative side project. He didn’t think he had the voice, but he had the home-brewed system, louder than anything else on the circuit, and it kept him going until the never-expected hits dried up and he got on with his intended job. Along the way he’d landed this No.1, with the help of fellow backroom boy Joe Meek.
What’s it like? Pretty good. For one thing Emile could sing, or at least could bring a saucy tang to his voice that more than made up for a lack of range. The production sounds pretty big too, at least by the standards of ’59’s milksop pop: the Sixties start with a swagger, alright. The bells behind the second verse are a neat, unexpected touch; the single sharp drumbeats that herald each verse are a lot cornier but very effective. And an arch, rather generic rocker gets by finally on a massive helping of good humour.