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Aug 04

EDEN KANE – “Well I Ask You”

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#122, 5th August 1961

The more you learn about Eden Kane, the more you’re convinced that his whole existence was the twinkling imaginings of some later sixties satirist. He’s simply too fruity to be true. For a start there’s the name – Eden Kane, so evocative the era’s great self-creations, maybe Billy Fury matches its greasy hearthrob poetry but nobody else does. (The “Kane” came from Citizen Kane, further proof of Eden’s transparent ficticity). His first single – our satirist chuckling as he hits a target full on – was “Hot Chocolate Crazy”, an ad jingle from radio Luxembourg, product placement pop. Kane then went into films (of course – lots of good jokes to be found there) with the comedy Drinks All Round – another sharply observed title from the writer, though his name for Eden’s songwriter, Les Vandyke, is perhaps a little too comic.

This pop pastiche reaches a climax, of course, as Eden Kane gets to number one with “Well I Ask You” – that title, so faux-colloquial, so archly English, makes you almost gasp with admiration. What would that record sound like, if it had existed? An Adam Faith knockoff perhaps, full of pert orchestral flourishes and campy growling? Yes – something like that.

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Comments

  1. 1
    bramble on 8 Sep 2006 #

    Eden Kane was the brother of Peter Sarstedt of Where do you go to, My Lovely? fame.A third brother, Clive Sarstedt, also charted briefly in the mid-seventies. Eden Kane briefly survived the Beatles onslaught with Boys Cry but after that it ws the nostalgia circuit

  2. 2
    wichita lineman on 31 May 2008 #

    The conclusion of Tom’s stranger-than-fiction Eden Kane movie is that he married an American journalist who saved him from the cabaret circuit. He now lives in LA with Smokey Robinson and Peter Faulk for neighbours. Suitably surreal happy ending, then.

  3. 3
    Mbwanga Mbwanga on 25 Sep 2008 #

    I have a copy of the Sarstedt Brothers Album. There is a song on it called Glory Glory which features him. I confess I still like it! I have many of his records!

  4. 4
    Mark G on 26 Sep 2008 #

    #1, that was Robin.

    Also, beyond surreal is following up “Well I ask you” with a hit single called “Get Lost”

  5. 5
    DJ Punctum on 26 Sep 2008 #

    Robin’s real first name was (and is) Clive.

  6. 6
    wichita lineman on 26 Sep 2008 #

    Can I raise a glass to Boys Cry? Its thunderous Anglo-Spector production made it a favourite in Andrew Oldham’s office, at least with Andy ‘Wipe Out’ Wickham. Winning lyric of male insecurity with subtle gay allusions that would have possibly suited a Heinz/RGM 45. I know Heinz couldn’t get a hit to save his life, but Eden Kane was even colder in ’64.

    A true lost classic, considering it made the Top 10 – don’t even recall hearing it on Sounds Of The Sixties.

  7. 7
    Matthew on 12 Jan 2009 #

    Wow, Eden Kane went on to spend 18 years as a regular extra in various Star Trek series, almost always uncredited. You couldn’t make up this kind of life story.

  8. 8
    Suziq on 6 Feb 2009 #

    Richard (Eden) is a lovely person with a heart of gold. His wife is a sweet wonderful lady.
    He is my daughters Godfather and one of my truest friends. A gentler kinder soul you will never meet. God Bless you Richard!

  9. 9
    lonepilgrim on 16 Jun 2014 #

    I can hear the seeds of ‘Under My Thumb’ by the Stones in this burlesque of wounded pride and male entitlement. I can’t see this pantomime plea winning back the girl though

  10. 10
    wichitalineman on 17 Jun 2014 #

    Eden Kane, the one-man Baby Jump. He had five Top 10 hits, but is surely the most forgotten bona fide UK star of the period.

    The likes of Ace and RPM have never re-issued his catalogue – the only career retrospective was a Deram comp in the 90s which now goes for a relatively high price on Amazon. Very odd. He’s exactly the kind of character who might have a Northern/psych/popcorn obscurity in his locker.

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