Song Of The Day 5/8/2015: Jan Panter – “Scratch My Back”

Brit Girls of the '60s: No This Is Your Life type appearances by nascent, guitar-playing godheads-to-be on this track, as far as I can tell. Whoever’s playing on Jan Panter’s “Scratch My Back” is however an unrepentant fuzz peddler. There are very few guitar effects that have dated as poorly as the fuzz guitar sound, at least on record. Personally I love that grating little noise, but it practically guarantees that the record you’re listening to could not have been made after 1969, unless it was by the Dukes of Stratosphear or somebody doing it ironically. What was the fuzz guitar sound supposed to emote, anyway? Too trebly to be groovy, too indistinct to be hummed – I guess it pretty much was as it described itself, wasn’t it? Fuzz. Boll residue. The shoddy opening act of a beard. You know, maybe I don’t love it as much as I thought I did. I suppose it’s better than a chorused flange, which I generally only hear in drinking establishments with wood paneling, deep marine hues and guys with silvery hair and droopy mustaches that at least two of the bartenders call “Captain Moe” and keeps shouting out for a Jimmy Buffett song that isn’t “Margaritaville.” I feel much the same way about chorused flange as… well, as Paul Giamatti feels about Merlot.

That leaves me little time to talk about Jan Panter, who released four singles, at least one or two of them on beloved Pye Records, including this one. I read somewhere that she wrote “Scratch My Back,” and yet another place that says some stranger named Vandyke wrote it. Allegedly if you have a mint copy of this Pye record, you can earn a cool £500 if you know the right people. But if you know the wrong ones… well….

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