Pat Harris – Just For You

A couple of years ago, I had a couple of days away, travelling this wonderful country of ours. One particularly memorable stop was the beautiful fishing village of Grimsby, and there should be no surprise in the fact I frequented a couple of charity shops. Actually, no, read that as “every damn charity shop I could find until my feet bled, and the smell of fish drove me insane”.

During one of the last shops, I picked up a CD. A disc, full of mystique and wonder, and I thought deeply about how my life could continue in the same vein if I didn’t own this sultry lump of plastic and paper…. Ladies, gentlemen and miscellaneous, I bring you… Pat Harris – Just For You

Yes, I know what you’re all thinking. I need to invest in a new scanner that didn’t come from the 1980s.. Nope, that’s actually how the CD inlay looks. A photocopied piece of card, and on the back on this card is…

It should come as no surprise that these are the only ‘artwork’ on the case. The inlay card for the case is just a copy of that one above, but printed on A4 paper. Effort was made to get the spine label showing correctly, unfortunately, this was only achieved on one side of the case, the other one is a mile off.

The CD itself is, thankfully, an undecorated CD-R. I say ‘thankfully’ because, as you know, I’ve found that a lot of the CDs that have those CDR label stickers have all started to degrade over time.

I have, of course, googled the name, and have found a singer who released a couple of records in the 60s with the same name. I’m not sure if this could be the same person or not.

As you can probably tell, I’m holding off actually trying to listen to it. I mean, it’s two years since I purchased it. I’m donning the headphones, I’m pressing play, and…

… Oh, wow.

A song called “Losing You”. Now, I really don’t want to piss on Pat’s parade here. I don’t know this song, but there’s a warble in Pat’s voice that may, or not be close to the original record (I’m guessing these are all covers), but the amount of warble is almost offensive. A very cheap sounding backing track is playing. So far, this is everything I was expecting, and at the same time, everything I was dreading.

Track 2 is a cover of Buddy Holly’s “Bye Bye Love”, which, despite the Bontempi-quality backing track, I quite enjoyed. I liked that song anyway.

A few tracks in, I’ve noticed something. The entire album is recorded in MONO. I thought my headphones were on the wonk, but no. Audacity confirms every track is the same on both channels. A view of the waveform would also suggest that the backing track has a winder dynamic range than Pat’s vocals, suggesting either a really low quality microphone, or her vocals were recorded to something like a cassette tape before being inserted into the final project.

There seems to be an offensive amount of reverb used on every track, at least the ones I’ve dared listen to. It seems to ruin the vocals, and fair play to Pat, she’s knocked out a perfectly acceptable version of “Penny Arcade”, a standard that features on almost every one of these types of CD.

Track 7 is a cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine”. A song I don’t particularly like at the best of times, and… I just can’t say anything good about this version either. The warbling is back. You know, I’ve never, ever done this, but I’ve purposely put on John Lennon’s version just to erase Pat’s version out of my mind.

So… yeah. I got to track 7. Sorry, not a fan, but I hope that some of Pat Harris’s fans do comment on this and share stories and history. I was genuinely amazed and humbled when Jean Bennet’s friends and family commented on my post about her, and I hope that Google’s search gods allow people to find info about this CD, and I get a similar amount of comments about Pat. Without the reverb, though.

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MercuryVapour

I'm a man of few words. Any questions?

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