More from the vinyl graveyard
What can you get for fifty pence these days? Not much or so you might think. If, however, you should find yourself in Dunfermline - and why not? – you might perchance enter a charity shop at the poor end of Bridge Street and soon find yourself in possession of this little gem – “Sydney Devine Sings Your Favourite Country Songs”.
Sydney Devine is, of course, a Scottish legend although our beloved leaders in Holyrood, detached as they are from reality by their continued access to the public purse, have yet to acknowledge this simple fact and this album, it would appear, was the one that put the Devine One on the map. I, of course, knew this all along and, despite having absolutely no favourite country songs, rushed to place this platter on the turntable of love.
And worship I did. I expected to hear the forerunner of that abysmal faux country that lives forever in Ireland but instead I heard the voice of a man on the make and it was soon abundantly clear why the Devine magic would forever work on women of a certain age (or older). With his barroom confidence much to the fore, the Devine One warbles purposefully through a sea of reverb – it was 1970 after all – and duly tears the heart out of “Ten Guitars” and even the “Tennessee Waltz”. Truly the work of a master and that’s just side one.
On side two, the Devine One then crunches his gears and lifts “The Wild Side of Life” right out of Hank Thompson’s pocket, spreads the maudlin sentimentality thick over “When You And I Were Young, Maggie” and then brings a tear to a glass eye with “I Love You Because”. Oh, before I forget, the Devine One even yodels. His star simply cannot shine any brighter.
Now you know why Elvis never got off the plane when he was in Scotland. He knew that, but a few years later, Sydney Devine would be crowned King in his place and he wished to be spared the embarrassment of being deposed by a boy from Lanarkshire.