Saturday, January 16, 2010

Secret Agents

Song: Secret Agents
Artist:
The Olympics
Written: Unknown

Year : 1966
Album/Single: Mirwood Single # 5504 & 5513


Cobra's Version
Song: My Baby Love The Secret Agent
Released: January 6th, 2004
Album: Seven Easy Pieces



This is my favorite Cobra original, not to mention one of my favorite Cobra tracks as well. The Olympics were a R&B vocal group that formed in Los Angeles in the early to mid 50's. They charted from 1958 through 1963 with songs such as "Western Movies" in 1958, (Baby) Hully Gully in 1959 and The Bounce in 1963. After that, they bounced around record labels without much success, though one of their songs - "Good Lovin'" from 1965 - would hit #1, just not their version, but the cover by The Rascals. Today's selection was the released in 1966 and should have been a hit. Not becuase it is a great song but becuase it's subject - Secret Agents - were all the rage in 1966 - James Bond, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Pink Panther, and the three referenced in the song, Honey West, I Spy & Get Smart.


They don't make records like this anymore. Really. They could not make a record as "dirty" as this today. Don't bother scouring the lyrics for double entendres; that's not what I meant. "Dirty" as in the sound. The recording has a raw sound to it. I'm not even sure it could be duplicated with today's equipment. And I am damn sure it would never be chosen for "American Idol", and that's a good thing. Take a listen and you'll hear what I mean; in particular at the instrumental breaks.


Lyrics:
I walk in the house
She's got on high heel boots
A black trench coat
and ??????? suit
Under her coat
there is a man
She's the meanest little girl
that I ever had now

How my baby loves the Secret Agents
How my baby loves the Secret Agents
Honey West and old I Spy
working together for the FBI

Uhmmhumm
Ooh baby

Said I come home tired
I want the news insight
Huntley and Brinkley and Walter Cronkite
She's telling me I better get
"Get Smart"
A me and her are gonna have to part

How my baby loves the Secret Agents
How my baby loves the Secret Agents
Honey West and old I Spy
working together for the FBI

Uhmmhumm
Woa baby

Honey West and old I Spy
working together for the FBI

Brainwashed my baby to the third degree
and now she don't want nothing to do with me

How my baby loves the Secret Agents
(I said) How my baby loves the Secret Agents
Honey West and old I Spy
working together for the FBI

How my baby loves the Secret Agents
How my baby loves the Secret Agents
How my baby loves the Secret Agents

The Cobra's version is speed up, coming in at 2:00, shaving 29 seconds off the Olympics version. Besides changing the name as they often do, some of the lyrics have been changed as well. I am pretty sure Rachel sings "and a alligator zoot" after the "black trench coat" lyrics. I can't make out the Olympics lyric ("aloysius suit" ??) but am sure it's not "and a alligator zoot". Rachel also avoids the awkward "get 'Get Smart'" by dropping the first "get". One other note: as I said, it is one of my favorite cobra tracks, so much that I have their co-opted the "Uhmmhumm, Ooh baby" as my cell phone ring tone. I have always thought this is what Rachel would sound like when she . . . uhm, never mind. Listen to it for yourself and draw your own conclusion.

5 comments:

ellroy said...

I really wish some record company (Ace or Rhino?) could release a compilation with the originals that the Cobras have covered!

Grady said...

Wow, just found this blog! Great stuff! I have original of Funnel of Love by Wanda Jackson. I'll send that over to you.

Grady said...

Wow, great blog! Only just found it. I love the Cobras, and have been looking for these originals for a while since I first heard the original version of Shout BamaLama. I've got "Funnel of Love" if its the Wanda Jackson song that you're looking for (I think she had the original). I'd be happy to share it with you.

joe.mares said...

Thanks Grady - I am happy you have enjoyed. I have Wanda Jackson's "Funnel Of Love" already, but thanks for the offer. I hope to post it soon.

jonderneathica said...

Just found your blog (via "Cover Me"). Great work! If you are still on eMusic, you can get the original of "Hey Sailor" (a/k/a "Hey Saloney" by Mickey Lee Lane). (Or I can share it with you if you don't already have it.)

I agree with Ellroy that an album of "Songs the Cobras Taught Us" would be terrific.

"Funnel of Love" is one of my all-time favorite songs, and I wrote about it on my blog: http://underneathica.blogspot.com/search?q=funnel