Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Sonny Bono
Inner Views

Released 1967 on Atco
Reviewed by Daily Nightly, 19/12/2000ce

Before his run as mayor and before his downhill ski run, Sonny Bono was really something. Forget all the shmaltzy Vegas crap he and Cher were dishing out in the 1970's, and please forget their TV show. All you need to know is that this guy produced some great records from 1965-1967. His Phil Spector style production made for some great singles (both from Cher solo and from S&C). He and Cher were the perfect Sunset Strip couple circa 1965. Fur vests and bell bottoms would not fly in the mayoral office,but on the Strip! Dig it. In 1967 Sonny recorded this amazing solo album. There were solo singles prior to this, all in a sort of Dylan-cum-Spector mode. This,however, is something else entirely. Sonny's attempt at being "in" or "hip" in the midst of a psychedelic onslaught around him. The album opens with a 12 minute workout titeld "I Just Sit There" in which he not only quotes "A Day In The Life", but he manages to rhyme "virgin" and "sturgeon". He also throws in some incredibly bent harmonica playing. You can hear him conducting the band at one point as well. It is a real "Sister Ray" type train of sound as the band plows on. Amazing! The rest of side one and side two are pretty much standard Sonny fare. That is until you get to the finale of the LP. A jam called "Pammie's On A Bummer". To quote The Who at Monterey, "this is where it all ends". Nearly 8 minutes of absurduty. He tells the tale of Pammie,a teenage chick who is into turning tricks and taking drugs. Sample lyric: "She started smoking pot to keep herself from flipping but it wasn't strong enough so she graduated to tripping". Yeah! Heavy man! Musically it is out there.The intro is one one the sickest guitar things. All in all,it really is a mess. But one that is consistantly entertaining. Currently available through RhinoHandmad.com with bonus tracks and a great booklet.

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