Rockin’ Horse, “The Biggest Gossip in Town” (1971): One Track Mind

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Something of a Liverpool supergroup, Rockin’ Horse featured singer/songwriter Jimmy Campbell, who played in notable bands like the Kirkbys and the 23rd Turnoff, and bassist Billy Kinsley from the Merseybeats. Embracing their roots, coupled with splashes of rustic folk flurries, the band cut Yes It Is — a fantastic debut album that should have raced to the top of the charts in every imaginable crevice of the universe.

Released as a single from Rockin’ Horse’s album, “The Biggest Gossip in Town” (Philips Records) is so authentic in feel and form that it could truly be mistaken as a miraculous 1964 melding of the Merseybeats, the Beatles and the Swinging Blue Jeans. Glittering forth with jangly guitars, peppy drumming, exuberant harmonies and vibrant hooks by the mile, the sparkling song is impossible to resist.

What prompts “The Biggest Gossip In Town” to be even more compelling is the fact it was such an odd duck in an age where the polar extremes of heavy rock and soft pop dominated the radio dial. Intentionally nostalgic the song may be, yet it radiates with the kind of energy and enthusiasm exercised by young and hungry bands.

The flipside of the Rockin’ Horse disc, “You Say,” wasn’t included on Yes It Is. The track begins its sojourn in a delicate acoustic manner before quickening the pace and ballooning into a gritty chorus, then returning once again to a dreamy demeanor. A stirring arrangement also ices “You Say,” that recalls the emotionally fragile make-up of Badfinger.

Then, it’s back to Side 1. Pure of heart and hopelessly hummable, Rockin’ Horse’s “The Biggest Gossip In Town” is pop rock perfection in all its melodious splendor.

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Beverly Paterson
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