We’ve spoken before of our love for Bobbie Gentry’s 1969 Southern Gothic country hit “Fancy”, a glittering piece of solid-gold, greatest-of-all time gutter-to-penthouse braggadocio that makes everything on similar subject matter by, I dunno, Jay-Z sound like weak sauce. Anyone can make it selling drugs but how many have bragged that they’ve done it selling their arse? And who, after writing a song like that has then still been in the position where they can sing about getting put on the game by their mother on an early evening variety show? (See below for the YouTube clip of that).
“Fancy” is a great song before we even get to the ludicrously overstuffed embarrassment of riches that is the production; Muscle Shoals session whizzes cramming in funky drumming, ominous string swoops, jauntily mocking horn parts, sweetly cooing call and response parts and a breakdown that sounds like a hayseed Timbaland. The delicate overload of the original makes it a hard song to cover if, like the Geraldine Fibbers, you’re operating in the post-grunge-explosion shitstorm when major labels were signing anything that could be prefixed ‘alt-’ in the hope of someone turning a profit. The fake-indie (Virgin subsidiary Hut) self-titled mini-album that “Fancy” comes from has a (hidden) track where The Geraldine Fibbers team up with Beck but whilst he managed to turn his smarmy faux-irony into a lasting career, Geraldine Fibbers records were easier to find as ex-promos in the quid bins of second hand shops than new in the racks of the megastores even as they came out—they were too country for alt-rock kids and too alt- for alt-country bores..
After mystifyingly dropping some of the best lyrics in the song (“now in this world there's a lot of self-righteous hypocrites who call me bad and criticize mama for turning me out no matter how little we had”) the Geraldine Fibbers focus on the snare snaps of the original then swap that versions steely restraint for a constant build into fiddle scree and guitar squall that finally tips into a final section of an imagined reality where the Fibbers are car radio staples, all Rolling Stones ‘woo-woo’s.
There’s some great Youtube comments for this clip too:
wamij2 (1 day ago)
bobbies puss was first .... hot slut knew wen to exit.
kindofobvious (2 days ago)
youtube recommended this to me. This abstract shack. This womb on legs. ...
I like it.
whuju (1 month ago)
holy f&*king S%@t. I've been a hip hop head most of my life and I'm absolutely in love with this song. SO REAL!