The Snake

This is one of those that makes you think – how did I manage to get this far through life without ever having encountered a song with such all-round goodness.

Thanks to John Cooper Clarke – no less – for bringing it to my attention, via BBC 6 Music.

Al Wilson is an American singer. The Snake dates from 1968 but didn’t make the UK singles chart until 1975, where it reached number 41 – so wikipedia tells me. The song was produced by Johnny Rivers – of whom my sole knowledge is ‘Secret Agent Man’.

For Al Wilson’s original version of The Snake there’s little on youtube that has much in the way of interesting video. I’ve picked this version because there’s some Japanese script, I can read the katakana, and it’s not every day VU meters crop up:

There are quite a few covers, all equally unknown to me. Apologies if this seems like overkill, but here are three recommendations:

It seems a pity not to include this, which naturally fell out of my youtube searches:

There’s plenty that could be said about John Cooper Clarke – so here’s his link. By a stroke of luck he’s touring all over the UK this very year.

2 thoughts on “The Snake

  1. Finally! Someone else who knows this song! I play it to anyone who’ll listen and usually just get a “meh”! I have it on a CD called “Northern Soul Alnighter”. Great stuff!

    • Other people’s reactions – often disappointing – always unpredictable ! Actually Julia made a CD for me a few years ago with The Snake on it – when I asked her about the source she was unusually vague – muttering ‘something to do with Tom’ – so I can’t help wondering if all this goes back full circle to your CD ? (It’s also true that I only properly checked it out having heard it on 6-Music).

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