2007   APRIL 18   #108

Freddie Barrett - It's Impossible/A Kiss In The Dark

Freddie Barrett - It's Impossible (3:19)
Freddie Barrett - A Kiss In The Dark (2:36)

Who is Freddie Barrett? I found this private pressing single many years ago at a flea market and bought it on the strength of the artist's name that is credited as 'The Many Voices Of Freddie Barrett'. I hoped it might be a comedy outing similar to British impressionist Billy Howard's King Of The Cops single or the Poster People album by American voice artist Paul Frees. But it was in a category all of its own. These 'voices' appear only on one side of the single and to be honest there are only two of them. Freddie attempts a cover of the Perry Como classic with dubious results and it becomes all-too-apparent that it is a knowingly bad cover when the other voice kicks in reprimanding him for singing so badly and that his fans will kill him when they hear it. Fans? Are they kidding! As if this wasn't bad enough for no apparent reason the second voice starts off slowed down like Barry White on dope and then gradually speeds up until it almost resembles one of David Seville's chipmunks.

It's not altogether clear what the point of this song was. Whether it tied in with a sketch or routine by Freddie is anyone's guess. There are no obvious clues. The 'many voices' name suggests that he thought he was some kind of impressionist but it's not obvious who the voices are supposed to be.

The flip side sees Freddie croaking his way though a 1940s-style swinging jazz number. He keeps yelling 'who loves you baby' like he'd watched too many episodes of Kojak, or maybe it was an attempt at one of his so-called voices. Whatever the case surely no one would want to kiss this creepy guy even under the cover of darkness!

After many years of research I still haven't been able to uncover anything about the mysterious Mr Barrett. Here in Britain there was the head of a liquor store chain with that name but it can't be him. The only clue is that the B-side is published by LWT music and LWT can only be London Weekend Television. So it's possible that he appeared as a comedian/impressionist on one of their talent shows. If anyone knows anything about the mysterious Mr B I'd be very interested to hear.

- Contributed by: David Noades

Images: Record

Media: 7" Single
Label: Barrettone
Catalog: BAR 001
Credits: Producer Tony Palmer
Date: 1970s