20. February 2022 By Walter Price 0

Crate Digger: ARLENE SHORE You Are The Answer To My Every Prayer

Arlene Shore – You Are The Answer To My Every Prayer (1960 M&S Records)

Arlene Shore

by Marc Griffiths

I have no idea who Arlene Shore was or is but really Arlene? Why did you let them do this to you?

This is quite honestly one of the strangest 45s I have ever picked up in all the time I have collected records. I honestly think I own the only copy, the little that is posted online (45Cat and Discogs) shows pictures of my copy, complete with identical label damage and ring wear. When you listen to the tune it’s apparent why. If you had been involved with the production of this disc, you may well have thought it would have been better to hunt every disc down and destroy them. This one seems to have slipped through the net.

Released as far as I can tell in 1960/61 on a small New Jersey Label M&S Records. A label that seemed to specialize in releasing anything it could get its hands on by the scattergun nature of its output, You are the Answer to My Every Prayer is a very strange offering. The vocals are treated with what appears to be some type of backward delay, although how they achieved this in 1960 is beyond me and sit on top of what can only be described as the sound of a small orchestra falling down the side of a mountain. Arlene has a sweet enough voice herself, not strong, not even really in tune, but the backing musicians sound as if they have warmed up by going on a three-day whiskey bender before entering the studio. It is truly cacophonous, swamped in masses of plate reverb, and despite its charm as one of the oddest sounds to be passed off as music almost unlistenable. The engineers themselves couldn’t wait for it to be over as the track actually ends abruptly mid-note, the silence that follows a welcome end to what had gone before, akin to a merciful Death.

Maybe it was a vanity release? If it was Arlene must have been very confident in her own artistic worth to have finished recording this, be presented with it, and STILL pressed it on vinyl. I think personally Arlene was probably press-ganged into it by a suitor or manager and because I cannot find any trace of her before or after this release more than likely left New Jersey and headed for rural Montana to try and live her life out in anonymity and peace. Safe in the knowledge that she was not the next singing superstar. I for one do not think Arlene was to blame and I hold no grudge against her for the tune or the fact I have listened to it. It will always be in my collection but I will never play it in public, I promise. It will remain locked in a special box labeled ‘Not For Listening Pleasure’.

The Song itself is written by a certain Neil Sedaka, I just hope he never heard this rendition, he might never have written another tune in case Arlene popped up and murdered it for him.

Arlene Shore – You Are The Answer To My Every Prayer

Photo via Discogs

Songwriter: Neil Sedaka


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