Friday, September 16, 2005

Tin Tin: The Saga Concludes

As someone noted in the comments, a timeline for all of these Steve Kipner projects would be nice, and I apologize for 1. not having enough time 2. or knowledge, to prepare a good one.

So the 2nd Tin Tin album Astral Taxi wasn't a hit. Steve Groves and John Vallins returned to Australia.

Steve Kipner kept on recording as Tin Tin with various collaborators, since working under that name got him studio time. This version of Tin Tin released a handful of singles. The only online source that I've found giving any details on these is this mysterious page on the internet, though much of its info is inaccurate.

What's interesting about these songs is that they start to cut loose from the whole Bee Gees thing that hung over Tin Tin (and Kipner's later projects Friends and, to a lesser extent, Skyband). You can hear a bunch of 70's influences creeping in, but I think that I'm mostly reminded of varying aspects of solo Paul McCartney.

Without further ado, here's the pretty hard-rocking Talking Turkey, written and sung by Geoff Bridgford. I'm told by a reliable source (who supplied most of the info for today's post) that this was Geoff's first songwriting experience. It turns out that Geoff also sang the b-side, Come On Over Again, which is that track that got added to the first Tin Tin album in the US (also a track that's not really of a piece with the rest of the record).

In news that surprised me, a second Tin Tin single involved Pete Beckett. I had thought that he and Steve Kipner had first worked together in Friends, but I was wrong. Pete wrote the a-side, I'm Afraid. I'm not sure who wrote the b-side, Handle Me Easy, but it's essentially just Steve and Pete in the studio. I'm very fond of the female (?) backing vocals on the chorus. For everyone who hasn't been following this whole convoluted saga, I'll remind you that Pete Beckett wrote Baby Come Back for his band Player. Trust me, you've heard it.

Yet another unusual sounding one is Back To Winona which features Steve Kipner's former Steve & The Board bandmate Carl Groszman on vocals. This really reminds me of either a strange take on glam rock, or of some of the things Paul McCartney was up to on Ram, like 3 Legs, for example (presented here, for no particularly good reason, in the mono mix). Carl is also known for writing Down The Dustpipe which was a top-20 hit single for Status Quo.

I wish I could give a more definitive look at this period. I expect that the CD reissues of Tin Tin (when they come out) will do a much better job. It's kind of all over the place musically, but the quality remains surprisingly high.

I should add that there are all sorts of aspects of Steve Kipner's career that I'm skipping. I haven't posted anything by Steve & The Board or any of the Bee Gees tracks where he sings backing vocals (that might be pushing things) or his later, post-Skyband, collaborations with Pete Beckett.

I have a feeling that at some point someone's going to come along and turn all of this into a pretty amazing article for Mojo. In the meantime, this little blog will have to do.

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