Cruise International Records,
Allerton Grange Vale,
Ken Boothe Artibella 7” vinyl
The distinctive vocals that adorned radio airwaves and even ‘Top of the Pops’ during his two-hit year of 1974 (number one in the UK with ‘Everything I Own’ and number 11 with ‘Crying Over You’) are very much the dominant force in this ska classic of love lost.
Recorded nearly ten years before his two crossover hits, the lively and brisk ska rhythm at first seems at odds with the melancholy of losing a girl he’s invested time in and who has fleeced him of most of his money. Is it a bit tongue in cheek? The almost doggerel rhyme of “Artibella I saw you with a fella” suggests a lighter approach to a distressing situation, as does the reinforcing of the main lyrics several times over as opposed to different lyrics per verse, but there’s a regret and sadness evident in Boothe’s tone similar to the sincerity expressed in his two major hits.