Asha Puthli and the Surfers: Sunny
Angel of the Morning
From 7″ EP (Columbia India, 1960s)
It’s been a pretty remarkable last few weeks, record-wise. I’ve managed to scratch off any number of long-time white whales/holy grails off my want list and the fact that they’re all happening in the same time frame has been surprising (not to mention $$$). Rains + Pours-related.
This Asha Puthli release is one I’ve been after for at least 2-3 years (thus making it a minor white whale; call it a beluga). I’ve been writing about Asha since the earliest days of the blog as well as more recently and this record, her very first, has eluded me much of that time. It’s an obscure enough record to begin with, recorded back when no one had a clue who Asha was and backed by a mod/rock band in Singapore called The Surfers. The fact that she even had a record career after this is likely due to other factors than the “success” of this single (though the fact that it got pressed up on two different labels suggests at least some folks were listening).
The EP has four songs, all covers: “Angel of the Morning,” “The Sounds of Silence,” “Sunny” and “Fever.” I included what I thought were the best two tracks above.1 Her cover of Bobby Hebb’s classic “Sunny” is really solid and The Surfers get to jam on some long solos too. And while her version of “Angel of the Morning” won’t top, say, Nina Simone’s, I think it’s quite lovely regardless.
The thing with this record is that the Singapore EMI version has a pic sleeve which means while I’m simply happy to have this record…it stays on the want list. Yeah, I know, it’s a sickness.
- “Fever” wasn’t nearly as scintillating as you might expect; it’s more like a torch rendition and as for “The Sounds of Silence,” let’s just say it’s not my favorite of the Simon and Garfunkel catalog. ↩