Can't Seem to Make You Mine

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"Can't Seem to Make You Mine"
Single by The Seeds
from the album The Seeds
Released March 1965
May 1967 (re-issue)
Format 7" single
Recorded 1965
Genre Garage rock, protopunk, psychedelic rock
Length 2:31
Label GNP Crescendo
Writer(s) Sky Saxon
Producer(s) Marcus Tybalt
The Seeds singles chronology
"Can't Seem to Make You Mine"
(1965)
"Pushin' Too Hard"
(1965)

"Can't Seem to Make You Mine" is a song by American rock group The Seeds, written by vocalist Sky Saxon and produced by Marcus Tybalt. It was released as a single in 1965 and re-issued in 1967, when it peaked at number 41 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The song appears on the 1998 box set Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965–1968, and has been covered by such artists as the Ramones, Alex Chilton, Johnny Thunders, Yo La Tengo and Garbage.

Recording and release[edit]

"Can't Seem to Make You Mine" was the first song recorded by the Seeds, according to keyboardist Daryl Hooper. "Sky started peddling it around to different record labels [...] and got the typical 'we'll call you' routine, and Crescendo, for some reason, liked it and said they'd like to take us into a recording studio. When Sky got into the recording studio, he really put his all into his vocals."[1]

The song, released as a single in March 1965, first received radio airplay on Santa Monica's KBLA. Sky Saxon recalled in a 2006 interview: "they used to play 'Can't Seem to Make You Mine' as late as two in the morning. KRLA and all the rest of the stations jumped on it later, but KBLA broke it and people would stay up to hear it."[2]

A regional hit in California, the single did not chart nationally until its 1967 re-release, after the band's "Pushin' Too Hard" had reached the U.S. Top 40.[3][4] "Can't Seem to Make You Mine" peaked at number 33 in Canada and number 41 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart.[5]

The song features an instrumental by the pianist of the group, with guitar accompaniment.

There was also a radio edit version of this song, which omitted the repeat of the bridge section as well as a repeat of one of the verses. The song features a spoken duologue by Saxon before he repeats the final verse. ("Come back, Baby, I'm all alone").

Critical reception[edit]

Music writer Malcolm Russell described the song as "a slow, angry piece which highlighted Saxon's unique vocal style - an inspired nasal snarl punctuated by howls, wails and yelps."[6] Author Michael Hicks elaborated on Saxon's vocal style on the track: "he superimposes an Eddie Cochran-like buzz on classic Buddy Holly-style baby talk [and] adds a Jagger-like pseudo-dialect, but a seemingly arbitrary one, in which vowels are colored and recolored with no particular consistency."[7] The song has been called a "garage rock classic" by authors Will Hodgkinson and Stephen Thomas Erlewine, and it is featured on the 1998 box set Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965–1968.[8][9][10] The song placed fourth on Paste Magazine's 2014 list of the "50 Best Garage Rock Songs of All Time".[11]

Other versions and appearances[edit]

Alex Chilton released a cover version of "Can't Seem to Make You Mine" on his 1978 "Bangkok" single.[12] Johnny Thunders and Patti Palladin recorded the song on their 1988 album, Copy Cats.[13] The Ramones covered it on the 1993 album, Acid Eaters.[14] Yo La Tengo included their rendition of the song on their 1995 Camp Yo La Tengo EP.[15] Garbage released a cover version as a B-side to the 1999 singles "When I Grow Up" and "The Trick Is to Keep Breathing".[16] Murder City Devils covered the song for a 1999 split 45 with Gluecifer.[4] Diplo sampled the track on his remix of Spank Rock's 2005 single "Put That Pussy on Me".[17] Spirits in the Sky, a supergroup led by Billy Corgan, performed the song at a Sky Saxon tribute concert on July 24, 2009 in Los Angeles.[18]

The song featured in the films Cop Land (1997) and Secretary (2002).[19] It was also used in a 2008 television commercial for Lynx/Axe body spray.[20]

Track listing[edit]

7" Vinyl (August 1965)
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Can't Seem to Make You Mine"   Saxon 2:31
2. "Daisy Mae"   Saxon 1:57
7" Vinyl (February 1967)
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Can't Seem to Make You Mine"   Saxon 2:31
2. "I Tell Myself"   Saxon 2:25

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1967) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[5] 41
U.S. Cash Box Top 100[21] 55
Canada RPM Magazine 33

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kubernik, Harvey (2009). Canyon of Dreams: The Magic and the Music of Laurel Canyon. New York: Sterling Publishing. p. 51. ISBN 978-1-4027-6589-6. 
  2. ^ Locey, Bill (2006-12-21). "Flower Power Trip". Ventura County Star. p. Time Out. 
  3. ^ Koch, Bob (2009-06-27). "Vinyl Cave: Moonwalking into sunlight with Michael Jackson and Sky Saxon". Isthmus. Retrieved 2012-01-24. 
  4. ^ a b Strong, Martin Charles (2003). The Great Indie Discography (2nd ed.). Edinburgh: Canongate Books. ISBN 978-1-84195-335-9. 
  5. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2008). Joel Whitburn Presents: Across The Charts The 1960s. New York: Record Research. p. 342. ISBN 978-0-89820-175-8. 
  6. ^ Buckley, Peter (2003). The Rough Guide to Rock (3rd ed.). London: Rough Guides. p. 915. ISBN 978-1-84353-105-0. 
  7. ^ Hicks, Michael (2000). Sixties Rock: Garage, Psychedelic, and Other Satisfactions. Chicago: University of Illinois Press. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-252-06915-4. 
  8. ^ Hodgkinson, Will (2006). Guitar Man: A Six-String Odyssey, or, You Love that Guitar More than You Love Me. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press. p. 95. ISBN 978-0-306-81514-0. 
  9. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "'Flower Punk' - The Seeds - Review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-01-24. 
  10. ^ "'Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965–1968' - Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-01-24. 
  11. ^ Stiernberg, Bonnie (2014-08-27). "The 50 Best Garage Rock Songs of All Time". Paste Magazine. Retrieved 2014-08-27. 
  12. ^ "'Bangkok/Can't Seem to Make You Mine' - Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-01-24. 
  13. ^ Schoemer, Karen (1989-04). "Spin Offs". Spin (SPIN Media LLC) 5 (1): 113. ISSN 0886-3032.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  14. ^ "Album Reviews". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.) 106 (3): 44. 1994-01-15. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  15. ^ Robbins, Ira. "Trouser Press - Yo La Tengo". Trouser Press. Retrieved 2012-01-24. 
  16. ^ Strong, Martin Charles (2006). The Great Rock Discography. Edinburgh: Canongate Books. p. 431. ISBN 978-1-84195-860-6. 
  17. ^ Cantalini, Chris (2007-08-25). "Can't Seem to Make You Mine". Gorilla vs. Bear. Retrieved 2012-01-24. 
  18. ^ Bronson, Kevin (2009-08-29). "Billy Corgan, Dave Navarro Debut 10 Songs". Spin. Retrieved 2012-01-24. 
  19. ^ "Sky Saxon - Filmography". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2012-01-24. 
  20. ^ Gallo, Phill (2011-02-24). "Estate of Sky Saxon of the Seeds Files Royalties Lawsuit". Billboard. Retrieved 2012-01-24. 
  21. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 6/3/67". Cashbox Magazine, Inc. Retrieved 2012-01-24.