When I'm Dead and Gone

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"When I'm Dead and Gone"
Single by McGuinness Flint
A-side "When I'm Dead and Gone"
B-side "Lazy Afternoon"
Released 1970
Format 7"
Recorded 1970
Genre Folk rock
Label Capitol
Writer(s)

Bernard Gallagher, Graham Lyle (A-side); Hughie Flint, Tom McGuinness, Dennis Coulson

(B-side)
Producer(s) Glyn Johns

"When I'm Dead and Gone" is a song written by Benny Gallagher and Graham Lyle. It was recorded and released in November 1970 as the debut single by McGuinness Flint, peaked at No. 2 in the UK charts[1] the following month, and reached No. 47 in the US charts in February 1971.[2] It was one of the first hit singles to feature prominent use of mandolin,[citation needed] played by Lyle, who also took lead vocal. Gallagher played bass guitar and sang tenor harmony, while both he and Lyle also played kazoos and guitarist Tom McGuinness played the dobro solo.

The song was inspired by the life of blues musician Robert Johnson, hence the line in the second verse, "Hey there, Ladies, Johnson's free."

According to McGuinness, "You can get to number one in England and sell 200,000 total. But [the single's release] was over Christmas and it sold 400,000 ... it sold a couple of hundred thousand in America, 100,000 in Germany, 50,000 in Japan."[3]

After Gallagher and Lyle left the group and enjoyed a successful career as a duo, they featured the song regularly on stage - though usually in the lower key of C, rather than the original key of D, and eschewing kazoos in favour of a harmonica, which Gallagher used on a harness. This treatment of the song can be heard on the duo's 1999 album Live In Concert.

Cover versions have been recorded by Carone, Phil Everly, Adam Faith, Status Quo, Def Leppard, Charlie Landsborough and Fury in the Slaughterhouse.

References[edit]

  1. ^ McGuiness Flint UK chart history, The Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  2. ^ McGuiness Flint USA chart history, Billboard.com. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  3. ^ Holloway, Danny (28 August 1971). "An Old Mann Remembers...". Sounds (Spotlight Publications). p. 11.