Concrete and Clay
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|"Concrete and Clay"|
|Single by Unit 4 + 2|
|B-side||"When I Fall in Love"|
|Genre||Folk rock, rock|
|Label||Decca F12071 (UK), London (US and Canada)|
|Songwriter(s)||Tommy Moeller, Brian Parker|
|Producer(s)||John L. Barker|
|Unit 4 + 2 singles chronology|
"Concrete and Clay" is a 1965 hit single recorded by the UK pop group Unit 4 + 2. It reached No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart in April 1965. The song was written by group members Tommy Moeller and Brian Parker.
"The sidewalks in the street, the concrete and the clay
Beneath my feet begins to crumble, but love will never die
Because we'll see the mountains tumble, before we say goodbye"
The arrangement has a pronounced Latin influence, using acoustic guitars and a baion beat. These distinctive elements helped boost "Concrete and Clay" to the No. 1 position on the UK Singles Chart in April 1965.
American record producer Bob Crewe, best known for his work with the Four Seasons, had heard the Unit 4 + 2 hit version of "Concrete and Clay" while on a trip to the UK. As a result, Crewe had a cover version of "Concrete and Clay" cut by Eddie Rambeau, a staff writer at Crewe's music publishing firm, which was the inaugural release for Crewe's own DynoVoice Records. Although the Rambeau version's release pre-dated the US release of the Unit 4 + 2 version by one week, both singles debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 dated 8 May 1965; Unit 4 + 2 at No. 96 and Rambeau at No. 98, with both singles making a similar chart ascent over the next four weeks. The original eventually peaked at No. 28 while Rambeau's version reached No. 35.
The song was featured in the 1998 film Rushmore.
The success of "Concrete and Clay" in 1965 resulted in international cover versions that same year, with renderings in Swedish - "Du för mig" recorded by Lill Lindfors; in Finnish - "Tunti Vain" recorded by Johnny; in French - "Comment Elle-Fait" recorded by Richard Anthony; and in German - "Ein Fremder kam vorbei" recorded by Horst Wiegand.
Featured on albums by Gary Lewis and the Playboys (A Session with Gary Lewis and the Playboys/ 1965) and Cliff Richard (Kinda Latin/ 1966), "Concrete and Clay" was remade by Randy Edelman for his 1976 album release Farewell Fairbanks which otherwise comprised Edelman originals. Issued as a single, Edelman's "Concrete and Clay" became a UK hit reaching No. 11 in March 1976.
In 1986, a remake of "Concrete and Clay" by Martin Plaza, co-lead vocalist of the group Mental as Anything, reached No. 2 in Australia. That same year a remake by Hong Kong Syndikat reached No. 26 in Germany, and also reached No. 12 in France in 1987. Former Dexys Midnight Runners singer Kevin Rowland released a version in 1999. Pete Byrne also covered the song on his 2001 solo album The Real Illusion. They Might Be Giants attempted a version of the song in 1990. The uncompleted track was released as an MP3 in 2001.
The 1967 album Music to Watch Girls By by the Bob Crewe Generation features instrumental versions of several Bob Crewe produced hits, including "Concrete and Clay".
On 28 October 2011, a new version of "Concrete And Clay" by original singer and co-writer Tommy Moeller was released on the Chance Music record label based in Sydney Australia, 47 years after his original version in 1964.
The Tommy Moeller album Time is dedicated to "Concrete And Clay" co-writer Brian Parker (1939 - 2001), and includes three other songs by Moeller and Parker. The cover of the album shows Tommy Moeller at age 19 when he first sang "Concrete And Clay", and in 2011 when the new version by Chance Music was released.
Another version from 1973 was recorded by British teenage singer Darren Burn. It failed to chart.
- Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 91. ISBN 0-85112-250-7.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 176. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "Concrete and Clay: Song review". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 3 December 2007.