Following on from The Kink’s ‘Sunny Afternoon’, and we are keeping up with the summery theme. For what could be more summery than a little getaway…?
Getaway, by Georgie Fame (his 2nd of three #1s) & The Blue Flames (their 2nd and final #1)
1 week, from 21st – 28th July 1966
Gotta go, I hope you’re ready cos, Take a look outside… Georgie sings… We’ll leave the city folk, They’ll have to stay… he persuades… Don’t have to pack a thing, Just get away… It’s not as soulful, or as funky, as his previous number one, ‘Yeh Yeh’. It’s a simple enough acoustic riff, with a brass section for back-up. It’s cute. It’s catchy enough. It makes sense when you discover that it was written, initially, as an advertising jingle for a brand of petrol.
A lot of the song, around thirty percent I’d guess, is Fame chanting gotta go over the jaunty rhythm. Dig a little deeper into the remaining lyrics, though, and it turns out that his ‘getaway’ isn’t going to be a particularly luxurious one. I know a little place… A kind of pretty place… But it sounds charming: sun, sea and a bit of peace and quiet. I suppose it speaks to a time when young people didn’t have as much freedom, and perhaps could only truly ‘getaway’ once they were married…
Musically, there are two things of note. There’s an organ solo, which places this song firmly in the mid-sixties. And every few lines a horn gives out a low parp, the sort of sound that usually follows a clown’s pratfall, which lends an (unintentionally?) comic air to the record. Apart from that, there doesn’t seem to be that much to it. It’s a nice enough diversion. Both of Georgie and The Blue Flames’ #1s have been a little off the beaten path compared to the dominant sound of the time. I like that – he was doing his thing and, clearly, people were digging it.
Another point to note – this hit is referred to as both ‘Getaway’ and ‘Get Away’, with different vinyl pressings having one title or the other. The Official Charts list it as one word so that’s what I’m going with… And I’m struggling to write much more about this chart-topper, to be honest. It’s nice. The end.
Plus, Georgie Fame will be making one more appearance at the top of the charts in a year or so, minus his Blue Flames (it is a really cool name for a backing band, isn’t it: The Blue Flames), so we can skip the bio bit. Anyway, I know that I’m publishing this in late October, but close your eyes and imagine that it’s high-summer, as it was when this disc hit the top of the charts. Close your eyes and, for two minutes thirty-one seconds, getaway.