Herman's Hermits – I'm Into Something Good

There’s a great clip from around 1968 of Peter Noone having a rather heated discussion with Graham Nash about whether musicians have a responsibility to try to change the world. Of course, Nash thought that they did, wanting to put behind all the pop nonsense and get on with the business of educating people and sharing ‘the message’. Noone was having none of it, believing that his job was simply to be an entertainer.

On the whole, I’d say I’m on Noone’s side. But more than that: I think it’s pretty dismal to think that pop should somehow always try to be more than itself. As if ‘just’ providing pleasure to millions of people, for many years, is something worthless, something to be sniffed at. Of course, pop can be more than itself – but it doesn’t have to be.

I’m Into Something Good is an almost perfect example of how uplifting, enduring and worthwhile pure pop music can be. Recorded when Noone was sixteen-years-old, it’s a young man sharing his joy of meeting a great girl the night before. Pretty simple stuff – but you know, the stuff that really matters.

Written by the brilliant Goffin and King, the original version was by Earl Jean of The Cookies. And while that song has its merits (mainly among pop snobs) it lacks the light-footed exuberance of this version. That is, it doesn’t revel in the sheer joy of the story. That’s partly due to Noone’s wide-eyed vocal but is also due to the rolling perkiness of the guitar and the forcefulness of the backing “oooh, ooohs” that seem to share their lead singer’s delight.

There’s always room for this kind of thing because it touches people on levels they often don’t understand. It’s why songs like this endure. Something even grizzled old punks appreciate every time they crank up the radio when The Undertones’ (similar and equally wonderful) Teenage Kicks comes on.

Advertisements

About Paul Saxton

Follow me on Twitter if you like: @paulsaxton
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Herman's Hermits – I'm Into Something Good

  1. Huw Sayer says:

    Love this – makes me feel good every time I hear it – really summery song (makes me think coke-floats and sunburn) – can never remember who sings it though (always think it must be Beach Boys – which just shows how little I know about music).

    And yes – I with you and Noone (is it pronounced noon or no-one?) – music should be, first and foremost about music, entertainment (whether happy or sad) – if occasionally it rises above that to become something more profound then great but it shouldn’t strive for such heights at the expense of being good music (which probably just shows how little I know about art or anything).

    Cheers

    H

  2. When you look at the lyric, it’s pretty prosaic and descriptive – just describing events. But it worked in ‘I Saw Her Standing There’, and it does here as well, because of the expressive force of the (wide-ranging) melody. Plus a classic 60s arrangement that doesn’t get in the way, being more focused on conveying the song than self-consciously ‘rocking’.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s