Mr D & The Highlights
Make no mistake this is difficult music, not easily accessible. No toe tapping here, not really melodies that you can hum along to. But getting into these tracks is a very rewarding experience as Mr D has the power to take you into deeper emotional experiences than almost any other singer I know. His first 45 "Every Now And Then" sets the scene. A guitar/organ combination lay down a minor keyed riff and then this tortured, anguished vocal comes in - a harsh, rasping tone packed with a huge emotional punch. And he doesn't let up for some four minutes - an astonishing tour-de-force.
Another Lonely Night is, if anything even more emotionally draining. As with his previous release a guitar opens the song up, but here Mr D is supported by a girl chorus and some subdued horns and the effect is to magnify his extraordinary painful vocal. He seems almost unhinged by his predicament such is the amount of angst he generates, sobbing and crying out in raw agony. The flip Hard Life is a similarly distressing and heart-rending experience.
From the fact that these tracks are in stereo I'd date them to the early 70s. And it is no surprise that sales were very low as this sort of music was way out of the mainstream - after all why would you want to buy these 45s when around the same time you could get Chuck Berry's "My Ding-a-Ling" for $1? The writer producer of the second 45 is Deamos Turner - could that be Mr D's real name?
Thanks to Alasdair Blaazer and Mike Finbow for the suggestion.