Year of Release: 1971
Good lord, Ladies and Gentlemen, this is an absolutely unashamed, bouncing-off-the-walls, gravelly voiced Creedance Clearwater Revival styled track. Plinking and plucking away in a manner that can only be described as battling and urgent, "Muddy Water" is an anthem urging extreme caution over a forthcoming catastrophe, although it's not altogether clear what it is apart from the fact that it involves unclean h20.
"Don't nobody see the muddy water?/ It's moving fast and deeper than you think" warns the vocalist with a trembling voice like a prophet or soothsayer. "You won't know it til it's time to drink," he clarifies. Even Fields of the Nephilim have seldom been so doom-mongering. I can only assume this is some sort of metaphor for mankind's general apathy in the face of environmental and societal collapse, although it could just be about a standard river flood, I suppose. They're worrying enough.
While I've a strong suspicion that this will split the readership's opinion like marmite, I actually think this single is so raucous and over-the-top it's actually wonderful. Short, sharp and simple as well as horribly catchy, it was probably one of the bigger injustices of 1971 that it wasn't a substantial hit. Once heard, it's never forgotten.
"Muddy Water" was initially released by the American group The Balloon Corps who also failed to have a hit with it, so the song had no shortage of chances - their version is rather more rootsy, slower and considered, which might work better for some people, although I find it less pleasing.
Meanwhile, we've met Dr. Marigold's Prescription before on this blog, with the track "Breaking The Heart of A Good Man" with its rather popsike B-side "Night Hurries On By". They had previously worked as the backing group for Billy Fury and John Walker before breaking off on their own. While there are no lost classics sitting around in their back-catalogue, I do happen to think that they're a wee bit under-rated.