15 August 2014

Elephant Man

Bo Diddley's Elephant Man is an absolute stormer from his 1970 funk-soul album The Black Gladiator - it's a floor-filler if ever there was one, although don't ask me what the song is about. And you can ignore the visual side of the clip below - I don't know why people bother with video of a record turning when a still of the album cover is all you really need. I first heard this track on the 2004 compilation album Back to Mine: Death in Vegas. As with the rest of the Back to Mine series, it was compiled - in this case by the psychedelic rock band Death in Vegas - to illustrate their favourite tracks for playing after a big night out, the tagline for the series being, 'A personal collection for after-hours grooving'. The album also featured judiciously chosen tracks by an eclectic mix of artists including The Upsetters, Gene Clark, Nina Simone and Joy Division. One common theory is that the physical afflictions of the real-life Elephant Man, Joseph Merrick (1862-90), were caused by an extremely rare disease known as Proteus syndrome, which only currently affects around 120 people in the world.

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