“Suicide Is Painless” (MFP 1418) 1970
Since I took early retirement a couple of years ago I spend a lot of time searching for cheap records in charity shops. I don’t mind taking a chance and spending a couple of quid on an album. It’s still quite a buzz finding vinyl junk.
I’ve decided to begin a new series on my blog where I’ll focus on a track from a budget label release, remaster a FLAC directly from the record, create a YouTube video and investigate / research the performer and album under the spotlight.
My new series will be called “Budget Label Curios.”
Who knows what I’ll uncover, the music may be delightful to your ears or it could make you want to bang your head against the nearest brick wall to make the pain go away.
The LP ‘Screen Trip-Seventies’ cost £1 from The Salvation Army. There are some interesting movie song remakes on this, all of them have artistic merit and are well produced.
“Everybody’s Talkin’”, “Something In The Air” and “The Weight” are all decent enough recordings and are close to the originals. I usually hate Steppenwolf‘s biker anthem “Born To Be Wild” but this remake has less butch-macho-man shouty vocals with a superior organ break.
“Song From M*A*S*H” a.k.a. “Suicide Is Painless” is worthy of my YouTube video. It’s a quality version, good vocals from the male lead singer and the female backing track gives it an all round authority. The drums sound fantastic too. A very authentic cut.
“Suicide Is Painless” was conceived by Johnny Mandel, a noted American composer and arranger with the lyrics coming from the pen of Michael Altman.
The original “Suicide Is Painless” / “The M*A*S*H March” was released on a single by Columbia Records (4M-45130) on 24/03/70. Several instrumental versions of the song were used as the theme for the TV series, but the lyrics were never used in the show.
The number became a huge number-one hit single in Britain in May 1980 and is the 45 I have in my archive. Manic Street Preachers recorded a version in 1992 which was a top ten hit.