COULDN’T GET IT RIGHT
Written by the Climax Blues Band at a time when the record label Sire/RCA were becoming impatient for a hit from the band that had taken the US by force. The gruelling touring schedule was paying off in notoriety but not in the charts. It was suggested by Miles Copeland (The Police and Sting) that Climax redo an Elvis classic. This was not a path the band that would often play 15 minute instrumental songs on the road.
So they got together and wrote Couldn’t Get It Right which proved to be a significant piece of Climax history. Written about life on the road and attempting to find the next hotel to stay during the extensive US tours that the band endured.
It hit no 10 in the UK singles chart and was surpassed in the US Billboard chart by reaching no 3 and ranked no 32 for that year in the Billboard Top 100 singles of 1977.
It was covered by Fun Loving Criminals in 1999 and appeared on their album Mimosa. During the tour to promote the album there was an intriguing Fun Loving short film which finished with FLC’s version of Couldn’t Get it Right.
When Colin met Huey during that your he was the consummate gentleman inviting Colin and wife back stage for a Huey cocktail. CGR was a song that Huey had grown up with in the summer of 77 in New York City when the song had pretty much jammed the airwaves at that time.
Derek Holt talks about the inspiration for the song.
The song is about being on the road in America. ‘Looking for a sign in the middle of the night’ being about the old Holiday Inn signs, really, because the moment you saw the Holiday Inn sign, that meant you got a bed for the night. When we first started in America, we used to fly everywhere; sometimes we’d have 3 flights a day to get to any one place. The way the itinerary was sorted out, it was never very easy to get to anywhere, so consequently we used to arrive in the town, get into a car, just about make the sound check for the gig, do the gig, get back in the car, then look for a bed. Towards the latter sort of probably five years of the band’s life, we started using tour buses, so you could sort of leave after the gig, get on the bus, get a bed, drive 1,000 miles or whatever, be at the next gig being quite refreshed. So that was a really nice way of travelling.
Produced by Mike Vernon who has worked with such artists as Fleetwood Mac, Savoy Brown, David Bowie, Bluesbreakers, Peter Green, Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart and an endless list of who’s who in the music industry.
More recently CGR has appeared in the British comedy smash Alan Partridge movie. It also cropped on the Xbox, Play Station game ‘Sleeping Dogs’ set in Hong Kong. It has been used in many TV shows in the US and also appeared on the UK cult Hotel Pelirocco compilation album.