The New Vaudeville Band – Winchester Cathedral

First Hit #1: December 3, 1966

I hate novelty songs. It’s something that becomes apparent if you read this thing since the beginning, but we haven’t had to suffer through one in a long time. We have been living in a novelty-free song. It was as though with good music to purchase and listen to, people had finally shaken off the novelty curse, and now we could be free from their scourge.

Well, not forever, because Winchester Cathedral exists and it’s full on goofy. The “just clownin’ around” musical style, and a vocal that’s recorded in a strange distorted way are pretty major indicators of what we’re dealing with, and that’s someone who just wants to be goofy, if accidentally innovative in their goofiness – the vocal is recorded in an interesting way, oddly enough, though in an attempt to sound old-timey which doesn’t quite work. It’s not as bad as some novelty songs, it’s not as obvious in its jokes, but it has no reason to exist apart from being strange.

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