On this week’s Tunes for Tuesday, we head back to the early 1960s to take a look at a somewhat lesser-known hit by The Marvelettes.
It seems like a good week to listen to music from the ’60s. Of course, we have a particular reason for picking this particular track, “Strange I Know,” which just so happened to originally drop in October of 1962 as the A-side of a single. (You can actually still find the original vinyl online.)
So why October of 1962? Well, let’s just say that we watched the premiere of Feud: Bette and Joan around here, and What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, the movie the two actresses are filming? That also came out in October of 1962. Granted, Baby Jane dropped literally on Halloween — no, seriously, it did — but “Strange I Know” didn’t precede it by that much at all. In other words, the two are basically contemporary.
Before The Supremes really made it big at Motown Records (“Where Did Our Love Go” wouldn’t drop until 1964), groups like The Marvelettes were working their way up the charts. “Strange I Know” never peaked beyond the 49th position on Billboard’s Hot 100, which after some earlier success that year with songs like “Playboy” (7th that summer) and “Beechwood 4-5789” (17th in September of that year; by the way, that’s a phone number) might have seemed like a letdown.
So, here it is: “Strange I Know.”
It’s slower than their earlier hits, and a bit softer, but it does tell a pretty complete story in less than two and a half minutes. Lyrically, it’s all about the lead singer leaving a letter to break up with her boyfriend, since he left her alone for far too long.
But it’s also a pretty good way to get yourself into the mood for watching more Feud: Bette and Joan, and let’s face it, a song that’s all about giving the listener your phone number is perhaps a little too cheerful.