Take was their second single, following on from the blinding Fun Boy Three-esque eponymous debut (which I really should post here some time soon). Tucked away on the B-side of the 12 inch was this cover of Windmills of Your Mind.
Originally done in 1969 by British actor Noel Harrison (son of Rex, father of Cathryn), who ran a parallel careeer as a singer in the mid-late 60s, having several hits in the US but just the one in the UK. The song was from the movie The Thomas Crown Affair, and picked up an Oscar for Best Original Song.
The score for the movie, and the music for the song, were written by Michel Legrand, a French musician who started out playing with jazz giants like John Coltrane and Miles Davis before getting into film scores. He has a tremendous talent for sweeping melancholic moods, and nowhere is it better illustated than on this composition.
The lyric was co-written by Alan and Marilyn Bergman who had written ratpack schmaltz like Nice n Easy, but this lyric is something else altogether. A swirl of imagery, like it somehow manages to follow an absent-minded train of thought, cycles and transience with a hint of the maudlin, it trips so lightly over a feeling of isolation and broken love that should by rights be much heavier. A truly astonishing piece of songwriting.
Terry Hall's flat, almost dour tone that overlies his clear intelligence and sensitivity make him as perfect a match for the song as the lyric is for the music.
A fair bit of vinyl crackle on this one, sorry.
[MP3 deleted to make way for new ones. Sorry!]