Delia Derbyshire And Anthony Newley Get The Moogies Bloogies

An eccentric and ahead-of-its-time recording by two of the more interesting creative minds of the 1960s.

Here’s a curious little number from 1966, the result of a collaboration with electronic music pioneer and Doctor Who theme creator Delia Derbyshire and the always-interesting Anthony Newley, a man never afraid of a bit of experimentation.

Moogies Bloogies has been described as a novelty record, though in reality, it is more of an experimental piece, recorded a good year before the London underground of Pink Floyd, Soft Machine and the like began playing with psychedelic sounds. Newley tapped Derbyshire to write something, having been impressed by her work and then added his vocal musings as a dirty old man watching young dolly birds parading about in mini skirts and swinging London fashions. The resulting track works remarkably well, with the slightly discordant but twee music matching the wistful fantasies of the narrator. The result is a collision of innocence and lechery that is unsettling and charming all at the same time.

As Derbyshire said: “I’d written this beautiful little innocent tune, all sensitive love and innocence, and he made it into a dirty old raincoat song. But he was really chuffed!”

Sadly, this demo recording remained unfinished and unreleased until 2014 – perhaps it was a bit too much for any record label to understand. I mean, what on Earth would you classify this as even now, let alone at a time when electronic music barely existed? Ultimately, it seems every bit as ahead of its time as Newley’s extraordinary TV series The Strange World of Gurney Slade, and like that show seems to live in its own self-contained universe.

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