Sanger’s got nothing on this. Sandwiched between the releases of “Uptown” and “He’s a Rebel“— the transition from lionizing the common, alienated working stiff to affirming the sensitive rebel—Spector’s most unsuccessful single takes dead aim at the foundational violence of the betrothal’s gift: the landed man. Spiraling strings, especially at the song’s center, explain this problematic logic by centering on the “care” which induces the “glad” somnambulance of the “tender” self.
Without this song—the one often sung by South African White friends as an un-national anthem during apartheid—without this song, no ancient cults of Sixto Rodriguez. It’s his one underground hit record (though never a single), and it is a tower of weird. Opening peregrinating bassline says we’re on the streets, checking out the entrance to her apartment while vaguely musing about soldiers, class, and race. If the revolution is a kind of romantic love (Warren Beatty’s Reds, for example), then its first wonderments are like a bad breakup’s hangover: obsessing over her sleeping habits, running through her list of awful friends. In relation to the State of Apartheid, were even its children of privilege like spurned lovers?