Small Voice Calling > The Voice > At the End of a Perfect Day
“As seen on TV.”
If the aim for Ralph McTell’s next recording venture was to attract the stay-at-home parents who had watched ‘Alphabet Zoo’ and ‘Tickle on the Tum’ on daytime television, it missed its mark. Telstar Records commissioned and marketed compilation albums, and the TV advertising campaign they were offering was, according to Ralph, “too good to miss.” Nevertheless, ‘At the End of a Perfect Day’ turned out to be “a totally commercial venture and a miserable failure”. (Hockenhull, Chris. ‘Streets of London’, p. 114.)
The idea seems to have been to introduce the children’s TV audience to Ralph’s ‘regular’ songs by mixing a selection of them with covers of easy listening standards. The LP sleeve bore the legend ‘As seen on TV’ in embarrassingly small letters – the advertisement was not widely shown and did not meet its sales target. And Ralph’s lack of enthusiasm for the project was summed up when he told his biographer, “I’m kind of relieved about its failure, in a way, as I’m trying to forget about that record. I’ve had fans come up to me and tell me that they cannot bear to listen to it”. (Ibid.)
Ralph was, however, pleased with his version of ‘Scarborough Fair’: “That song gave me the chance to acknowledge Martin Carthy as having come up with the version that Paul Simon launched his career on”. (Ibid., p. 113.) Indeed, this ‘cover’ and Ralph’s own ‘Barges’ were deemed good enough to be included on subsequent ‘best of McTell’ compilations.
Recordings and Issues
LP – Released 1985 – Telstar STAR2263.
LP in 3-LP box set ‘The Entertainers Box‘ – Released 1985 – Telstar STAR2054 [Note 1].
Track ‘Barges’ on ‘Silver Celebration‘- Released 1992.
Track ‘Scarborough Fair’ on ‘The Definitive Collection‘ – Released 2007.
1. With LPs by Des O’Connor and Howard Keel.