Hello again, my mellow friends! It’s time again to take another one of our intrepid Adventures Through The Mines Of Mellow Gold! Today’s song is another gem from one of the classic, MG West Coast bands, and like last week’s journey to Thunder Island, this one is also all about the lovemakin’.
Ambrosia – You’re The Only Woman (download)
We covered the history of Ambrosia back in Mellow Gold 14, so if you need a refresher,
see a therapist go and check out that entry. For those unwilling to waste any more time than is absolutely neceesary on shitty music, here’s a very basic recap: Ambrosia was a prog-rock band that, after having a hit with “How Much I Feel,” changed directions and wussified themselves for their album One Eighty.
Many fans were surprised and unhappy with the band’s change in direction. Unhappy, I can understand. Surprised? Did the album cover not give it away? If ever an album cover said, “Hey, Ambrosia fans, we’re wussin’ out,” it’s this one. And I don’t really understand the point of the hug, do you? Was Joe Puerta being consoled about his hairdo? Or was he being held down after trying to leave the photo session in a thwarted attempt to join Air Supply?
Anyway, the first single from the album, “Biggest Part Of Me,” reached #3 in June of 1980, selling zillions of copies to guys looking to score after a day out on Thunder Island. However, if those guys thought that this first One Eighty single was the key to getting laid…they had no idea of the gift Ambrosia was about to bestow upon them.
I don’t know if you’re familiar with the lyrics to “You’re The Only Woman.” If you are, ignore them. Yes, David Pack is singing some gentle, romantic lyrics that actually make some sense if you analyze them, but to be honest, who cares? The lyrics only serve to give Pack something to sing other than gibberish as he sings all sensitive-like and exercises his falsetto muscle – something I will now refer to as a wusscle. The components of this song, from the vocal to every instrument contained therein, are all about sex.
Think I’m on crack? That’s fine. I’ll go one step further and say that the first two-and-a-half minutes of this song are complete filler. Everything in this song is leading up to the instrumental.
Cue it up to about 2:30. I’ll wait. While you’re downloading, I’ll share with you my new goal in life. One day, friends, I will start a new acting troupe: The Mellow Gold Players. The Mellow Gold Players will act out scenes from various Mellow Gold hits. (And yes, Blue Man Group will cameo for Michael Johnson’s MG classic.) However, today is not that day – so for now, you’ll just have to rely on me painting the following picture for you. Ahem:
YOU’RE THE ONLY WOMAN
A late evening seduction in four minutes, twenty seconds
Conceived and directed by Jason Hare
Background: David Pack is in the middle of wooing. He’s mid-woo, if you will. He’s taken a lovely (yet horribly misguided) woman out for dinner, he’s slipped some Spanish Fly in her Chardonnay, and she’s agreed to accompany the Packmeister back to his apartment (with, of course, the caveat that he will never again refer to himself as “the Packmeister”). However, she’s starting to sober up, has realized that Pack is not what we would call “the most attractive man in the world,” and is looking for the exit. She wants to leave, but she can’t. And here comes the conflict. Why can’t she leave? Because the rest of Ambrosia is there too – including the session musicians – and they’re blocking the door.
So with Pack’s vocal throughout the first couple of verses, he’s trying to convince her, right? “There’s no need for what we’re going through,” blah blah blah. And she’s not convinced. But then, right when the backing vocal starts, the other guys pop up from behind the couch to sing along. She’s a bit bewildered, maybe a little spooked, and so she doesn’t leave. She’s wary, but she’s listening. He’s flexing the wusscle. However, by chorus #2, it’s a little weird – why are these guys in David’s apartment? Where do they sleep? Is that a nest on Joe Puerta’s head? – and she gets up to go.
(Okay, time to start the song up at 2:30!)
“Oh, don’t speak. Shhhhhhh.”
David signals to one of the session musicians. He’s giving him the pre-arranged sign that means only one thing: “Yamaha, STAT!” She reluctantly starts making out with him, strangely lulled by the way the keyboardist is almost spanking the keys as he riffs, as if to say “oooh, you’ve been a bad boy, haven’t you, Yamaha?” Of course, she’s a little distracted by the keyboardist’s huge gold belt buckle that keeps glaring in her eye, and also the fact that there’s a fucking band playing in the apartment. She pulls away.
Pack looks worried. He knows it’s not working.
Time to bring out the big guns.
It’s sax time.
She sits back down on the couch. She leans in for a kiss. (Director’s note: In my mind, the following make-out scene looks just like that awkward scene in Rod Stewart’s “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy,” where we’re forced to watch two people make out for way too long. That’s one of my favorite videos, btw, but that’s for another post.)
The other members smile to each other: “All RIGHT, guys! We got her! Pack’s gonna
pack! score!” Pack knows he’s got a good thing going – in fact, he’s so confident that he breaks away a few times, unable to stop the wusscle. Miraculously, it’s okay – she lets him wail, and goes back to making out with him.
A tear falls from the sax player’s eye. Spanky McSpankerson is still going to town on the poor Yamaha. Pack gives the signal to the guys: all clear. Move to the bridge. She’s not going anywhere.
The song segues back to the chorus. The band members are still popping up from behind the couch to join in on the choruses. In fact, a few of ’em are looking a little queasy from all the up-and-down. But no matter – by the end of the song, she’s lying in the bed, wrapped in Pack’s lavender, patchouli-scented satin sheets. She looks satisfied. But that’s not satisfaction, my friends. No, that’s relief. Relief that the members of Ambrosia are finally done seducing.
– FIN –
I really need to stop writing these posts so late at night.
But is it just me? Am I the only one that thinks that “You’re The Only Woman” just completely implies slow – laborious, even! – lovemaking? I mean, you have to actually wonder whether the band’s goal was to write the soundtrack to the very first Cinemax softcore skin flick.
“You’re The Only Woman” didn’t quite match the success of Ambrosia’s previous single, but it did reach #13 later in the summer of 1980. It deserved success; it’s a smooth classic. And I’m just going to copy and paste the following sentence from my last post about Ambrosia: Pack pulled a Mardones and re-recorded it for his 2005 album The Secret Of Movinâ€™ On, and the result is smooth jazz dreck. Again, we’ll give credit to Pack for still possessing his impressive vocal range and keeping the song in his original key, but still, did this song really deserve this fate? Couldn’t we have all been happy making out to the original? Maybe it’s just me.
And I’m spent. Directing is hard work. If you’re a little sexed out, no worries – the plan next week is to give you a completely sexless Mellow Gold gem, but with iplenty of wusscle. See you next time for another edition of Adventures Through The Mines Of Mellow Gold!