The Enduring Love of Concrete and Clay

The 1965 hit single “Concrete and Clay” by the British pop group Unit 4+2 has been a timeless classic. It was first brought to the public's attention when Kevin Rowland, then-former Dexys Midnight Runners singer, released a 1999 version of his cover album My Beauty. The album cover featured him in drag and cheeky makeup, which caused some to think he was having a breakdown. However, when he performed at the Leeds Festival around that time, it became clear that he was simply expressing himself in a unique way.

The original version of “Concrete and Clay” was arranged as a slow and moving semi-acoustic track, similar to the group's previous singles. American record producer Bob Crewe, best known for his work with the Four Seasons, heard the song while on a trip to the UK and quickly got a version of it recorded by Eddie Rambeau upon his return to the United States. The song uses a simile that compares the enduring love of lovers with things that seem solid and permanent, such as concrete sidewalks and mountains. The success of “Concrete and Clay” in 1965 led to international versions that same year, with Swedish versions: Du för mig recorded by Lill Lindfors; in Finnish - Tunti Vain recorded by Johnny; in French - Comment Elle-Fait recorded by Richard Anthony; and in German - Ein Fremder kam vorbei recorded by Horst Wiegand.

Unfortunately for Unit 4+2, Eddie Rambeau released a version shortly after, which in effect divided the vote, and both versions stalled. The song was built around a bossa nova rhythm, so it didn't sound like anything else on the 1965 charts. It was noted not only for its composition but also for Eddie Rambeau's singing. Bob Crewe Generation's 1967 album Music to Watch Girls By features instrumental versions of several hits produced by Bob Crewe, including Concrete and Clay.

Among the other members of Unit Four plus Two, the co-writer of “Concrete and Clay”, Brian Parker, ended up teaching guitar. Concrete is an important building material used in construction due to its strength and durability. There are many types of concrete with variations in installation, composition, finish and performance characteristics. Concrete can be damaged by fire, aggregate expansion, seawater effects, bacterial corrosion, calcium leaching, physical damage and chemical damage (by carbonation, chlorides, sulfates, and distilled water). The enduring love of “Concrete and Clay” has been celebrated for over fifty years since its release in 1965. It is still remembered today as an iconic song that speaks to the strength of relationships between two people.

Jack Brown
Jack Brown

Freelance beer maven. Hipster-friendly web ninja. Freelance pop culture maven. Award-winning music junkie. Amateur food evangelist.