The second track on The Three Belles’ In Full Swing debut album is their bubbly signature song Belles Are Swingin’.
For those who’ve bought the single, this wholly new version of Belles Are Swingin’ will come as a real eye-opener. Gone is the stripped-down Bevin Boys trio of the single, to be replaced with the full big band sound of the WKS Studio Orchestra.
From the trumpet riff intro with the bouncing bass line and a foghorn bass horn marking the end of each lyrical line and the start of the next, this version of Belles Are Swingin’ is an extraordinarily catchy gem of a signature song.
After the initial warm nostalgic brass chords that hark back to golden times of sunshine along with a triumphant trumpet’s declaration of the melody, the horns pull back to make plenty of space for the vocals. In that space, the guitar bounces the song along with a strong bass line punching underneath it all. As the melody goes on, the excitement grows and the horn lines come back in again blending their ’30s dance orchestra feel.
Swinging along with a bass line that underpins the melody perfectly, the song suddenly erupts into a higher level when the chorus kicks in with a luscious harmony and the girls split into a wider harmonic spread telling us they want to “see the whole place jumping” and that we should “get with the rhythm, you gotta learn how”. With this tune, that’s easy to do.
Then, with wonderful attention to dynamics, the song drops down so the girls are singing over a stripped-down rhythm section before the song comes back strong with the finale as the whole orchestra joins in.
It’s a vibrant mix drawing on thirties and forties harmonies, but with a modern drive that pushes the melody irresistibly along.
Thanks to Will Keel-Stocker’s close attention to the arrangement there ere are so many different textures in this song.
It leaves you knowing you’ve heard real class. And damned catchy class at that, too!