Paloma Blanca by George Baker Selection

Every New Zealand #1 single…

3

Paloma Blanca by George Baker Selection

Topped the NZ chart: from 1 August 1975 for five non-consecutive weeks

Dutch musician George Baker scored hits in three different decades. 1969’s ‘Little Green Bag’ is an impressive slice of garage rock. It almost made the Billboard Top 20 and allowed Baker to quit his job in a lemonade factory.

His hit songs from 1975 and 1985 are less impressive, dipping into easy-listening schmaltz.

A poor South American farmer who works hard all day and then sits by a tree and dreams of being a white bird with its freedom.

George Baker, explaining Paloma Blanca

Like ‘Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree‘, ‘Paloma Blanca’ is another 1970s hit that sounds irredeemably kitsch to modern ears. The countryish 1-5 bass line and the jaunty flute riff are irritating.

There are some interesting musical ideas. After an extended instrumental introduction, the vocal starts when you don’t expect it. But it’s hard to see it as anything other than novelty.

It’s not surprising that parody versions emerged, like ‘I Am A Cider Drinker’.

A Jonathan King cover, titled ‘Una Paloma Blanca’, outperformed the original on the UK charts in 1975.

The past is a foreign country – it’s hard to imagine a world where ‘Paloma Blanca’ was a hit.

12 Comments

  1. George Baker Selection – now, there’s a name I haven’t heard in decades!

    I’ve definitely listened to that humdinger “Paloma Blanca” during the ’70s. In fact, if I recall it correctly, some German crooner covered it in German. The same is true for “Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree,” which now makes me feel more like tying it around my neck! 🙂

    I guess it’s a reminder the good ole days weren’t always that good.

    “Little Green Bag,” on the hand, which I didn’t know, sounds pretty good.

    • Yup, Little Green Bag is the highlight of today’s post.

      I feel like the German singer should have given himself a Portuguese stage name and covered it in Swedish, to stay true to the spirit of the original.

    • Yup, it would have been more interesting if Little Green Bag was the number one. They sound like different bands.

  2. It reminded me of The Flintstones theme… I could see this melody sticking with you…it’s hard to unhear…I liked the parody.

    • Yup, I got that Flintstones connection too. First few notes of the flute riff were pretty similar.

Leave a Reply


Review Pages

Read about the discographies of musical acts from the 1960s to the present day. Browse this site's review archives or enjoy these random selections:

Blog Posts

I add new blog posts to this website every week. Browse the archives or enjoy these random selections:

  • The Byrds Turn! Turn! Turn!
  • The Beach Boys Pet Sounds