Photo titled "The civilian students of mathematics at the Imperial School of Engineering" from the Abdul Hamid II photo survey of the Ottoman Empire, c. 1880
There are a zillion songs titled "You & Me", including an excellent ones by the Archers of Loaf, John Cale, and Alice Cooper. But my two favorite "You & Me"s are pretty obscure recordings (in one case, about as obscure as it gets). The first is "You & Me" by home-recording pioneer and eccentric R. Stevie Moore, from his 1975 album Steve Moore or LESS. Moore is the son of famous session bassist Bob Moore, so he was involved in recording from early childhood, but in the early '70s he started recording his own kind of music. He was already a proficient guitarist, pianist, and drummer at this time, and his 1976 album Phonography got a good deal of exposure, starting a multi-decade career of home recording. Over the years, he released hundreds of collections of his home-recorded songs, and "You & Me" is one of the earliest of these recordings. Moore's "You & Me" reveals his love of mid-60s British pop with a fuzzy guitar riff and echoey multi-tracked vocals. It's an excellent pop song and one of the earliest examples of the homemade power-pop that I love.
Believe it or not, my other favorite "You & Me" is even more obscure. No one knows who the excellently named Penny & the Quarters are. During their compiling of the recordings of Columbus, Ohio's Prix Label, the archivists from the Numero Group came across a rehearsal tape called "You & Me" by Penny & the Quarters. The song was probably recorded at Harmonic Sounds in the early '70s, and it is a fairly simple song. A single guitar provides the entire instrumental backing, and it sounds like the vocals (a young girl and several male back-ups) were recorded live at the same time. You can hear some talking and microphone-adjusting during the intro, but the rest of the track is almost without flaws as "Penny" gives an arresting and intimate performance. Not only is it my favorite song on the Prix Label collection, "You & Me" is one of my all-time favorite R&B songs. If I had unlimited time and resources, I might use them to track down the individuals on this recording to make sure they know that they recorded something special. Thank you, Penny, wherever you are.
Winner: PENNY & THE QUARTERS
"You & Me" by Penny and the Quarters
"You & Me" by R. Stevie Moore