Illustration by Otto Korsterling from C.W.E. Brauns' Japanische Marchen, c. 1890
Here we have two excellent songs called "I Know" that come from two very different eras. When the Beta Band emerged from the primordial ooze of Edinburgh, Scotland with their Champion Versions EP in hand, "Dry the Rain" was the track people pointed to as a sign of greatness to come. But my favorite track on the EP is easily "I Know", which repeats the drowsy, gradual layering of sounds that makes "Dry the Rain" so fun, but it's got a vibe of its own. I love the rattling percussion and whispered vocals, and it gets in and gets out with a concision rare in the Beta Band's work. I may over-value brevity - I can't even get through The Three EP's most days because of the marathon-length tracks from The Patty Patty Sound in the middle, but I know what I like, and what I like is "I Know".
The Dard was a teen pop band from somewheres in Florida in the late '60s - the only song of theirs I know is "I Know", recorded with famed producer Norman Petty. From the opening salvo, you know this song is a little odd, with a very twee vocal (especially for this period, when Brits had the market cornered on twee pop-psych). But it comes together as a rather interesting take on sunshine pop with a great cowbell break in the middle and a loopy "doobie-doo" outro. The song's real weakness, though, is the chorus - it has no real hook, and it sounds like a straight-up Association imitation. As much as I'd like to give the win to the more obscure track here, I've got to give this to the Beta Band for a more solid execution overall.
Winner: BETA BAND
"I Know" by the Beta Band
"I Know" by the Dard