The Three Suns Favorites 10” (Royale, 1954)
My introduction to the Three Suns came with this record. A thrift store find, it is a gem. Eight eerie tunes, pushed along by organ, accordion, and guitar, make up this record. This is a “greatest hits” collection of sorts, though, from what I can gather, two songs are exclusive to this release.
What makes a good Three Suns’ record is the simplicity of the songs. I don’t mean the songs are easy to play or are dumb. As far as I can tell it takes a bit of skill to play a Three Suns’ song. No, what I mean is that the arrangement of their best work is simply done. There is no clutter. The songs are stripped down to accommodate the three instruments and nothing but. Sans filler, the instruments, especially the accordion and organ are allowed to fill space in such a way that the songs swell when they need to and when an instrument drops out, the others are accentuated the way they should be.
The organ and accordion (and the engineering) also bring an otherworldliness to the songs. My first impression upon hearing the song, Midnight Time, was, “These guys must be dead now.” The songs are haunted and very much of a different time. And, yeah, sure, they were recorded in the 1940s and 50s but they sound like they would have been of a different time even then. Even the vocalist (who, I don’t know) sounds not of this (or any) time. To say that the Three Suns’ music sounds timeless is not untrue.
After this record, I bought several other Three Suns albums. One was a collection of dance tunes. The other a record from the 1960s, with a line-up different than the classic combo of Al and Morty Nevins and cousin, Artie Dunn. I was disappointed. Unfortunately there are dozens of Three Sons records and there is not real way to determine which one is good and which one is bad other than to listen to the things. Fortunately, Three Suns records turn up in thrift stores, in good condition, fairly often, though this one is pretty scarce.
I'm sure you have Fever and Smoke, right? One of their best.
"Twilight Time" (I think it's called) is great eerie atmospheric mood music.