The first record to feature electronic phasing effects, Toni Fisher’s eerie and extraordinary song, The Big Hurt, entered the US Billboard Chart at number three in 1959. The record-buying public presumably beguiled by the enigmatic Fisher’s vocal delivery and the mind-bending phasing provided by her producers Stan Ross and Dave Gold, propelled the young singer into stardom.
Legend has it, that WKBW DJ, Dick Biondi, would introduce the song on his show as “Toni Fisher’s weird one”. Well, on that strength alone Toni is the first entrant in our Surreal Singles Club.
The wonderful reverb and phasing adds a melancholic and unnerving sheen to what seems like a usual 1950s pop song and gives the song it’s Surrealist edge.
Bizarrely, The Big Hurt is often dismissed as a ‘gimmick’ track but it is one of the most influential tracks in electronic music history. And besides, what’s more surreal than Miss Fisher looking a bit like a latter day Joan Crawford on the cover? I mean, how did she know Joan Crawford would turn out like that?? If that’s not surreal then what is?