Having praised Junior’s sense of rhythm recently, I might be forced into a rethink. She approached Blue Mink’s signature anthem for racial harmony with a selection of leaps that were way off tempo – but as the ‘Mink might say, it takes all sorts. In fact, a shout-out to berserk spacehopper kids would hardly sound out of place with the rest of the lyrics.
‘Melting Pot’ eases in with some churchy piano chords, setting the tone for a spiritual piece that would carry far greater weight if it wasn’t so terribly gauche. The “melting pot” is self-explanatory, but the recipe is pure 1969, pure pre-PC. “Curly black and kinky, mixed with yellow chinkies,” goes the jarring line. Ah. Well, there are better ways of putting it. Turning out “coffee-coloured people by the score” is a happy conclusion, but they – potentially – offend enough groups along the way.
We mustn’t be too harsh, because the sentiment is fair, and the song as a whole is a fine, post-Beatles-go-to-India, cod-religious rabble-rouser. The rag-bag session musos who made up Blue Mink attack it with a gusto that is infectious and life-affirming. It bowls along with a naïve charm, and maybe that’s what Junior was aiming for as well.