I can’t help but wish this had been Elvis’ last single, though David Soul does a more than satisfactory job by himself. Where “Don’t Give Up On Us Baby” was a singer playing a role refracted through a TV character, “Silver Lady” drops the hearthrob palaver and sounds more like Soul’s just having a good time, singing the pop he wants to sing while his star’s bright enough to allow it. In that sense it’s closer to a lot of modern sleb-goes-pop material – chuck a saleable song the celebrity’s way, let them have a bash at it.

Muscular and hook-packed, “Silver Lady” is also (I think!) the final chart-topping fling for Tony Macaulay and Geoff Stephens, two titans of the British bubblegum era, the backroom boys behind many a track that’s glided serenely to a five or six out of ten on this blog – this no exception. So it’s fun to hear “Silver Lady” as a last hurrah for the bubblegum old school, its arrangement marvellously wasteful, string figures and pianos and moody street bass all used up and worn out. It certainly sounds like “cop show” was at the back of the writers’ minds when they crafted the lyrics – hard-bitten loner walking rain-washed streets in search of mysterioso broad – but there are moments when Soul’s gusto and the writers’ carpentry transcends the corn and almost hits Jimmy Webb levels of offhand evocation, and for pop craftsmen that’s high praise.

Score: 6

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