This was the single that had the difficult task to follow the massive International hit that had been "Venus" since its release in July 1969. Weirdly, this follow-up has always been considered as a failed one although it did better in the Netherland charts than "Venus" (n°1 versus n°3). But it's true than everywhere else, notably in the USA or the UK, "Mighty Joe" did not compete, staying below the 45th range when "Venus" topped the charts some months before. All in all, it's, retrospectively, a fine song and a good single since the B-side is good as well. Catch it here.
With this 4th single (below the French sleeve), the 1st that followed their massive worldwide hit "Venus" (released in july 1969, this one issued 4 months later), it was clear that the band had decided to leave its raw, rough and rocky sound for a more US mainstream one, but in 1969, mainstream meant Creedence Clearwater Revival or the Byrds (but there's a clear Beatles influence here, notably of "Old Brown Shoe"), and nothing wrong with that. The influence of Jefferson Airplane is still clear but more the pre-americana one than the psychedelic or blues one. Contrary to what many may think, "Mighty Joe" was still a more massive hit in Nederland, their native land, than "Venus" (n°1 during 2 weeks versus n°3). So it was in Germany but in the US, UK or in France, it went unnoticed and most may have thought that they were one-hit wonders. I suppose that Robbie van Leeuwen was quite uncertain whether he must be happy to see he could do better than "Venus" or anxious to lose the interest of the anglo-american audience. The most striking in the single is that the B-side features a beautiful but rather desperate song called "Wild Wind", in which the metaphysical questions of Robbie van Leeuwen about what's life's for breaks the usual loving affair lyrics. A must-hear I offer here in streaming when you can see the A-side on a (cheapy and freezy) clip from youtube downside. It is to note that neither of the songs were on the At Home album or the next one Scorpio's Dance.
Tell me why the wind blows, Tell me why the grass grows, Tell me why the light burns And our world turns. Wild wind, tell me why we were born? Wild wind, tell me why shall we die? Can I fall in love anyway, anyhow? Why does a heartache come and go? Wild wind, tell me why we were born? Wild wind, tell me why shall we die? Ah-ah-ah! Do you hear that mountain call? What's that you hear, Is it a love looks [...] Whispering in your ear? Wild wind, tell me why we were born? Wild wind, tell me why shall we die? Wild wind, tell me why we were born?