Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Theme One

GEORGE MARTIN & HIS ORCHESTRA-Theme One/Elephants And Castles U.K. United Artists UP 1194 1967

"The Move-Flowers In The Rain" is usually answer to a pub quiz question  in England that asks "What was the first record played on Radio One"?.  This is not correct from what I have gathered.  At 7:00 A.M. on September 30, 1967 The B.B.C. launched Radio One, their first all pop music radio station (established in the wake of the outlawing of the popular Pirate Radio) and the first sound listeners heard was Robin Scott introducing an orchestral but modern piece called "Theme One" by George Martin. Former Pirate Radio DJ Tony Blackburn then came on and played "Flowers In The Rain" .

"Theme One" first came to these ears in 1996 when the big Easy/Kitsch/Theme tune music craze began (which perfectly suited my randy dandy boy about town self) and swallowed me whole. One of my first comps of many of this genre was  "The Sound Gallery 2" which "Theme One" so elegantly closed and was pretty much required party music in my abode for the rest of the 90's.

One is immediately taken by "Theme One" with it's '66-'67 Macca style bass licks, regal trumpets, sweeping strings all under this wonderful pseudo psychedelic wash called "phasing" (aka "skying", a month after The Small Faces "Itchycoo Park" used the same technique on  drum segment) . Classical music it is not. It was later covered by Van der Graff Generator (1972) and Cozy Powell (1979) .

The B-side "Elephants And Castles" is not nearly as swinging. Based around a kitschy organ riff it's pretty Muzaky and verges on elevator music (and not really in the cool "Sound Gallery" style of easy either).

"Theme One" was issued on the essential but out of print CD compilation 'The Sound Gallery Volume two" (which is where this track first came to my attention) and on a still available CD titled "Highlights From 50 Years Of Recording" a slimmed down version of an extensive collection of his material.

Hear "Theme One":

Hear "Elephants And Castles":

Thursday, November 20, 2014

November's Picks

We're doing November's picks a little earlier than usual to plug a new DJ night a few friends of mine and I have launched in the City of Brotherly Love.  This month's picks are some of the 45's I'll be laying down at Kung Fu Necktie next week, won't you put on your dancing shoes and come on down?

1. THE DELLS-"It's Not Unusual" U.S. Vee Jay VJ 764
Tucked away on the flip of the original issue of  the 1965 "Stay In My Corner"  is this storming uptempo cover of Tom Jone's most famous number that really swings literally making it their own by not just increasing the tempo but pulling out all stops in doing it.

2. GARNET MIMMS AND THE ENCHANTERS-"Tell Me Baby" U.S. United Artists  UA 694
One of my fave Garnet Mimm's numbers is this call and response stormer from 1964.  So loved by The Who that they covered it AND it's B-side "Anytime You Want Me" in their live set throughout most of  '65.  Give a listen to Garnet's forceful delivery and see why:

3. JAMO THOMAS-"I Must Holler" U.S. Chess 1971
Besides his famous "I Spy For The FBI" Jamo Thomas did not cut a lot of singles in the 60's.  This one is from 1966 and is a mid tempo slow boiler with some smooth /laid back falsetto vocals from him on top of an infectious, bluesy little guitar lick reminiscent of "Smokestack Lightning".

4. THE OLYMPICS-"Mine Exclusively" U.S. Mirwood  5513
Topping off the equally popular B-side "Secret Agents" is this track from 1966.  One of the many tunes performed live by my U.K. 60's mod heroes The Action, this tune is without a doubt one of my faves by the Olympics coming off somewhere in the vicinity of an uptempo Temptations number in my estimation.

5. THE PHIL UPCHURCH COMBO-"You Can't Sit Down" U.K. Sue WI-4005
Chicago guitarist Phil Upchurch is behind one of the most monster instrumental shakers that ranks right up their with "Green Onions" in my book. Dating from 1961 originally, this two sided smoker never fails to get things moving, on either side.

6. EDDIE FLOYD-"Holding On With Both Hands" U.S. Stax 45-246
Beneath the monster A-side "Big Bird" is this track which sounds nothing like something issued in 1968. Meshed perfectly underneath the trademark Memphis horns and twangy Steve Cropper Telecaster licks this mid tempo burner has always been a choice of mine to spin.

7. TONY CLARKE (and YOU his audience)-"Ain't Love Good, Ain't Love Proud" U.S. Chess 1894
The "live" sound of this May 1964 shouter has always been in dispute.  Was it really "live" or was this added in the studio?  The debate continues, but regardless this track gets things moving with lots of funky handclapping and smooth female backing vocals.

8. THE MANHATTANS-"I Wanna Be Your Everything" U.S.Carnival 507
Released on the legendary New Jersey label Carnival in 1964 this number is devoid of a lot of the guts that propel most of the songs on this list but that doesn't detract from it in any way as it's a perfect number with a surprisingly simple groove that doesn't leave your mind easily.

9. CHRISTINE KITRELL-"Call His Name" U.S. Federal 45-12540
Perfect gritty, but upbeat r&b from 1965 that sounds honestly like it was recorded much earlier (it was later issued on King in 1968 sowing more confusion) with some interesting breaks but sitting nicely along any smokers from Sue records 1963-1964.

10. THE SOUL SISTERS-"Good Time Tonight" U.S. Sue 10-005
And speaking of can't go wrong with a Soul Sisters 45 on Sue and since we're all about good times, this number pretty much encapsulates what our intentions are. So come by and hit the floor and take a drink, and by all means "get tight" too.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Happy Veteran's Day

Happy Veteran's Day. I can think of no better to honor our Veteran's past and present than with this little number:


My grandad Bill, Germany 1945

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Geno Washington Documentary Trailer

Holy shit!  I stumbled across this on YouTube the other night and know nothing at all about this, but I'm damned excited.  If anyone has any info we'd love to hear about it, it looks great and there's no sign of Bono in it!!

We've Got The Action...pre-ordered that is....

Okay kids , if you've been remotely following this blog you'll know that The Action are running neck and neck for the #1 position in my heart for the "Favorite Band Of All Time" title with The Small Faces.  We might have a winner and they're a five piece from Kentish Town. Well just when you thought there were no more unreleased cuts laying around by our boys yesterday morning I received word from my good pal Johnny Bluesman that there were 4 Action cuts exhumed from the vaults being issued on a limited edition 10" E.P. (as well as a CD E.P.) coming at us next month.

If you were lucky enough to score the deluxe edition of their phenomenal book "In The Lap Of The Mods" it came with a mock up acetate of their incredible Decca demo recording of The Temptations "(Girl) Why You Wanna Make Me Blue". For those of you who missed that it is contained here on the E.P. along with an alternate recording of "In My Lonely Room" (the flipside of their 1964 debut 45) from the same recording session.  Also included is a previously unheard cover of The Impressions "You'll Want Me Back" (the flip of "It's Alright") and a previously unreleased Reggie King original called "Fine Looking Girl" recorded when the band were still known as The Boys.

To get all the details and pre-order you copy head on over yonder.

Monday, October 27, 2014

October's Picks

1. THE LOOSE ENDS-"Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore"
One of my favorite examples of freakbeat is this U.K. 1966 cover of The Young Rascals 1965 track on Decca. The vocals take a snatch of Jagger vitriol and dash it with some soul, pile in a blistering, distorting lead guitar solo and this, my friends, is what freakbeat is all about.

2. THE POPPY FAMILY-"No Blood In Bone"
I stumbled upon this trippy number while watching a movie earlier this month and Shazam-ed it and lo and behold it was from The Poppy Family, a one hit wonder duo famous for "Which Way You Going Billy" (second in playground serenades by classmates to me to "Billy Don't Be A Hero" in the early 70's). The number has a wigged out vibe with it's psychedelic intro and immediately lapses into this funky groove with electronic strings, throbby bass, fuzz guitar, groovy organ and lots of phlange! And it has a damned infectious groove!

3. JUNCO PARTNERS-"Natural Thoughts"
From their untitled 1970 LP which has appeared recently on iTunes comes this hard driving number that my pal Ivy Vale turned me onto a good 20 years back that is not at all unlike The Small Faces '68 in parts with soulful vocals, a driving rhythm section and some balls.

4. THE PEDDLERS-"On A Clear Day You Can See Forever"
One of my fave Peddler's tunes is their jazzy/supper club/easy version of "On A Clear Day You Can See Forever" with it's swirling strings, harp and organ.  Used with perfection in an episode of "Breaking Bad" where they're cooking blue meth.  Odd.

5. SIMON & GARFUNKEL-"Patterns"
Besides coming back with a fake British accent after his brief month long hiatus across the pond Paul Simon also came back with a deep appreciation for Davy Graham, Bert Jansch and "Eastern" tinged folk music. This number from their "Parsley Sage Rosemary and Thyme" album has an Eastern slant to it with tabla, Graham style guitar licks and a very British '67 pop/psych feel to it. Originally cut by Simon and the other guy on their '65 LP "The Paul Simon Songbook" it was re-recorded following Simon getting "tuned in" and (perhaps) "turned on".

6. JETHRO TOE (TULL)-"Aeroplane"
This is the flip of the 1968 debut 45 by those flute driven hippies (with their moniker deliberately sabotaged on the label credits by their producer who thought "Jethro Toe" wasn't as naff as "Jethro Tull").  Believe it or not it's a great mid tempo number that sits somewhere between The Moody Blues and Jason Crest, wonderfully produced with some jazzy little tinges.  Wow!

7. DUFFY POWER-"Red White And Blue"
One of the crown jewels of RPM's Duffy Power compilation "Vampers And Champers" (also released previously as "Just Stay Blue" or "Little Boy Blues"), a collection of unreleased mid 60's tracks cut by the master himself is this brilliant little track.  Soulfully wailing above some jazzy stand up bass, jazzy little guitar licks and some mild drums (and a harmonica solo, naturally) this number epitomizes "cool" in my book.

The Move onstage at the Marquee Club during their residency 1966

8. THE MOVE-"Can't Hear You No More"
Unearthed on a tape for their "Anthology 1966-1972" box set the pre-record contract Move (at the height of their soul covers period) cut a great "beat group" version of Betty Everett's classic for this radio session from January 1966 shortly after the groups formation.

Speaking of The Move....this September 1965 single by Mike Sheridan's Lot (Formerly Mike Sheridan and the Nightriders) features the talents of Roy Wood on lead guitar and vocals (distinctly noticeable on the chorus but singing the whole number in tandem with Mike Sheridan) before he cut one more single with them and jumped ship to start the Move.  This number is British 60's beat group perfection in my book.

10. GENE CHANDLER-"(Gonna Be) Good Times"
In my book the ultimate 60's r&b/soul anthem is not "The IN Crowd" by Dobie Grey but this one by Gene Chandler from 1965 on Constellation records:
"Early evenin' and the weather's fair, dark glasses and don't give a care,
Finger popppin' out on the street all dressed and neat".

Sunday, October 26, 2014


We here at "Anorak Thing" are paying tribute to the late, great Jack Bruce by directing you all to go give a listen to his 1965 debut 45 on Polydor records.