Saturday, February 6, 2016

Out And About: In N' Out 2/18/16

In an effort to do something new I have decided to reach out to my vast array of DJ pals and post their Top 10 spins and their upcoming nights to keep things a little fresh and different here.  Our first entry is inaugurated by my old SF pals Carlos (of the Mod Male blog fame) and DJ Major Sean (both of the old Diabolik night) and cohorts on Thursday February 18th in San Franciso at the Make Out Room. For more info go to In N' Out.

Carlos Top 10 Spins:
1. The Debonaires - Eenie, Meenie, Gypsaleenie (Golden World)
2. The Bamboos - Tighten Up (Kay-Dee)
3. The Stance Brothers - Pick'n'Roll (Stance Records)
4. The Radors (sic) - Finger Licking Chicken (Leoso Records) 
5. Tyrone Davis - Is It Something You've Got? (Dakar) 
6. Bobby Taylor - It's Growing (Gordy) 
7. Andy Lewis with Lynda Laurence -See You There (Acid Jazz)
8. Barrino Brothers - Try It, You'll Like It (Invictus) 
9. Alfreda Brockington - Your Love Has Got Me Chained and Bound (Phil L.A. Of Soul)
10. Bobby Marchan - Shake Your Tambourine (Cameo)

DJ Major Sean Top 10 Spins:
1. Pantherman-Pantherman (Polydor) 2. Sundae Times-Aba-Aba (Sintonia/President) 3. Big Wheel-Curly Girl (Blossom) 4. Del Shannon-Lead Along (Imperial) 5. Hector- Lady-Lady (DJM) 6. ? & The Mysterians-Sha La La (Super K) 7. Sight & Sound-Alley Alley (Fontana) 8. Giggles-Just Another Saturday Night (EMI) 9. Sandwich-Silly Milly (CBS) 10. David Bowie-Holy Holy (RCA Victor)

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Great British 7" Freakouts: The Pretty Things

THE PRETTY THINGS-Talkin' About The Good Times/Walking Through My Dreams Germany Columbia C 23 732 1967

















Most 60's British r&b bands fell like Dracula to garlic and a sharpened stake to psychedelia. The Pretty Things weathered the storm easing from r&b into psych (via what I like to call their "mod" period in '65-'66) before getting freaky much like The Stones and The Yardbirds. To me some of The Stones attempts at psychedelia were sometimes embarrassing with poor track selection (half of "Their Satanic Majesties Request" for instance) and awful production and the Yardbirds were just bluesmen on acid while Pagey was ripping off Davy Graham and Bert Jansch.  The Pretty Things had a great track selection of originals in their psychedelic period and a great producer  in Norman Smith (also responsible for the first Pink Floyd album and two of their three Syd Barrett era 45's and their two post Syd ones).

February 1968's coupling of "Talkin' About The Good Times" b/w "Walking through My Dreams" (U.K. Columbia DB 8353, US Laurie LR 3458) picks up where November '67's "Defecting Grey"/ "Mr. Evasion" 45 (U.K. Columbia DB 8300) left off as far as psychedelia is concerned. The credit for shaping the Pretties psychedelic sound to my ears is owed in no small part to members Jon Povey (keyboards) and Wally Waller (bass) and their backing vocals (and their writing assistance to lead singer Phil May and guitarist Dick Taylor). The Pretties also get high marks for this period for using the Mellotron and much like The Zombie's "Oddysey And Oracle" it's used sparingly and tastefully not a brutal assault like The Stones "We Love You" (which I dig but it always came off as "bad trip" music opposed to the Pretties, Moodys, Zombies and Pink Floyd's pastoral feel of the instrument).

"Talkin' About The Good Times" is in my estimation the most psychedelic record The Pretties ever cut. I'd prefer to skip any Pink Floyd comparisons that are often thrown about by people on this era. It's clockwork guitar/balalaika/sitar intro reminds me of something off of the Tomorrow LP and it's immediately meshed with loads of Mellotron and the band's layers of harmonies (dig the Beach Boys style a capella bit towards the end) and then it fades out with a hypnotic riff from Dick Taylor (and more Mellotron).

"Waking Through My Dreams" is  less trippy with subtle organ/piano beneath the bands incredible harmonies, with guitars playing descending licks and crashing drums from Skip Allen (who would depart soon after to be replaced by former Tomorrow drummer John "Twink" Alder). The fade out once again showcases the perfect meshing of their vocal abilities and hypnotic riffs beneath a layered tapestry of sound.



















Both cuts are featured on several Pretty Things collections, the most current being "Come See Me:The Very Best of The Pretty Things". "Talkin' About The Good Times" cropped up on Bam Caruso's "Rubble 3: Nightmares In Wonderland" collection while "Walking Through My Dreams" was issued on the "Nuggets II" box set, "Psychedelia At Abbey Road" and "Rubble 2: Pop Sike Dreams" compilations.




Hear "Walking Through My Dreams":

https://youtu.be/24U-PG4rfi4

Hear "Walking Through My Dreams" live BBC:

https://youtu.be/Ye6LVazuML8

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Anorak Thing's Top 5 Great "Mod" Albums

What is "mod"? What makes an album "mod"? That argument has troubled message boards, Internet forums, social media and boozy post gig gatherings for eons. Is a "mod" long player one that was recorded by a group of people who were mods or was it made by a group of people beloved by mods or even made by a group of people who weren't mods  but specifically recorded it with mods in mind?  Too many questions and the answer is pointless because as Billy Harner observed in his groovy soul side "What About The Music? and that's what we're here for. To me "mod"  is in the eye (and more importantly the ear) of the beholder and to my eyes and ears it's the 1960's on both sides of the Atlantic from the American music that spawned it to the British music that was influenced by it and made it their own. I have been on this wild ride called "mod" since 1980 so my musical tastes have been all over the place. I recently was contacted by Adaptor Clothing and asked what my top 5 mod albums would be for a piece they would be doing on their Instagram account.  Picking 5 long player's was no easy task so I just went with ones by some of my favorites that encapsulated what it was all about to me. Read on squire.


1. GEORGIE FAME & THE BLUE FLAMES-"Sweet Things" U.K. Columbia SX 6043 1966
My intro to Georgie Fame came via a "Ready Steady Go" VHS tape in 1984 and a crusty 45 of "Yeh Yeh" that belonged to a friend's dad.  Shortly after I sprung for a copy of "20 Beat Classics" and it was on. But for me Fame's most "mod" LP was a toss up between his debut LP "Rhythm And blues at The Flamingo" and "Sweet Things" (I honestly decided which one to profile here by flipping a coin). "Sweet Things" was Georgie Fame's third U.K. LP (released in the States in an altered form as "Getaway") was also his last with the Blue Flames AND Columbia records before moving to the more M.O.R./full on jazz sounds with CBS. For me it perfectly epitomizes "mod" as it weaves little bits of a patchwork of songs and styles that I have come to believe original 60's mods enjoyed. Just a run down of the track selection culled from American soul labels should be enough to get the idea:  Motown (The Spinners "Sweet Thing" , "My Girl" and Stevie Wonder's "Music Talk") , Chess (Billy Stewart's "Sitting In The Park") , Stax (Rufus Thomas "The World Is Round" and The Mar-Key's "Last Night"), Atlantic (Don Covay's "See Saw") to a host of other US soul/r&b groovers (Joe Hinton's "Funny", " The In Crowd", Sam Cooke's "It's Got The Whole World Shaking" and Lee Dorsey's "Ride Your Pony") and even ska (a cover of the randy Lord Kitchner ditty "Dr. Kitch"). None of them were note for note copies of the originals and were all delivered in the celebrated "Hammond n' horns" recipe that made the band famous and beloved of modernists then and now.


2. THE ACTION-"The Ultimate Action" U.K. Edsel ED 101 1980
Back in 1984 here in New Jersey/New York no self respecting mod worth their salt would be without a copy of this collection of singles and unreleased material by the 60's U.K. mod band The Action (along with Georgie Fame's "20 Beat Classics" and The Artwood's Edsel comp "100 Oxford Street") . The bonus at the time this came out for most mods was it had liner notes by Paul Weller( where he namechecked other 60's "mod" bands who I would later discover). Produced by the legendary George Martin The Action released 5 singles in Britain on Parlophone from 1965-1967, none of which were hits. The band drew from a host of American soul/r&b sides from better known artists like The Temptations, Martha and the Vandellas or to more obscure ones like Maurice & The Radiants or Mickey Lee Lane. Like Georgie Fame their covers were interpretations, not carbon copy attempts at the originals and they benefited from having in their line up one Reg King, possibly one of the finest soul singers Britain ever produced.  The Action introduced me to a side of American soul music I might not have heard had they not recorded Maurice & The Radiant's "Baby You Got It" or Mickey Lee Lane's "Hey Sah-Lo-Ney" that set me on a course to seek out all the 45's they covered. With shifting times and tastes in late 1966 The Action became strongly influenced by West Coast American sounds like The Association and produced (in my estimation) their finest single (and their last) "Something Has Hit Me" (written by Americans Tandyn Almer and Larry Marks) and backed with the magnificent "Something Has Hit Me" penned by lead singer Reg King and journalist Nick Jones.


3. VARIOUS ARTISTS-"The Sue Story" U.K. Sue ILP-925 1965
God bless Guy Stevens. Though more famous for being a producer of legendary rock n roll albums our focus on Guy is when he was an uber American r&b obsessed DJ at the legendary London mod Mecca The Scene and for setting up a U.K. branch of Sue records with Island records supremo Chris Blackwell. Stevens was also famous for making tapes of his famous record collection (for a fee) for British bands to cover obscure American sides. Though many of the releases on the U.K. Sue label were just British issues of American sides he went one step further and took some liberties releasing 45's that had no connection with the U.S. label (James Brown, Otis Redding, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Lightnin' Hopkins etc) and continued to do so until early 1967. Sue (the U.K. sort) is a label I only became interested in over the past decade or so (sadly for my wallet) but it seems to me to be a perfect case of a label geared towards U.K. soul/r&b aficionados and well...what sort of people in Britain back then were mad about this stuff? Mods. In 1965 Stevens compiled 16 tracks as "The Sue Story" an interesting mix of U.S. r&b/soul sounds for exactly those sort of fans. Interestingly only one track was culled from a U.S. Sue release (Ike and Tina Turner's "I Can't Believe What You Say") and a vast majority of the tracks were issued in the U.S. long before 1965. They ranged from James Brown's "Night Train" (1962),  Bobby Peterson's "Rockin' Charlie" (1960) to Bobby Parker's "Watch Your Step" (1961) to Donnie Elbert's "A Little Piece Of Leather" (1965) to  Bob & Earl's "Harlem Shuffle" (1963) to name but a few ultimately creating possibly the most varied and original compilation in the U.K. geared towards modernist leanings.


4. BOOKER T & THE M.G.'s-"Soul Dressing" U.S. Stax 705 1965
Booker T & The MG's came into my axis thanks to "Green Onions" on the "Quadrophenia" soundtrack double LP. I bought "Soul Dressing" because it a cool looking cover. This second album by these Memphis instrumental supremos was long in coming as keyboardist Booker T Jones was a full time student at Indiana University and did most of his recording during breaks and the Summer (their first, "Green Onions" had been released nearly three years prior). By 1965 Jones was finished school and the band released "Soul Dressing" containing 12 cuts, 11 of which were group originals (the sole cover being Don Covay's "Mercy Mercy"). Kicking off with the funky title cut led by Jone's Hammond and guitarist Steve Cropper's distinct twangy Fender Telecaster (previously issued as a single in July 1964) the album oozes cool thanks to it's soulful sounds with a slight jazz undercurrent and assistance from a horn section which not only adds to the jazzy vibe but gives them a fuller touring soul band sound.  It was massively digested in Britain with mod/r&b legend Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames covering the upbeat "Outrage" as the flip to 1965's "Something" 45 and The Small Faces recording the distorted/raw "Plum Nellie" (which would surface on their second Decca album "In The Beginning") where Cropper's buzzing guitar completes with Jone's churchy organ and sharp horns bring up the background. "Big Train" builds on the "Green Onions" formula and "Night Owl Walk" is positively jazz territory (the first time I heard it I mistook it for a Hammond B-3 jazz artist!). And of course the sleeve is an arty/minimalist masterpiece in itself in just three colors.



5. SMALL FACES-"Small Faces" Decca LK 4790 1966
The debut album by the Small Faces was recorded with "new" keyboardist Ian "Mac" McLagan (who replaced original member Jimmy Winston who features on a few of the album's tracks) and released in May 1966 . Winston shares composing credits on  three tracks on the platter so it's safe to say he's on those. It contains 12 tracks and was padded out by the band's debut single "What'cha Gonna Do About It" and their third single "Sha La La Lee" (Mac's debut with them released in January) . Opening with a rousing version of "Shake" sung by bassist Ronnie Lane it's a tour de force of what was pretty much the band's live set in parts. This is perfectly validated by the inclusion of extended improvisations like "Come On Children", the storming but brief 1:46 long organ instrumental groover "Own Up Time" (allowing new boy Mac to flex his Hammond organ chops), "E Too D" with it's demonic chanting in the back ground building on lead singer Steve Marriott's white boy soul belting and the rip off of Muddy Waters "You Need Love" (titled "You Need Loving" here) where Robert Plant would replicate Marriott's wailing "wayyyy down inside.." syllable for syllable on Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" 3 years later. The album showcases their gritty, r&b live act but also exposes the "poppy" direction manager Don Arden was pushing them into with Kenny Lynch penned numbers like "You Better Believe It" and "Sorry She's Mine" (both of which lose the intended saccharine edge thanks to Marriott's incredibly soulful voice). The album cover photo by David Wedgbury is one of the most iconic snaps of the 60's with the band looking sharp as hell in their mod togs and perfect hair.  Mac told me they were all stoned out of their minds when it was taken and pointed out the spliff they'd drawn on the children's chalk (illustrating the point by writing "spliff" in Sharpie when he autographed my copy). Incidentally I bought my copy in the late 90's from a Small Faces fan who ran a record shop in Northfield, Minnesota who had acquired his copy via special order in the 60's. Unlike him I don't foresee myself selling this, ever.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

More U.K. Obscurities On U.S. Labels: Mike Vickers (The Baker Street Philharmonic)

THE BAKER STREET PHILHARMONIC-Love At First Sight/Tycho U.S. World Pacific 77928 1969

















Multi instrumentalist and one time Manfred Mann member Mike Vickers was a jack of all trades in the 60's (and to this day too I'm sure).  A musical genius as well as an amazing producer and arranger , he was never out of sight in the 1960's releasing a string of amazing 45's as The Mike Vickers Orchestra we explored his dynamic solo debut LP awhile back here.

I'd not heard of this single till once again my friend and fellow blogger Larry Grogan (of Funky 16 Corners and Iron Leg fame) stumbled upon this while crate digging.  No doubt a studio concoction by Vickers, the A-side is an instrumental version of the famous Serge Gainsbourg/Jane Birkin hit "Je T'Aime Moi Non Plus". The number was simultaneously covered hot on it's heels by Vickers here with The Baker Street Philharmonic as well as Sounds Nice featuring Tim Mycroft in August '69 (who in my book cut the best version utilizing a nice dreamy Hammond) and a bit later in a groovy/funky reggae version by Justin Hinds being backed by Byron Lee and the Dragonaires. I've never been a fan of the original (or Gainsbourg or Jane B for that matter) but the tune itself  but this version sticks to the Hammond instrumental idea but embellished by a slight choral backing and lush strings making it far more "easy listening" than the Sounds Nice version (if that's at all possible?!).  The real catch of this 45 is it's flip, a Vickers original called "Tycho".  Led by a positively hypnotic melodic organ riff and backed by celestial sweeping strings it has a regal air about it like something straight out of a post Swinging London film like "The Killing Of Sister George" or "Goodbye Gemini".  The bridge is amazing and uplifting!

Mike Vickers: genius at work.



















I can't tell if either track has been reissued but copies of the single are quite easy to find and not at all pricey either!

Hear "Love at First Sight":

http://youtu.be/bRubm7fKN24

Hear "Tycho":

http://youtu.be/G6fu_BufDC4

Monday, January 18, 2016

January's Picks: David Bowie

This month's picks are devoted to a dedicated to David Bowie. All posts are credited to David Bowie unless otherwise indicated.



















1. DAVY JONES- "Baby Loves That Way" U.K. B-side ("You've Got A Habit Of Leaving") Parlophone R 5315 1965
With it's feedbacking power chord intro from guitarist Dennis "Tea Cup" Taylor, cool backing vocals and Shel Talmy production Davy Jones and The Lower Third could not help escape comparisons to The Who. But the number has a lot more going for it.  It's bouncy enough to be a late era Applejacks 45 but the lyrics are unusual for the mid 60's as it's basically about a loose girl who despite her indiscretions still "treats me good each and every night" and Bowie actually pulls off a few soulful vocal moves after the distorted solo before it all fades outs. His last 45 before he became David Bowie it was also his last working with Shel Talmy.

https://youtu.be/8E3HYsXn3A4

2. "I Dig Everything" U.K. A-side Pye 17157 1966
David Bowie did not actually live in London for long periods as an adult until moving in with manager Ken Pitt in 1967. His swinging London was observed from dossing on people's couches or floors in between sneaking back home to the relative safety of mom and dad's semi detached in Bromley. He croons convincingly about it in the mod/boho/Swinging London Summer of '66 without a care (no doubt aided in youthful optimism and possibly by substances) and observes that "I've had more friends than I've had hot dinners, some of them are losers but the rest of them are winners".  While Bowie sings with wide eyed, hopeful appreciation and a devil may care saunter producer Tony Hatch lays on all the 60's kitschy trimmings: soulful organ, some congos/guiro giving it a Latin feel and a jazzy flute that ties it all up in a cosmopolitan mod gift.  But the public didn't care and Pye records sent him on his way which led him to....

https://youtu.be/Xrah1k0sLj4

3. "The London Boys" U.K. B-side ("Rubber Band") Deram DM 107 1966
Props to Decca A&R man Hugh Mendl who saw something in a demo (the track was previously rejected by Tony Hatch and Pye as a fourth single for the label) by David Bowie and The Buzz called "The London Boys". This Deram version was recorded at the famous R.G. Jones studio in Morden, Surrey with a session trumpet player (with woodwinds later added upon signing with Decca) it is musically minimal but brilliant.  "The London Boys" is the (literal) amphetamine comedown of "I Dig Everything" and it's "new in town /watch out London here I am" optimism. It's an admission of failure to make it big in the bright lights of the city with "in" crowd living in squalor and too proud to retreat home with an ending full of resignation but with nowhere else to turn "now you wish you'd never left your home, you got what you wanted but you're on your own..". As the brilliant but subtle horns play on mournfully and the organ whirls like something from a radio soap opera serial Bowie belts out "now you've met the London boys" like the Francis Albert Sinatra of modernist Bohemia.

https://youtu.be/CIL5KDeLOJ0



4. "Ashes To Ashes" U.K. A-side RCA BOW 6 1980
"Ashes To Ashes" and it's David Mamet directed video was once again a litmus test for street cred by the Thin White Duke which he passed (as usual) with flying colors. Embracing the Blitz kid/New Romantic movement in it's infancy before the mainstream picked up on it by featuring a bunch of Blitz club punters (including the late Steven Strange of New Romantic darlings Visage) in the promo video and creating a bleak, synthesizer painting on an otherwise unknown canvas proved Bowie was the Godfather of New Romanticism while he cavorted in face paint and a ballerina cum clown costume effectively showing the creator mixing freely with his creations and before it went bust he was long gone reinventing himself to a whole new audience.  Imagine The Who digging up a bunch of mods in late 1978 and featuring them in a video for "Who are You?" long before the '79 mod scene was nary a whiff?  The last minute of this number has always been endearing to me with it's spooky wash of synths and Bowie's "my mama said to get things done you better not mess with Major Tom" mantra beating Ultravox and Gary Numan to it.

5. "Right On Mother" unreleased demo 1970/1971
Ex-Herman's Hermits front man Peter "Herman" None cut this unreleased Bowie composition in October 1971, six months after scoring a hit (#12) with "Oh You Pretty Thing" (yes original pressings say "Thing" not "Things") as a flip side to "Walnut Whirl". Bowie's demo has never been legitimately released but it's a fun track with just him on piano and vocals and would not have all been out of place on "Hunky Dory".  One would presume it was written about his mother's reaction to him living with Angie, though by the time it was written they'd already presumably tied the knot.

https://youtu.be/M0OYolEwDQo

6. "Width Of A Circle" LP cut "Man Who Sold The World" Mercury 6338 041 1970 
At 8:09 "Width Of A Circle" borders on pointlessly long but it's an incredibly structured track that is not at all dissimilar to something you'd have heard on King Crimson's "In The Court Of the Crimson King" meets the late 60's Moody Blues if they'd had a madman on lead guitar. Bowie's lyrics are at their most oblique and the chord changes are insane and one wonders what this number must have sounded like live. Mick Ronson's solo is interesting to compare with an unreleased track he cut in 1967 with his group The Rats "The Rise And Fall Of Bernie Gripplestone" as it borders on indentical.

https://youtu.be/s2L4hL2IvUk

The Riot Squad (David Bowie top center) March 1967


















7. THE RIOT SQUAD-"Little Toy Soldier" Acid Jazz E.P.  AJX329S 2013
For a very brief period  Bowie (March 1967 to be exact) was involved with The Riot Squad , a band who had a varied line up history and more recently lost their record contract with Pye and their producer Joe Meek (who one month prior took his own life). Bowie had recently ceased live work with his backing band The Buzz and was awaiting the release of his debut LP with Deram.  His  manager Kenneth Pitt had previously brought Bowie back an acetate copy of what would be The Velvet Underground's debut album. It had more than a profound effect on him as he and the band crept in on the sly to  Decca's studio with engineer Gus Dudgeon on April 5, 1967 to record a few tracks. Among them was a cover of "I'm Waiting for the Man" and this "original". With it's chorus borrowed from a line in the Velvet's "Venus In Furs" it's a perverse tale of a girl who has a toy soldier in which she winds up to whip her and not satisfied with his degree of sadism continues to wind him so tightly he flays her to death.  Musically it would have been not at all out of place on his first LP but lyrically it would certainly have been too much for the staff at Deram to abide by (in fact neither his manager nor producer Mike Vernon were aware of the session). In 2013 Acid Jazz released four cuts from the session as a 7" E.P. including "Little Toy Soldier" and "I'm Waiting For the Man" (both previously only available on bootlegs).

https://youtu.be/hFgrXhcERQ8

8. "Round and Round" U.K. B-side ("Drive In Saturday") RCA 2352 1973
Chuck Berry's "Around And Around" (re-titled by Bowie as "Round And Round") is best known for Mick Ronson's Nigel Tuffnel style guitar solo at the end. Cut during the sessions for "Ziggy And The Spiders From Mars" it was utilized as a flip for "Drive In Saturday" over a year later and is certainly one of the less common '72 era cuts. It sounds somewhat half baked but also seems to convey what a good time they were all having doing it and in the end if it's rockin' who cares? A live version guest starring Jeff Beck closed the Ziggy "farewell" performance on July 3, 1973 but due to Beck's disapproval it was left off the D.A. Pennebaker "Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars" film.

https://youtu.be/EDzSys1fPok

9. "In The Heat Of The Morning (Live BBC 5/26/68)"
In 1968 David Bowie was shit out of luck.  Deram rejected his recordings of "Let Me Sleep Beside You" and "In The Heat Of The Morning" and after three singles and one LP he was sent packing as he'd been with Pye little over a year prior.  Someone up there someone liked him because he was accorded a radio session for John Peel's "Top Gear" program where he cut 4 numbers with a full orchestra (conducted by Tony Visconti) and a host of session musicians including Herbie Flowers on bass and Mr. Mohawks/K.P.M. supremo Alan Hawkshaw who's funky organ work gives this cut some serious chops.

https://youtu.be/3Iv2nu375W8

10. "Life On Mars" LP cut "Hunky Dory" RCA SF 8244 1971
Beneath Rick Wakeman's beautiful piano work (described by Wakeman in fascinating detail in the "Five Years" documentary, currently available here in the States on demand on Showtime) and sweeping strings Bowie croons about disaffected youth through the eyes of a young girl seeking refuge in the cinema (or so I've always liked to believe). Born out of Bowie's failure at writing an English lyric for "Comme d'habitude" (later gaining fame with Paul Anka's English lyric as "My Way") "Life On Mars" is accented by some incredibly chord changes and is easily his most sophisticated arrangement since leaving Deram.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Great Obscure U.K. 60's Sides:Yesterday Man Redeemed!

CHRIS ANDREWS-Hold On/Easy Australia Decca Y7372 1967



















Chris Andrews is best known for his September '65 U.K. smash "Yesterday Man" (#3) and for penning a slew of hits for Adam Faith and Sandie Shaw.  In true classic 60's fashion of bland M.O.R. pop stars being capable of something "freaky" we have his September 1967 track "Hold On".  Our copy is Australian, it's U.K. issue was Decca F 22668. It was produced by Ken Woodman (responsible for some of our fave "easy" releases in the 60's) and unlike several of his other singles was NOT a hit.

"Hold On" starts out with some shimmering, distorted guitar worthy of The Fleur De Ly's or a Jimmy Page session that continues through the whole number giving it some real balls while Chris croons in his usual fashion.  There's some subtle organ running through the back that compliments the freaky guitar and the whole thing actually works.




















"Easy" is a piece of inoffensive pop that falls somewhere between Donovan's "Bleak City Woman" and The Kinks "Little Miss Queen Of Darkness".  He would go on to cut a slew of soppy, sappy M.O.R. tunes however there was one more redeeming point 1969's "Maker Of Mistakes" (flip of his internationally successful "Pretty Belinda") a nice slice of regal, toy town pop psych worth checking out.

"Hold On" graced  Past And Present's "New Rubble Volume Six: Painting The Time".

Hear "Hold On":

https://youtu.be/rHZgLMJ-a4g