Friday, December 18, 2009

Great LP's In My Life

VARIOUS ARTISTS-My Generation U.K. EMI Nut 4 198?

Side One:

1.TOMORROW-My White Bicycle

2. THE ACTION-Baby You've Got It

3. TERRY REID-The Hand Don't Fit The Glove

4. THE DOWNLINERS SECT-Glendora

5. TONY RIVERS-God Only Knows

6. THE GODS-Baby's Rich

7. THE BOSTON CRABS-Gin House

8. LOCOMOTIVE-Mr. Armageddon

Side Two:

1. THE YARDBIRDS-Happenings Ten Year's Time Ago

2.THE MOLES-We Are The Moles

3. THE ROULETTES-The Long Cigarette

4. VIV PRINCE-Light Of The Charge Brigade

5. THE SHOTGUN EXPRESS-I Could Feel The Whole World Turn Round

6. THE ARTWOODS-What Shall I Do

7. LOVE SCULPTURE-The Stumble

8. ROD STEWART-Shake

On a journey to New York City by bus in the summer of 1983 I made several important purchases with my very first paycheck hard earned in the grease of a McDonald's two towns away. The first was a pair of Two Tone "Jam" shoes from Trash And Vaudeville on St. Mark's Place and a few doors down at a record shop called Sounds I bought The Action's "Ultimate Action" Edsel LP compilation, a dodgy French compilation LP on Eva by The Creation called "The Creation/The Mark Four" (I passed on their Edsel "How Does It Feel To Feel" compilation because this one was cheaper, silly boy) and this interesting LP comp on EMI that featured a painting of a bunch of rockers being sneered at by mods at the seaside. I had spied this LP a year or two earlier and wrongly assumed because of the leather clad gentleman so prominently featured on the cover that it was "rocker" album though I was, at that time, puzzled by the inclusion of a Yardbirds track on it and having owned their "Having a Rave Up.." LP (where they were bedecked in "skinny ties and black suits like The Jam") I'd assumed they were "mod". Fast forward to 1983 and I knew of The Action from my sole Edsel single AND a German 45 my uncle had brought back from his army stint there (along with several Screaming Lord Sutch singles) and of course The Yardbirds but everyone else of the LP was new to my ears. "My Generation" culled some off the wall and better known U.K. 60's 45 tracks from EMI sources like Columbia and Parlophone and packaged them up nicely.

It did take me awhile to digest some of tracks because of their psychedelic inclinations (esp. Simon Dupree and The Big Sound's "We Are the Moles" which they cuts as "The Moles", Tomorrow's "My White Bicycle" and Locomotive's "Mr. Armageddon"), and I don't think I've ever come around to liking Tony River's interpretation of The Wilson Family's "God Only Knows". But the album introduced me to a variety of other artists, many of whom, like The Action, had LP compilations available on Edsel records that made me fans of them. I am of course referring to the beat group brilliance of The Roulette's "The Long Cigarette" (which soon sent me off for their comp. LP "Russ Bob Pete And Mod") and the gloomy "What Shall I Do" by The Artwoods (which in turn inspired me to grab their LP "100 Oxford Street" which contained a plethora of their Decca material). And though I'd been bludgeoned by crap like "Tonight's The Night" and "Do You Think I'm Sexy" I got to see that Rod Stewart was actually cool in the 60's in the shape of his solo 1966 version of "Shake" and his vocals on The Shotgun Express contribution "I Could Feel The Whole World Turn Round" (for more on that see my Feb. 11th, 2009 posting). I was introduced to ex-Pretty Thing's looner stickman Viv Prince's "solo" single, the orchestral"Light Of The Charge Brigade" years before I owned my first Pretty Things record and The Downliners Sect a few years before the first "cool" girlfriend would turn me onto their LPs (along with long players by Them and The Pretty Things). Though I'd had a steady diet of The Yardbirds my knowledge of them did not extend past their earlier mentioned LP so "Happenings Ten Years Time Ago" was a total mind blower which sent me out after "Roger The Engineer" (Edsel records strikes again). I was immediately charmed by The God's "Baby's Rich" and though it took me many years to hear the rest of their discography I was not disappointed with what I found. Of course it would take me another year before I'd embraced British 60's psychedelia with Pink Floyd's first LP and by that time I was avidly ready to devour Tomorrow's "My White Bicycle" and Locomotive's "Mr. Armageddon" and in turn seek both of their sole LP's out. And of course I still haven't gotten off my ass to check that Terry Reid LP out (I'll get to it someday Eric!).

In retrospect it was pretty damned amazing to get such a musical education at the age of 16 for the slim price of $5.69. You can't get six songs off of iTunes for that these days. Like the old standard says "things ain't what they used to be".

The Roulettes "The Long Cigarette":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=481z57KfGp0

The Moles "We Are The Moles":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCOLp_31Zjs

Tomorrow "My White Bicycle":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62yWU4ryrgI

The Downliners Sect "Glendora":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AP-kCIp1gRk

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