Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hippie Rudies

LOCOMOTIVE-Rudi's In Love/Never Set Me Free U.S. Bell 754 1968


















Here's a weird one kids, an American pressing nonetheless, by Locomotive, a British band from Birmingham led by one Norman Haines.  The band are best known for their proto-prog 45 "Mr. Armageddon" (which also gained a U.S. release on Bell 778 in early 1969) and their mindblowing and expensive 1970 LP "We Are Everything You See".

Being from Birmingham, which was a stronghold of reggae/ska fans from it's West Indian community as well as it's heavy duty skinhead/hard mod contingent, Haines was quite familiar with Jamaican sounds and set about steeering his merry band of long hairs into reggae country.  The band's debut 45 was a tune called "Broken Heart" b/w a version of  Dandy Livingstone's "Rudy A Message To You" (Direction 58-3114 December 1967).  Eight months later a reggae flavored Haine's original "Rudi's In Love" appeared" in the U.K. as Parlophone R 5718.

As U.K. reggae/ska cash in's go they can either be cool (Mickey Finn and the Bluemen's "Tom Hark") or dreadful (The Piglett's "Johnny Reggae").  "Rudi's In Love" falls somewhere in the middle.  It's fake West Indian patois is a bit insincere but it's got a great groove and strong horns (Locomotive's strong suit were their amazing horn section) and it's a bit cheezy with lines like "You can stay home while the other rude boys go to Shantytown.." or mention of "no gun shooting, or retributing for Rudi tonight..". "Never Set Me Free" starts out with some great Foundations style horns before it degenerates into a dreadful ballad akin to awful Macleod/Macaulay schlock Long John Baldry or The Foundations (occasionally) were churning out.

pic courtesy of brumbeat.net















Not genuine enough to catch on with either the skinhead or West Indian music fans and too exploitative to be taken seriously by anyone else the record did not gain any success, in fact it created quite a bit of aggro for the band when they released their next single "Mr. Armageddon" (a very serious number) and critics and listeners alike were quick to dredge up their two previous ska/reggae releases as proof that they were merely climbing about the psych/prog bandwagon.  I have not seen either side on any form of re-issue other than a 7" E.P. EMI did back in the late 70's that coupled it with "Mr. Armageddon" and it's flip.


Hear "Rudi's In Love":

http://youtu.be/2nd9DjV7yn8

Hear "Never Set Me Free":

http://youtu.be/aC6XmLu0_Xw

Hear "Rudy A Message To You":

http://youtu.be/IrLl4urp_jQ

Monday, June 27, 2011

Squeezing A Dead Zombie For An Extra Tune....

THE ZOMBIES-Imagine the Swan/Conversation Off Floral Street U.S. Date 2-1644 1969
America loved the Zombies, in fact their records charted higher here than at home in the U.K. and there was no shortage of releases here by them.  Their U.K. Decca period was released here on Parrot while their later U.K. CBS era was released by the small label Date (alongside Gary Walker and The Coasters to name but a few), home of their most oft played American hit "Time Of The Season" (#3 in November 1968 after a second release on Date with a different B-side).  Date squeezed out some interesting stuff by them, like the U.S. only 45 of two "Oddysey And Oracle" tracks "Butcher's Tale (Western Front 1914)" b/w "This Will Be Our Year" (Date 2-1612 November 1968).  As most of you probably know these releases were long after The Zombies jacked it in.  The label, capitalizing on the success with "Time Of The Season" churned out today's subject in May of 1969. By this point the personnel only included keyboardist Rod Argent and bassist Chris White and of course made zero impact leaving "Time.." as their last American hit (which did not even chart in the U.K.!).

"Imagine The Swan" is a beautiful piece of sentimentality, my opinion on it varies.  If I'm feeling nostalgic I dig it, if I'm jaded well I'll dismiss it as sentimental rubbish, I'm often in the latter.  Regardless it's a well produced pop track with great vocals by Chris White (and trademark Zombies choral pop perfection in the backing harmonies department).  "Conversational Off Floral Street" is an incredible organ and piano instrumental with some cool keyboard trills by Argent.  It's almost jazzy at times (and as one YouTube user pointed out owes a great deal to Dave Brubeck's "Unsquare Dance") with the ivories and the Hammond playing off each other's individual licks behind some solid drumming and bass.

Both sides have been issued in a number of places, namely the amazing "Zombie Heaven" box set or the less pricey double CD "The Singles A's & B's".

Hear "Imagine the Swan":


Hear "Conversation Off Floral Street":

Saturday, June 25, 2011

More U.K. Obscurities On U.S. Labels:The Clayton Squares

THE CLAYTON SQUARES-Come And Get It/And Tears Fell  U.S. MGM K13418 1965


















The Clayton Squares were an obscure 6 piece Liverpool mod-ish r&b band who cut just two amazing 45's in their short career from '65-'66.  They were also reputedly once almost the home of one Ian McLagan, who given a choice between them and The Small Faces by robber baron Don Arden chose the latter!  This is yet another "Anorak Thing" American oddity here as this band were virtually unknown in their home country and yet someone thought it prudent to release it here (the record was their U.K. debut as Decca F 12250 in October 1965)!


















"Come And Get It" is a brilliant uptempo groover propelled by some quirky horns and those weird percussion (is that a cowbell I hear?) and a very soulful vocalist.  The whole thing epitomizes that U.K. 60's '65-'66 soulful r&b I'm always on about in the blog (like The Gass, The St., Louis Union, The Quik, The Eyes of Blue, etc).  Rocking uptempo shit kids, check it out below and decide!  It takes me back to the mid 90's when I was trying to pull this girl (unsuccessfully) but I did succeed in turning her onto this monster tune via one of the many mix tapes I'd share with folks! I'm going to own up and tell you I can't recall what the flip was like which tells me it wasn't very good, to make up for that I'll post links to both sides of their next and last 45 "There She Is"/"Imagination" (U.K. Decca F 12456, July 1966).

















As criminal as it may sound NONE of their tracks have been properly (ie "legally") reissued and sadly ignored by Decca/Deram when they did their "Freakbeat/R&B/Beat/Mod Scene" CD compilations!

Hear "Come and Get It":

http://youtu.be/iL7bhRiKpio

Hear "There She Is":

http://youtu.be/Mk4Txz9nevQ

Hear "Imagination":

http://youtu.be/MoiPdc8aiSY

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Cherokees Last Stand

THE CHEROKEES-Everybody's Needs/Land Of 1,000 Dances U.K. Columbia DB 7822 1966

















The Cherokees (not to be confused with an Australian 60's group by the same tag) had been around the U.K. music scene for quite awhile cutting  four singles for the EMI Columbia outlet.  One of which "Seven Daffodils"/"Are You Back In My World" even popped up on a U.S. MGM records compilation alongside The Animals, Herman's Hermits and The Moquettes (with their rocking version of "Right String Baby But The Wrong Yo Yo") called "British Go-Go" which I once owned for about five seconds after finding a single of the two Moquettes contributions (all four bands were produced by Mickie Most)!  Needless to say I can safely vouch that the band's releases were nothing to rave about, till this, their fifth and final single.














It was 1966 and The Cherokees finally got "with it".  But not on the A-side. "Land Of 1,000 Dances" is pretty mediocre, it's pretty much a lame version of The Cannibal & The Headhunter's original only sped up a bit, but too squeaky clean for my tastes. It's not soulful like The Action's brilliant reading or rocking like my favorite version by Sweden's Namelosers who bludgeon the god-damn song!  But the flip side is the stuff that legends are made of.  It's a total moody/moddy little piece with soulful vocals and a somber monotonous riff till the drummer and guitar player start going all Who on the track with some positively cool power pop breaks and everybody starts doing this half assed call and response thing (it worked for The Animals so maybe Mickie nudged them into it here), which is so lifeless it's actually cool, like they don't give a fuck or something!?!

At first I was thoroughly amazed that "Everybody's Needs" has not be reissued anywhere and hell the damned thing isn't even on YouTube which kinda makes me feel odd writing about it if I can't play it for you!
 BUT I just found it's on a CD called "Singles" and there's a clip on Amazon for it (which is too brief to give it any justice but you can hear a bit of the crash band wallop modness that makes this song great) AND you can download the track individually if you're in the U.K.:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Everybodys-Needs/dp/B003ZY63IQ

Hear "Land Of 1,000 Dances":

http://youtu.be/IINyfHaH5ZU

And for comparison dig......

The Namelosers version:

http://youtu.be/xYwerm70Kus

The Action's version:

http://youtu.be/KDT0lu2l4PA

Thursday, June 23, 2011

They're Through.....The Applejacks final Decca single

THE APPLEJACKS-I'm Through/We Gotta Get Together U.K. Decca F12301 1965


















Britain's Applejacks had soldiered on through five singles (six if you count the supposed "cancelled" "Chim Chim Chereee" which no one has ever seen a copy of) on Decca with only one semi hit (a Lennon/McCartney throwaway called "Like Dreamers Do", Decca F11916 June 1964 that rose to #20 in the U.K. charts).  They were sadly most known for that track and the fact that they had a female bass player.  Their line up was: Al Jackson (lead vocals), Phil Cash (rhythm guitar), Martin Baggot (lead guitar), Megan Davies (bass), Don Gould (keyboards) and Gerry Freeman (drums). Their run with Decca was about to end and though a revised line up would cut a halfway decent version of The Impression's "You've Been Cheating" for CBS (March 1967 CBS 202615) this would be the last offering by the original line-up.   I think it's their finest.

The Applejacks were essentially a squeaky clean, cheery sort of beat group who did both ballads and rocking sides (as evidenced by the flip side of "Like Dreamers Do", a stormer called "Boom Boom Boom (Everybody Fall Down)" and the catchy "Make Up Or Break Up", which was the B-side of their previous single Ray Davie's "I Go To Sleep", Decca F12216).  Rocking out was no difficulty for them and this kept them apart from the likes of The Mojos or Brian Poole and The Tremeloes.  This is no better evidenced by "I'm Through", a beat ballad (written by the great Pete Dello) with some excellent volume pedal guitar licks bending notes throughout the song while lead singer Jackson sings mournfully about an unfaithful girl who leaves him alone "while you go with other guys" with some groovy atmospheric backing vocals.  "We Gotta Get Together" is okay, but nothing special, mid tempo beat mediocrity sums it up nicely. After this single failed to chart and their Decca contract expired the band signed on with the Cunard cruise line and worked for the next few years as the "house" (boat?) band on various ocean liners with the previously mentioned CBS single (with a new lead singer) in between.



Cherry Red has reissued their untitled 1964 debut LP with all remaining Decca A and B sides (including both sides of this single) on it on a great CD compilation that is still, thankfully, in print.

Of course I can't find either of these freaking songs on YouTube so you'll have to take my word for it that the A-side is a killer and the B side, well not so much....

You CAN hear snippets of both tunes from the Cherry Red CD over at:

http://new.music.yahoo.com/applejacks/albums/applejacks-cherry-red--218832205

June's Picks


1. RONNIE LANE-"Evolution"
A groovy, simple little track, just vocals with acoustic guitar. A rambler of Ronnie's tucked away on Pete Townshend's debut solo LP "Who Came First".

2. THE AMAZING FRIENDLY APPLE-"Magician"
One of the crown jewels of 1986's "The great British Psychedelic Trip" (quite possibly the best British 60's psych comp ever) is this busy little number.  Full of Mellotron, swirling organ, horns and soulful vocals it reminds me a lot of The End meets The Left Banke.

3. THE MOVE-"Useless Information"
An archetype first line up Move classic from their debut LP with all the necessary ingredients: thundering bass, intricate layers of harmonies and frantic but disciplined drumming!

4. THE STOICS-"Enough Of What I Need"
Classic snotty U.S. 60's garage tune with some haunting backing vocals ala The Kinks, first introduced to me via a cover by the Creatures of The Golden Dawn.

5. THE TAGES-"My Home Town"
Cool little ditty from my fave non U.K. 60's band, Sweden's Tages. It concerns a guy on a train on his way to meet his family and a delegation, keys to the town, speech w/ the mayor etc but when he arrives no one is there?  Wrong time or a daydream?

6. THE PRINCIPALS-"I Can't Stop"
The thing I've always loved about mid 60's bands from Australia and New Zealand was that a fair amount of them sounded like a great amalgamation of cool U.K. 60's savage beat/freakbeat crossed with the snottiness of U.S. 60's garage and this gang of Kiwis have it down: a punky fuzz bass, high Who style backing vocals with mod/power pop freakbeat power chords and a freaky little fadeout!

7. THE BOGEYMEN-"Love And Hate"
These guys were sort of like a mid 90's French version of The Prisoners meets the Clique (U.K. 90's) and they cut a few LP's, though the one this came from , "Action Time" was their best.

8. THE GUESS WHO-"This Time Long Ago"
The vocals and the chord changes on this groovy little light number always remind me of the '66 Who in between "My Generation" and "A Quick One", especially the brilliant sonic harmonies at the intro and outro that recall "Glow Girl".

9. THE JAMES TAYLOR MOVE-"Magic Eyes"
A great Aussie 60's pastiche of "I Feel Free" with enough "la la la's" to give it this great mod/pop feel with an equally cool blistering guitar solo from the essential "Peculiar Hole In The Sky" Big Beat CD comp.

10. DAVID BOWIE-"Station To Station (Live)"
Powerful version from the "Stage" LP finds the Dame in fine form with some telling lyrics offering glimpses to his personal madness: cocaine, love and possibly even  fascism.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Motions Freakbeat Mod Opus


THE MOTIONS-Everything That's Mine/There's No Place To Hide Holland Havoc SH114 1966




















I've been writing about one of my fave 60's bands from the Continent a lot lately, Hollands excellent group The Motions who cut some amazing records in '65-'66.  This was my fave 45 by them.  I sold my copy to a lovely fella named Jim Boulaware at the very first Mod Chicago back in 2002 without scanning the sleeve so I had to borrow it from the inner packaging of one of the CD's from the "Nuggets II" box set.

Recorded in Great Britain "Everything That's Mine" is The Motions at their finest and captures them absorbing what was musically going down in the U.K in early 1966 (the single was released in April 1966).
We're talking freakbeat kids.  "Everything That's Mine" has it all: crashing drums, zooming bass runs, distorted fuzzed out guitars, feedback, it's got everything but a stuttering lead vocalist.  Like The Tage's "The Man You'll Be Looking For" or The Lee King's "On My Way" it shows that The Who had a massive influence on what was going on in Europe.  Sheer brilliance.  The flipside is the complete opposite.  It's not bad at all actually, it's a ballad and is a precursor to their next single (discussing in an earlier entry):

http://anorakthing.blogspot.com/2011/05/nicked-by-walker-brothersthe-motions-my.html


"What do you mean there's a fine for using the same location as a Who
photo shoot?"




















Both sides were collected on an essential Pseudonym Records CD collection that compiles their first two albums and singles in between. "Everything That's Mine" was also contained on the excellent "Nuggets II" box set

Hear "Everything That's Mine":

http://youtu.be/CZ4mZFVP9BY

Pussyfoot!

PUSSYFOOT-Good Times/Til You Don't Want Me Anymore U.K. Pye 7N.17520 1968

The curiously named late 60's British combo Pussyfoot cut this rocking version of The Easybeat's "Good Times" (which got a U.K. release on United Artists UP 2243 in September 1968) which preceded the original by a full six months (Amen Corner also cut a version on their debut LP "Around") !! This was their fourth and final U.K. single.  They were a 5 piece firm and you can read much more about them over at the ever groovy blogsite (a personal fave of mine):


Pussyfoot's swipe at "Good Times" is actually a rocking number, now granted the original version has vocal help from Steve Marriott, but this version is cooking.  The lead vocalist is soulful and the tune is speed up considerably, the backing vocals for some reason remind me of the late 60's Kinks and there's some very cool bass playing going on there, especially cool when the key change abruptly occurs, not once but thrice like a DJ slowly cranking up the pitch.  The flip side "Til You Don't Want Me Anymore" is another classic 60's example of "hey we rocked it on the A-side now let's bring it down on the B-side and fill up space with a crap tune".  It's just lame soul-less M.O.R.!

"Good Times" was reissued on Sequel's "Doin' The Mod Volume 4: Ready Steady Stop".

Hear "Good Times":


Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Motions "Wasted Words"

THE MOTIONS-I Follow The Sun/Wasted Words Holland Havoc SH 111 1965



















For those not in the know The Motions were a mid 60's Dutch band who made two brilliant LP's and a slew of cool singles before they got bland.  Eventually their guitarist Robbie Van Leeuwen split to form Shocking Blue in 1967. Like most 60's Dutch beat groups their records were sung in English.

Because this is such a serious record here's The Motions, not being serious...
In around 1988 or 1989 I was Motions mad and couldn't get enough of them. Back then there were no reissues of their LP's, CD's were barely out yet and the only place to hear their music was on dodgy compilation LP's like "Flight To Lowlands Paradise" or volumes of "Pebbles:The Continent Lashes Back" or "Searchin' In The Wilderness". Track by track I was picking up Motions songs here and there from a variety of compilation LP's. There was no Internet or E-Bay and record shows were not nearly as huge as they are now.  The bane of obscure record hunting in the late 80's was lists that dealers would mail you if you were on their "list". The other bane of my record nerd existence was from my guru Ron Rimsite.  Ron passed me on a copy of this 45, their fifth single with no picture sleeve(all the bands Dutch 45's on Havoc came in cool looking picture sleeves) and the center pressed out in a pile of singles he gave me (one of many such occasions). It's not their best 45 but it's still pretty good compared to the crap they put out after their second LP "In Their Own Way" when they went "psychedelic" in garb only. I eventually sprung for a $75 copy of their debut LP "Introduction To.. .."(thanks Uncle Pancakes) in VG+ condition but with what looked like a dog bite missed from the top right corner from Hideout Records, a basement store in New York City usually staffed by assh*les, unlike the cooler Venus Records that was staffed by the coolest of the cool (Ron Rimsite, Bobbie C and John K. to name but a few). 


"I Follow The Sun" is a somber number, not your typical Kinks meets Beatles racket that the band kicked up on their untitled debut album.  Its simple, backed by acoustic guitar and little else and has a brooding, melodic almost baroque feel to it.  The same formula applies to "Wasted Words" with a faint churchy organ added.  "Wasted Words" is a sort of protest number about Civil Rights in America and .  You don't get to hear many pop records in the 60's that name check Martin Luther King, especially from Holland!  In retrospect the lyrics are a bit corny but considering its in the band's second language I always tend to overlook them.

Both sides were collected on an essential Pseudonym Records CD collection that compiles their first two albums and singles in between.

Friday, June 17, 2011

U.S. Only U.K. Pop Sike Pressings Part III

THE MOVE-Yellow Rainbow/Something U.S. A&M 966 1968

















Today's item in question is an interesting U.S. only pressing of a Move single that was not released anywhere else!  On side A we have "Yellow Rainbow" a track from the band's untitled debut LP (which wasn't even released in the U.S.) coupled with a track called "Something". Interestingly this single is listed as having been released in August of 1968.  "Something" would not appear anywhere else until November 1968 on the flip side of "Blackberry Way" (U.K. Regal Zonphone RZ 3015).  Even stranger is that A&M would re-use "Something" as the flip for their next U.S. Move single "Blackberry Way" in January 1969 (A&M 1020)!

The post Ace Kefford '68 vintage Move
















"Yellow Rainbow" is a quirky slice of brilliance from Roy Wood, a man who never imbibed in psychedelics but wrote the most way out tunes. Lyrically it has a post-apocalypse feel with some great thundering/heavy bass licks from Ace Kefford (who would be out of the band around the time the track made it's appearance on the band's debut LP) and the lead vocals are handled by rhythm guitarist Trevor Burton (with Roy Wood singing the bridge). As always the band's four part harmonies are spot on and drummer Bev Bevan plays some incredible bits!  "Something" is one of those tracks that lead Trevor Burton to leave because he felt the Move were (quite rightly so) turning into a "cabaret act" in 1969.  It was penned by lead singer Carl Wayne's friend David Morgan and is pure crooner crap, something the late Carl Wayne, was sadly, very much into in the late 60's.

Hear "Yellow Rainbow":

http://youtu.be/nRHxNbaSHk4

Hear "Something":

http://youtu.be/RtiiJzgwqC4

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Amen!

AMEN CORNER-Let The Good Times Roll/Love Me Tender Germany Deram DM236 1968






















Here's a wiggy one, a German Amen Corner 45.  Both tracks are culled from their debut Deram LP "Round" (U.K. DML/SML 1021) and this 45's artwork is culled from said album's front sleeve, a tasty pic of the boys kicking out the jams (or just pretending to?) at London's famous in crowd night spot The Speakeasy (taken by the legendary David Wedgbury nonetheless).



I've got to admit that there are times when their lead singer, Andy Fairweather-Low's voice grates on me.  This 45 would be one of them, luckily the band's stellar horns/backing rescue their reading of "Let the Good Times Roll"(based entirely on  Bunny Sigler's arrangement).  The horns and the driving beat laid down by the bass and drums make this track. "Love Me Tender" is an awful, awful choice for a cover and Fairweather Low's voice does absolutely nothing to endear me to it.  It's a shame because it starts out with some really atmospheric/spooky Hammond, in fact if they'd just left it as an instrumental it would've sounded like some groovy incidental music from "Vampyros Lesbos" or "Get Carter"!


Both sides are collected on the budget priced CD retrospective of their Deram works "Amen Corner: The Collection"

Hear "Let The Good Times Roll":

http://youtu.be/e9w0OuLTtWc

Hear "Love Me Tender":

http://youtu.be/QeSTD-fYy3I

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

More U.K. Obscurities On U.S. Labels:Bill Wyman protegees, Moon's Train!

MOON'S TRAIN-Deed I Do/It's In My Mind U.S. MGM K13654 1967

















Today's American specimen is by Moon's Train, a British group that Bill Wyman produced (the single came out in the U.K. as MGM 1333) who firmly straddled the mod loves of jazz/r&b with the later psychedelic headsounds.  The Wyman connection came as a result of their drummer, Tony Chapman who was in The Cliftons with Wyman before he joined The Stones and also, briefly drummed with the embryonic Stones before Charlie Watts was lured away from Alexis Korner and one Peter "Moon" Gosling, both of whom had been members of an r&b band Wyman looked after called The Preachers.  Wyman's loyalty and friendship with Chapman was such that he managed The Preachers and produced their one single in the U.K. ("Hole In My Soul"/"Too Old In The Head" U.K. Columbia DB 7680 1965), which according to his book was plugged on "Ready! Steady! Go!" (to no avail).  A young Peter Frampton was also a member of the band for a short while later on in their career.  Shortly after Frampton left to join a reshuffled version of The Herd the group became The Train and then finally, Moon's Train.

"Deed I Do" is an old jazz standard that dates back to the depression, though I suspect the band learned it from Mose Allison as I can't track down any soul/r&b versions of it.  Their arrangement is almost akin to a Stax treatment: full on tightly played horns, funky Hammond and soulful vocals: a perfect example of British mid 60's "Hammond n' horns" r&b.  The flip side, "It's In My Mind" is total mod jazz that harks back 3 years earlier to 1964 with a swinging sax arrangement punctuated by some great bluesy breaks.  The vocals have a total Georgie Fame (via King Pleasure meets Mose Allison) feel as the vocalist sings along with the horns. It was written by band members Tony Chapman and Peter Gosling and sounds very similar to The Preachers material.














This would be the band's one and only single and they went on to record many unreleased tracks which along with both sides of this single saw the light of day on an untitled now horribly rare Tenth Planet LP compilation. Most of the tracks are jazz/mod/r&b but a few of which, like "Bakerman" (hear below) adopted a psychedelic slant and ditched the r&b/jazz to embrace sounds of The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band.  Both sides of the 45 are also a more recent  Moon's Train CD 20 track compilation (featuring the same tracks as the Tenth Planet album plus others) out a few years ago titled "The Life I Lead" which features loads Preachers (including a cool version of "Marriage Is For old Folks") and Moon's Train cuts as well as Moon's Train demo versions of various Wyman compositions like the excellent "I'm Not The Marrying kind" (was Bill trying to tell his first wife something with this track?) later cut by Hamilton and The Movement, "Shades Of Orange" and "Loving Sacred Loving" . It is available from Amazon or autographed from Bill Wyman's website:

http://www.billwymanstore.com/productdetail.jsp?productPK=unittest-odltmlVB3nU1m4g9qN3IEb-1

And you can even buy a Bill Wyman metal detector too for treasure hunts from the site (think I'm joking? Look at the sidebar advert).

TRIVIA NOTE: Gosling went on to collaborate with Bill Wyman on Shades Of Orange" and "Loving Sacred Loving" that were both utilized as a single by another band of Wyman protegees, The End.

Hear "It's In My Mind":

http://youtu.be/ozFVRE6PtBc

Hear their psychedelic slant on "Bakerman":

http://youtu.be/yH976Ga36bs


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Deram Mod/Freakbeat Greatness: The Truth

THE TRUTH-Jingle Jangle/Hey Gyp U.S. Deram 45-7503 1967
For a little bit of an into into the mod 60's U.K. duo The Truth pop on over to:


This was the band's fifth single.  After four singles on Pye the band moved onto Decca's off shoot Deram for this release (then oddly moving to Decca for the next and last two) along with fellow stable mate David Bowie who'd also been dropped by Pye and snagged by Deram (both acts were, at the time, being looked after by Kenneth Pitt).  As you can see it gathered a release here in the States as well on the odd colored orange swirl label (also utilized by Parrot and Press).  The A-side is a version of The Troggs tune, it's not bad, but it's not really that great a song to begin with no matter who's doing it.  The B-side is where things cook.  The band tear through Donovan's "Hey Gyp" with frantic abandon, doubling it in speed from the original or the subsequent version cut by Eric Burdon and the Animals.  The core of this number's brilliance lay in the subltle horn section, swirling organ and wailing guitar buried beneath the duo's soulful vocals.
Courtesy of marmaladeskies.co.uk
Sadly other than Acme's "Wild N' Ravin' 2" 45 rpm box set of Decca/Deram freakbeat classics (which included both sides of this single) there has been very little reissue action for either of these tracks. "Hey Gyp" appeared many years ago on a long gone CD compilation called "Maximum Freakbeat".

Hear "Hey Gyp":


Monday, June 13, 2011

Stray Rays: All Night Stand


THE THOUGHTS-All Night Stand/The Memory Of Your Love
U.S. Planet 45-118 1966
























What could be better, a rocking, previously unrecorded Ray Davies track ("All Night Stand"), produced by Shel Talmy on his legendary Planet records label?!?! "All Night Stand" began life as a novel by a protege of Shel's named Thom Keyes about the day in the life of a fictitious rock n' roll group.  Shel called on the talents of Ray Davies, who's band, The Kinks, he was still producing records for to come up with a track for a proposed movie adaptation. The movie never happened and joining the legions of other brilliant R.D. tracks to never see a Kinks version comes today's record in question.

For those who've not heard this track before it's amazing.  It's a bouncy, in-your-face little ditty and is easily (alongside Petula Clark's equally rocking version of "A Well Respected Man") one of the best 60's R.D. "covers" out there.  Lyrically its about the rigors of life on the road, the business and the pressures which eventually, in 1966 led to Ray's breakdown of sorts right around the time this record was released on both sides of the Atlantic.  Maybe I'm reading into it too much but I often wonder if like Lennon's "Help" it was some sort of public plea for assistance and not the work of some Shel Talmy commission? What's curious is that there are two versions of the song cut by The Thoughts, one for the U.S. and one for the U.K..  Our specimen here, the U.S. pressing is the far superior version.  It's faster, more snarling and WAY more rocking and features an extra verse.  The version on the U.K. release is slower, more mid tempo and features a slightly better production with an organ thrown in during an almost a capella break (and it almost sounds like there is a different vocalist on each version) . It also resembles the weariness of Ray's demo because the vocalist (double tracked) sounds more down trodden than angry (like on the U.S. version).  Though both  versions are great but I prefer the U.S. one, perhaps that's because I heard it first?

I don't usually post song lyrics here but this track is such a great synopsis of what it must've been like in the mid 60's being a pop star it needs to be quoted:

All night stand,
Been around seen a thousand places.
All night stand,
Seen a good half a million faces.

Because I've lived this life,
And I made it for myself.
If you scandalize my name,
Then you scandalize yourself.

Because I'm not to blame,
For the things that I've been doing.
You all say that I'm bad,
And I'll only end in ruin.

All night stand,
With a different girl each night.
All night stand,
With two hundred miles to ride.

But I won't give it up,
As long as I can make the bread.
When I do, I shall stop,
Close my eyes and go to bed.

And forget all this night,
And all the people on my back.
Once I'm free from these chains,
I ain't never looking back.

All night stand,
Been around seen a million faces, yeah.
All night stand,
Seen a good half a million places, yeah.

All night stand,
Can't get these people off my back.
All night stand,
Ten percent for this and that.

All night stand,
All night stand.



The flip side "Memory Of Your Love" reminds me a lot of The Kooba's "Sweet Music" both musically and lyrically.  It's a mid tempo number mourning the loss of love with some slightly jangly guitar with a very heavy bass/drum backing, sort of rough edged beat ballad.

The U.S. version of "All Night Stand" appeared on the crucial "Nuggets II: Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969" box set and on the out of print but equally essential RPM Planet records story CD.

"The Memory Of Your Love" graced the "That Driving Beat Volume 4" CD and also appears on the "That Driving Beat" box set which compiles all volumes of the series.

Ray's demo version has officially just seen the light on the amazing double CD deluxe edition of "The Kink Kontroversy" that just came out a few months ago.

Hear "All Night Stand" the U.S. 45 version:

http://youtu.be/MR6ShSC6W_8

Hear Ray Davie's demo of "All Night Stand":

http://youtu.be/phuss5J-ZT0




It's not "All Night Stand" but here's The Thoughts live on German TV's "Beat Beat Beat" doing "If You Don't Come Back" 1966

Friday, June 10, 2011

Welsh Mod/Soul On Deram Part Two

THE EYES OF BLUE-Up And Down/Heart Trouble U.K. Deram DM 106 1966


















As chronicled in a previous entry:

http://anorakthing.blogspot.com/2011/05/welsh-modsoul-on-deram.html

The Eyes of Blue were a six piece soul/r&b act from Neath, Swansea, Wales.  This was their debut which hit the streets in the U.K. on November 16, 1966.  Their line-up was: Wyndham Rees (vocals), Gary Pickford-Hopkins (vocals), Ray Williams (guitar), Ritchie Francis (bass), Phil Ryan (keyboards) and John Weather (drums).


















The A-side "Up And Down" is horrible.  God awful stuff, it's barely even recognizable from the band's other three amazingly soulful tracks on Deram.  The flip side is gold.  "Heart Trouble" is a cover of a track originally cut by George Clinton's amazing soul band The Parliaments (Golden World GW-46 in the States).  The Eyes of Blue speed it up just slightly, lose a verse and pump it up a notch.  Gary Pickford-Hopkin's chops are amazing.  This guy could belt it out with the best, and the backing vocals are perfect too, high, in key, in tune and very much like The Action's classy soulful backing voices.  The arrangement is tight and actually better produced than the original and certainly one of the clasic examples of Deram's homegrown blue eyed soul genre so beloved by mod anoraks (like myself) world wide.  And Deram mixing maestro Noel Walker does a great job in the production department on this one!















"Heart Trouble" was reissued on Decca/Deram's "Northern Soul Scene" CD and on "Fairytales Can Come True Volume Four".  No one has had the misfortune to utilize the A-side as filler on any CD comps, thankfully.

Hear "Heart Trouble":

http://youtu.be/S0xCBlvBV14

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cool Foreign Picture Sleeves

I will unequivocally state this is not my record nor have I ever owned it but it was too cool not to pass on.  I give you a Dutch 1966 Action picture sleeve:

British Invasion Cash-in's : The Liverpool Sound (via Birmingham)


MIKE SHERIDAN & THE NIGHTRIDERS-In Love/Please Mr. Postman U.S. The Liverpool Sound LS-902V 1964


















This label always cracks me up.  It's the eptiome of all of the stupid ploys by not so canny American creeps who cashed in on the "British Invasion".  The Liverpool Sound was a U.S. label and they issued this 45 by a British band who were from Birmingham, not Liverpool and had actually not even made any waves in their home country. I know nothing about the "Liverpool Sound" label but I do know they also released another 45 besides this one by another British group, The Paramounts  (as LS-903V "Poison Ivy"/"Feel Good All Over") who were from Canvey Island!

Mike Sheridan and The Nightriders are famed for their famous lead guitarist Roy Wood.  However this single was cut originally in the U.K. in 1963 (on the day JFK was assassinated according to brumbeat.net) with Roy's predecessor Big Al Johnson providing the lead licks.  The band also featured Mike Sheridan on lead vocals, Big Al Johnson on lead guitar, Dave Pritchard on rhythm guitar, Greg Masters on bass and Roger Spencer on drums.  I have my old chum Mike Sin to thank for turning me onto these guys back in the 80's when Edsel did an LP of all of their stuff.  I used to pretty much buy every LP they did of British 60's bands (The Big 3, The Artwoods, The Merseybeats, The Paramounts, The Roulettes bla bla bla) but somehow this one had slipped by me.  Needless to say I soon trooped down to Midnight Records on 23rd Street in New York and became a Mike Sheridan fan!

"In Love" is a rocking upbeat beat number with a some gritty licks from Johnson and powerful vocals from Mike Sheridan that's easily akin to The Big Three on their more rockin' sides.  The flip side of a semi-lack luster version of The Marvelettes number, nothing horrible there's just nothing really redeemable about it either! It's not as punchy as The Beatles version that's for sure and since theirs was the first version I'd ever heard of the song as a 10 year old on "The Beatles Second Album" (along with a few other Motown covers) it's hard to top the Fab Four for me on this track.  It was actually the A-side and in the U.K. their issue of this was on Columbia DB 7183 but I like the B-side better so I've chosen to display it.


















Both sides were issued on the Edsel LP compilation of all of the band's 60's releases  "Birmingham Beat" which for some odd reason (as we've complained in an earlier post), unlike most of the other Edsel LP's, never saw a CD issue.

Hear "In Love":

http://youtu.be/x3jusDOLI1k

Hear "Please Mr. Postman":

http://youtu.be/o2vDOajgvcs

Read more on Mike Sheridan and the Nightriders on "Anorak Thing" in these posts:

http://anorakthing.blogspot.com/2011/05/us-only-uk-pop-sike-pressings-part-ii.html

http://anorakthing.blogspot.com/2008/12/60s-brum-beat-part-one.html

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Time Syd Barrett Paid My Rent (Twice)......

PINK FLOYD-Arnold Layne/Candy And a Currant Bun Denmark Columbia DB 8156 1967





















As long time readers of my blog might follow I once had a rather substantial record collection which I sold bit by bit, some on E-bay, some at record shows, and the lesser collectible stuff on a website I had (and more record shows).  Periodically I kick myself over parting with certain ones, like this one, a Danish Pink Floyd 45 that I acquired in the mid 90's.  I'm not sure who I got it from, it was one of many mail order dealers I hit at payday like a junkie craving a fix in that period.  This one went for a rather large sum of money and I paid my rent for two months with what I made on it.

The band celebrate outside EMI's Manchester Square after signing
their contract






















If you've been in seclusion since 1967 I'll tell you about the debut single by The Pink Floyd (note "the" was utilized in their moniker on this 45). It concerns the plight of one Arnold Layne who nocturnally crept about stealing women's underclothes, gets banged up for it and goes down. Surprisingly it's not as spacey or way out as you'd expect and perhaps holds the distinction as the most low key Pink Floyd Syd Barrett era recording as it's really nothing more than some descending Fender guitar chords meshed with a bass run and a little Farfisa solo, no crazy effects, nothing. Still it's brilliant, especially in Mono with the headphones on with Syd's jangly Telecaster and Rick Wright's garage-y combo organ. Strangely enough the prudent BBC did not object to the song's odd lyrics, but strangely the ultra-liberal Pirate Radio Station (funded, it turned out by ultra conservatives looking to make an easy pound) banned it because it was "smutty". The flipside would've been banned had the group gone with it's original title "Let's Roll Another One", which, in almost Cockney rhyming slang was retitled "Let's Roll Another One".  Musically it is the complete antheisis of "Arnold Layne" and everything you'd expect from '67 Pink Floyd: dischordant guitar breaks, noodling bass runs, a Farfisa (and the guitar) run through a Binson echo unit, weird shrieks, high backing vocals and of course Syd Barrett's Zippo-lighter-on the-frets routine! Brilliant stuff!

A still from the "Arnold Layne" promo film
















"Arnold Layne" and "Candy And A Currant Bun" were released on a brilliant Mono CD E.P. "The First Three Singles" that came with the 40th anniversary edition of "Piper At The Gates Of Dawn". "Arnold.." recently cropped up (sounding incredible) on last year's CD "An Introduction To Syd Barrett".



Hear "Candy And A Currant Bun":


http://youtu.be/BhEtPPbuFFk

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bullseye!

A bit off color and off target (two bad puns in one entry, my apologies) today's entry is neither music nor fashion nor pop culture.  It's air force roundels. I was inspired by my fellow scribe over at Parka Avenue wrote a brief bit on the bulls eye "R.A.F." (that's "Royal Air Force") roundel and how it worked it's way into the mod scene.  As a life long military aviation enthusiast I have always been aware of the multitude of multi colored roundels worn as recognition markings by many countries of the world.  In fact briefly (in the 80's to go against the grain) I had a United States Army Air Corps roundel painted on the back of my parka. I eventually painted it over with The Times London Underground "This Is London" logo instead!  So today I got to thinking how many countries in the world used roundels on the military aircraft and here's what I came up with off the top of my head, I'm sure there are loads more:

Australian Air Force

Belgian Air Force

Danish Air Force

Egyptian Air Force

Finnish Air Force

French Air Force

Greek Air Force

Indian Air Force

Italian Air Force

Pakistani Air Force


Bulgarian Air Force












Romanian Air Force

Spanish Air Force

Turkish Air Force

Royal Air Force













Afghan Air Force

Bangladeshi Air Force

Iranian Air Force

Jordanian Air Force

Serbian Air Force

Syrian Air Force

United Arab Emirates Air Force

Ukrainian Air Force