I love that there are still 60's 45's out there from the U.K. by bands on major labels I know fuck all about. This amazingly catchy tune came out in the U.K. on Pye in '69 and sounds a lot like harmony/proto bubbleglam like Katch 22 or Sight & Sound. Thanks to my pal Larry over at Iron Leg and his U.S. pressing (on Chess oddly) I am now a wiser man!
2. THE GUESS WHO-"This Time Long Ago"Stunning Who '66 harmonies (damned if this doesn't sound like "Glow Girl", which is impossible...)giving way to some loungey marimbas and pop precision on this killer 45 from 1967.
3. THE MONTANAS-"Roundabout"
Smashing high harmonies, heavy playing Britain's The Montanas crash into 1969 sounding rather menacing and shaking all off accusations of being the Four Seasons of the British Isles. Sadly they didn't cut any more like this!
4. GENO WASHINGTON & THE RAM JAM BAND-"Jumpin' Jack Flash"
Acid Jazz has been kicking out some really cool 7" E.P.'s as of late. My thoughts on Geno Washington are pretty well documented here but this E.P. has a version of The Stone's "Jumpin' Jack Flash" that's amazing. It's drenched in Hammond and slowed down a tad slower than Thelma Houston's killer version. Why couldn't Geno have made more records like this?
5. INKASE-"(Tell Me) Have You Ever Seen Me ?"
There's a plethora of obscure 60's Australian covers of Small Faces tunes out there (Tymepiece's "Become Like You" and The Clevedonaire's "Up The Wooden Hills To Bedfordshire"). This one is equally interesting because the playing is great but the most interesting fact is the lyrics are completely botched (I've read they also covered "Rene" as well). That's usually the norm for countries who do not speak English as a primary language so I'm thinking these guys didn't have time to learn them. For instance the trippy line "I see flowers breaking through the concrete..." becomes "I dig flowers, I take 'em to the laundry". Hey hey, hey hey hey hey...
6. BOBBY BLAND-"Jelly Jelly Jelly"
Word reached us here at "Anorak Thing" central this past Sunday that Mr. Bland had left the stage for the other side. Picking a fave Bobby "Blue" Bland number was no easy feat as there's so many good 'uns to choose from but this was always a fave of mine, slow, smokey and scorching.
7. THE FLYING BURRITO BROTHERS-"Wild Horses"
It took me a very long time to come around on these guys but the arrangement and Gram Parson's voice knocks the Stone's version in the dirt. It doesn't get more soulful and impassioned than this and Gram was born to sing it. Stunning.
8. THE MONKS-"Complication"
I was never a big Monks fan, I didn't dislike them but I don't think I'd ever appreciated "Black Monk Time" like the rest of my friends. I read Eddie Shaw's book "Black Monk Time" when it came out and enjoyed it and sat riveted while watching the documentary done on them a few years back and it wasn't until last year when I saw a few friends in Minneapolis backing Gary Burger for an entire set that I came to appreciate this tune. Written in the 60's it still makes perfect sense now:
"People die for you.
People will for you.
Ain't it fun for you.
To their deaths for you"
9. BIG MAYBELLE-"I Can't Control Myself"I love this, it's so inept and you can tell it was rushed out (like #5's entry correct grasp of the lyrics were obviously not considered) and Big Maybelle sounds downright scary as she sings "I'll take you boy as you're standing there low cut slacks and your wavy hair" conjures visions of a hoary old cradle robber! From her LP "Got A Brand New Bag" (on the suspect sounding "Rojac" label that reeks of cosa nostra greenback laundering!) which is second in the worst LP cover artwork next to the Rod Stewart LP shown/mentioned in March's picks.
10. IAN MCLAGAN & THE BUMP BAND-"Hello Old Friend"
Ian McLagan wrote this number for/about his friend the late Ronnie Lane who had come to visit him late in his short life. It never ceases to rouse me from a funk and whenever I'm enjoying the company of an old friend I haven't seen in ages it's never far from my brain.