Thursday, September 19, 2013

Great Obscure U.K. 60's Sides: The Explosive

THE EXPLOSIVE-Cities Make The Country Colder/Step Out Of Line U.K. President PT 244 1969

One of the great things about the amazing "Looking Back" 3 CD set is that it turned me onto a great many bands, a few on the President label, like The Explosive.  I can't tell you much about them other than the fact that they were British.  They cut just 3 singles of their own on President '69-'70, cut two backing one Watson T. Browne (both in '68) and one in '70 backing Del Taylor (all on President as well).

"Cities Make The Country Colder" hit the public in April 1969.  It's intro, a groovy Small Faces style instrumental of twangy guitar and grooving go-go style organ being played through a transistor radio sounds more like '66.  That fades out and it kicks into this amazing Brit Pop ('66-'74 version)type thing that sounds almost proto-glam thanks to the lead singer's heavily Anglicized, well enuciated vocals and the production. It's got a jolly little jaunty Move '67 style melody that's equally cool (think "Wave Your Flag And Stop The Train").  And then it all winds down with the intro coming back through it's tinny sound before that too fades out.  Pure magic!

The flip side "Step Out Of Line" starts out cool enough with a funky bass line but the track somehow sounds like a half assed Gary Glitter number.  What's entertaining about it however is the delivery TOTALLY predates glam rock by a few years with the twangy Steve Marriott does Steve Cropper '66 licks of the A-side intact.

"Cities Make The Country Colder" and "Step Out Of Line" appear on the President records CD comp "Sometimes I Wonder"  (along with another Explosive A-side cut, "Who Planted Thorns In Miss Alice's Garden?") and "Step Out Of Line" appears on the essential above mentioned "Looking Back" CD comp.

"Cities Make The Country Colder" composer Tom Northcott released a groovy version of Donovan's "Sunny Goodge Street" in the U.S. on Warner Brothers in June 1967 (WB 7051).  It's flip was a Northcott original called "Who Planted Thorns In Miss Alice's Garden?" which The Explosive used as the A-side of the single preceeding this (PT 262).

Hear "Cities Make The Country Colder":

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