Tuesday, August 27, 2013

August's Picks


1. JASON CREST-"Black Mass"
Freaky, satanic sounding bit of business from 1969 on the flip of their final 45, the Mellotron laced Moody Blues-ish "A Place In The Sun" with backwards bits, Hammer film style orchestration, Gregorian chants and freaked out screams.  God bless Bam Caruso records (again, as always) for unearthing this for their 1984 LP compilation "The 49 Minute Technicolour Dream".


2. LES 5 GENTLEMEN-"Dis Nous Dylan"
Brilliant bit of 60's (1966 to be exact) Gallic pop from Les 5 Gentlemen , who recorded in English on U.K. releases as Darwin's Theory. This great pisstake folk rock/protest number sings (en francais naturellment) "tell us Dylan, tell us Donovan" behind a solid backing with great vocals.  Story is Radio Caroline boss Phil Solomon caught them in France and dug them so much he signed them to his Major Minor label and had this number rerecorded in English as "Daytime".  Ace!


3. ARTHUR PRYSOCK-"Working Man's Prayer"
True story time. I'm a senior in high school sitting in "in school suspension" with Mr. Dowding and a bunch of freshmen and sophomore miscreants.  I spent the day chatting with Mr. Dowding like we were sitting on train or plane next to each other.  At lunch he asked if I would mind if he turned on the radio.  I consented and he said "It's geator time" and put on Jerry Blavat's Oldies radio show (he is known as "the geator with the heater", don't fucking ask me I've no idea what a "geator" is...).  Anyway he spun this impassioned record with a slightly schmaltzy musical backing by a baritone voiced guy with some pretty powerful lyrics.  For the past 29 years I tried to figure out what that record was.  A few weeks back I stumbled on this 1966 45 on Verve for 99 cents, I spun it in the store and ironically as I dropped the needle on the groves it hit the verse I remembered.   "Now I ain't complainin' lord but sometimes when you see me stumble reach down and lend a helpin' hand to my back. Make my days a little shorter and my nights a lighter longer , lord make my hammer a little lighter and my dollar a little stronger". Still freaking powerful all these years later.


The Merseybeats and friends

4. THE MERSEYBEATS-"I Stand Accused"
True story (more with the stories?), in late '65 The Merseybeats told their brand new managers Kit Lambert & Chris Stamp that they wanted to cover a track called "I Stand Accused" for their next 45. Lambert & Stamp duly secured the track for them to cover only instead of the Jerry Butler # they wanted they got a Tony Colton track of the same name (curiously already released by Colton that previous Summer). I think this sounds 100 times better than a Jerry Butler ballad don't you? The best thing they ever did in my book. Gong at the end care of stablemate Keith Moon and harpsichord by Nicky Hopkins....


Odd 45 from the U.K. psych band The Fruit Machine only released here in the States on the obscure American Music Maker's label.  From the pen of pop psych geniuses John Carter and Russ Alquist it's a bit of somber orchestrated pop psych with brilliant cymbal flashes, regal trumpets and soulful/bluesy vocals.


Redd Foxx:Mod Icon

6. REDD FOXX-"Real Pretty Momma"
Nestled away on a cheap old untitled Redd Foxx stand up LP is this rocking Big Joe Turner style r&b number.  I'd no idea when it was from but thanks to 45cat.com I found out it was a 1957 45. Best known for his hysterical but raunchy stand up his voice is perfectly suited for this!

7. THE BONZO DOG BAND-"Sport (The Odd Boy)"
Bizarre, baroque bit of Bonzo's silliness about the perils of a weakling/shut in seeking to dodge gym class from their essential LP "Keynsham" and collected on their equally interesting compilation "Cornology" that degenerates into a groovy Move '67 style bit of fun featuring a spoon solo!


8. THE GALILEO 7-"Staring At The Sound"
Allan Crockford from The Prisoners current band.  If you were, like me expecting something like The Prisoners, then like me, you'd be dead wrong.  They're quite psych poppy, in fact this number recalls the short lived U.K answer to our local heroes The Narc Twins, Vibrasonic.  Which suits me perfectly!

9. THE AARDVARKS-"Buttermilk Boy"
"Dear Aardvarks.  I'm sorry I haven't taken much notice of you since "Bargain Day" it's just that I got so wrapped up in collecting U.K. 60's freakbeat/r&b/psych stuff that I was in sort of a void and payed little attention to anything musical going on.  I know this record is 14 years old but it's fucking amazing and I can't stop playing it.

Sincerest Apologies,
Anorak Thing"


10. THE HIGHER STATE-"Automatic Motion"
Like The Aardvarks I've had my head up my own ass and never got around to SERIOUSLY listening to this guys.  WTF?!  Time to make amends.....