Tuesday, October 29, 2013

October's Picks

1. ZOOT MONEY-"Recapture The Thrill Of Yesterday"
From Zoot's "Transition" LP which I recently purchased and was pleasantly surprised as I knew not what to expect from Mr. George Bruno Money's post Dantalian's Chariot period. Mid tempo, "mellow" if you will but totally infectious in my book!


2. THE BARRACUDAS-"Summer Fun"
Few songs recapture a moment in time that I am automatically transplanted to like this one that only requires me to close my eyes and expect to reopen them and find myself in my last day of my Sophomore year of high school headed to the beach with all my friends in June of 1982.


3. FRANCIS MORELLO-"Mrs. Robinson"
From the amazing 4 CD box set "Los Nuggetz: 60's Punk, Pop And Psychedelia From Latin America" (sort of a mis-titling as there's loads of stuff from Spain too). Cut in '68 this is an instrumental version of the S&G tune by an Argentinian artist. Forget any Booker T. carbon copies, this is quite original.  On the surface it's almost muzak with harpsichord, cheezy organ and Al Caiola style guitar licks but it's all dashed by the gritty fuzz guitar and delivered at a furious pace.


4. THE MAMAS & THE PAPAS-"Trip, Stumble And Fall"
Backed by some jazzy vibes Cass and Michelle's heavenly backing vocals send chills up my spine in pure aural ecstasy (esp. the part where they sing "Yeah yeah yeah", magic! almost trippy) from their second (untitled) album released in August '66 after some aggro because Michelle was boinking Denny (could you blame him?).


5. THE GOLDEN EARRINGS-"Happy And Young Together"
From their 2nd LP "Winter Harvest" (my fave of their good ones, the first three)Holland's finest offer something a bit different in this one full of thundering drums and explosive pop art power chords, distortion and '66 Who style mayhem midst lyrics about young marriage, "A Legal Matter" indeed by far more punchy.  Brilliant!


6. JOHN MAYALL-"Burn Out Your Blind Eyes"
Just the man and his electric guitar belting the blues from one of the best $3.00 purchases ever made, a 1967 London records blues compilation LP "Raw Blues" and the perfect sounds for an Autumn Saturday morning here at Anorak Manor.


7. THE TEARDROP EXPLODES-"Bent Out Of Shape" (BBC Radio Session)
An incredible live on the Beeb version from Monday August 17, 1981 on the Richard Skinner session awash in groovy organ and otherwise quite sparse but utterly amazing.  Added as a bonus cut on the Deluxe edition of "Wilder".

Scan c/o 45cat.com

8. RIFKIN-"Continental Hesitation"
A great U.K. 1968 B-side of a Page One 45 , ballsy with some great jangly guitar licks and very glammy vocals that's cross between The Move and The Lovin'. I know zip about these guys so if you know who they were give us a bell.


9. THE LA's-"Open Your Heart"
Bare bones La's from a throw away crap "Mojo" freebie CD "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out: Indie Classics 1982-1987", perfect layers of amazing vocals with just guitar and bass, no percussion, just D.I.Y demo style but oh what a melodic treat it all is!!!


I'm going to piss a lot of  people off but I've about had it up to the eyeballs with all these contemporary pasty upper middle class white boys and girls singing like they're black men and women and the rock n' roll intelligentsia fawning over them.  Enough is fucking enough. Seriously. So it's great to hear a black man taking it back via some balls up rock n' roll. Barrence and his powerful voice has been around for ages and our faithful reader and all round cool guy Joe Hedio hipped me to this track from Barrance's latest LP "Dig Thy Savage Soul" a few months back. The backing is raw, like The Sonics meet The Swingin' Neckbreakers with the man belting out some seriously strong stuff. There was an absolutely killer video of him kicking ass and taking names on "Later...With Jools" but the twats at YouTube have seen fit to yank it.


Saturday, October 12, 2013

A (History) Lesson Perhaps..............

BALLOON BUSTERS-Alcock And Brown/Bluer Than Blue Canada Pye 7N 17748 1969

Despite being a military aviation enthusiast for longer than I've been a 60's music fan it was not until I heard "Alcock & Brown" by The Balloon Busters earlier this year that I learned the story of the intrepid airman Captain John Alcock (pilot) and Flight Lieutenant Arthur Brown (navigator). Both Alcock and Brown served in WWI as airmen and both were shot down and became P.O.W's. Post war in a Daily Mail sponsored competition in June 1919 they flew a World War I vintage twin engined Vickers Vimy bomber on the first non stop flight across the Atlantic from St. John's, Newfoundland to Clifden, Ireland.  Hailed as national heroes upon their landing they were awarded 10,000 pounds and were knighted by King George V. Sadly Alcock was killed in a flying accident just six months later, Brown passed away in 1948.  A statue of them both stands on display at Heathrow airport to this day.

Capt. John Alcock and Lt. Arthur Brown, 1919

Despite being on the Pye label I had never heard of it before, which struck me as positively weird because I was once informed by one of the gentlemen behind the Bam Caruso label that licensing fee for Pye/Piccadilly is reasonable and a great deal of the label's catalog has been comped to death as a result! It was not until my friend Larrry Grogan (of Funky 16 Corners/Iron Leg blog fame) came upon a U.S. copy on Chess a few months ago that I heard it for the first time.  I was immediately struck by it's  jolly demeanor, power pop precision and the fact that it told a story, which as research proved, turned out to be 100% true lyrically! The precision production (by old hands Howard Blaikey and Co.) adds to the catchiness of the tune and is a perfect late 60's British pop record.  There were no more 45's by Balloon Busters (though the single was released in the US, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Portugal and Canada, the last four having the same catalog number as the U.K. release).

U.S. Pressing

The flip side, "Bluer Than Blue" is sadly quite lame.  It's a piece of undistinguished pop/pap akin to something foist on late era Dave Dee and Co. or The Herd.  It doesn't work for me, sorry.

The original U.K. single was released on May 2, 1969.  Former member Colin Fox commented on YouTube:

"The band I was playing with at the time was called St. Johns Wood, but for Alcock and Brown Howard Blaikley decided they wanted to name us Balloon Busters, for obvious reasons. Although we were professional for a time, we never made it to the big time. All the band members I´ve played with in the past came from Eastbourne in East Sussex. "

Hear "Alcock And Brown":


Alcock and Brown's Vickers Vimy

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Mick & Keith Got To Jail And The Who Pick Up The Slack....

THE WHO-The Last Time/Under My Thumb France Polydor 421 148 1967 

Certainly one of the most well meaning but misguided publicity stunts of the 1960's occurred when Keith Richards and Mick Jagger were sent down for drug related charges from the infamous Redlands bust on June, 28, 1967 and The Who rush recorded and released a 45 of covers of "The Last Time" and "Under My Thumb" as a show of solidarity and as their press release claimed "to keep their work before the public until they are again free to record for themselves again".  It was released on June 30th, luckily for the public The Stones were bailed before it actually hit the streets and we were spared any more half assed Who versions of Stones tracks.  Bassist John Entwistle was away at sea on the QEII on his honeymoon at the time the light bulb lit in manger Kit Lambert's head and he rang him via ship to shore phone asking his permission to have Pete double over on bass.  Entwistle assented but was none too happy being woken to take the call wrongly assuming the call was a result of someone having  died!

"The Last Time" is not bad thanks to Pete's hypnotic lead riff on what sounds like a Fender twelve string while Moon thumps along (with too much tambourine way too high in the mix) and plenty buzzing, feedback laden '67 Who for you. The usual crash, bang, wallop, and pretty darn cool actually!

"Under My Thumb" is less interesting, in fact it's damn lackluster. The acoustic guitar and mixing sound like the same formula used on "Mary Anne With The Shaky Hand", it's just so empty, sparse and Pete's backing vocals do zilch for it.  Again thankfully The Stones made bail!

Mr. & Mrs. Moon protest Mick & Keef's lock up down at the local Wimpys. June 29, 1967

Both cuts were resurrected for the deluxe edition CD of their "Odds And Sods" collection (alongside similar period killers like "Little Billy" and "Glow Girl").

Hear "The Last Time":


Hear "Under My Thumb":