Friday, April 24, 2015

April's Picks

I recently checked out an old movie with Debbie Harry and and a mod looking Norman Reedus ("The Walking Dead") called "Six Ways To Sunday" and it featured this amazing unreleased 1969 track by an all girl band from Nashville that blew my mind and is by far the best song I've heard this year.  The trailer above features it. I highly recommend you check out the song and the film.

2. REG KING-"In My Dreams"
Reg King's re-recording of The Action's "Rolled Gold/Brain" classic was featured on his 1971 untitled solo LP.  It's a lot heavier than original but still works and it's pretty interesting.It also features former Action members Mick Evans, Roger Powell and Martin Stone as well as Brian Godding of Blossom Toes fame backing him up.

3. WYNDER K. FROG-"I Feel So Bad"
A Hammond tour de force with strings version of a Jackie Edwards tune from their debut 1967 Island records LP "Sunshine Super Frog". This number has a certain quality of sophistication AND soul to it that makes it required listening.

4.BRENDA LEE-"Is It True"
Brenda Lee was brought over to the U.K. in 1964 to cut this Carter/Lewis track and it features the distinct volume pedal string bending guitar style of a young Jimmy Page. I'd love to know who else played on the session, the drumming leads me to suspect Bobbie Graham and though I'm not remotely a Brenda Lee fan both this (and it's flip, a rocking version of "What'd I Say") are incredible.

5. BRENTON WOOD-"Psychotic Reaction"
I had all but forgotten Brenton Wood's insane cover of the Count  Five's "Psychotic Reaction" (I can't really call it a cover, it's more of a cover up with Wood's vocals and a cheezy combo organ placed over the top of the Count Five's track).  I'd love to know how that came about but seeing as they were label mates on Double Shot anything is possible. Interestingly it only came out as a 45 in Italy!

6. LOVE-"Dream"
From their "Four Sail" LP I discovered this song in the intro of a low budget zombie film called "Mulberry Street" (worth checking out actually).  It reminds me of what would've happened if the Bee Gees cut a record with Jimi Hendrix, I kid you not.  Put that in your ear and dig it!

I have always preferred Pete's 1965 demo of "Magic Bus" to the original and hearing it in "Lambert & Stamp" made me dust off "Scoop" and it's brilliance all came flowing back.  The disjointed percussion, double tracked vocals and acoustic guitars all have the right amount of echo on them and are utterly hypnotic in my book.

8. MANFRED MANN-"Oh No Not My Baby"
Check out the intricate intertwining of Hammond and horns at the intro and the power chords and vibes a bit later on and you'll see why the Manfreds were one of the hottest bunch of musicians in the mid 60's with a perfect balance of soul, jazz and r&b.

9. ADAM & THE ANTS-"Dog Eat Dog"
It makes me proud, so proud of you to see the innocence shining through....

10. THE MONKEES-"Words (original recording)"
The Monkees original recording of "Words" sat on the shelf until their 1990 "Missing links Two" compliation.  The guitars are harder edged, there's some trippy little raga licks, an "Along Comes Mary" style flute and the whole thing is 100 times better than the "Pleasant Valley Sunday" flipside version. Check out the backwards tape action at 2:36!  Curiously this version was used in the TV show which left Monkeemaniacs waiting 24 years to own it.

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