Friday, October 2, 2015

Let's Talk About Girls Part Two: 10 More Cool U.K. 60's Girl Discs

Several years back we came up with ten U.K. 60's female vocalists records outside the usual realm of Sandie, Cilla, Dusty et al.  You can check that out here.  And here's ten more....

1. JULIE GRANT-"Stop" U.K. Pye 7N.15937 1965
Julie Grant's final U.K. single after a lengthy sixteen single and one E.P. run for Pye was this previously unreleased in the U.K. Moody Blues composition (released in the States by The Moodies which we covered here). Sticking to the Moodies arrangement but sweetened by strings and a pastoral oboe solo it's carried equally by her powerfully indignant sounding vocals and the songs incredible catchy "stops" if you'll excuse the pun.

2. THE McKINLEYS-"Sweet And Tender Romance" Parlophone R5211 1964
This Carter/Lewis composition covered by Edinburgh duo Shelia and Jeannette (known collectively as The McKinleys) is best known for it's distinct guitar contributed by session man Jimmy Page but there's much much more to it as you will hear. Have a gander at them on "Ready Steady Go!" plugging it (embedding disabled by request) and see if I'm wrong:

3. SHARON TANDY-"Look And Find" U.K. Atlantic 584137 1967
From South Africa via the U.K. this track by Sharon comes from the flip of her overblown Vanilla Fudge version style treatment of "Our Day Will Come".  The heaviness by her backing band The Fleur De Ly's is held in check and the soulfulness is intact as Sharon's strong voice pulls it all off with backing vocals that sound a bit like The Action.

4. THE CARAVELLES-"Hey Mama You've Been On My Mind" U.K. Polydor  BM 56137 1967
From the duo who brought us the insipid "You Don't Have To Be A Baby To Cry" comes redemption in the form of this sweeping, mournful, orchestrated folk rock piece (a cover of a track originally cut the previous year in the States by The Restless Feelin's on United Artists). Spearheaded by their angelic voices amidst a bombastic but chilling Spector-esque production courtesy of one Richard Hill (best known for his work with Sharon Tandy) it's spine tingling.

5. TWINKLE-"Mickey" U.K. Instant IN 005 1969
Best known for her 1964 biker teen melodrama hit "Terry" and her Decca records stint, my money is on Twinkle for her late career soulful pop two sider from '69 on Instant (an Immediate records spin off) "Mickey" (and it's flip "Darby And Joan"). "Mickey" is full of lots of  rousing soul  licks and everything under the sun thrown in for good measure (Sweet Inspirations style backing vocals, congas, Foundations style backing brass and loads of "hey hey hey's!").

6. NITA ROSSI-"Untrue Faithful That Was You" U.K. Piccadilly 7N 35258 1965
This Gordon Mills penned 45 (also covered by Mills goldmine Tom Jones on his "What's New Pussycat" US LP) skillfully orchestrated by Johnny Harris is one of my favorite mid 60's British girl angst records.  The strings and shrill flute right before the chorus is damned infectious and Nita's vocals seems to convey that she means every word she's singing.

Barbara Ruskin c/o

7. BARBARA RUSKIN-"Pawnbroker Pawnbroker" U.K. President PT 217 1968
Starting off with an eerie Celtic sounding penny whistle melding with some wiggy fuzz guitar straight off a Strange Things Are Happening CD comp  track "Pawnbroker Pawnbroker" is a perfect slice of post Swinging London gritty social commentary (written by Barbara) showing it wasn't all hip in-crowd night spots, Carnaby Street shopping sprees and trust funds.

8. THE STOCKING TOPS-"I Don't Ever Wanna Be Kicked By You" U.K. CBS 3407 1968
Sounding completely in the vein of The Flirtations first few Deram releases this incredible Kenny Lynch composed and produced number (with arrangements by John Paul Jones in between his new Led Zeppelin commitment) was the product of two sisters Yvonne and Heather Wheatman who'd previously recorded as the duo Sue and Sunny.  It's perhaps the most soulful British female recording I've ever encountered and worth checking out if you like to dance.

9. ANITA HARRIS-"The Playground" U.K. CBS 2991 1967
From the busy bass line intro to the lush orchestration by Alan Tew worthy of any 60's British kitsch film soundtrack Anita Harris coos over an arrangement that verges on supper club pop but with soulful handclaps and thundering drums. Top notch stuff with a catchy ending chorus repeated like a mantra: "and now only wind whistles in and out" over and over with sweeping strings and someone (probably Clem Cattini or Bobby Graham) bashing the shit out of their kit.

10. SIMONE JACKSON-"Where Am I Going" U.S. Only  American Music Makers AMM-00-2 1967
Simone Jackson cut three singles in the U.K. for Piccadilly in '62-'63 then pretty much vanished from any further music releases as far as I can tell.  I'm not entirely sure that this U.S. only release is her but it certainly sounds like it and the Jim Economides production and David Whittaker arrangement tag are a dead giveaway for a U.K. product. Not to be confused with the Tony Hatch composed Petula Clark tune of the same name, "Where Am I Going" is a somber, dreary, rainy day ballad that is layered in overwrought strings and all the pomp and spunk of the best Leslie Gore teen melodrama.

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