Monday, March 28, 2016

10 Cool U.K. Mid 60's Songs That You Possibly Haven't Heard

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1. THE SUMMER SET-"What Are You Gonna Do" U.K. Columbia DB 8004 1966
The Summer Set cut just two singles in the U.K. (a cover of The Flower Pot Men's "Lets Go To San Francisco" was only released in the U.S. and on the Continent) , both in the fine West Coast harmony genre as their name implies. This was the flip of their debut, a cover of the Beach Boy's "Farmer's Daughter". It starts with some simple Farfisa and tight harmonies and breaks into a tough, Who '65 style basher that is punctuated by some Tremeloes/Marmalade style vocals during the chorus.

2. ONE IN A MILLION-"Hold On" U.K. CBS 202513 1967
From the flip of their debut 45 of "Use Your Imagination" comes this track that is reminiscent of Dave Dee, Dozy, Snoozy etc with some tough, fuzzed out guitar, mid tempo groove and a rough edged "beat group with balls" feel too.  The fuzz guitar solo is pre D.D.D.B.M, & T!

3. THE CYMBALINE-"Can You Hear Me" U.K. Mercury MF  918 1966
On the flip of their first Mercury 45, the mediocre  "Top Girl" comes this compelling little number packed tight with Beach Boys style harmonies, storming drums, and driving bass/Farfisa. My favorite part is during the chorus when the lead singer sings "Many a man has loved you, many a man has tried, many a man has loved you, many a man has cried" beneath a cool "Tired Of Waiting" style groove.

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4. JASON DEANE-"Ain't Got No Love" U.K. King KG 1060 1967
Starting off with a great Kinks style three chord intro with horns this number quickly picks up the pace with a soulful delivery and a frantic r&b delivery.  Deane sings very much in the Vince Taylor/Billy Fury (ie "I love Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran") style which makes this number all the more interesting as it melds pre-Beatles Brit rock n roll with gritty London r&b crossed with frantic "freakbeat" chops and James Brown style horns. Wiggy.

5.  TUESDAY'S CHILDREN-"Summer Leaves Me With A Sigh" U.K. Columbia DB 8018 1966
Staring with a clanging, distorted guitar that evokes '66 Yardbirds "Summer Leaves Me With A Sigh" is a perfect vehicle for the band's tight Hollies style harmonies.  In fact the number reminds me in many ways of "Coming From The Ground" a cut The Hollies gave to Sweden's Lee Kings in '67.

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6. MUD-"You're My Mother" CBS 203002 1967
This lyrically perverse, almost incestuous number sounds like it could have come from the quirky pen of Roy Wood in the '67 Move era. On the flip of future glam rockers Mud's debut 45 "Flower Power" this sits nicely between the harmonies of the Syn and the above mentioned pop quirkiness of The Move (throbby base and gypsy 12 string intact).

7. TEN FEET-"Factory Worker" U.K. RCA 1544 1966
On the flip of  their debut "Got Everything But Love", Ten Feet blend West Coast harmonies with inoffensive beat music delivered at an amphetamine driven pace whilst perfectly encapsulating the tale of the everyman in a nifty slice of 1966 social commentary.

8. THE TREND-"Shot On Sight" U.K. Page One POF 004 1966
This mid tempo 1966 groover on the B-side of "Boyfriends And Girlfriends" combines a catchy, driving riff reminiscent of The Troggs with horns and a cynical twist delivered in the colloquial lingo of the day ("I only want a peaceful life, not an all nite rave so if you think you're gonna lig and loon girl just dig your own grave"). Also released in the U.S. on Fontana F-1565.

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9. THE HUMAN INSTINCT-"Can't Stop Around" U.K. Mercury MF 951 1966
Formerly known as The Four Four's in their home land of New Zealand these Kiwis relocated to the U.K. where they became The Human Instinct and released a fine slew of singles on Mercury and Deram. This was their first and has the feel of a '65 beat group record with some fine bass/guitar interplay. No clip available on YouTube.

10. THE ROGER JAMES FOUR-"Better Than Here" U.K. Columbia DB 7829 1966
A cracking, frantic piece of frenetic freakbeat with soulful vocals, manic drums and a cool spacey organ played with what sounds like a Binson echo unit and a totally reverb soaked guitar solo. A perfect example of the beautiful melding of British beat, r&b and "freakbeat".

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