Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Great Obscure U.K. 60's Sides: Oscar (aka Paul Nicholas) Does Pete Townshend

OSCAR-Join My Gang/A Day Gone By U.K. Reaction 591006 1966

We chatted a lot about Oscar/Paul Nicholas/Paul Dean in a previous entries, both of which you can dig here and over here. Today's specimen was his debut single under the "Oscar" moniker released in October 1966 on Robert Stigwood's short lived but brilliant Reaction label sandwiched between The Birds (aka Bird Birds) final 45 and Cream's debut.

"Join My Gang" rests in the ranks of those Pete Townshend 60's compositions that the Who never recorded like The Barron Knight's "Lazy Fat People". Strangely it's just as idiosyncratic lyrically as say "I'm A Boy" or "Pictures Of Lily" but hearing Oscar do it makes you wonder what a Who version would have sounded like. Perhaps it was too light weight or maybe Pete felt he'd foisted enough perverse little ditties on the band. That said "Join My Gang" is a light, jaunty little piece of pop with some silly lyrics with a main chorus of "You can join my gang. That would shake the world, you can join my gang even though you're a girl" with some VERY '67 Bowie style oboe in the background and some jangly folk rocky guitar. It's catchy and the melody to the chorus is pretty damn infectious.

I am going to own up about the flip.  I'm not sure if I ever played it and since I sold it to my friend Tom Davis a few years back I have no way of having a listen.

"Join My Gang" was issued on Volume 14 of the "Piccadilly Sunshine" psych pop CD series. "A Day Gone By" has yet to resurface.

Oscar stirs up shit "Disc & Music Echo" October 29, 1966

Hear "Join My Gang":

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