Saturday, April 9, 2016

Only In America U.K. Obscurities On U.S. Labels: Herbie's People

HERBIE'S PEOPLE-Semi Detached Suburban Mr. Jones/Residential Area U.S. Okeh 4-7265 1966

Today's specimen is a US only pressing of a track made famous by Manfred Mann: "Semi Detached Suburban Mr. James" (the title was changed by the Manfred's from it's original "Mr. Jones" so as not to give them impression that it was about their former lead singer Paul Jones).

The Herbie's People's version was released in the US in December 1966, two months after it appeared in the States on the flip on Manfred's "Each And Every Day" (Mercury 72629). It's not much different from the Manfred's version though it's far more upbeat and punchy and dare I say it, more poppy. Interestingly there's a harmonica solo.

The real gem is the flip, "Residential Area" (previously unreleased in the U.K. it would not surface there until February 1967 on the flip of "Humming Bird" as CBS 202584). Starting with some blistering guitar work that clashes with its Ivy League style squeaky clean harmonies it actually works. It's an interesting little social commentary ditty about the rich girl/poor boy scenario and is well worth a listen with the freaky guitar appearing throughout.

"Semi Detached Suburban Mr. Jones" has yet to surface any place but "Residential Area" cropped up on  Past & Present's "New Rubble Volume 6: Painting The Time" CD.

Hear "Semi Detached Suburban Mr. Jones":

Hear "Residential Area":

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