Thursday, May 26, 2016

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

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1. NICKY JAMES-"Would You Believe" U.K. Phillips BF 1635 1968
This interesting cover of The Hollies opus was even more over the top than the original with some high end production and orchestration by Reg Guest. It's a tad overblown at times but I really dig it because it's so full on campy.

2. THE LOOT-"She's A Winner" Page One POF 095 1968
This snarling dirge could easily be mistaken for the Troggs with it's slow, leering vocals and primitive sound.  It's hard to believe it's from 1968 and not 1966! It was also released in the U.S. where we discussed it at length here.

3. SANDY-"Solitary Man" Columbia DB 7938 1966
One half of the duo Rick & Sandy, Sandy Roberton struck out on his own and cut this Neil Diamond cover in May of 1966. It's a tad lighter than the original but features some very cool archetype UK session backing (directed by Arthur Greenslade) especially in the horn department.

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4.THE PANDAMONIUM-"The Sun Shines From His Eyes" U.K. CBS 2664 1967
On the flip of the legendary Hollies on LSD inspired "No Presents For Me" comes this jaunty little groover that reminds me of the Kinks in their '66-'67 period. There's an interesting backwards guitar solo in the middle while the band cheers on like a pub knees up.

5. THE FENMEN-"I've Got Everything You Need Babe" Decca F 12269 1965
Backed by some strong brass The Fenmen give it their all on this Kooper/Levine composition with their trademark strong harmonies.  Then out of nowhere comes a Jimmy Page style guitar solo lick (is it Pagey? Certainly sounds like his style) and the groovy horns and the bands booming harmonies that make the hairs on your neck stand on end.

6. JUSTIN & KARLSSON-"Somewhere They Can't Find Me" Piccadilly 7N 35295 1966
Here's another American cover, this time Simon & Garfunkel get the U.K. version treatment by duo Justin & Karlsson.  Their version of course is devoid of Hugh Masekela's trumpet playing but  the horns on this aren't half bad and it's an interesting choice of covers and they leave out Simon's "Anji" plagiarism riff.

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7.  EDWICK RUMBOLD-"Come Back" CBS 202393 1966
On the flip of the somewhat pedestrian "Specially When" by the band Edwick Rumbold comes this killer slice of mod '66.  From it's pulsating organ, slashing guitar and frenzied vocals it's got all the trappings of a 1966 freakbeat opus and rocks out quite solid. Compare with the soulful version also cut by Ossie Lane on the R&B label (MRB 5006) the same year.

8.  THE GIBSONS-"City Life" Major Minor MM 524 1967
Kicked off by Big Ben chiming away and street noise sound affects this catchy little ditty celebrates London beneath lots of poppy "la la la's" and catchy harmony hooks while the singer enthusiastically croons about life in the smoke (and more bells which I swear are the same used on The Kinks "Big Black Smoke").

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9. MICHAEL LESLIE-"Make Up Or Break Up" Piccadilly 7N 15959 1965
This Pete Dello composition was originally cut by The Applejacks in August of 1965 on the flip of their Ray Davies cover "I Go To Sleep" (Decca F 12216).  Michael Leslie's far superior version was issued in October of that year.  For those who have never heard it it's a glorious cacophony of distorted/fuzz guitar, sax, high backing vocals and a fierceness only matched by The Kinks in the period this was issued. This track is so raw it demands listening.

10.  ADAM, MIKE & TIM-"Little Pictures" Decca F 12221 1965
This track was a mystery to Small Faces fans for decades after it erroneously popped up on at least two US Small Faces LP compilations as "What's The Matter Baby". In reality of course it was "Little Pictures" by  a folky trio called Adam,Mike and Tim who cut several singles in the mid 60's.  "Little Pictures" reminds me a lot of the Immediate duo Twice As Much with it's orchestration and mournful, jangly pop tones.

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