Monday, March 5, 2018

Great Obscure U.K. 60's Sides: The Tornados Go Vocal

THE TORNADOS-Pop-Art Goes Mozart/Too Much In Love To Hear UK Columbia DB 7856 1966

The Tornados were by the time of this 45's release in March of 1966, related to the "Telstar" hit makers in name only. Essentially this Tornados line up were previously The Saxons, another Joe Meek produced instrumental combo who with the addition of Dave Watts (keyboards) fleshed out a "new" Tornados line up.  The other members were Robb Huxley (also known as Robb Gayle, vocals/guitar), Pete Holder (guitar), Roger Holder (bass) and John Davies (drums). Though credited as "The New Tornados" on promo photos the name was never used on records or for appearances.

"Pop-Art Goes Mozart" is your typical tedious, boring, Meek instrumental sounding like 1963 NOT 1966 despite the baroque harpsichord. Don't let the title fool you, there is nothing remotely "pop art" about this 45. Next.

The real treat is the flip side, "Too Much In Love To Hear" penned by members Pete Holder and Robb Huxley (credited here as "Gale", a misspelling of his "other" last name Gayle) . It's a rarity among Tornados 45's as it's a vocal number.  Led by some tack piano with the typical Meek production flourishes it's a moody piece , sort of a beat ballad with a nice jazzy/Shadows style guitar solo and a welcome pleasure to hear vocals on a Tornados record!! Interestingly Huxley later moved to Israel where he joined The Churchills who cut a trippy (and far improved in my book) version of the track which was comped on one of the "Strange Things Are Happening" CD comps.  For a more detailed history of the "New Tornados" check out Robb Huxley's extensive and highly informative web page here. The band would cut just one more 45 with Joe Meek, but that, as they say, is another story for another time. You can read that story here.

Pic courtesy of Robb Huxley's website

Both sides are available on a highly recommended double CD compilation "Telstar: The Complete Tornados".

Wince at "Pop-Art Goes Mozart":

Hear "Too Much In Love To Hear":

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