Monday, June 25, 2018

More U.K. Obscurities On U.S. Labels: The World Of Oz

WORLD OF OZ-King Croesus/Jack US Deram 45-85034 1968

The UK Deram psych pop quartet World Of Oz were not a smashing success at home so one wonders why not only all three of the U.K. 45's were released here but US Deram went one better by issuing a 4th single unissued anywhere else of two cuts from their untitled LP ("Beside The Fire"/"Mandy-Ann" Deram 45-85043). They were however quite successful  "on the Continent" so perhaps this has something to do with it?

"King Croesus" was released in the UK as Deram DM 205 in August of 1968. It was released the following month here in the States. Produced by Wayne Bickerton it's not the band's strongest 45. It starts with some organ/Mellotron and it has a regal/churchy feel with some sweeping strings and great harmonies.  The whole thing brings to mind The Bee Gees '67. It's also shorter than the LP version.

Scan c/o

For my money the real gold is the flipside "Jack", though not credited on this 45 it was orchestrated by Mike Vickers (who also handled the top side as well). Vicker's stamp is easily felt in it's incredible whimsical feel with a mixture of strings and brass and layered harmonies making it an archetype quintessential toytown psych classic. There's an almost soulful feel to the horns that reminds me of their label mates The Flirtations (who were also produced by Wayne Bickerton).

Both sides are available on multiple reissue packages of their untitled 1968 Deram LP .

Hear "King Croesus":

Hear "Jack":

Sunday, June 17, 2018

More U.K. Obscurities On U.S. Labels: July

JULY-Hello, Who's There/The Way US Epic 5-10415 1968

July were one of the more obscure UK psychedelic bands who nonetheless built up quite a discography (including an untitled LP that even gained a US release)! Their October 1968 UK 45 "Hello, Who's There"/"The Way" (Major Minor MM 580) was their second single and was issued in the US the following month. It also saw releases in Belgium, France, Germany and Spain, it would however be their final release.

"Hello, Who's There" would not have been my strongest choice of contender's for an A side given the band's other material. July were capable of some pretty psychedelic stuff and "Hello, Who's There" sounds too cheeky-chappie/Cockney sing along psych for my liking with it's quirky melody and a sound not unlike the Bonzos after too much time "down the boozer". The backing brass also has a hint of Oompah band to it which is not remotely entertaining and adds to the schizophrenic nature of the track. The lead vocals remind me a bit of Phil May in the Pretties voice on the "SF Sorrow" stuff.

"The Way" is more freaky (in a positive way), with it's faint sitar and distant/disembodied vocals that sound not too unlike the effect on "Tomorrow Never Knows".  It quickly degenerates into a heavier fuzz guitar driven groove that's pretty trippy before trailing off into a mind numbing jam/ groove of wah-wah, sitar and some drums that bring it into a trance.

Belgian pressing

"The Way" appears on their untitled LP in a slightly different mix however "Hello, Who's There" did not.  Subsequent CD reissues of the LP have included both tracks.

Hear "Hello, Who's There":

Hear "The Way":

Sunday, June 10, 2018

More U.K. Obscurities On U.S. Labels: The Sorrows

THE SORROWS-Take A Heart/We Should Get Along Fine US Warner Brothers 5662 1965

Coventry's quartet The Sorrows released a host a great singles in the UK on the Piccadilly label (7 to be exact) and an LP, most of which were produced by the legendary John Schroeder. "Take A Heart" was their third single and managed to rise to #21 in the UK charts (Piccadilly 7 N 35260) in August 1965.

Written by singer/producer Miki Dallon (who wrote a bulk of the bands material) it's easily their best known track.  It was issued in the US in October 1965 and would be their sole release here.  Stock copies do exist but white label promos are far more common.

"Take A Heart", for those not familiar is a slow burner built on lead singer Don Fardon's moody voice and the subtle almost tribal drum intro. The number slowly builds with each instrument entering the fray and the pace picking up slightly before bursting forth into a proto-freakbeat smash with a gritty guitar solo worthy of Dave Davies. It was my introduction to the band back in the mid 80's when I discovered it on a PRT record 6 track 10" various artists E.P. called "It Happened Then".

Yet another band pictured on "Ready Steady Go" who's footage no longer exists!

The flip side "We Should Get Along Fine" is a beat ballad, not their best work, but not at all unlistenable.

Both sides are available on a host of Sorrows collections, we recommend the most recent double CD collection of all their material "You've Got What I Want-The Essential Sorrows 1965-1967".

"Take A Heart Live On German TV":


 Hear "Take A Heart": 

 Hear "We Should Get Along Fine":