Here's ten interesting U.K. 60's 45's for your listening pleasure! All scans are courtesy of 45cat.com.
1. ROY CASTLE-"Voodoo Girl" UK CBS 201736 1965
Tucked away on the flip of the title cut from the 1965 Chritopher Lee vehicle "Dr. Terror's Castle Of Horrors" is this jazzy little number. The vocals recall Mark Murphy and the kitschy musical backing (led by the revered British reed player Tubbby Hayes) is quite swinging. Going for insane $$ these days.
2. THE NEW JUMP BAND-"The Only Kind Of Girl" UK Domain D1 1968
Starting off with a moddy organ/horns intro playing a "Can't Explain" type riff "The Only Kind Of Girl" becomes a poppy number reminiscent of The Tremeloes or The Love Affair. The organ solo is almost freaky at times sounding like a Mellotron!
3. DIANA LANDOR-"Empty Little Shadows" UK Pama PM 726 1968
Cabaret singer Diana Landor cut a curious reading of Oscar Brown Jr.'s "Afro Blue" for the predominantly reggae outlet Pama with this jazzy little flute led number "Empty Little Shadows" on the flip. It's poppy but subtly cool with some marimbas, the earlier mentioned flute and cheery sounding backing vocals. Produced by Harry Palmer also responsible for twiddling the knobs on The Mohawks 45's for the label .
4. TED HEATH AND HIS ORCHESTRA-"Sidewinder" UK Decca F12133 1965
Famed British bandleader Ted Heath cut this interesting version of Lee Morgan's epic "Sidewinder" in 1965 that garnered nary a notice. It's stuffy as you would expect from Ted Heath but it's not without it's charm either and was apparently used as the theme for the TV program "Jukebox Jury".
5. SYMON AND PI-"Sha La La La Lee" UK Parlophone R 5662 1968
File under freaky, this number made famous by the Small Faces was revamped by British based German producer Mark Wirtz for the duo Symon and Pi. It's over the top orchestration sounds like something from a musical like "Jesus Christ Superstar" or "Godspell". The musical backing is the key to this though, the swinging strings and the phlanged drums make it worth a listen (and not at all unlike Wirtz's famous "Excerpts From A Teenage Opera").
6. THE NEWS-"The Entertainer" UK Decca F12356 1966
Here's an interesting version of Tony Clarke's famous U.S. Chess soul classic "The Entertainer". It's not terribly soulful but interesting nonetheless reminding me more of soul covers by The Fourmost as opposed to soul/r&b aficionados like The Action (who probably would have been better suited to cover it).
7. JOHN CAMERON QUARTET-"Troublemaker" UK Deram DM 256 1969
U.K. multi instrumentalist John Cameron released this sole Deram 45 of tracks from his ultra expensive "Off Centre" long player in 1968. It's a jazzy yet funky instrumental that could easily pass for something from a late 60's U.S. film soundtrack by Lalo Schfrin or Herbie Hancock. Produced by Mr. Deram, A&R supremo Wayne Bickerton it's worth a listen if jazzy easy listening is your bag.
8. THE DECISION-"In The Shade Of Your Love" UK MCA MU 1027 1968
This is a one off pop/psych pop 45 by The Decision that features some amazing vocal harmonies, subtle brass and churchy organ coming across like a British answer to sunshine pop Californian merchants The Association. Lovingly unearthed by Particles on Volume 13 of their hit or miss British 45 rpm pop psych series "Piccadilly Sunshine".
9. JEFF ELROY AND BOYS BLUE-"Honey Machine" UK Phillips BF 1533 1966
This tune first came to my attention via a Jackie Lomax acetate version on one of the Strange Things Are Happening CD comps back in the early 90's. This version is not as freaky and far more soulful thanks to the brass but has a curious campy "supper club soul" feel to it.
10. BARRY ST. JOHN-"Come Away Melinda" UK Columbia DB 7783 1965
Barry St. John cut a host of semi mundane girl group sound 45's (of mostly U.S. cover versions) on Decca before moving to EMI's Columbia imprint for this Mickie Most production of this anti-war ballad "Come Away Melinda". The creepy factor is upped by her singing verses in a little girl lost voice in certain parts of it earning it a minor chart placing in the U.K. hit parade.