Friday, November 17, 2023

More U.K. Obscurities On U.S. Labels: Jeff Beck's Debut With The Fitz & Startz


THE FITZ & STARTZ-I'm Not Running Away/So Sweet U.S. Capitol 5356 1965

This one off 45 by the obscure Manchester U.K. beat quartet The Fitz & Startz goes down in the annals of history as being the earliest known commercial recording of Jeff Beck, who though not a band member, contributed lead guitar on the A-side as a 20 year old session guitarist. Originally released in the U.K. as Parlophone R 5216 in December 1964 it was issued the following month in the United States. It made nary a ripple on either side of the Atlantic.  

"I'm Not Running Away" is catchy in no small part due to Beck's hypnotic, melodic guitar licks (with an interesting effect that sounds similar to something Joe Meek would have concocted) and the distinct high backing vocals that stick in your brain . Those same high backing vocals remind me of The Honeycombs and the lead vocalist brings to mind The Applejacks.

Photo c/o

"So Sweet" is a mid tempo disposable beat ballad. It has a slight country/Everly's feel to the double tracked lead harmony vocals and sounds like your typical '64 beat ballad (not unlike an Escorts or Merseybeats flip side). 

"I'm Not Running Away" featured on a 2003 Jeff Beck CD collection "Shapes Of Things: 60's Groups And Sessions", the flip side has not been reissued to my recollection.  

Hear both  "I'm Not Running Away" and "So Sweet":

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