Sunday, February 18, 2024

Simon Dupree and The Big Sound's Debut

SIMON DUPREE AND THE BIG SOUND-I See The Light/It Is Finished U.K. Parlophone R 5542 1966

British act Simon Dupree and the Big Sound could best be compared to an act like Zoot Money or The Small Faces in that they were a band who cut sometimes trippy pop records while retaining a very soul/r&b sound onstage but ran the difficult gamut of trying to balance the two. 

They made their debut in December 1966 with this Five Americans cover "I See The Light" (first issued by The Five Americans in the U.S. in November 1965 and issued in the U.K. in September 1966). The Simon Dupree version is a bit more frantic than the original and replaces the jangling guitar lick underneath with some descending brass scales meshed in with the frenzied organ (a Simon Dupree trademark). My favorite part of the number is the way the guitar and bass do this wiggy little solo. One can imagine that the number was no doubt a center piece to their live show as their performance of it on German TV's "Beat Beat Beat" (see link below) will prove!

The flip side, "It Is Finished", is an interesting mix of Herb Alpert style trumpet and a soulful but poppy arrangement. The band's Schulman brothers (Derek-lead vocals, Phil-vocals, sax, trumpet, French horn and Ray-guitar, violin and trumpet) were multi instrumentalists and they come to fore in this number with an interesting mix of Farfisa, horns and violin. 

Both sides are available on a host of Simon Dupree and The Big Sound collections, the most recent being a two CD set "Part Of My Past" which collects all their 45 and LP tracks in addition to a host of unreleased material released during their relatively brief (1966-1969) career.

Hear "I See The Light":

Watch the band perform "I See The Light" on German TV's "Beat Beat Beat":

Hear "It Is Finished":

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

The Freakbeat Scene- Volume Two Imagined

In 1998 Decca issued a 25 track CD called "The Freakbeat Scene", one of several "Scene" compilations issued of tracks culled from the Decca/Deram archives. Unfortunately no further official volumes were not forthcoming so I decided to create an imaginary track listing of another volume utilizing tunes from the Deram and Decca labels. 

1. THE MOCKINGBIRDS-"How To Find A Lover" Decca F 12510 1966

2. MARC BOLAN-"San Francisco Poet" Decca F 12413 1966

3. BEVERLEY-"Where The Good Times Are" Deram DM 101 1966

4. THE MOVE-"Wave Your Flag And Stop The Train" Deram DM 117 1967

5. THE BLUESBREAKERS-"Curly" Decca F 12588 1967

6. THE QUIK-"I Can't Sleep" Deram DM 155 1967

7. STEVE DARBISHIRE-"Holiday In Waikiki" Decca F 12553 1967

8. FIRE-"Treacle Toffee World" Decca F 12753 1968

9. THE POETS-"Wooden Spoon" Decca F 12569 1967

10. THE GAME-"Gonna Get Me Someone" Decca F 12469 1966

11. VIRGIN SLEEP-"Haliford House" Deram DM 146 1967

12. THE ZOMBIES-"Indication" Decca F 12426 1966

13. THE HUMAN INSTINCT-"Pink Dawn"  Deram DM 177 1968 

14. CHRIS ANDREWS-"Hold On" Decca F 22668 1967

15. SMALL FACES-"E Too D" Decca F 12619 1967

16. THE BEATSTALKERS-"Base Line" Decca F 12460 1966

17. THE ARTWOODS-"I Feel Good" Decca F 12465 1966

18. GENE LATTER-"Mother's Little Helper" Decca F 12397 1966

19. THE LIMEYS-"Cara-Lin" Decca F 12382 1966

20. THE LOOSE ENDS-"Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore" Decca F 12437 1966

21. THE MINISTRY OF SOUND-"White Collar Worker" Decca F 12449 1966

22. THE CLAYTON SQUARES-"Imagination" Decca F 12250 1965

23. TEN YEARS AFTER-"The Sounds" Deram DM 176 1968

24. KEITH SHIELDS-"Hey Gyp" Decca F 12572 1967

25.  THE ATTACK-"Try It" Decca F 12550 1967

Artwork care of Charlie Starkey

Monday, February 5, 2024

More U.K. Obscurities On U.S. Labels: Herbie Goins and the Night-Timers


HERBIE GOINS AND THE NIGHT-TIMERS-Coming Home To You/The Incredible Miss Brown U.S. Capitol P 5978 1967

Herbie Goins was yet another American ex-serviceman on the London scene along with Geno Washington . Like Geno he had quite a popular live act that were darlings of the London night life in an atmosphere where live gigs by American soul bands were far and few between. Herbie had three singles and an LP in the U.K. on Parlophone and today's selection was his sole American release.

"Coming Home To You" was Herbie's third and final single in the U.K. issued as Parophone R 5533 in December 1966. It was not issued in the U.S. until August of the following year. "Coming Home To You" boasts some powerful horns and a mid tempo funky Stax style groove with some soulful vocals by Herbie. 

"The Incredible Miss Brown" is incredibly odd. It reminds of something Georgie Fame would have been talked into recording when he ditched The Blue Flames and moved to CBS (curiously several former Blue Flames found employment in The Night Timers after getting their walking papers) or Zoot Money's tongue and cheek "Nick Knack". It's not an awful song but the variety show jazz feel is somewhat hokey despite the really solid backing by The Night Timers.

Both tracks are available as bonus tracks on the 2008 Zonophone reissue of Herbie's 1967 LP "NO. 1 In Your Heart". 

Hear "Coming Home To You":

Hear "The Incredible Miss Brown":

Thursday, February 1, 2024

U.S. Soul/R&B/Jazz/Blues 45's For February


1. BOBBY RUSH-"Sock Boo Ga Loo" Checker 1181 1967

This one is a 101 mph full on party that sounds like it was literally made up as it went along, not meaning that in a negative sense, it just has that "the tapes rolling what can we do" feel! Scat guitar, funky bass, wonky greasy horns and a throbbing "go-'go" feel!

2. LITTLE LUTHER-"Eenie Meenie Minie Moe" Checker 1090 1964

This number is a really cool cross between electric urban blues and a funky back beat that would not be out of place on a mid 60's Ike & Tina Sue 45! The lyrics are completely disposable and nonsensical but what a groove!

3. WILLIE SMALL-"How High Can You Fly" Jessica 401 1965

Here's one that's totally new to my ears. It's uptempo, funky, sophisticated and punctuated by some very solid horns that really move it along! The melody is completely infectious, especially how the horn section does a musical response to his vocal "call"!

4. ELMORE MORRIS-"It Seemed Like Heaven To Me" Crackerjack 4006 1962

This one is a mellow ballad of sorts that verges on doo-wop (not exactly my favorite genre) but it's the lead vocalist's voice and how much soul he exudes during the more somber parts of thew track that get me.

5. BOB & EARL-"Everybody Jerk" U.K. Warner Brothers WB 6059 1969

I can't find any information on this one. It was released in 1969 and sounds almost like a follow up to the duo's "hit" track, "Harlem Shuffle" (which was released in 1963!). Curiously it was only released in the U.K. and Germany. That said it's an amazing track, danceable, upbeat and slick!

6. R.T. & THE POT LICKERS-"Sticky Pig Feet" Hooks H-1001 1964

As the title might imply this is a full on greasy. raunchy little instrumental that follows the grand "food" r&b instrumental trend of the 60's with a driving instrumental while the "vocalist" ad libs ingredients over the tune punctuated by him shouting the song title. The guitars have a raunchy blues meets rockabilly feel and funky horns reminded me of The Mar-Keys if they were allowed to be more raw.

7. VIC HENDERSON-"Soul Sauce" Coral 62467 1965

I am a sucker for ANY cover version of Cal Tjader's "Soul Sauce (Guacha Guaro)" and this one is probably in the #2 spot on the list (#1 belongs to Timebox). This version is incredibly cheezy but there's something "soulful" about it that grabs me (I think it's the vocals).

8. ELMO JAMES-"Done Somebody Wrong" Fire 1031 1960

I love anything blues on the Fire label and this Elmore James number first came into my orbit 40+ years ago via The Yardbirds, but this is old original favorite grandaddy and it doesn't get any grittier! The perfect mix of his blues shouting and blistering guitar is irresistable!

9. JOANIE SUMMERS-"You've Got Possibilities" Columbia 4-43567 1966

With a slightly sophisticated Latin back beat this number is charming. The lyrics are kitschy and the brass is punchy and though the vocals don't really match the musical backing I like it. I remember Joanie from my childhood as appearing on game shows frequently and never realized she had a career as a singer (next you'll tell me that Brett Somers has a Northern soul 45)!

10. HOAGY LANDS-"The Next In Line" Laurie LR-3381 1967

This number was on one of my earliest Northern Soul compilations back in the late 80's and at the time it never did much for me. That said I has come around over the years. The slick production and female backing vocals and vibes add the prerequisite Northern cachet but it's the solid vocals and cheezy organ solo that do it for me.