27 August, 2015

THE NEW ORDER - YOU'VE GOT ME HIGH



THE NEW ORDER - "You've Got Me High" / "Meet Your Match" (Warner Bros 5816) May 1966

I've had all three singles released by The New Order during 1966 in my collection for a number of years but only this morning I decided to remaster them all and conduct some research.

New Order were based in NYC and were the brainchild of  successful songwriters Billy Barberis and Bobby Weinstein. Another important member was probably Roger Joyce who has a songwriting credit for all six songs they released on record.

The Barberis - Weinstein partnership had been around for several years before the creation of their group The New Order. They wrote songs for many artists including "Let The Sunshine In" for Teddy Randazzo, also recorded by Dee Dee Sharp and Georgie Fame. They also wrote "I'm Lost Without You" recorded by Billy Fury in 1964.

None of The New Order singles appear to have had much acclaim and I can't find any evidence that any of them charted in America. The first single "You've Got Me High" is a terrific uptempo fuzztoned rocker with some smooth harmonies. It's therefore no surprise to learn that the group was comprised of six members. The song comes over like a garage version of The Association.

The flip "Meet Your Match" is an edgy Dylanesque folk-rocker. Both sides are worthy openers but only "You've Got Me High" has troubled the compilers. I first heard it on "Psychotic Reactions" in the early 90s. Curiously, Swedish band The Science Poption also recorded the song in 1966 and Bam Caruso picked it up for their Rubble compilation "Magic Rocking Horse" in the late 80s.

The second New Order single was the equally superb "Why Can't I?" which is another vibrant rocker with a happenin' guitar break. On the other side is a jangly pop song titled "Pucci Girl."
The New Order wore Emilio Pucci (fashion designer) clothes so probably wrote the song for him to get free clobber.

The third and final single was in a totally different direction. No longer garage rockin' but smooth soul pop music. Not my kinda bag but I'm sure many people will dig it. On the label they're called New Order featuring Roger Joyce. I don't know the reasoning behind this.

discography:
"You've Got Me High" / "Meet Your Match" (Warner Bros 5816) May 1966
"Why Can't I?" / "Pucci Girl" (Warner Bros 5836) July 1966
"Had I Loved Her Less" / "Sailing Ship" (Warner Bros 5870) November 1966





Dutch release


French release


Billboard - May 1966


Billboard - June 1966

 


THE ILL WINDS - I IDOLIZE YOU



THE ILL WINDS - "A Letter" / "I Idolize You" (Reprise 0492) July 1966

The second and final Ill Winds single was the country pop tune "A Letter" which doesn't do much at all for me and it appears neither for the kids of '66 because the single bombed and the group disappeared.

Far superior is the rockin' "I Idolize You" on the other side. The song was written and recorded by Ike & Tina Turner. It's also been done by several other groups in the 60s but perhaps not as groovy as The Ill Winds. They should have used this as their A-Side, perhaps things may have worked out differently for them.


26 August, 2015

THE ILL WINDS - (I Won't Cry) SO BE ON YOUR WAY



THE ILL WINDS - "(I Won't Cry) So Be On Your Way" / "Fear Of The Rain" (Reprise 0423) November 1965

The other day I wrote about The Leaping Ferns disc on X-Panded and confirmed that they were previously called The Chantays. Months after that release the group signed to Reprise and once again decided on a different moniker, this time The Ill Winds.

I feel this was their way of getting away from the surf sound and embracing the more in vogue folk-rock sound as well as encouraging the young hipsters and record buying public to buy their new releases.  

"(I Won't Cry) So Be On Your Way" is a terrific 12 string jangler, written by guitarist Brian Carman. Sadly Brian died earlier this year from Crohn's Disease, so he'll never read this and know that someone is bothering to highlight his unknown songs.
The other side "Fear Of The Rain" is another folk-rock lament. Both sides were produced by the legendary Lee Hazlewood. It's certainly an outstanding single to add to your 'folk-rock' box of records.


22 August, 2015

THE LEAPING FERNS - IT NEVER WORKS OUT FOR ME


THE LEAPING FERNS - "It Never Works Out For Me" / Maybe Baby" (Xpanded Sound X-103) February 1965

This is a very obscure single by a group from Santa Ana, California. Further investigation led me to the famous American surf group The Chantays who had a hit with "Pipeline." Yes, they're the same band but with a more up to date moniker for the fast changing times on the music scene.

"It Never Works Out For Me" could be described as a very early folk-rock jangler, it's also filled with reverbed guitar moves and menacing background vocal harmonies. The sound on this is arguably ahead of it's time.

The flip is a version of the Buddy Holly tune "Maybe Baby" and again there is reverb in the guitar. Both sides have yet to trouble the compilers which is probably the reason why The Leaping Ferns are an undiscovered joy.

This was their only single release under this name. Shortly afterwards they signed to Reprise Records and released two singles as The Ill Winds. I'll focus on those 45s next time.


06 August, 2015

THE RAMRODS - FLOWERS IN MY MIND


THE RAMRODS - "Flowers In My Mind" / "Mary Mary" (Plymouth 2965) 1967

The Rocking Ramrods hailed from Newton, MA and are probably best known for their hot garage rocker "She Lied" on Bon Bon Records. I first heard this from a recording by Naz Nomad & the Nightmares (The Damned in disguise). Some months later I heard the original on an early volume of Pebbles. I'm thinking that this would be around 1984.

For whatever reason the band decided to drop the "Rockin" and were simply known as The Ramrods. This single under my spotlight was their final release and is an obscure psychedelic gem. "Flowers In My Mind" written by Ronn Campisi starts of slow and pedestrian. At first I thought what is all this about? Then the beat starts movin' a little quicker and studio effects pour outta the grooves.
It's as if the band started playing straight then dropped some fast working acid and bingo, we have lift off.

"Mary Mary" reminds me a little of The Lovin' Spoonful and is also decent.

05 August, 2015

THE STRAWBERRY ALARM CLOCK - INCENSE AND PEPPERMINTS


THE STRAWBERRY ALARM CLOCK - "Incense And Peppermints" (Pye International NPL 28106) 1967

A couple of weeks ago I paid a visit to a local vinyl record dealer's market stall in Chester-le-Street, County Durham. He's had a stall there for many years and every time I rummage through his record boxes I always find something of interest.

Imagine my delight when I found this MONO copy of "Incense And Peppermints." Not only is this pressing much rarer than the stereo, it also sounds so much better in my opinion. I've made do with a stereo re-issue that I bought in the late eighties. I think that was a Greek bootleg. Anyway, I didn't mind as it meant that I could listen to a long-player by one of my favourite American bands.

Over the years I've bought all of their American singles on UNI. Some fellow collectors always mention that the Pye International mono singles sound way superior than the UNI counterparts. I've never had any to compare so maybe I'll look out for the British releases too.

But getting back to this album. What a beauty! It comes housed in a supremely great laminated Garrod & Lofthouse flipback sleeve. The vibrant colours are really far-out which really blows my 'unauthorized' re-issue away. It cost me £60 by the way which is a steal, flick through the latest Record Collector Price Guide and you're looking at £200 for a mint copy. This is EX+ and plays like a dream. Anyway, I've never been bothered about the price I pay for records. If I can afford a disc I'll buy it.  



04 August, 2015

THE NEUMANS - FUZZ FILLED DREAMS


THE NEUMANS - "Fuzz Filled Dreams" / "Stroke Of Midnight" / "What's Wrong With You" (Wild Records) 2013

Every so often a new garage group will create a slab of genius every bit as raw and exciting as the '66 punk swingers we all love or those killer cuts from 80s revival combos. It's a rare event but it still does happen. Take this raucous 45 r.p.m. from Santa Ana hustlers The Neumans as your aural and visual flashback from the past.

"Fuzz Filled Dreams" is a fuzz ravin' teen punk blast of Godliness and is already one of my all time fave rave turntable spins. Quite an achievement when I have thousands to choose from. If someone ever decides to compile a "Back From The Grave" type set with contributions from post 1966 groups I'd be severely disappointed if this hot mind cruncher isn't the lead off track on Side One.

Featuring vintage vox instruments, cavemen and a cavegirl, energy, pulsating beats, reverb, snarl, fuzztoned magic and the wildest and most animalistic garage punk screams you're likely to hear this side of 1966. You're gonna dig this impossible to find debut disc by the mighty Neumans. It's a huge shame that they recently called it quits because of 'musical differences.'

photo taken from The Neumans Facebook page

03 August, 2015

THE DELRAYS - LOLLIPOP LADY



THE DELRAYS - "Lollipop Lady" / "(There's) Always Something There To Remind Me" (Arch Records ARA-1301) 1968

There is quite a substantial amount of information about The Delrays on various websites so I'll just recap what is known about them with my entry. They hailed from Mascoutah, Illinois and released two singles. This one under the spotlight on Arch Records and another one on Stax. I've not heard "Don't Let Her Be your Baby" / "I Want To Do It (Marry You)"

"Lollipop Lady" written by guitarist Tom Bowles was the debut disc on the newly formed Arch Records. It was released sometime in 1968. It's a brisk affair with elements of bubblegum merging with a heavier sound, just check out that wah-wah. The other side is the famous Bert Bacharach - Hal David tune but it falls flat on my ears and is just not my scene.

line-up:
Tom Bowles (guitar)
Denny Ambry (bass)
Don Biever (drums)
Russ Bono (lead guitar / vocals)
Michael McDonald

more Delrays information here. 



02 August, 2015

OPULENT CONCEPTIONS #20




the final episode of opulent conceptions will leave you in a world of woe.

AZTECS - WORLD OF WOE
PRECIOUS FEW - WORLD OF YOUR DREAMS
DELRAYS - LOLLIPOP LADY
OTHER HALF - I NEED YOU
OTHER HALF - BAD DAY
FENWAYS - I MOVE AROUND
SEEDS - SATISFY YOU
RAMRODS - FLOWERS IN MY MIND
GENE VINCENT - BORN TO BE A ROLLING STONE
BILL WENDRY & THE BOSS TWEEDS - A WRISTWATCH BAND
ROMANS - THE DRAG

24 July, 2015

THE UN-FOUR-GIVEN - CRY CRY (Cry, Little Girl)



THE UN-FOUR-GIVEN - "Cry Cry (Cry, Little Girl)" / "Love Me To Pieces" (Dot 45-16963) October 1966

This record leaves me with more questions than I can answer. Just who were The Un-Four-Given? Both sides of this disc have never troubled the compilers and the group are not even mentioned in 60s garage book 'Teenbeat Mayhem.'

Both songs were written by Mike Appel. Now I can only assume that this is the same person who was a member of The Balloon Farm who had a 1967 hit with "A Question Of Temperature." He then went into Management and Production eventually having success with Bruce Springsteen. Mike Appel produced his first three albums.

So, perhaps The Un-Four-Given were Mike Appel's teenage garage band before he was a member of The Balloon Farm? Anyway, "Cry Cry (Cry, Little Girl)" is a fabulous piece of psych tinged pop with a trippy guitar sound. The other side "Love Me To Pieces" is pleasant sixties pop.


THE TRIPPERS - KEEP A KNOCKIN'



THE TRIPPERS - "Dance With Me" / "Keep A Knockin" (Dot 45-16947) August 1966

Onwards with my Dot Records reviews brings me to The Trippers who are believed to come from the State of California, probably based in Los Angeles. A few sites indicate Hollywood. Wherever they were based "Dance With Me" / "Keep A Knockin" was first released on the small Ruby-Do label then picked up by Dot Records for a wider distribution.

"Keep A Knockin" is a happenin' version of the Little Richard rocker. The Trippers add a raunchy guitar sound and a chugging beat. The vocals are determined, almost a shout. The song has been recorded by many outfits including Johnny Rivers, Everly Brothers, Dave Clark Five, The Outlaws and The Rivieras.

"Dance With Me" does not have the same excitement for me, the pace is quite slow with a boogaloo beat. Both sides remain uncompiled. By the way, it appears that the single has recently been bootlegged in Greece with a limited run of 200.

The Trippers released a second and final single months later, again on Ruby-Do. "Taking Care Of Business" / "Charlena." It was then picked up by GNP Crescendo for a wider distribution. I have a copy.  

I have found a couple of European picture sleeves uploaded to the internet on eBay and I've decided to post them here. I don't normally do this but have done so in this instance because nothing much is known about the combo and they  indicate that The Trippers were a trio. I have yet to determine their full names.







THE SYNDICATE - THE EGYPTIAN THING



THE SYNDICATE - "The Egyptian Thing" / "She Haunts You" (Dot 45-16807) December 1965

If you dig harp wailin' wild and savage R&B then this 45 by The Syndicate should be on your wants list. I don't have an original, expect to pay several hundred dollars if you're ever lucky enough to be offered one. What I do have though, is a beautifully done reproduction which plays and sounds superb.

The Syndicate hailed from Long Beach, CA and released two singles before disappearing into the ether. That was until recently when Break-A-Way Records in Germany located and released an album's worth of unreleased Syndicate ACTion (including all four single sides).

I don't have this but I'm sure it sounds outasite. "The Egyptian Thing" deals with the typical angst of male teens. His girl says she loves him and will always be true only to find that she's been playing with another.

So, the top side is an absolute garage classic and obtained a score of "10" in 'Teenbeat Mayhem' which is no mean feat. The other side "She Haunts You" brings the pace right down. It's a moody nugget with tremolo guitar and worth repeated blasts on the turntable.

"The Egyptian Thing" was compiled on 'Chosen Few' and 'Back From The Grave #7"


23 July, 2015

THE SURFARIS - SEARCH


THE SURFARIS - "Search" / "Shake" (Dot 45-17008) March 1967

This is perhaps the most difficult Surfaris single to find but I did just that a couple of years ago when a fellow record collector tipped me off... thanks Mans P. Mansson - check out his new psychedelic group The Flight Reaction.

Anyway, back to this rather splendid Surfaris record. "Search" was their final fling at success after their smash "Wipe Out" but sadly no one was listening. "Search" is a terrific fuzzy psych thriller with a rockin' beat and harmonica. In a perfect world this would have made the Charts and would consequently be a lot easier to find.

The other side is a uptempo fuzztoned version of Sam Cooke's "Shake"


THE SURFARIS - CHICAGO GREEN


THE SURFARIS - "Chicago Green" / "Show Biz" (Dot 45-16966) October 1966

By the time The Surfaris quit playing surf music and got with the "IN" sound of folk-rock and R&B no one seems to have been listening as they encountered flop after flop. It's a shame that "Chicago Green" appears to have been ignored because it's a raunchy harmonica driven R&B mover with fuzz guitar.

"Chicago Green" was composed by short time bass guitarist Jack Oldham who spent 1966/67 with The Surfaris before disappearing from trace. I've did some research but can find nothing else of note.
The other side "Show Biz" sounds rather corny and dated in comparison to the greatness of "Chicago Green"


THE SURFARIS - WIPE OUT


THE SURFARIS - "Wipe Out" / "Surfer Joe" (Dot 45-144) July 1970

The Surfaris have been highlighted before here and anyway "Wipe Out" needs no introduction as everyone will know this one. According to an online source "Wipe Out" was released three times on Dot Records so it was obviously a decent seller for them.

The first release on Dot was during April 1965 on the better known black label, the second reissue or repress was during June 1966, then five years later a third and final repress on this colourful label. Some copies are on the white label.

So, the record has had some mileage and it's still well known today. Perhaps one of the most played surf tunes of all time.

22 July, 2015

THE SOUNDS OF DAWN - WALKIN' OUT ON YOU


THE SOUNDS OF DAWN - "Walkin' Out On You" / "Stephanie Says" (Dot 45-17025) July 1967

According to FA&F The Sounds Of Dawn were based in Chicago and apart from this solitary single on Dot released three more on Twin Stacks. I've heard the odd clip of some of these songs and they have a soul pop sound, confirmed in the aforementioned book.

"Walkin' Out On You" is a decent jangly pop song with a catchy beat. The song was written by Joey Stec who around about the time of release moved to Los Angeles and joined harmony psych outfit The Millennium. He also had some involvement with Sagitarrius.

"Stephanie Says" on the other side his light pop.


21 July, 2015

THE REGENTS - RUSSIAN SPY AND I



THE REGENTS - "Russian Spy And I" / "Bald Headed Woman" (Dot 45-16970) October 1966

According to 'Teenbeat Mayhem' The Regents originated from Bakersfield, CA but perhaps they relocated to Los Angeles to be where the action is. I don't know for sure, it's just my hunch. Anyway, great information and comments from some group members can be found on Garagehangover.

"Russian Spy And I" was first recorded by Dutch group The Hunters. It's a moody jangler with some fuzz and a fabulous rave-up ending. Hearing a surf styled guitar on record in 1966 must have been something of a flashback in time.

The other side is a version of "Bald Headed Woman" which is a song I've never really liked much no matter who has recorded it. Many acts have issued the song as a single, either A or B side. Perhaps the most famous being The Who version.


20 July, 2015

THE SHERLOCKS - TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE



THE SHERLOCKS - "Too Good To Be True" / "Shades Of Blue" (Dot 45-16953) September 1966

It is believed that The Sherlocks hailed from Sylvester, Georgia. Nothing has ever been written about them online or in fanzines and they're one of those mid 60s combo's that are way under the radar.

Their first single for Dot Records was the super cool fuzz rocker "Skin Of My Teeth" backed with a spellbinding folk-janger "Turn Her Down." I don't have a copy and it's very sought after. Expect to pay in the region of $400 if you ever see one for sale.

"Turn Her Down" was first recorded by Barry Allen and released in Canada. His version is more pop than folk-rock. "Skin Of My Teeth" was compiled back in the late 80s on "Sixties Rebellion #5"

The Sherlocks second and last Dot 45 was "Too Good To Be True" written by Ramona Wingate. It's a moody beat affair and sounds very much influenced by The Zombies, at least to my ears. The other side "Shades Of Blue" as the title suggests, is a bluesy outing with organ.
Both sides remain uncompiled.


19 July, 2015

NEIGHB'RHOOD CHILDR'N - WOMAN THINK



NEIGHB'RHOOD CHILDR'N - "Woman Think" / "On Our Way" (Dot 45-17238) May 1969

Continuing with my exploration of the Dot catalogue with San Francisco based Neighb'rhood Childr'n. They have been well documented of late in Shindig magazine and of course the Sundazed collection "Long Years In Space."

"Woman Think" was their one and only single for Dot Records. It's a typically laid back, mellow, late 60s rock affair with a slightly psychedelic edge, particularly the guitar sound. It may even have been recorded in 1968. The other side "On Our Way" rock with horns and not really my scene.


18 July, 2015

OPULENT CONCEPTIONS #19


The February sun in England has no warmth 



GIANT SUNFLOWER - February Sunshine
POOR - She's Got The Time
TEARS - Weatherman
SURFARIS - So Get Out
LEATHER BOY - Black Friday
SPARROW - Tomorrow's Ship
PASTERNACK PROGRESS - Cotton Soul
DRIVING STUPID - Horror Asparagus Stories
JIMMY RABBIT - My Girl
RAIK'S PROGRESS - Why Did You Rob Us Tank?

17 July, 2015

GENE GRAY & the STINGRAYS - SURF BUNNY


GENE GRAY & the STINGRAYS - "Surfer's Mood" / "Surf Bunny" (Dot 45-16470) 1963

If someone ever compiles a primitive surf compilation album I'd be more than a little surprised if "Surfer's Mood" was not allocated a slot. On the latter recording, Gene Gray & the Stingrays sound like a surf garage band that would be at home on a "Back From The Grave" comp. Yeah, it's that primal.

The other side "Surf Bunny" is my pick though. My cat "Biba Ringo" digs it a whole lot. As I'm cranking out this 45 on my turntable at volume "11" she's banging away on a couple of coconuts and showing her teeth.

The single first appeared on Linda Records then it was picked up by Dot for a wider distribution.


13 July, 2015

LALO SCHIFRIN - MISSION IMPOSSIBLE


LALO SCHIFRIN - "Mission Impossible" / "Jim On The Move" (Dot ZK-2169) December 1967

I recently bought a small collection of "Mission Impossible" items including a couple of albums and three different releases of this Lalo Schifrin single. The US release on Dot Records came out during December 1967, the likelihood is that this New Zealand pressing was released a couple of months later.

Everyone must know the classic "Mission Impossible" theme tune. I heard this so many times as a kid in the 70s when the show was on constant repeats. It's seemingly never broadcast nowadays so perhaps youngsters may be hearing this for the first time. Take it in cos they just don't make killer cuts like this anymore.


12 July, 2015

THE SPLIT LEVEL - CAN'T COMPLAIN



THE SPLIT LEVEL - "Love To Love You" / "Can't Complain" (Dot 45-17142) September 1968

The third and final Split Level single was released during September 1968. The non album cut "Love To Love You" is decent flower pop but my pick is the Lenny Roberts penned "Can't Complain" on the other side.

line-up:
Michael Lobel (guitar, flute, piano)
Lenny Roberts (6 & 12 string guitars / vocals)
Al Dana (bass, sitar, vocals)
Liz Seneff (vocals, tambourine) - died 1993



11 July, 2015

THE SPLIT LEVEL - I DON'T KNOW WHERE YOU ARE



THE SPLIT LEVEL - "I Don't Know Where You Are" / "Looking At The Rose Through Rose Colored Glasses" (Dot 45-17036) August 1967

I recently wrote about The Split Level album but what about their singles? The first 45 released was the Dave Frishberg composed "I Don't Know Where You Live." This is a required purchase for two reasons. The first being that it's a classy flower pop mover and non album cut, the second of course for the overtly psychedelic flip "Looking At The Rose Through World Colored Glasses."


09 July, 2015

COLOURS - GOD PLEASE TAKE MY LIFE



COLOURS - "God Please Take My Life" / "Angie" (Dot 45-17280) July 1969

This single was the second and last from the Colours studio album "Atmosphere" with both sides being unedited and direct stereo mixes used on the long player.

Both songs display the laid back, late 60s rock style typical of 1969. In other words radio friendly tunes especially "God Please Take My Life" which should have faired better but I'll be surprised if the release got any further than this white label promo.


08 July, 2015

COLOURS - IT'S TIME TO TELL YOU



COLOURS - "Atmosphere" (Dot DLP-25935) May 1969

By the time Colours reconvened to record their second (and last) album for Dot Records they were down to a duo, Jack Dalton and Gary Montgomery. Bassist Carl Radle and drummer Chuck Blackwell joined Delaney & Bonnie, Rob Edwards also quit the band.

New members on board to help with the recording of "Atmosphere" were Richard Crooks (drums), ex Moon member, David Jackson (bass) one time Beach Boy and David Marks (guitar). Former bassist Carl Radle also helped out on some cuts.

"Atmosphere" is less heavy on The Beatles influence and more late 60s rock with jazzy moves. There are some pleasing songs especially my pick "It's Time To Tell You" which sounds very much like Dalton and Montgomery were listening to a lot of Cream before recording this one.

Sessions for the album took place at the back end of 1968 at Columbia Studios and Sound Recorders.Also interesting is the albums artwork which was created by legendary Fillmore poster designer Victor Moscoso.



07 July, 2015

COLOURS - BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK, BABY



COLOURS - "Love Heals" / "Bad Day At Black Rock, Baby" (Dot 45-17132) August 1968

This was the second single released from the Colours superb Beatles-esque album. August 1968 was the release but of course the music on both sides of the disc were recorded during late 1967.
I can only presume that the "Sgt Pepper" influenced "Love Heals" was the choice of A-Side simply because I found a music sheet online. I didn't buy it but downloaded the image for this post. I don't expect many of these to have been produced or survived the ravages of time for that matter.

My pick though is the superlative "Bad Day At Black Rock, Baby" with it's stunning orchestration, time changes, eerie harmonies and of course the subject matter. Some freak going out to rob a liquor store with a wooden gun, polished and painted black to look real. This situation is gonna end in carnage.





Billboard - September 1968

06 July, 2015

COLOURS - BROTHER LOU'S LOVE COLONY



COLOURS - "Brother Lou's Love Colony" (Dot 45-17060) December 1967

The first single to be released from the Colours album was "Brother Lou's Love Colony"
My copy is a green label promo disc with two versions of the song. An edited take at a radio friendly 2:30 minutes and the album version at just under four minutes in length. Other copies came with "Lovin" on the B-Side.

"Brother Lou's Love Colony" perfectly encapsulates the '67 hippie movement of California in both music and lyrical content. The sound is very Beatles-esque, which was a Colours speciality. It comes complete with orchestration, mellow fuzz guitar, sitar, trippy keyboards, effects, bagpipes and harmonizing vocals.
It's a shame that this lysergically enhanced single appeared to be completely over-looked.


05 July, 2015

COLOURS - RATHER BE ME



COLOURS - "Colours" (Dot DLP-25854) May 1968

They spell it the English way, and for jolly good reason. Colours have the crystalline sharpness of The Beatles before they turned acid. Colours have a rainbow sound, but you can distinguish one hue from another rather than fight through a haze of fuzzy static, funky confusion, and screeching feedback.

They also write love songs. "Helping You Out" has a kind of walk up honesty that cuts through the dreamy creamy gush lyrics.

"Washing your clothes when you're gone for the day and then hanging them out, helping you out."

The spectrum of Colours features Jack Dalton and Gary Montgomery, neither more than a quarter century old, both of whom are professional musicians. They write the songs that lead guitarist Rob Edwards, drummer Chuck Blackwell, and bass guitarist Carl Radle help spread on a palette of sound. They will tackle a mess of changing time signatures, such as their "Bad Day At Black Rock, Baby" where they move through six sharps from 6/8 to 4/8 to 3/8 then 5/4 and even 5/8, changing rhythms with the quick ease of the most wigged-out electronic classic composer.
Yet underneath is a straight, raw narrative about a tragic hero who, unlike the dramatic victims of a folk song, knows what is in store for him from the futile start.

They have clarity, a gently dissonant sound full of the blues, the beat of a street band, the horns of a jazz connection, even the words of folk nostalgia. "Brother Lou's Love Colony" is a free form cantata about the hippie colony in California. It ends with a classy coda underscored with, of all sounds, bagpipes. In "Rather Be Me" a number about identity, the drone vocal and music suggests music from Morocco or the whine of a sitar weaving an Indian raga. All that in the rarely used key of Eb minor lends a greater weirdness to the song.

Colours takes a trip in "Cataleptic", richly harmonizing over eerie organ music, or rips off a bold, bouncy "Lovin" and "Don't You Realize" in a style that smacks of music hall and vaudeville energy.

So Colours does have that broad spectrum of electric sounds so prized in today's rock, but they pull it off without indulging in jarring cliches. And, with a youthful joyfulness, they don't paint it black.
(Jon Borgzinner - back cover liners






Billboard - May 1968

Billboard - July 1968

01 July, 2015

THE PEPPERMINT TROLLEY COMPANY - SUNRISE



THE PEPPERMINT TROLLEY COMPANY - "Trust" EP (Dot EP-44-3) 1968

I've loved the music of The Peppermint Trolley Company since the late 80s after buying their Acta label album based on the description offered by the seller, it was something like 'Californian sunshine pop with a bubblegum edge' - well that sounded right up my street and I never looked back.

They've appeared on my blog before. Today I'll promote their rare Portuguese EP released on Dot Records. As you probably know The Peppermint Trolley Company were an Acta label group (Acta was a subsidiary label of Dot set up primarily to release psychedelic rock music). So quite how the Portuguese four song EP came about on Dot is unknown.

All four songs can be found on their studio album but only "Sunrise" written by Pat McClure was never released at 45 r.p.m. This is why, for vinyl nerds like me, this EP is essential.



 

30 June, 2015

THE LICORICE SCHTIK - FLOWERS FLOWERS



THE LICORICE SCHTIK - "The Kissin' Game" / "Flowers Flowers" (Dot 45-17131) August 1968

This obscure single was the work of Milan a.k.a. The Leather Boy and a few other guises. He was undoubtedly a genius who didn't achieve the success he deserved. "The Kissin' Game" is something of a novelty bubblegum dancer and with bubblegum at it's peak in the Summer of 1968 I can't understand how it never took off and became a hit.

The other side is the magnificent psychedelic rocker "Flowers Flowers" It saddens me somewhat that this was the B-Side and probably unheard back in the day. This is perhaps my favourite ever Milan song. The whispered 'flowers flowers' line is so far-out it's untrue. Play this loud and rejoice and make believe it's 1968 all over again.

"Flowers flowers wear them in your hair,
Flowers flowers show me that you care
Flowers flowers wear them everywhere."