22 July, 2014


"THE BEAT MERCHANTS" - British Beat 1963 - 1964 (United Artists UDM 101/2) 1976

I digitized this double vinyl compilation at the weekend. What a great album of rare and obscure songs. This is probably one of the first UK 60s beat / R&B comps and may have been in response to the double "Nuggets" album that did a similar job for American garage and psych combo's.

This set was compiled and procuced by Andrew Lauder. Sound quality is superb and from the master tapes. Special thanks is given to "Rock On" in Camden Town, London.

On this double LP are the likes of The Zephyrs, The Escorts, The Paramounts, The Soul Agents, The Sheffields, The Beat Merchants, The Others, The Downliners Sect, Mickey Finn & the Blue Men, The Redcaps, The Roulettes, Keith Powell & the Valets, Earl Preston & the TT's, The Pirates.... plus many more.

I'll feature twelve songs from this on my next 'Flower Bomb Songs' podcast. I may even do a double feature as the music sounds so GREAT!

The Beat Scene in November 1964 talk of a "Beat Slump" - little did they know what was around the corner in 1965...... fuzztoned guitars ......


18 July, 2014


A selection of twelve tracks that I've digitally remastered from six albums recently bought at
Chester-le-Street market from a local record dealer... all original UK MONO pressings.
This show includes: The Rolling Stones, Barry McGuire, Paul Revere & the Raiders, The Kinks, Donovan and The Electric Prunes.

01 ROLLING STONES - 'Take It Or Leave It' (Decca LK 4786) 1966
02 ROLLING STONES - 'Think' (Decca LK 4786) 1966
03 BARRY McGUIRE - 'You Never Had It So Good' (RCA Victor RD-7751) 1965
04 BARRY McGUIRE - 'Ain't No Way I'm Gonna Change My Mind' (RCA Victor RD-7751) 1965
05 KINKS - 'Ring The Bells' (Pye 18131) 1965
06 KINKS - 'You Can't Win' (Pye 18131) 1965
07 PAUL REVERE & the RAIDERS - 'There's Always Tomorrow' (CBS 62797) 1966
08 PAUL REVERE & the RAIDERS - 'Louie, Go Home' (CBS 62797) 1966
09 DONOVAN - 'Guinevere' (Pye 18181) 1967
10 DONOVAN - 'Three Kingfishers' (Pye 18181) 1967
11 ELECTRIC PRUNES - 'Bangles' (Reprise RLP 6248) 1967
12 ELECTRIC PRUNES - 'Onie' (Reprise RLP 6248) 1967

I spent a pleasant hour last Saturday at Chester-le-Street market diggin' for vinyl and spent £150 on six vintage albums. Most of the records were in at least EX+ condition.
Kinks £50 Electric Prunes £50 Donovan £15 Barry McGuire £15 Paul Revere & the Raiders £10 The Rolling Stones £10


15 July, 2014


JET HARRIS - 'My Lady' / 'You Don't Live Twice' (Fontana 267 735 TF) July 1967

This is a purchase from earlier this month, a rare and hard to find 45 by Jet Harris. This is the Dutch release in pic sleeve. I like how the art department have used a vintage record review as their design for the cover.

'My Lady' was written by Reg Presley of The Troggs and it's 100% based on their killer sound. Jet Harris was the original bass player in The Shadows but formed a duo with fellow ex Shadows drummer Tony Meehan in the early 60s.
The flip 'You Don't Live Twice' is decent pop music and uncompiled as fae as I know.

Jet Harris & Tony Meehan had a few hits in Britain during the beat era but disbanded when their popularity waned. This record was Jet's solo comeback single but it went to 'nowheresville'....

Should have been monstrous but it's still virtually unknown.... check it out on FBS podcast #04

14 July, 2014


THE COUNTDOWN 5 - 'Elevator' / 'Time To Spare' (Toucan Records TC-1) September 1967

Obscure release by The Countdown 5, an outfit from Galveston, TX on a rather charming lookin' label. 'Elevator' is fuzztoned garage pop, reminds me of some of those Five American records.

There next 45 'Uncle Kirby (From Brazil)' is perhaps their most well known song appearing on several compilations. The latter single came housed in a smart picture sleeve.

09 July, 2014


A collection of sights and sounds from the 60s...this show includes: 

The Losers, The Dennisons, The Abandoned, Los Shains, P.F. Sloan, Kama-del-Sutra,
The Countdown 5, Manfred Mann, Gene Vincent, Jet Harris and Rick Nelson.

08 July, 2014


THE ROULETTES - 'Bad Time' / 'Can You Go' (Parlophone R 5110) March 1964

Second time out for The Roulettes on my site. I wrote about 'Junk' a few years ago, check the archives. So now it's time to continue with "Bad Time" from March '64... Yeah it's a 50 year old beat record..... cool.

It's been covered a few times. I heard the song first on an "Ugly Things" comp by The D-Coys.
The Roulettes are better known as being Adam Faith's backing band but recorded and released records in their own right during the mid 60s. Despite having a great beat sound with ringing guitars and pounding drums.....sadly NO hits followed so they've been lost in obscurity.

*** both sides of this 45 played on 'Flower Bomb Songs Podcast #03' ***

06 July, 2014


THE BEST THINGS - 'Chicks Are For Kids' / 'You May See Me Cry' (United Artists UA 50027) May 1966

This combo were from Mankato, MN and recorded under the name of The Madhatters releasing a couple of 45s on the local label Cardinal. For some reason this United Artists record is a re-release of a Madhatters single that came out months previously during February 1966 but with a name change to The Best Things.

'Chicks Are For Kids' is perhaps their best known song but make an effort to hear the sombre teenage testament of 'You May See Me Cry' on the flip with it's beautiful snaking guitar runs by former Gestures member Dale Menten. Indeed, the latter wrote and played guitar on both sides of this disc.

Dale Menten left The Gestures in 1965 and proceeded to play with several local groups over the next few years including The Only Ones, The Madhatters / Best Things, The Escapades, The Serophic Street Sounds and Blackwood Apology. He also did a lot of arranging and A&R work for numerous bands including T.C. Atlantic, The Boys Next Door, Danny's Reasons, The Puddle, The Shambles, The Soul Seakers, The Nickel Revolution and C.A. Quintet.  

05 July, 2014


THE BLACK AND BLUES - 'Come To Me' / 'Bye Bye Baby' (United Artists UA 50245) November 1967

Here's a new addition to my collection rec'd last week, the first single by Anderson, IL group The Black and Blues. I've seen this for years on dealer lists but never got around to securing a copy.

They started life as The Chalets but decided on a name change to The Black and Blues sometime in '67. A one-off record deal with United Artists followed with their music produced by the in demand Paul Leka who worked on the The Lemon Pipers hits.

Both songs are group originals with perhaps 'Come To Me' the best, at least I dig it the most. It's hard and fuzzy with a perfect '67 trippy raga guitar sound. Pure 'Flower Bomb Songs' material, that's why I played it on my latest podcast. On the other side is 'Bye Bye Baby', a Bo Diddley inspired shaker.

Both sides were compiled in the mid 80s on the Eva released 'Finest Hours Of U.S. Punk' and further Black and Blues reading material, including a picture of the band can be found on the highly recommended blog ''60 Indiana Band Szene'

04 July, 2014


BIG BROTHER - 'E.S.P.' / 'Brother, Where Are You' (All-American 5718) July 1970

Over the next few days I'll write about some of my recent additions to my 45 collection, most of which feature in my latest 'Flower Bomb Songs' podcast #03... so check it out for some killer and obscure tunes.

When Santa Barbara, CA combo Giant Crab's contract with UNI expired Ernie Orosco changed some members of his band and renamed the new outfit Big Brother and signed to All-American Records. Ernie Joseph's name was added to the label.....as Big Brother featuring Ernie Joseph.

Their first single featured 'E.S.P.', which was a song also recorded by The Giant Crab and released as their final single during September 1969. This record was backed with 'Hot Line Conversation'. 
Big Brother's version was remixed with additional phasing, the original intro and cold ending were not used for this new and heavier version. The backing vocals are also lower in the mix.

Shindig #28 has a feature on Ernie Joseph and is well worth the read.  

01 July, 2014


A collection of sights and sounds from the 60s...this show includes:

The Beach Boys, The Shadows, The Roulettes, The Front Line, The Possums, The Black and Blues, The Best Things, The Canoise, The Easybeats and Big Brother.

(all cuts taken from original MONO records)

29 June, 2014


THE SHADOWS - 'Maroc 7' / 'Bombay Duck' (Columbia DB 8170) April 1967

'Maroc 7' is an instrumental recorded by The Shadows for the British film of the same name. Flip it over for some 'Bombay Duck'

The mono single mix is superior with a longer fade out than the stereo version, which is the one usually heard via albums and CD retrospectives.
Also, check out the large font used on the label which is a bit weird on a UK Columbia 45.

28 June, 2014


THE EASYBEATS - 'St. Louis' / 'Can't Find Love' (Polydor 56335) June 1969

Killer late period Easybeats psychedelic rock double sider from 1969. 'St Louis' was deemed the A-Side and is a memorable rocker with brass flourishes.

Flip it over for the riff-tastic 'Can't Find Love' written by the awesome Vanda / Young songwriting partnership... Both songs were part of their '69 album 'Friends'.

27 June, 2014


THE BEACH BOYS - 'Barbara Ann' / 'Girl Don't Tell Me' (Capitol CL 15432) December 1965

One of my fave rave Beach Boys cuts is 'Girl Don't Tell Me' released first on their album 'Summer Days' in June 1965, then selected as the B-Side of 'Barbara Ann' during December 1965.

The song was recorded way back in April 1965 at Western Studios in Hollywood so it took eight months for it to be released on a single. It deserved to be the lead tune but it was hidden away on a flip.

'Girl Don't Tell Me' has a folk-rock guitar throughout but is a little buried in the mix that is until the all too brief solo. Carl Wilson performed lead vocal duties. It's believed that Brian Wilson wrote it heavily based on The Beatles 'Ticket To Ride.' The label credit gave Brian the songwriting accolade but during the 90s Mike Love was successful with a lawsuit and has now been given co-songwriting status for this particular song.  

I'm not interested in the 'who' or 'who didn't' write the song, all I know is that it's GREAT! and so did the record buying public as the 45 stormed up the charts, peaking at number 3.

British harmony pop group Tony Rivers & the Castaways released their version of 'Girl Don't Tell Me' on Immediate during February 1966. Check it out on the 1990 Sequel CD 'The Immediate Alternative.'

21 June, 2014


A collection of sights and sounds from the 60s...this show includes:

The Kinks, The Vistas, The North Stars, Dino, Desi & Billy, The London Knights,
W.C. Fields Memorial Electric String Band, The Rogues, Sonny Curtis, Kippington Lodge,
The Turtles and The Music Fair.

19 June, 2014


DINO, DESI & BILLY - 'She's So Far Out She's In' / 'Look Out Girls (Here We Come)' (Reprise 0496) July 1966

Very young teenbeat threesome Dino, Desi & Billy recorded two Baker Knight songs used on one of their mid 1966 singles. The often recorded 'She's So Far Out She's In' makes one of it's earliest appearances on record and it's a neat effort with a raunchy beat and fuzz.

They actually fashion quite the garage sound on both sides and use plenty of fuzztone especially on the flip 'Look Out Girls (Here We Come)' which is a personal favourite. Check it out on 'Flower Bomb Songs' Podcast #02.

The record was produced by Lee Hazlewood and arranged by Billy Strange.


14 June, 2014


A collection of sights and sounds from the 60s, this show includes: 

Baker Knight & the Knightmares, Mike Wallace, The System, The Family, Billy J. Kramer, Boeing Duveen & the Beautiful Soup, Curiosity Shoppe, West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, Ola & the Janglers, Billy Fury, The 13th Floor Elevators, The Californians, Pink Floyd, The Byrds, The Mamas and the Papas, The Squires, The Everly Brothers and Del Shannon.


THE NORTH STARS - 'She's So Far Out She's In' / 'Eenie Meenie Minee Mo' (Fontana TF 726) July 1966

Continuing my look at the more beatsville and psychedelic songs of Baker Knight during his song writing phaze of 1966 - 67 has led me to this beat cruncher by The North Stars. The latter are believed to have been from Manchester and hung around long enough to release two singles on Fontana.

Their version of Baker Knight's 'She's So Far Out She's In' was one of the earliest recorded and was released during July 1966, the same month as versions by Dino, Desi & Billy and Billy Fury.

The North Stars add a bit of Kinks toughness to their take and I rate the production superior. I wish I knew who it was but the information on the record label does not provide details. The flip 'Eenie Meenie Minee Mo' is even better.

Certainly a 45 to add to your collection but it may take some time to locate.

10 June, 2014


THE SATELLITERS - 'More Of The Satelliters' (Dionysus) July 2014

This combo from Germany have been regulars on the European garage scene since the mid 90s releasing records on tons of labels and displaying their solid garage beat action at prestigious festivals such as the Dionysus Demolition Derby, various Mod Rallies, Cavestomp and Euro Ye Ye...plus many other tours.

The Satelliters sound has developed over the years and maybe even become a little bit more sophisticated but importantly without losing any of their raunchy garage rock moves. Their music has always, to my ears, been heavily influenced by some of the better eighties garage revival groups such as The Cynics and early Miracle Workers, indeed the lead singer has a vocal style similar to Cynics frontman Michael Kastelic.

So with this in mind, it's usually time to take notice when The Satelliters have a new record out. Their latest offering "More Of The Satelliters" is due to be released next month on the famous Dionysus label and it's been a long time comin'. An update on their Facebook page confirmed that the group had completed the recording of the album during January 2013. So just over a year and a half later fans will be able to get copies from their favourite garage/psych emporiums.

A taster for the album was released as a single on Portuguese label Chaputa Records. They released their raucous version of "Girl It's Over" originally recorded by The Six Deep in 1967 backed with a non album cut "When I'm In Between."

Their new album contains the kind of tunes fans will wanna hear ranging from fuzztoned garage rockers like my favourite "It's Gotta Be You" and the opener "You Turned In My World".
The pace is slowed with a couple of psych-tinged winners, listen out for "I'm Up To Find" and "Tell Me Tell Me"... It wouldn't be The Satelliters if they didn't tackle some sixties cover versions and they please with the previously mentioned "Girl It's Over" and the classic "I Was Alone" originally recorded by The Exotics in 1967. Their version of "I'm A No Count" by Ty Wagner with the Scotchmen is decent enough but doesn't have the primitive power of the original from 1965....no surprise though, how could any contemporary group come close to even matching that crude snarler?

A highly recommended album for this Summer's garden parties.

THE SATELLITERS - "It's Gotta Be You"

The Satelliters homepage

The Satelliters Facebook page

*** thanks to Lee Joseph for sending me a preview of the album ***

09 June, 2014


THE POWER PLANT - 'It Can't Happen Without You' / 'She's So Far Out She's In' (Diamond D-229) September 1967

This 45 is a mystery, little has been written about it in guides etc. It was even omitted from 'Fuzz, Acid & Flowers' and 'Teenbeat Mayhem'.

Both sides were written and produced by Baker Knight leading me to suspect that The Power Plant could have been recordings by Baker Knight with his backing band The Knightmares but under a different guise. 

*** I have since found some in depth information on soundcloud which more or less discounts my theory. It appears that Baker Knight was simply the songwriter and producer for a soul group calling themselves The Power Plant! ***

'She's So Far Out She's In' has got a faster tempo than any of the other versions recorded by other groups. I'd make this version the definitive one..

With a Sept 1967 release date, it came out later than any of the others. But would have been more or less unheard back then because it was the B-Side of a soul pop tune 'I Can't Happen Without You'

I asked fellow psych collector and "Fuzz, Acid & Flowers" contributor Max Myndblown about The Power Plant and here's what he had to say: 

Hi Colin, I have two by them - the one on Diamond 229, both sides written & produced by Baker Knight. The second "Victim Of Love" / "Heavy With Me" (Diamond D-245) June 1968 is credited to Freddie May & The Power Plant and is soul.

I found this information about The Power Plant single "She's So Far Out She's In" on soundcloud:

Lead Singer- Freddie May.
Background vocals-Dale Bobbitt (bass), Gene Holmes(guitar), & Freddie May.
Kelly Royal- percussion, Larry White-Farfisa Organ 

Recorded in 1967 at American Recording, Studio City, CA with Richie Podolor & Bill Cooper engineering/mixing.
Executive Producer-Jimmy Bowen (Amos Productions)
Written & Arranged- Baker Knight
Baker had 17 Hollywood session players on the floor for tracking. Original recording done on Ampex AG-440

and this about the Freddie May & the Power Plant 45

Lead Singer- Freddie May.
Background vocals-Dale Bobbitt (bass), Gene Holmes(guitar), & Freddie May.
Kelly Royal- percussion, Larry White-keys

Recorded in 1968 at American Recording, Studio City, CA with Richie Podolor & Bill Cooper engineering/mixing.
Executive Producer-Jimmy Bowen (Amos Productions)
Written & Arranged- Baker Knight
Baker had 17 Hollywood session players on the floor for tracking. Original recording done on Ampex 8 Track

Freddie May information

"Victim of Love"

08 June, 2014


BAKER KNIGHT and the KNIGHTMARES - 'Hallucinations' / 'I Feel Sick About The Whole Thing' (Reprise 0554) February 1967

I first became aware of this mammoth psychedelic tune via Rhino's 2004 CD compilation titled "Hallucinations: Psychedelic Pop Psych Nuggets From The WEA Vaults." They liked it so much that the set was named after Baker Knight's song and it was placed as the CD opener to superbly get the listener in 'hot psych action' mode.

Over the years I've been tempted to buy an original copy of the 45 to add to my psych archive and earlier this week that's just what I did, and as you know, I'm now trying to find out as much about Baker's 'psych' period of songwriting as possible.

'Hallucinations' is a thrill trip of lysergic pop moves where much of the credit must go to producer Jimmy Bowen. The following information has been taken from the liner notes of the previously mentioned Rhino CD comp.

Believe it or not, Thomas Baker Knight was 34 years old when he wrote and recorded this psychedelic workout. Even more unbelievable is the fact that his very aptly named backing band, The Knightmares, was actually formed way back in 1956.

No doubt that this 1967 Reprise single was a long way from Knight's rockabilly past, when he opened for the likes of Carl Perkins and wrote songs for Ricky Nelson ('Lonesome Town'). By the mid 60s, Knight had fallen in with industry mover and shaker Jimmy Bowen and was writing songs for teen trio Dino, Desi & Billy.

Baker Knight:
"Hallucinations was recorded in a small studio on Melrose Avenue. I played some of the less prominent guitar parts and Gerry McGee (Monkees sessioner and later a member of The Ventures) played the lead guitar. Jimmy Bowen, the producer, got a neat idea for recording the background vocals. He mic'd me with a stage type mic connected to the input of a very large guitar amp.

The amp had a tremolo, which was turned on at a high depth level. They mic'd the speakers on the amp and fed that signal into the studio board.

I thought it was a pretty good record, so did Bowen. I tried to make it sound a little Beatle-ish."   

The flip 'I Feel Sick About The Whole Thing' is by no means a throwaway cut. Baker Knight is obviously going for a Lovin' Spoonful vibe here and in my opinion is successful in doing so. This song has yet to make a compilation appearance.

from the Rhino CD booklet


BILLY FURY - 'Give Me Your Word' / 'She's So Far Out She's In' (Decca F.12459) July 1966

England's answer to Elvis Presley was probably Billy Fury and he enjoyed lots of rock 'n' roll hits pre Beatlemania. None of these songs are 'Flower Bomb Songs' material.

However, hidden away on the B-Side of a mid 1966 single is a Baker Knight penned mod dancer with some classy guitar and organ bursts.

"She's So Far Out She's In" was also recorded by Manchester beat group The North Stars, Dino, Desi & Billy, The Power Plant and The Monkees, although their version was unfinished and only a backing track survives.

07 June, 2014


WEST COAST POP ART EXPERIMENTAL BAND - '1906' / 'Shifting Sands' (Reprise 0552) February 1967

I'm currently researching Baker Knight. He is mostly known as being a rockabilly recording artist in the late 50s and early 60s with his backing band The Knightmares. Big names including Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Jerry Lee Lewis recorded his songs.

Baker's song "The Wonder Of You" was a big hit for Elvis.

However, in his early 30s, during the years 1966/67 he was writing some happenin' songs. Don't know if readers are aware of this but The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band recorded two Baker Knight songs for their album "Part One"

These were the ultra great "Shifting Sands", also released as a single and an old song from around 1964 called "If You Want This Love"... this song was released as a 45 by Sonny Knight.

"Part One" released May 1967