01 March, 2014
I've just started a blog which will focus on garage beat and psychedelic 'revival' groups and the records they left behind during the period 1980 - 1999
a regular podcast will be uploaded on this site which will be so KILLER your mynd will be full of paisley sights, shapes and sounds....
23 February, 2014
20 February, 2014
20 OS HAXIXINS - 'Under The Stones' (Groovie Records GROO 0024) 2010
Second time out for Brazilian group Os Haxixins on my blog "Flower Bomb Songs". I've been playing their second album "Under The Stones" for the last few days and the songs are really burying deep in my mind.
They're clearly fond of mid '66 garage sounds but have combined this with some spooky Doors like organ. I was actually very intriqued by the organ sound and I'm led to believe that they're using a Diatron.
Also in the mix is a heavy use of fuzztoned guitars and reverb. Most of the songs (apart from the two covers) are sung in their native language which is a huge bonus, for me anyway. No need to criticize unusual or wrong pronunciation of English words.
Hard to pick out a favourite as the whole album runs along smoothly, most songs have a fast tempo, no ballads. I'm not sure if Os Haxixins could pull off a slow love-song or ballad. I don't think it's their style.
17 February, 2014
EMERGENCY EXIT - 'Maybe Too Late' / 'Why Girl' (Dunhill D-4060) February 1967
I've had this 45 for years and have been meaning to write about it for just as long but somehow it never made it's way out of my record box until now. The Emergency Exit hailed from Seattle, WA and were active during most of 1966 and until mid/late 1967.
Two previously unreleased songs "Happy Song" and "Why Girl" can be found on a couple of volumes of the Big Beat CD comps "North West Battle Of The Bands". The version of 'Why Girl' is an earlier take from March 1966 and sounds more like a demo than a fully fledged studio cut.
'Happy Girl' has a rough British Invasion style and probably dates from around the same time.
Their first 45 'Maybe Too Late' / 'Why Girl' was released on the local label Ru-Ro Records during December 1966, and must have impressed someone at Dunhill Records as they were signed to the label. A couple of months later the Dunhill pressing was released and is arguably the labels toughest ever release.
'Maybe Too Late' is a wonderful jangle beat pounder with reverb and blended harmonies. I really dig this side, although it scores lower than 'Why Girl' in "Teenbeat Mayhem".
'Why Girl' has a throbbing beat with weird echo FX making it a 'way-out' teen punk record. It was compiled back in the 80s on a Boulders comp but since then has been missing in action.
A second Dunhill record followed in June 1967, 'It's Too Late Baby' / 'You've Been Changing Your Mind' but it's a record that I've not heard before.
Jim Walters (guitar)
Paul Goldsmith (guitar) * briefly a member of The Wailers
Luther Rabb (bass)
Bill Leyritz (drums)
|grainy picture scanned from the Big Beat CD booklet|
|grainy picture scanned from the Big Beat CD booklet|
15 February, 2014
THE MIRACLE WORKERS - 'Inside Out' (Voxx Records 200.031) 1985
Currently immersing myself with "Inside Out" by The Miracle Workers... This was released on Voxx Records back in 1985 and became a dominant presence on my turntable back then.
Let's face it, in '85 the music scene around the entire world was uninteresting apart from the odd scene here and there. You had to dig a little deeper beyond music weeklies like NME, Sounds and Melody Maker.....good rock 'n' roll music was out there untouched by lousy 80s production and synths.
All songs on this steller album are Miracle Workers originals apart from a choice cover of 'Hey Little Bird' (The Barbarians)...If you want your garage beat undiluted with fuzz, maracas, tambourines and pissed off snarl I can recommend this....shame it was recorded in stereo and not MONO though.....
Impossible to pick out a favourite track as they all simmer and explode so I closed my eyes and settled on the intense "One Step Closer To You"....written by lead singer Gerry Mohr.
The CD version of the album released many years later came housed in a different cover.
I contacted Miracle Workers guitarist / organist Dan Demiankow via Facebook this week and he kindly answered some questions I put to him.
DAN: "The above album cover that you posted, was the first pressing. We hated the bamboo lettering and the yellow background. Then there were 2 other Bomp versions, and 1 Virgin Records versions pressed. My favorite was this Virgin Records cover".
"Funny story about this photo. We did several photo shoots with different photographers. After getting the pics back on this shoot/photo, we decided to not use any photos from this shoot. But, somehow, these pics got out there."
"When I asked the guys who let these pics out, everyone shrugged their shoulders, "Gee, I don't know. Wasn't me." Well, that's show biz. Looking back, I now like these pics and am happy they are out there. Still, OK, who's gonna fess up?"
EXPO67: What are your memories about recording this album?
How many hours / days did the recordings take? Any songs abandoned because they weren't working? Any songs unreleased?
DAN: "As I recall, this album was done in two days. First day, all the songs were recorded live, in the studio. Meaning, we played together, like we were on stage. No song was over three takes. Usually, the second take was the one we kept."
"We had a philosophy that we had to get it in three takes or less. Our great engineer, Gary Bomb, was so fast, he made it possible for us to hurry and re-play the song right away, if we wanted to. The second day, we did some overdubs, and mixed down the album. In my opinion, it was Gary Bomb that suggested aggressive mixes and played the most major role in mixing the album. If it were a different engineer, I don't think we would have sounded so aggressive."
"No unreleased recordings in this session.
No songs were abandoned. We never fought over what songs go on our albums. We had the attitude that, oh well, we'll put any songs not yet recorded on our next album.
Greg Shaw asked us to record an album. We had no idea it would be well received. To us, we were just another 60s style garage band, happy to record an album. Overall, we just recorded what we played on stage. That's probably why the music had the energy that it had.
OK, here's a fun note: during the excitement of the sessions, the engineer accidentally grabbed a Herbie Hancock tape and we recorded over it. Oops!"
photos from Dan Demiankow's archive and taken from a Facebook page devoted to The Miracle Workers
|Miracle Workers - Gerry at the Rodeo Club Portland, Oregon, 1985|
|Miracle Workers - At the Rodeo Portland, Oregon|
|Miracle Workers - 1985 at the Rodeo Club Portland, Oregon|
|Miracle Workers Autumn Shade fanzine box set project show flyer courtesy of Kristin Angelique|
12 February, 2014
THE ESCORTS - 'Dizzy Miss Lizzy'/'All I Want Is You' (Fontana TF 453) March 1964
The Escorts played at Liverpool's Cavern Club during the same period as their friends The Beatles. Indeed they beat their rivals at being the first mersey group to record Larry Williams' classic 'Dizzy Miss Lizzy'.
The Escorts version has a youthful teenbeat sound with a crisp backing. According to the liners of the long outta print Escorts retrospective on the Edsel label, band members Terry Sylvester and Mike Gregory dismiss the 45 citing the lack of production skills by Jack Baverstock.
Despite a tour with Gene Pitney, Billy J Kramer and Cilla Black to promote their debut record, The Escorts never charted in England. At least they had some sharp suits and boots and one of my favourite band logos from the 60s.
DUFFY POWER - 'It Ain't Necessarily So'/'If I Get Lucky Some Day' (Parlophone R 4992) February 1963
Killer mod 45 that was released in 1963 but is captured in my '64 round up because it just oozes greatness and was perhaps ahead of it's time.
'If I Get Lucky Some Day' is classy bluesy mod with bursts of hammond organ. It's believed that Big Jim Sullivan added lead guitar to this recording. Shame it was lost on the B-Side.
Duffy Power extolling an air of nonchalance...circa 1964
DOWNLINERS SECT - 'Find Out What's Happening'/'Insecticide' (Columbia DB 7415) November 1964
1964 was quite a successful year for the Downliners Sect, they didn't really hit the big time or anything like that but 'Little Egypt' was a decent seller.
'Find Out What's Happening' was the ravin' follow-up and it was popular enough to get them a spot on TV Show "Ready Steady Go" (I've never seen this clip before, don't even know if the tape still exists?)
The flip 'Insecticide' is more intense R&B with wailing harmonica.
Don Craine is basically telling his girl that if she leaves him he's gonna 'insecticide' her....I doubt that he means spraying her with some insect killer either...
THE KINKS - 'You Really Got Me'/'It's All Right' (PYE 7N.15673) August 1964
This one needs no introduction....hard driving 60s rock complete with tense vocals and a killer distorted lead guitar solo.....Wow, it burns!
One of the most influential songs of all time.
THE KINKS - 'All Day And All Of The Night'/'I Gotta Move' (PYE 7N.15714) October 1964
The follow up to #1 hit 'You Really Got Me' was 'All Day And All Of The Night', another Ray Davies penned rocker relying on a similar power chord riff. Ray doesn't sound as pissed off on this one but it still smokes...
The hard driving beat of 'I Gotta Move' on the flip is another gem that may not be as well known to the casual listener.... have a listen to greatness...
THE KINKS - 'Kinksize Session' (PYE NEP 24200) November 1964
A month after I was born the first Kinks EP was released.
The back sleeve advertises their debut album. None of the four songs on this EP were on the album so it's a must have item for your Kinks collection!
'I've Gotta Go Now'
'I've Got That Feeling'
'Things Are Getting Better'
THE KINKS - 'Kinksize Hits' (NEP 24203) January 1965
The next Kinks EP was released a couple of months later in January 1965.
It gathered up the previous two hit singles complete with B-Sides.
02 February, 2014
19 MYSTIC SIVA - 'Same' (World In Sound RFR-002) 1970
This album by a group of teenagers is rare, try to find an original copy. If you do, you're likely to have to delve deeper into your pockets than ever before to purchase some black gold.
If you dig laid back rockin' with tripped out lead guitar, wah-wah and Hammond B3 organ, this record is for you. Not only that, but obscure re-issue label "World In Sound" have located the master tapes and have really gone to some extremes to bring the psych head a mind bending package, the very thick card sleeve is heavy, nearly as heavy as some of the guitar riffs by Al Tozzi....
Each and every song on the album has an eerie psych quality but "Supernatural Mind" is a dark burst of psych that will leave you mesmerized...hard to believe that the kids that made up Mystic Siva were all in their mid-teens....that's enough to blow your mind alone!
01 February, 2014
18 FIFTH PIPE DREAM (Relics 3027) 2013
playing this recent purchase on a CD released on Relics late last year.
Don't know why it's taken me so long to add this to my collection.....
Featuring It's A Beautiful Day, Tripsichord Music Box, Indian Puddin
& Pipe* and Black Swan, this highly collectable compilation is a
perfect distillation of the acid drenched SF sound of the late 1960s.
*they're listed on the album as Indian Puddin' & Pipe but I've read that they were called "West Coast Natural Gas"
GREAT sounds, a total trip winner...perhaps my fave rave is "Hashish"
by Indian Puddin' & Pipe.....turn on
your mynd to outsider possibilities.....oh yeah, "Family Song" by
Tripsichord Music Box is an epic mindblower.
29 January, 2014
17 HILTON VALENTINE - 'All In Your Head' (Grapefruit CD) LP released 1970
Ex Animals guitarist, Hilton Valentine, relocated to Los Angeles in late 1969 and recorded an album of self-penned psych folk gems, some with pop arrangements that sweeten those songs.
As Hilton was heavily into LSD and Donovan at the time (the influences are quite clear) his album is possibly a great lost acid casualty treasure and comes highly recommended by me.
The music is full of gentle psychedelic folk interludes that could have been contenders if only they had been promoted by Capitol Records in 1970....after all it was the era of singer/songwriters, but they didn't even release a promo 45 from it and the LP bombed.......NOT on 'Flower Bomb Songs' though!
27 January, 2014
HAL & THE PROPHETS - 'Shame Shame Shame'/'She's Doing Fine' (Scepter Records 1287) November 1964
Here's an outfit who have remained elusive for decades, as far as I know, no information about them has ever surfaced. Their location was even left blank in 'Teenbeat Mayhem', so hopefully someone reading this entry will contact me with any relevant information or facts regarding the obscure beat group called Hal & the Prophets.
'Shame Shame Shame' is an R&B mover with some rockin' guitar and tuff vocals. The Jimmy Reed original was released on the Stateside label in Great Britain during 1963. The song was obviously still fresh in the memory as according to reference guides, this cover on Scepter Records came out in November 1964.
'She's Doing Fine' is a slow ballad that's just too tame for my tastes.
Hal & the Prophets were produced by Joe Venneri who worked with The Blues Magoos and many other Mercury acts.
*** heavyweight collectors Jeff Lemilich and Max Myndblown have confirmed that Hal was a misprint. It's Pal Rakes & The Prophets, the same guy who later recorded for Verve and Columbia.
P.S. Now that Jeff's pointed out that they should have been billed as Pal & The Prophets, more becomes clear. First off, Pal and his pals WERE from Philly after all (and were originally known as Little Pal & His Pals). Secondly there are other releases, albeit appealing to the Northern Soul crowd …
(as Pal Rakes & The Prophets) Can't Deny The Hurt / Old Shep (Verve VK-10576) Apr 1968
Can't Deny The Hurt is regarded as a Northern classic – posted numerous times on youtube, where you can also find a 1966 acetate, Delilah Done Me Wrong - http://www.youtube.com/
26 January, 2014
16 EASTFIELD MEADOWS - 'Travelin' Salesman'/'Helpless Is A Feeling' (VMC V-736) 1968
The Eastfield Meadows are believed to have come from California and I'd guess they were likely a Los Angeles group. I'm not sure if they had any success with any of their releases which was a studio album and three singles, all on the collectable VMC label.
The 45 under my spotlight was their second single, both songs can be found on their album which covered the musical spectrum of psych rock, country and pop with great vocal harmonies. None better than 'Helpless Is A Feeling' which is laid back Association style harmony rock with a Buffalo Springfield edge.
The other side 'Travelin' Salesman' is decent enough country, if that's your bag, which reminds me of those Mike Nesmith tunes he recorded post Monkees.
Just out of interest other groups who released records on the VMC label that are 'Flower Bomb Songs' worthy were The David, Paper Fortress, Pacific Ocean, Magnum Opus and The Morning Sun.
line-up of Eastfield Meadows
15 BOOK A TRIP - VOLUME 2 (Now Sounds CRNOW 46) 2013
Once more, Now Sounds raids the Capitol Records vaults in Hollywood for late 60s psychedelic pop/sunshine pop obscurities and unearths even more first time on CD gems. All sourced from original masters, these original Capitol singles are circa 1965 - 1970.
Productions by the likes of Michael Lloyd collide with arrangements by Mort Garson and Gene Page and compositions by Harry Nillson, Donovan and Kim Fowley and performances by many legendary Wrecking Crew members, proving why Capitol Records was the undisputed leader of pop during this pivotal era.
The full colour booklet also includes rare, unpublished photos and extensive track-by-track liner notes that feature the participation of many original band members, songwriters and producers.
(from the CD liners)
- Catch the Love Parade – The Staccatos (Capitol single 5979, 1967)
- Times Will Be Hard – The Tombstones (Capitol single 5997, 1967)
- Don’t Take Very Much to See Tomorrow – The Laughing Wind (Tower single 266, 1966)
- For Mary’s Sake – These Vizitors (Capitol single 2163, 1968)
- I Can’t Go On – Chris and Craig (recorded 1966, previously unreleased)
- Masquerade – Jesse Lee Kincaid (Capitol single 5807, 1966)
- Pretty Daisy – The Knack (Capitol single 5940, 1967)
- October Country – Raw Edge (Tower single 936, 1967)
- Groovy Day – Ian Whitcomb (Tower single 385, 1967)
- Portobello Road – Ellie Janov (Capitol single 2037, 1967)
- Fire Engine Sky – Michael Blodgett (Capitol single 2051, 1967)
- When Diana Paints the Picture – Robbi Curtice (Sidewalk single 942, 1968)
- Trolley Car Line – Timothy Clover (Tower single 408, 1968)
- Little Toy – The Unforscene (Sidewalk single 926, 1967)
- Skip-a-Long Sam – The Sugar Shoppe (Capitol single 2233, 1968)
- Sidewalk Skipper Song – The Sidewalk Skipper Band (recorded 1968, previously unreleased stereo mix)
- Midnight Sun – The Pink Cloud (Tower single 376, 1967)
- Alone, Alone – James Flemming (Capitol single 5858, 1967)
- Hello Love – The Tuneful Trolley (Capitol single 2498, 1969)
- Song the City Sings – The New Kick (Capitol single 2682, 1969)
- Don’t Leave Me – Griffin (Capitol single SPRO-6027, 1970)
- That Bluebird of Summer – The Surf Symphony (Capitol single 2623, 1969)
- Good to Be Around – The Laughing Wind (Tower single 266, 1966)
- The End – Ian Whitcomb (Tower single 155, 1965)
25 January, 2014
14 THE YELLOW PAYGES - 'Never See The Good In Me'/'Sleeping Minds' (Showplace WS-216) 1967
Another new addition this week is this record by The Yellow Payges, a group from Los Angeles who were regulars at venues on the Sunset Strip.
This was their debut disc from '67 on Showplace, a subsidiary of Cameo Parkway. 'Never See The Good In Me' has some tasty 'sitar' leads and a quick tempo. Find it on Mindrocker Volume 11.
The pace is slowed right down for 'Sleeping Minds' on the flip....this one has strings and things, sort of a baroque pop sound.
13 THE MAGIC CYCLE - 'Doctor Lollipop'/'Where Where You When I Needed You' (Giant Records GR-904) January 1967
Here's a new 45 addition to my collection by a group from Toronto, Canada. They would later drop the 'Magic' from their name and would end their existence as The Cycle.
I've got their Tamarac Records album from 1970 but never realised it was the same band until I started doing some research.
'Doctor Lollipop' is decent pop psych and was a small hit in Canada, reaching number #68 but they're more than likely virtual unknowns outside of their locale.
The flip 'Where Were You When I Needed You' is a cover of the Sloan-Barri folk-rocker, best known as being recorded by The Grass Roots.
12 THE TUNEFUL TROLLEY - 'Island In The Sky' (Now Sounds) original release 1969
I've bought a couple of CDs this month, both on the Now Sounds label. First one under the spotlight is the album by The Tuneful Trolley. I've got one of their 45s in my collection 'Sunny Days'/'My Apple Pie', but had never heard this studio album before, so took an effort to track it down.
The Tuneful Trolley were discovered and championed by Jay and the Americans. Listening to this CD confirms to me that they were primarily a pop psych outfit with a knack for writing and performing solid Beatlesque rock.
With a sizable following in their home base of Long Island, New York, The Tuneful Trolley released 'Island In The Sky' in 1969 to national indifference, this despite containing all the elements of an instant smash. The album is a glorious atoll with landscapes of fuzz guitars, oboes, melodic Beach Boys harmonies with a garage edge. The boys were all still in their mid teens when the material was recorded.
23 January, 2014
11 THE CHYLDS - 'I Want More (Lovin)'/'Hay Girl' (Giant Records 101) May 1967
Here's a super 60s teenbeat double sider on Giant Records. The Chylds were from Canton, OH and were very popular in their area. So much so that a huge label like Warner Bros were impressed enough to sign them up and release this disc on their label in July '67.
Both sides really MOVE with an R'N'B/soul crunch, seemingly very much influenced by Paul Revere & the Raiders with a coolsville Mysterians organ buzz.
***I've added The Chylds 'I Want More (Lovin')' this month to my collection. I wrote this entry on 19/12/13***
21 January, 2014
10 TURQUOISE - 'Steel Glass'/'Hello Bill' (Arcade ARC-101) 1967
Here's an obscure Californian 45 by a group of outsiders from Oxnard, Ventura County. It was their debut record and also a first for the Arcade label. Some information has surfaced over the past year or two about Turquoise after 'Steel Glass' and 'Hello Bill' were uploaded to YouTube.
FA&F advised that they were originally known as Captain Speed and went by this name for a longer period than that of Turquoise. No reason was given as to why there was a need for a name change, perhaps it was one of the conditions after signing with Arcade Records.
Both sides are heavily influenced by The Doors with that eerie Ray Manzarek organ sound high in the mix. Surprisingly, only 'Hello Bill' has been compiled. This was years ago on a psychedelic collection titled "Seeds Turn To Flowers Turn To Dust."
Turquoise released a follow up single 'Beautiful Death Dealer'/'Sunflower Mama' (Arcade ARC-102) which appears to be extremely rare. Very few copies have surfaced but both have been uploaded to YouTube by a respected psych collector/writer.
Note that the legendary Kim Fowley has a co-production credit with Tom Ayres.
Members of Captain Speed / Turquoise at one time or another were:
Bill Payne (keyboards) he may not have performed on their recorded output and would later form Little Feat.
Bruce Barlow (bass) went on to a group called Commander Cody.
Dan Gustafson (drums)
Tim Pearson (vocals)
Steve Smith (guitar)
Luther Tatum (keyboards)
Howard Dumble (?) co-writer of 'Steel Glass'
20 January, 2014
This rare handbill promoting a gig at the Magic Vegetable was sold on Ebay yesterday for $20. I don't collect such items but saved the picture for future reference.
Sound Vendor and The Grail performed that night at the Magic Vegetable, probably in 1967.
Nice to see a small image of both groups.
18 January, 2014
RONNIE MICHAELS - 'All Night Long'/'I'm Stickin' With You' (Mala 495) late 1964
Last Summer I bought this obscurity by Ronnie Michaels on Amy Records. I knew nothing about the record or the artist and sent some feelers out for information. Imagine my surprise when some months later Jerome Mykietyn (Ronnie Michaels) got in touch via email. 'All Night Long' has a hard edged beat sound where Michaels sings like a rock'n'roller but it's most definately got an eye on the new beat sound emanating from Britain during the mid 60s.
I asked Jerome some questions about this early recording and he obliged accordingly.
"My name is Jerome Mykietyn and my first record was "I'm Sticking With You" b/w "All Night Long", released in 1964 under the name of Ronnie Michaels while I was in college. Ron Dante (of "The Archies") was instrumental in getting me on the label. "All Night Long" was actually the "B" side and was a demo of my song I did with my high school rock band.
At the same time, I had a song called "Rumble In The Night" recorded by Mike Minor, who starred in the TV show "Petticoat Junction". The recordings were produced by Stan Shulman, who owned Dunes Records. The backing singers on 'I'm Sticking With You' were Ron Dante and some of The Tokens.As for the "B" side, "All Night Long" was done by Jerry Dodd (another pseudonym) and The Demons, my high school rock band, and was recorded in a small studio (Hertz) in Newark, NJ. Our band was based in Wayne, NJ.
That group broke up when we graduated High School.
Afterwards, I recorded for Laurie Records with my band The Yellow Brick Road. I was with the label for six years and had 15 releases (many of which were my own compositions), but unfortunately, no major hits. Consequently, I had some independent releases and the last was my own label where I produced my first full blues album, "sing it, white boy!" by The Reclamators. It is still being played around the world and I'm happy to be getting sales.
I was thrilled to see that there are serious collectors of vinyl 45s and that I am included. I'm currently working on a country album and should have a release later on this year. If you get a chance, you can see me and The Reclamators on YouTube".
17 January, 2014
09 THE BASSETTS - 'A Little Love From You'/'So Bad' (Mercury 72624) October 1966
The new additions to my record collection in 2014 continue with this one from The Bassetts, who hailed from Long Island, NY. An online source suggests that they were assembled by Tony Amato, Artie Kornfeld and Steve Duboff. This 45 was their only release.
The top side was a rather novelty type tune called 'A Little Love From You', written by the Kornfeld-Duboff partnership. It doesn't register with me, although by all accounts it was a small hit in their locale.
Far superior is the fuzztoned beat of the Tony Amato original 'So Bad'. Comes complete with a cool '66 guitar break. Both sides are uncompiled.
16 January, 2014
08 LAWSON & 4 MORE - 'Smart Bird'/'If You Want Me, You Can Find Me' (Ardent/Big Beat) 2013
This combo were from Memphis, TN and featured future engineer/producer Terry Manning. The fuzz laden '66 punker 'Smart Bird' is previously unreleased and makes it's debut on this slab of vinyl. The vocals are full of snarl and may have been considered too un-commercial to release as a single.
The other side is the Stonsey 'If You Want Me, You Can Find Me' and was indeed their first single in 1965. Copies of the record came housed in a picture sleeve. I don't know if this re-issue is the same mix as the '65 cut.
Both songs were written and produced by Jim Dickinson.
Big Beat kicks off a projected series of 7-inch vinyl to excite even the most hardened collector of 60s garage rock. We’ve got a bevy of exciting two-siders in the pipeline, all showcasing killers that are either unavailable or hard to find on vinyl or as in the case of Lawson & 4 More, completely unreleased.
13 January, 2014
07 DENISE - 'Boy, What'll You Do Then'/'Chaos' (Wee Records/Big Beat) 2013
Big Beat have recently began a series of vinyl only releases in limited quantity of rare and/or previously unreleased cuts. The first one under my spotlight is 'Boy, What'll You Do Then' by Denise Kaufman who would then go onto form SF group The Ace Of Cups.
Original copies are very rare and exchange hands for several thousand dollars, which is obviously outta the reach of most collectors. This is one reason to pick up this splendid re-issue before it becomes sold out. The other reason being of course, that's it's a killer 1966 garage put-down, sung by a girl and aimed at her former boyfriend. This chick has been scorned.
The Big Beat re-issue used the even rarer second mix of the recordings which are wilder.
12 January, 2014
06 THE SEMI-COLONS - 'Beachcomber'/'Set Aside' (Cameo Parkway C-468) April 1967
For those who don't know, The Semi-Colons were in fact ? and the Mysterians. Why Cameo Parkway released this 45 as The Semi-Colons is probably lost in time but if anyone knows be sure to contact me or leave a message.
'Beachcomber' was first recorded and released by Bobby Darin in 1960. His original version is a slow piano instrumental. The Semi-Colons on the other hand whip up the tempo somewhat and transorm it into a '67 go-go dancer.
The flip 'Set-Aside' can be found on the debut ? and the Mysterians album '96 Tears'. This is quite a slow instro that doesn't really go anywhere, although I do dig the guitar. Both sides were produced by Cameo Parkway staff producer Neil Bogart who would go onto Buddah Records and work on many hits during the bubblegum era.
05 LCS and the BISHOPS FOUR - 'It Doesn't Seem Fair'/'I'm Gonna Show You Mary' (Sevens International SI-1006) January 1970
Here's a mystery group that I know nothing about with an even more puzzling 45. According to 'Teenbeat Mayhem', LCS and the Bishops Four hailed from New Boston in Texas. Other information suggests that this record was released in 1970.
Both sides, most definately have a late '67/68 sound, so perhaps that was when the recordings took place but for whatever reason, the record didn't come out until a few years down the line.
According to the soybomb database LCS and the Bishops Four cut 'Midnight Hour' for a 1967 compilation on Normandy Records titled "Battle Of The Bands" suggesting that the group were active at that point in time. I've not heard this album but the database indicates that it's a live recording.
This brings me to this disc on Sevens International. 'It Doesn't Seem Fair' seems to be loosely based on the Monkees song 'She'. It's quite a moody piece with echoey vocals and jangle, with subtle keyboards. Not the best production I've ever heard, the sound is a bit on the muddy side but the melody is a memorable one.
The top side 'I'm Gonna Show You Mary' is great sunshine pop that brings to mind 'Trust' by The Peppermint Trolley Company. Classy touch of baroque Beatlesesque brass, killer melody and strong vocals. I'm a little more than surprised to find out that both sides are non-comp so I've created a YouTube upload highlighting the jangler 'It Doesn't Seem Fair'.
**** Ricky England, lead guitarist from LCS and the Bishops Four recently contacted me with the following information ****
You are correct the band is from New Boston, Texas. The record was made in 1968.
line-up: Lyndel Strippling (vocals / trumpet)
Bill Ratcliff (drums)
Danny Wilson (bass)
Ricky England (lead guitar)
11 January, 2014
04 THE SEEDS - 'A Thousand Shadows'/'March Of The Flower Children' (GNP Crescendo GNP-394) June 1967
By 1967, The Seeds had fully embraced psychedelia although they called their brand of music at this point in time 'flower music'. This 45 showcases their new style of flower music perfectly.
The top side 'A Thousand Shadows' deserved to be a hit but the fuzz laden eerie sounds failed to spark much interest, even for the teens and twenties of Los Angeles. Perhaps even more flipped out is the the child-like nursery rhyme 'March Of The Flower Children' which pushes the boundaries even more.
Both sides can be found on their 'Future' album, interestingly, both cuts were produced by Marcus Tybalt who was indeed Sky Saxon.
"March, march, march with me
Past the crooked forest
Through the field of flowers
Away from all the dragons
Where the sky is painted golden yellow
Come on along and go with me through the fairy castle now
Come on along and go with me"
09 January, 2014
03 THE NEIGHB'RHOOD CHILDR'N - 'Behold The Lilies'/'I Want Action' (Acta 45-828) July 1968
I remember way back in the mid 80s buying a bootleg copy of The Neighb'rhood Childr'n's album and being totally knocked out by the mesmerizing psychedelia. It sounded like nothing I'd ever heard before merging Jefferson Airplane vibes with tripped-out Seeds like compact organ bursts.
Fast forward nearly thirty years later and I'm buying my first Neighb'rhood Childr'n 45, which no doubt will lead me on into collecting all of their single releases.
The Neighb'rhood Childr'n were based in San Francisco during the mid to late 60s and played many gigs supporting the major players with perhaps their biggest gig being an opening slot with The Who & Iron Butterfly at the Sacramento Civic Auditorium.
So what about this particular 45 under the spotlight? Both are non-LP with the flip 'I Want Action' being a departure in their sound with soul influence using brass. Not my cuppa tea.
Way superior is the top side 'Behold The Lilies' which is summery baroque psych with orchestration and is unsurprisingly just what the title suggests......viewing colourful lily flowers growing in a field..
'Behold The Liles' was written by singer/organist Dyan Hoffman although the label states her forename as Diana (possibly a misspelling).
|picture scanned from the Sundazed CD "Long Years In Space"|
08 January, 2014
02 THE MORE-TISHANS - '(I've Got) Nowhere To Run'/'(I've Got) Nowhere To Run' (Peak Records P-4453) September 1967
This group are believed to have formed in Bloomington, Minneapolis and during the mid sixties built up a considerable reputation as a live group performing throughout Minnesota. Sadly, their recording legacy is just one single on Peak Records recorded at Dove Studios.
'(I've Got) Nowhere To Run' is a fantastic rocker with 12 string guitar and intricate harmonies all encapsulated in just over two minutes of charged coolness. The song wasn't even composed by one of The More-Tishans! That honour goes to school friend called Mark LeBoutillier.
Maybe The More-Tishans didn't have anymore decent original songs available on the day they entered Dove Studios as the flip is just the instrumental version of the same song. Bit of a cop out if you ask me.
My copy of the 45 has the label on the wrong side of the disc which was obviously spotted before it was sent to radio stations etc as someone has scribbled 'vocal' and stamped 'plug side' on the 'instrumental side'. The 'vocal side' plays the instrumental.
Over the years the song has been made available on a couple of Sundazed releases, namely the CDs 'Psychedelic Microdots #1' and 'Garage Beat #2'.
07 January, 2014
01 SAGITTARIUS - 'I Guess The Lord Must Be In New York City'/'I Still Can See Your Face' (Together T-122) September 1969
This year I'm going to attempt to write about every vinyl record I purchase in 2014, these items will be labelled "2014" (obviously). I've been quite active as a vinyl collector already and have several titles to review. First up is the final single by pop psych outfit Sagittarius.
'I Guess The Lord Must Be In New York City' was written by Nilsson and is a sublime merge of country & western with harmony pop psych. The layers of rich harmonies with pedal steel guitar and the unusual sound of the Moog synthesizer produce a sublime sound.
This song was not on their second and last studio album "Blue Marble" so is obviously one to track down. The flip 'I Still Can See Your Face' written by Gary Usher is another country/pop psych master craft which can be found on the previously mentioned long-player.
04 January, 2014
THE HOLLIES - '(Ain't That) Just Like Me'/'Hey What's Wrong With Me' (Parlophone R 5030) May 1963
I couldn't highlight The Hollies beat singles from 1964 without mentioning their '63 releases as well. Prior to their first 45 in May 1963 they were talent spotted by a Parlophone assistant producer Ron Richards while appearing at The Cavern in Liverpool.
'(Ain't That) Just Like Me' and the flip 'Hey What's Wrong With Me' are decent beat tunes and quite frantic and less polished than you'd usually expect from The Hollies pop material. The lead guitar breaks on '(Ain't That) Just Like Me' are held back somewhat when they should have been let loose. The tune was an old Coasters song from a few years earlier.
'Hey What's Wrong With Me' is an Allan Clarke - Tony Hicks original. The single reached number #25 in the charts and obviously got the group some exposure.
THE HOLLIES - 'Searchin'/'Whole World Over' (Parlophone R 5052) August 1963
Next release saw The Hollies with a much more safer sound with a couple of beat songs that don't appeal that much to me. 'Searchin' is another Coasters tune that is boring but the flip 'Whole World Over' is much better and in my opinion should have been the top side. It was written by Graham Nash - Allan Clarke.
There's nothing much on this record to compete with The Beatles or The Searchers but it faired better in the charts than their debut 45, reaching number #12.
During this month, original drummer Don Rathbone quit the group and was replaced by Bobby Elliott.
THE HOLLIES - 'Stay'/'Now's The Time' (Parlophone R 5077) November 1963
'Stay', written by Maurice Williams became the first Hollies top ten hit, reaching number #8 and was included on their debut album released in January 1964. The song had been a big hit in USA for Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs in 1960, reaching the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100.
'Now's The Time' is an uptempo beat number penned by Graham Nash - Allan Clarke which was included on the film soundtrack of the 1963 movie "It's All Over Town" starring The Hollies in a sequence performing the song.
THE HOLLIES - 'Just One Look'/'Keep Off That Friend Of Mine' (Parlophone R 5104) February 1964
The Hollies first single of 1964 was the commercial beat number 'Just One Look' which is arguably the first single to have their trademark appeal of jangly beat pop with harmonies. The song had been a hit for Doris Troy in America.
The flip 'Keep Off That Girl Of Mine' is standard beat fare, written by Tony Hicks and new drummer Bobby Elliott. The Hollies had a huge hit in Britain with 'Just One Look', reaching number #2.
THE HOLLIES - 'Here I Go Again'/'Baby That's All ( Parlophone R 5137) May 1964
'Here I Go Again' is great Hollies beat with the song hitting the UK top 5, settling at number 4 in the charts. The song was co-written by Mort Shuman who wrote hits recorded by The Small Faces ('Sha La La La Lee') but is probably best remembered for the songs he wrote for Elvis ('Little Sister' and 'Viva Las Vegas') and in France for Johnny Hallyday.
'Baby That's All' is pleasant beat that could have been an A-Side in it's own right.
THE HOLLIES - 'We're Through'/Come On Back' (Parlophone R 5178) November 1964
For the first time both sides of a 45 were Hollies originals. 'We're Through' is back to uptempo tunes driven along with some inspired drumming from Bobby Elliott. The flip 'Come On Back' utilizes some harmonica and is great beat music. I feel that the lead guitar is held back somewhat though as this tune could have really taken off with a blistering solo.
In my opinion this was The Hollies best single of their 1963/64 period. It reached number #7 in the charts.