18 April, 2015

MORTIMER - WHERE DRAGONS GUARD THE DOORS



MORTIMER - "Mortimer" (Philips PHS 600-267) April 1968

This group from New York are most definitely 'Opulent Conceptions' favourites. I've highlighted their work several times on my site, including their earlier recordings when they were called The Teddy Boys and their mindblowing psychedelic single as Pinnochio & the Puppets. Check out my archives.

Mortimer's only album comes highly recommended. It's quite a brilliant laid back affair, largely acoustic based and full of pure pop harmonies. The songs have depth and interest. It was recently re-issued on CD from the master tapes (I don't have this by the way).

My pick from the album is "Where The Dragons Guard The Doors" which is three minutes of delightful pop psych and reminds me of post 'Syd' Pink Floyd's more dreamy mind trips. Hang onto your coloured dreamscapes and prepare for lift-off.





Billboard - April 1968

Billboard - April 1968

17 April, 2015

OPULENT CONCEPTIONS PODCAST #15




Yeah man, scrape away those black veils... 

JOHN BARRY - Theme From The Persuaders
EASYBEATS - Woman
OFF-BEATS - You Tell Me
TRUTH - Girl
EQUALS - The Guy Who Made Her A Star
SHAME - Dreams Don't Bother Me
STATUS QUO - Black Veils Of Melancholy
EASYBEATS - Sad, Lonely And Blue
DAVE DAVIES - Creeping Jean
DANNY WARNER - Go 'Way Little Girl
FORD THEATRE - Jefferson Airplane 
FORD THEATRE - From An Open Window (The Search)

16 April, 2015

PINKERTON'S ASSORT' COLOURS - WILL YA?



PINKERTON'S ASSORT' COLOURS - "Don't Stop Loving Me Baby" / "Will Ya?" (Decca F.12377) April 1966

This early 1966 is a hard driving beat number that was curiously overlooked when Sequel released a 2CD collection called "Flight Recorder" in the late 90s.

"Will Ya?" is my fave Pinkerton's side and should have been the A-Side that's for sure. It would have been great to follow their hit "Mirror Mirror" with this swinger.

"Will Ya?" was written by their manager Reg Calvert who was shot and killed a couple of months after this single was released. He was also the owner of an offshore pirate radio station called "Radio City." Pinkerton's drummer Dave Holland left the band in 1968 and formed Trapeze then became the drummer for Judas Priest!

14 April, 2015

FORD THEATRE - FROM A BACK DOOR WINDOW (THE SEARCH)



FORD THEATRE - "Theme For The Masses" / "From A Back Door Window (The Search)" (ABC 45-11118) 1968

These two songs were chosen by ABC to promote Ford Theatre's debut album "Trilogy For The Masses" and I'm presuming that they're edited to fit on a single, in particular "From A Back Door Window (The Search)" which fades out just as the heavy psychedelic keyboards start rumbling. I really must make an effort to buy the album!

I'm not quite sure where this single originates from, it's a European release but the blue label holds no clues. I'm sure I bought this from a Belgian record dealer some years ago. It's quite a rarity with the picture sleeve and doesn't appear to be that well known.

By the way, I posted this picture sleeve on my outasite way back in August 2007 but never got around to writing about it. Almost eight years later I'm finally giving Ford Theatre my tyme.


13 April, 2015

FORD THEATRE - JEFFERSON AIRPLANE



FORD THEATRE - "I've Got The Fever" / "Jefferson Airplane" (ABC 45-11227) July 1969

Another outing on my scene for Ford Theatre, a psychedelic rock band from Milford, Mass.
As I suggested on my earlier posting a great deal of internet exposure has brought this fascinating group to the masses, perhaps the best place to find out more about Ford Theatre is here.

Both sides were part of their recommended concept album "Time Changes" with my pick being "Jefferson Airplane", a soothing psychedelic interlude that sucks the listener into it's web of mynd sounds. I doubt that the song has anything to do with West Coast band The Jefferson Airplane.


12 April, 2015

FORD THEATRE - I FEEL UNCERTAIN



FORD THEATRE - "Time Changes" (Stateside SSL 10288) June 1969

There are several sites on the internet with information about Ford Theatre, a psychedelic rock group from Boston, USA, so I'll be brief and just concentrate on "I Feel Uncertain" which was an album track and never released as a single.

The Album "Time Changes" by the way is the story of a young man named Clifford Smothergill and his search for meaning and significance in life. It's a musical tale based on the very life of a very real person, whose true identity is a matter for very careful consideration, significant as it is.

"I Feel Uncertain"
Who can survive too long a journey such as this? Clifford Smothergill can only take it so long, and eventually he decides to return to Mary Jane and to resume the love affair. Mary Jane receives him gladly (after having gone through some pretty heavy changes herself), and now Clifford is left once again with haunting feelings of insecurity.

line-up:
John Mazzarelli (organ, pianos, vocals)
Harry Palmer (guitars, percussion)
Joey Scott (bass, vocals)
Robert Tamagni (drums, percussion, vocals)
Arthur 'Butch' Webster (guitars)





10 April, 2015

OPULENT CONCEPTIONS


I've decided to rename my music blog to "Opulent Conceptions" which is a name I made up in the late 80s to tag my artwork, gig posters and demo cassette tapes for the designs I created for revival garage band The Mourning After.

So it's "Flower Bomb Songs" R.I.P. but long live "Opulent Conceptions"

08 April, 2015

DANNY WARNER - GO 'WAY LITTLE GIRL



DANNY WARNER - "Go 'Way Little Girl" / "Bright Colors" (Smash S-2110) September 1967

I've drawn a complete blank here. Who was Danny Warner? What I do know is that he released two previous 45s on Reprise during 1966 aided and produced by Lee Hazelwood. Those songs are in the soul or crooner style and not 'flower bomb song' worthy.

His first single for Smash Records and presumably his last was "Go 'Way Little Girl" a fuzztoned groovin' version of the Janis Ian classic, also recorded in England by mod psych group The Shame. Check out my earlier posting for their classy take.

The flip "Bright Colors" is bouncy pop, tinged with some psych moves and a big helping of brass to 'colour' the song.

discography:
"(You Got) The Power Of Love" / "Love Is You" (Reprise 0459) 04/66
"It Hurts" / "Not The Lovin' Kind" (Reprise 0505) 08/66
"Go 'Way Little Girl" / "Bright Colors" (Smash S-2110) 09/67


07 April, 2015

THE SHAME - TOO OLD TO GO 'WAY LITTLE GIRL



THE SHAME - "Too Old To Go 'Way Little Girl" / "Dreams Don't Bother Me" (Poppy POP 501) November 1967

The Shame hailed from Bournemouth on the South Coast of England and released this one and only single. It was released in Britain on MGM during September 1967 then in USA on Poppy Records a few months later.

"Too Old To Go 'Way Little Girl" is a song written and recorded by a teenage girl called Janis Ian and was a track on her debut album from February 1967. This album got it's first European reissue on CD from the mono masters on Now Sounds back in 2009.

The Shame's take of "Too Old To Go 'Way Little Girl" adds snaking psychedelic guitar leads, sitar,  mod-like drum action with turned-on vocals by Greg Lake. The other side "Dreams Don't Bother Me" was written by keyboardist John Dickenson and is pleasing psych pop with a lush organ sound throughout.

After this disc flopped Greg Lake and John Dickenson formed The Shy Limbs with Andrew McCulloch on drums. They then released the classic psychedelic 45 "Reputation" / "Love" on CBS. Guitarist Greg Lake would later form progressive  rock band Emerson, Lake & Palmer after a stint with King Crimson. 






06 April, 2015

THE TRUTH - I GO TO SLEEP



THE TRUTH - "I Go To Sleep" (BBC Transcription Service) May 1966

Here's the BBC Transcription Service recording of "I Go To Sleep" by The Truth. The song was written by Ray Davies and exists as his demo but was never recorded by The Kinks.

"I Go To Sleep" was released by The Truth as an A-Side during April 1966 but this live version from 23rd May 1966 is perhaps even better.... I don't have the recent Truth retrospective CD... "Mod Bedlam" - but I've just checked the track-list and this BBC recording is not present, although the studio single is.





miscellaneous information: other versions of "I Go To Sleep"

Peggy Lee (Capitol) August 1965
The Applejacks (Decca) August 1965
Cher (Liberty LP) October 1965
The Truth (Pye) April 1966
The Fingers (Polydor) June 1966

03 April, 2015

FLOWER BOMB SONGS #14





Yeah man, it's gotta be a happenin' scene on the dark side.

TEDDY BOYS - La La
IN-KEEPERS - The Cobweb Threads Of Autumn
JURY - Who Dat?
SHADOWS OF KNIGHT - Dark Side
T.C. ATLANTIC - Faces
GROUPIES - Primitive
POSSUMS - King In His World
NOAH'S ARK - Paper Man
SOUND VENDOR - She Knows
EPICS - Give Me A Chance
RAIK'S PROGRESS - Why Did You Rob Us, Tank?
AMERICAN DREAM - Tioga

31 March, 2015

THE BELLTOWERS - HERE TO STAY



THE BELLTOWERS - "Here To Stay"/"Lovin' You (Leading Me On)" (Market Square Records MSR-08) March 2015

One of my fave rave contemporary groups are The Belltowers and they've held the highest echelon of my sonically charged mynd for several years. As a matter of fact I was probably the first person to 'discover' them outside of their native Florida way back when.... I then wrote about them on several occasions and got to know them all via Facebook.

I'm particularly friendly with Paul Mutchler, surely one of the very best 12 string Rickenbacker guitarists there is. He's mastered the jangle over many years in other groups including The Green Today and The Lears....

Anyway, The Belltowers have a new single out on Market Square Records. It's a limited pressing because that's how label owner Paul Messis likes it. So get your copy of the disc before it's too late.
Check out "Here To Stay" on this splendid YouTube video and transport your inner self upon their jangle pop reverie. There ain't no comin' down once you're in their paisley sky.



Belltowers @ Market Square Records

27 March, 2015

SCREAMING LORD SUTCH & the SAVAGES - THE CHEAT



SCREAMING LORD SUTCH & the SAVAGES - "The Cheat" (BBC Transcription Service) May 1966

I've acquired some "Top Of The Pops" BBC Transcription Service CD-Rs of the Brian Matthew's radio show. They are mostly full broadcasts in excellent sound quality. I'll pick out my faves over time, upload them to YouTube and post them here.

First one is "The Cheat" by legendary English rock 'n' roll group Screaming Lord Sutch & The Savages. The song was released on CBS during May '66 as the B-Side to "Black and Hairy"
The released studio version is excellent but in my opinion in trails behind the looser 'live' BBC take. The drumming moves are classy, Lord Sutch sounds his sinister best and the fluid droney raga guitar leads hint at psychedelia.

"The Cheat" was written by Lee Hazelwood and was originally recorded by rockabilly singer Sandford Clark in 1958 on Dot Records titled "A Cheat".

Simply wonderful.

from an eBay seller:
"The Cheat", Sutch's stab at psychedelia, was a Lee Hazelwood song, on which he was backed by session musicians including The Des Champ's Quartet playing violin and flute, Nicky Hopkins on piano, Ian Buisel on rhythm guitar, Paul Francis on drums (both from The Tony Jackson Group), Jim Lawless on Percussion, and two future Led Zeppelin members, John Paul Jones on bass and Jimmy Page on lead guitar.    

The musical arranger on this release, sax player Des Champ is better heard on The B-side "All Black And Hairy" which was written by Dave Sutch and remained a hilarious staple of his live act for many years.



20 March, 2015

FLOWER BOMB SONGS - PODCAST #13




Things you should have known...

ZOMBIES - I Must Move
OUTSIDERS - Touch
FORTUNES - This Golden Ring
FORTUNES - Things I Should Have Known
GREAT UNCLE FRED - I'm In Love With An ex Beauty Queen
MINDBENDERS - Uncle Joe, The Ice Cream Man
HONEYBUS - Girl Of Independent Means
CYMBALINE - Found My Girl
RICK JARRARD - High Coin
BERNIE SCHWARTZ - Something's Wrong
BEATSTALKERS - Everybody's Talking 'Bout My Baby
DON FARDON - Belfast Boy

19 March, 2015

THE ZOMBIES - WHENEVER YOU'RE READY



THE ZOMBIES -"Whenever You're Ready" / "I Love You" (Decca F.12225) September 1965

It's about time The Zombies had another hit, and "Whenever You're Ready" could give them a touch. Piano and cymbals support the soloist at the outset then it breaks into a unison-vocal mid shaker.

What I like about these boys is their inherent R&B feel plus the leaders honest approach, without resorting to nasal drawls or the unnecessary shouting. Another pleasing feature of the disc is the exciting thumping piano break.

The flipside is a mid-shaker tempo for the un-originally titled "I Love You"
More forthright approach here with organ and harmony support. A most competent B-Side.
(NME review, September 1965)

18 March, 2015

THE ZOMBIES - SHE'S COMING HOME



THE ZOMBIES - "She's Coming Home" / "I Must Move" (Decca F.12125) April 1965

A powerful medium beat number from The Zombies, with a build and build approach. A strident sound but not as potent as their last.
(Record Mirror review, April 1965)

The Zombies follow up to "Tell Her No" was "She's Coming Home" which was issued in April 1965. This one was quite an eye-opener as Rod Argent wrote it with his days as a choirboy in mind. "When I sang the 'Nunc Dimittis' in church", he said, "it used to bowl me over because I thought it sounded like a blues!"

Accordingly, the song was written with a very churchy feel to it, while White's flipside "I Must Move" had a vocal that sounded in places like the chant of an oriental Buddhist monk! Although the single failed in Britain, it did make #58 in America.
(Record Collector magazine)

Phil & the Frantics 'borrowed' the tune, applied a faster tempo, wrote different words and slightly renamed the song to "I Must Run" Their version is majestic moody beat too.


 



 

16 March, 2015

THE ZOMBIES - WORK 'N' PLAY


THE ZOMBIES - "Begin Here" (Decca) April 1965

Whether you have picked up this LP at random while half-consciously glancing through hundreds, or whether you are reading the sleeve after purchasing the record, the chances are that you are expecting about 700 words or sugared praise telling you how brilliant both the group and the record are.

Since all of us are convinced that the main part of any LP consists of the music reproduced inside the sleeve, we concluded that the public are more interested to read about it than have to wade through a mass of boring and superficial praise. And that, folks, is how I came to writing these notes!

Of the seven tracks not written by Chris or myself, all but two are 'soul' numbers, and consist of some of our favourite material. The other two, "Road Runner" and "I Got My Mojo Working" are tried and tested blues constructions.

The only instrumental on the album "Work 'N' Play" was written by our recording manager, Ken, who took over the piano stool while I played harmonica in unison with Paul's 12 string guitar. The fact that it is essentially an instrumental work song didn't prevent him from beaming happily as he always does when we 'let him join in'!

Rod Argent (edited sleeve notes)

15 March, 2015

THE ZOMBIES - TELL HER NO



THE ZOMBIES - 'Tell Her No' / 'What More Can I Do' (Decca F.12072) January 1965

A good one here from a group doing so well in the States now. This one starts gently enough then builds into a succession of dramatic-sold "no's". Nicely balanced backing aids the commercial appeal.
Lead voice bends tunefully and soulfully around the mid-way mark. Yes, it should click in the "50"

Organ booms into the flipper, an uptempo item with a fair bluesy content. Not quite as strong as "Tell Her No" on sales appeal.

Record Mirror review, January 1965. 
Chart Position: #42

  

12 March, 2015

THE ZOMBIES - LEAVE ME BE



THE ZOMBIES - 'Leave Me Be' / 'Woman' (Decca F.12004) October 1964

A beaty ballad with a gently rocking rhythm, "Leave Me Be" features a huskily whispered harmonic duet, backed by a delicate guitar figure. The Zombies are much more subdued than on "She's Not There" but I like it just as much. The tune is both ear catching and absorbing, and it suddenly explodes in the middle eight, with the organ adding substance.

A welcome combination of pleasant melody and beat, which should appeal to both armchair listeners and dancers.

A heavier and more strident beat, and a more forceful vocal approach for "Woman" a mid-tempo shaker in the R&B idiom with screams and shouts.

(NME review, October 1964)

     

08 March, 2015

THE ZOMBIES - SHE'S NOT THERE



THE ZOMBIES - 'She's Not There' / 'You Make Me Feel Good' (Decca F.11940) July 1964

Pounding medium pacer "She's Not There" introduces new Decca group The Zombies. The boys have a distinctive sound, with intriguing phrases by the lead singer, and attractive vocal blends in the unison passages. The drummer and bassist are pretty solid, too.
I'd have tipped it for a hit if the material was stronger - even so, it must still stand a chance.

More in the familiar Mersey-inspired mould is "You Make Me Feel Good." No change in the tempo, but this one is largely unison vocal.

(NME review, July 1964)
Chart Position: #12   


06 March, 2015

FLOWER BOMB SONGS - PODCAST #12




this one goes out to all you squares! 

NOVA LOCAL - Other Girls
LEAVES - Girl From The East
MORTIMER - Dedicated Music Man
EMERGENCY EXIT - Why Girl
PEANUT BUTTER CONSPIRACY - Turn On A Friend (To The Good Life)
SEMI-COLONS - Beachcomber
SEEDS - March Of The Flower Children
MORE-TISHANS - (I've Got) Nowhere To Run
TOMMY BOYCE - Pretty Thing (You're Out Of Sight)
PASTERNACK PROGRESS - Cotton Soul
MOVIN' MORFOMEN - Run Girl Run
SQUIRES - Go Ahead

21 February, 2015

FLOWER BOMB SONGS #11




so you want to be a rock 'n roll star

FLAVOR - Heart Teaser
FRONT LINE - Got Love
POP OVERS - Time's Run Out
PUFF - Looking In My Window
PHLUPH - Doctor Mind
SHEPPARDS - When Johnny Comes Marching Home
SHEPPARDS - Poor Man's Thing WAPHPHLE - Goin' Down
WAPHPHLE - Goin' Down
MOVING SIDEWALKS - 99th Floor
FIVE BUCKS - No Use In Tryin'
GENE RICKY & the SWINGERS - What You Wanted Most
STRING & the BEANS - Come On Back To Me

14 February, 2015

SIMON & GARFUNKEL - BLESSED



SIMON & GARFUNKEL - "Sounds Of Silence" (CBS BPG 62690) January 1966

Quite possibly my most played album since discovering it in my mid teens. Recently I set about securing MONO releases of this and their next album "Parsley, Sage Rosemary & Thyme"

The songs were mostly recorded during April - June 1965 but the album took an age (by sixties standards) to get a release, eventually coming out at the start of January '66.
Check out "Blessed" also recorded and released as a single by The Tremeloes.

"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit...
Blessed is the lamb, whose blood flows...
Blessed are the sat upon, spat upon, ratted on...
Oh Lord, why have you forsaken me?"





THE BYRDS - CAPTAIN SOUL


THE BYRDS - "Fifth Dimension" (Columbia CL 2549) July 1966

The Byrds' first instrumental emerged during a break between  recording sessions when they were riffing on Lee Dorsey's "Get Out Of My Life Woman" 

recorded: 18th May, 1966




 

13 February, 2015

THE BYRDS - THOUGHTS AND WORDS


THE BYRDS - "Younger Than Yesterday" (Columbia CL 2642) February 1967

"Thoughts And Words" is arguably Chris Hillman's finest solo composition and I would even say that (in my opinion) it is a sonic art masterpiece. The melody and harmonies are wondrous then there are those interludes of eerie sitar-like sounds of backwards guitars. Sublime.

recorded: 6th December 1966







10 February, 2015

BERT JANSCH - TINKER'S BLUES



BERT JANSCH - "It Don't Bother Me" (Transatlantic Records 132) December 1965

"Tinker's Blues"
Tinker is a pussy cat, who strides through our flat and amuses himself by being rescued by firemen from the topmost chimney of the house.

Recorded at Pye Studios, London (April 1965)





09 February, 2015

SIMON & GARFUNKEL - PATTERNS



SIMON & GARFUNKEL - "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme" (CBS 62860) October 1966

Almost before the public knew whether Simon and Garfunkel was a comedy act, a law firm, or a partnership in the garment industry, the two young musicians bearing those names were becoming the fastest rising popular vocal duo in the land. The last year has seen two of their LPs and four of their singles sell an amazing total of five million copies. Even more unusual is that these records are saying something, in lyrics and in music, and that the start of their popular acceptance came through the use of an electronic gimmick.

Paul Simon: "Pop music has become the most exciting area of all music today. Pop music is catching up with film as the leading medium in which to make some comment about the world for a large audience, just as film caught up with literature."

(back cover album liners)




08 February, 2015

SIMON & GARFUNKEL - THE SOUNDS OF SILENCE



SIMON & GARFUNKEL - "Wednesday Morning, 3AM" (CBS 63370) October 1964

"The Sounds Of Silence" is a major work. We were looking for a song on a larger scale, but this was more than either of us expected. Paul had the theme and the melody set in November, but three months of frustrating attempts were necessary before the song "burst forth". On February 19, 1964, the song practically wrote itself.

It's theme is man's inability to communicate with man. The author sees the extent of communication as it is on only it's most superficial and 'commercial' level (of which the "neon sign" is representative). There is no serious understanding because there is no serious communication - "people talking without speaking - hearing without listening"

No one dares take the risk of reaching out ("take my arms that I might reach you") to disturb the sound of silence. The poet's attempts are equally futile ("but my words like silent raindrops fell within the wells of silence")

The ending is an enigma. I find my own meaning in it, but like most good works, it is best interpreted by each person individually. The words tell us that when meaningful communication fails, the only sound is silence.

(Art Garfunkel - words taken from the back cover of the album)





SIMON & GARFUNKEL - The Sounds Of Silence (stereo)

01 February, 2015

FLOWER BOMB SONGS #10





Mid 60s British Beat currently letting my mynd submit to it's power.

KINGPINS - Diamond Girl
TONY JACKSON & the VIBRATIONS - Watch Your Step
FIRST GEAR - Leave My Kitten Alone
REVOLUTION - Shades Of Blue
BOYS - It Ain't Fair
KINKS - Something Better Beginning
BEATMEN - Now The Sun Has Gone
BRAND - Zulu Stomp
CLIQUE - She Ain't No Good
SEARCHERS - Magic Potion
KINGPINS - For Your Love