30 April, 2016

THE CHOCOLATE WATCH BAND - THE SOUND OF THE SUMMER



THE CHOCOLATE WATCH BAND - "The Sound Of The Summer" / "The Only One In Sight" (Decca F 12649) August 1967

Today's turntable spin is an obscure Bee Gees styled harmony pop record from August 1967. More than likely copied their name from the American Chocolate Watch Band. The (UK version) were a duo featuring teenagers Jack Oliver and Gary Osborne and all of their publicity shots that I've seen show them dressed in fine Dandy threads.

A good source of information can be found via Jack Oliver's own website.



 
from 45cat - Germany


Dave Aguilar, lead singer with American garage psych group The Chocolate Watch Band recently left this message on my YouTube Channel.

"
This IS NOT THE REAL Chocolate Watchband...these are posers ripping off the name....Don't be fooled-don't bother listening to this garbage........"



GRAPEFRUIT - TWIGGY



GRAPEFRUIT - "Someday Soon" / "Theme For Twiggy" (Stateside SSL 414) December 1968

I'm on a Grapefruit trip at the moment and if you dig psychedelic instrumentals look no further than B-Side "Theme For Twiggy." This is the Spanish release housed in a textured colour sleeve. Greatness from late 1968.

This soothing piece of music probably written with 60s model Twiggy in mind is not that well known and is certainly a lost gem hidden away on a B-Side of a single. It turned up on a long forgotten "Instro-Hipsters A-Go-Go" compilation back in 2001


24 April, 2016

GRAPEFRUIT - ELEVATOR



GRAPEFRUIT - "Elevator" / "Yes" (RCA Victor 1677) April 1968

This was Grapefruit's second single and first of 1968. "Elevator" is a very catchy pop psych mover reminding me so much of the early Move. I really don't know how this was not a hit record.
Paul McCartney worked with the band on a promo video of "Elevator" at London's Albert Memorial. I've never seen this but perhaps it will surface on YouTube one day!

"Put yourself on an elevator going......HIGH"


23 April, 2016

BROTHERHOOD - CALIFORNIA DREAMIN'



BROTHERHOOD - "California Dreamin" (RCA LSP-4228) 1969

Brotherhood were formed during mid-1967 by three members of Paul Revere and the Raiders (Phil "Fang" Volk, Michael Smith and Drake Levin). Their debut album "Brotherhood" took over a year after recording to see a release due to lawsuits with Columbia Records and Paul Revere.

This album under my spotlight was released in 1969 and the songs cover several genres including blues, folk, pop and heavy psychedelia, including their rendition of "California Dreamin' which has been posted here today.

Recorded at RCA's Music Centre of the World, Hollywood, California.

 

21 April, 2016

JASON CREST - TURQUOISE TANDEM CYCLE



JASON CREST - "Turquoise Tandem Cycle" / "Good Life" (Philips BF 1633) January 1968

Jason Crest have been posted on my music blog a couple of times in the past. Today I'll concentrate on their beginnings and first single for Philips.

They formed in the suburbs of Kent, first calling themselves The Spurlyweeves but by early 1967 they were playing regular gigs and making a name for themselves as The Good Thing Brigade. By the end of '67 they had secured a record deal with Philips and began recording their first single.

The beautifully psychedelic "Turquoise Tandem Cycle" was released during January 1968 as Jason Crest. During the recording session(s) they had obviously decided to change their moniker inspired by an imaginary composer "Justin Crest."

"A turquoise tandem cycle has wheels of rubber rings
A choir of silent voices, a book of silent hymns." 

press advert - January 1968


18 April, 2016

THE TIJUANA POP FESTIVAL 1968



I've found a two page report of the 'ill-fated' "Tijuana Pop Festival" from October 1968 in one of my "Teenset" magazines. It seems that due to groups not being paid, equipment not arriving and dodgy Mexican cops, Eric Burdon & The Animals and The Iron Butterfly didn't play.
However, The Yellow Payges did. Infact they were asked to perform a second time after 7:30pm to keep the crowd from getting even more restless, cold and bored.



17 April, 2016

THE HOLLIES - PECULIAR SITUATION



THE HOLLIES - "Peculiar Situation" / "Pay You Back With Interest" (Odeon 23 535) July 1967

So it was "Record Store Day" today and once again I never bothered going to any record shop. Come to think of it I've never bothered participating in RSD ever!!!

But those who did came away with some swag judging by the photos coming up on my Facebook timeline. That's good cos they're going to genuine collectors and not the bearded hipster fly-by-night types...

It's "Vinyl Day" every day of the year for me and this obscure Hollies German release from 1967 came way this week. Unique too cos both songs never appeared on any UK single. Both songs appeared on The Hollies fifth studio album "For Certain Because" and were recorded at Abbey Road Studios between August - October 1966.



THE GRAPEFRUIT - DEAR DELILAH



THE GRAPEFRUIT - "Dear Delilah" / "Dead Boot" (RCA Victor 45-15050) January 1968

I don't suppose The Grapefruit are that well known among non 60s freaks but they released a few worthy singles on RCA during 1968 including "Dear Delilah." They evolved out of beat group Tony Rivers & the Castaways. Dig the phasing on "Dear Delilah".... a classy pop psych tune and check out the rare promo video recently restored by "Revolver TV"

The Grapefruit were the first signing to The Beatles' Apple Publishing company, and the launch party to celebrate the event was attended by various fans, plus Donovan and a bearded Brian Jones. Paul McCartney even directed a promo film for the band's "Elevator" single at London's Albert Memorial.

 


14 April, 2016

NEIL DIAMOND - CHERRY CHERRY



NEIL DIAMOND - "Cherry Cherry" / "Solitary Man" (Metronome J 713) November 1966

Neil Diamond needs no explanation but his obscure mid 60s songs probably do. During this period he was writing songs for other artists mainly The Monkees and his commercial pop nugget "Cherry Cherry" would have been perfect for them but sadly they never recorded it.

The first time I heard "Cherry Cherry" would have been sometime in the mid eighties via The Music Machine. It's on their "Turn On" album. I had no idea that it was written by Neil Diamond, back then I wasn't concerned with such detail. The Music Machine's version adds fuzz guitar and is a bit slower.
I think I prefer Neil's recording.

By the way "Cherry Cherry" was also recorded by an English group called Wishful Thinking. They released the song as the B-Side of "Peanuts" on Decca during June 1967. A very good take too.

The other side "Solitary Man" sees Neil Diamond in moody folk-rock mode. The Kitchen Cinq recorded a version. Check it out on the album from 1967.

Two great songs on one German picture sleeved release from the back end of 1966. One to search out to add to your collection.



12 April, 2016

EPISODE SIX - MORNING DEW



EPISODE SIX - "Morning Dew" / "Sunshine Girl" (Pye 7N.17330) June 1967

Episode Six had previously released several singles but none of them reached the Top Fifty. The group had high hopes that their version of "Morning Dew" would provide them with their breakthrough hit and the record certainly had the attention of the Pirate Radio Stations who played it.

Despite this push and an article in renowned music publication "Beat Instrumental" Episode Six suffered another disappointment.

"Morning Dew"
has been recorded by many artists and groups over the years. Most people think that Tim Rose wrote the song but this is contested by Canadian singer songwriter Bonnie Dobson who claimed that she wrote the tune back in the early 1960s.

Bonnie Dobson did not receive a credit on the Episode Six Pye label although she does receive co-writer credit on my US Compass label release. I have taken a photo of this label too.




Beat Instrumental - July 1967




 

10 April, 2016

EPISODE SIX - I CAN SEE THROUGH YOU



EPISODE SIX - "I Can See Through You" / "When I Fall In Love" (Pye 7N.17376) October 1967

This is yet another single released during October 1967 that simply soared outta the psychedelic airwaves but as with so many records back in those heady tripped-out days this one by Episode Six went to nowheresville.

"I Can See Through You" is a very under-rated psych masterpiece that rarely (if ever) gets mentioned in those trendy lists of Top 10 this or Top 100 that of 60s psychedelic songs. I can't think why this particular trip eludes the writers. Perhaps this is the greatest song future Deep Purple member Roger Glover ever wrote.

Another future Deep Purple member was Ian Gillan and his vocals here are treated in the mid '67 style makin' them a joyous rush of  Who-like aural sorcery. The Revolver period bass notes are superb and the obscure psychedelic lyrics are mind melters. Then half way through this exhilaration everything stops except for flutes and voices, then it all starts up again. The middle section seems likes its taken from a motion picture epic as the Roman army marches off to war...then flutes and coral voices return....Perfection!


 



09 April, 2016

THE TRADE WINDS - MIND EXCURSION



THE TRADE WINDS - "Mind Excursion" / "Little Susan's Dreamin" (Kama Sutra KA212) July 1967

New York based group The Trade Winds were centred around duo Peter Andreoli and Vincent Poncia who had been together previously as The Videls. They also wrote songs together which were recorded by Phil Spector's artists in the early 60s.

You'd expect a head rush of acid sounds with a song title like "Mind Excursion" but it demonstrates how straight groups co-opted the trend for utilizing a suggestive title that, in actuality, encouraged a positive physical adventure rather than a head trip. With it's gorgeous melody and distinctive 'harp' sounds sprinkled over the chorus the song had every chance to hit the Top 50 in USA, which it did. In some regions it even went Top 5 and stayed on radio playlists for several months after it's release.

For some reason The Trade Winds changed their name to The Innocence and continued releasing records during 1967.

"Mind Excursion" was recorded by several other artists during the late sixties including Wayne Fontana, check out the B-Side of his solo single "The Words Of Bartholomew" from May 1968.
Two version were released during 1969 one by Bob Dileo and another by Australian vocalist Lynne Randell.

German release


The Trade Winds at #5 in San Jose - pic from ARSA
      


08 April, 2016

MARIANNE FAITHFULL - IS THIS WHAT I GET FOR LOVING YOU?



MARIANNE FAITHFULL - "Is This What I Get For Loving You?" / "Tomorrow's Calling" (Decca F.22524) February 1967

Today's spotlight is on Marianne Faithfull (again) with her 1967 flop "Is This What I Get For Loving You?" The song was recorded first in 1965 by The Ronettes. Their version flopped too.
On this cut, Marianne's vocals are at a lower register and have a similar moodiness to that of Nico on the first Velvet Underground album.

I wonder if she was singing with Mick Jagger in mind here?







07 April, 2016

THE PRETTY THINGS - BALLOON BURNING



THE PRETTY THINGS - "Private Sorrow" / "Balloon Burning" (Columbia DB 8494) November 1968

Everyone who visits my blog will know about The Pretty Things and their story has been told numerous times via fanzines and CD re-issue liners. For any novice out there start by obtaining a collection of their R&B period then move onto their psychedelic era where much treasure is available to be enjoyed.

This fabulous Pretty Things single from the back end of 1968 combines "Private Sorrow" with "Balloon Burning." Both songs feature on their studio album "S.F. Sorrow." Several online commentators have suggested that this single didn't stand a chance mainly because the songs were recorded within a loosely based concept album and perhaps were lost on the buying public. I just think lack of any promotion and the fact that the serious heads were no longer buying 45s in late 1967/68 was the reason why The Pretty Things had single miss after miss. Perhaps this is the reason why "Private Sorrow" is The Pretty Things most difficult single to find on Columbia.

"Balloon Burning" is a fierce turned-on psych rocker with a killer guitar solo. It's certainly one of their finest.


06 April, 2016

PEPPER & THE SHAKERS - SEMI-PSYCHEDELIC (IT IS)



PEPPER & THE SHAKERS - "Semi-Psychedelic" / "I'll Always Love You" (Coral 62523) June 1967

The location of the very obscure group Pepper & The Shakers is unconfirmed, some sources suggest Michigan while Teenbeat Mayhem did not add the location or speculate. Little has ever been written about them either and no photo has ever surfaced. Quite a mystery for a combo on a major label.

"Semi-Psychedelic (It Is)" is a tripped out psychedelic nugget oozing in fuzztones and what sounds like Echoplex delay. The lyrics seem to be dealing with an acid trip.

"The doors are shut behind us....the strobe lights are working...nothing else exists....
semi-psychedelic...all kinds of noises...you can't look at anything too long....there's still more changes coming..."

The other side "I'll always Love You" is decent pop with a touch of jangle.



03 April, 2016

THE TIMEBOX - WALKING THROUGH THE STREETS OF MY MIND



THE TIMEBOX - "Don't Make Promises" / "Walking Through The Streets Of My Mind" (Deram DM 153) October 1967

So I finally found a copy of this fab Timebox single. It has taken a fair few years but I secured one back in October 2015. I wrote about The Timebox several years ago when I covered their "Gone Is The Sad Man" but this disc is perhaps my favourite.

The Timebox released several 45s during the the period 1967-69 but all (apart from the small hit 'Beggin') flopped. They even recorded a collection of songs in 1968 for an album called 'Moose On The Loose'. Unfortunately, Deram did not release it at the time.

Incidentally, the mod movin' "Walking Through The Streets Of My Mind" with it's slightlydelic arrangement was also recorded by Los Angeles group The Beethoven Soul who released it on their album a month before The Timebox version hit the markets.

line-up:
Mike Patto (vocals, guitar)
Ollie Halsall (vocals, guitar)
Clive Griffiths (bass)
Chris Holmes (keyboards)
John Halsey (drums) 




THE AFFECTION COLLECTION



THE AFFECTION COLLECTION - "The Collector" (Evolution 2007) late 1969

The Affection Collection of every young individual is indeed a rare and precious one...even if only in memory. Some will remember with loving affection such things as knowing the feeling of being wanted and of being loved...and of building dreams for tomorrow.

You think of such things when you meet the young men who sport the name The Affection Collection. With hair just long enough to look neat...smiles a mile wide...and attitudes that would be a source of pride for anyone, anytime, anywhere, these boys drove to Norman Petty's studio in Clovis, New Mexico, with ideas in mind...ideas to record and to become successful in music.

Mike Doggett writes songs, plays the guitar and seems to be the thinker of the group, Hal Rowberry is the movie star material of the bunch with good looks that he is comfortably aware of. Hal sings and clowns a bit and seems to get along very well with all ladies...young and old!

Then you must meet Don Christensen who plays organ and piano, sings, and worries a great deal about the next six or seven meals per day. He even thought of marriage, but has decided that he is too young for that sort of thing at the present. Tim Comeau plays drums, worries about malnutrition and money, and tries to sleep a lot. Ray Hassell is the fire cracker of the group with enough drive to hustle anyone or anything! He may turn out to be America's youngest, richest, promotion man and plays bass on the side.

When you meet these boys, you may be surprised to learn that they are young...and old fashioned at the same time...just enough to be real. They look young, think young, have fun, and enjoy singing and making people happy with their music.

We at Stereo Dimension think that you will enjoy this collection, and that is the object of the affections of The Affection Collection.




02 April, 2016

THE #1 - THE COLLECTOR



THE #1 - "The Collector" / "Cracks In The Sidewalk" (Kapp K-824) April 1967

I've been fascinated by the song "The Collector" for a number of years having discovered it on The Everly Brothers album "Two Yanks In England." I wanted to find out more which led me to Sonny Curtis who wrote the song. Sonny was a member of Buddy Holly's backing band The Crickets.

I wrote about his version a few years ago but it's taken me an age to get around to uncovering "The Collector" by The #1. The latter hailed from Ridgefield, Connecticut and recorded as The Blue Beats before this disc on Kapp.
The #1's version adds a more baroque psychedelic feel but it still retains the darkness of this fabulous psychedelic ballad.

"I'm a collector of beautiful things
I capture and keep them and pin down their wings."

line-up:
Louie Mazza (drums)
Peter Robbins (bass)
Chris Covell (vocals / lead guitar)
Gary Quinn (rhythm guitar)

recordings of "The Collector"
The Everly Brothers - "Two Yanks In England"- released July 1966
Sonny Curtis (Viva-607) January 1967
The #1 (Kapp K-824) April 1967
The All Night Workers (Mercury 72833) July 1968
The Affection Collection - self titled album (Evolution 2007) late 1969 






I found this small photo in '16 Magazine' August 1967


01 April, 2016

THE CHILDREN OF DARKNESS - SHE'S MINE



THE CHILDREN OF DARKNESS - "She's Mine" / "Sugar Shack A Go-Go" (Royce 5140) September 1966

I'm currently writing about my recent purchases and this one by Newark, Ohio combo The Children Of Darkness is one such nugget that took me years to finally add to my collection. I used to see it for sale quite often in the $60 - $100 region but for some reason the price soared to $200+ in recent times.

My copy is the red label second pressing on Royce which probably dates from early 1967. There was an earlier release on Royce with a green label. I've read that the group were disappointed with their first recording so went back into the studio to cut the disc again.

"She's Mine" is a crude '66 punker dominated by the compact organ sound. The singer offers his snotty rant proclaiming his love for his girl. No romantic slush here.

"She's the kinda girl you like to meet
When you're walkin' down the street."

The other side "Sugar Shack A -Go-Go" is a frat rocker and is something of the theme song for The Sugar Shack which was the Club where The Children Of Darkness were the house band.

It's believed that singer Howard "Bird" Bartram and organist Mike Hopper are now deceased.
"She's Mine" was compiled on 'Back From The Grave - Volume 2'
picture of The Children Of Darkness from Buckeyebeat.com

 

31 March, 2016

THE KNAVES - THE GIRL I THREW AWAY



THE KNAVES - "Leave Me Alone" / "The Girl I Threw Away" (Dunwich DN-147) January 1967

The first thing you'll notice about vintage Dunwich 45s is that they're mastered LOUD. This one is no exception, the sound literally bursts outta the speakers when the needle hits the vinyl. This is the reason I buy singles. Nothing can compare.

So what about The Knaves? They hailed from Chicago and released this fab two-sider on local label Glen Records in late 1966. The single was then picked up by Dunwich for a wider distribution. According to 'Teenbeat Mayhem' the Glen recording is a different mix to the one Dunwich released. Apparently it has louder backing vocals and harmonica on the R&B punker "Leave Me Alone." 

Sundazed unearthed unreleased tracks on their "Oh Yeah!" CD compilation from the early nineties, including a stereo mix of "The Girl I Threw Away." Also located on master tapes were "Tease Me" "Inside Out" "Your Stuff" and a stereo mix of "Leave Me Alone."
Another song "Away" was compiled on their Dunwich follow up CD "If You're Ready."

My pick is the strident folk jangler "The Girl I Threw Away" which simply shimmers in coolness. 

30 March, 2016

PAPER BLITZ TISSUE - BOY MEETS GIRL



PAPER BLITZ TISSUE - "Boy Meets Girl" / "Grey Man" (RCA Victor 1652) December 1967

Original copies sell for £400+ so this bootleg from years ago will suffice. Paper Blitz Tissue were part of London's psychedelic underground scene along with The Pink Floyd, Tomorrow, Soft Machine etc.... little is known about them.

"Boy Meets Girl" was written by Ron Grainer who was more accustomed to writing TV and Film theme tunes including "The Prisoner" "Man In A Suitcase" and "Steptoe and Son."
"Boy" is pulsating pop-art freakbeat loaded with heavy fuzz, searing lead guitar and hypnotic drum and bass action. The vocals are treated and happening. The other side "Grey Man" is also great starting off like a beat group from 1965 before exploding into Who like sound destruction.




NME advert promoting the single - December 1967

THE REVILLOS - HUNGRY FOR LOVE



THE REVILLOS - "Hungry For Love" / "Voodoo 2" (Dindisc DIN-Z 20) August 1980

I've just finished reading a book about Johnny Kidd and the author mentioned that New Wave group The Revillos recorded a version of "Hungry For Love." For those of you who don't know, the latter was released by Johnny Kidd & The Pirates during November 1963 and became a Top Twenty hit..

With this in mind I decided to track down a copy of The Revillos single and here it is!
The Revillos is a slightly more uptempo arrangement and includes a rather cheeky little 60s style guitar break. I love this version. Footage exists of the band performing "Hungry For Love" on a kid's TV Show. Seek it out on YouTube.










29 March, 2016

23RD TURNOFF - MICHAEL ANGELO



The 23RD TURNOFF - "Michael Angelo" / "Leave Me Here" (Deram DM-150) September 1967

The 23rd Turnoff were named after Junction 23 of the M6 Motorway which leads to Liverpool. Prior to renaming themselves The 23rd Turnoff they released singles as The Kirkby's. Check out their MODified merseybeat sound on "It's A Crime."

The dreamy and hypnotic "Michael Angelo" is in my top three songs of all time and the original vinyl release is a sought after artifact, expect to pay a decent sum of money for the pleasure of owning such a beautiful and melancholic record. It has obvious Beatles overtones with the use of organ drone and "Penny Lane" style trumpets which add to the song's haunting quality.

Singer-songwriter Jimmy Campbell made three solo albums after The 23rd Turnoff called it quits.






 

27 March, 2016

THE 'TAKERS - IF YOU DON'T COME BACK



THE 'TAKERS - "If You Don't Come Back" / "Think" (Pye 7N.15690) September 1964

In Britain, so many fabulous beat and R&B singles seem to have been released during September and October 1964 and here's another entry that I know of.

The Undertakers were one of Liverpool's premier beat groups who played the Cavern and then did the Germany trip like so many combos during that scene. They secured a residency at the famous Star-Club where they honed their beat skills and sound.

It's fair to say that The Undertakers never had any real success in Britain. They released four singles but none of them achieved Top 40 status. "If You Don't Come Back" was their fourth and final disc for Pye Records. For some reason their name was shortened to The 'Takers. I've read that this was at the request of Tony Hatch who felt that the name The Undertakers was a drawback!

Sadly, "If You Don't Come Back" failed to dent the Charts and The Undertakers disbanded. The song was written by successful songwriting team Leiber / Stoller and was first recorded and released by The Drifters in April 1963. Gary Walker & The Rain recorded a heavy psych version in 1968. Check it out on their Album No. 1.





The Undertakers get ready to zoom off.
Top hat and tails and a little merseybeat raunch.


Fabulous magazine