30 November, 2010


THE ADVERTS - 'Gary Gilmore's Eyes'/'Bored Teenagers' (Anchor ANC 1043) Aug 1977

London based group The Adverts second single was the minimal classic 'Gary Gilmore's Eyes' inspired by executed American murderer Gary Gilmore's desire to donate his eyes to science. It's safe to say that it's a punk classic.
The flip 'Bored Teenagers' could have been a single in it's own right.

The record sold well and eventually stalled at #18 in the charts earning The Adverts an invite to perform the song on TOTP during August 1977.

THE ADVERTS - Gary Gilmore's Eyes

28 November, 2010


THE DAMNED - 'New Rose'/'Help' (Stiff Records 6) October 1976

The obvious place to start my new styled blog is with the very first punk rock single released in England during the back end of 1976.

The Damned hailed from London and were named by guitarist Brian James after a 1969 movie of the same name. both sides of this disc were recorded in a day during September '76 at London's Pathway Studios and produced by Nick Lowe who had been a member of 60s psych outfit Kippington Lodge then ended up forming Rockpile with Dave Edmunds.

'New Rose' is a blistering punk attack with drummer Rat Scabies' urgent pounding setting the pace for a breakneck surge of adolescent mayhem. Captain Sensible was once quoted as saying that 'New Rose' was recorded purely on speed and cider.
The flip is a rapid take of The Beatles hit 'Help' but about twice as fast as the original.

"Is she really going out with him?" 

24 November, 2010


CUPIDS INSPIRATION - 'Yesterday Has Gone'/'Dream' (CBS 3500) May 1968

This combo from Stamford, Lincolnshire were originally called The Loose Ends and spent several months learning their craft and playing endless gigs in Germany. Like so many UK bands they were unknown in dear old Blighty.

That changed in mid 1968 when the renamed group, now called the more trendy Cupids Inspiration had a massive top 5 hit record with 'Yesterday Is Gone'... It's a highly polished affair with a big band sound so typical of other hit makers of '68 like The Casuals or Amen Corner.

Far more interesting for me is the stupendous heavy psychedelia of 'Dream' on the flip. This is a grungy pulsating powerhouse cruncher with dense and eerie production. I wonder how many pop pickers who bought this 45 understood or cared for 'Dream'....

Shapes And Sounds Volume 3 compiles a BBC Radio recording of 'Dream' from The David Symonds Show'. Cupids Inspiration taped this on 24th June 1968.   

My copy of the 45 is the picture cover Dutch release on CBS. In England the 45 was released on NEMS.


20 November, 2010


CHRIS CURTIS - 'Aggravation'/'Have I Done Something Wrong' (Pye 7N 17132) June 1966

Here's an obscure 45 by ex Searchers drummer Chris Curtis, released on Pye a few months after he quit the hit making beat group. An excelent piece was written about Chris Curtis on Anorak Thing here. Visitors who enjoy my blog will also dig the detailed and well researched anorak things on this outasite.

Too bad 'Aggravation' wasn't a hit in England, the record seems to have stalled in no-wheresville just like so many other 60s records. I'm sure Chris Curtis had the songs and the tough vocals to succeed as a solo star after The Searchers but with this flop his recording career was over and he moved into production work until 1969, then quit the music industry for good.

The 45 is sought after especially the Dutch picture sleeve release. Got my copy before the prices went a bit mental.

CHRIS CURTIS - Aggravation

18 November, 2010


THE EMBROOKS - 'Jack'/'Dawn Breaks Through' (Circle Records CPW S102) 2002

I've got thousands of singles in my collection (I gave up counting years ago) but none of them weigh heavier than this psychedelic artifact from 2002 by The Embrooks.

This three piece outfit were a kind of garage supergroup led by ex Mystreated member Mole and having in their ranks ex Head and the Hares guitarist Alessandro Cozzi Lepri and ex Dirty Burds drummer Lois Tozer.
Both songs on this essential disc are pure 1967/68 UK mod psych, authentic in every way and skillfully produced by Liam Watson at the famous Toe-Rag Studio in London.

'Dawn Breaks Through' is a fabulous rendition of The Barrier classic and in my opinion it's equal at the very least.

Only 500 copies were pressed.

THE EMBROOKS - Dawn Breaks Through

16 November, 2010


THE BARRIER - 'Georgie Brown'/'Dawn Breaks Through' (Eyemark EMS 103) April 1968

I'll continue my 'Made In Britain' series with this potent mod psych winner from London based group The Barrier (they were also known as The Purple Barrier)

Forget the A-Side 'Georgie Brown', this sing-a-long with trumpets and the old joanna just ain't my scene.
Stick with the intense flip 'Dawn Breaks Through'....Both songs were recorded in late 1967 at Tony Pike Studios in Putney, London and released on the tiny independent label Eyemark several months later.

THE BARRIER - Dawn Breaks Through

13 November, 2010


EPISODE SIX -'I Can See Through You'/'When I Fall In Love' (Pye 7N 17376) Oct 1967 (stereo)

Whenever plaudits and various lists of the very best English psychedelic songs are written in magazines and reference guides, this majestic slice of aural acid by Episode Six never gets a mention.

'I Can See Through You' written by Roger Glover has been a firm favourite of mine ever since I heard it on an old Eva comp in the mid 80s. Over the years I've looked for an original mono 45 but have never seen it for sale. Fortunately I've got a great vinyl Episode Six LP comp from 1987 on PRT Records which collects all of their PYE singles. BUT they've used the stereo masters...never mind.

'I Can See Through You' is laden with ideas and could almost be three songs in one, the pace changes from quick to slow, with bursts of trippy vocal effects and echoed drums that sound just SO great...

Roger Glover and Ian Gillan quit the group in 1969 to join Deep Purple.

"I can feel,
I can hear,
I can see through you"

EPISODE SIX - I Can See Through You

10 November, 2010


RON GRAY - 'Hold Back The Sunrise' /'The Shake' (HBR 488) July 1966

This obscure record by Ron Gray on the collectable Hanna Barbera label is currently flavour of the month amongst mod collectors and/or 60s Club Scene DJs. There is no predicting at the moment just how many $$$ it could go for, at least upward of $400...

'Hold Back The Sunrise' has been known for some time though, way before the trendy mods caught wind of this minor key moody masterpiece. Way cool, inspirational organ and fuzz garage sound on this one. It certainly merits it's status. The record got a small advert in Billboard magazine - August 1966.
The flip 'The Shake' sounds like it could have come from a much earlier period. Some solid guitar on this rocker.

But what about Ron Gray? According to Barry Wickham's garage records price guide he hailed from Monroe, Louisiana and released another 45 on N-Joy Records.

RON GRAY - Hold Back The Sunrise

08 November, 2010


EMBRYO INFINITY REBIRTH - 'Walls'/'Let Me Tell You A Story' (Way Out Records W 105) 1971

Here's a very strange and obscure record from 1971... First of all what a fantastic name for a band, Embryo Infinity Rebirth...what the hell does that mean? The downer psych sound is pure 67/68 period, maybe the songs on this disc were recorded then but released some years later.

Way Out Records were a small independent label operating out of Cleveland, Ohio. Some sources suggest that this is where the group hailed from, but information from the Buckeye Beat website places Embryo Infinity Rebirth from Pittsburgh.

'Walls' is a tripped out acid drenched stoner, haunting and sparse in equal measure. The production is not the best but get past the muddiness and it's a killer. The flip 'Let Me Tell You A Story' sounds like a bunch of hippies singing around a camp fire with everyone joining in, including the hand clappin' woman who heats the big pan of beans and sausages.

Information about Way Out Records an be found here


06 November, 2010


THE GRAVEDIGGER V - 'Be A Cave Man' (Voxx 200.038) 1987

By the time Greg Shaw released this collection of outtakes, rehearsals and live rave-ups by San Diego combo The Gravedigger V, they had been dead and buried for 3 years. After recording their classic studio album in '84, this group of teenage garage punks had seemingly fallen out and moved on to other projects.

'Be A Cave Man' was an outtake from the album recordings at Silvery Moon Studios in Hollywood. Their version of The Avengers classic sounds as primal, snotty and arrogant as much of the cuts that did appear on the LP 'All Black And Hairy', so I'm not too sure why this was left to remain in the vaults.




QUANT - 'I've Got No Time'/'Walk In The Shallows' (Detour Records DR069) Oct 1998

The second and final 45 by Quant was this great double sider with 'I've Got No Time' being the plug side. This time 'round Quant are less hippie psych and much more late 60s rockin'....Rachel Croft's vocals remind me of Sharon Tandy and the gruff freakbeat style howls from Francois Nordmann really work.

'Walk In The Shallows' is quite a different sound, mixing psych rock with some jazzy interludes.
The band appeared on a Channel 5 TV show called 'Raw TV' in 1999. I've not seen the clip and don't know what Quant were performing that day. Hopefully the clip film will turn up on YouTube at some point in time.

QUANT - I've Got No Time

This is a good touch for the record cover. The scene re-enacts The Action promo pic from 1966. I'm not certain but that could be Reg King. He gets a credit on the back of the sleeve.

04 November, 2010


QUANT - 'Play With Mary'/'Close Your Eyes' (Detour Records DR061) 1997

Quant (named after 60s fashion icon Mary Quant) were a short lived London group from the late 90s. They only released two singles then were gone, which is a shame because the recordings they left behind demonstrated that they were onto something different (for the time) with their heavy acid rock mixed with sitar and tablas.

'Play With Fire' is a psychedelic mass of wah wah guitars, backwards tapes, sitar, tablas, flutes, flanging and Small Faces riffs. In other words the proverbial psych 'kitchen sink' has been thrown into the mix. An all round cool as fuck sound.

I don't know much about Quant. They never got mentioned in any music magazines that I read or were the focus of any fanzines. The press release that I got from Detour Records (that I can't find) confirmed that ex Clique drummer Matthew Braim started the group in '96. There was only 1,000 copies of the record pressed making it a difficult one to find these days.

Matthew Braim (drums)
Jack White (guitars)
Stewart Turner (bass/sitar)
Rachel Croft (vocals/percussion)
Francois Nordmann (bongos/tablas/flute)

QUANT - Play With Mary

01 November, 2010


MY FAVOURITE THINGS - 'Fruit Machine'/'Memphis' (no label) 1995

When I first started my blog back in March 2007 I decided to highlight groups from any era as long as I liked them. Writing solely about 60s groups would bore the fuckin' shite outta me....Take this 45 for instance, it's not garage, psych or punk rock but I dig it nonetheless.

I remember seeing an advert in a music mag back in the mid 90s, can't remember the magazine.... anyway, all you had to do was send your name and address and My Favourite Things would send their latest record direct to your door for FREE. It helped that they commented that some of their favourite things were The Rain Parade, Gene Clark, Big Star and Julian Cope....well I was in, too good an offer to ignore!

'Memphis' is purepop with jangle, very commercial and well produced. I was shocked out just how good the record was for a freebie. It's just such a summery sound with that jangle and those vocal harmonies. Could have easily been a radio hit. Too bad England went Brit Pop crazy in the mid 90s.

My Favourite Things were, formed in 1992 from the ashes of five piece band The Hungry I (the other two members of The Hungry I were Eyeless In Gaza singer Martyn Bates and Steve Dullaghan from The Primitives

They split up after the release of their 2nd 45 'Syd' a tribute to Syd Barrett.

John O'Sullivan (guitar/vocals)
Simon O'Grady (bass/vocals)
Peter Burke (drums)


the letter I rec'd from guitarist/singer John O'Sullivan -  Sept 1995