28 June, 2013

THE CALIFORNIANS - GOLDEN APPLES



THE CALIFORNIANS - 'Golden Apples'/'Little Ship With A Red Sail' (CBS 2663) April 1967

This is such a fantastic record by The Californians, an obscure and unknown group from Wolverhampton in the West Midlands of England. They were probably unheralded during the late 60s but must have had enough about them as they released eight singles on three different labels between early 1967 to late 1969.

Most of these releases were harmony pop but on a few sides The Californians pressed the 'lift-off' button and were elevated to the psychedelic clouds in the sky. 'Golden Apples' was their debut 45 from April 1967 and is an eastern tinged psych nugget with their beautiful harmonies. They were no doubt greatly influenced by The Association and The Beach Boys, not only in their band name but stunning music..

'Golden Apples' was compiled on Rubble Volume 17 but the harmony pop of 'Little Ship With A Red Sail' has not troubled the compilers. This record is not easy to find and is quite sought after amongst fans of the Brit psych genre.

taken from 45cat

22 June, 2013

BIT 'A SWEET - IF I NEEDED SOMEONE


BIT 'A SWEET - 'Hypnotic 1' (ABCS-640) LP May 1968

Continuing my infrequent posts from my album collection, I present to the unsuspecting reader 'Hypnotic 1' by Bit 'A Sweet....They were formally called The Satisfactions and were one of the premier bands in the NY area, mostly known as a blue-eyed soul act...

Their album on ABC is a top $$$ find and so expect to pay a premium price for a copy...mine is stereo, I don't know if any mono albums are out there, quite possibly, but I've not seen one.

Bit 'A Sweet's most famous cut is the psych garage classic 'Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind' on MGM but it seems that they fully embraced the new psychedelic rock sound for their 1968 album 'Hypnotic 1' which is full of worthy mind-bending experimentation where the band utilize electric sitar, oscillators, primitive synths and trippy phasing. There is MUCH to please the psych head.



I'll focus on The Beatles cover version of 'If I Needed Someone', which is correctly credited to George Harrison on the label but sadly listed as a Lennon-McCartney song on the back cover of the album.

I think it would be difficult to make a bad version of 'If I Needed Someone' as it's a stupendous folk-rock tune. Here though, Bit 'A Sweet turn it into a tripped out piece of psych and make it their own. Such a slowed down killer cool version.

No expense seems to have been spared creating this work with assistance by Steve Duboff, who I know from The Changin' Times..he is listed as providing additional keyboards, percussion and wrote several of the songs on the album. String arrangements by Jimmy "Wiz" Wisner, I've seen his name credited on many releases.
The thick card sleeve includes a neat lyric insert.

I don't think the album sold in any quantity, it may have done reasonable in NY but not beyond their location. Copies of the album are scarce that's for sure but I believe there's been a recent CD reissue.

A white label promo single was taken from 'Hypnotic 1' with edited versions of '2086'/'A Second Time' and is another release for collectors to seek out.

line-up:
Mitch London (bass, percussion, vocals)
Russell Leslie (drums, vocals)
Dennis DeRespino (keyboards, guitar, vocals)
Jack Mieczkowski (guitars, electric sitar, vocals)


Ebay label scan







  


17 June, 2013

THE BAROQUES - THERE'S NOTHING LEFT TO DO BUT CRY


THE BAROQUES - 'The Baroques' (LP 660) originally issued on Chess Records 1967

I've been enjoying this album by The Baroques who were a hot new psychedelic group from Milwaukee and signed to Chess Records in 1967. I bought this album back in the late 80s from Crash Landing Records, it's not an original but probably a bootleg. There's a sticker on both sides of the label claiming a 'limited edition collectors item.'

What is strange is that the front cover has mono printed bottom left of the sleeve, however, the record itself is a stereo pressing. Looks like whoever put this out were playing some games. The music sounds excelent though so I can't grumble at all. The picture of The Baroques on the cover is pure acid with the eerie doll's head a genius addition to the line-up.

The more I listen to this album the better it becomes, it's a real grower with some very strong original material mostly written by guitarist and lead singer Jay Borkenhagen. My pick from this disc is the folk-psych winner 'There's Nothing Left To Do But Cry' which I reckon would have made a stunning single backed with the impressive raga drone of 'Purple Day'....

This is what Jay Borkenhagen said on the back sleeve liners...

"Our songs are our own idea of not what is happening, but what we think should be happening."

line-up:
Dean Nimmer (drums)
Rick Bieniewski (bass)
Jay Borkenhagen (guitar / vocals)
Jacques Hutchinson (guitar / vocals)


15 June, 2013

THE MASTERMINDS - TAKEN MY LOVE


THE MASTERMINDS - 'She Belongs To Me'/'Taken My Love' (Immediate IM 005) September 1965

This week I was really pleased to find a copy of this one and only 45 by The Masterminds...they were a beat group from Liverpool who were one of the first groups to be signed by Andrew Loog Oldham to his newly formed Immediate label.

Sadly, this record went to nowheresville and The Masterminds soon broke up. Guitarist/vocalsist Joey Molland then became a member of The Iveys who would change their name to Badfinger who were a bit more successful.
I'm not sure if Joey Molland was lead singer on this. It has been suggested that Jimmy Page played lead guitar on both sides...It's surprising that few English groups recorded Dylan's songs in 1965/66...several American garage bands covered 'She Belongs To Me' though....and others of course!   

The other side 'Taken My Love' is a slow moody beat number with a dramatic vocal ending...sounds like they were on the same kind of path as The Poets.
It's a shame The Masterminds didn't record any more music as their one and only release shows great promise...I wonder what could have been in '66..

Both sides were compiled on a late 80s, early 90s CD titled 'The Immediate Alternative' ...I played it the other day and let's just say that the digitizing technology wasn't that great in 1990...the music sounds like it's had the life sucked out of it.

 

  

11 June, 2013

NO TYME FOR SQUARES - PODCAST #01


Have a listen to my podcast I've decided to call 'No Tyme For Squares'....it's an all psychedelic affair beginning an ending with a tripped out instro or in the case with Jimmy Gordon.....groovy fuzz guitar.
These high quality sounding podcasts (hoping to upload more soon) will bring to your attention some of my favourite 'flower bomb songs'....

Over the next couple of months I'll be piecing together my final Cavestones compilations. I designed four covers last year but for several reasons didn't get around to mastering my 45s for the series. I got more involved with label comps such as my 'World Pacific Records' and 'Valiant Records' sets, not to mention coolsville collections like my 'Leather Boy/Milan' retrospective, expanded 'New Jersey Fragments' as well as one-off's 'Dylanisms' and 'the Observation.'
Now that I've entered into another period of productivity those comps for the tyme being are unavailable but I may produce more at a later time if anyone wants copies.


01 JIMMY GORDON - BUZZZZZ (CHALLENGE 59194) 02 SYSTEM - HE'S IN LOVE WITH HIMSELF (GET HIP 5012) unreleased 03 ELECTRIC PRUNES - ARE YOU LOVIN' ME MORE (REPRISE 0564) 04 CRYSTAL CHANDELIER - SUICIDAL FLOWERS (COBBLESTONE CB-730) 05 BURNING BUSH - EVIL EYE (CONTACT 102) 06 WE THE PEOPLE - WHEN I ARRIVE (RCA VICTOR 47-9498) 07 MIKE WALLACE - NATURAL HIGH (ATCO 45-6783) 08 SPARROW - TOMORROW'S SHIP (COLUMBIA 72912) 09 LYRICS - WAKE UP TO MY VOICE (FEATHER 1968) 10 LEATHER BOY - BLACK FRIDAY (PARKWAY P-125) test press 11 DAVID HOLLIS - SHERI (HIP H-111) 12 VON RUDEN - JUDY (IVANHOE I-503) 13 MUSIC MACHINE - THE EAGLE NEVER HUNTS THE FLY (ORIGINAL SOUND OS-75) 14 DAYBREAKERS - AFTERTHOUGHTS (DIAL 45-4066) 15 13th FLOOR ELEVATORS - REVERBERATION (DOUBT) (INTERNATIONAL ARTISTS IA-111) 16 VEJTABLES - SHADOWS (UPTOWN 741) 17 THIRD BARDO - RAINBOW LIFE (SUNDAZED SEP 10-160) alternative version 18 FANTASTIC ZOO - LIGHT SHOW (DOUBLE SHOT 109) 19 APPLE GLASS CYNDROM - SOMEDAY 20 GLASS FAMILY - AGORN (ELEMENTS OF COMPLEX VARIABLES)

*****NO TYME FOR SQUARES PODCAST #01 (JUNE 2013) remastered from vinyl 45s in 320kbps resolution in MONO using iZotope RXII*****

10 June, 2013

FLOWER BOMB SONGS - FACEBOOK PAGE



I've got a lot more spare time on my hands at the moment so decided to resurrect my 'Flower Bomb Songs' Facebook page.

I post all of my ultra cool mid 60s garage, psych, acid, LSD, aural delights, hot chicks, tripped out 45 label scans and everything happenin' in between over on here.......

If you're on Facebook and wanna walk on the golden road to unlimited devotion you're gonna have to head on over to where the kool katz hang out...just 'like' the page for updates on your timeline.

keep it real
Colin


Flower Bomb Songs on Facebook 

08 June, 2013

DEL SHANNON - CUT AND COME AGAIN


DEL SHANNON - 'And The Music Plays On' (Sunset Records SLS 50412) 1978

If you're a fan of Del Shannon's late 60s period when he was recording beautiful but ignored psychedelic baroque pop this is an album for you. Most of these unreleased gems (a few managed to gain a release via 1967/68 singles) have recently been unearthed once again on a CD titled 'Home And Away'...the title of the proposed album at the time but Liberty Records decided they didn't like the material Del had recorded so it never saw the light of day.

This album on Sunset Records, a label from England, came out in 1978. Bearing in mind that at this point in time England was all about punk rock and new wave groups I'm not sure if this release would have ever been noticed or written about in the music press. Who wanted to buy old music from the 60s? So once again, the greatness of Del went unnoticed.

Things have moved on now of course and Del Shannon has seemingly become fashionable once again, and I for one am absolutely delighted. I consider him to be a genius with one of the best male singing voices of the 60s.

I could have selected any song on this album to represent it as the quality throughout is superb. Each and every cut has it's merits. I'm gonna go for 'Cut And Come Again' because it was never released as a single and wrongly lay in the vaults for over ten years before being released on this LP.

The song was written by Billy Nicholls, who was an Immediate signing and released some records in his own right. Billy actually recorded his own version of 'Cut And Come Again' but the song was retitled 'Come Again.' You'll find it on his 'Would You Believe' album....




06 June, 2013

13th FLOOR ELEVATORS - SOMEDAY MY LOVE


13th FLOOR ELEVATORS - MUSIC OF THE SPHERES - VINYL BOX SET

This is what I did yesterday......

14:00:
Last week I promised myself a full day of 13th Floor Elevators and that day has now dawned.
Currently making my way through the vinyl box 'Music Of The Spheres'.......I'll post my favourite cut from the box if YouTube allows later this Evening...


Some contenders so far:

'Monkey Island' (Sumet Sounds Sessions)
'Take That Girl' (Contact Sessions)
'Before You Accuse Me' (Live In San Francisco, 1966)

'You Really Got Me' (Live In San Francisco, 1966)

Erm, infact the whole of 'Recorded live in San Francisco' is mind blowing...

'Reverberation' (Psychedelic Sounds) *mono*
'Splash 1' (Psychedelic Sounds) *mono*

Now playing the stereo 'Psychedelic Sounds' which seems to have it's critics....I mustn't have ears like an owl cos I think it sounds fab....It's the version I'm used to of course....

'Dust' (Easter Everywhere) *mono*
'Levitation' (Easter Everywhere) *mono*

'Wait For My Love' (unreleased 6th single) GREAT psych rocker
'Livin' On' (take 1)
'Someday My Love' (unreleased early mix)


logo dripping with acid

killer sticker to go on the front cover of the album 'Psychedelic Sounds'......but then I look a little closer and someone from the art department couldn't spell 'reverberation'...




22:00:
Well, my day is done! I've just had my huge Elevators relaxation period lasting almost 8 hours....I played every slab of vinyl from my 'Music Of The Spheres' box, sometimes playing a side twice.....I really got into the Elevators today.

As you know they were psychedelic pioneers, a group of outsiders to applaud from every ivory tower and appreciate their lysergic moves.

One song in particular flashed thru my THIRD EYE...

An early mix of a song called 'Someday My Love' written by Stacy Sutherland which was then retitled 'Til Then' for 'Bull Of The Woods' LP....

There's just something about the song that appeals, maybe it's the scattergun drums, maybe it's the McGuinn like vocals...I think it sounds a bit Moby Grape or Byrdsy...or at least has some West Coast vibe going on.....they even go into some sunshine pop 'La la la las'

all I know is that I dig it...


03 June, 2013

DEL SHANNON - WHEN YOU WALK IN THE ROOM


DEL SHANNON - 'This Is My Bag' (Liberty LBY-1320) 1966

The first recordings Del Shannon laid down for his new label, Liberty Records, are present on this disc from early 1966. By now he had relocated to Los Angeles and was utilizing the cream of the crop session musicians and had on board pop producer Snuff Garrett. Also in his corner was in demand engineer Dave Hassinger.

Overall, 'This Is My Bag' is a rather patchy affair with remakes of 'Oh, Pretty Woman', 'Action', 'Kicks' and 'When You Walk In The Room'....I'm not too keen on the soul pop of 'The Cheater' or Del's self-penned mushy 'Hey! Little Star' but 'The Big Hurt' is a classic and was released as a single, another original tune 'For A Little While' is also a solid pop song in which Del mimicks Barry McGuire's gruff vocal attack in parts of the song..

My site is really all about what I've coined 'Flower Bomb Songs' and that usually means the recording has at least some of the following:  it's from Los Angeles circa 1965-1968, is no longer than three minutes, has pure pop harmonies, folk-rock jangle, lysergic panache and some subtle fuzz, althought the fuzz is not of primary importance.

Therefore the song I've chosen to wave Del's flag from 'This Is My Bag' is his jangly remake of the classic Jackie de Shannon penned 'When You Walk In The Room' which is a gem and displays his killer vocals. Classic folk-rock....Del, I salute you....

    

02 June, 2013

DEL SHANNON - WHERE WERE YOU WHEN I NEEDED YOU


DEL SHANNON - 'Total Commitment' (Liberty LRP-3479) 1966

Del Shannon's mid to late 60s albums appear to have been overlooked and I've been guilty of that too, but not any more. This year I made it my mission to collect Del's back catalogue from 1964 onwards, I may delve into his pre-1964 recordings at a later stage but for now it's his beat, pop and psych period that burns bright in my mynd.

Back in '66 things were moving so quickly in the music industry that it must have been so hard to keep up with the 'now sound' for old rockers from the early 60s who had previously enjoyed major success but were now considered 'un-hip.'
Del took to the changes of style with ease but sadly his record sales never matched his 'Runaway' period.

'Total Commitment' from 1966 is an absolute gem with worthy versions of some of the hits of the day including 'Red Rubber Ball', 'Under My Thumb', 'The Pied Piper', 'Summer In The City', 'Sunny', 'Time Won't Let Me' and 'Where Were You When I Needed You'....
There are two self-penned compositions on side two, 'Show Me' and 'What Makes You Run'....both stunning pop songs by the way. 'Show Me' sounds similar in song structure to the unreleased 'Stand Up'..

Here are some of the liners from the back of the album written by Dan Bourgoise:

And what does total commitment mean, you might ask. Why was it the title of this album? The real meaning is complex. It cannot be explained. It's a feeling, a state of mind.
Listen to the tracks of the album while staring at the cover and then you will begin to understand that Del Shannon is totally committed to his music. Total committed to entertain you.
Del Shannon IS Total Commitment.

Here's Del's take on the folk-rock boom that was sweeping Los Angeles during 1965/66. After all the place was the epicentre of jangle.....His version of 'Where Were You When I Needed You' is magical with fantastic vocals, production and of course 12 string jangle...

   

01 June, 2013

WIL MALONE - CATHERINE WHEEL


WIL MALONE - 'Wil Malone' (Morgan Blue Town B.T. 5005) re-issue

Don't let the lysergic lettering or the unbelievably garish outfit that Wil Malone is wearing on the album cover misguide you to think that tripped out psychedelia is housed within. Granted, some of the songs have some clever psych studio FX but the music to my ears is introspective pastoral folk with baroque embellishments.
All of the songs have at least some acoustic guitar, oboe, cello, flute and euphonium. Wil Malone's vocals are wistful and dreamy which paints each of his own compositions.

The album was originally released in July 1970 on Fontana but sold poorly, maybe only a few hundred were bought by collectors and as such an original copy commands upwards of £1,500.
Fortunately, Record Collector magazine here in the UK re-issued the album a couple of years ago in their Rare Record Club limited to 750 copies. It was only available to order via the magazine and sold out in months.

I've chosen 'Catherine Wheel' to represent the long-player which comes highly recommended.

Soon after this release Wil Malone took up arranging full time and has been in hot demand for decades.
By the way he was a member of English pop psych outfit The Orange Bicycle who released several records on Columbia and Parlophone during the mid to late 60s.