31 January, 2015

THE FALCONS - PHONE ME



RETURN OF THE AMPHETAMINE GENERATION - Various (Dig The Fuzz DIG 032LP) 1998

I've spent the last couple of days spinning this vinyl compilation album from the late 90s on Dig The Fuzz.

"Return Of The Amphetamine Generation" is a mid 1960s collection of the odd obscure B-Side but mostly previously unreleased recordings from one of a kind acetates and private pressings..... including unknown groups called The Uprooted, Themselves, James King & the Farinas, The Falcons, The Nomads, Those Fadin' Colours, The In-Sect (plus more)

Well worth getting a hold of. Quality release with plenty of informative notes and a few group pix.

The group I'll focus on from this disc are The Falcons. Sadly little is known about the group behind the unreleased "Phone Me." The Ilford Sound label, based in Essex was in operation between 1964 - 1965 and recorded acetates by several other beat groups including Dave Anthony & the Classics and The Integrals.   


26 January, 2015

RON DANTE - HOW DO YOU KNOW



RON DANTE - 'Let Me Bring You Up' /'How Do You Know' (RCA Victor 49.683) July 1970

This is a recent purchase of a two sided bubblegum blast by The Archies singer Ron Dante. I wrote about one of his earlier 45s a few months back, check out the archives.

These songs were part of his long player "Ron Dante Brings You Up" and they're here on a stereo single to promote his solo album. "Let Me Bring You Up" is a commercial pop song with the necessary bubblegum trimmings but the flip "How Do You Know" is something of a long lost delight.

Listen out for the organ bursts and hand-claps in combination with a bouncy rhythmic beat. It could almost be late 1967 again but it's not. Sadly, it's now 1970 and bubblegum is starting to sound like yesterday's news as the heavy rock style and progressive blues start to hold sway.

Both songs were written by the Jeff Barry and Andy Kim songwriting partnership. They wrote the hits for The Archies including "Sugar Sugar" but couldn't repeat the magic with Ron Dante, at least chart wise.



RON DANTE - How Do You Know

19 January, 2015

FRANK KINSEL - GAMER


FRANK KINSEL - 'At Home' (Epic BN 26492) 1969

Here's an interesting album of folk blues with a tinge of country all played superbly by Frank Kinsel and various other famed musicians including Bill Wolfe (6 string guitar) Kevin Kelley (drums) Red Rhodes (steel guitar) and Wolfgang Melz (bass guitar).

My taster for the album is the loner vibration blues of "Gamer." This long player rarely turns up and not a great deal of information about it has ever surfaced. An obscure release on Epic.

"There I was in the middle of the grey on beige fifties and my older brother was diggin' Etta James singing 'Roll With Me Henry' (Dance With Me Henry was the successful mass media cop out). There was some kind of a beginning for me in music as an expression, feeling, or movement at that time. It was the only way out.... or in. It was either tan shoes and a clean smile or a beer and a '50 Merc.

Rhythm and Blues groups were a way of life and every party had a basement group composed of four or five guys who could carry on the most.


Detroit, I remember you. Expressways turned to freeways and time went by. Michigan, you looked very pretty when it snowed or when the sun set on your lakes. I sang songs for a while there: some were about you and some were about me, then I moved west.

California and San Francisco were like a new energy force that I hadn't felt before, so I stayed and wrote and sang and experienced and experienced some more and came up with ideas to record. So I moved to the south into a somewhat populated city (plug for my new album) named Los Angeles.

This is a rather short summary of where I have been for awhile. If it seems incomplete, fill it in with your own life. Have a good day."
(Frank Kinsel) 



 

18 January, 2015

THE KINGPINS - DIAMOND GIRL


THE KINGPINS - 'For Sale' (Tenth Planet TP016)

Tenth Planet seemed to come up with the undiscovered goods on a regular basis during the 90s and it was one of those labels that gained respect from vinyl collectors with their handsome releases in gatefold sleeves with choice unseen photos and rare music (mostly from acetates) in sparkling sound quality.

The Kingpins "For Sale" was one of their earliest releases from 1995 and was limited to 600 copies. They're long gone now but the collection may show up on eBay now and again, but with a premium price of course.

I want to concentrate on The Kingpins 1965 recordings. There were two. The ravin' "Diamond Girl" and a potent version of "For Your Love." But the album also covers their unreleased songs from 1966 through to 1969 when they experienced line-up changes and group names to Those Fadin' Colours and The Orange Seaweed.

The Kingpins formed in 1964 in the small town of Adlington, part of the borough of Croydon. The ages of the members ranged from 14 to 17 years old. In other words they were a schoolboy combo.
The line-up consisted of:

Ray Neale (rhythm guitar / vocals)
Keith Neale (bass)
Tony Martin (lead vocals)
Glyn Stephens (lead guitar)
Jimmy Barnard (drums)

By mid 1965, The Kingpins had progressed enough to enter a local beat group competition. One of the contest's adjudicators was Ronald Jones, owner of R.G. Jones recording studio and Oak custom label in Morden. He agreed free recording time for the top three acts. The Kingpins finished third.

The entered R.G. Studio on 31/05/65 to cut "Diamond Girl" and "For Your Love" which were pressed up as an acetate. "Diamond Girl" was written by Tony Martin and is a hard driving beat number turning positively freak. In my opinion an absolute classic beat punk raver '65 style.

"You're My Girl" is one of the great lost tracks of the 60s. Only ever released on an acetate, it features the vocals of a 17 year old Ray Neale. It's quite amazing, and when you think he's playing lead guitar and wrote it as well, it kinda blows you away. The flip side features Tony Martin on vocals and is also a great bit of song crafting. Ray's brother Keith was also in the band and played bass.

I knew Ray as a friend since 1977 when I happened upon his band 'Ramrod' one Sunday dinner time in a Croydon pub. A great guy who I spent many happy hours drinking and smoking to an almost Olympic standard. Alas the fags got him in the end, and he died in 2012. They say you're never dead as long as someone alive remembers you. I'm not being sentimental, but the stuff the Kingpins recorded on Oak will still be talked about when we're all dust. They're magnificent. (rollinrecords-shop)


      

17 January, 2015

THE BYRDS - THE WORLD TURNS ALL AROUND HER



THE BYRDS - Turn! Turn! Turn! (Columbia CL 2454) December 1965

Well, here it is. And about time, too.
Didn't our old grannies wag their wise and withered heads and tell us that good things are worth waiting for?

This album was as long in the making as a President. But, as Jim McGuinn trusted it would, everything's worked out all right. Personally, I think it's a beautiful piece of work, and maybe The Byrds were right to linger over it.After all, a great album is to the 1960s what a piece of sculpture was to the Middle Ages. Isn't it?

The Byrds think it should be, and I agree with them because I agree with them on most things. So do The Beatles, by the way. Two of the Fab Four came to the recording sessions at Columbia's Hollywood studios when they could have been sprawling beside their Bel Air pool gazing at Joan Baez. Some choice.

Anyway, down from the hills rode George and Paul because they'd liked The Byrds' "Mr Tambourine Man," and they know that a record like that doesn't happen by accident, ("Ho," John had said, "The Byrds have something." and the others nodded.) So there they were, At Columbia - bachelor Beatle two-some, denims and fringes and so much experience, heads bent up to pick up the sound-subtleties of the Los Angeles Byrds, whom The Beatles publicly named as their fave rave American group.

(notes by Derek Taylor, Press and Public Relations Officer for The Byrds)





THE BYRDS - The World Turns All Around Her

05 January, 2015

THE MONKEES - FORGET THAT GIRL



THE MONKEES - 'Alternate Title' / 'Forget That Girl' (RCA Victor 1604) June 1967

"Forget That Girl" is an overlooked Monkees song recorded at RCA Studios in Hollywood on the 7th and 8th March 1967. The recording line-up consisted of Mike Nesmith (12 string guitar), Peter Tork (electric piano), Davy Jones (vocals and maracas) and Micky Dolenz (drums).

This beautiful jangling ballad was written by Chip Douglas who had become the Monkees producer at this point in time.
"Douglas Farthing Hatlelid" is his made up name. Although "Forget That Girl" never appeared on a 45 in America it was part of the "Headquarters" album.

Thankfully, "Forget That Girl" did get a single release in Britain during June 1967, it can be found on the B-Side of "Alternate Title." The song featured in the Monkees episode "One Man Shy" during August 1967. 
 

01 January, 2015

THE SERPENT POWER - OPEN HOUSE



THE SERPENT POWER - 'Serpent Power' (Vanguard 79252) July 1967

Here's an interesting West Coast album to track down, it won't be that difficult if you're not fussy about only owning originals as it's been repressed many times over the years. The Serpent Power hailed from the San Francisco hippie scene and centred around Tina & David Meltzer.

All the songs are originals written by David Meltzer and display a confident band who's music reminds me of a cross between The Jefferson Airplane and Country Joe & the Fish. Check out "Open House" which is a quite lovely laid back hippie gem with some really excellent acid guitar play.

Billboard December 1967