29 February, 2016

THE LEGEND - THE SKY THAT IS BLUE


THE LEGEND - "The Sky That Is Blue" (KLIMT re-issue) 1968

The Legend album was released sometime during 1968 and contains several pop psych delights especially the Monkees sounding "The Sky That Is Blue." This one goes straight into my pool of 'psychedelic sky' songs. A good source of information about this group can be found here.

After this album The Legend changed their name and musical style calling themselves Dragonfly and moved onto heavy rock material with fuzz and wah wah.

The Legend recorded at American Recording Co, Studio City in California.

line-up:
Jack Duncan (bass)
Barry Davis (drums, backing vocals)
Gerry Jimmerfield (lead vocals, guitar)
Randy Russ (guitar, backing vocals)
Ernie McElwaine (keyboards)


28 February, 2016

THE MEDIUM WAVE - LOOKING TOWARDS THE SKY



THE MEDIUM WAVE - "Walk In The Sunshine" / "Looking Towards The Sky" (Ember EMB S 265) 1969

The Medium Wave were a short lived, late 60s outfit led by singer Davey Payne. Some copies came with a folded picture sleeve but my copy came without, although for interest I have added an upload of a photo of the French release housed in a pop art cover....

"Looking Towards The Sky" is a decent rocker with brass and is part of my 'psychedelic sky' set of posts. Produced by Kenny Lynch. The latter also wrote the A-side "Walk In The Sunshine."

By the way, the Davey Payne here is not the sax player of the same name who was a member of Ian Dury's backing band The Blockheads.



27 February, 2016

SKY PILOTS - PART ONE


Concept and compilation of psychedelic "Sky Pilots" IS opulent conceptions 2016.
Most cuts remastered from vinyl records.

the line-up of tripped out sky pilots are:
BEATLES - Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE - Up From The Sky
ELECTRIC BANANA - Grey Skies
ACCENT - Red Sky At Night
FLOWERPOT MEN - A Walk In The Sky
SANDS - Listen To The Sky
EQUALS - The Skies Above
WILD SILK - (Vision In A) Plaster Sky
CARTER/KEEN/SHAW - In The Sky
BLONDE ON BLONDE - Castles In The Sky
CHRIS FARLOWE & the THUNDERBIRDS - Paperman Fly In The Sky
ERIC BURDON & the ANIMALS - Sky Pilots - Part One
FOX - Look In The Sky
WHO - Armenia City In The Sky
ORANGE SEAWEED - Pictures In The Sky
KALEIDOSCOPE - Sky Children


25 February, 2016

THE FOX - LOOK IN THE SKY



THE FOX - "Look In The Sky" (Polydor) 1970

Late 60s psychedelic group The Fox released one sought after album during 1970 called "For Fox Sake" which successfully merged psych and progressive rock sounds, in particular the heavy use of hammond organ.

My choice cut is "Look In The Sky" and one for my 'psychedelic sky' series of posts. Here's part of an interview with Fox guitarist and singer Steve Brayne, taken from the Marmalade Skies website. Full article can be found  here.


So What happened when you met up with the guys?
Tim and I met in a pub and he told me that he, Alex, Nick and Dave Windross had got together with a bunch of songs ("Second Hand Love", "Birthday Card") and were planning to go professional as a band playing originals. I said I had a few songs too ("Mr Blank", "Man In A Fast Car", "Butterfly", "Glad I Could", "Madame Magical") and that maybe we should get together. We did - it clicked. 

Alex and I started writing together and came up with songs like "Look In The Sky" and "As She Walked Away". Lenny Barker, who’d been the bass player in the Alex Lane Group and who’d also been at school with Alex, Tim and I, became our manager. We rehearsed and rehearsed in a room above a pub and eventually we recorded a demo at Regent Sound in Denmark Street. Not long after that we got Winston Weatherill in on guitar. He was the local guitar hero from Gary Farr & The T-Bones. Nick left the band and Alex and I took over vocals from Nick. That was the final line-up.


What was you repertoire in those days?
We started rehearsing in late summer 1968 and were doing our own material plus a song by The Idle Race (can't remember the title), a Vanilla Fudge (slowed down and heavy) style version of "Day Tripper", "Take Another Little Piece Of My Heart", "The Cat" (an instrumental by Jimmy Smith) used to be our stage intro, one or two R&B things - one was called "Sure Gonna Mess Him Up" (by who?) and so on. Mostly we played our own thing.

What kind of venues did you play?
Our first gig was supporting The Herd on Brighton seafront and we gigged round the local colleges, like the Art College and the Polytechnic. A local agent called Mike Clayton (known to The Mike Stuart Span as well!) got us a few gigs round the southeast but he was more hot air than performance.
Other gigs we got through our own contacts. Our first gig supporting The Herd on the seafront at Brighton during the festival, supporting Aynsley Dunbar's Blue Whale at Bristol University, supporting Principal Edward’s Magic Theatre at a couple of different venues in Bristol and Kettering. Those are the ones I remember.



24 February, 2016

FRATERNITY OF MAN - WISPY PAISLEY SKIES



FRATERNITY OF MAN - "Don't Bogart Me" / "Wispy Paisley Skies" (Stateside SS 2166) March 1970

Fraternity Of Man are perhaps best known for their hippie blues tune "Don't Bogart Me" which was used in the film "Easy Rider." Far more interesting is the folk-psych winner "Wispy Paisley Skies" hidden away on a B-Side. This single was probably released in Britain to coincide with "Easy Rider" because it came out almost two years earlier in the USA. 

"Butterfly dreams swirling all around."


The group featured ex members of Lowell George & The Factory. I don't have any other records by them, I believe that they released two studio albums.  


 

23 February, 2016

WILD SILK - (VISION IN A) PLASTER SKY



WILD SILK - "(Vision In A) Plaster Sky" / "Toymaker" (Columbia DB 8534) January 1969

Here's a throwback to those flower pop singles from mid 1967 with dual male/female vocal harmonies. "(Vision In A) Plaster Sky" sounds like a UK Mamas & the Papas, surprisingly delicate production from Shel Talmy, best known for his work with English freakbeat groups.

For some reason the record was released in America under the group name of Basil.

Compiled on "Rubble 3" - Nightmares In Wonderland.


I've read several online sources and even within "Fuzz, Acid & Flowers" that the flip "Toymaker" with songwriting credit going to (Davies) is indeed a long lost and forgotten about song written by Ray Davies. This is however, incorrect.  


NME advert - February 1969 - image taken from Marmalade Skies


22 February, 2016

CANNERY ROW - SWEET WATER



CANNERY ROW - "Stand By Me" / "Sweet Water" (World Pacific 77925) July 1969

I had no idea about this record until I was contacted by Gerry Blake via Facebook who informed me that he was in a group called Cannery Row after his previous band The Avengers broke up. Cannery Row were prior to the album he was part of by The United Sons Of America.

He obviously forgot to mention this after we were in contact about The Avengers some years ago! Anyway, I made an effort to track down the Cannery Row 45 and obtained a copy within weeks from a UK source.

"Sweet Water" has that typical late 60s American rock sound, influenced no doubt by groups such as Vanilla Fudge and The Young Rascals with heavy use of hammond organ. This song was composed by Gerry. The A-Side "Stand By Me" is more soulful with crooner style lead vocals and harmonies.
My preference is "Sweet Water."

Larry Goldberg is the famous West Coast producer of the disc who is well known in psychedelic circles having worked with numerous outfits including The Other Half, The Love Exchange and The Neighb'rhood Childr'n.

Another Cannery Row release followed this one in April 1970 on World Pacific 77936. I believe it was a radio station promo single with "Oh Suzannah" on both sides.

Gerry Blake, Ron Sackman and Gary Bernard were ex members of The Avengers.  

Ron Sackman - lead guitar


Tom Keene - bass guitar


Gerry Blake - keyboards


Gary Bernard - drums


  


21 February, 2016

BLONDE ON BLONDE - CASTLES IN THE SKY



BLONDE ON BLONDE - "Castles In The Sky" / "Circles" (Ember EMBS-279) 1970

The release for this fabulous single is sometime during the early months of 1970 but the music sounds like it's a long lost child from late 1967. "Castles In The Sky" is a wonderful Moody Blues styled psychedelic ballad, the other side "Circles" is also fabulous but has been edited compared to the album version.

"Castles In The Sky" was also recorded by Simon Dupree & the Big Sound but was not released.

"Come with me to my castle in the sky, in the sky
Please say you'll come to my castle in the sky
and we'll stay there and we'll play there
way up high."


  

11 February, 2016

1960s MUSIC MAGAZINES & EPHEMERA



You might know that I've got a decent sized archive of vintage 60s music magazines. I've decided to create a 'page' (not a group) where I'll upload scans, reviews, photos, interviews and adverts. The reason for this is to keep everything in one place and not scattered about all over the place.

I won't 'add' anyone cos that's not my style so I'll send out the odd reminder every now and again.
"Like" the page for updates on your own timelines...

 here's the link for any Facebook users:

07 February, 2016

THE FREEBORNE - YELLOW SKY



THE FREEBORNE - "Yellow Sky" (Monitor) May 1968

Readers may have noticed that I'm covering 60s psych songs with either 'sky' or 'skies' within the song title. I never for one moment realized that there were so many until I started doing some research and flicked through my archive of 45s and vinyl LPs.

This leads me to obscure teenage group The Freeborne from Boston, Massachusetts. They released an album during May 1968 on the Monitor Record label and hung around long enough to make waves in their home domain.

My pick is the rather British influenced psych of "Yellow Sky" which is notable for it's trippy wah wah guitars, weaving drum patterns, la la la background vocals and off-kilter time changes.


06 February, 2016

BRYAN MACLEAN - ORANGE SKIES



BRYAN MACLEAN "Orange Skies" 1966

Following on from my earlier post of the Love version of "Orange Skies" here's songwriter Bryan Maclean's earlier acoustic demo. Just Bryan, his guitar and those unique tender vocals.

Extract from Sundazed's Bryan MacLean CD retrospective "Ifyoubelievein" from 1997.
In those few instances when MacLean's songwriting matched Lee's exacting standards, the actual recording sessions were stressful and, to MacLean, often disappointing. He didn't even get to sing "Orange Skies" on Da Capo: Lee did the honours.

"That was the closest Arthur and I ever got to a fist fight", he says of the September 27, 1966 session for the song. "I never felt that he was on pitch. Maybe he didn't miss as bad as I thought he did while we were in the studio. But he misses on orange. I don't think he quite got the notes. Then again, he was always singing out of his range."


LOVE - ORANGE SKIES



LOVE - "Stephanie Knows Who" / "Orange Skies" (Elektra EK-45608) October 1966

This is a rare Love record, it's my white label promo sent to Radio Stations back in October 1966. It was then quickly withdrawn and released again but this time replacing "Stephanie Knows Who" with "She Comes In Colors." Quite why is anybody's guess!

I'll focus on Brian Maclean's rhythmic latin love ballad "Orange Skies" which he wrote in 1965 when he was a young roadie for The Byrds. The following information is taken from the liners of my "Da Capo" CD re-issue on Elektra.

Good vibes notwithstanding, the first day of recording on September 27th, 1966 at RCA Studios in Hollywood held some tense moments. "On 'Orange Skies' there's a flute part in there and they kept threatening to call Herbie Mann in because Tjay could not get this part right simply because we were out of tune," remembers Echols. "You see what happened was we tuned up this harpsichord and the harpsichord was off and so everything was slightly off and he couldn't get his flute to play in tune."

 

03 February, 2016

THE HARD TIMES - YOU COULDN'T LOVE ME


THE HARD TIMES - "Loving You" / "You Couldn't Love Me" (Ultimate 1) March 1966

Online website Garage Hangover has the scoop on this group from Birmingham, Alabama including rare photos and an interview with a member of the band.

"You Couldn't Love Me" was a throwaway B-Side which was basically a one take recording. I don't think it's that great mainly because the vocals are in a greaser rocker style but the twangy guitar is neat. The other side is a ballad with female backing vocals.

The Hard Times changed their name to The Rites Of Spring and released "Comin' On Back To Me" / "Why" on Parkway during the back end of '66.


02 February, 2016

THE CHOSEN FEW - THE EARTH ABOVE THE SKY BELOW



THE CHOSEN FEW - "Asian Chrome" / "The Earth Above The Sky Below" (Liberty 55962) April 1967

There were numerous groups in the 60s called The Chosen Few, this particular outfit is believed to have been based in Simi Valley, California.

Their first single of two on the Liberty label was "Synthetic Man" / "Last Man Alive" and is well worth locating, quite a strange sound creation, many ideas too. The same can be said for their final single released April 1967.

"Asian Chrome" is perhaps The Chosen Few's most well known song having gained exposure on Boulders #7 back in the mid 80s. No doubt the sound quality was terrible on that thing so I would suggest finding a copy of the original 45.

The other side "The Earth Above The Sky Below" is a psychedelic pop gem, the lead vocals are strong and the background 'ba ba bah's' add a certain trippy texture. There is also an off-kilter recorder break, at least that's what I think it is. Most definitely a group with their own unique sound over their two single releases.


01 February, 2016

THE SAN FRANCISCO EARTHQUAKE - THAT SAME OLD FAT MAN



THE SAN FRANCISCO EARTHQUAKE - "That Same Old Fat Man" / I Feel Loved" (Smash S-2117) September 1967

"That Same Old Fat Man" is bouncy and pleasant 60s pop psych composed and recorded by Kenny Young. I'm not certain if San Francisco Earthquake were a group as such, my guess is that it was basically just Young and some studio musicians......toytown here we come!

This was the debut San Francisco Earthquake single on Smash and four more would follow over the next two years. I have found no evidence that any of them were hits so Kenny Young did very well indeed to get his songs heard via 45s.

A good source of Kenny Young information can be found here


Billboard - July 1967
Billboard - October 1967