In The Land of Free, we still keep on Rockin'

Plain and Fancy

"I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free"


Friday, August 31, 2012

Rodriguez - Coming From Reality (1971 us, brilliant 2nd album, psychedelic folk rock, 2009 Light In The Attic issue)



Quite a change from Rodriguez's first album Cold Fact. On Cold Fact Rodriguez sang bitter, disillusioned songs about slums, drug abuse and broken love affairs. Something in between the two albums obviously changed his point of view because Coming From Reality consists mainly of love songs. And not the cynical odes to past affairs of Cold Fact - these ones are full-blown. 

And even the social comment songs on the album seem less bitter and more resigned. The strings have been laid on with a heavy hand, on some tracks providing the only backing to Rodriguez's guitar and voice. But the voice shines through and the clever poetry on some tracks is as incisive as ever. Song to song we explore a great talent musician and have the chance -even almost four decades later-  to discover his bright music.
by Roger Crosthwaite


Tracks
1.Climb Up On My Music - 4:43
2.A Most Disgusting Song - 4:43
3.I Think Of You - 3:19
4.Heikki's Suburbia Bus Tour - 3:15
5.Silver Words - 2:04
6.Sandrevan Lullaby-Lifestyles - 6:37
7.To Whom It May Concern - 3:15
8.It Started Out So Nice - 3:46
9.Halfway Up The Stairs - 2:17
10.Cause - 5:27
11.Can't Get Away  - 3:57
12.Street Boy  - 3:47
13.I'll Slip Away  - 2:53
All songs by Sixto Rodriguez
Bonus tracks 11-13

Musicians
*Rodriguez - Vocals, Guitar
*Chris Spedding - Guitars
*Tony Carr - Bongos
*Phil Dennys - Keyboards
*Jimmy Horowitz - Violin
*Gary Taylor - Bass
*Andrew Steele - Drums

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Rodriguez - Cold Fact (1970 us, superb folk psych, 2008 remaster edition)




Dipped sweetly in the psychedelia of the sixties, this the first album from a mysteriously unknown artist, mingles simply folk guitar with astonishing lyrics about drugs, depression and inner city blues. Rodriguez’s distinct nasal voice ambles through a dozen simple tunes addressing the turbulent backdrop of America in the sixties and does so with such impressionable beauty that it has catapulted him into cult status in many far flung corners of the globe. Such is the demand, that both Cold Fact, and the second album Coming From Reality (re-released in 1976, in South Africa only, as After The Fact), have now been remastered on CD format, some 20 years later.

For many, this album is one magnificent trip, lost in the haze of hippiness, and indeed the album is laced with narcotic references, but as far as talent goes, Cold Fact is a remarkable album perfect for idealists and dreamers. The obsessive I wonder, perhaps the best known of the album’s tracks, is a simple tune that mirrors the type of questions you’ve always wanted to ask of certain people and never had the courage, but it is the album’s ultra-trippy opening number, Sugar Man which really lends the album and air of intrigue. Others such as Crucify Your Mind, Jane S. Piddy and Forget It are both poignant and subtly beautiful.

However, it is the album as a whole, it’s poetic lyrics and the bohemian fueled mystery surrounding it that makes it so appealing to several generations, even years after the artist signed off with the words thanks for your time, then you can thank me for mine and after that’s said, forget it.

This album, in short, eventually becomes part of your lifestyle.
by Andrew Bond


Tracks
1. Sugar Man - 3.45
2. Only Good For Conversation - 2.25
3. Crucify Your Mind - 2.30
4. This Is Not A Song, It's an Outburst: Or, The Establishment Blues - 2.05
5. Hate Street Dialogue - 2.30
6. Forget It - 1.50
7. Inner City Blues - 3.23
8. I Wonder - 2.30
9. Like Janis - 2.32
10.Gommorah - A Nursery Rhyme - 2.20
11.Rich Folks Hoax - 3.05
12.Jane S. Piddy - 2:54
All songs by Sixto Rodriguez

Musicians
*Rodriguez - Vocals, acoustic guitar
*Dennis Coffey - Electric guitar
*Mike Theodore - Keyboards
*Andrew Smith - Drums
*Bob Pangborn - Percussion
*Bob Babbitt - Bass
*Detroit Symphony (Leader Gordon Staples) - Strings
*Carl Reatz - Horns - 3 Trombones, Baritone Sax
*Childrens Choir on "Gommorah"
*- The children's choir were family of Joyce [Vincent] and Telma [Hopkins] (who later became Dawn)

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Various Artists - A Visit To The Spaceship Factory (1970-77 uk, 20 gems from the early years of prog, Psychic Circle)



Once again our intrepid vinyl hound, Jamie Romer, has scoured the land in his quest to excavate more undiscovered psycho-prog stunners. This new selection bears testament to his endeavours. We present 20 ear-watering morsels that will hopefully thrill and entertain in equal measure.Wander the dimly lit corners of the Spaceship Factory, an establishment designed to produce vehicles that could take you from the geometric wallpaper of your room to the far side of your electric dreams. 

It wasn't in production for very long, but while it was operating it not only did it manufacture million-selling models such as Yes, Black Sabbath and Jethro Tull, but it brought you the brash rock of Treetops, the polished guitar wizardry of Israeli progsters Jericho, the fuzzed-up dirt of Jesse Hector's proto-punk outfit Helter Skelter, and countless other designs now being re-appraised or still waiting to be recognised. The conveyor belts may be still, the furnaces may be cold, but the ships still fly to the stars.
by Nick Saloman


Tracks - Artists
1. Why Not Tonight - Treetops - 3:19
2. Greenfields - Mousetrap - 2:47
3. That Don't Help Me None - Deadwood - 4:05
4. Just Look Around You - Fuzzy Duck - 3:58
5. So Come On - Jericho- 3:57
6. Tadpole - Incredible Hog - 3:32
7. It's Happening to Me and You - Mouse - 2:52
8. I Need You - Helter Skelter - 2:30
9. Sarabande - Beggars Opera - 4:28
10. Spirit of Joy - Kingdom Come - 3:26
11. Just a Game - Little Big Horn - 4:19
12. Bring It on Home - Strange Fox - 3:20
13. Air - Onyx - 4:00
14. Spaceship - Spontaneous Combustion - 3:20
15. Evil - UFO - 3:36
16. Ladder - Sheephouse - 3:22
17. Ska Child - Pussy - 3:06
18. People Come, People Go - Axe - 3:05
19. Do You Wanna Know - Sunchariot - 4:09
20. Nervous Shakin' - Kansashook - 3:11

Psychic Circle compilations
1966-72  With The Sun In My Eyes
1968-72  White Lace And Strange
1968-72  The Room Of Loud Sounds
1964-69  Realistic Patterns Orchestrated Psychedelia
1965-69  Wednesday Morning Dew 
1965-70  The Electric Coffee House 
1965-70  The Golden Road The Electric Coffee House Vol.2
1969-74  Blow Your Cool: 20 Prog Psych Assaults
1969-74  Lovin’ Fire 20 Obscure Gems

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Vision Of Sunshine - Vision Of Sunshine (1970 us, fabulous west coast psychedelic folk rock, 2011 Kismet issue)



This Californian quintet was led hy Gerald Mauser, who was romantically involved with singer Jane Boltinhouse. They rehearsed their material at the Lake Sherwood home of TV star Bob Denver (best-known for his role in Gilligan's Island), in what drummer Andy Douglas has subsequently decribed as 'a large rec room overlooking the pool, with a view of the lake'. 

The link with Denver came through guitarist Mike DeTemple, who was house-sitting for him. Recorded at the legendary .Sunset Sound Recorders studio in Hollywood, their sole LP was produced by Howie Kane (a founder member of Jay & The Americans), and appeared in March 1970. Billboard wrote that 'the five regulars known as Vision Of Sunshine have come up with a unique sound on their debut LP. 

The use of such unfamiliar instruments  as flute, celeste, calliope and harpsichord in a rock context, together with Jane Boltinhouse's haunting soprano, produces an ethereal A sound that is not only different but pleasing. She Said and the title cut are the best songs.' 

Though they were disaffected by their label's reluctance to pay the session musicians used on the album, the band promoted it with gigs at the Troubadour club in Hollywood and at Los Angeles' Greek Theatre (on a bill with comic Don Ho and poet,folk singer Rod McKuen), ' but they disintegrated whilst on the road, shortly after Hauser and Boltinhouse's daughter Bright was born in 1970. 

Their relationship disintegrated simultaneously, with Boltinhouse departing in search of herself. Hauser returned to LA and gradually made a name for himself as actor Wings Hauser (with parts in The Young & The Restless, Beverly Hills 90210 and Roseanne), while Mike DeTemple earned international acclaim for his guitar-building. Their album, meanwhile, was largely forgotten about four decades, though its cult reputation has steadily grown.

Tracks
1. Mourning Word (Gerald Hauser, Sean Allan Nelson) - 1:14
2. She Said (Gerald Hauser) - 5:41
3. Mr. Bojangles (Jerry Jeff Walker) - 4:23
4. For You Alone (Gerald Hauser, Sean Allan Nelson) - 3:10
5. Stranger Here (Robb MacKay) - 4:01
6. Vision Of Sunhsine (Gerald Hauser) - 4:26
7. Woke Up Staring At A Fire Hydrant (Gerald Hauser) - 2:53
8. Summer Sundown Woman (Gerald Hauser) - 3:50
9. Bizarrek Kind (Rex Holman) - 3:23
10.You Get What You Pray For (Gerald Hauser) - 5:18

Vision Of Sunshine
*Jane Baltinhouse - Vocals
*Gerald Hauser - Guitar, Piano, Vocals
*Sean Allan Nelson - Celeste, Calliope, Harpsichord, Organ, Piano
*Terri Osiecki - Flute
*Mary Tiller - Flute
Guest Musicians
*Michael DeTemple - Banjo, Bass, Guitar
*Andy Douglas - Drums
*Jessie Eurlich - Cello
*Flint - Electric Guitar
*Joyce Miller - Cello
*Casey Nelson - Voices
*Jack Carone - Voices
*Bill Lazarus - Percussion

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Various Artists - Lovin’ Fire 20 Obscure Gems (1969-74 uk, europe, psychedelia melts into the progressive, Psychic Circle)



As the ‘60s gave way to the ‘70s, it wasn’t just fashion that was in a frenzied state of flux. Music, too, was undergoing a seismic transformation. Just as the raw approach of early ‘60s beat had given way to the more refined style of Psychedelia, so this genre found its self rudely elbowed aside by the more bombastic sounds of the emerging “progressive” movement, with its emphasis on experimental time signatures and complicated chord structures. 

By late ’69 Prog was becoming established as the prevailing musical genre, a position it was to occupy until the birth of punk later in the decade. This compilation comprises 20 tracks, previously (to the best of our knowledge) un-comped on CD, from Prog’s early days when it was still an underground phenomenon. We’ve enjoyed tracking these relatively unknown diamonds down and hope that you have an equally rewarding time listening to them.
Nick Saloman


Artists - Tracks - Composer
1. Silence - Mother’s Game (Weeda, Putter) - 2:23
2. Ray Owen’s Moon - Talk To Me (Gardner) - 5:02
3. Ipsissimus - Lazy Woman (Oliver) - 3:28
4. The Warm Sensation - The Clown (Kerr, Carter) - 2:16
5. Pacific Sound - Thick Fog (Page, Meyer) - 2:32
6. Apartment 1 - Fuzz Buzz (Dale, Van Der Sande) - 2:53
7. White Mule - Looking Through Cat’s Eyes (Flood, Page) - 3:04
8. Left Side - Mama, You Said The Right Words (De Koelewijn) - 4:24
9. Mayroc - Lovin’ Fire (Watts) - 2:47
10. The Exchange And Mart - I Know That I’m Dreaming (Cooper) - 2:51
11. The Royal Servants - Work Part II (Nottrodt) - 5:22
12. Custer’s Track - On The Run (Saunders) - 2:45
13. Rainbows - New Day Dawning (Howells, Cure) - 2:49
14. The Locomotive - Movin’ Down The Line (Miller, Spence) - 2:44
15. Andromeda - Rainbow Chasing (Morgan, Greedus) - 2:42
16. Whichwhat - Parting (Young, Savage) - 3:27
17. The Influence - Driving Me Wild (Herrington) - 3:16
18. Children - Piece Of My Heart (Berns, Ragavoy) - 3:16
19. Hunter - Some Time For Thinking (Hunter, Spear) - 3:09
20. Paul Nicholas - Lamp Lighter (Beuselinck) - 1:58

Psychic Circle compilations
1966-72  With The Sun In My Eyes
1968-72  White Lace And Strange
1968-72  The Room Of Loud Sounds
1964-69  Realistic Patterns Orchestrated Psychedelia
1965-69  Wednesday Morning Dew 
1965-70  The Electric Coffee House 
1965-70  The Golden Road The Electric Coffee House Vol.2
1969-74  Blow Your Cool: 20 Prog Psych Assaults

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

American Blues Exchange - Blueprint (1969 us, super fine heavy psych blues rock, Gear Fab release)



The American Blues Exchange, composed entirely of students  at Trinity College in Hartford, CT, was initially formed by Peter Hartman (bass) and Roger Briggs (guitar), based on a mutual love of blues and a desire to impress girls.  By early 1968, they were joined by Roy Dudley (vocals and harmonica) and Dale Reed (drums) and a working four piece band was formed. 

 Their repertoire drew heavily from the British blues groups such as Savoy Brown, John Mayall, Cream, Free, and also U.S. artists such as Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, Jefferson Airplane, and Canned Heat. As a four piece band they played area coffee houses and fraternity parties through the Spring of 1968. When school resumed that fall they were joined by Dan Mixter (guitar and vocals)  and the new five piece group was formed which would remain together for the next 2 1/2 years, until the departure of Dale Reed forced the group's disbandment. 

During this time, ABE as they became known, played a steady stream of fraternity parties, college mixers, high school dances, clubs-all primarily on the weekends and mostly in the CT-Western MA area;  frequently stopping at a McDonalds along the way to chow down-hence the song "Big Max Revenge". For some unknown reason in 1969, it started to seem like a good idea to record an album of original material, as Roy was writing quite a few songs which they began to incorporate into their performances.  

So rehearsals resulted in nine original tunes over the next several months, and they then found themselves at Fiesta Studios in East Hartford (now The Gallery), where engineer Doug Clark and agent Dick Booth helped them record what they called "Blueprints". Also offering alot of assistance were fellow Trinity student and guitarist D.J. Reilert and Nancy Taylor, who made it all possible.  

The front cover is actually a fairly accurate blueprint of their stage setup as seen from above; Roger Briggs was then an engineering student and "volunteered" to do the cover art. So by late 1969, they had 1,000 LPs pressed, and Dan and Roger drove a death-trap of a VW bus down to Long Island in a mighty crosswind to pick them up (Roger remembers the return trip to be a bit slower from the weight of 40 cartons of LPs straining the small and old 4 cylinder engine) Sales of the LP were modest at best, with about 400 or so sold to fellow students, relatives, friends, etc. By the time the band dissolved, there were many hundreds left unsold, which were divided up amongst the band and most were given away through the years. 

Today, fewer than 10 sealed copies are in the possession of the band.  They are tickled pink that this reissue iis being done and want to express their thanks and appreciation to both their old fans and the new ones which are a by-product of this release.


Tracks
1. On Solitude (R. Dudley) - 3:32
2. Cold From Blues (R. Dudley) - 6:00
3. Recorder Thing (D. Mixter) - 2:39
4. The Taker (P. Hartman, D. Mixter) - 5:17
5. Burlington Letter (R. Dudley) - 6:25
6. Ode To The Lost Legs Of John Bean (Briggs, Melhun) - 3:22
7. Big Max Revenge (R. Briggs) - 4:30
8. The True Son Confesses (R. Dudley) - 4:59
9. Age Child (R. Dudley) - 8:34
10.Steppin1 Out (LC.Frazier) - 3:15
11.One Sunny Day (D.Kirwah) - 3:11
12.Dust My Broom (Elmore James) - 4:20
Tracks 10-12 Live recordings

The American Blues Exchange
*Roger Briggs - First Guitar
*Dale Reed - Percussion, Harmony
*Roy Dudley - Vocals, Harmonica, Tambourine, Cwobel
*Don Mixter - Second Guitar, Recorder, Harmony
*Peter Hartman - Bass Guitar

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Various Artists - So Cold!!! Unearthed Mid 60's Sacramento Garage (1965-67 us, bumper bundle of classy garage)



Just an hour or so drive from Frisco proper, Sacramento was apparently a hotbed for punk thumpers. When farmboy energy stuffed itself into tight striped pants and set out to woo crowds at the local teen centers, magic often occurred. This then is a regional time capsule of some of that pre-hippy Central Valley magic, as potent (while maybe not as original) as what their peers were doing down on the Peninsula. 

Some of the standouts here are the Fugitives' snotty "Blowing My Mind," the Marauders' fuzz-laden "Our Big Chance," Sel-Sync's "Dirty Books," and Plague, Ltd's melancholy folk rocker "So Cold." Also included are sides by New Generation, the Heard (their "Little Miss Sadl" is pretty tight), the Opposite Six, the Brimstones, and Pilferage Humor.

Stuffed in the jewel case is a big booklet with lots of photos and flyers, a far cry from what some of those all-smoke-and-no-fire reissue labels call a proper release these days. Take a trip back to a California before the allure of hallucinogens and free love. 
by Erik Bluhm 


Tracks - Artists
1. Our Big Chance - Marauders - 1:48
2. Ball Of Twice - Gear One - 2:11
3. Dirty Books - Sel-Sync - 2:25
4. Blowing My Mind - Fugitives - 2:43
5. Empty Heart - Mods - 2:00
6. Doing What I Wanna Do - Plague, Ltd. - 2:21
7. I Don’t Mind You - City Limits - 2:35
8. I Want You - Squires - 2:56
9. The One In The Middle - 2:15
10. Since I Met You - Marauders - 2:14
11. They’re No Better - Plague, Ltd. - 2:27
12. We’ll Talk About Sunshine - New Generation - 2:227
13. Woman - Mods - 1:46
14. Feel A Groove - Gear One - 2:21
15. Little Miss Sad - The Heard - 2:14
16. Why Did You Lie? - Opposite Six - 2:20
17. You Don’t Have To Bring Your Toys - Squires - 3:27
18. Come On Now - Fugitives - 2:33
19. Woke Up This Morning - Gear One - 2:28
20. I Don’t Believe You - The Heard - 2:14
21. I’m In Misery - Brimstones - 2:20
22. Little Girl - Pilferage Humor - 3:27
23. Since I Met You (2nd Version) - Marauders - 2:09
24. So Cold - Plague, Ltd.- 2:42
25. Little Richard Medley - Gear One - 8:33
26. Route 66 - Marauders - 2:10
27. Alimony - Gear One - 2:58
28. Cold Hearted Woman - Brimstones - 2:17
29. She’s A Mod - Mods - 2:14
30. For Your Love - Unknown Band - 2:49

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Monday, August 27, 2012

It Flew Away - Pull Out All The Stops (1972 aussie, rare, rough, psychedelic rock with experimental mood)



It Flew Away was a band whose story seems to sum up the hopes and aspirations of so many outfits who played their guts out to very little critical acclaim. This was in an era when simply being able to express one's musical ideas in a public forum was considered by many to be reward enough to make the long hours of rehearsal and equipment lugging seem worthwhile! 

Early in 1971 Ian Clarke (keyboards), Barend du Preez (bass, vocals and harmonica) and John Reid (guitar) were living in a defunct private hospital in Prahran, writing songs and thinking only half seriously about forming a band. John's brother, Rob, took the initiative and put an ad in the Source Bookshop in Melbourne... Wanted - Creative Drummer. Guitarist, bass player and organist, writing own music, seek sincere musician to develop a group from embryonic stages to something satisfying. 

In August, Shane Cleary turned up, and on a cold grey day, over a bowl of hot millet, It Flew Away was born. The band's first gig was in early December, supporting Carson at Ocean Grove, a coastal town on the outskirts of Melbourne. Then followed an appearance at Evolution ("Australia's biggest holiday dance in the heart of swinging Rosebud"). At about this time an American promoter was developing the Regent Theatre in South Yarra as a Fillmore-style concert hall Billed as a 'mixed-media palace', it promised to be an exciting new venue for rock music in Melbourne. 

The Regent wanted new talent, and It Flew Away wanted a place to play, so a short, but exciting association was formed. On New Years Eve they played The Regent for the first time with Spectrum, Friends, Carl & Janie Myriad, Blackfeather and The Joy Band. With earnest expressions they presented their collection of lengthy and extravagant musical images, in front of the Stargate Corridor light show. 

Throughout 1972, It Flew Away took their music wherever they could. Bookings through the Let It Be agency led the band to play at such venues as Sebastians, Q Club, Much More Ballroom, various Universities and tertiary institutions, suburban dances, and also as far afield as Adelaide, Sydney and Newcastle. Whilst in Sydney the band visited the ABC (government funded TV channel) studios, to record 'Candy Meets The Vibrator', 'Aimless Pasture' and one other song for an airing on the popular music show of the day known as "G.T.K.'. 

They won a Battle of the Bands at Buronga on the Murray River near Mildura, and seemed to be achieving some recognition among informed writers in the music press. But all was not well. The Regent burned down and the Much More Ballroom closed. Taking note of these events, the band invested in a custom built PA. system that became endearingly known as the 'D.S.H.', and after a couple of live engagements, the 'D.S.H.' blew up! At least one band member believed that music could save the world, but despite this idealism, by early 1973 they were silting on the floor of Phil Dwyer's panel shop cum studio, tearing strips off each other. 

Sympathetic audiences were scarce, and efforts to support It Flew Away with a theatrical rock and roll band called Thicket Ducks, and later, a straight outfit called The Pub Band had failed. Idealism was no match for a lack of equipment, and with poverty lurking just around the corner, It Flew Away would fly no more. It Flew Away really had it all, ambitious keyboard passages combined with a great guitar sound and tough rhythm section making their sound far more memorable than most symphonic rock outfits of the day. 

The almost six minute opening track 'On My Way Home' has classy guitar/keyboard interplay and practically sets the tone for all the material on this release. From the epic 'Good Times' with its fantastic guitar lines, soaring keyboards and interesting lyrical content (du Preez even managed to incorporate some Tolkien imagery), to the wildness of 'Candy...' or the last track 'Pull Out All The Stops Mother', everything here is played with 100% confidence by a band on the brink of greatness, but nonetheless, one whose members never saw the door of opportunity open for them. 

It had been a creative period in four peoples lives, at times joyful and positive, at others turbulent and difficult. And so to the passage of time... Fortunately for the band, they had loyal friends in Carl Hartung and Ross Williams, to whom a great debt is owed for the existence of a cache of well recorded tapes containing a number of versions of different songs, without which this music would inevitably have faded with time and memory. It was always Hartung's ambition to make an album using this material which had been hidden away in dark cupboards for many years, with only the occasional airing. 

In 1987 he and Reid worked together to create a compilation reflecting various facets of the band's songwriting. Eventually, after a great deal of effort everything fell into place, and a 2LP set was produced, primarily for fans and friends in a limited edition of 250 copies. It Flew Away The Lounge Room Tapes finally saw the  light of day, sold-out and  disappeared!
by Carl Hartung and Glenn Terry


Tracks
1. On My Way Home (B.du Preez) - 5:54
2. Good Times (B.du Preez) - 9:16
3. Raggin'MyBin (I. Clarke, B.du Preez, J.Reid) - 2:44
4. Aimless Pasture (I. Clarke) - 7:09
5. Candy Meets The Vibrator (J. Reid) - 2:52
6. Mighty Harvest (take 1) (J. Reid, B. du Preez, I. Clarke) - 5:05
7. Beach (B.du Preez) - 6:03
8. Crab Apple Jelly Jam (J. Reid, B. du Preez) - 3:15
9. Watch Out (R.Reid, J.Reid, B.du Preez) - 4:37
10.Open Spaces (B. du Preez) - 6:21
11.Pull Out All The Stops Mother (I. Clarke, B. du Preez) - 15:23

It Flew Away
*Ian Clarke - Keyboards
*Barend du Preez - Bass, Vocals, Harmonica
*John Reid - Guitar
*Shane Cleary - Drums

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Various Artists - The IKON Records Story (1964-66 us, cool cryptic garage pearls, double disc set)



Sacramento-based Ikon Records is one of those labels that makes obsessive garage collectors squirm and sweat, stammering phrases to each other like "only three known copies, dude" or that most dreaded, tear-choked revelation: "there's only one known copy!" Because of their scarcity, even by local indie garage label standards, Ikon 45s have largely eluded the garage compilation-makers, so the label's output has been something of a secret shared by just a few elite high rollers and clued-in Sacramento locals. 

No hype, my friends: YES! This is hands-down the best '60s garage reissue of the year, filling the requirements of both historical significance and, more importantly, musical excitement. The Madd, Inc provide the immediate standout with the jaw-dropping "I'll Be the One." It's got an assertive lead vocal, two cool, locked-in guitar parts, a tight, rhythmic groove, and a dangerously tense mood snapped apart by a killer fast-fingered Drake Levinesque guitar break. No two ways about it: it's a frickin' MONSTER. While not in the same league as "I'll Be the One," the same band's secret agent themed "Sooperspy" and the wiry instrumental "Batman A Go Go" are also rather good.

More fantastic garage band thrills are drummed up by the Mergers ("Love, You Funny Thing"), the Kee-Notes (a great arrangement of "St James Infirmary"), the Styx ("My Girl"; not the Temptations song), the Knightsmen ("Daddy Was A Rolling Stone"; not the Temptations song either), the Denny & Kenny Duo (the ultra rockin' "Meet My Little Sweety"), the Sons of Sound ("I'm Coming Home"), and the Prophets (the up-tempo but oddly plaintive "You Wonder Why"). Bluesier fare is dished out by the Parish Hall Blues Quintet ("Smokestack Lightning" and a decent cover of the Pretty Things' "I Can Never Say") while solid surf/instro sounds are provided by the Nervous Kats, the Cautions, the Avanti's and the Marauders.

Those looking for minor key magic will be well-pleased too when they get a load of jewels like the Yo Yoz' exceptional, Zombies-flavored "Leave Me Alone," the Bristols' "She's Gone Away," the Shondells "It's True" and the Mergers' "I'll Be On My Way." This two-disc set come with a 28-page booklet jammed with full-color photos, label shots and abundant liner notes by Alec, Joey and others.


Artists - Tracks
Disc 1
1.Ikon - Intro - 0:47
2.Madd Inc. - I'll Be The One - 2:38
3.Shondells - Something's Got A Hold Of Me - 2:39
4.Eirik Wangberg - Every Night I Dream A Little - 2:25
5.Nervous Kats - Surf Express - 2:05
6.Bristols - She's Gone Away - 2:14
7.Mergers - Love, You Funny Thing - 2:44
8.Avanti's - Countdown - 1:48
9.Bobbies - Truck - 2:19
10.Yo Yoz - Leave Me Alone - 3:11
11.The Knightsmen - Fever - 2:55
12.Styx, The - My Girl - 2:32
13.Kee-Notes - St. James Infirmary - 2:53
14.R.C. And The Tambourines - Quirk - 2:23
15.Shondells - I Cried Last Night - 1:54
16.Cautions - Surfer's Beach - 2:18
17.John Rosasco Quartet - Come Running To Me - 2:15
18.Townsmen - High Heel Sneakers - 2:36
19.Moss And The Rocks - There She Goes - 4:46
20.Nervous Kats - Simba - 2:05
21.Prophets - It's All Over Now - 3:28
22.Parish Hall Blues - Smokestack Lightning - 4:09
23.Versatiles - Pretty Girls - 3:01
24.Unknown Artist - Gloria - 2:40
25.Russ Olson - Sorry About That - 2:09
26.Denny And Kenny Duo - I Love You So - 2:49
27.Madd, Inc. - Batman - 2:49
28.Avanti's - Too Much - 2:37
29.Marauders - Intro-Surf Jam - 2:24
30.Marauders - Carol - 2:56


Disc 2
1.The Knightsmen - Daddy Was A Rolling Stone - 2:51
2.Denny And Kenny Duo - Meet My Little Sweety - 2:53
3.Prophets - You Wonder Why - 2:58
4.Madd, Inc. - Sooperspy - 2:59
5.Unknown Artist - Searching - 2:32
6.Nervous Kats - Chong - 2:16
7.Parish Hall Blues Quintet - I Can Never Say - 2:58
8.Shondells - It's True - 2:51
9.Eirik Wangberg - You Woman - 2:33
10.Townsmen - Leaving Me - 2:30
11.John Rosasco Quartet - The Shift - 1:47
12.Sons Of Sound - I'm Coming Home - 3:16
13.Cautions - Groovin' - 2:26
14.Yo Yoz - Stay With Me - 2:36
15.Avanti's - What's Wrong With Me - 2:12
16.Sel-Sync - The Fire Is Gone - 2:13
17.Beau Jesse - Tell Her That You Love Her - 1:55
18.Kee-Notes - Please Don't Tell Me No - 2:31
19.Eirik And The Secret Agents - Sorry About That - 2:33
20.Townsmen - What Have I Done - 3:23
21.Fabulous Futuras - When You Ask About Love - 1:47
22.Dirk Hamilton - Happiness - 3:24
23.Bobbies - Orangutang - 2:04
24.Mergers - I'll Be On My Way - 2:32
25.Mymes - You Lose Girl - 2:20
26.Moss And The Rocks - Please Come Back - 3:23
27.Styx, The - Stay Away - 2:56
28.Madd, Inc. - Batman A Go Go - 2:42
29.Checkmates Ltd. - Do It To Deff - 4:06
30.Ikon - Outro -  0:39

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Various Artists - With The Sun In My Eyes: 20 Psychedelic Spins (1966-72 europe, uncomped psychedelic rarites)



Recently I read a letter in a prominent music magazine from a reader who was getting rather steamed about what passes for psychedelia in these ordered times. The gist was that tons of prog, POP, folk, soul and Jazz is now labelled psych, and that in reality, when placed in it's historical context, very little of it actually is psychedelic at all. 

Chronologically, psych, in the true sense of the word, was all but over by 1970, but of course, there is no marked line where one day it all iust stopped. I think, with hindsight, it is possible to label things ‘Psych' out of its traditional timeline if the sound is there, but I do take the point. So much of the material pushed as 'mind-frying Psych' is nothing of the sort. 

When one considers what a short period the first flush of psychedelia enjoyed, it is easy to see why anything vaguely trippy has been lumped in with the real stuff. There Just isn't enough to go round. 'With The Sun In My Eyes4 is Psychic Circle's first compilation of UK & European straight psychedelia. It's taken 'til our 12th issue because tracking down 20 proper, uncomped psvch tracks from the UK is now no easy task. However, I feel sure that our listeners will not experience that feeling of disappointment when the new 'acid-drenched' comp contains two or three corkers, ten tracks you've heard before and half a dozen weedy POP outings. 

The idea behind these comps has always been to share great music and recognise that our market is mainly made UP of People with a deep knowledge and love of this kind of music. I feel confident that this will be appreciated when you give 'With The Sun In My Eyes' an airing. If this pre-amble has a somewhat dour tone, please don't be misled, we're really proud of this comp. 

I personally think it's one of our strongest. I could tell you it's going to warp your synapses or crystallize your cerebral corteces, but I can almost hear the stifled laughter, so I'll leave that to someone else. I'll just say that in my opinion this is a really nice comp and I hope you'll find some new Pleasures on it, and rest assured, we're out there tracking down material for the next one.
by Nick Saloman


Tracks - Artists
1. Give Me Money - Plastic Penny - 3:03
2. Mary Jane - Peter Sarstedt - 2:18
3. Yellow Brick Road - Mindbenders - 3:04
4. No One Knows What Happens Round The Corner - Ola And The Janglers - 2:27
5. Ten Thousand Paces - Omega Group - 6:07
6. Me - Zion De Gallier - 3:16
7. Hang On Baby - Gnomes Of Zurich - 2:16
8. Lady Love - Rattles - 2:27
9. She's Far Away - Foggy - 3:37
10. Get Back Home - Majority One - 2:47
11. With The Sun In My Eyes - Schadel - 2:32
12. Watching - Sound Network - 2:12
13. Don't Leave Me In The Dark - Youngblood - 2:36
14. Balloon - Ramases - 4:29
15. She Said - Grand Union - 3:10
16. Bye Bye Baby - Winston G - 2:18
17. Woman On My Mind - Peter And The Wolves - 3:27
18. In The Corners - Don Curtis - 3:15
19. Stop - Giorgio - 3:32
20. Seen Through A Light - Mooche - 4:41

More Psychic Circle compilations
1968-72  White Lace And Strange
1968-72  The Room Of Loud Sounds
1964-69  Realistic Patterns Orchestrated Psychedelia
1965-69  Wednesday Morning Dew 
1965-70  The Electric Coffee House 
1965-70  The Golden Road The Electric Coffee House Vol.2
1969-74 Blow Your Cool: 20 Prog Psych Assaults

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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Rod Demick And Herbie Armstrong - Little Willie Ramble (1970-71 ireland, fascinating psychedelic folk rock, 2012 RPM issue)



These two session heads had worn a number of notable caps before teaming up to form The Wheels, recording three tracks for Columbia and almost enticing fellow countryman and former bandmate in Them, Van Morrison, to join. Songwriting for other artists followed; and then this fine album, in 1971, which eschewed both blues and rock for an orchestral/acoustic tip to a good reception.

Their 1971 "Little Wille Ramble" is a scintillating piece of low-wattage, highly lyrical bluesy pop/rock. The album's overall sound is strongly reminiscent of Van Morrison's work during the same period -- not entirely surprising as Armstrong is a Morrison alumnus -- though Demick and Armstrong may push the lyricism a little harder, they never lose their bluesy edge or jump wholly into the pop side of things. 

The lean sound also recalls the music of Ernie Graham, but the presence of unobtrusive strings on certain tracks -- which somehow don't compromise the underlying tracks -- puts this album and the duo behind it into a sub-category that they occupy virtually unto themselves; the only other similar artist that comes to mind, on repeated listening, is Duncan Browne or, at his most inventive moments, Donovan.
by Bruce Eder  


Tracks
1. Little Willie Ramble - 4:10
2. Over the Valley - 2:25
3. You're My Island - 2:42
4. Waiting for the Train - 2:44
5. Morning - 3:40
6. We Are Free - 3:22
7. I've Got Time - 2:34
8. We're On the Right Track - 3:13
9. I Don't Care - 2:32
10.Open Road - 2:11
11.That's What Friends Are For - 2:58
12.If I Ever Get to You - 2:13
13.Girl - 4:59
14.Dreaming - 2:40
Music and words by Rod Demick And Herbie Armstrong.

Musicians
*Herbie Armstrong - Guitar, Vocals
*Rod Demick - Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
*Tony Knight - Drums
*Gordon Smith - Guitar, Vocals
*David Watkins - Piano

Related Acts
The Wheels - Road Block 1965-66

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Various Artists - Pebbles, Vol. 12: The World (1964-71 multi national garage beats rough diamonds)



This collection features 27 mid-'60s beat/punk singles from bands outside North America and the U.K., although a few of these bands were actually British outfits that moved abroad (the Rokes to Italy, and the Shamrocks and the Scorpions to Germany). Most of these singles have not been previously reissued. To their credit, the compilers have cast their net far and wide, encompassing not just continental Europe, but also New Zealand, Australia, Japan, and even Lebanon. 

The chief flaw of the volume is one that afflicts many such '60s anthologies: there are too many covers of songs (often R&B classics, like "Roadrunner" and "I Can Tell") that were done better by much more famous British bands. Nonetheless, there are some class selections here, particularly when the bands go out of the routine R&B rave-up orbit into poppier or more psychedelic territory. Among the more satisfying entries are the Four Rockets' (from Belgium) "The Place Where She Lives," with its mod chords; the Shamrocks' hot R&B single "Midnight Train" (which is not on their cult-favorite album); and Noel Deschamps' fine French cover of John Mayall's "I'm Your Witchdoctor" (retitled "Curieux Docteur"). 

Los Salvages' (from Spain) "Las Overjitas" is as raw a bash as continental bands managed; Japan's Bunnys merge British Invasion guitar with the Shadows on "Moanin'"; and Sir Henry & His Butlers' (from Denmark) "Pretty Style" is trance-inducing pop psychedelia with sitar. 
by Richie Unterberger


Artists - Tracks
1. Bunnys - Moanin' - 2:36
2. Four Rockets - The Place Where She Lives - 2:41
3. Shamrocks - Midnight Train - 2:48
4. Shake Spears - I Can't Tell - 2:20
5. Henchmen - Baby What's Wrong - 2:19
6. Phantoms - Roadrunners - 3:03
7. Klan - Already Mine - 2:10
8. Merrymen - Walking Down Lonesome Road - 2:01
9. Nicols - She Had a Name to Find Out - 2:46
10.Noel Deschamps - I'm Your Witchdoctor - 2:09
11.Odd Persons - I'm Cryin' - 2:40
12.Scorpions - Baby Back Now - 3:19
13.Honestmen - I've Been Wrong - 1:53
14.Rokes - She Asks of You - 2:09
15.John Wooley and Just Born - Look and You Will Find - 3:30
16.John Wooley & Just Born - You're Lying - 2:43
17.Shirrows - Not for Me - 2:47
18.Cedars - Hide If You Want to Hide - 2:36
19.Evariste - Connais-Tu l'Animal Que Inventa le Calcul Integral? - 2:39
20.Sir Henry and His Butlers - Pretty Style - 2:49
21.Los Salvages - Las Ovejias - 2:34
22.Tonics - Daddy - 3:06
23.Five Gentlemen - Dis-Nous Dylan - 3:52
24.Pleazers - Bald Headed Woman - 2:47
25.Entertainers - Searching - 2:45
26.Satins - Too Much Monkey Business - 3:37
27.Brothers Grimm - Beautiful Delilah - 2:19

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The Dictators - Go Girl Crazy (1975 us, raw proto punk)



In 1975, when punk rock and heavy metal were two opposing camps who barely who acknowledged each other's existence,  The Dictators' first album, Go Girl Crazy!, found New York's finest trying to bring both sides together in a brave,  prescient, and (at least at the time) futile gesture. 

The band's "smart guys who like dumb stuff" humor,  junk-culture reference points, and '60s cheeze rock covers ("California Sun" and "I Got You Babe" on one album)  would seem tailor made for the crowd at CBGB digging the Ramones and the Dead Boys,  but their sludgy and stripped down hard rock (and Ross "The Boss" Funichello's neo-metal guitar solos)  were something else altogether. And at a time when the arena rock audience had not yet embraced the less-than-subtle humor  and theatrics of Sparks or Cheap Trick, the Dictators' ahead-of-their-time enthusiasm for wrestling,  

White Castle hamburgers, and television confused more kids than it converted. Heard today, the album is a hoot and a half;  if the tempos could often stand to be a bit livelier, Adny Shernoff's songs are still great  (especially the absurdly anthemic "Two Tub Man," "I Live for Cars and Girls," and "Weekend"),  the jokes still register (while the contemporary Political Correctness brigade might blanch at "Back to Africa"  or "Master Race Rock," they're merely absurd in the Mad Magazine tradition),  and "secret weapon" Handsome Dick Manitoba was truly a find. 

Dozens of groups borrowed wholesale from Go Girl Crazy!  later on down the line, but the original is still the greatest ... and the funniest
by Mark Deming


Tracks
1. The Next Big Thing - 4:20
2. I Got You Babe (Sonny Bono) - 4:08
3. Back To Africa - 3:35
4. Master Race Rock - 4:13
5. Teengenerate - 3:24
6. California Sun (Henry Glover, Morris Levy) - 3:04
7. Two Tub Man - 4:08
8. Weekend - 4:00
9. (I Live For) Cars And Girls - 3:56
Except where otherwise noted, all tracks composed by Andy Shernoff.

The Dictators
*Ross "The Boss" Funicello – Lead Guitar, Background Vocals
*Scott Kempner – Rhythm Guitar
*Stu Boy King – Percussion, Drums
*Handsome Dick Manitoba – Occassional Lead Vocals, Secret Weapon
*Andy Shernoff – Lead Vocals, Bass, Keyboards

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Various Artists - Now Hear This! (1965-70 us, outstanding garage beat from the Norman Petty vaults)



It’s been almost ten years since your intrepid scribe first journeyed to the windswept plains of north eastern New Mexico to enter the hallowed vaults of Norman Petty, the quixotic producer/engineer, in the first of what would prove to be many enjoyable visits to Clovis. True, Messrs Armstrong, Carroll and Topping had made the premier sorties and thus mined many of the rockabilly gems, as well as the masters of Trevor Churchill’s beloved Fireballs. 

I knew there was a lot more to Petty’s catalogue than just the essential 1950s material – but I was blown away by the sheer quantity of quality that awaited my questing fingers, as I pored over, and pawed through, his voluminous tape archive. Because of the resolute focus on Petty’s 1950s work over the years, the vast proportion of his 1960s tapes, and especially the multi-tracks, had remained untouched since he filed them after the sessions. Throwing each reel up on the machine revealed a continuing surfeit of blazing instrumentals, spacey psychedelic pop and, as showcased on Now Hear This!, some of the best recorded mid-60s garage and beat you are likely to hear.

Despite his base in remote Clovis, the urbane and complex Petty had already achieved a tremendous reputation in the business as artist, producer and publisher by 1964. He’d always cultivated ties to Europe, and had produced records in London in the early 1960s; most important was the unequivocal influence upon British groups of the groundbreaking rock’n’roll he cut with Buddy Holly. When the Beatles turned the American record industry upside down, there was only a handful of Stateside producers capable of handling the gauntlet thrown down by the invading British - and foremost amongst them was Norman Petty. 

The tremors of the British Invasion were felt as strongly in the Southwest as anywhere else, and as the region’s premier recording facility, rock musicians continued to beat a path to Petty’s door. For his part, Norman overlooked his predilection for “beautiful music”, and welcomed both the accomplished players and the teenage garage bands, even though the latter could sometimes test even his legendary patience. Whoever it was, Norman Petty made them sound great.

“Now Hear This!” isn’t just a collection of fuzz and fury – though the lead on Barry Allen’s And My Baby’s Gone is quite likely to melt your speakers (or clear the room of String-A-Longs fans). Petty signed bands with chart potential and several groups featured here, such as the Chances, the Cinders (featuring a young JD Souther wailing away like Roky Erickson) and the Cords were Petty-sponsored combos. Major Canadian act Wes Dakus’ Rebels sought him out to handle their recording career. 

Otherwise, the punk bands paids the bills, and there are some corkers on display here – snotty put-downs from Colorado’s Trolls and Teardrops, punchy items from New Mexico’s Morfomen and Venturie “5, and tellingly, the ultra-basic Perils from Hart, Texas (population 577), at whose session you can just visualize Norman Petty rolling his eyes heaven- ward as singer Eddie Reed spits out “HATE yew, girl!” with a cotton stalk stuck between his teeth.

Throw in some classy beat-orientated sides from the Crickets, Canada’s Famous Last Words, and Petty’s ever-loyal charges the Fireballs, and “Now Hear This!” forms a tremendous showcase for Petty’s mid-1960s work, an aspect of this singular man’s career I am most proud to have brought to light.
by Alec Palao


Artists - Tracks - Composer
1. The Crickets - Now Hear This (Jerry Allison, Buzz Cason) - 2:14
2. The Cinders- Three Minutes Time (Louis Ridings, Steve Dodge) - 2:12
3. The Trolls - I Don't Recall (Richard Gonzales) - 2:32
4. The Chances - Get Out Of My Life (Sandy Salisbury) - 1:49
5. The Perils - Hate (Eddie Reed, David Brooks) - 2:12
6. The Cinders - Good Lovin's Hard To Find (Bill Ewton, Eddie Reeves) - 2:19
7. The Teardrops - Sweet Sweet Sadie (Ron Myers) - 2:09
8. The Cords - Too Late To Kiss You Now (Glen Wilbanks, Vern Wilbanks) - 2:31
9. Barry Allen with Wes Dakus' Rebels  - And My Baby's Gone (Denny Laine, Mike Pinder) - 2:21
10.The Cinders - Ma'am - 2:35
11.Venturie "5" - Good 'n' Bad (Clark Keith) - 2:28
12.The Chances - It's Only Time (Sandy Salisbury) - 3:19
13.Stu Mitchell And Doug Roberts - Say I Am (What I Am) (Barbara Tomsco, George Tomsco) - 2:18
14.The Famous Last Words - Hey Little Schoolgirl (Phillip Southern, Richard Terry, William Smith) - 2:19
15.Barry Allen with Wes Dakus' Rebels  - Danger Zone (Steve Cropper, Wilson Pickett Jr) - 2:50
16.Jimmy Gilmer And Fireballs - Come To Me (Benny Welton, Fred Bekky, Norman Petty) - 2:02
17.The Morfomen - Write Me A Letter (Dave Rarick) - 1:58
18.Tom Beal  - That Girl Isn't Comin' Today (Tom Beal) - 2:10
19.The Cinders - Gloria (Van Morrison) - 2:53
20.Three Of A Kind - Only Time Will Tell (G. Gagliardi, P. Hutchins) - 1:58
21.Wes Dakus' Rebels  - Shotgun (Autry DeWalt) - 2:51
22.The Cords - Sin Crazed Woman (Glen Wilbanks, Vern Wilbanks) - 2:33
23.The Cinders - Barbara White (Louis Ridings, Steve Dodge) - 2:30
24.The Monocles - Let Your Lovin' Grow (Don Hirschfield, Jon Floth, Kevin Mcilhenny, Rick Null, Robb Casseday) - 1:58
25.Barry Allen with Wes Dakus' Rebels  - Love Me Again (Bonny Welton, Svan Oppen) - 2:14

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The Wheels - Road Block (1965-66 ireland, superb mod beat. 2012 Big Beat release)



Rave ups don’t come any wilder than ‘Road Block’ by the Wheels, who keep the party going on this CD of their complete output, 1965-1966. Tough, shouting R&B vocals and crunching riffs from Belfast’s other great combo.

‘Road Block’ and ‘Bad Little Woman’ are garage-beat classics of which anyone raised on American “Pebbles” albums will be very familiar. The Wheels, however, were not American; they were from Northern Ireland. Yet their band original ‘Bad Little Woman’ was picked up by Chicago garage deities the Shadows Of Knight, and in contrast they covered Paul Revere & the Raiders’ ‘Kicks’. Don’t even get me started on the feral intensity of their beat-punk opus ‘Road Block’.

Big Beat’s new Wheels collection comprises the A and B-sides of their three singles, released across 1965 and 1966, plus the remaining sessions they cut at Regent Sound; this is their album, its great period design making up for the fact that these talented young men didn’t get to release one first time round.

Like many who have bought Big Beat releases over the past 20 years, I came to the label knowing I would find great garage, beat and psych. Now the Wheels are in the company of the Beau Brummels, the Chocolate Watchband, the Zombies and Thor’s Hammer. And by heck, they deserve it. Anyone who has bought releases by those artists will adore the Wheels. Steaming out of Belfast’s Maritime Hotel (an R&B hotbed on par with the Crawdaddy in Richmond and Newcastle’s Club A’GoGo), where they graced the stage with friend Van Morrison and his similarly clued-up Them, before moving on to an obsessive following in the glamorous environs of Blackpool.

The Wheels lived their lives to the full, playing wild shows, popping pills and adapting R&B to their own means. Under the tutelage of industry bigwig Phil Solomon and producer Tommy Scott, they issued singles on Parlophone and turned heads with their long hair (or, in Brian Rossi’s case, bald head). It looked as if the charts would be theirs. Unfortunately, their sound and songbook may have shared too much with Them’s; Van and his gang stole the Wheels’ thunder and fashions changed fast.

In hindsight, the magnificent punk/R&B attack of ‘Road Block’ rivals anything the toughest US garage bands recorded, ‘Bad Little Woman’ was a really decent song, their choice of covers was inspired and there’s no denying their musicality or Rod Demick’s wild-but-soulful vocals. Okay, the Wheels were a beat band versed in R&B and they didn’t make an album like “Revolver” or sell many records, but by Jove they were exciting. The 12 tracks here are testament to that.
by Jon “Mojo” Mills 


Tracks
1. Road Block (H. Armstrong, V. Catting, R. Demick, B. Rosbotham, W. Tinsley) - 3:31
2. I'm Leaving (John Lee Hooker) - 2:44
3. Bad Little Woman (H. Armstrong, V. Catling, R. Demick, B. Rosbotham, W. Tinsley) - 2:49
4. Send Me Your Pillow (John Lee Hooker) - 2:48
5. Don't You Know (Tommy Scott) - 2:51
6. Call My Name (Tommy Scott) - 2:12
7. Kicks (Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil) 2:32
8. Tell Me (I'm Gonna Love Again) (Graham Bond) 2:12
9. You Got Me Dizzy (Jimmy Reed, Ewart Abner) 2:24
10.Gloria (Van Morrison) - 2:43
11.Mona (Ellis McDaniel) - 2:43
12. Bad Little Woman (Us Version) (H. Armstrong, V. Catling, R. Demick, B. Rosbotham, W. Tinsley) - 2:34

The Wheels
*Herbie Armstrong - Guitar
*Rod Demick - Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
*Brian Rossi - Keyboards, Vocals
*Victor Catling - Drums
*Tito Tinsley - Bass

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Poets - Wooden Spoon / The Singles Anthology (1964-67 uk, fabulous mod freakbeat, 2011 release)



A five piece, R&B band from Glasgow, they adopted their clothes image of high-necked jackets and ruffled fronted shirts (see pic above. Can't recall who sent us this shot but thanks and we'll namecheck you if we find it in the e-mail attachment archieve eventually) from a portrait of the eighteenth century Scots poet Rabbie Burns. Hence, also, the name. 

Mean, moody and utterly magnificent, in 1964 the Poets were the best thing to come out of Scotland since Denis Law. Managed and produced by Rolling Stones svengali Andrew Loog Oldham, the group released a quintet of classic singles - including the minor hit 'Now We're Thru"- that encompassed Zombies-esque minor chord melancholia and aggressive mod R&B/pop with equal aplomb.

The group fragmented in early 1966 after the departure of lead singer and chief songwriter George Gallacher, but a revised lineup bounced back in fine style the following year with 'Wooden Spoon' b/w 'In Your Tower', now widely acknowledged as a seminal British freakbeat/psychedelic record. This first-ever official Poets anthology features the group's entire released output during their 1964-67 glory days.


Tracks
1. Now We're Thru'(Gallacher, Paton, Myles) - 2:20
2. There Are Some (Gallacher, Paton, Myles) - 2:14
3. That's The Way It's Got To Be (Gallacher, Paton, Myles) - 2:35
4. I'll Cry With The Moon (Gallacher, Paton, Myles) - 2:53
5. I Am So Blue (Gallacher, Paton, Myles) - 2:42
6. I Love Her Still (Gallacher, Paton, Myles) - 1:45
7. Call Again (Paton, Gallacher) - 2:24
8. Some Things I Can't Forget (Paton, Gallacher) - 1:51
9. Baby Don't You Do It (Holland, Dozier) - 2:28
10.I'll Come Home (Gallacher, Paton) - 2:07
11.Wooden Spoon (Moeller, Woolfson) - 2:29
12.In Your Tower (Mulvey, Watson) - 2:30

The Poets
*George Gallacher - Vocals
*Hume Paton - Lead Guitar
*Tony Myles - Rhythm Guitar
*John Dawson - Bass Guitar
*Alan Weir - Drums
*Hughie Nicholson - Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
*Fraser Watson - Guitar
*Jim Breakey - Drums

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Various Artists - The Mod Scene (60's uk, superb mod freakbeat)



This 25-song CD is much more than just an excursion into the farther reaches of English Decca Records' vaults -- it's also a de facto tour of the playlists of some of England's hottest mod clubs of the mid-/late '60s; hardly a sound on this collection ever made it anywhere near a chart listing, anywhere in the U.K. (much less the U.S.A.), but a lot of what is here did get picked up locally in London among the mods that made up the audiences of most of these bands. 

Considering how badly England's Decca Records fared in the middle-late 1960's (apart from the Rolling Stones, the Small Faces, and the Moody Blues) in signing really solid acts, this is an astonishingly good collection of soul-influenced, mod-oriented singles from the company's vaults. A few of the acts included, such as the Small Faces, Tom Jones, St. Louis Union, Chris Farlowe, and the Amen Corner, made some kind of splash on the charts, but most of the musicians here got their chance on these single sides, failed to find success, and disappeared into the mist of musical history. 

The CD jumps headfirst into the kind of hard-rocking, intense soul numbers that were played to death in London' mod clubs, even if they never scraped even the lower reaches of the charts. The sound on these singles tells you right away why most of these groups were never going to make it as world-class recording acts, being too raw and direct -- without the distinctive hooks to get more than a listen from any radio deejays. By themselves, the Ronnie Jones track, coupled with those by Tom Jones, Steve Aldo, Graham Gouldman, Poets, the Eyes of Blue, and the Quik, justify the cost of this $20 import. 

The sound is excellent throughout, and it's also reassuring on some level to learn from the notes that Decca is digging so deeply into its vaults that these acts are nearly as obscure to the people producing this compilation as they are to us. 
by Bruce Eder


Artists - Tracks
1. The Quik - Bert's Apple Crumble - 2:14
2. Hipster Image - Make Her Mine - 2:19
3. The Poets - That's The Way It's Gotta Be - 2:36
4. The Wards Of Court - How Could You Say One Thing - 1:56
5. Graham Gouldman - Stop! Stop! Stop! - 2:59
6. Pete Kelly's Soulution - If You Love Don't Swing - 2:26
7. Timebox - Girl Don't Let Me Wait - 2:34
8. The Mockingbirds - Lovingly Yours - 2:15
9. Amen Corner - Expressway To Your Heart - 2:42
10.The Attack - We Don't Know - 2:41
11.Chris Farlowe - Air Travel - 2:12
12.The Graham Bond Organisation - Little Girl - 2:40
13.The Outer Limits - Just One More Chance - 3:03
14.Ronnie Jones With The Nightimers - I Need Your Loving - 2:46
15.Small Faces - Grow Your Own - 2:19
16.Zoot Money - Walking The Dog - 2:27
17.Steve Aldo - Baby What You Want Me To Do - 3:46
18.Tom Jones - Dr. Love - 1:53
19.Jimmy Winston And His Reflections - It's Not What You Do - 3:01
20.The Habits - Elbow Baby - 2:35
21.The Score - Beg Me - 2:46
22.The Loose Ends - That's It - 2:11
23.St. Louis Union - East Side Story - 2:25
24.Paul And Barry Ryan - There You Go - 2:14
25.Eyes Of Blue - Supermarket Full Of Cans - 2:41

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Sonics - Here Are The Sonics (1965 us, pioneer garage punk, New Rose rare Vinyl issue)



The Sonics were the hottest, rawest and most legendary garage band of the 60's. The Sonics, of Tacoma and Bremerton, Washington, helped forge the Northwest sound—merging garage rock and rhythm and blues. But the Sonics transcend the Pacific Northwest. Keith Richard, Pete Townshend, George Harrison, Bruce Springsteen, Joey Ramone and Johnny Rotten (Lydon), have all cited the Sonics as an early influence on their music, according to D.J.'s and other knowledgeable sources. 

The Sonics were innovative and wild at a time when most bands were playing the fox trot at high school chaperoned dances. The Sonics 1st single "The Witch," which ultimately became the Northwest's top selling single, (save for "Louie, Louie",) had trouble getting airplay because programmers thought it would alienate homemakers. Teenage demand forced stations to start playing "The Witch". Parents were alarmed by the band's loud and frenetic antics and wild reputations. Engineers were dismayed by the band's lack of respect for staid studio techniques. They were not used to the Sonics full energy attack. On guitar, was Larry Parypa. Larry was always fooling around with the amps, sticking ice picks, and such, in. 

They were always overdriven. His experiments with distortion and feedback predated any of the people we now know for it, and became part of the trademark Sonics sound. Driving the band on bass guitar, and as group leader, was Andy Parypa, Larry's brother. Rob Lind played the sax that added a dirty, full sound. Bob Bennett's unique machine-gun style of drumming hit rimshots everytime. On top of all this was Gerry Roslie, the monumental screamer-cum-singer, whose Jerry Lee Lewis style stage antics gained the Sonics much of their reputation. Gerry was all out in his singing and his writing, composing most of the band's tunes. These tunes are now available in their original form thanks to Etiquette Records re-issues. 

You don't have to live in Washington state to easily place your hands on them! "Their magical blend of raw garage music can be heard in everyone from the Beatles to Bruce Springsteen, but why go to any other source than the original?" 
by Charles R. Cross, Seattle "Rocket", June, 1984.


Tracks
1. The Witch - 2:41
2. Do You Love Me (Berry Gordy, Jr.) - 2:19
3. Roll Over Beethoven (Chuck Berry) - 2:49
4. Boss Hoss - 2:24
5. Dirty Robber (John Greek, Kent Morrill, Rick Dangel) - 2:03
6. Have Love, Will Travel (Richard Berry) - 2:04
7. Psycho - 2:18
8. Money (That's What I Want) (Gordy, Jr., Janie Bradford) - 2:01
9. Walkin' The Dog (Rufus Thomas) - 2:46
10. Night Time Is The Right Time (Lew Herman) - 2:58
11. Strychnine - 2:13
12. Good Golly Miss Molly  (Robert Blackwell) - 2:09
Songs written by Gerry Roslie unless otherwise noted.

The Sonics
*Gerry Roslie - Organ, Piano, Lead Vocals
*Andy Parypa - Bass Guitar
*Larry Parypa - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Rob Lind - Saxophone, Vocals, Harmonica
*Bob Bennett - Drums

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