Boneshaker â€“Sweetness/ Badman Strikes Again â€“London HLU 10332 (1971 UK) Sweetness is another magic Mike Berry production of a great song â€“itâ€™s real â€™67 psych with a pinch of Russell Morrisâ€™ The Real Thing and some commercial Steam catchiness (Na Na Na), it should have been a hit.
Sweetness was written by Bill Parkinson, a session man Mike used on many of the cover versions he did for Reditunes. At the end of a session at Radio Luxemburg, Mike recorded Sweetness at the 4 track studio there. The band on the track were the same guys who recorded Hey Hey Jump Now/ Goodbye (CBS 7760) as The One Hit Wonders.
The track also has a strange monophonic Phasing/Flanging effect quite unlike the swooshing phasing so prevalent in â€™67. MB â€œThe original phasing was great. I first heard it on Timi Yuroâ€™s The Hurt. The second time I heard it was when I was in Regent Sound Studios when The Small Faces recorded Itchycoo Park. The engineer let me have a go at it. Iâ€™m not sure if my attempt at manual phasing (releasing one Â¼ tape slightly after the other) was used on the record, but I just love phasingâ€Â.
Sweetness was the first British record to come out London American â€¦ MB: â€œ Nobody wanted to release it, but a friend of mine went to Geoff Milne at London Records who loved it, but we had to pretend it was an American record!â€Â
The B side is a fun Creedence Clearwater Revival recreation with a C&W bent and masses of gunfire sound effects. â€œIt had nothing on the B side except a backing track that I had done when in my John Fogerty mood. I loved Bad Mood Rising and we basically just tried to get the sound they got on Cosmoâ€™s Factory. It was a tribute to John Fogerty.â€Â
Click on title for a soundclip of Sweetness
OK, itâ€™s time to unleash Collin again. Donâ€™t blame me if he bites you on the ankle or relieves himself in your flowerpotâ€¦
U.K. Baby â€“Heartbreaker/ Michaelâ€™s Blues â€“Imperial 66409 (1969 US issue) (Originally released on Spark SRL 1030 as by The Baby)
Item One. Admission of Guilt:
have never liked more than a bare handful of tracks by the Sutherland Brothers.
There, Iâ€™ve said it.
You Got Me Anyway, Rock â€˜Nâ€™ Roll Showâ€¦ I know, I know! Consider me then Purepopâ€™s cloth-eared Albert Speer â€“ the blogger who said Iâ€™m sorry (and I am, believe me, Spandau not required).
And while I can not completely articulate my misgivings concerning the oeuvre of Sutherland Bros & Quiver, there is a certain item from their shared past that I will unflinchingly stand by.
â€˜Tis a curiously-named bouncing-bundle, by the nom of U.K. Baby. Maybe not snuff-up to the Last-Night-Of-The-Proms/Charge Of The Light Brigade standard advanced bravely by League of Empire Loyalist, U.K. Jones, nevertheless, this TWO-SIDED affray is lobster-back through and through. â€¦and quite GROOOOOVY to boot (and much like later fellow bulldog breeders, The English Beat, the â€˜U.K.â€™ here was a meritorious denotation reserved solely for those soldiering away in foreign service)!
Production-product of the same knob-twiddler as the elusive, Sorrow-full Eggy (Barry Kingston â€“ same label too: Spark/ Imperial), Iain Sutherland and Co. here RAVE AND ROCK – swaddling clothes style â€“ through what Who Put The Bomp! #13 describes as:
â€œA straightforward rocker with nice melodic touches and a break straight out of Itâ€™s All Too Much by The Beatles.â€Â
Appreciative and cultured Bomp! may be, they fail â€“ in my opinion â€“ to fully hone in on the true HEART-broken eye of this lovely little storm: That being the Charybdis-ian whirlpool of keys-guitars-and-handclaps Kingston summons around the 1:30-mark which he would later sharpen to hair-splitting perfection on Eggyâ€™s Youâ€™re Still Mine. I can only imagine that Heartbreakerâ€™came out first â€“ it definitely has the feel of a practice-run by comparison to Eggy â€“ but I could certainly be wrong and I donâ€™t feel like squinting at matrix numbers. The b-side, comped and miss-titled all over the place, is decidedly commonplace; at least when sidled next to its black, Siamese twin. Treacly twee and Idle Race-y, it pales next to the stout, wave-ruling Heartbreaker. Being a pre-Sutherland Bro was obviously no picnic; the previous single they cut as A New Generation (also produced by Kingston) from a year before also had a â€˜bluesâ€™ in the title! Itâ€™s one of those big, orchestral, flower power, opiate laments probably about a dog or torn kaftan or something. Less Fading Yellow, more piss-soiled white satin. Awwwwwâ€¦.
I SAY GROW A PAIR â€˜PSYCHâ€™ FANS AND ENLIST IN MORE WYMEN-BAITINâ€™ ROCK/POP/LESS BLUES! GO RE-WATCH â€˜ZULU!â€™ SEE THE WORLD IN FANCY GAITORS! MEN, YOU KNOW JUST WHAT TO DO!
Douglas â€“Monkey Song / Montego Sunshine â€“CBS 2281 (1974 Sweden)
Oh my godâ€¦ Oh my godâ€¦Those were not only the last words uttered by Princess Diana at the back of a Mercedes, but the only words I could muster on first hearing this full-blown-no-doubts-about-it MASTERPIECE. Itâ€™s just so incredible and undeniably perfect, that I just canâ€™t get this stupid grin off my face. If youâ€™re not immediately hooked by those weird slowed-down intro vocal effects, the loud and I mean LOUD guitars, the thumping beat, the mother of all catchy tunes, the inane lyrics, youâ€™re reading the wrong Blog. This is like Pantherman in a monkey suit running Jungle Jim out of town. Douglas Westlunds was in fact the drummer on some weekly Swedish TV show , but one night he stepped up to the mic and performed this number. Sweden went nuts, the phone system melted and he was offered a contract to release the song on the spot. It became a semi-hit, and as far as I know Douglas wasnâ€™t heard from again. I would love to hear different thoughâ€¦Credit where credit is due. The superb loud production is by Mats Olsson and Monkey Song is written by Jorgen Larsen. BTW, as expected, the B side is not worth throwing or waving your banana at.
Thanks to Eddie for turning me on to this incredible single.
Rockmore Williams â€“ It Was Her/ Same â€“Mooncrest Moon 6 (1973 UK) Rockmore Williams â€“Lady Rock/ Same â€“Mooncrest Moon15 (1973 UK)
Mr. Williams, or Rockmore to his friends, unleashed these two gritty semi-Glam rockers into oblivion and probably didnâ€™t release anything else using this pseudonymâ€¦He reminds me a bit of Peter D. Kelly and Lady Rock would have certainly been more than a suitable follow â€“up to Rock To The Jukebox. It Was Her has a neat descending horn riff ÃÂ la Elected and you can nearly hear his medallion bouncing off his hairy chestâ€¦So who was Rockmore Williams?
Click on title for edits of Lady Rock and It Was Her
The Garnets â€“Indian Uprising/Teenage Summer Crash Course â€“Pink Elephant PE 22.837 (1974 Dutch issue)
Although written and produced by J. Vincent Edwards, The Garnets seem to have been a bunch of mutoid Belgians, who never having fully recovered from losing the Congo, went West and ventured into Redbone territory with this fine single. While lacking the full on assault of Propellerâ€™s Apache Woman or Abacusâ€™ Indian Dancer, Indian Reservation is simply full on stupid, but oh so marvelousâ€¦Highly recommended with no reservations whatsoeverâ€¦Teenage Summer Crash Course on the other hand is an OK-Glam-by-numbers rocker but sounds rather out of breath and middle-aged.
Click on title for a full version of Indian Uprising
Please welcome back Collin with this fine review. Please note that the views and opinions represented by this review should NOT be mistaken for those of the owner and operators of this blogâ€¦
Christopher Milk â€“EP â€“ UA SP -66 (1971 US)
I think by-far the best description Iâ€™ve ever read of this marginal piece of fluff was the GEMM listing that convinced me to buy it in the first place:
‘Rock scribe (John Mendelsohn) wants to be a rock star – insider joke band makes nice early glam, pre-punk sound’.
For those not in the also-ran know, John Mendelsohn was perhaps the ultimate early 70â€™s Anglophile (Muswell top-ranking!). All pop, no style, Johnâ€™s strictly roots journey to superstar writer-DUMB began with a notable stint beating-skins with the embryonic Halfnelson (soon to become Sparks) before graduating to out-and-out skin-(flute)-suckling with his own hype L.A. fashion band, Christopher Milk (whom he promoted ceaselessly in nearly every record review he scribed). Brendan Mullen tried to pass them off as â€˜proto-punkâ€™ in the pages of his poor-poor-very-poor, Weâ€™ve Got The Neutron Bomb, which, like most everything else contained in said narrative, failed to hold enough water to drown a newborn kitten or enough substance to fill a pot-hole. Not even known good-guy Gregory Shaw had much positive to say about â€˜em (even though he did allow Mendelsohn liberty in 1977 to turn in a truly horrific EP as The Pits which was so embarrassing most BOMP discographies today will not even acknowledge its existence or shouldnâ€™t anyway!). Soâ€¦on the threshold of such a dreamy â€˜nâ€™ positive introduction, what â€“ really â€“ are we left with?
Well, the Warners album Some People Will Drink Anything may suck righteously, but the United Artists EP (thatâ€™s EXTENDED PLAYER) that preceded it is as alright with me as Jesus is/was with the Doobies! Over-bearing and not wholly successful attempt at reconciling the style/sound of Arthur/Village Green-era Kinks with the sardonic sartorialness of the Bros. Mael, Mendelsohn and Milk here unveil four fun-fun-fun laugh-fests that I can see appealing to fans of everyone from the Bonzo Dog Band to The Who. Semi-ridiculous lyric themes – There’s A Broken Heart For Every Rock And Roll Star On Laurel Canyon Boulevard, To You He’s Just A Cop, But To Me He’s Mr. Right, nice grumbling bass sound, EXTREMELY UNDERPRIVILEGED orphan-pledge-drive vocal range, a price tag of zero dollars (free to anyone back then through the pages of Phonograph Record Magazine) â€“ yup, all things bright and beautiful, Christopher Milk had them all. â€¦then I guess they forgot the basic difference between tragedy and comedy is measured in equal parts sympathy and fear. And while I may fear for Mendelsohnâ€™s ego following Christopher Milkâ€™s inevitable curdling expiration , sympathy I have none. Too bad too. Everybody loses! You, me and even Mike Saunders, who had his own reasons for wanting to see Mendelsohn make it:
â€œAnd just think: if C. Milk become stars, maybe Mendelsohn will quit writing. Now thatâ€™d be something to look forward to!â€Â
Pick To Click: â€˜Hey, Heavyweight!
Click on title for the 3 minute mono edit of Hey, Heavyweight!
Matchbox â€“Donâ€™t Shut Me Out/ Rod â€“RAK 113 (1971 UK)
This is not the Rockabilly Revival outfit, but the sounds of Ex-Rupertâ€™s People (Reflections of Charles Brown) members Rod Lynton and Steve Brendell soldiering on into the early 70s. Rod is in fact the B side of a pleasant up-tempo Bubblegum/ Pop number and is a strange beast indeedâ€¦Based around a rockinâ€™ backbeat and pop vocals, they then added these weird oscillator/Theremin or Moog gurglings. The overall effect is bizarre and sounds like this was done more as a playful after-thought rather than through astute planning.
Click on title for edits of Rod and Donâ€™t Shut Me Out
Wig Wam â€“Naughty Naughty/ Have A Cuppa Tea â€“RCA 2243 (1972 UK)
Hereâ€™s another one to file under Glam Era Bubblegum Obscurity (GEBO)â€¦Itâ€™s strangely under-produced by Phil Wainman and the arrangement by Pip Williams is an exercise in simplicity itself. The rugged chugging guitars really drive the song along and the tune features a mean hook and neat chord changes. The B side, Have a Cuppa Tea, is a cover of the Kinksâ€™ song and is a bit pointless. The band were probably a one-off studio congregation, but the A side deserves its place in the Pantheon of no-hope-in-hell-hit-wondersâ€¦
Click on title for a full version of Naughty Naughty
Zipper â€“Can Can/Laugh Laugh â€“Sirocco SIR 6001 (1976 French issue)
This is one of the other Zipper bands, NOT to be confused with Atkins/Morris or Fred Cole!
For your entertainment, I havenâ€™t compressed the picture, so if you click on the image you can see it in full wide dorkscopeâ€¦The cover nearly gives Frog a run for its money, as for the track itselfâ€¦erâ€¦Barrel-house Glam anyone?