Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Douglas –Monkey Song

Douglas –Monkey Song / Montego Sunshine –CBS 2281 (1974 Sweden)

Oh my god… Oh my god…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. It’s just so incredible and undeniably perfect, that I just can’t get this stupid grin off my face.
If you’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, you’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 wasn’t heard from again. I would love to hear different though…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.

Click on title for a soundclip of Monkey Song

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Rockmore Williams –Lady Rock/ It Was Her

Rockmore Williams – It Was Her/ Same –Mooncrest Moon 6 (1973 UK)
Rockmore Williams –Lady Rock/ Same –Mooncrest Moon15 (1973 UK)

Mr. Williams, or Rockmore to his friends, unleashed these two gritty semi-Glam rockers into oblivion and probably didn’t release anything else using this pseudonym…He reminds me a bit of Peter D. Kelly and Lady Rock would have certainly been more than a suitable follow –up to Rock To The Jukebox. It Was Her has a neat descending horn riff à la Elected and you can nearly hear his medallion bouncing off his hairy chest…So who was Rockmore Williams?

Click on title for edits of Lady Rock and It Was Her

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Garnets –Indian Uprising

The Garnets –Indian Uprising/Teenage Summer Crash Course –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 Propeller’s Apache Woman or AbacusIndian Dancer, Indian Reservation is simply full on stupid, but oh so marvelous…Highly recommended with no reservations whatsoever…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 below for a full version of Indian Uprising

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Christopher Milk - EP

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 blog…

Christopher Milk –EP – UA SP -66 (1971 US)

I think by-far the best description I’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 70’s Anglophile (Muswell top-ranking!). All pop, no style, John’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 ‘proto-punk’ in the pages of his poor-poor-very-poor, We’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 ‘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 shouldn’t anyway!). So…on the threshold of such a dreamy ‘n’ positive introduction, what – really – are we left with?

Well, the Warners album Some People Will Drink Anything may suck righteously, but the United Artists EP (that’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) – yup, all things bright and beautiful, Christopher Milk had them all. …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 Mendelsohn’s ego following Christopher Milk’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:

“And just think: if C. Milk become stars, maybe Mendelsohn will quit writing. Now that’d be something to look forward to!”

Pick To Click: ‘Hey, Heavyweight!

Click below for the 3 minute mono edit of Hey, Heavyweight!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Matchbox - Rod

Matchbox –Don’t Shut Me Out/ Rod –RAK 113 (1971 UK)

This is not the Rockabilly Revival outfit, but the sounds of Ex-Rupert’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 indeed…Based around a rockin’ 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 below for edits of Rod and Don’t Shut Me Out

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Wig Wam –Naughty Naughty

Wig Wam –Naughty Naughty/ Have A Cuppa Tea –RCA 2243 (1972 UK)

Here’s another one to file under Glam Era Bubblegum Obscurity (GEBO)…It’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 Kinks’ 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-wonders…

Click on title for a full version of Naughty Naughty

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Zipper –Can Can

Zipper –Can Can/Laugh Laugh –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 haven’t compressed the picture, so if you click on the image you can see it in full wide dorkscope…The cover nearly gives Frog a run for its money, as for the track itself…er…Barrel-house Glam anyone?

Click on title for a soundclip of Can Can

Friday, October 05, 2007

Zipper –Gettin’ It On

Zipper –Gettin’ It On / Good Morning –Telefunken U 56333 (1974 German issue)

Tony Atkins and Gerry Morris strike again with these two left-of-field Glam Stompers. The A side is not as straightforward as first seems with its out there production, similar to Galahad’s Rocket Summer. The production on Good Morning is even more over the top and approaches near Experimental-Trans –Progressive -Glam with layers of backward guitars and snare effects. What a team!
BTW, this is not the Life of Riley mob, nor the band that issued Can Can (which reminds me, I should upload the cracking French Pic Sleeve of that one…). There’s also another Zipper on Youngblood from around the same time, but I can’t confirm any Atkins/Morris involvement there.

Click below for edits of Getting’ It On and Good Morning

Monday, October 01, 2007

Hollywood Heroes – Caught In The Act

Hollywood Heroes –Caught In The Act/If You Don’t Know –Negram NG 669 (1974 Dutch issue)

Caught In The Act is a wonderful hybrid of a tune juxtaposing My Sweet Lord onto a rockin’ Summertime Blues beat with 10CC/ Beach Boys backing vocals and acoustic/Dobro slide. The single is perfectly produced by US Actor/Producer Steve Rowland better known for his production duties with Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich and to a much lesser extent Ace Kefford’s Rockstar single. It’s a total mystery as to who the Hollywood Heroes actually were, if they existed at all. Unless proved otherwise, it looks like the guy on the left in the hippy dippy floppy hat is Steve Rowland. The A side is written by Alan Hall, the B side by Ken Watson if that’s any help…Caught In The Act has all the necessary ingredients and really deserved to be a hit.

Click on title for a full version of Caught In The Act