Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Frankie & The Phantoms - Rock ‘n Roll Band / Smiffy -See You Later

Frankie & The Phantoms –Rock ‘n Roll Band/ Jamburger –RCA LPBO 5013 1974 (UK)

The A side is a heavy crunching stomper. There are shades of Wizzard/ Eddie & The Falcons but the outcome is much much wilder. The raspy vocals are shouted and the guitars rip and tear over a cool Glitter Band baritone sax underlay. The song is just the same 3 chords over and over, but it’s catchy as f**k.. Again not idea who this is, but the ghastly B side is a muso jam session…

Smiffy –See You Later (Little Baby Love)/How Can You Be A Millionaire –Antic K11501 1974 (UK)

Similar in a way to the Frankie & The Phantoms single, as it’s a guitar/ sax rocker with Roy Wood overtones, but it’s a more commercial venture altogether adding glockenspiel and backing vocals to the mix. Smiffy must in fact be the producer Peter L. Smith, but on the execrable B side he might as well just be Peter SarstedtPUKE! More of cute period piece than an outright corker, it’s still a nice find.

Click below for an edit of Rock 'n Roll Band and See You Later

Caspar -Messin' Around/ Make You Feel Like You're Mine

Caspar –Messin’ Around / Feel Like You’re Mine –Vinyl Countdown VCR -003

I stumbled across this one and I’m so glad that I did. The songs are the near genius creation of one Caspar Giles McCloud and were recorded at 10 cc’s Strawberry Studios. The two sides of this single are as close to the perfect Glam/ Power Pop coupling that you will ever get to hear. Messin’ Around is as good as The Raspberries Go All The Way, but with an added sense of mystery. The vocals are somehow a dead ringer for Dan Sarka (Vandalias/ Stingray Green). You Feel Like You’re Mine could have jumped straight off The Dwight Twilley Band's Sincerely album. Both songs and performances are really special, you can check them out here: http://pop45.blogspot.com .

The single has been reissued by http://www.vinylcountdownrecords.com on vinyl… The same label has issued a fine new single by the label's own band The Foxx and they also have a Marbles (Red Lights) release on the way.

I don’t know anything about the original issue of the Caspar single, if anyone has the facts please let me know

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Next reviews

Over the next few days I will be adding reviews of Caspar, Frankie and The Phantoms etc...

Jackie De Shannon -Live at Dingwalls 25/05/06

Now I wasn't even going to go to this show, but I'm damn glad I did as this is was the best gig I've seen for years... This is the first time she'd ever played the UK and it was an occasion to remember. It's hard to believe that Jackie is well over 60 as she is still such a BABE. God, if I only looked half this good...She came on and opened with When You Walk In The Room, she was straightaway at ease and the young band got the backing right with a nice clear 12 string riffs. The set was good and she had many cool anecdotes to share between numbers. Something magical happened when she played Dylan's Don't Think Twice, It's Alright - everything just came together and she really soared and took the audience with her...Each Time was an unexpected delight and Needles and Pins reminded us why we were here in the first place. The crowd was laping it up and joined in What The World Needs Now and Put A Little Love In Your Heart and then it was over. The only omissions for me were Don't Doubt Yourself Babe and Splendor In The Grass. I stayed on another two hours as Dingwalls felt like home. A line of about 150 balding blokes holding CDs had formed into an orderly queue as Jackie was holding audience and graciously took time time to talk and give authographs to everyone. Amazing!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Records that sound like The Flamin' Groovies Part 2

Daddy Cool – Teenage Heaven -Reprise Records MS 2088 (US 1972)

Housed in a fantastic 50’s style gatefold sleeve, Teenage Heaven was Daddy Cool's 2nd album. They had started out playing Rock’n’ Roll oldies around Melbourne and this set made up their first album Daddy Who? which featured a fine hit single in Eagle Rock. By Teenage Heaven the sound was branching out; often visiting the same territory that The Groovies frequented in 70/71 with a bit of Ruben and The Jets thrown into the mix. The opener Hi Honey Ho is a cracker: A great Stones/ Groovies rocker with a passing nod to early Little Feat. Daddy Rocks Off recalls a lighter Doctor Boogie or Rip This Joint and there’s a real killer in the closer Teenage Blues. That track could have easily graced a Groovies album -no sweat...It’s a fine album to listen to in its own right and the good humoured 50’s pastiches are still enjoyable now. In any case Teenage Heaven was one of the bright sparks that lit up those dark days of Prog nothingness and for that I am still grateful to this day.

Saturday, May 20, 2006


Moonquake - Self-titled- Gamma GS 510 (Canada 1973)

Montreal trio who learned their chops backing Michel Pagliaro and made a huge impression with Remember… well on this 13 year old anyhow…

The album leads off with Remember and it’s pure class with its chorus to rival Creedence at their best, a fantastic cut and slice guitar, cowbell and Jaggeresque sneering vocals…Check the lyrics out:
2 years ago it was brand new thing to wear sparkles all over your clothes
Those 4 inch heels on your imported shoes and that silver spoon for your nose
Last Year baby, well I gave it all up and bought an expensive suit from France
Now I spend my time drinking Courvoisier, honey, you know I love to dance…

It typified Rock’n’ Roll coolness and has a dark decadent Stonesy feel that permeates throughout the album

This Winter 's intro cops the riff from Maggie May adds a bit of junkie squalor to the Stonesy chug. “I worked 7 days a week never got any sleep, stuck a needle into my arm, I always broke never had a stroke of good luck…”

For me those two songs are the stand out tracks, but there are two more rockers (Seasons and Tomorrow), a pseudo 60’s sitar led track Don’t You Try To Be My Baby and a 6 part opus Crazy Situations that has its moments. They released a 2nd album Starstruck a couple of years later, but they went for a more “commercial” approach and the album is horribly over-produced (think Blue Ash 's 2nd album)
Anyhow at their best these guys rocked with attitude and didn’t sprout any facial hair. I followed through my admiration for this band by actually covering Remember as a Barracudas B side in the early 90’s, but I was quite miffed that when we played Montreal no one knew the song or had even heard of Moonquake…Bloody typical…

click below for a soundclip of Remember

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Flamin' Groovies -At Full Speed: Complete Sire Recordings 1976-79 (2CDs)

Now this is getting confusing!!!! This is NOT the 3CD box on DBK titled "Bust Out At Full Speed". I think it's a UK release, but don't know the label yet. Anyhow it has all the tracks missing from the DBK release.

Track listing:

Disc 1
1. Shake Some Action (Jordan / Wilson)
2. Sometimes (Thomasson)
3. Yes It's True (Jordan / Wilson)
4. St. Louis Blues (Handy)
5. You Tore Me Down (Jordan / Wilson)
6. Please Please Girl (Jordan / Wilson)
7. Let The Boy Rock And Roll (Sebastian / Butler)
8. I'll Cry Alone (Jordan / Wilson)
9. Misery (Lennon / McCartney)
10. Don't You Lie To Me (Hudson / Whittaker / Berry)
11. She Said Yeah (Christy / Jackson)
12. I Saw Her (Jordan / Wilhelm / Hunter)
13. Teenage Confidential (Jordan / Wilson)
14. I Can't Hide (Jordan / Wilson)
15. I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better (Clark)
16. Between The Lines (Jordan / Wilson)
17. Move It (Spence)
18. Take Me Back (Jordan/ Wilson)
19. Ups And Downs (Lindsay / Melcher)
20. When I Heard Your Name
21. Reminiscing (Curtis)
22. There's A Place (Lennon / McCartney)
23. Yeah My Baby (Jordan / Wilson / Edmunds)
24. Good Laugh Mun (Jordan / Wilson / Edmunds)
Disc 2
1. All I Wanted (Jordan / Wilson)
2. Don't Put Me On (Jordan / Wilson)
3. House Of Blue Lights (Raye / Slack)
4. Blue Turns To Grey (Jagger / Richards)
5. Paint It Black (Jagger / Richards)
6. Next One Crying (Jordan / Wilson)
7. Jumpin' In The Night (Jordan / Wilson)
8. Yes I Am (Jordan / Wilson)
9. Werewolves Of London (Zevon)
10. It Won't Be Wrong (McGuinn / Gerst)
11. Please Please Me (Lennon / McCartney)
12. Down Down Down (Burton)
13. Absolutely Sweet Marie (Dylan)
14. You're My Wonderful One (Holland / Dozier / Holland)
15. 19th Nervous Breakdown (Jagger / Richards)
16. Boys (Dixon / Farrell)
17. 5D (McGuinn)
18. First Plane Home (Jordan / Wilson)
19. Lady Friend (Crosby)
20. In The U.S.A. (Jordan / Wilson)
21. Tell Me Again (Jordan / Wilson)
22. Shake Some Action (Jordan / Wilson) (Demo Version)

Release 19-6-06

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

New Release: The Oranges -Teen Rock

The Oranges-Teen Rock-Rabbit Records RAC-008 (2006 Japan)

I saw these guys play in LA 6 years ago and they are still at it! It was an unbelievably silly yet moving experience. In matching Bay City Roller type gear, they proceeded to ball over the crowd with their sunny Glam Pop sung in Japanese. So here we have 20 rockin’ songs with English titles all sung in their language…and? Well the appeal is pretty much universal and the experience goes beyond a one idea joke thanks to their overwhelming exuberance and their obvious love for 70’s trash pop. Only thing is that with 20 songs it does go on a bit, but in snippets there is much fun to be had. Take the song titles for a start: “Teen Rock Is Alright”, “Teenage Pop” ( first line: Bay City Rollers, Dead End Kids, Buster, Rosetta Stone, Carol…), “Teen Rock Sensation”, “Let It Rock’n’Roll”, “Teen Rock Kicks”. ..These guys are certainly dedicated and definitely bonkers…
(available through www.notlame.com -check out the samples)

Next posts...

New reviews will be posted over the weekend, Moonquake, Daddy Cool etc...
All the best

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Marc Thor Band –Trak/ Love Sucks

Marc Thor Band –Trak/ Love Sucks - Indy Records NR 10894 (US 1979)

I first came across Marc Thor on the Live At The Rat (Rat Records 528 US 1976) double album It’s a great live record featuring tracks by The Real Kids, DMZ, Willie “Loco” Alexander and other local Boston bands. On Side 3 Marc Thor (backed by DMZ) does a fine number called Circling LA, all about Jonathan Richman’s first trip out to the West Coast to sign a record deal. It’s a great song and performance built around an A-D-E chord progression. Trak is similar insofar that the song construction is dead simple, but the lyrics don’t immediately make much sense (blame William Burroughs…). Marc plays an overdriven electric piano over the rough and ready guitar based Boston sound and it fits somewhere between The Velvet Underground’s Foggy Notion, She Cracked (Modern Lovers) and Willie Alexander’s Kerouac. Love Sucks is a short sharp rocker, but lacks magic of the A side.

Bad joke time:

Marc walks into a room…Hi! I’m Thor!

Reply: I’m so thor I can’t even piss…

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Grudge –When Christine Comes Around/ I’m Gonna Smash Your Face In

Grudge –When Christine Comes Around/ I’m Gonna Smash Your Face In –Black Label BL 002 (1973 UK)

Please click onthe link above for When Christine Comes Around

Hard to know where to start with this one, but a special commendation is due to the B side. Sounding like a 1910 Fruitgum Company or Ohio Express backing track with a camp lead vocal, a very catchy sing-along chorus, assorted screams and an Elvis impersonation coming on more like Mae West in the middle eight - this is one incredible release! I’ve had this single for over 25 years and on the rare occasions I take it out to play it never fails to get a reaction….

I’m Going To Smash Your Face in (Marshall –Jumbo Music p 1973)

I’m gonna smash your face in
I’m gonna smash your face in baby
I’m gonna smash your face in, oh yeah, my paper doll

When I see you look at me, I know that I can tell
You think that I’m a fool and treat you much too well
Things are going to change round here you’ve met your Waterloo
I’ll throw you in a great big trunk, this is what I will do.

I’m gonna smash your face in
I’m gonna smash your face in baby
I’m gonna smash your face in, oh yeah, my paper doll
I’m gonna kick your teeth in
I’m gonna kick your teeth in baby
I’m gonna kick your teeth in, oh yeah my paper doll

You’ll scream and shout, but I won't heed your call
I’ll keep you locked up all your life behind this dudgeon wall
I’ll tie you to a great big chair, you’ll live your life in fear
It’s time for you to pay the price for saying I’m a queer

I’m gonna smash your face in
I’m gonna smash your face in baby
I’m gonna smash your face in, oh yeah, my paper doll

(Elvis impersonation break)…I’m gonna smash your face in, I’m gonna smash your face in, I’m gonna smash your face in, ‘cos I feel so lonesome tonight.

It’s just no good it’s plain to see, it’s time to end your fun
You’ll end up begging me for more, bread and water too
The scar is deep inside my heart, it’s written on your face
Your evil ways will soon be gone, ‘cos acid leaves no trace

I’m gonna smash your face in
I’m gonna smash your face in baby
I’m gonna smash your face in, oh yeah, my paper doll
I’m gonna kick your teeth in
I’m gonna kick your teeth in baby
I’m gonna kick your teeth in, oh yeah my paper doll

When Christine Comes Around follows the same theme….It’s got a cheesy teeny-bopper Status Quo feel, A mad Wipe Out type intro…and the lyrics? …well you guessed it!

Christine, Christine, Christine
When Christine comes around I’m gonna smash her face in, I’m going to have her high up on the ceiling where no one can hear her urgent screaming
etc…ad nauseum!

This single had been a real mystery, but Steve from Low Down Kids
http://lowdownkids.blogspot.com has filled in some background information: It seems that “Grudge”/ Laurie Marshall is none other but Paul St John who released The Flying Saucers Have Landed - Pye 7N 45190 1972 (also available on the Glitter From The Litter CD) he was also involved with The Weeny Boppers singleDavid, Donny & Michael…Any more info is most welcome and if anyone wants to upload this somewhere, I’ll send a CDR .

Inept? –Yes, intriguing? –Yes, Wonderful?…Perhaps, of questionable taste? –MOST CERTAINLY!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

New Release: Stingray Green

Stingray Green –Hard Numbers - HCI 6453 (2006 US)

Somehow straddling the AM dial between The Raspberries, Boston, Sunshine Pop and The Small Faces; Stingray Green marks the return of Dan Sarka, Kent Militzer and Dan Boardman who fronted the 90’s Power Pop cartoon band The Vandalias (2 very cool albums on Big Deal). This is one of those rare albums that you could leave on automatic replay as the soundtrack to your day. I haven’t tired of it yet and I keep playing it over and over, which is a rare feat for a new release in this day and age. It also helps that the album has 10 songs and lasts just over half an hour... Dan’s voice is still as distinctive as it ever was…think of an inbred Eric Carmen on a collision course with a mutant Carl Wilson with a little Justin from The Darkness thrown in for good measure. The songs are all great - from the straight rocking Go Home, the pathos of Good Intentions, the 70’s riff rock of Bad Batch –just dig those gorilla grunts punctuating the chorus. All Over You would be a perfect single and brings together everything that is great about this band: An infectious melody, fantastic wild guitar twiddling and glorious harmonies.


Purchased through http://www.notlame.com/ April ‘06

Flamin' Groovies The Complete Sire Recordings

It looks like it's on its way soon...Flamin' Groovies - Complete Sire Recordings 1976-79 (2CD). Due for release on 22/05/2006
No more information yet, but it's bound to include all the tracks missing from the DBK issues and a real bargain at £12.99!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Link to great site with MP3 of Butch Things

Above is the link to a great Blog...enjoy Billy's "dulcet" tones!

I will hopefully soon work out how to add links. properly...

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Trevor White – Crazy Kids

Trevor White - Crazy Kids/ Moving In The Right Direction - Island Records WIP 6291 (UK 1976)

Dodgy ageing rocker in flared jump suit and boxing boots creates instant Teen Rock classic SHOCK!!

Crazy Kids is definitely up there in the pantheon of non-hit wonders. Originally a Jook B side (Trevor’s previous Bovver Boy stomping combo), this later solo version is THE BOMB. From the opening lead guitar salvo to the slamming bedroom door, emphasizing surly TEEN behaviour, you know this song is something special, but when the chorus hits you will be in ASBO* PUREPOP heaven ….
Crazy Kids –TEENAGE
Crazy Kids –Won’t They ever leave us alone
They can have their say, but just don’t get in our way anymore

Talk about teenage repression…this songs rocks, pops and hits all the right spots

Trevor had been kidnapped by Sparks at this time, but I guess part of the deal was being allowed one last shot at stardom and adulation, but this only ended up in glorious failure.

You can find the A side on the Glitterbest compilation ( RPM 265). I also strongly recommend RPM’s Jook -Different Class (RPM 295). This release compiles their 5 RCA singles, the Chiswick EP and a slew of unreleased tunes. A must!

* ASBO = Anti -Social Behaviour Order (for non UK residents)

Monday, May 01, 2006

New Release: Willie Nile

Willie Nile –Streets of New York –Evangeline GEL 4096 (2006)
Yes, Willie Nile is still very much amongst us and his new album is a godsend for those bitten by the Vagabond Moon bug all those years ago. His unique quavering warble is still intact and most of the songs hit the spot. Whereas Elliot Murphy lost the plot following Aquashow, Willie has stayed true to his early promise and doesn’t disappoint. This is Willie’s first album since Beautiful Wreck of The World (1999) and once again Willie demonstrates an uncanny knack of turning out instantly memorable hooks over and over again. Apart from the 13 originals there is also a fun energetic rendition of Police On My Back to be enjoyed... http://www.willienile.com/