Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Wellington – Catch Us If You Can

Wellington –Catch Us If You Can/Superstar –Concord Con 031 (1974? UK)

Catch Us If You Can is an enjoyable lively and frenetic pop rocker with a pounding piano and thumping drums. The chorus is also hyper catchy:
Here comes the man in the black sedan,
Catch us if you can man, catch us if you can
Here comes the guy with the supersonic high,
Catch us if you can man, catch us if you can
It might aspire to be an outright Glam rocker, but the piano and earthy feel bring it closer to Staveley Makepeace/ Lieutenant Pigeon territory.
Although they really get going during the guitar solo, it still lacks that extra edge to turn it into a complete classic. The mid tempo B side is one of those “to make it in the music business” songs and is nicely produced.

Once again , any info is most welcome...

Click below for soundclip

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Lemming –Father John

Lemming –Father John/Crazy Again –Polydor 205039 (1974 German Issue)

Father John is the only Glam tune I know that’s dedicated to a Monk, but please correct me if I’m wrong! Opening with monk chants, the track chugs along in fine fashion as we learn that the subject’s relationship has hit rock bottom
I have been possessed,
She makes me depressed
Father John is the only man that can deliver me from you…

Where others may go for the bottle or slide into heroin addiction, you must admire our young hero’s resourcefulness to get out of his predicament.

The chorus is gloriously simple:
Father John, the monk from St. Paul’s monastery
Deliver me from you

I can't help thinking of The Tages (Great Swedish band who created some marvellous pop/psych ditties) or even an extremely silly Easybeats. A lead break sprouts out of nowhere in pure Freakbeat fashion and the monk chants also make a return.

A weird, wonderful and quirky single.

Click below for soundclip

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Blood Chains - Suzie

Blood Chains – Suzie/Tired Guy Of The Road –Telefunken 6.11740 (1975 German issue)

With a name like Blood Chains you could expect visions of dripping ripped flesh being torn apart by Cenobite hooks…but then again I sometimes have “high” expectations! But no, you will have to make do with a trio of dorky teens frolicking on swings. It’s a pretty good record, Suzie is medium-paced stomper with a good T. Rex-style lead doubled by sax. There’s an underlying Rubber Bullets rhythmic synth, but the production is a bit weak and the track never really takes off. The B side is more like a rockier Flintlock track (or a wimpier Jook). Once again the potential is not fully realised and the group certainly don’t live up to the promise that their name may suggest. This is a German issue, but the group and production team seem to be English.

Click below for soundclip

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

My version is better than yours part 2: Top Down Time – The Rockaways vs The Dantes

The Rockaways –Top Down Time / Don’t Cry (Tomorrow’s tears tonight) –Red Bird RB 10-005 (US 1964)

The Dantes –Top Down Time/How Many Times –Rotate Records 45-5008 (US 1964)

With summer definitely faded, what a perfect time to celebrate this classic summer anthem. First and foremost Top Down Time is a great great song effortlessly evoking the idyllic teenage summer...really making the scene, listening to my favourites like Jan & Dean now with teenage cuties in tow.
The Rockaways did the original and It’s a Bright Tunes (Tokens) creation produced by Artie Butler. It has a full East Coast snappy yet crackly production . The Dantes did the appropriate West Coast cover version which attained local hit status and it comes out somehow simpler and purer. It also adds brownie points by highlighting a wailing falsetto during the chorus. Produced by Joe Rock (who he?), it’s my favourite, but this is also probably due to having been exposed to it for longer (you can find it on Pebbles Vol 3). Anyhow both versions are great and the song has an emotional content that still resonates strongly with me. I hope that summer never ends

In our next instalment of My version is better than yours: Clap Your Hands and Stamp Your Feet: Bonnie St. Claire vs
Funky Family

Great site for French single picture sleeves

It's divided into two sections: 1960 -1975 and 1976 +. As an example you can see both sides of Hector's Bye Bye Bad Days/ Wired Up cover http://www.45vinylvidivici.net/SEVENTIESARTISTES45%20(AM)/HECTOR.htm Just pass your mouse over the picture...

Hector - Wired Up -Press release

Giant catapults firing smarties at the audience...

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Vulcan – Much Too Young

Vulcan – Much Too Young/ Action Man –EPIC S EPC 1763 ( 1973 UK)

This is a single of many moments, but that don’t really add up to a total classic. It’s an up tempo number with an OK verse which then builds through an Easybeats/ Small Faces progression until it climaxes with a shouted chorus where the object of the singer’s desires is seemingly Funky as can be. In fact there is heavy use of the word funky throughout the song, so please be warned….This is probably explained by the words A German Production printed on the label, but the single has also some loud guitar stabs, and a cavernous EMT plate reverb on the drums. There’s a great moment ¾ of the way through where an Ohio Express type chugging rhythm guitar leads into some great Who/ Creation power chords. The B side is not all action as the title may lead you to believe. it’s a more lazy flute cool and funky (here we go again…) number. It looks like it’s co- written by a younger, but probably already moustachioed Giorgio Moroder.

Click on title for soundclip

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Brother Susan: Ride Ride Ride and See My Fingers Fly

Brother Susan –Ride Ride Ride/ Flash –EMI 2174 (1974 UK)

Brother Susan – See My Fingers Fly/ Full Blooded Natural Man –EMI 2177 (1974 UK)

Perhaps EMI put out these two singles hoping for another Geordie…talk about setting your sights low!… Anyhow the sound is sometimes similar especially on Ride Ride Ride (Geordie meets Chicory Tip??) and Flash with the sandpaper vocals, handclaps etc… It’s good crunching Glam, but in my opinion not quite in the same league as Hector or Mustard. Their second single See My Fingers Fly is more fun as they upped the gimmicky production side of things to good effect: the saxes and the 50’s semi Do Wop break with the deep voice over are especially fun…and not forgetting the not a bug or a slug part that partially redeems Full Blooded Natural Man...

Click below for an edit of Ride Ride Ride and See My Fingers Fly

Friday, September 08, 2006

New Release: The Blank Stares

The Blank Stares –All Blown Up – Full Tilt Records – FTCD- 002 (2006 US)

All Blown Up is a great fresh new release in a fine Power Pop/ Glam Rock mode. If you miss Redd Kross, well look no further as The Blank Stares remind you of the best tracks from Third Eye or Switchblade Sister –what??? You don’t have those –go out and buy them pronto! The album lifts off with a nice Bolanesque vocal and then throws itself at full tilt for the duration. It’s always loud and melodic, but doesn’t veer too far into Teen Machine territory. Nice one centurions, Turn Up The Sound and enjoy…

Purchase through the wonderful
www.notlame.com where you will find more song snippets.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Go Go Thunder –The Race

Go Go Thunder –The Race/ Mrs. Mann –RCA 2494 (1975 UK)

Stretching it a bit to remain with the previous Hot Rod theme, Go Go Thunder’s (great name) single is a real oddity. Based on a thumping drum pattern, semi-hard rock guitar licks, roaring motor sounds and lyrics alluding to the Indianapolis sun and exploding cars It has an exuberant over –production and it’s a mighty fun experience. The B side is very much like an up tempo Wizzard number…Mrs. Mann???? Again who is behind this single? (Arnold, Martin, Morrow?)

Click on title for soundclip

When the Surf sound turned Glam…Firebird , Fith Form and Fynnius Fogg

Firebird –Two Wheels/ Side Tracking - Bell 1370 (1974 UK)
Fynnius Fogg –Roller Skatin’ Baby/ Nowhere Road –Dawn 1105 (1975 UK)
Fith Form –I Get A Buzz/ When You’re Hot You’re Hot –Dawn 1097 (1974 UK)

Yes, Five years before I Want My Woody or Summer Fun, the UK was already at the forefront of updating the 60’s Surf/ Hot Rod Sound. John Carter’s First Class had a hit with the great Beach Baby which in turn opened the door for more opportunists including
Firebird – who got it right first time with their chugging driving beat, and soaring harmonies. It’s a straight case of Gary Usher meets Eddie Seago. This is truly the sound of The Superstocks in velvet loons.
The Fynnius Fogg single is no more than cute. Although fast-paced, the performance remains pretty wimpy and the tune grates after a while, but The Fith Form’s I Got A Buzz is a fine example of Bubblegum/Surf/Glam and is supremely catchy and a good find.

There’s bound to be more stuff like this around from that time. For one there’s Truth and Beauty’s –Tuff Little Surfer Boy on RAK (with a cameo by Lttle Nel) which is cool. I only have it on that Mutant Surf Punk compilation on Anagram, the single itself still eludes me...Anyone up to swap it for a signed copy of Woody Back (the reissue of course…)