Monday, October 30, 2006

Sonny And The Sovereigns –School Is Out

Sonny And The Sovereigns –School Is Out/Walm Jetz –Rare Earth C006-95809 (1974 German issue)

A minor entry which updates 1964 with the Glitter sound. It has a monster drum heavy production, but the corny melody (that owes a heavy debt to Lipstick On My Collar) definitely grates. The B side is more enjoyable as it’s an instrumental version. I especially like the mumbled humming that replicates the Glitter Band baritone sax sound. The label mentions that this is a “ British recording for Tamla Motown” and it’s co-produced by P. Anders. I was wondering if this could be Peter Anders who with Vinnie Poncia was behind The Tradewinds and tons of 60’s New York produced stuff. It would make sense sonically, but not sure on that one.

PS: On closer inspection of the cover photo; it looks likes the guy has sideburns and they seem to be turning grey…a bit unsettling that!

Click below for soundclip

Friday, October 27, 2006

Galahad –Rocket Summer

Galahad –Rocket Summer/Elephant Stomp –Bell 2008 150 (1973 German issue)

This should be filed under tripped out Glam! Galahad is a studio creation from Gerry Morris and producer Tony Atkins. This duo were involved with countless obscurities including Boulevard, Cymbaline, Blunderbuss, Geoff Whitehorn and were behind the great Gerry Morris Psych/pop single Only The beginning with its ace B side Sunflower. Anyhow Rocket Summer is a slow-paced fuzzed groover with psychedelic inclinations, note the HEYs with the backward reverb effect and they most definitely go into uncharted territory with the Spinal Tap –like voice-overs. The B side is a psychedelisized Glam instrumental swamped in cavernous reverb. Keep on stomping with the mushrooms lads…

Clich below for soundclip

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Hamlett –Vampire Man

Hamlett –Where’d The Day Go?/ Vampire Man –Pye 45PY.4180 (1972 French issue)

An interesting obscurity from 1972. Where’d The Day Go? is a pleasant female-fronted breezy pop number, but it’s The B side that really interests us here. Whereas the A side is light and fluffy, Vampire Man is dark and nasty. It has a boogie /straight rock feel to it, but the vocals and general atmosphere take it somewhere else entirely. It has nifty slide guitar licks and a chorus that breaks up the brooding threat of the verses. I’m not sure if this even got a UK release or if the band ever did anything else. Vampire Man was written by Cozzi and Bell and produced by Nat Kipner if that’s any clue…

Click below for soundclip

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Dazzlers –Lovely Crash

The Dazzlers –Lovely Crash/Feeling In Your Heart –Charisma CB330 (1979 UK)

With an intro recalling Pezband’s Love Goes Underground, Lovely Crash is a rare occasion where the UK was on a par with the US in terms of delivering a true Power Pop gem. The song construction is not totally perfect as you have to wait a long time before they unleash the song’s glorious chorus, but Lovely Crash is The Dazzlers’ defining moment of pure pop bliss.
Their album is OK and worth seeking out, but this song works best in this format…singles rule!

Click below for soundclip

Monday, October 23, 2006

Ning –Machine

Ning –Machine/More Ning –Decca DL 25452 (1971 German issue)

This is completely nuts! Not sure where to file this as its Part Glam/ Bubblegum/ Heavy Rock and Prog with a bit of Suicide thrown in for good measure. With it’s pumping heartbeat rhythm, riff borrowed from The Music Explosion’s Little Bit Of Soul and a singer who sounds like a constipated Lemmy, this is one weird artifact. Machine was written by “Berry” and as it’s published by Sparta Florida, it’s most likely to be Mike Berry who was also behind the Ordinary Boy/Ride A Black Sheep single by Small Wonder (see review June 25th)

Click below for soundclip

Sunday, October 22, 2006

More soundclips added...

A few more soundclips have been added:

Vulcan -Much Too Young (Sept. 16th)
Brother Susan -Ride Ride Ride + See My Fingers Fly (Sept. 12th)
Sweeney Todd -Roxy Roller (Aug. 30th)
Frankie And The Phantoms/ Smiffy -Rock 'n Roll Band +See You Later (May 30th)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

My version is better than yours Part 3 –Clap Your Hands And Stamp Your Feet –Bonnie St. Claire vs Funky Family vs Wild Angels

The sound clip above is an edit of the 3 versions: 1) Bonnie St. Claire 2) Funky Family 3) Wild Angels.

Bonnie St. Claire –Clap Your Hands And Stamp Your Feet/Catch Me Driver –Philips 6012283 (1973 NL)

Bonnie St. Claire And Unit Gloria
did the original version of this great song written by producer Peter Koelewijn. It’s a classic girl song that only a bloke could write! The production is superb and Bonnie’s performance really delivers. What a babe…

Funky Family - Clap Your Hands And Stamp Your Feet/ Allright –Vogue B 4264 (1973 French Issue)

…and speaking of babes, it’s hard to beat a blonde in hot pants clutching a sub-machine gun! Funky Family were probably a German band and they did a pretty good cover from a male point of view, which kind of misses the point. Your version may be better, but our picture sleeve wins out...Nicht wahr?

Wild Angels - Clap Your Hands And Stamp Your Feet/Wild Angels Rock And Roll –Decca F13456 (1973 UK)

The Wild Angels
started out in the late 60’s as a purist Rockabilly band, but by the time they signed to Decca they opened up to more general rockin’ material. Their Out At Last LP from ’72 is great with mean covers of Brand New Cadillac and I Fought The Law sitting nicely next to some choice originals. I’m sure there was some gritting of teeth as they sold out by going all out for a hit. However they really deliver a high octane rockin’ performance of this song admirably produced by a young Martin Rushent.

Enjoy and let’s be having your votes!

New soundclips: JC Livingstone and Plastic Feet

I've just added 2 more soundclips:
Plastic Feet -Big Blond Baby (Aug. 18th)
and be sure to check out J.C. Livingstone -Momma Was A Steamroller Lady (June 30th)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Shelby –Motorbike Girl

Shelby –Motorbike Girl/ Cirrus – Vogue 12121 (1975 French issue)

Sometimes it’s safer to stick with an UK issue in a plain sleeve! However if you able to look beyond those 70’s ‘taches, there’s a fine tune lying within. Shelby are better known for their Duane Eddy tribute (Dance With The) Guitar Man that appeared on the Boobs: The Junkshop Glam Discotheque CD last year, but this is, in most ways, a more enjoyable release. It starts off nice and crunchy with handclaps and twangy guitar and crosses into Surf/ Glam territory for the catchy chorus. The high pitched vocals that somewhat spoiled Guitar Man are mostly under control here and although we could have done with a bit more in the motorbike sound effect department, this ends up being a good find.

Click below for soundclip

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Grudge -I'm Gonna Smash Your Face In and new soundclips

Finally you can all get to hear Grudge's I'm Gonna Smash Your Face in, just click on the link below. then go back to the original Grudge Post (May 9th) for the full review and to hear the A side -When Christine Comes round.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Just Plain Jones –Crazy Crazy

Just Plain Jones –Crazy Crazy/Should Have Stayed With Mary –CBS 7480 (1971 UK)

Now this is a real corker. Crazy Crazy is a raucous Garage Punk Stomper sounding like it came out of the Mid West in ’66 (and not the UK in 1971). The hand claps and stomping feet also somehow create a link between Frat Rock and Glam. What is it with singles that don’t fit in their relevant time periods at the moment? –first Barry Rolfe and now this! Another surprise is that the group featured DJ and all round personality Mike Read…Enjoy the snippet!

Click below title for sound clip

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Barry Rolfe -Look The Business

Barry Rolfe –Look The Business/Molly Molly –Philips 6006331 (1973 UK)

Look The business is an aggressive rocker oozing Punk attitude. It’s really surprising that this came out in 1973, upon hearing you would swear it came out 4 years later. The mix is rough and ready and it comes across as a one take wonder (note the missed snare hit at the start of the 1st verse). The shouted vocals are on the verge of breaking up and the blistering guitar break is pure Detroit. It’s Pretty amazing stuff. The B side is a good rocking track as well but a bit more subdued. Barry Rolfe released Going Up on Philips the following year, but it doesn’t strip the gloss like this one. Who the hell is this guy? It looks like there’s also another single called Beam Me Aboard Mr. Spock, but I dread to think that he was a Trekkie, albeit a Punked out one…

Click below for sound clip

More info on Barry Rolfe: Barry Rolfe was also known as Nicky Rolfe - did a couple of singles in'75'/76 for Bell. He was hooked up with Peter Solley (who played keyboards on loads of things all through the seventies, including Yellow Dog) and himself wrote Dracula's Daughter forThunderthighs. It looks like Look The Business was reissued in '76...

Sunday, October 08, 2006

A little shopping trip Part 2

Not one to be to be put off by a blown head gasket, I finally ventured out of the house and went on public transport all the way to Croydon to spend a couple of hours at Beanos. Now Beanos are closing down soon and all their singles are HALF Price!
The singles I picked up today included: AxePeople Come People Go (OK rocker, not as glammed out as their version of Monie Monie), The Electric BananaGroovy Baby Bubblegum Music (er...groovy bubblegum!), The BubblegumLittle Red Bucket (Vanda &Young!), BusterPasadena (Vanda &Young too!), Kristine SparkleHokey Cokey (Much better B side –Baby I Love You), Third World WarAscension Day (Brutal Prol. Rock in Pic. Sleeve), Brotherly LovePublic Enemy No.1 (Probably the same version as by Son Of A Gun), FumbleMillion Seller (Great Buddy Holly inspired pop gem. I forgot about this single -We used to open the set with the B side Get Up in my first band back in 75/76. Get Up was also part of the inspiration for The 'Cudas -1965 Again), FumbleRock’n’ Roll School, BitchWildcat (not as good a song as Good Time Coming) and WellingtonAlright I’ll See You Tonight ( great with a really good Get It On cop) and a few misses not to be mentioned…Anyhow the average cost was under £3, so I recommend getting down to Beanos before Xmas. Expect reviews of some of these over the next few months...

Crunch –Let’s Do It Again

Crunch –Let’s Do It Again/Not Tonight Josephine –Youngblood International DL 25 636 (1974 German Issue)

Produced by Eddie Seago, Let’s Do It Again is a real hoot! You can just imagine a dance floor full of line-dancing Bovver boots stomping it out to this one. If only all Disco music was like this…enjoy!
Currently available on the Velvet Tinmine comp - RPM 251

A few more clips have been added: Trevor White (May 3rd), Stanley Frank (April 29th) and April (Aug 31st)

Friday, October 06, 2006

Bitch – Good Time Coming

Bitch – Good Time Coming/ At The Party –WB K16235 (1972 UK)

You can consider this an unofficial episode of My version is better than yours –Just go back to August the 14th to find out for yourself which version cuts the Mustard for you…

Anyhow Bitch released the original version of this great song and it’s a steaming gung ho straight-ahead Rocker, whereas Mustard slowed it down and added an insane stomping Glam dimension to it. Bitch sound like they were inspired by Creedence Clearwater Revival (especially Pagan Baby) for Good Time Coming and the singer is a great shouter in the tradition of John Fogerty. Both sides have a surprisingly snarly feel as well which gives these songs a real edge.The B side is a fine Stonesian Boogie and the band really get down and dirty. It also features a great vocal, fuzzy electric piano and a terrific lead break. Bitch were originally from Auckland, and changed their name from The Cleves upon relocating to the UK. They released at least one more single under the Bitch moniker (Wildcat) and recorded an album –but I’m uncertain if it ever got a full release.

Oh and while you’re at it - go check out the fantastic Natural Man by the Marcus Hook Roll Band posted June 8 (the second post titled: Marcus Hook Roll Band and William Shakespeare pics) Just click on the heading just above the picture of the single –Enjoy!

Sound clips

We are having a few gremlins to iron out on the editing side (thanks Lou!) but in the meantime if you go back to August the 14th -I can assure you that you will have a Good Time Coming...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Sound clip news

Over the next few days I will be adding sound clips to some of the previous reviews, but it will take time and there's a lot to cover! New reviews will also have sound clips, which may mean that I will slow down the rate of new reviews while this is being sorted out...but it will be worth it!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A call for help!

There is one major ingredient missing that would make this blog so much more...SOUNDCLIPS!
Now my CDR machine has recently died and I haven't looked into software and hardware to convert vinyl into soundclips onto my PC (which is getting really past it -always running out of virtual memory). I also don't have anywhere to upload the clips to.

Idea number 1: Is anyone interested in receiving a cassette of songs that have been or are about to be reviewed and convert and upload them somewhere?

Idea number 2: I find a way to make the clips and I would just need somewhere to upload them.

I think I prefer not uploading complete songs but having 1 minute samples as tasters...The real magic is finding vinyl copies of this stuff. I am open to discussion on this matter though.

Please email me with ideas or offers to help

Thanks and all the best

Monday, October 02, 2006

Anton –Shot Down In Action

Anton –Shot Down In Action/ Mine All Mine – Spark SRL 1120 (1975 UK)

Shot Down In Action starts in pure buzz saw apocalypse mode with loud fuzz guitar, and pounding drums (much like Indian Dancer). It is an exhilarating intro, that's pure Troggs, but the initial excitement fades as the song pans out. Oh, it’s a pretty good song and performance , but you can’t help feel disappointed as the first few seconds promise so much more. It ends up being a piano based stomper with an intricate arrangement and a funky middle section, and you're left waiting for the guitar to be turned back up and for the pounding toms to return- but they won’t…. The B side is a weak ballad, so time to go back to that intro again!

Click below for soundclip

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Abacus –Indian Dancer

Abacus –Indian Dancer/Be That Way - York Records YR 207 (1974 UK)

Opening with sustained lead guitar, Indian Dancer powers along with crunchy guitar, fuzzed out booming bass and pounding drums with ancillary handclaps and tambourine. The track deserves to be played LOUD for full effect, just let those damn toms toms thud their way into your brain. The song is dead simple and the chorus is nothing short of incessant! Is there anything else on York Records that worth looking out for? I have a single by Winston I Won’t Let Anna Go/ Brother Jim (YR 212) that starts out pretty good until it gets ruined by a naff chorus.
There was another band called Abacus from around the same time and I’m pretty sure that they’re not one and the same. The other Abacus seemed to have been German and released an album and at least a couple of singles.

Click title for sound clip