Tuesday, August 14, 2007

U.K. Jones –Let Me Tell Ya / And The Rains Came Down (The Mike Berry Story Part 1)


I had the pleasure of meeting up with Mike Berry recently. I had to hook up with him as I kept noticing his name on so many great “lost” singles (Ning, The One Hit Wonders, Small Wonder , UK Jones, Boneshaker, Biggles etc…). Mike Berry is not the same Berry as the “Are you being served”/ Tribute to Buddy Holly guy, nor is there any relation to Dave Berry or Chuck for that matter…Mike was a radio DJ, publisher (Sparta Florida and Apple- he signed Badfinger to Apple publishing), songwriter, producer , singer and overall music biz mover and shaker. For a Beatles overview of his career check out: http://triumphpc.com/mersey-beat/beatles/wordsofwisdom.shtml
Mike is currently working as Executive Producer on a series of programmes on UK labels for Capital Radio. Over the next installments, I’ll be uncovering some of these lesser known gems, starting with:


U.K. Jones –Let Me Tell Ya / And The Rains Came Down – Deram DM 231 (1969 UK)

Let Me Tell Ya has been referred to elsewhere as being the first ever Glam number and although it features handclaps and HEYs, this single is so much more than that. It’s a riotous performance with the same exuberance as found on Mike’s One Hit Wonders CBS single (Hey Hey Jump Now/ Goodbye). The tune is simply the mother of all hooks, the gang-show vocals give it a Frat Rock/Party feel and the driving beat hurtles along relentlessly. The key change at the end is a great touch –perfect and all so simple.
And The Rains Came Down is also really special and is like nothing else I've ever heard . It has this HUGE Gold Star drum sound, a wonderful upbeat bubblegum chorus and very LOUD thunder and rain effects.

Mike Berry: A lot of these singles were recorded quickly at the end of sessions. It was my release at the end of the sessions, to get the session men or band members and say “let’s do this, let’s do that” in the hope that something might happen. When I did the U.K. Jones single, it was while I was doing sound-alike records for a label called Reditunes. It was recorded at R.G. Jones in Morden. We were experimenting, trying to get the sounds that the Americans were getting. The influence of R.G. Jones was unbelievable as he taught me a lot in how to get those sounds. The name U.K. Jones came about because we recorded at R.G. Jones and I’m from the UK –it’s as simple as that!


Hear an edit of Let Me Tell Ya & And The Rains Came Down

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

wow. perfect bubblegum pop, with some definate glam rock foreshadowing. wow.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely blistering - cant wait for the next installments!

Anonymous said...

Excellent, both sides.

powerpop said...

not bad this. By the way Robin, I really loved the Barracudas, I still got all my vinyl.. great band.

Collin said...

When did the Paper Dolls' Chinni-Chap produced version of 'My Boyfriend's Back' come out? Cos that's definitely anticipating the glam sound with huge drums and claps, etc. Same for Tangerine Peel - again, more Chinni-Chap connection.

Robin Wills said...

Hi Collin
My Boyfriend's Back/Mister Good Time Friday (RCA RCA 1919) 1970
I still haven't hear it though...

Anonymous said...

Very nice song!

I am looking for this vinyl record.

Does anybody have this record for me to buy?

My email adress is firmadekeet@hotmail.com

Dear regards melvin

Anonymous said...

I HAD A COPY OF THIS RECORD MANY YEARS AGO AN LOST IT AT A PARTY WHAT A FANTASTIC SOUND DOES ANYONE KNOW WHERE I CAN BUY IT ON VINYL OR CD REGARDS PETERPIPER48

Stormin Norm said...

I'm Norm Bellis - thehorseband.co.uk
I'm amazed at the interest in UK Jones' Let Me Tell Ya after all these years.
In 1968 Mike Berry was head of Apple Publishing and as history shows Mike signed Badfinger to the label. I was in a Liverpool band Them Calderstones with Tom Evans who joined The Iveys in 67. Iveys became Badfinger. I joined Liverpool band The Seftons and we were signed by Mike in 1968. Mike changed our name to The Perishers and our first single was produced by the legendary Dick Leahy. We actually played at his wedding at The North Finchley Synagogue. As Mike says, we demo'd stuff at R G Jones studio in Morden with Mr Jones himself and at the end of sessions, ideas flowed. One such idea was 'Let Me Tell Ya'. So just to put the story straight, The Perishers wrote and performed the music, sang the backing vocals and Mike Berry sang the song wot he wrote! Another great track was 'This Ain't The Road' recorded at radio Luxembourg studios in Hertford Street W1. Mike sang it and my band The Back Street Band recorded it. It was a radio smash. Mike was a great manager, ahead of his time and vastly under-rated. We last met up around 30 years ago. Is he still around? Norm (Stormin) Bellis played session bass with Badfinger, Walker Brothers, Temptations, four Tops, Junior Walker & The All Stars, Fantastics, at Roxy's studio, and loads more. I still play hooligan bass with the mother of bands I put together with John Mitchell (Bjork's drummer/ MD), and Mike Howard. The Horse Band. At the risk of sounding immodest, we'd slaughter most name bands.

Robin Wills said...

Norm
Great to hear from you. did you also play on The Shepperton Flames, Rusty Harness etc...?
Best
Robin

Tom Phillips said...

UK Jones coming up on BBC R2 Sounds of the 60's (Saturday 23 July 2011) Good stuff!

Bass Dep said...

Robin. I've only just seen your blog.
Yes, Rusty Harness was myself, Russ Harness (keys/vocs, John Phillips Gtr, and a Scottish lad on drums. I still have the single and photo sleeve. This Aint The Road was recorded at Radio Luxembourg's studio in Hertford Street, London W1. Stirling Moss lived upstairs. Another band created at same studio was THE BACK STREET BAND - Same lineup.

Shepperton Flames - not me, but I did rehearse at Shepperton Studios on the WHO stage. Also rehearsed at the WHO's RAMPART STUDIO in Battersea with Junior Walker & The All Stars and the FOUr TOPS.

Current E: spirit13music@gmail.com

Unknown said...

Its May the 8th 2021 and we are still talking about Mike Berry. Does anybody know if he is still around. I was in the band with Norman and have fond memories of recording Let me Tell Ya and When the rains came down. As Norman said, he was a great manager with some fantastic ideas. I was also involved in the Shepperton Flames.