Reviews of tasty and obscure hook-filled rock'n' roll releases (Glam, Heavy Bonehead Crunchers, Powerpop, Pop/psych,Garage, Surf, 60s Girl Group Rock)...Plus any quirky musings that tickle my fancy...
I created this blog in order to stimulate interest, share discoveries and encourage people to go out and search for the original vinyl. Hopefully this blog might also encourage labels to actually compile some of this stuff officialy.
Giggles –Giggle Wiggle/For Just One Day- EMI Test pressing 2246 (1974 UK)
This is the fabled unreleased second single by Giggles and it would have followed Maria (The Enchilada song).The single didn’t get further than test pressing stage, which is a great shame as it would have been their best single in my book. It would have come out late 1974 judging by the proposed catalogue number. Perhaps it was decided by then that it was too Glam and outdated for 1975 or the band itself had reservations about not being taken seriously. The track itself is a great Glam Cruncher with teen appeal recalling Suzi Quatro as well more overt teen bands like Kenny or The Bo’Flyers. It’s starts off with a phased Glitter Beat and by the end of the track you are swamped by the perfunctory handclaps and HEYs. A great single! The B side starts promisingly in good rockin’ mode, but here the Glam gets diluted by a near Eagles-like chorus. The bridge is effective though.
The only previous mention of this single was on the influential but now defunct Glam Rock Bear website and I had given up on it actually existing. It’s great to be proved wrong…In fact this copy was recently picked up on ebay as the site owner appears to be selling his Glam collection on ebay these days.
Stonebridge -1976/Uncle Sam –Starship Records SS4 0076 (1976 US)
On the periphery of Bonehead Cruncher-land, comes this wonderfully dumb bi-centennial opus by Michigan’s Stonebridge. Its initial dumb-ass boogie approach melds into a voice-over led section of utter idiocy “bombs and destruction became the prevalent thing…” where we learn in fact that WWII began at Pearl Harbor!!! There’s no ism like revisionism or jingoism when twinned with a total lack of education...The B side is more of the same, but doesn’t quite feature the same full-on assault on our sensibilities and replaces it with some ill-advised pomp.
The Wild Boys –Madness Reigns/Outskirts of ’73- PRSD 2213 (1973 US)
Here’s a biggie. An incredibly obscure outing from a virtually unknown band from Ann Arbor. Madness Reigns is a treasured moment of pure folly. At the cusp of Bonehead, but mixing in a slight Kinks/Leopards delivery in the vocals, it features some blistering killer guitar and also has a heavy Psych/Freakbeat appeal. The title sums it up –Pure Insania! The other side reminds me of Mogan Davis & His Winos in Ragtime mode and is fun albeit less crucial.
From the Ann Arbor Sun, June 5, 1973 Ann Arbor's all-time, down-to-earth, nitty gritty rock and roll band, THE WILD BOYS, released their first recording last month.The 45 rpm single, recorded last December by the Boys at Morgan Sound Studio, was pressed in a limited edition on their own, mysteriously nameless label and is being sold at select record stores in Lansing and by the CHILDREN'S COMMUNITY CENTER (along with the fabulous CCC Super Balls) at Rainbow Trucking tables and wherever else the CCC sells its stuff (for the CCC kid's lunch money) in Ann Arbor. The A side of the Wild Boys single is their big one, "Madness Reigns," which points out, Boys fans will remember, that "All the strings that tie the universe together have been broken." Uh-huh
Nikki Richards –Back To School/ Factory Girl –Columbia YH-1-AX (1981 Japanese issue)
Teen dreamboat Nikki looks like a UK version of Shaun Cassidy but he delivers a raucous slab of powerpop with Glam overtones. It’s not quite the outright winner compared to Stanley Frank’s Schooldays, but it’s an infectious number that pumps along in fine melodic fashion. In the UK, Back To School was relegated to the B side of the yucky Factory Girl, but here is correctly positioned for the Japanese market.
Cherokee –Girl I’ve Got News For You/ Write To You –Probe PRO 550 (1971 Norwegian issue)
Cherokee was the rebranded rebirth of The Robbs. As Cherokee they released one LP on Probe as well as this great cover of Girl I’ve Got News For You. The Birdwatchers version may have come first and Mardi Gras may have had the hit, but Cherokee’s version wins it hands down in my book with its meaty beaty delivery and defined performance which brings out the best in this song. As far as I know this Norwegian single is the only one issued in a pic sleeve, although the hunt is still on for a cover featuring the group