Jan 31, 2009
Rich Dangel was the lead guitarist and co-founder (with John Greek) of the Wailers, an instrumental group from Tacoma, WA. Formed as the Nitecaps in 1958, the original line-up was: John Greek (guitar / trumpet / cornet / bass guitar), Rich Dangel (guitar), Kent Morrill (piano, vocals), Mike Burk (drums) and Mark Marush (tenor sax). In August 1958 they recorded a demo of an atmospheric instrumental called "Scotch on the Rocks" and took it to Bob Reisdorff of Dolton Records, who however, wanted to push his own instrumental group The Frantics, whom the Wailers regarded as competition. Art Mineo, who had produced the demo, took the tape to New York, where he found an interested taker in Clark Galehouse, owner of Golden Crest Records. "Scotch on the Rocks" was rerecorded in Lakewood, WA, in February 1959, retitled "Tall Cool One" by Kent Morrill's mother, and released on Golden Crest 518. It broke the charts in May 1959 and climbed to # 36, selling some 200,000 copies in the process. The band had an eventful time, appearing on "American Bandstand" and touring throughout the USA. The follow-up, "Mau Mau", also charted (# 68), though the flip, the frantic "Dirty Robber", with a vocal by Kent Morrill, was the better side. Further tracks for an LP were recorded during two sessions in July and September 1959. "Wailin'" & "Shanghied", two tracks from the LP, became their third single ; both sides were later covered by the Ventures, who also recorded "Tall Cool One" and "Road Runner" (the flip of "Tall Cool One"). The latter two songs also appear on the instrumental LP by the early Paul Revere and the Raiders ; The Wailers were an influential group in the Northwest...[net]
There are probably four or five albums from the first wave of great Northwest rock & roll (1958 - 63) that are both must haves and highly collectible and "The Fabulous Wailers" is at the top of the list. This release is complete with alternate takes, unissued tracks, and the complete first album, all taken from the original masters!!!Also some of these tracks are in true stereo for the first time...
Jan 30, 2009
Born in the late thirties, in Sheffield, England, Martin Raphael worked as a PT instructor in the army after serving a conscription period and after that started a lucrative business as a central heating salesman in Scotland. One day, whilst in his car he claimed to have had a vision from the Egyptian Pharaoh god Ramases, who informed him that he was actually the re incarnation of this deity and that his duty on earth was to inform the world the truth about the universe. (!!!!!)
The next step for Martin Raphael was to change his name to that of his "original" self, Ramases and try to get himself a recording contract so that he could preach his views via the musical world. Incredibly so, he managed to obtain a recording contract with CBS and released a single (CBS 3717) in 1968 together with his wife under the moniker Ramses And Selket. The tracks featured were Crazy One with Mind's Eye on the B-side.
In 1970, Ramases signed a deal with Vertigo, which was the progressive branch of Phillips. Recordings for an album took place at Strawberry Studios in Stockport. Owned by the future members of 10CC, this is what probably gave this album the cult status it currently has. Four members of this group (which would be formed in 1972) played and most definitely had a hand in the musical input to the album, They were Eric Stewart, Lol Creme, Kevin Godley and Graham Gouldman. The album had a lavish cover, which folded out into a large cardboard poster, designed by Roger Dean.
Space Hymns was released on the Vertigo label in 1971, and is a rather strange sounding album for this label as it possesses none of the normal musical traits usually characteristic to Vertigo. Musically speaking it sounds somewhat folksy having a strong hippy commune feel, very different to the the jazz tinged bands or the heavy/hard rock bands that characterized this label. The album created a certain amount of hype within certain rock circles especially with those who were fans of the more psychedelic leaning style of progressive rock. The main areas of popularity were England and Germany were there was always a certain amount of affinity for rock bands who tried to fuse their music with certain cults especially Middle Eastern religions....
From Rochester, NY, one of the later signings to legendary New York Doo-Wop label Jubilee Records, The Blades Of Grass were one of the prime east coast exponents (along with The Free Design and The Left Banke) of that usually west coast genre of Sunshine Pop.. it's complex, baroque harmonies and optimistic atmosphere having a much overlooked but firm second front in the city that never sleeps.. indeed the group's first hit single "Happy" went head to head in a chart battle with LA's Sunshine Company, as did their version of the Peter Sellers film title-track "I Love You Alice B.Toklas" with Harpers Bizarre shortly afterwards.. though The Blades' version with it's vocal phasing and psychy effect-laden intro and outro, somewhat had the edge stylistically!.. this release includes their only LP from 1967, together with all of their non-LP singles in the original Mono....making the first ever complete collection by these masters of Soft Pop........Some of whose members bizarrely went on to the perhaps more traditional New York arty pursuit of making records on the avant garde ESP label!....[Rev-Ola page]
Jan 29, 2009
Cool, hard rock meets focused, stripped down soul. An indefinably wonderful priceless gem from one of the most outstanding Northeast regional bands of the sixties and early seventies. Ed Wool was a premier act in the northeast for many years hailing from the Watertown NY area. Ed was and still is known as a guitar virtuoso and his hallmark was discipline and perfection in his musicical renderings. This album long out of print is finally available again so we can revisit his wonderful rock and funk renderings. His sister Claudia, an outstanding vocalist provided much of the background vocals and the album was produced by Neil Diamond so you know how outstanding Wool was and how outstanding the sounds are. This is an absolute for any music lover of this era!
Ed Wool and The Nomads was an American rock band from Watertown, NY. The band was active and popular in the Central New York and North Country, New York areas in the mid and late 1960s. The group covered popular hits of the day and were in high demand at bars and clubs as well as high school and community dances.There were many bands in the Watertown area, including artists such as Bob and Dick Kissel and Joe and Al Bouchard who later helped form Blue Oyster Cult, but Ed Wool and The Nomads were generally regarded as the best of the best..[net]
The band was formed by guitarists and lead singers Don Dannemann and Tom Dawes (bass guitar), who met while studying at Lafayette College in Easton. The other members were Earl Pickens on keyboards and Marty Fried on drums. They were originally a "frat rock" band called The Rhondells but were later discovered and managed by Brian Epstein, who was better known as manager of The Beatles. Epstein's partner was New York attorney Nathan Weiss, who heard the band in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on Labor Day in 1965. He became their manager and renamed them. John Lennon provided the unique spelling of their new name. They were produced by John Simon.In the summer of 1966, they opened on fourteen dates for the Beatles during their U.S. tour. On August 28, they headed the opening acts performing prior to The Beatles at Dodger Stadium. The other artists who appeared were Bobby Hebb, The Ronettes, and The Remains. Before touring with The Beatles, The Cyrkle had a successful engagement at the Downtown Discotheque in New York City.
The Cyrkle is best known for their 1966 song "Red Rubber Ball," which went to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was co-written by Paul Simon of Simon and Garfunkel and Bruce Woodley of The Seekers. It was released on the Columbia record label. The band had one more Top 20 hit, "Turn-Down Day," later in 1966. After the release of their debut album, Red Rubber Ball, they recorded a second album, Neon, in late 1966, and a movie soundtrack, The Minx, in 1967. They followed that with various singles and then disbanded in late 1967...
Jan 28, 2009
Quicksand, was a Welsh outfit whose sole LP plays much better than many discs that were well received. Home Is Where I Belong consists of 9 quality plays with each track steeped in rich melody and harmonies. Although progressive, the album is not dominated by keyboards. In fact, the balanced inter-play between guitar and keyboards is one the LP's strongest points... discreet use of mellotron adds to the appeal. Sunlight Brings Shadows is representative.What really pushes Quicksand into the upper echelon are 3 things: (A) Fantastic songwriting (B) Strong, yet warm lead vocals (C) Well written introspective lyrics.
Each song tries something a little different, but there isn't a problem of the record being over eclectic. For the most part, this is very melodic and could be described as a cross between The Parlour Band and Help Yourself, the latter are a Welsh band, no surprise. "Hideaway My Song" and "Sunlight Brings Shadows" begin the album on an impressive note with subtle progressive moves in a melodic psych context. Both are driving and cosmic.
Despite the late recording date, it sounds much earlier and is more likely to appeal to fans of harmony rich melodic psych than full blown progressive. The album is full of joy and high spirit, manifested in great, driving rhythms, powerful melodies and memorable choruses...
Jan 27, 2009
"You Must Be a Witch" by the Lollipop Shoppe was one of the most ferocious garage punk singles of the 1960s, a savage blast of paranoia and electric guitar that became a sought-after among garage fanatics. The tune was powerful enough that one had to wonder how a group so fierce would come up with a name as silly as the Lollipop Shoppe, and the truth is they didn't: they were known as the Weeds until their manager scored them a deal with Uni Records, who found their original moniker too outré and saddled them something a bit more "mod." The Lollipop Shoppe cut just one album, 1968's Just Colour, and "You Must Be a Witch" is easily the most hard-edged cut on the record, but if the Lollipop Shoppe don't hit quite as hard on the other 11 tunes, the material is strong enough to impress any fan of vintage garage or psychedelia. Fred Cole's vocals boast an emotional urgency and force that set him far apart from most of his contemporaries, and the band's blend of garage rock thunder, folk-rock melodies, and psychedelic introspection puts this in the same league as Love and the 13th Floor Elevators. Within a year of releasing Just Colour, the Lollipop Shoppe were history, and years later Cole went on to front one of the finest bands in the garage punk underground, "Dead Moon"...[net]
San Diego's Hardtimes were one of those oddities of the 1960's... the unknown group who had more exposure than most stars!... as regular stars themselves of Dick Clark's TV show "Where The Action Is!" along with The Robbs and Paul Revere And The Raiders among others, they had the nationwide exposure other acts only dreamt of...their records were produced at various times by legendary jazz producer and World Pacific Records boss Dick Bock, Byrd's manager producer Jim Dickson, and their close friend Mama Cass Elliot... and darn fine records they were too!.... more than justifying their hefty latter day price tags..
Well loved and much discussed among fans of Softpop, garage punk and folk-rock alike, this first ever CD release includes their complete World Pacific album, all their exciting and garagey non-album singles, and their last recording (as the New Phoenix) produced by Mama Cass Elliot......members went on to T.I.M.E., Steppenwolf, and The Union Gap, but none of these excellent bands were a patch on The Hardtimes!...[From the Rev-Ola page]
Jan 26, 2009
The Spriguns (of Tolgus) were formed as a duo in 1972 by husband and wife,Mike and Mandy Morton playing traditional folk music not dis-similar to early Steeleye Span .They opened The Anchor Folk Club in Cambridge, gradually enlisting more musicians. Their first recording was a badly recorded cassette only set of sons called 'Rowdy Dowdy Day'. All the while, they were attracting a large and following.
They came to the attention of Steeleye Span's Tim Hart who produced their first album proper,'Jack With Feather' in 1973.
Six months after the release of 'Jack With Feather', Mandy formed the new 'Spriguns' ,dropping the 'Of Tolgus' suffix and signing with Decca Records.The band recorded 'Revel Weird and Wild' in 1975 & released in 1976, which consisted of only of songs written by members of the band, although some of the songs were more or less stolen from traditional songs, produced by Tim Hart.
The sound was becoming rockier but they hadn't forgotten their traditional roots just yet.
In 1977 ,during the height of Punk,Spriguns recorded their final album,'Time Will Pass'.This time production duties fell to the respected Sandy Roberton.The orchestration on the album was conducted by Robert Kirby,famous for his work with Nick Drake and The Strawbs amongst many others.The sound this time was rockier.Similar to The Trees or Mellow Candle in style,with some excellent long guitar solos.Not long after the albums release,Mandy Morton left to persue a solo career.She released the 'Magic Lady' album in 1978,which is very similar to Sandy Denny's solo material.Highly Recommended!...
Darryl Way was founder member of the legendary Curved Air, a group that brought Ways strident electric violin playing to the fore on a string of hit albums. In 1973, Way formed Wolf, a progressive outfit featuring guitarist John Etheridge, bassist Dek Messecar (later in Caravan) and drummer Ian Mosley (now in Marillion). The music was a heady mixture of styles and secured the band a contract with Decca s Deram label. Saturation Point was the group s second album and followed on from their innovative Canis Lupus LP.
The violin in this remarkable work of Darryl Way is breathtaking. The balance and personality of the violin is excellent, you never get enough of the sound, also it is clear that the instrument has the lead role. Darryl Way's performance is much more spontaneous compared to his previous work with Curved Air (which I also respect). Saturation point in my opinion is the best of Wolf's three albums (Cannis Lupus and Night Music).If you really are involved into progressive rock and appreciate violin you must listen to this album...
Jan 25, 2009
A rare full album from The Tradewinds a wonderful harmony pop group with a Sunshine Pop feel! The Tradewinds have a style that's heavily in a Beach Boys mode, sunny California harmonies on the vocals, and a sort of post-Pet Sounds approach to songwriting, one that makes for some really compelling songs in the set! The group's best known for their "New York's A Lonely Town" hit, but the whole album is great, filled with inventive songs, compelling vocals, and cool arrangements from Jimmy Wisner and Artie Butler, two very groovy talents. Titles include "Mind Excursion", "Bad Misunderstanding", "Only When I'm Dreamin", "Small Town Bring Down", "To Be With You", "Little Susan's Dreamin", and "Huggin In The Hall". CD also features 2 bonus tracks."That's When Your Heartaches Begin" and "Hard Life".
A Japanese-only reissue of this rare pop album.
Jan 24, 2009
In an alternative universe, Curt Boettcher would be lauded along with Brian Wilson as one of the reigning geniuses of '60s California pop and psychedelia. After success as a writer & producer for others, Boettcher founded the Ballroom and then the Millennium, recording material that was far ahead of its time. Some of the material and much of the sensibility of those groups were brought to Sagittarius, Boettcher's collaboration with producer & composer Gary Usher (the Byrds, Simon & Garfunkel, etc.)
In a revolutionary move for the time, Sagittarius was conceived purely as a studio group, and California pals like Glen Campbell and Beach Boy Bruce Johnston were brought in to work on PRESENT TENSE. The result is a marriage of pure pop, psychedelia and experimentalism that makes the PET SOUNDS-era Beach Boys sound like a bunch of high-school kids (or high schoolkids). Subsequent reissues of material by the Ballroom and Millennium are equally worthy of attention..[net]
Sagittarius includes: Gary Usher, Glen Campbell, The Firesign Theatre, Curt Boettcher, Bruce Johnston.
This Japanese Sony/Columbia reissue contains at least 3 different bonus tracks (No 19,20,21) from the US Sundazed one...
"Two distinct schools of thought existed about `70s rock outfit, Phantom. The first tended towards the view that Phantom was cynically signed by Capitol to exploit the recent death of Jim Morrison, whose vocal style Phantom singer Tom Carson copied convincingly. The second is that they were a pretty decent group whose vocalist just happened to sound more than a bit like Morrison.
Whichever of these two scenarios was closest to the truth we will never know, but such was Elektra's concern that the record buying public would be confused into thinking that Morrison was still alive that the record company attempted to obtain an injunction banning Capitol from releasing the band's first album, Divine Comedy. Predictably, Elektra's actions simply increased the publicity the band was attracting, and Capitol duly took full advantage.
In hindsight it's difficult to see what all the fuss was about, as Carson's vocals were only reminiscent of Morrison's at the end of his brief career. In the end, the one thing that is clear is that Divine Comedy is actually a pretty decent album. A consistently high musical and compositional standard is maintained throughout, with many critics acclaiming the mystical sound that was the album's hallmark. Two melodramatic tracks, Tales From A Wizard and Welcome To Hell, stand out particularly strongly, but the entire album is interesting, innovative, and extremely enjoyable."[net]
Think The Doors with a much heavier sound and a more polished singer and you have Phantom's Divine Comedy Part 1. An album steeped in mystery due to the un-credited musicians and of course, Phantom himself. Yes, the similarities to Jim Morrison are uncanny. The lyrics are also Doors/Morrison territory.
Jan 23, 2009
Fresh from the split-up of Cream, whom he produced Felix Pappalardi spotted Leslie West fronting a legendary garage band the Vagrants, and thought to cut a solo album on him. With Pappalardi joining in the fun on bass and keyboards, this was the result. And a damn good one.
As a guitarist, West's calling card was chunky power chords, smooth distorted riffing, and precise, lyrical solos (he was never a speed merchant but he didn't have to be); as a singer, his rasping yelp was immediately recognizable and - as "Blind Man" and (especially) "Southbound Train" revealed - he was a passable blues singer as well. The heavy riff style and Pappalardi's presence (never mind his bass style) got only too obvious a round of comparisons to Cream, but West's first solo album stood up in its own right - maybe not a genre giant, but not exactly a pretender, either.
He unfurled about the best cover of "This Wheel's On Fire" outside the Dylan/Band axis of them all; "Blood of the Sun" and "Dreams of Milk and Honey" still acquit themselves very well as riff-and-rollers. Of course, in early 1969, who knew he had anything as transcendent as "Mississippi Queen" in his immediate future? For its own time and place, this was a surprising - and pleasing - solo debut. West, Pappalardi, and drummer N.D. Smart added organist Steve Knight, dubbed the band the same name as the album, went to Woodstock, and became stars...[net]
Actor Rex Holman is perhaps better known to Star Trek and Monkees fans than music enthusiasts, but connoisseurs of acid folk have long treasured this, his sole album, which originally appeared in 1970 (when he was already 42 years old). A hypnotic blend of melodic, contem/tive songs and philos/cal lyrics, sung in Holman's quavering voice (which has been compared to Tim Buckley's), set to acoustic guitar, sitar and tabla, it's nothing short of an overlooked minor classic, and is sure to appeal to fans of artists such as Damon, Pat Kilroy and Mark Fry.
Its a very good album, & the songs are all very fragile, floating acoustic type of songs, with sitar, tablas and other exotic instrumentation scattered liberally throughout. The production credits "Schmitt-Douglas", and the album was recorded at Dimension Sounds, which may have been an L.A. Studio. The album cover is a montage featuring Holman super-imposed over scenes of down and out street people...
Jan 22, 2009
In the fall of 1967 Chad & Jeremy released one of their most ambitious albums, Of Cabbages and Kings. This psychedelic, satirical album was very different from the previous mellow Chad and Jeremy offerings and was rated very highly by the music critics of the day but sold poorly, as did the follow-up, the also critically acclaimed The Ark. Eccentric trippy psychedelia firmly entrenched in the "Sgt. Pepper" mold is the best way to describe both albums,and it's hard to say which one is best.
The Ark proved to be their last album for Columbia, as Jeremy returned to acting and the duo disbanded. They reunited for an album and tour in the 1980’s as well as a musical, "Pump Boys & Dinettes". The latest phase in their career began in 2003 with a PBS TV music special. Since then they have performed their two-man show all over the United States, Canada, Hawaii and the Philippines.
“Of the many British Invasion acts that stormed the charts in the wake of the Beatles, Chad & Jeremy possessed a subtlety and sophistication unmatched among their contemporaries, essentially creating the template for the kind of lush, sensitive folk-pop embraced by followers from Nick Drake to Belle & Sebastian”.
In the crowded underbrush of the late sixties British psych blues scene Jasper was definitely at the head of its class. The quintet's personalized blues style, with Steve Radford's excellent lead-guitar lighting the way (punctuated also by their keen use of flute and harpsichord) is well expressed in the inspired version of 'Baby Please Don't Go' and 'Ain't no Peace'. Unfortunately soon after the release of their rare l969 debut album Liberation the group disbanded and disappeared from the scene...
There's John Mayall-styled blues-rock ("Ain't No Peace," "Confusion"), Colosseum like jazz blues rock ("Baby Please Don't Go," "The Beard"), rambling morbid bluesy instrumental jamming (including a six-minute wordless version of "St. Louis Blues" with hauntingly sad harmonica), and a Baroque-psychedelic arrangement of Donovan's "Cuttin' Out."...[net]
Jan 21, 2009
In the years just prior to the British Invasion, the L.A. based Del-Fi label was apparently willing to take a chance on almost anything, if the 22 rarities on this CD are any guide. A mixture of very rare singles and unissued material, there definitely ain't no hits here, although bongo player Preston Epps did once have a big hit, "Bongo Rock," for another label. Mostly these are gutsy instrumentals in the R&B, surf, and twist styles, or really strange novelties, the kind from which even Dr. Demento might shy away. If that sounds like a tall order to fill, check out Bob Ridgley's "The Way Out Mummy," the Bedwells "Karate," or Yo Yo Hashi's "Yo Yo's Pad," the last of which breaks up standard energetic three-chord instrumental vamps with Asian dialog straight out of your basic Hong Kong exploitation movie--real hitbound stuff, to be sure. Then there's the non-LP B-side by exotica adventurer Eden Ahbez, an instrumental with whacked-out and (for circa 1960) phasing effects. There are also extremely rare pre-fame appearances by Love's Arthur Lee (as part of the American Four, who offer a sub-Booker T. & the MG's instrumental) and two of the Walker Brothers (who play on the Moongooners' raunchy instrumental, "Moongoon Twist").
22 tracks of Del-FI effluvia – “surf,hot rod,wicked R&B twist and Jungle Exotica, flavored with a touch of Vegas Lounge” -- features re-mastered rarities, B-sides, and un-issued insanities by a handful of unknowns, including Bob Ridgley, Yo Yo Hashi, and the Nite Hawks “Chicken Grabber.”