Feb 27, 2009
Tudor Lodge was originally formed in 1968, featuring John Stannard and Roger Strevens. The group started playing at the White Horse in Reading, England and later made appearances at other clubs on the folk circuit. In 1969 Lyndon Green replaced Roger. Lyndon had just returned to England after treading the hippy trail to Turkey and within a year they were joined by American singer and flautist, Ann Steuart. Tudor Lodge then toured the English folk circuit for over two years, teaming up with manager Karl Blore towards the end of 1970, and releasing their first album in 1971: “Tudor Lodge” (Vertigo 6360043).
Later that year, the group appeared at the prestigious Cambridge Folk Festival.
Annie left the group in 1972 and was briefly replaced by Linda Peters, who became better known through her work with husband Richard Thompson. That year saw Tudor Lodge touring Holland where they featured on Dutch Radio after which the group disbanded with their various careers diverging.
One of the most venerated progressive 'freak folk' albums of all time, released in 1970 on Vertigo. Its striking artwork has made it much sought after by collectors but the music is the main attraction -- delicate and rather extravagant, and very original for the time period, characterized by complex arrangements featuring acoustic instruments with an excellent use of flute, acoustic guitars and impeccable vocals. In fact, it's something of a shame that this record is primarily known in small circles of obscure folk-lovers interested in spending the extra time and money to seek out special albums like this one...
Feb 25, 2009
In comparison to their 1966 debut LP Uniquely Yours, The Uniques' second album, Happening Now, was a little bit of a disappointment, though not without its assets. The main flaw is that, in common with numerous albums issued by good but not great bands in the mid-'60s, there are too many covers of familiar hit songs. In this disc's case, those include "96 Tears," "Oh Pretty Woman," The Animals' "Don't Bring Me Down" (which does have a remarkably accurate Eric Burdon-like vocal), The Outsiders' "Time Won't Let Me," the Swinging Medallions' "Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love)," and even Gerry & The Pacemakers' "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying," which wasn't standard garage/frat band fare. This isn't as dull as it seems; The Uniques were a good group with a very fine singer/organist, Joe Stampley, and certainly sound like they would have been a hell of a band to have at your party or club if you couldn't afford bigger names. It's not all that original, however, even if it's a pretty good snapshot of mid-'60s Southern rock that adeptly blended more standard garage rock with soul and swamp pop. It does have a surprisingly nice cover of "And I Love Her" (even if it seems to be faded out prematurely), and a couple decent tracks outside of the hit cover category in the tough single "Run and Hide" and the more melodic "Look to Me," which has a really peculiar clavioline-like keyboard solo. ~ Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide
Like many LPs of its time, the Uniques' debut album had a bunch of songs taken from previously released singles, with several of these dozen tracks showing up on 1965-1966 45s. But even if it was pasted together to some degree, it's a surprisingly strong (given the patchy standards of the era) set of mid-'60s Southern rock, mixing garage rock, blue-eyed soul, and swamp pop. "You Ain't Tuff," the somewhat "Gloria"-derived nasty garage stomper, is certainly the most famous of these cuts, and deservedly so. But there are also some pretty good originals, usually written by lead singer Joe Stampley. Stampley proves himself an unusually versatile rock vocalist, capable of fairly nasty R&B-pop on "You Ain't Tuff" and "Strange," but also more subtle and smoother soul-pop on "Not Too Long Ago" (which is slightly reminiscent of B.J. Thomas' early material), "Never Been in Love Before," and "Don't Be a Fool." And while this LP (again like many of its time) is padded out with covers, Stampley and the band do well on these too, especially on Aaron Neville's "All These Things" and (more surprisingly, considering how familiar the song is) "The House of the Rising Sun," where his odd ghostly organ is also a highlight. ~ Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide
Feb 23, 2009
Starting out as a typical U.K. club soul band, and then turning toward psychedelia and prog rock in the latter half of the '60s, it wasn't until Pesky Gee! changed their name in 1970 to Black Widow, transformed, and released the satanic Sacrifice that they reached the public eye. If not singular in any particular way, the prog-edged Pesky Gee! album, released on Pye in 1969, has enough cool Hammond organ flourishes and late psych-intoned vocals (male and female) to cause interest. Much is aimless, relies too much on the blues-rock boom, or is downright bad ("Born to Be Wild"), but when they got the mix right they were superb, as on their original psych/soul/prog numbers: on "A Place of Heartbreak" there is a superb male/female vocal, a soulful beat, and some haunting changes; while "Where Is My Mind" (both songs were released as a 45) has a driving rhythm, a unique use of horns, and sees the beginning of the band's fascination with sinister subject matter and horror vocalization. The covers get a bit much, although the Julie Driscoll-intoned reading of Donovan's "Season of the Witch" has some fine moments. Not a solid affair but representative of the change in the British music scene of the late '60s...[net]
...The group broke-up in September 1969 and by 1970, had transformed into BLACK WIDOW with fewer members and a completely re-hauled format, and debuted 'Sacrifice' that year.
Feb 22, 2009
The Psychedelic-Music.com Website describes McCully Workshop's first album like this: "Of all the albums we've heard from South Africa this one is topscore. What a beautiful masterpiece. Pepper-influenced Underground music with great songs, lovely vocals, strong harmonies, great distorted guitarwork."
Since 1965, the McCullagh brothers, Tully (born Terence on 31st May 1953) and Mike (born Michael on 7th April 1947), have become an integral part of the South African pop and rock scene.
In 1965 they started as a folk-rock trio with Richard Hyam and called themselves the Blue Three. Richard had been in a folk duo, Tiny Folk, with his sister Melanie.
After a few personnel- and name-changes, like The Blue Beats and Larfing Stocke, the line-up settled down (for a while) in 1969 and they called themselves the McCully Workshop because they used to rehearse in Mrs McCullagh's garage.
Glenda Wassman later married Richard, and they formed the pop band Pendulum and had a big hit with 'Take My Heart' in 1976. Glenda then went on to major success with the all-girl group, Clout, who had a huge hit with 'Substitute' which went to #2 in the UK in 1978.
'McCully Workshop Inc' was produced by the great South African singer and producer Billy Forrest. The cover photo was taken by Sigurd Olivier and the cat's name was Sirikit.
'McCully Workshop Inc' was released in June 1970 and included the epic and powerful 'Why Can't It Rain' which went to #12 on the Springbok Radio charts in July 1970.
The album shows a variety of styles and influences including The Beatles, Frank Zappa and Pink Floyd...[net]
"Due to missing of the original master tapes, Mr. Mike McCullagh, one of the original members of the band worked on transferring the sound sources from the original vinyl. However, despite the effort to locate the clean vinyl for transferring, this vinyl copy is the only one we could find. Therefore, there are some audible surface noise on this cd. We hope this won't stop you from listening enjoyment."
Feb 21, 2009
The Kickstands were one of writer and producer Gary Usher's studio amalgams that made use of veteran L.A. session players in the early to mid-'60s to produce album after album of hot rod and surf tunes. With players from the so-called Wrecking Crew, including Jerry Cole, Hal Blaine, Earl Palmer, Leon Russell, Glen Campbell, and with Chuck Girard handling most of the vocals, the Kickstands officially released one album, Black Boots & Bikes, on Capitol Records. The album had a somewhat darker hue than most of Usher's sunshine and surf productions, and tracks like "Death Valley Run" and "Slow Ride South" are definitely worth seeking out for fans of Usher and the hot rod/surf genre...[net]
There was some formidable talent involved in the sole LP by the studio-only hot rod band the Kickstands, which mixed instrumentals and vocals. Gary Usher and Roger Christian, who wrote material for the Beach Boys and other notable early-'60s Southern Californian surf and hot rod acts, penned a few of the tracks. Guitarist Jerry Cole, drummer Earl Palmer, and saxophonist Steve Douglas, all top Hollywood sessionmen, played on the record. The fact is, however, that this was a hot rod exploitation album, hurriedly recorded while the fad was still on track. As Usher himself remembering: "You have to understand, these albums meant a steady income for the troops. I was trying to funnel as much money into these guys as I could -- the demand was not going to last forever." Accordingly, it's not top-notch hot rod music; it's rather formulaic, though the lyrics (and song titles, in the case of the instrumentals) have a somewhat more rebellious, more ominous streak than most of the tunes in what was usually a fun-loving genre. There's some good growling guitar playing, particularly on the closing instrumental "Scrambler."..[net]
Feb 19, 2009
HOLLIES - FOR CERTAIN BECAUSE...(PARLOPHONE 1966) Jap Mastering Cardboard sleeve Mono & Stereo + 3 bonus
"For Certain Because" marked the beginning of probably the most creative period in the career of the Hollies. It was also the album that introduced Tonys Hicks' banjo which is very prominent on the big single hit "Stop Stop Stop".
Their songwriting had been steadily growing since their ealiest effort usually credited as Ransford songs. Outstanding originals written by Clarke/Hicks/Nash dominate the album, which for the first time consists of sheer original material.
The opening track "What's Wrong With the Way I Live" is just great. Different from earlier songs and also featuring the banjo. The song was a minor hit in some European countries.
"Clown" is a melodic circus ballad in the same vein as the earlier "Fifi the Flea", sung ( and probably written ) by Graham Nash.
"Pay You Back With Interest" which besides being a great song with the typical Hollies vocal harmonies also features the piano played by bass-player Clavert.
Other favourites are "It's You", "Peculiar Situation", "Tell Me to My Face" and "Suspicious Look in Your Eyes"...[net]
For Certain Because is the fifth UK album by The Hollies. This was also the first Hollies album in which all the songs were written by members Allan Clarke, Graham Nash, and Tony Hicks.
Retitled Stop! Stop! Stop! for the US and Canadian markets, this was the first Hollies album in which the track listing on both US and UK versions remained the same. In addition, other markets used the title Stop! Stop! Stop! when reissuing this album. In 1983, Liberty Records reissued this album as Pay You Back With Interest without the tracks "Stop! Stop! Stop!" and "High Classed".
Stop! Stop! Stop! was also the Hollies' last new album for Imperial Records in the US and Capitol Records in Canada. Their next album, Evolution, would be released in the US and Canada on Epic Records while remaining on Parlophone/EMI in the UK...
Feb 18, 2009
Fort Mudge Memorial Dump was a band from Walpole, Massachusetts, that started playing by 1969, gathering a good number of fans. They got filed into the “Boston Sound”, among the Ultimate Spinach, the Beacon Street Union, Orpheus, Tangerine Zoo, ecc.
With good technique and better ideas, they recorded a very sought-after LP for Mercury in which the voice of Caroline Stratton stands out to some Jefferson Airplane affinity.
Guitarist Dean Keady, with his jazzy effects, leads the band.
Despite its east coast origins, the band is firmly rooted in San Francisco acid-soaked psychedelia. The revelation here is Stratton, whose powerhouse vocals are reminiscent of the Jefferson Airplane’s Grace Slick.
All the material was written by the band. Mr. Man and Crystal Forms both portray Stratton's vocals favourably and include some good guitar work. Others, such as Actions Of A Man and What Good Is Spring? find Caroline and the band in a mellower mood...[net]
Feb 17, 2009
PBC formed in Los Angeles in 1966 out of a folk-rock group, The Ashes, who included John Merrill (guitar/ vocals), Alan Brackett (bass/ vocals), Barbara "Sandi" Robison (vocals), Spencer Dryden (drums) and Jim Cherniss (guitar/ vocals). The group had earlier been known as The Young Swingers, who released two obscure singles. The Ashes released one single in 1966 on the Vault label, "Is There Anything I Can Do?" written by Jackie DeShannon. Dryden then left The Ashes to replace Skip Spence in Jefferson Airplane, Robison left to give birth, and the group temporarily disbanded.
Alan Brackett hooked up with a new guitarist, Lance Fent, and a new drummer, Jim Voigt, naming the new trio The Crossing Guards. Merrill and Robison rejoined, and the five-piece band became The Peanut Butter Conspiracy.
The group signed with Columbia Records in late 1966, releasing a single "It's A Happening Thing", produced by Gary Usher, which reached #93 on the national pop chart. The band's first album, The Peanut Butter Conspiracy Is Spreading, followed, also produced by Usher who brought in studio musicians including Glen Campbell and James Burton to bolster the group's sound. Their late 1967 single "Turn On a Friend (to the Good Life)" failed to chart. However, they toured nationally, added a new guitarist, Bill Wolff, and recorded a second album for Columbia, The Great Conspiracy, generally regarded as their best.
In 1968 they moved to the Warner Bros. Records subsidiary label Challenge, with a revamped line-up featuring ex-Clear Light organist Ralph Schuckett and drummer Michael Ney (Stevens), recording their final album For Children of All Ages. The record was written and conceived by Brackett. Meanwhile, Merrill had reformed a version of Ashes, whose only LP was eventually released in 1970 on the Vault label.
This edition of PBC's last album, is a completely new album!
Reissue team:"We've uncovered no less than six previously unreleased tracks which we think are so good we've decided to reconfigure the album in their honour...
Feb 15, 2009
The Buckinghams started life in Chicago, Illinois in 1965. They were known as The Pulsations. After winning an audition for television station WGN, the station wanted them to have a more "British" sounding name because of the popularity of the British Invasion. A security guard at the station gave them a few suggestions, one of which was The Buckinghams, which all involved liked.
Soon after a local record label, USA, signed them to record 12 songs which they released as Kind of a Drag. One of the songs was "Kind Of A Drag". The label didn't think much of it, but radio station WLS in Chicago started playing it. It became a big hit in the midwest and soon after was a #1 hit across the U.S. The brass they used on some of the songs became known as "The Chicago Sound." But the label had already dropped them, they had no manager, and Dennis Miccoli had already quit the band. A friend of theirs was a cousin of James William Guercio. Guercio told Columbia Records he would get The Buckinghams to sign with them if he was the producer. Both the group and Columbia agreed and Guercio also became their manager.
Their first album for Columbia was Time & Charges. Much of it had the signature Buckingham sound but a couple of numbers, "And Our Love" and "Foreign Policy", were taken over and heavily orchestrated by Guercio. The group didn't really care too much for them but with the songs "Don't You Care" and "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" becoming Top Ten hits, they weren't going to argue with success.
...After Al Kooper left Blood, Sweat & Tears, Bobby Colomby and Steve Katz said they were heavily influenced by The Buckinghams, who they admired for their mix of soul and their use of horns. With that vision in mind, they hired Guercio who became the manager/producer for Blood, Sweat & Tears. He finalized the original vision he had for The Buckinghams by becoming the producer/manager for Chicago...
For their second album, Wake Up...It's Tomorrow, Strawberry Alarm Clock built upon the solid writing and musicianship that inevitably carried over from the Incense and Peppermints project. In retrospect, it is baffling as to why they were relegated to the "one-hit wonders" file, as their most social and musically relevant statements had yet to be made. Stylistically, the material on this album vacillates between the lighter and pop-oriented sides such as "Tomorrow" and the stunningly agile vocal arrangements on "Pretty Song from Psych-Out" to the exceedingly ominous "Curse of the Witches" and "Nightmare of Percussion." Howard Davis -- whose spoken word narration can be heard during the latter track -- arranged some stunning vocal charts for "Soft Skies, No Lies," "Go Back, You're Going the Wrong Way," and the "future" section of the "Black Butter" trilogy. They are reminiscent of the tight harmonies incorporated by Harpers Bizarre or the retro New Vaudeville Band. Conversely, "Sitting on a Star," "They Saw the Fat One Coming", and the first two movements in the "Black Butter" trilogy reflect the group's mod garage rock roots.[net]
Japanese reissue of their second album (1968) with two bonus tracks, 'Tomorrow'(45 single) and 'Sit With The Guru' (45 single).14 tracks total...
The original source (covers,rip,e.t.c.) for this post was kindly offered by a dedicated follower & friend out there...thanks a lot!
Feb 14, 2009
Dick Dale wasn't nicknamed "King of the Surf Guitar" for nothing: he pretty much invented the style single-handedly, and no matter who copied or expanded upon his blueprint, he remained the fieriest, most technically gifted musician the genre ever produced. Dale's pioneering use of Middle Eastern and Eastern European melodies (learned organically through his familial heritage) was among the first in any genre of American popular music, and predated the teaching of such "exotic" scales in guitar-shredder academies by two decades. The breakneck speed of his single-note staccato picking technique was unrivalled until it entered the repertoires of metal virtuosos like Eddie Van Halen, and his wild showmanship made an enormous impression on the young Jimi Hendrix. But those aren't the only reasons Dale was once called the father of heavy metal. Working closely with the Fender company, Dale continually pushed the limits of electric amplification technology, helping to develop new equipment that was capable of producing the thick, clearly defined tones he heard in his head, at the previously undreamed-of volumes he demanded. He also pioneered the use of portable reverb effects, creating a signature sonic texture for surf instrumentals. And, if all that weren't enough, Dale managed to redefine his instrument while essentially playing it upside-down and backwards -- he switched sides in order to play left-handed, but without re-stringing it (as Hendrix later did)...[net]
There are a lot of great tunes here, but some of the songs on this compilation are not the originals (Misirlou, The Victor, Surf Beat, Mr. Peppermint Man, The Wedge, Let's Go Trippin', King Of The Surf Guitar), but are re-recordings from the GNP Crescendo sessions produced by Jim Pewter in 1975. These re-recordings are OK, but certainly they are not like the originals.
But there are several of Dick's "Checkered flag" 1964 Capitol album cuts, also some Del-Tone 1962 album cuts and rare 45's...
From Dublin, Ireland, MELLOW CANDLE specialised in imaginative psychedelic folk rock and early progressive rock, with the singing talents of two ladies (Alison WILLIAMS and Clodagh SIMONDS), in addition to bassist Frank BOYLAN, drummer William MURRAY and guitarist Dave WILLAIMS. They covered both ballad and rock domains equally well. The music displayed a prodigious degree of natural talent for songwriting, harmonizing, and arrangement. A folk-rock in the vein of FAIRPORT CONVENTION or FOTHERINGAY.
"Swaddling Songs" debut album is rich in varied and a true sonic marvel of beauty and simple melodies, and, most of all, a blending of two of the most beautiful voices in all of music. This is a fantastic album that deserves new discovery. A second album, "The Virgin Prophet", featuring unreleased and different versions of songs found on "Swaddling Songs", was released in the mid nineties.
'Swaddling Songs' was released in April 1972 preceded by a double A side single 'Silversong'/ 'Dan The Wing'. Christened a 'Tax loss' by the NME, 'Swaddling Songs' was a glorious fusion of traditional and contemporary folk-rock, laced with Clodagh and Alison's soaring vocals and zigzag harmonies but bombed. Frank Boylan was replaced by ex Spirogyra bassist Steve Borrill and Mellow Candle changed their name to Grace Before Space but split up in 1973.
....."Alison O'Donnell reclines on her living room couch in Brussels reflecting on her time with seminal Irish folk-rockers Mellow Candle. "It was an intensively creative period in my life. At the outset we were enthusiastic Dublin schoolgirls and were ready for anything!"....
Feb 12, 2009
This is a perfectly produced and arranged popsike concept, an ode to the free mind structured by intelligent reconsiderations. It is an album that grows in depth with each listen. The songs are working on a different, almost meditative level, at times directing towards awareness in advance of a conscious dream state, with gateways of instrumentals like paths that direct this way, with a fundament of strummed guitar and flute improvisations, and lots of arrangements. “Hard Headed Women” is one of the most ambitious and longest tracks, starting with a more rockier singing, and with parts of almost classical & contemporary classical arrangements of brass with and without percussion, and another part with drums and kettle drums, while turning this again into something (prog)rockier, on “Home?”, in a progressive and ever changing way. This is followed by another flute part which sounds like a baroque improvisation, which is a Bach composition returning to a classical foundation. “Digress” is more up tempo and rockier as well, is almost avant-garde with its lyrics, like an anti-intellectual-chitchat song, powerful again, just like an ode to real expressions, evolving over a sound collage of thunder and street noises to a somewhat jazzier laid back song. The whole albums is mixed like a perfect musical story with lots of facets hanging together on many levels from a variety of experiences..[review]
The sole album by this Chicago based duo is a treasure trove of strong melodies and dreamy vocal harmonies, which originally appeared in 1970 on the Ovation label. Expect a gorgeous, ethereal blend of psychedelic folk and offbeat pop
supported by an odd assortment of instruments including flute, bells and fuzz guitar.
‘Sidewalk Talking’ is sure to appeal to all fans of overlooked acid folk and popsike.
No wonder it has been sampled by DJ Shadow.
Feb 11, 2009
This is one of the great albums of the 1960's. The Rascals are often slagged for being a singles band. This assumption is far from the truth, many of their albums are excellent. This recording is where psychedelia, soul, folk-rock, garage punk, and ethnic elements mesh successfully into one cohesive offering. The hits (Groovin, How Can I Be Sure, and A Girl Like You)do not a need further explanation. You Better Run is an incredible early punk rock tune that has proved to be very influential. Find Somebody has menacing circular guitar riffs that grab the listener immediately. I'm So Happy Now could have easily found a home on the Beach Boy's masterful Pet Sounds album. Sueno burns with 60's experimentation including backward cymbals and a fiery spanish guitar style riff. Every song is a winner and very individual. This is the Rascals version of the Beatle's great Revolver album (still their best!) In addition, the Rascals voices sound excellent and they have not abodoned their soul roots. This is an essential listen for any 60's rock fan!..[net]
"From the opening "One, Two, Three" of their debut 1966 smash "Good Lovin'," The Young Rascals were the hottest, most dynamic rock group New York had ever seen. The runaway train of chart-topping singles that followed--"I've Been Lonely Too Long," "Groovin'," "A Girl Like You," "How Can I Be Sure," "A Beautiful Morning"--and the four albums they came from, permanently retired the blue-eyed soul trophy"...
Feb 10, 2009
Chicken Shack was actually not far behind Fleetwood Mac in popularity in the late '60s, purveying a more traditional brand of Chicago blues, heavily influenced by Freddie King. Although Webb took most of the songwriting and vocal duties, Christine Perfect also chipped in with occasional compositions and lead singing. In fact, she sang lead on their only British Top 20 single, "I'd Rather Go Blind" (1969). But around that time, she quit the music business to marry John McVie and become a housewife, although, as the world knows, that didn't last too long. Chicken Shack never recovered from Christine's loss, commercially or musically.
Although they were one of the more pedestrian acts of the British blues boom, Chicken Shack was very popular for a time in the late '60s, placing two albums in the British Top 20. The front person of Chicken was not Perfect/McVie, but guitarist Stan Webb, who would excite British audiences by entering the crowds at performances, courtesy of his 100-meter-long guitar lead. They were signed to Mike Vernon's Blue Horizon label, a British blues pillar that had its biggest success with early Fleetwood Mac...
"I wish to go on record as having always thought that the Shack were deserving of far greater acclaim than they actually managed to realise. That they were unable to come up with anything to match either "Black Magic Woman" or "Albatross" in terms of sales is a failure -- if indeed it could be considered to be such -- due to the greater street credibility of Fleetwood Mac rather than Stan's apparent inability to write a so-called hit song."
This second volume from Collectables History of Texas Garage Bands series includes 19 tracks of raw power oddities with a definite psychedelic influence, including seven tracks by Lemon Fog and six from The Nomads. Also included are one-shots by Rebellers, Bo Jest, and David Sanborn. As is the case with many of these obscure comps, the song titles usually tell you what you're in for. In this case, if "Girl From the Wrong Side of Town," "The New Generation," "Three O'Clock Merrian Webster Time," and "Lemon Fog" sound like your type of trip, waste no time in getting this. ~ Al Campbell, All Music Guide
"Three O'Clock Merrian Webster Time" was the original title of the first vinyl issue on "CICADELIC RECORDS" back in 1983,containing 14 tracks by "Lemon Fog" & the "Nomads".
One of the best "Cicadelic" outputs ever!..(to my opinion)
1. Lemon Fog :: The Lemon Fog
2. Summer [Complete Master] :: David Sanborn
3. Echoes of Time :: The Lemon Fog
4. Day by Day :: The Lemon Fog
5. The Prisoner :: The Lemon Fog
6. Yes I Cry :: The Lemon Fog
7. Girl From the Wrong Side of Town :: The Lemon Fog
8. Summer [Backing Track] :: David Sanborn
9. The New Generation :: The Rebellers
10. Common People :: The Rebellers
11. I Walk Alone :: The Nomads
12. I'll Be There :: The Nomads
13. My Little Red Book :: The Nomads
14. Situations :: The Nomads
16. Three O'Clock Merrian Webster Time Demos :: The Nomads
17. Situations- Early Rehearsal :: The Nomads
18. Summer [Single Version] :: The Lemon Fog
19. Summer 95'
Feb 8, 2009
This Nashville band featuring Mindy Dalton, Judi Griffith, Lana Napier, Pame Stephens, and Jean Williams has long been an enigma. There was even a rumour that they were a fictional band, and the material had been recorded quite recently by various American indie luminaries! This despite the original 1969 Athena Records album undoubtedly existing, and fetching astronomical figures
In fact, The Feminine Complex were an all-girl garage band, a rarity in Nashville, to be sure. They were even heavily featured on various TV shows including the nationally syndicated "Showcase '68" and the local "Nashville Now". The Feminine Complex made one of the few genuine "girls in the garage" albums (all original songs too!) in a time when the 45 was king (queen?), and an extraordinary album it is too, as extraordinary indeed as the story of the band...[net]
Livin' Love is a breathtaking album of raw passion and energy. Astonishingly, it contains all original Feminine Complex songs, penned mostly by Mindy Dalton. Recorded in 1968, there is a strong sense of mind-altering musing displayed throughout Dalton's prose, which she denied carried with it any drug connotations. Even though the record is a polished outing, due mainly to the experienced backing-band brought in, there is no question that Dalton's songs demonstrated a considerable emerging talent, deserving of an "A-list" ranking in the league table of late-sixties' female rock stars. Sadly, Livin' Love came and went unnoticed; the original all-girl roster of the Feminine Complex disbanded amicably, and that was that.
The album's opening three numbers are delicately alluring, with a brooding seductiveness that betrays Livin' Love's punch on later numbers. Now I Need You is a swirling cry of desperation, whilst the refraining Are You Lonesome Like Me? possesses a startling songwriting maturity from Dalton; the song could feature on any of Dusty Springfield's better albums and you'd believe it were penned by Lieber & Stoller.
I Won't Run powers up the tempo scales with dashing freneticism and powerful rhythm chords. Exemplary throughout the album are the backing vocals - drenched in reverb, which add a very welcome leftfield edge. Run That Through Your Mind, I Don't Want Another Man and the powerhouse I've Been Working On You signal the very best late-sixties Aretha, suggesting the band’s versatility. It's Magic has a psychedelic ambiance that is ripped apart by a delicious chorus, complete with off-kilter vocal backing...
Titus Groan first came to prominence at the Hollywood Pop Festival of the weekend beginning May 23rd 1970.The happening, however, is better recalled as the launching pad for Mungo Jerry, whose brand of goodtime skiffle was apparently received with wild enthusiasm; so much so that it carried their subsequent single into the charts. From there it soared to No.1 and became a multi million seller, in turn providing their record label, Dawn, with its biggest success, a fact which was something of a paradox, as it was set up by Pye as an "alternative" outlet, on par with Harvest, Vertigo and RCA's Neon.Instead they began recording, and in October that year, Dawn announced a major release package with albums and maxi singles by Demon Fuzz, Comus and Heron, as well as the collection here, Titus Groan. However, as an added bonus, also included the three tracks which made up the Groan's only single, none of which has previously been on an LP. The top-side was "Open The Door, Homer", a Bob Dylan song also known as "Open The Door, Richard", which the Groans may have picked up from the "Great White Wonder" bootleg.
"Titus Groan" was released the same month as their maxi-single. Consisting of a mere five tracks, it was abundantly clear that the group intended to continue the progressive aspects found on "Liverpool". They were extremely powerful instrumentally, Stuart Cowell's guitar and keyboard work combined perfectly with Tony Priestland's sax, flute, oboe and assorted woodwind, creating, and indeed suggesting, the mock-medieval textures also found in Jethro Tull (albeit, heavier), while John Lee and Jim Toomey provided the supportive bass and drums, particularly on the album's epic, "Hall Of Bright Carvings". Taking its title from the opening chapter of the novel which gave the band its name, it's here Titus Groan come closest to their inspiration as they wage a way through an ambitious, multi-part composition. The repeated theme adds a continuity as the piece shifts in mood, embracing a further Peake reference, "The Burning" on the way. The second side doesn't slouch either, Lee and Priestland offer contrasts on "It Can't Change" and "Fuschia", while "It's All Up With Us" is a collective offering. "An interesting, listening format... effective in live performances... a promising first album" - such remarks contained in the relevant 'NME' album review can only be echoed here..[net]
Feb 7, 2009
Century Records was a California custom record label which pressed tens of thousands of small-run records for schools, church groups and obscure local bands and fith flight's into smoke tree village, with its rustic mill whee cover, was a garage psych album consisting mostly of covers, delivered with lashing of fuzz guitar and heavy, spooky organ.The organist is easing in at just the right moment, not too heavy, just right. The vocalist is, well, a bit amatuerish. The stand-out track is surely the band's awesome version of Neil Young's Sugar Mountain which over the years has gained a deseved reputation as a psych masterpiece....
PERFECTLY TASTEFUL HAMMOND ORGAN!! GREAT COVERS!!