Dec 31, 2008


Vanguard may have spelled his name wrong (he prefers Charlie or Charles), but the word was out as soon as this solo debut was released: Here was a harpist every bit as authentic, as emotional, in some ways as adventuresome, as Paul Butterfield. Similarly leading a Chicago band with a veteran Black rhythm section (Fred Below on drums, Bob Anderson on bass) and rock-influenced soloists (keyboardist Barry Goldberg, guitarist Harvey Mandel), Musselwhite played with a depth that belied his age -- only 22 when this was cut! His gruff vocals were considerably more affected than they would become later (clearer, more relaxed), but his renditions of "Help Me," "Early in the Morning," and his own "Strange Land" stand the test of time. He let his harmonica speak even more authoritatively on instrumentals like "39th and Indiana" (essentially "It Hurts Me Too" sans lyrics) and "Cha Cha the Blues," and his version of jazz arranger Duke Pearson's gospel-tinged "Cristo Redentor" has become his signature song -- associated with Musselwhite probably more so than with trumpeter Donald Byrd, who originally recorded the song for Blue Note. Goldberg is in fine form (particularly on organ), but Mandel's snakey, stuttering style really stands out -- notably on "Help Me," his quirky original "4 P.M.," and "Chicken Shack," where he truly makes you think your record is skipping...[net]
1) Baby, Will You Please Help Me (Musselwhite) 3:20
2) No More Lonely Nights 5:15
3) Cha Cha The Blues 3:06
4) Christo Redemptor (Duke Pearson) 3:14
5) Help Me (Carraras, Farver, Ward) 3:31
6) Chicken Shack 4:23
7) Strange Land (Musselwhite) 3:04
8) 39th and Indiana (Musselwhite) 2:43
9) My Baby 2:43
10) Early In The Morning 4:32
11) 4 P.M. (Harvey Mandel) 3:27
12) Sad Day (Barry Goldberg) 5:02

MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING - IN WONDERLAND (NIMBUS 1968) Japan/Korea mastering cardboard sleeve

Incredible harmony pop , an album that's as sunshiney as anything coming from the west coast in the late 60s but which was recorded up in Canada by this obscure little group! The group features both male and female voices , strung together wonderfully, with a sophistication that's way more than simple pop and backed with full strings and tightly groovy rhythms, in a quality that's almost like A&M pop at its best, but even more unique. There's a near-perfect quality to the record through and through a sound that makes us wonder why this one stayed so off the radar, but which makes us love it all that much more for its uniqueness. A number of tracks are familiar, but redone with a very groovy 60s edge -- and titles include "Look Around", "Wonderland", "Do You Know The Way To San Jose", "Pretty People", "Rain Rain Go Away", "Always True To You Darling In My Fashion", and "When The World Was Young"...

IT'S A BEAUTIFUL DAY - MARRYING MAIDEN (COLUMBIA 1970) Japan mastering cardboard sleeve

After their wonderful debut from 1969, Linda LaFlamme left replaced by Fred Webb. Here, the songs tend to be softer and shorter than on their debut, and also more eclectic. There's a few stinkers on this album as well, like "The Dolphins", but some great songs like "Essence of Now", "Soapstone Mountain", and "Good Lovin'". Two songs features Jerry Garcia on pedal steel, "Hoedown" and "It Comes Right Down To You", which have, not surprisingly a country-ish flavor, especially since the Dead did release two country-ish albums at the same time, Workingman's Dead and American Beauty. It's strange that Marrying Maiden should be It's a Beautiful Day's best selling album even though it's not as good as their first.,,[net]
From the sharp opening bars of Don and Dewey to the end, this album is comprised of some of the best music.
Listening to it, you get a firm essence of the late sixties - Haight Ashbury sound but with an added dose of sophistication and perfection.
No one can possibly listen to ESSENCE OF NOW and not be hit by the haunting music and the lyrical, unforgettable words.
This album stays with you for some time after hearing it and any serious rock or blue grass fan should have a copy for their library...[net]

& here is a link to the first IABD album also in the same Jap reissue series...thanks to a blog's friend out there...
First Album

Dec 30, 2008

LE ORME - COLLAGE (PHILIPS 1971) Japan mastering cardboard sleeve [Italian Prog.]

Collage was the third album from Le Orme, and the first of theirs to be genuinely progressive. Having just reduced the band to a three piece, Le Orme have a more sparse, raw sound on this album than their later efforts. In general, however, this album set the scene for the next three albums with its combination of keyboard bombast, sublime melodies and the strong presence of dei Rossi's drums.
The title track opens the album with much pomp, and a little bit of Scarlatti thrown into the mix.
The rest of the album is of fairly good quality, with songs ranging from fairly typical early seventies rock to dark and atmospheric space-prog.
There is an overall "recorded live in the studio" feel of the album, which in some ways is enjoyable, but I find it detracts from the romantic-melodic atmosphere that Italian bands do so well.
This album is in most respects inferior to the three subsequent albums released by Le Orme. It could possibly lay claim to having greater consistency than Contrappunti, and the rawer, agressive jamming quality may appeal to some.
It is an album all Le Orme fans should get around to owning, but it is by no means essential for anybody else...[net]
1. Collage — 4:42
2. Era Inverno — 5:00
3. Cemento Armato — 8:08
4. Sguardo Verso il Cielo — 4:12
5. Evasione Totale — 6:56
6. Immagini — 2:58
7. Morte une Fiore — 3:00

Dec 29, 2008

WHO - MEATY BEATY BIG & BOUNCY #### (TRACK 1971) Japan mastering cardboard sleeve

After the success of The Who's 6th album, "Who's Next", Decca Records decided to throw together a compilation to reintroduce The Who's earlier stuff to new fans who had only heard "Who's Next". The end result was "Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy", the second Who compilation to be released on either side of the Atlantic and the third overall (preceded by "Direct Hits" in the UK and "Magic Bus" in the US. The album was released on November 20, 1971 in the US peaking at number 11 in the charts. It was released on December 3, 1971 in the UK, due to the fact that Kit Lambert wanted to change the track listing but wasn't able to. In the UK, "Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy" reached number 9.
The album contains 14 of The Who's best tracks between 1965 and 1970. This album contained many non-album singles as well as album favorites. "Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy" does a good job summarizing The Who's career up to 1970 in under 45 minutes. While it might seem obselete to newer compilations like "The Ultimate Collection", "Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy" is still a fan favorite.
1. "I Can't Explain" - 2:05
2. "The Kids Are Alright" - 2:45
3. "Happy Jack" - 2:12
4. "I Can See For Miles" - 4:06
5. "Pictures of Lily" - 2:43
6. "My Generation" - 3:18
7. "The Seeker" - 3:11
8. "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere" - 2:42
9. "Pinball Wizard" - 2:59
10. "A Legal Matter" - 2:48
11. "Boris the Spider" - 2:28
12. "Magic Bus" - 3:21
13. "Substitute" - 3:49
14. "I'm a Boy" (alternate version) - 3:41

Dec 28, 2008

SURFARIS - FUN CITY,USA (DECCA 1964) Remastered reissue

A Glendora, CA, surf group remembered for "Wipe Out," the number two 1963 hit that ranks as one of the great rock instrumentals featuring a classic up-and-down guitar riff and a classic solo drum roll break, both of which were emulated by millions of beginning rock & rollers. They recorded an astonishing number of albums (about half a dozen) and singles in the mid-'60s; the "Wipe Out" follow-up, "Point Panic," was the only one to struggle up to the middle of the charts. The Surfaris were not extraordinary, but they were more talented than the typical one-shot surf group; drummer Ron Wilson was praised by session stickman extraordinaire Hal Blaine, and his uninhibited splashing style sounds like a direct ancestor to Keith Moon. He also took the lead vocals on the group's occasional Beach Boys imitations...[net]

Dec 27, 2008

STANDELLS - DIRTY WATER (TOWER 1966) Mastered in mono + bonus

"Dirty Water" is their Tower debut. The title song is a Punk classic reproduced on numerous "Nuggets" type comps, and along with the five and-a-half minute b-side, "Rari" was recorded in Hollywood by Richard Podolor. Most of the remaining tracks - originals, covers, and songs written by Cobb, an accomplished sonwriter - were recorded a year later (April 1966) at Kearnie Barton's Seattle Studio, and were "over-modulated directly to the multi-track tape, causing the finished master to become a powerful...gritty and distorted wash of sound..." charactistic of the Northwest punk/garage bands recording at Barton's studio during the period (such as the Sonics). These early recordings contained influenced later groups like the MC5.
Drummer Dave Dodd (an ex-Mouseketeer!) had a sexy, delicately cool and seductive voice that influenced (N.Y. Dolls guitarist)Johnny Thunders' breathy singing on "Hurt Me" and other classics. Dodd sings about two-thirds of the material included and is a near-forgotton punk-rock progenitor. He could snarl with the best Jagger-imitators and convey the soft bad-boy sexiness that exudes both cruelty and vulnerability. (His vocal on the classic "Medication" is one of the most understated and seductive ever!). Despite scores of versions recorded in 1966, Dodd manages to make "Hey Joe" sound like it was written for him. Keyboardist Larry Tamblyn also contributes a couple of fine rockers. The bonus cuts are all worthy,including the pre-Cobb audition track, the early-Beatles influenced "It's All In Your Mind," and two solid outtakes from the "Try It" sessions...


Third album & the Blues Project by this time were ready to disband. Al Kooper and Steve Katz would go onto form Blood Sweat and Tears, and Danny Kalb would do some jamming around before forming Seatrain. The egos and the different music influences did them in. As Kooper would go onto say the only thing they had in common was that they were all Jewish. Kooper was a veteran of music already starting in the business when he was 15, and scoring with "Short Shorts" in 1958, and then went onto be part of Bob Dylan's band of studio musicians. He was the Rock and Roller, Danny Kalb was strictly blues, Steve Katz was the folk musician, and the keyboard player was into classical music while the drummer was a jazz addict. Thier breed of music was strictly underground where some songs got recognition, but it would take "No Time Like The Right Time" to become thier lone hit song. They did gain some airplay with the FM side with "Wake Me Shake Me", "I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes", and the legendary "Flute Thing". This was an album to be freed from thier recording contract, but it's done up rather well. There's some very good sounds with an electric version of "Flute Thing", and also "Where There's Smoke There's Fire" with some showy organ playing by Kooper...

Dec 26, 2008

TRISTE JANERO - MEET TRISTE JANERO (WHITE WHALE 1968) Japan mastering cardboard sleeve

Dallas was hardly the capital of Latin-tinged summer sixties' pop in 1969, so when a band in their early-twenties named Triste Janero (a name curiously derived from the Portuguese for 'Sad January') released their only album Meet Triste Janero, the world hardly shuddered to a halt. Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 had authentic Latin origins, and had captured an appreciative Jazz audience. To Triste Janero's peril, a lack of promotion from original label White Whale ensured that only the band's hometown offered a welcoming reception, and soon after they disbanded. That's a crying shame, as Meet Triste Janero is a soft-pop Latin-drenched classic of shimmering, warm sounds.
The beautiful thing about Triste Janero is being able to listen to them tread the fine line between pop and jazz whilst simultaneously stamping their own trademark over each song. After the sultry instrumental taster A Beginning Dream opens the proceedings, album standout Rene De Marie casually seduces the listener with its stark chords and evocative vocals by lead temptress Barbara Baines, still only a young teenager at the time. The band's wonderful arrangement of the Bacharach-David classic Walk On By even predates the emerging fusion of electric guitars with contemporary jazz, a genre predominant of the early seventies and exemplified by Santana's Caravanserai.
The cover of Nilsson's Without Her switches genders from a male to a female perspective, and is the closest Triste Janero come to a Brasil '66 sound. Before you know it, they've also tread through territories pioneered by Jobim, Francis Lai and even The Lovin' Spoonful. The band's take on the latter's You Didn't Have To Be So Nice arguably usurps the original as standard version.
Jazzy instrumental finale T.J. Blues is a lengthy closer that allows the band some improvisational experimentation.
Meet Triste Janero is a lost classic of a debut album; it demonstrates startling maturity from a very young band and it expertly blends together differing genres of sunshine-guitar-pop to form an embracing, cherished sound...

J.K. & Co - SUDDENLY ONE SUMMER ###### (WHITE WHALE 1968) Japan mastering cardboard sleeve

This album was created by J.K., a 15-yr. old (!) who was used to hanging out with musicians and entertainment types. The kid also took acid (and judging from the lyrics, heroin) and listened to the Beatles, and this album is the result of those experiences, and also trying to create a song cycle that described the think line between life and death, with songs about childhood and innocent love in the beginning, then growing awareness in the middle, and then death at the end, all shot through with a sense of freedom and release.
It is a quite effective effort, and the music is very interesting and sophisticated, particularly for such a young mind. "Fly" is gorgeous and very Beatles-esque, almost worth owning the album alone. "Christine" is a nice simple love song, and "Nobody" and "O.D." introduce the darker side of awareness leading to the many-faceted "Dead" that closes the album. The album is extremely interesting!!
The musicianship is also very good, with psych-tinged guitars bouncing here and there, droning bass pulsing in the background and various other studio effects for good measure. (Backwards Piano, sitar, some mellotron... you name it.) Really, it's all outstanding stuff. Jay's voice also fits the theme of the record perfectly and is often haunting and spooky in it's delivery...

Dec 24, 2008

REMO FOUR - SMILE (STAR-CLUB 1967) + 8 bonus

An obscure Merseybeat band that went through several stylistic changes over the course of their nearly decade-long life, the Remo Four were very popular for a time in Liverpool around the time the Beatles were still playing in the Cavern, and were even signed by Brian Epstein, but never had anything approaching a hit single......
......By 1966, the Remo Four were spending most of their time in Hamburg, Germany, where they played the Star Club. Their personnel also altered around this time, and with the incorporation of organist Tony Ashton, their sound took on far more of a soul-jazz flavor. They did a couple of singles and an album, Smile!, for the Star Club's label in 1966 and 1967, and these show quite a bit of artistic growth from their Merseybeat days. The Remo Four were now a sophisticated soul-jazz-rock group with prominent organ, in the mold of other British artists of the era like Graham Bond, Georgie Fame, Zoot Money, and Brian Auger, although they were not explicitly derivative of any of the aforementioned figures, with hints of the straighter rock approach of the Animals and the Spencer Davis Group. Although they wrote little original material, their arrangements and interpretations were forceful and imaginative...[net]

Dec 23, 2008

JACKIE DeSHANNON - WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW...(IMPERIAL 1968) Japan mastering cardboard sleeve

She's often held up as a paradigm, a prime example of one creative woman standing up for herself in a male dominated industry at a very sexist time. And she's even better known for her two big hits: "Put A Little Love In Your Heart" and "What The World Needs Now Is Love." But not many know that Jackie DeShannon wrote tons of songs -- some of which were hits -- for other artists.
"What The World Needs Now Is Love" was her only No1 hit in 1968 and also appeared in the 1969 film "Bob,Carol,Ted & Alice"...Here

COUNT FIVE - PSYCHOTIC REACTION#### (DOUBLE SHOT 1966) Japan mastering cardboard sleeve + bonus

Count Five was a 1960s garage rock band from San Jose, California, best known for their Top 10 single "Psychotic Reaction".
The band was founded in 1964 by John "Mouse" Michalski (born 1948, Cleveland, Ohio) (lead guitar) and Ken Ellner (born 1948, Brooklyn, New York) (harmonica, vocals), two high school friends who had previously played in several short-lived outfits. After going shortly under the name The Squires, and several line-up changes later, the Count Five were born. Roy Chaney (born 1948, Indianapolis, Indiana) took over bass duties, John "Sean" Byrne (born 1947, Dublin, Ireland, died 2008) played rhythm guitar and lead vocals, and Craig "Butch" Atkinson (born 1947, San Jose, California, died 1999) played drums. The Count Five gained distinction for their habit of wearing Count Dracula-style capes when playing live.
"Psychotic Reaction", an acknowledged cornerstone of garage rock, was initially devised by Byrne, with the group refining it and turning it into the highlight of their live sets. The song was influenced by the style of contemporary musicians such as The Standells and The Yardbirds. The band members were rejected by several record labels before they got signed to the Los Angeles-based Double Shot Records. "Psychotic Reaction" was released as a single, and found immediate popularity in the protopunk scene, peaking at #5 in the U.S. charts in late 1966. The band got along for about another year, but dropped out of view altogether when their only hit had fallen from public memory. Another setback to a potential career in the music business was the decision of the five members (who were between the ages of 17 and 19) to pursue college degrees...

Dec 22, 2008

NOTES FROM THE UNDERGROUND #### (VANGUARD 1968) master edition

Berkeley, CA, psychedelic outfit Notes from the Underground formed in 1965, originally comprised of singer multi instr. Fred Sokolow, guitarist Mark Mandell, bassist Mike O'Connor, keyboardist John Miller, and drummer Joe Luke. One of the first Bay Area rock bands of any real distinction, the group played at the first Longshore's Hall concert presented by the now legendary Family Dog collective -- they also regularly headlined the local club the Jabberwock when the house band, their chief rivals Country Joe & the Fish, were taking a night off. With the exits of Miller and Luke, Notes from the Underground recruited keyboardist Jim Work and drummer Peter Ostwald; soon after, fledgling producer and folklorist Chris Strachwitz proposed helming the Notes' first recording session, which yielded a self-titled EP issued in 1966 on the Changes label.
The attendant publicity no doubt prompted an offer to serve as the house band at Berkeley's New Orleans House, followed by a contract with Vanguard Records -- after swapping Work for jazz-trained keyboardist Skip Rose, the Notes traveled to New York City to cut their lone LP (also self-titled), an expansive, eclectic affair highlighted by the single "Down in the Basement." However, both O'Connor and Ostwald resigned soon after the sessions wrapped, and Vanguard -- questioning the band's continued existence -- opted to cut its losses, spending no money on promotion and voiding their contract...

Dec 21, 2008

SOUL SURVIVORS - WHEN THE WHISTLE BLOWS...(CRIMSON 1968) Remastered reissue + bonus

The Soul Survivors began their singing career in New York City as a street corner vocal group known as The Dedications. The early days were spent trying to audition and be heard by record companies and music publishers located in Broadway's famous Brill Building. Eventually, they found their way into the recording studios,landing their own record deal with Bell Records. Their first recording "I Ain't A Bit Sorry" reached the top ten list on New York's popular rhythm and blues radio station WWRL.
After several years of playing various venues in the New York area, they teamed up with a group of instrumentalists and became the band known as The Soul Survivors. As their popularity grew, especially in the Atlantic City - Philadelphia area, they attracted the attention of record producers Kenny Gamble and Loen Huff. Their meeting resulted in the recording of "Expressway To Your Heart". The record was a smash reaching one on all regional charts and number four on Billboard's national chart. Written and produced by Gamble and Huff, it would be that duo's first "crossover" hit and would serve as a cornerstone of what would later become known as "The Sound Of Philadelphia". In polls taken by the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia's City Paper, "Expressway" was voted the number one record ever to come out of Philadelphia."Expressway" was followed by two other chart records, "Explosion In My Soul" and "Mission Impossible". At this time they also released their first album,"When The Whistle Blows". A second LP, "Take Another Look" for Atco Records, was recorded at Atlantic Records' New York studios and in the legendary Fame Studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama with producer Rick Hall and his famous session musicians which included guitarist Duane Allman, as well as keyboardist Barry Beckett, guitarist Jimmy Johnson, drummer Roger Hawkins, bassist David Hood and, of course, The Memphis Horns. From these sessions came "Mama Soul",a regional hit in many markets including Memphis, Georgia, Connecticut, and Europe...

GEORGIE FAME - SHORTY (EPIC 1970) Japan cardboard sleeve remastered

Clive Powell, 26 June 1943, Leigh, Lancashire, England. Entrepreneur Larry Parnes gave the name to this talented organist during the early 60s following a recomm. from songwriter Lionel Bart. Parnes already had a Power, a Wilde, an Eager and a Fury. All he now needed was Fame. It took a number of years before Fame and his band the Blue Flames had commercial success, although he was a major force in the popularizing of early R&B, bluebeat and ska at London's famous Flamingo club. The seminal Rhythm And Blues At The Flamingo was released in January 1964. Chart success came later that year with a UK number 1, "Yeh, Yeh". Fame's jazzy nasal delivery, reminiscent of Mose Allison, made this record one of the decade's classic songs. He continued with another 11 hits, including two further UK chart toppers, "Getaway" and "The Ballad Of Bonnie And Clyde", the latter of which was his only US Top 10 single. Even the lesser hits such as "Something" (written by John Mayall) and "In The Meantime" (written by John Burch, were of a high standard. They all maintained his jazz feel, which continued on such striking mood pieces as "Sunny" and "Sitting In The Park". Thereafter for a few years, Fame veered towards straight pop. His recent change of record labels (from Columbia Records to CBS Records) was an attempt to re-market him and at one stage he was teamed with the Harry South Big Band. While his albums showed a more progressive style his singles became lightweight, the nadir being when he teamed up with Alan Price to produce some catchy but dire pop songs. "Rosetta" being the lowest point of musical credibility but the highest point in commercial terms...[net]

Dec 20, 2008

ROBIN LENT - SCARECROW'S JOURNEY (NEPENTHA 1971) Japan cardboard sleeve remastered

"I was born in Cuba and raised in the US, Asia, and Europe. I started playing the guitar quite young, but was never a serious student. My parents watched me play a tennis racket along with the radio for a year and bought me an acoustic guitar. We were living in Japan then. I picked up the electric bass years later. In my early teens, I met an incredibly talented singer & guitarist, Anne Hughes, who inspired me to get serious about my playing and singing.
I've spent a few decades now in the world of music, playing in various bands in clubs in California, then in England's folk scene. My big break came when I landed a part in the musical HAIR. This was in the 70's and I played Woof in the Amsterdam production. It was a great gig. We recorded a double album of the musical and I sang lead and back up vocals. At this time, I landed my album deal for "Scarecrow's Journey" through Peace Productions in Holland. Following the release, I giged several years as a solo artist, in the UK and in Europe..." [net]

Dec 17, 2008

VENTURES - WALK DON'T RUN [first album] (LIBERTY/DOLTON 1961) Remastered reissue

Although The Ventures (who first called themselves The Versatones) consisted of just Bob Bogle and Don Wilson, right up to the time they recorded "Walk Don't Run", they needed a bass and drums to have a full combo. The lack of bass and drums during their first two years, caused them to develop a unique rhythm-heavy style, in which Don Wilson basically tried to be "an orchestra on six strings". It was this strong "in the pocket" interplay between lead and rhythm guitar which gave The Ventures their trademark sound, one which captivated huge audiences. When they added Nokie Edwards on bass, and Howie Johnson on drums, right after being signed by Dolton Records, they maintained this strong lead/rhythm interplay, so that even with Johnson's very much jazz/swing-influenced drum style, their sound carried an aggressive "drive" that was very influential on the sound of guitar-based combos that followed...

RIP CHORDS - THREE WINDOW COUPE (COLUMBIA 1964) Japan cardboard sleeve DSD mastering

One of the first rock acts signed to Columbia Records in the USA, the Rip Chords were best known for a "hot rod" hit in early 1964, "Hey Little Cobra", which reached the Top 5 just as the Beatles broke through in the USA. The band's records were actually the work of singer producer Terry Melcher (b. Terrence Jorden, 8 February 1942, New York City, New York, USA, d. 19 November 2004, Beverly Hills, California, USA), and singer Bruce Johnston (b. 27 June 1942, Los Angeles, California, USA), later of the Beach Boys. However, that duo did not represent the Rip Chords in concerts; a completely different set of musicians was sent out on the road. The Rip Chords were an already-existing group of musicians including Phil Stewart, Ernie Bringas, Arnie Marcus and Rich Rotkin. Stewart and Bringas approached Melcher, a staff producer at Columbia, and were signed to the label. Their first single, "Here I Stand", was a minor chart hit in 1963, as was "Gone", written by Melcher and Johnston and featuring the latter on background vocals. Melcher and Johnston heard "Hey Little Cobra', written by former Teddy Bears member Annette Kleinbard under the name Carol Connors, and recorded it themselves. Although the pair had planned to record under the name Bruce And Terry, they decided to release the record under the Rip Chords" name, since that band had already appeared in the charts. The single shot to number 4. Hey Little Cobra And Other Hot Rod Hits, was recorded in 1964, featuring Melcher and Johnston singing on nearly half the tracks. Another car-orientated single, "Three Window Coupe", by Jan Berry of Jan And Dean and Roger Christian, was a Top 30 hit in the summer of 1964 and was followed with an album of the same name, which also featured Melcher and Johnston on most of the tracks. After one final chart single, "One Piece Topless Bathing Suit", Melcher turned down the Brian Wilson composition "Help Me Rhonda" for the Rip Chords and took on more production for Columbia, most notably for Paul Revere And The Raiders and the Byrds. From that point on the Rip Chords ceased to exist.

Dec 16, 2008

GROWING CONCERN (MAINSTREAM 1968) Japan cardboard sleeve remastered

This self-titled album by The Growing Concern curiously first saw the light of day in 1968 on Bob Shad's Mainstream label, an imprint more familiar to jazz and blues fans than devotees of psych/pop. Perhaps Shad thought he was going to repeat his commercial triumph (Big Brother & The Holding Co), with The Growing Concern. However, the band was a different proposition altogether with its emphasis on beautiful vocal harmonies and fantastic guitar and organ work rather than the Joplin-dominated R&B of Big Brother, and consequently Shad only allowed the group into the studio on a single occasion, dropping them from the label after this, their eponymous debut. The album, which is brilliantly recorded, is of a consistently high musical quality and the band surely deserved a better fate than the obscurity that Shad's indifference consigned them to.

ELLIE POP (MAINSTREAM 1968) Japan cardboard sleeve remastered

Catchy psychedelic era pop songcraft from Ellie Pop -- one of the fruits from the vine of "Mainstream Records" psyche years! Ellie Pop starts with some upbeat, mod R&B-tinged rhythms -- then brings in sunny harmonies, fuzzy guitars, and swirling organs -- all produced with a simple, elegant sound that really makes the whole thing sparkle! The album's a groovy, tuneful obscurity that's worth a late discovery and titles include "Seven North Frederick", "Winner Loser", "Can't Be Love", "Remembering (Sunnybrook)", "Seems I've Changed", "Caught In The Rain",Oh! My Friend, "Some Time Ago", "No Thanks Mr Mann", and "Whatcha Gonna Do".Nice!!!

THE PURPLE GANG (TRANSATLANTIC 1968) Remastered + 4 bonus

They adopted the name, The Purple Gang when they changed their image to the well-dressed, clean-cut "gangster" style in the sixties.
Although they were associated with the London psychedelic scene at the time of their near-brush with fame, they originated in Stockport in Cheshire, in north-west England, as a Jugband. In London, they engaged Joe Boyd as their producer, and shared a studio with Pink Floyd as they cut their first single, Granny takes a trip (named after the eponymous shop in the Kings Road). Floyd were making their own first single, Arnold Layne, at the time.
Unfortunately, the BBC spotted the word trip in the title and assumed it to be a reference to LSD. They banned the record from their airwaves. Also noticing that the band's lead singer at the time (Pete Walker) was nicknamed "Lucifer", they said that the group "would not be tolerated by any decent society". An LP, "The Purple Gang strikes" was released in 1968, but failed to sell.
A bit of the hippie acid-folk vibe seeps into one of the better and more mysterious cuts, "The Wizard," which actually does have a trilling electric guitar. A wee bit of British pop-psych bonhomie also colors "The Sheik," "Kiss Me Goodnight Sally Green," and their most famous track by far, "Granny Takes a Trip".
Pirate radio station DJ's such as John Peel praised the group, but without backing from the big record companies, fortune would elude them.Here

THE STRANGELOVES - I WANT CANDY++++ (BANG 1965-67) 20 tracks most in STEREO

It began as a lark,a gimmick,a goof,but when the dust settled,The Strangeloves had carved themselves a unique place in rock history having recorded three of the 60's lasting pop anthems in "I want Candy","Night Time" and "Cara-Lin".
Whimsically looking to take advantage of America's newfound fascination with music from abroad-The British invasion was hitting its stride-Brill Scene pop songsters/producers Bob Feldman,Jerry Goldstein and Richard Gottehrer playfully conceived of an Australian trio,wild,wholly and otherwise outrageous,The Strangeloves.
When the trio had their early singles explode up the pop charts,the gag turned serious...The Strangeloves were for real!!!
This collection of the group Bang's recordings also includes hard-to find collectibles from their Swan & Sire label efforts...

Dec 14, 2008

ASTRONAUTS - GO GO GO!!!...... (RCA VICTOR 1965) Japan cardboard sleeve K2 remastered

Well..I guess there's nothing left to say about the "Astronauts"..this is their 1965 album "Go Go Go!!!" and the last one worth hearing, may be along with the next one "From Us To You"...(my opinion)...Here

PLAIN JANE (HOBBIT 1969) Limited Reissue

This enigmatic US quartet made only one album,which originally appeared in 1969 and has barely been heard since.
Recently described in the Miami Sun Post as "a vanished masterpiece of charming rural innocence", it's classy combination of laid-back acoustic rock, power pop and gorgeous vocal harmonies, dappled with some tasty fuzz guitar.
With an ever growing reputation amongst psych aficionados... it's highly recommended!

PUSSY (MORGAN BLUE TOWN 1969) Japan cardboard sleeve remastered

Well, how many albums do you hear that sport a meowing cat for an introduction? With pixie-like vocals, which puts them in the early Pink Floyd territory, Pussy's modus operandi throughout the album is a heavy, funereal keyboard style laced with freaky guitar solos. But this is by no means a dark and gloomy album. Off-kilter would be a better description. The opener, "Come Back June" sports a surf-like Ventures style rhythm with a punchy guitar break halfway through. "All My Life" and "We Built The Sun" are more spacey, cerebral organ sponged songs. The former borders on drug-induced self pity, while the latter, through the lyrical personification of nature, tries to be somewhere else entirely-in the land of the sun people. Make sure you're sitting down for the interstellar overdrive of "Comets", which is the hands-down centerpiece of the album. You won't believe what's at the epicenter of this freak out either-yes, a raging theramin solo (or at least a keyboard that sounds very convincing)! Returning from that trip leads you to the gentler, earthier "Tragedy In F. Minor", that recalls some of the Pretty Things work on the S.F. Sorrow album; the acoustic guitar is wonderful on this piece. The last song, the instrumental "G.E.A.B." is another heavy standout, this time featuring guitar workout that builds to a fuzzy rave-up climax-and then the cat again...Highly recommended.