Tuesday, March 25, 2014

March's Picks

1. THE ROLLING STONES-"Midnight Rambler" 
Raunchy, sinister and powerful just the same. This is The Stones at the height of (as Keith Richards called it) their “Lucifer he’s my boy, we’re like this” phase where they churn out the creepiest fucking song ever written with some disturbing imagery and a crescendo towards the end AND a finale that’ll make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

A perfect marriage of mid 60’s freakbeat meeting good old fashioned British 60’s mod/r&b with cheesy combo organ and slashing power chords dashed with throbbing bass consigned to the b-side of their dreadful 1966 debut single “Specially When”.


 3. THE SEARCHERS-"Popcorn Double Feature (Live BBC)" 
The Searchers pull out all the stops on Tim Wilde’s social commentary number from a “Top Of The Pops” January ’67 appearance resplendent with distorted, jangling guitars that has them playing like their lives (and careers) depended on it. I couldn't find a YouTube link for the Beeb version so here's the studio one:


4. THE POETS-"Now We're Thru" 
I’d all but forgotten this track by “the Zombies of Scotland” till I was having drinks and dinner with a late friend’s dad who piqued my memory and interest by telling me about seeing The Poet’s on “Shindig” doing their moody debut 45 and I got home and played it repeatedly.


A pulsating head trip about the 1906 San Francisco earthquake seen through the eyes of a seeing eye dog with a demented Sunset Strip go-go beat. From their incredible debut LP “Part One” that's a perfect marriage of jangly West Coast folk rock and trippy/freaky full on psychedelia.


6. MICKEY LEE LANE-“She Don’t Want To” 
Everyone knows Mickey’s famous tune that The Action covered “Hey Sah Lo Ney” and his lame "hit" single "Shaggy Dog" but few folks are aware of his next Swan 45 an upbeat number with an infectious call and response and some great breaks. This 45 doesn't get much notice and I would've never known about had I not taken a shot a bought it many, many years ago. Of course I can't find it on YouTube.

7. THE WHO-“Much Too Much” 
One of my fave songs from the ‘Oo’s debut LP “My Generation” is this moody rocker full of angry power chords, cool surf harmonies and Moon’s restrained drumming all neatly tied up in a bow by Daltrey’s angst ridden vocals and Nicky Hopkin’s piano trills.


8. THE TELL TALE HEARTS-“I Get Up In The Morning”
San Diego’s Tell Tale Hearts cut a 1963 Heinz E.P. track back in ’85 or so for a flexi my guru/mentor Ron Rimsite’s old ‘zine “99th Floor”. In my book it betters the original and predates what the Kaisers were trying to do by a decade.


9. THE LA DE DA's-"On Top Of The World"
Cool, off the wall cover of an obscure John Mayall and the Bluebreakers number by New Zealand's best known 60's garage/punk band The La De Da's. The La De Da's did a lot of covers, in fact most tunes I know by them are versions of other people's songs and usually I'm not a big fan of them but this one blows me away!


10. ALVIN ROBINSON-“Searchin’” 
My fave version of The Coasters standard is this May 1964 cover that slays all competition in my book and perfectly encapsulates the marriage of r&b with soul music to these ears.


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Hollywood Yanks: Chad & Jeremy

CHAD AND JEREMY-Paxton Quigley's Had The Course U.S. Promo Columbia 4-44660 1968

Chad (Stuart) and Jeremy (Clyde) had an interesting odyssey, far bigger in the States than in their home in the U.K. they were dubbed "Hollywood Yanks" after being based out there and appearing on a host of American TV shows like "The Patty Duke Show", "Batman", "The Dating Game" and Chad (along with fellow ex-pat Lord Tim Hudson) did the Liverpudlian vulture voices for Disney's film "The Jungle Book".

Strangely their U.S. 45 discography was more than double their U.K. output, their U.K. releases ended with 1966's "You Are She" while they continued to release U.S. singles on Columbia (whom they'd been with since 1965's "I Have Dreamed") right up till 1968.  Today's subject was their final U.S. 45 from the film LP soundtrack "Three In The Attic", technically their last long player, issued in October 1968. My copy is a double sided promo. It was also issued with a flip "You Need Feet (You Need Hands)" bearing the same catalog number.

By 1968 they'd been generously afforded the opportunity to release two amazing yet commercially dismal albums, "Of Cabbages And Kings" (1967) and "The Ark" (1968), both recorded in the States with no expense spared with production by Gary Usher. "Paxton Quigley's Had The Course" was issued on the LP "The Ark" and was also used in the film "Three In An Attic" which starred Christopher Jones (shortly after his appearance as "Max Frost" in "Wild In The Streets") as Paxton Quigley a lothario held in an attic by three women. Easily fitting in with their material from "Of Cabbages And Kings" or "The Ark" (where it also closed side two of), "Paxton Quigley's Had The Course" is a lushly produced (by Gary Usher) pop psych ditty with an upbeat lilt, vocals through a Leslie, catchy acoustic riff, some funky cowbell and Fab Four psych pastiches towards the end (and what sounds to me like a cross between "S.F. Sorrow" meets The Moodie's "On The Threshold Of A Dream").  Certainly one of the freakiest thinks C&J ever concocted!

It is available on the CD reissue of "The Ark". Interestingly "Paxton Quigley" is the name of woman female firearms advocate....

Hear "Paxton Quigley's Had The Course":


Watch the entire film:

Thursday, March 13, 2014

More U.K. Obscurities On U.S. Labels: Svensk

SVENSK-Dream Magazine/Getting Old  U.S. Fontana F-1605 1967

The curiously named 60's group Svensk were not in fact Swedish but were a U.K.pop/psych duo from Bournemouth! Formed in 1967 by locals Roger Hopkins, an aspiring music journalist AND fashion photographer and Jason Paul, a model. The two had met on a shoot in Paris and upon their return to the U.K. hatched the ideas to form a group. Hopkins secured a meeting with Page One impresario Larry Page through none other than Roy Orbison and upon hearing their demo for an original composition called "Dream Magazine" Page smelled a "hit" and signed them to his Page One label.  The single was launched in August 25, 1967 as Page One POF 036. It's American counterpart, seen here today hit the shelves in December 1967 on Fontana (as was the practice with nearly all of Page One's releases destined for America until the label was launched in the U.S. in June of 1968).

For those who've never heard it "Dream Magazine" is a perfect mid tempo pop psych masterpiece.  Starting out with some classical Bach organ it's simplistic backing of acoustic guitar, drums and bass works well with the subdued vocals and the atmospheric organ adding just the right touch.  It reminds me of a mix of Nirvana meets Philamore Lincoln, never a bad thing at all.

The flip "Getting Old" is a bit rougher edged but still has a pop/psych air about it and though not as powerful as the A-side it is still a great tune.  It reminds me a lot of the End's "Cardboard Watch", maybe it's the vocal phrasing.  Sadly the tune was not the hit Page predicted, but he kept them around for one more single "You" b/w "All I Have To Do Is Dream" (Page One POF 050 November 1967).  I have not come across a domestic copy of this so it's safe to say today's specimen was their only U.S. release.

Svensk, courtesy of Marmalade Skies

"Dream Magazine" was reissued on the debut CD of excellent "Piccadilly Sunshine"series on "Volume One" as well as the CD version of "The Electric Sugarcube Flashback".  "Getting old" showed on on the "English Freakbeat Volume 3" CD/LP as well as the "Hen's Teeth Vol.1" CD.

For the full story on Svensk head over to Marmalade Skies here.

Hear "Dream Magazine":


Hear "Getting Old":


Monday, March 3, 2014


I just received word here at Anorak Thing H.Q. that our British r&b hero Duffy Power passed away on February 19th 2014. A more fitting tribute will follow shortly in the meantime you can have a gander at some of our bits on his records here, here and here. He also placed in our "Ten 20th Century Britons You Should Know" feature.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

More U.K. Obscurities On U.S. Labels: Rey Anton & The Peppermint Men

REY ANTON & THE PEPPERMINT MEN-Wishbone/Kingsway U.S. ABC-Paramount 45-10652 1965

Bournemouth, U.K.'s Rey Anton cut a slew of 45's in his native country. He cut three as a solo artist on Oriole, one on the same label with The Batons and five with The Peppermint Men and three later ones with The Pro Form (with whom he appeared in the film "Date Line Diamonds" along with The Small Faces and Kiki Dee).
Today's item of interest was his seventh U.K. 45 (Parlophone R5245 February 1965) and to my knowledge the only one that garnered a U.S. release.

"Wishbone" is a gritty little piece of Chicago style r&b driven by a harp with a "Hi Heel Sneakers" meets "Big Boss Man" groove to it with some gritty vocals reminiscent of fellow r&b cats David John & The Mood. The flip side "Kingsway" at first almost sounded like an instrumental version of the A-side till I had a listen again back to back until I figured out it was not!  It does utilize the same harmonica and chugging guitar lick so beloved to mid 60's U.K. Chicago style  r&b records.

Rey Anton & The Peppermint Men

And of course not only are either of these tracks on YouTube but neither have surfaced on any compilations. In fact prior to finding this 45 I'd really not heard much of Rey Anton's stuff save the excellent sax driven "Premeditation" (cut with The Pro Form and released on the "New Directions:British Blue Eyed Soul" CD compilation)and the tepid r&b of the final U.K. single with The Peppermint Men "Nothing Comes Easy" (on a Psychic Circle CD of the same name). Whether The Peppermint Men became The Pro Form or they were an entirely different band is anybody's guess. If you know we'd certainly love to hear from you!