So we've decided to give our monthly picks the Summer off so this will be the last one until September (view it as a school vacation of sorts)! But stick around, we'll be back!
1. RONNIE LANE-"The Poacher"
There's a host of post Faces Ronnie Lane brilliance but none as powerful and sweet as "The Poacher" which sadly stalled at #36 in the Summer of '74 and was sadly his last chart appearance. Dig the above live clip from 1976 from the U.K. show "Supersonic".
2. THE SELECTER-"(Who Likes) Facing Situations"
The Selecter were always my least favorite of the '79 ska bands, and I like their second album "Celebrate The Bullet" even less but one day while cooking I had my iPod on shuffle and this track came on and I cocked an ear and even played it twice!
3. TUTTI HILL-"He's A Lover"
Here's a nice little r&b obscurity on the tiny New York Arock label. It's a slow ballad but I dig it and it reminds me a lot of the soulful sides Sue was putting out in '62-'64.
4. JIMMY CROSS-"I Want My Baby Back"
After nearly three decades of enjoying The Downliner's Sect version I finally stumbled upon the original tongue and cheek death/car crash track! The Downliner's version is pretty much a note for note version and though I still prefer it it's cool to hear the original.
5. THE HOLLIES-"Too Many People"
From their untitled 1965 LP the Hollies turn out an original that's part folk rock and part beat music. It's subtle with just acoustic guitars, bass and mild drums but of course is carried by their trademark precision harmonies and has a great groove to it.
6. GENE SIMMONS-"Haunted House"
Local New Jersey heroes The Swinging Neckbreakers covered this one frequently back in the day and I finally got around to checking out the original. Though I'm not 100% sure it was this version that they heard I still dig the mix of country and r&b on it.
7. BILLY JOE ROYAL-"Hush"
Though written by Joe South the first interpretation of this tune to hit the streets was this version by Billy Joe Royal from August 1967 which still has a certain charm for me.
8. LYDIA MARCELLE-"Everybody Dance"
Yet another obscure soul 45, this time from Atco records in 1965. It's a sweet mid tempo groover with a lead line that calls to mind "The Game Of Love".
9. ALEX HARVEY-"The Sunday Song"
This rare 1967 Decca single by Alex Harvey displays none of the usual blue eyed soul belter feel that you're used to from Mr. Harvey. There's a gob iron solo but the rest of it sounds like your typically groovy obscure U.K. '67 pop psych 45!
10. KEVIN AYERS-"Song For Insane Times"
From Ayer's legendary 1969 debut LP "Joy Of A Toy", "Song For Insane Times" is one of my faves from it. Delivered in an almost detached manner that at times seems indifferent and others times heavily stoned, it's a stroke of mad genius.