Another Stack of Singles
I knew I had a bunch of computer work to do to day so I boxed up some 45s and brought them to the job to play while I pounded shit out on the computer. On a break I wrote up what I heard. So here is another run through of 45s I recently picked up (mostly 60s stuff):
The Trade Winds Mind Excursion b/w Little Susan's Dreamin' (Kama Sutra)
By the title you would think psychedelia. Nope. Straight up Sixties pop. Mind Excursion has a harp. Little Susan has some of the sappiest lyrics I've heard in quite a while but is a nice mellow bubblegum tune.
The Family Tree Electric Kangaroo b/w Terry Tommy (Paula)
I'm a sucker for bubblegum songs about animals and this one has suckered me in. Electric Kangaroo is Solid midtempo, Sixties, strum strum pop with cool backing vocals and a really stupid sounding "boing boing" effect. Terry Tommy has a mellow Lou Reed feel to it, at least until the chorus and then it gets louder and sways. Again the backing vocals are pretty cool.
The New Breed Green Eyed Woman b/w I'm in Love (Diplomacy)
Sacramento garage with some folkiness to it. I've heard this before but never owned the 45. I remember first hearing this and wanting to be excited because it is from my home town but being disappointed. Years later, this sounds pretty good. Not jaw dropping but a solid Standells ripoff and a good poppy number.
The Johnny Otis Show The Watts Breakdown b/w You Can Depend on Me (Okeh)
Solid dance floor funk from Oakland's Johnny Otis. Recommended. The b-side is a nice ballad with a some cool talk through vocals.
Layng Martine, Jr. Love Comes & Goes b/w Crazy Daisy (Date)
Love Comes... is good strummy Sixties folk pop with some vocal silliness and a nice C&W style guitar solo. The flip blows.
The Persuaders Thigh Spy b/w Thin Line Between Love & Hate (Atco)
Not only a great name for a song, but Thigh Spy is solid funk about checking out girls in mini skirts with tough Temptations-style backing vocals. The Persuaders version of Thin Line... is a great wah wah ballad in the mode of the Del-Fonics, with some tasty backing vocals (Did you eat?). A great record.
The Nightcrawlers Little Black Egg b/w You're Running Wild (Kapp)
After hearing the Pagans version of Little Black Egg a thousand or so times, it is nice to hear the original. I don't know what took so long, other than I suspect that this was a regional rather than a national hit. Great hypnotic guitar lead that got smushed by the Pagans. Running Wild is a very very cool song that bridges surf, and rockabilly. Sounds like if teenaged Dick Dale and Gene Vincent fronted a garage band.
The Side Show Nickels & Dimes b/w Little Miss Know It All (GRT)
Straight up Boyce & Hart style bubblegum. Any power pop band looking for cover fodder should dig this pup up and check out Little Miss Know It All. Very easy to hear the Rubinoos or Nerves doing this one justice. Two great sides.
Mel & Tim Backfield in Motion b/w Do Right Baby (Bamboo)
Sweet soul that doesn't quite jump out at you. The fake background cheers and football motif in Backfield... make it worth a few listens, but it isn't the stone classic that folks make it out to be. Do Right Baby has a funky groove and is the better of the two.
Bill Paterson Ninety-Nine Miles b/w Capture It (Public!)
99 Miles is good mid-Sixties country pop about a condemned man being driven to the gallows. The b-side is a crooning ballad which would have sounded great done by Roy Orbison but is flipside fodder here.
Dave York & the Beachcombers Beach Party b/w I Wanna Go Surfin' (P-K-M)
Beach Party is throwaway, rockin' pop with a lot of party sounds in the background and a honkin' sax. Actually it sounds like really shitty Duane Eddy with even shittier vocals. I Wanna Go Surfin' is total ass. Honky tonk piano over a shimmy rock sound with deep corny vocals. This could have been great if they would have thrown in a really stupid talk over on the bridge, but nope. This just plain out sucks.
The Volumes I Love You b/w Dreams (Chex)
A pretty cool dowop record with high soaring vocals. This is a little "too Black" for Happy Days, but it isn't raw. A good listen, especially if you are unfamiliar with these songs. It will get played a few times and there is a possibility I Love You might even click with me.
Eternity's Children Sunshine Among Us (Tower)
A good Sixties pop song with a slight touch of psych, a good instro break, and a guitar that sounds like it exported from Os Mutantes. In fact, this really does have a poppy Os Mutantes feel to it.
Staten Island Ferry Candy Bar b/w Charlie Chan (Event)
Crazy bubblegum. On Candy Bar, the Voxx pumps, there is a nice Chin-Chapmanesque drum break, and some good ba-ba-ba backing vocals. I am not sure what the "everybody is tryin to get a piece of my candy bar" metaphor is supposed to mean. Is it some kind of Gay code? Or a message to scat lovers? Til my dying day I will pick up any record with Charlie Chan in the song title. The Ferry steer away from racist stereotypes (mostly) and do a rockin' song about the character Charlie Chan, which could air anywhere with little ire resulting.
Joe Butler Revelation: Revolution '69 (Kama Sutra)
Yeah, Kama Sutra is the cultural hotbed of revolution! "I'm afraid to die but I'm a man inside so I need a revolution." This is a pretty shitty mishmash of Dylan and psychedelia which sounds like it was done by a bunch of jackasses in suits and beads, the kind of hippie you see on the Mod Squad or Wild in the Streets. However, Scott the Cynic kinda digs this one. It is moronic enough to be good.
Lee Fields Bewildered b/w Tell Her I Love Her (Bedford)
Before Lee Fields had a second career fronting bad ass funk bands in New York City, he was backed by okay soul bands. Here he does one ballad and one JB-lite number. Interesting if you really dug his Problems LP (which is one of the best funk records ever released) and want to hear where he came from, but not a necessity.
The Feathers Give Him Love b/w To Be Loved By You (Kapp)
Give Him Love is bubblegum with a fuzz guitar and a nice sing-a-long chorus. To Be Loved... is a nice soul ballad. Nothing special here but if you stumble on it for a buck, better than a candy bar.
Corkey The Cat b/w Hey Mister (1-2-3)
No, not that Corkey! This Corkey does Sixties pop with odd changes. I really don't understand the logic of the song structure of The Cat: Symphonic pop, to swaying, to a Bo Diddley part, to a mellow string part, to a "Goin Back to blah blah blah" sounding part, to the na-na-na's. They lyrics don't make much sense. Hey Mister sounds like the Bee Gee's song Massachusetts but with a slide guitar and really, really dumb lyrics that try to be the rebel to everyman without saying anything. A curiosity if nothing else.
The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly Gypsy Lover (Mercury)
Sometimes I forget how fucking big Grand Funk was and how many shitty bands they inspired. Here is one of them. Funny thing is that if you pumped up the fuzz and the volume on this these guys would go over with all the assholes who try to be the MC5 of 2005. Yes, this is that shitty.
Bunker Hill Hide & Go Seek Pt 1 &amp;amp; 2 (Mala)
GREAT early R&B song by the incomparable Bunker Hill. Screaming, gut bucket, dance tune that might as well be proto-rap. I know that there is this record and I've heard a track on one of the Back From the Grave comps, but never ever find stuff by him. Has anyone comped this guy's singles yet? Norton! Here is a project!!!
Joe Butler was one of the members of the Lovin' Spoonful. I used to see that LP everywhere, but never picked it up. Glad to hear I didn't miss much.
Scott, great stuff, especially the Joe Butler review. Makes me really wanna hear that one.