Piles and Piles and Piles and....
Another day at work with a stack of records...
The Pheifer Ashman Kickbush Games b/w I Can't Turn It Off (Nico)
Games is pop psych with storm sound effects in the back ground and a brooding organ. I Can't Turn It Off has got the classic 60s pop bubblegum meets Motown sound with some dot do do do backing vocals. I have no idea what a Kickbush is but sign me up, this is a great single!
Neil MacArthur World of Glass b/w She's Not There (Deram)
While World of Glass is a good, moody pop folk song with gentle horns and strings - the type of thing you hear a lot of indie folks doing nowadays, it is MacArthur's cover of The Zombies' She's Not There that is IT. Neil makes this one a bit funkier, a bit more urgent, and a bit more psychedelic than the original and does such a good job that his version challenges the Zombies' for the best She's Not There.
The New Survivors The Pickle Protest b/w But I Know (Scepter)
You would think that a song called The Pickle Protest would be a some loopy bubblegum throwaway. Nope. It is a sneering jab at politics done 60s punk with a driving organ. The flip is a Them-like brood organ slow one. Good stuff.
Johnny Adams Come On b/w Nowhere to Go (Ric)
Can't go wrong picking up a Ric Record. Great early R&B. Adams has a voice that reminds me of Little Willie John, probably my favorite male soul singer, so that does me just fine. Come On is up-tempo. Nowhere is a ballad with great backing vocals and a nice sax.
Major IV Sugar Pie b/w Down in the Ghetto (Venture)
An odd record. Sugar Pie is a galloping soul song that sounds a bit Motown but there is something too frantic about it. And then it has a tiny but noticeable French horn break. Down in the Ghetto starts off like it is gonna be some party record with a big fanfare and crowd noises or at least some Curtis Mayfield-style groove and winds up somewhere in between. Like the a-side, franticness gets to these guys. Slowed down a bit this sounds much better.
Billy Rainsford My Angel's Halo Fell b/w My First Taste of Love (Hermitage)
My Angel's Halo is one of those songs that teeter on the edge of country & rockabilly, like early Johnny Cash (but not sounding like Cash). Rainsford has a slight hiccup in his vocal and there is a nice twangy guitar. My First Taste... is full on Roy Orbison hard ballad territory, though Rainsford doesn't have quite the range of Roy (but who does). Instead he falls into a nice growl and some prime moaning.
The Sidewinders Tears From Laughing b/w Charley Aikens (Look)
Wow! Tears... sounds like someone tossed Forever Changes-era Love with Free Design. A killer piece of Sixties pop with group vocals, a twangy guitar and lots of strings. And then Charley Aikens is a raved up pop pysch song with a quick Chet Atkins lead throughout (Charley Aikens / Chet Atkins...hmmmmm...). Once again, Wow!
The Bone It's an Easy Thing b/w Everybody's Gone Into April (Poison Ring)
How can you not pick up a record by a band called The Bone? It's an Easy Thing is pop psych bubblegum with that country undercurrent that shows up in Stones songs. The chorus starts with "I ate too much / You ate too much" and there is a tuba somewhere in the back. Punked up a bit and this could be on the first Supergrass album. Everybody's... is a good b-side that sounds kind of like Big Star.
The Good Ship Lollipop Maxwell's Silver Hammer b/w How Does It Feel (Ember)
Ack! The original Maxwell's is bad enough, a bubblegum version? Fucking horrible. How Does It Feel is not a cover of the Creation's classic, but a decent rip off of I Saw Her Standing there. Mike Berry is behind this one.
The Second City Sound Love's Funny b/w Greig One (London)
Love's Funny is Sixties pop which sounds like a sped up version of the Flying Machine's Smile a Little Smile for Me, which is great being that I love Smile a Little... But how the hell do you explain a bubblegum take-off of a Greig piano concerto other than these jokers did the same with Tchaikovsky, Mozart, & Lizst. Sometimes I am amazed at what people will do for a b-side.
Bennie Gordon & the Soul Brothers Camel Walk b/w Kansas City Woman (Enrica)
The Camel Walk is a nice R&B dance number with a walking bass line and some great backing vocals. A few years down the road and this would be much funkier, but here it is still fused to the blues. KC Woman is a What'd I Say-style rave up.
Yusef Lateef Quintet Sister Mamie Pt 1 & 2 (Impulse)
Though 45s aren't the best format for long jazz pieces, I still love them! This one starts with a great hard driving beat and then Yusef comes in playing some wild Middle Eastern melody that segues into a funky, Latinesque run that would fit on an early Willie Colon album and then, argh, the fucking thing fades! Side two starts with a piano part (which has also been holding down the beat) and then Yusef goes MidEast again. Great stuff! If singles are made to get you to buy the LP well this one works.
World of Oz Beside the Fire b/w Mandy-Ann (Deram)
My god, the Gibb Brother's influence reaches far. Beside the Fire sounds so dead on like early Bee Gees, World of Oz should have paid the Gibbs royalties. That is not a complaint. I am a complete creamer when it comes to early Bee Gees. Mandy-Ann has got more bubblegum in it than the a-side. In fact, it is a bouncing song. Good one here.
Terry Jacks Rock 'n' Roll (Bell)
Yeah, how can I pass on Terry Jacks doing a song about rock & roll. His version of Seasons in the Sun is a schmaltz classic. And here he does not disappoint. Sappy music, a narrative about his rock & roll career woven with a tale of unrequited love, and Jacks' patented vocal sighs make this (possibly) the most pathetic, listenable song about rock & roll ever made. It sounds exactly like you would imagine it to sound like. You might just sing along and sway to the beat. Definitely worth the buck I spent on it.
And here is to Wilson Pickett, who died yesterday. I don't need to tell you he was one of the greats. If you would like to hear a bit of him check out the ever excellent Funky 16 Corners and Larry G will fix you up.
Scott Im impressed that you never spend more than five dollars on your vinyl,especially when records by artists like Johnny Adams can change hands at +$100 the UK.