1.12.2006

Plowing the Fields of 45s

So here I sit at work pounding at the computer, plowing through a stack of 45s on the little turntable on my desk. And what do I hear?

The Whizz Kidds Big Teaser b/w Sweet Honey (Highland)
Big Teaser is GREAT power pop that sits between bubblegum and glam. Sweet Honey lopes along with open chords and also rides the line between bubblegum and glam. Can't ask any more from a rock & roll single than what you get here. Recommended.

The Volcanics Your Kind of Loving b/w But I Love Her (Cameo Parkway)
There is a very distinctive Cameo Parkway 60s pop sound: It has an Everly Brothers base, a little garage-isms, and nice backing vocals. While that might describe a lot of 60s pop, if you hear enough Cameo Parkway, you know the sound. The Volcanics add a brooding organ to the mix - maybe a result of the success of Cameo labelmates ? & the Mysterians? - which is a nice counter to the up vocals. Great stuff.

Gropus Cackus Rhyme and Reason b/w Love, Love, Love (Bell)
Rhyme and Reason sounds very much what you would expect the Zombies' Time of the Season to sound like if it landed in the bubblegum paws of Bell. Not that this is all poppy, just there is a level of slickness that isn't present in the Zombies. Love, Love, Love is rooted in that commercial psych meets country thing that the Buffalo Springfield spawned.

The Chosen Few Footsee (Roulette)
If this wasn't on a 45 and you played it for me, I would have pegged it as something that came from a kid's record. It has that kind of "C'mon Kids! Let's do a rock and roll dance" sound to it. A bubblegum throwaway but a good one with a oddly distorted guitar solo. The flip is an instrumental of the A side.

The Frantics The Whip b/w Delilah (Dolton)
Who doesn't like surf instrumental records with a gimmick. On The Whip, the Frantics do an up tempo sax driven number with a great slack string guitar solo and Monty Whiplash snapping a whip to the beat. Delilah shifts tempo, sound, and guest instrument. The groove is slower and smoother, vibes and a Viscounts' style sax throw this into a noir mood. Very cool.

The Bad Habits Bad Wind b/w Images: The City (Paula)
The Bad Habits specialize in a Grass Roots/Spiral Staircase style 60 pop that sounds like it belongs on a Vegas stage. A little tougher and this would be great. As it is this single gets a so-so. BUT the thing that sold me on this is the 10 second intro to Images: The City which is just fucking bass ass and the bridge which is nifty as well.

Lenny Roybal Nothing in the World like Love b/w Don't (Canterbury)
Fuse Gary Zekley and Jeff Berry and you get Lenny Roybal. Solid 60s bubblegum that sounds like it belongs on Canterbury. The thing that takes this over the top are the girl backing vocals, which add that bit that makes this stand out. Both sides are keepers.

Proud Mary We'll Make It All Right b/w I want to Talk About Myself (Buddah)
One of the great things about bubblegum is that when trends start to change the producers had no problem trying exploit the newest sound. Sometimes that results in great things like they psych cuts you find buried on Ohio Express and Lemon Pipers records. And then you get stuff like Proud Mary. I am not sure what responding to here. Is it funk that set them off or Barbara Streisand? Have they been listening to the Grass Roots or Herbie Mann? There is a good drum break in this mess, but it IS a mess.

The Carriage Trade Wild About My Love b/w Rag Mama (Filmways)
Wild About... has a sound that sits somewhere between the Rolling Stones country sound and Lee Hazelwood, but with a trombone hook that throws a nice psychedelic twist on it. The flip is one of the worst trends ever to emerge in rock & roll, that of the ragtime rock song. Who pulled this shit off? I can't think of anyone and that includes The Carriage Trade.

Comments:
post the whizz kidds songs!!!
 
The story on The Bad Habits is that they're an early incarnation of Delaney & Bonnie. I have one of their's on Paula called "Night Owl" that's a killer for the lyrics alone, something I rarely say.
 
I second the Whizz Kids posting!
 
I think that Chosen Few record was reissued in the UK in the 70's as by 'Wigans Chosen Few' (with Chuck Wood's 'Seven Days Is Too Long' on the flip) and became a chart hit because of the Northern Soul folks.
 
To add to what Larry says, I believe it was a b-side of an obscure Canadian surf record that was re mixed for Wigan Casino DJs.
It went top ten in the UK in 1975,and the BBC coerced some Casino goers to dance to the record on the TV chart show Top Of The Pops
 
Hi All,
I was the lead singer and guitarist for the Volcanics and I also wrote 'But I Love Her'. Thanks for the decent review. A little background on the group. We were a garage band from the Pittsburgh area. When Your Kind of Loving was recorded there were 4 in the band, in our late teens/early 20's. The record was produced by the late Joe Rock who also produced the Skyliners and co-wrote 'Since I Don't Have You'. We got some air play in the Pittsburgh area and some Ohio cities back in 1967 but CameoParkway didn't really promote it. Ricky Nelson also put out a version of 'Your Kind of Loving' which was really lousy. His did worse than ours! Our version is available on a CD called 'CAMPARK Vol. 13 The British Invasion' which contains 27 tracks from CameoParkway 'British' artists including the Kinks and exBeatle Pete Best. The record also attributes a third song to the Volcanics which we did not record and it really sucks! It was done by the Reactors.

Regards,
Frank
 
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