Short Stack o' Wax
Here's a rundown of a short stack of 45s that I picked up recently:
Wayfarers One Red Rose b/w Daytime Window 45 (Wheeling)
Obscure sunshine pop. One Red Rose is passable. Daytime Window is some wimpy combo of Free Design, Byrds, and The Clique. Is it as good as all that? No, but it has the sound of a grower.
The Monarchs Look Homeward Angel b/w What Made You Change Your Mind 45 (Sound Stage 7)
Slow tempo, timpani drums, and layered vocals puts Look Homeward Angel into the haunted pop category. And then there is What Made You... a solid early R&B number with equal parts white doowop and Black gospel influence.
The Impacts Now That You're Down b/w Don't Walk Away 45 (Associated Artists)
Now That You... is a fantastic garage pop song with a nearly strange sounding chorus and a very cool bridge. It is almost too good to be a hit. Don't Walk Away is a trad rock & roll ballad ala Dion or Del Shannon, though much more stripped down. Great falsetto vocal part. A winner of a 45!
Tony Bruno Helaina b/w Small Town, Bring Down 45 (Buddah)
A double A side of schmaltz. There is some kind of Jerry Butler meets Tom Jones thing going on here, but without the class of either. Still, this is very listenable.
Bruce Ruffin Mad About You 45 (Bell)
Bell bubblegum though this one sounds like the 1910 Fruitgum Company playing rocksteady. That description makes it sound worse that it actually is. Play this a few times and you will get hooked.
George Wilder Partly Cloudy Pt I & II 45 (Wilmax)
Instro & vocal versions of a very nice lounge steamer. Lush backing vocals, good instrumentation, and a crooner with a mean vibrato. Very much something from a different time.
Baskin & Copperfield I Never See the Sun b/w Stranger on the Ground 45 (London)
Sixties pop. I Never See... is an orchestrated Beatles rip off, which sounds like it could be given a really nice treatment by The Polyphonic Spree. Stranger... is one of the more unusual sunshine pop songs I've heard. Not in a weird unusual but a what-the-hell? Why? Think Up with People + HR Puffnstuf + an irish jig.
Alan Nicholls Goin Down 45 (Avco Embassy)
I am pretty ignorant about Hippie musicals so I don't know if this is THE version of this song from the Broadway show Hair; however it is good. The riffs here are a great combo of Motown soul, proto metal, and Raspberries style power pop, topped with gospel powered backing vocals. This is pretty groovy and I mean that sincerely.
The Sound Idea Linda T. b/w The Last House on Cherry Lane 45 (Coral)
And here is one from the world of pop "sophistication." Sometimes that works but for Linda T. it stinks. However, The Last House... is a winner! Sitar & James Bond theme cruise through Sixties pop and into a killer of a noise/wall of sound outro! Excellent!