45 a go-go
So today I brought a stack of 45s to work to listen to while I do computer work. I have a small portable turntable on my desk and my apartment floor is covered in 45s, so I might as well listen to them here at work. So here is what I am listening to. All of these I picked up for 50 cents to a couple bucks at thrift stores & record shops. Look it as a tip sheet.
The Sopwith "Camel" Postcard from Jamaica b/w Little Orphan Annie (Kama Sutra).
I like this band and think they are one of the great underrated bubblegum bands, at least based on their first album. I have friends, though that hate them. This one is solid. Postcard is one of their nice mellower pop tunes. Little Orphan has that novelty 20s feel that can be grating, but they don't overdue it here.
Roger Nichols Trio Snow Queen (A&M).
The best version of this Goffin-King song I've heard yet. Great lyrics on this. Sunshine pop with cool multilayered vocals
Randy Johnson You've Been Dreamin b/w Fly Superman Fly (Davy Jones).
Never knew Davy Jones had his own label (or fronted one) til last week when I picked up two 45s on it. This one is great! A total Seeds/Music Machine rip off, though a bit poppier. I'll Crud this one.
The Aquatones She's the One for Me b/w You (Fargo).
She's the one...stands somewhere between doowop and rockabilly. It is not bad. You is a doowop ballad. Fans of this stuff would like. It is just another record to me.
The Bell Notes Be Mine b/w I've Had It (Time).
A great 45 of Everly Bros/Buddy Holly influenced 60s punk/frat. I've had it would fit well on a Back to the Brave as one of the "mellow" songs, just due to the funky open production. Kinda reminds me of the Retreds' Black Mona Lisa. Another Crud to be. (Todd Trick Knee writes: The Bell Notes "I've Had it" is a classic which was covered (actually improved) by Alex Chilton on "Sherbert." I found the BN original at the Blackout. They sound really drunk, which Chilton expounded upon (clanking beer bottles and extreme slurrrrs), and it was a minor hit, apparently.)
Randy & the Raindrops Denise b/w Come Back (Rust).
A nice Dion meets Frankie Lyman ripoff.
Valjean For the Birds b/w Hungarian Hash (Carlton).
Insane record. Rockin' version of a classical tune with bird noises in the back ground. The flip is also classical themed rockin'. And by rockin I mean 60s Hollywood soundtrack studio band rockin. Another Crud candidate. Pretty horrible.
Marbles Love You b/w The Walls Fell Down (Cotillion).
Sounds like early BeeGees because the songs are BeeGees songs and the Gibbs produced it. A side is good. B side is weak. I am a sucker for this stuff.
Swingin' Medallions Double Shot b/w Here it Comes Again (Smash).
Double shot is a nice frat rocker with a cool ? & the Mysterians style organ. Here it comes... is a great 60s funk instrumental.
The Merry-Go-Round Live b/w Time Will Show the Wiser (A&M).
I had a copy of their 1st and got rid of it after a year of trying. I've tried Emitt Rhodes solo stuff and it doesn't click. This is okay but its too much like Buffalo Springfield for me to get to jazzed about. (Trick Knee notes: "Live" was covered by the Bangles on their first LP.)
The Sunshine Company Back on the Street Again b/w I Just Want to Be Your Friend (Imperial).
The a-side sucks. It is that godspell/up with people group vocal stuff to sunshine pop. The flip is a nice bossa nova meets sunshine pop. Very Belle & Sebastianish. Nice garagey type break with a fuzzy guitar.
TR-5 One Step at a Time b/w Shirley, Shirley (Kapp).
Great garage pop with horns. Sounds like a bubblegum version of the Outsiders. Very cool "you better get straight people before it's too late" part.
Verbatim Hieronymus Bosch b/w The Face on the Cutting Room Floor (Metromedia).
Considering that this is Sgt Pepper's influenced baroque pop it should be far more annoying than it actually is. If Sparks were ernest and made a single in 1967 it might have sounded like this. I don't know if I like it or not.
The Quick Zulu 45 (Epic, Spain).
Wait, weren't the Quick a punk rock/power pop band? This is bad Eurodisco.
Orchestra Del Oro Lolita Ya Ya b/w Theme from Lolita (Sonodor).
Lolita Ya Ya has to be one of my top 50 favorite songs of all time and I am game for a listen to this anytime. The string lead is replaced by a muted trumpet break and that is a little annoying. Still every time I hear the Ya Ya's I think of Sue Lyons and that ain't a bad thing.
Ronnie Dove My Babe b/w Put My Mind at Ease (Diamond).
I dunno know why (perhaps the endless loop of my mom playing Coming to America over and over and over and...) but I always forget Neil Diamond was a pretty good producer of 60s pop. Here is a good example. Two songs that pass the time pleasantly and would fit seamlessly on an oldies station, but nothing memorable.
Ben Colder Shudder & Scream b/w Hello Wall No. 2 (MGM).
Shudder is kinda like Johnny Cash meets oompah music meets The Monster Mash (which gets referenced here). Good Halloween song. Hello Wall is another country western novelty about drunkenness with a cool reverb effect.
The Jelly Beans Baby Be Mine b/w The Kind of Boy You Can't Forget (Red Bird).
Solid girl group 45, which is kinda what you expect from Red Bird. A gentler Shangra-Las and maybe because it's Jeff Berry behind the board, not Shadow Morton.
The Olympics The Slop b/w Big Boy Pete (Arvee).
I never pass up an Olympics 45. Even if I have I pass it on to someone who doesn't. I love the Coasters but hearing their songs shuck everything from glass cleaner to deep fried fish, it is hard to listen to them. Fortunately, the Olympics have mostly been overlooked by Madison Ave. Loud, reverb filled, greasy R&B dance tunes. You can hear this stuff a thousand times and it still sounds great!
The New Society Band Laughing Lady b/w Strangers in the Night (Lemon).
Now this is just wrong. Some ill combination of Herb Albert, the 1910 Fruitgum Express, & the song Popcorn, though with flute instead of moog. The version of Strangers... sounds like it was cut for the Carol Brunett show. It tried to combine Vaudeville schtick with Marty Katz and Spike Jones. Fucking horrible. I bought it because it was on yellow vinyl.
The Children of Plenty Try to Catch the Sun b/w (God Save the Soul of) A Boy Bound for Glory (Metromedia).
60s sunshine pop with a nonmessage message. Vocal harmonies, acoustic guitar, and keyboards. It actually kinda sounds like the Poppy Family. The flip is an embarrassingly bad Jesus Christ Superstar meets Simon & Garfunkel thing.
The Clique Sugar on Sunday b/w (White Whale).
I love the Clique. Great bubblegum always. Here they do a Tommy James songs with some cool underwater vocals and one that is a little more Horizontal-era BeeGees sounding. Gary Zekley produces. This is the kind of band that 45s were made for.
Tommy McLain I Need You So b/w Sweet Dreams (MSL).
Oh yes, a great vocal single that has everything: A nice Gene Chandler-style vocalist (though a little rawer), a trumpet/vocal call & response, a sweet sax solo, a talk part, and a quivered voice. The flip (a cover of a Don Gibson song) is a great take C&W/soul crossover (ala Solomon Burke), with a haunting organ in the background.
Lowell Folsom Man of Motion b/w Teach Me (Jewel).
Of course, I buy Lowell Folsom 45s for the same reason everyone else does: Trying to find something as funky as Tramp. Sorry. It is not here. Man... does have a cool Bo Diddley riff going on in it. Teach Me sounds like it would have melted in Jimi Hendrix hands. I mean, it has that basic Hendrix sound (sans the volume & heaviness) already and a great lead. This is worth it for the solo alone.
Danny Peil & the Apollos Jingle Jump b/w Flip Side (Raymond).
Someone has been listening to the Killer. Flip Side is indeed a flip side and is an instrumental. Nothing special here. From Milwaukee.
The Aire-Dales Drumsville b/w Just Plain Mess (Roulette).
Drumsville is an organ driven instrumental with fucking great funky drumming and a killer handclap/drum/bass break. I'm dancing in my seat to this one. Just Plain Mess isn't quite a mess. It is basic blues jam ramped up and is loud enough and played hard enough to be a very solid b side.
Frank Lucas Good Thing Man b/w I Want My Mule Back (ICA).
Very much lifted from Let's Get It On but that is fine, especially since this has that "You Know I'm the Most Flyest in the Hood" vocalist fronting this. And when you come up with a line like "I got a whole lot of yum yum," I mean, hell, you win. The flip starts off with "I'm gonna tell you about my mule/My woman is my mule/because when it comes to lovin/she's a hardworkin fool." To be Crudded.