29 January, 2008

LES JETS



LES JETS - La Cornemuse EP (Impact 200.007 M) 1967
LES JETS - La Rencontre EP (Impact 200.011 M) 1967

Decent French mod band I know nothing about. So if anyone reading this can fill me in on any details please feel free to do so.
These are the third and fourth EPs released by Les Jets on Impact, also home for The Smoke and Tages. The fourth EP 'La Rencontre' features songs from the film soundtrack 'Mamaia'

LES JETS - L'Inventaire

26 January, 2008

BILL FAY - Some Good Advice

BILL FAY - 'Some Good Advice' / 'Scream In The Ears' (Deram DM 143) 25/08/1967
This outstanding psychedelic 45 is part of the Decca Psych masters Box of singles put out by Acme Records. All six records chosen are from the Decca archives. The label Deram was set up by Decca for the more progressive outfits of the time.
I recommend this Box of singles to anymore interested in English 60s psychedelia. All records are exact reproductions and far superior to those horrible bootleg repros that have been doing the rounds lately. Acme have used the analogue masters and the services of technicians at Abbey Road Studios, London to create these beautiful 45s.

I've chosen to focus on the Bill Fay 1967 release on Deram. 'Some Good Advice' has been a firm favourite of mine ever since I heard it on 80s comp 'Deram Dayze'. It's a psych masterpiece underpinned by melancholic mellotron creating that perfect English psychedelic sound. The vocals are pretty damned great and to my ears sound exactly like Syd Barrett. Infact the sound on this record is pure Syd, even down to the childlike lyrics:

'If you want to build a shed
Go ahead and build a shed.
And if you want to ride a bike,
Ride your bike if you like'.

The flip 'Scream In The Ears' is another winner with obscure lyrics. Bill Fay sounds really pissed off here as if someone has given him some bad acid or something.

BILL FAY - Some Good Advice MP3

19 January, 2008

MARK LEEMEN FIVE - Going To Bluesville

 



MARK LEEMAN FIVE - 'Forbidden Fruit' / 'Going To Bluesville' (Columbia DB 7812) January 1966

The third Mark Leeman Five single was largely ignored by the record buying public in England. I suppose the record was fortunate to be released at all, having had their lead singer killed in a car crash the previous Summer.
'Forbidden Fruit' was chosen as the top side and it's awful. This kinda dirge just ain't my bag. The Nashville Teens beat Mark Leeman Five to the punch and released their version first which became a minor UK hit. Some damsel called Nina Simone had a hit with this song in the very early 60s. But trust me folks when I say it's a square song for 60s squares. If you dig shite like Gerry & The Pacemakers it could be your 'sound'.

The flip 'Going To Bluesville' is far superior in every way. Classy and intelligent R'n'B with a cool guitar break and organ. This song may never have never been a hit if it was the A-side but who cares when it's easily better than the song that was chosen (probably by their squaresville Manager)... according to the liners from the 'See For Miles' retrospective collection 'Going To Bluesville' was just a demo recorded before Mark Leeman's death (obviously).

Both sides were produced by Denny Cordell who was the producer for better known bands like The Moody Blues, The Move, Procol Harum and Joe Cocker.

12 January, 2008

MARK LEEMAN FIVE - Blow My Blues Away





MARK LEEMAN FIVE - 'Blow My Blues Away' / 'On The Horizon' (Columbia DB 7648) July 1965

The Mark Leeman Five were one of those sad tales of 'what could have been'. In 1964 their career was starting to take off with prime support slots for hot new band Manfred Mann at London's Marquee Club. They even secured gigs at hip mod hideout The Cromwellian Club. Not only this but their first single 'Portland Town', released in January 1965 was critically acclaimed.

Sadly band leader and singer/songwriter Mark Leeman was killed in a car crash on 27/06/65. The rest of the band had planned to carry on with a new singer but they called it quits a year later after subsequent 45s (already recorded with Leeman before his death) went no where.

'Blow My Blues Away' is a big favourite of mine. The flip is a beat cover of 'On The Horizon' previously done by The Drifters. The producer on this disc was Kenneth Pitt who mainly managed bands. Those under his guidance were Manfred Mann, David Bowie and Marc Bolan


11 January, 2008

BILLY JOE ROYAL - Hush

BILLY JOE ROYAL - 'Hush' / Watching From The Bandstand' (CBS 3044) 1967

Excelent cover of Joe South's 'Hush'. Infact the latter produced this effort.
Billy Joe Royal hailed from Georgia in USA and had a few earlier hits, none of which I've ever heard. It appears that he also had some success and recognition in Europe, especially with the mod scenesters and Northern Soul crowd.
I only bought this 45 cos I dig the desert boots Billy is wearing in this picture!

The flip 'Watching From The Bandstand', again co written and produced by Joe South, is an uninteresting pop song with a soul vibe.

The 45 shown is the Dutch release.

BILLY JOE ROYAL - Hush MP3

08 January, 2008

TAGES - Fuzzy Patterns

TAGES - 'Fuzzy Patterns' / 'I'm Going Out' (Odeon SD 6005) April 1967

Tages were a popular 60s band from Gothenberg in Sweden but I'm not sure if that popularity extended beyond their home country. This 45 picture sleeve is the Danish release so maybe they enjoyed some success in Denmark. Who knows?

'I'm Going Out' was the top side and it's a typical 60s pop affair with Hollies style backing vocals. Unfortunately no one could complete with The Hollies in the harmony stakes so this song sounds like a poor imitation to me.
The B-side 'Fuzzy Patterns' is far more interesting. With a good song title like that you'll be pleased to know that it IS a freakbeat mover with a curious trippy mid song break.

TAGES - Fuzzy Patterns MP3

07 January, 2008

JOHNNY HALLYDAY - A Tout Casser

JOHNNY HALLYDAY - A Tout Casser EP (Philips 437.428 BE) 1967

The title track from this 4 song EP sounds like a low budget 'Purple Haze'. It's got the same guitar riff with added wah wah leads and of course Johnny Hallyday's strong vocals. This is easily the stand out on this 1967 release and is from the French film soundtrack titled 'A Tout Casser' (of course).
'Cheval D'Acier' is also from the film soundtrack and kind of rips off The Beatles ' Got To Get You Into My Life'. On both songs Hallyday was backed by English musicians Micky Jones and Tommy Brown. These two Brits are perhaps better known as the due The State Of Micky and Tommy.
I really dig the pop psych of 'Quand L'aigle Est Blesse'. Jim Sullivan gives the tune a baroque feel with the added strings and flute. The other cut on the EP 'Ma Vie A T'Aimer' is a crooner style pop song and outside the bounds of all that is cool on my blog 'Renaissance Fair'. But no one can complain at getting three good songs from a 45.

Has anyone seen the film 'A Tout Casser?'

JOHNNY HALLYDAY - 'A Tout Casser' MP3

06 January, 2008

Los BRINCOS - Nadie Te Quiere Ya

Los BRINCOS - 'Nadie Te Quiere Ya' / 'You Know' (Novola NOX-47) 1967

Spanish mods Los Brincos deliver two classy 60s pop tunes on this 1967 release. 'Nadie Te Quiere Ya' sung in Spanish has a great production and the music leaps out of the grooves. The producer by the way was Larry Page who honed his skills on The Troggs.

'You Know' is a mod swinger with fuzz. This time it's sung in a kind of English.
Top marks also the graphics department for designing the cool sleeve.

05 January, 2008

The TROGGS - Feels Like A Woman

 
The TROGGS - 'Feels Like A Woman' / 'Everything's Funny' (Pye 4110) 1972

It's 1972 and The Troggs have long since had their heyday and the hits have dried up. Now prog and glam rock is all around. Weird lookin' blokes with long hair, beards, lipstick and glitter pasted on their faces wearing their girlfriend's clothes is what's happening!

So it's with much relief that the Troggs still know how to rock like club wielding cavemen. 'Feels Like A Woman' written by leader Reg Pressley is a long forgotten bone crunchin', speaker shredding B-Side that will probably never feature on any Troggs 'Best Of' collections. It's just too damned tough and in your face.

Dig these lyrics:

I never thought you were groovy
I looked on you like a child.
I never dreamed you could move me,
Now you're drivin' me wild.

The top side 'Everything's Funny' sounds like what it is (ie) early 70s rock and roll with strings and things. Not my cuppa T but I'm sure others would be interested.
This is the French picture sleeve release on Pye.

THE TROGGS - Feels Like A Woman