31 May, 2010

47. THE MONKEES - The Girl I Knew Somewhere

THE MONKEES - 'A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You'/'The Girl I Knew Somewhere' (RCA Victor 66-1004) March 1967 - German picture sleeve

I couldn't select 50 songs from Los Angeles without including The Monkees. You can love them or hate them but there's no denying that they made perfect pop records (apart from those sappy ballads sung by Davy Jones).

At the start of 1967 and a couple of million record sales under their wide buckled belts, The Monkees decided that they wanted to be taken seriously and be a fully fledged group in their own right. They got together at Gold Star studios in Hollywood during January '67 and recorded Mike Nesmith's original 'The Girl I Knew Somewhere' notable for it's inclusion of a blissed out harpsichord break played by Peter Tork.  

30 May, 2010


THE PREMIERS - 'Get On This Plane'/'Come On And Dream' (Faro 624) Nov 1966

'Get On This Plane' borrows heavily from the bass moves of 'I Can Only Give You Everything' but the addition of fuzz transforms the beat into a powerful and hypnotic sting of aural pleasure. Just why records don't sound as good as this anymore fills my head with sadness.

Thankfully, forty years after the fact I can place this 45 on the turntable, crank up the volume and piss the neighbours off with some loud a gritty fuzztone guitar.

The Premiers hit big in 1964 with 'Farmer John' but then slipped back down the pecking order. 'Get On This Plane' was almost their last throw of the dice and was written by singer George Delgada and Max Uballez. Production was carried out by Standells member Larry Tamblyn and East L.A. face Eddie Davis.

The flip 'Come On And Dream' written by Larry Tamblyn is a reflective piece with sweet background vocals, a clattering tambourine and acoustic guitar. I'm not sure why The Standells didn't record this one?

THE PREMIERS - Get On This Plane

29 May, 2010


THE TURTLES - 'She'll Come Back' (Decca DL 4751) May 1966

I've featured the marvelous Turtles on my site a couple of times before archives and they are without question one of the best ever groups from USA and in particular Los Angeles (you may have noticed that I'm gonna focus my attention for a while on L.A. bands or those from neighbouring parts of Southern California).

Here's a long lost piece of brilliance called 'She'll Come Back' written by singer Howard Kaylan. It's an essential raga folk rock gem with sombre jangle, a sound that some call 'moody' but I just call 'class'. You'll find it hidden away on the soundtrack of the film "Out Of Sight", a rather low budget beach movie.

"Don't you worry my friend,
She'll come back in the end"

28 May, 2010


TERRY RANDALL - 'S.O.S.'/'Tell Her' (Valiant Records V-756) Dec 1966

Terry Randall is a bit of a mystery, although this killer protest 45 about the riots on Sunset Strip during November 1966 is a well known tune among garage hipsters. I first heard it on Highs In The Mid Sixties Volume 2 in less than stellar sound.

When I decided to collect original vinyl singles this record was one of the first on my 'wants' list mostly because it's got a swingin' garage beat that I dig the most and there's some great 'cop' put down lyrics. And no youth digs the cops or the 'filth' as they're mostly known in the North of England...

'S.O.S.' was a chart spotlight pick in Billboard trade magazine during December 1966.

The flip 'Tell Her' is a teener ballad. Both songs were written by Randy Benjamin.


message from a reader:

Just listened to 'S.O.S.' by Terry Randall. Quite a discovery. And talking about cops: where I live (dutch speaking part of Belgium) a 'sos' is... a cop! Rob V.

23 May, 2010


GREGORY DEE & The AVANTIES - 'The Slide'/'When Will I Be Loved' (Bangar BA 00658) Nov 1964

Bangar was a short lived record label operating out of Minneapolis releasing 45s by the local talent between 1964/65. One such talent was vocalist and hammond organist Gregory Dee Maland who, with his band of outsiders, The Avanties became one of the top draws in Minneapolis, MN.

'The Slide' was their final record on the Bangar label (they also released records on Twin Town) and is a song probably about a style of dancing. So, the lyrics are pretty lame then, but the music rocks with some cool organ and a killsville guitar break.

The flip 'When Will I Be Loved' is an OK version of a Phil Everly ballad.

Greg Maland (vocals/organ)
Dave Metzold (guitar)
Frank Prout (bass) ...he joined The High Spirits in late '66
Doug Nelson (drums)

21 May, 2010


BOBBY COMSTOCK - 'I'm A Man'/'I'll Make You Glad' (Ascot 2175) 1966

Here's a first for 'Flower Bomb Songs'. Your author and International Playboy EXPO67 has been drinking Jack Daniel's all evening and I'm nearly as pissed as Keith Moon was back in 1974 when Mr Moon and his best mate Ringo were indulging in the odd tipple at 'Ringo Towers'
Trouble is that when I've had a few too many I get even more opinionated than I normally am or at least that's what 'Er Indoors says..

Anyway, here's a red hot double sider by Bobby Comstock (surely in need of a 'Best Of' on Sundazed)...
Bobby hailed from Ithaca, New York and with his band The Counts, had been releasing 45s since the late 50s.
Then The Beatles and The Stones killed everything in America pre 1964 so Mr Comstock wanted some of that invasion action.

'I'm A Man' is a killer rendition by a group of musicians clearly at home in the studio. It was also part of the neglected "Out Of Sight" album released in 1966. The flip 'I'll Make You Glad' is also pretty neat and is non LP and non comp. Checking the label credits it was written and produced by the collection of whizz kids who recorded as The Strangeloves.

BOBBY COMSTOCK - I'll Make You Glad

19 May, 2010


WAYNE PAV & The ORPHUNS - 'Oh Mona'/'Bring It On Home' (Pav Records 650) 1967

According to FA&F and confirmed in issue 3 of 'Lost and Found' this outfit hailed from Chicago and cut this record sometime in 1967. Both sides are GREAT but show just how much they were out of touch with what was happening in '67. The music on offer harks back to the Invasion sounds of 1964/65.

The Bo Diddley stomper 'Mona' titled on this disc 'Oh Mona' is given the teen garage treatment with an edgy mix, gruff vocals and some inept but killer guitar. The other side 'Bring It On Home' is a faithfull rendition of the Sam Cooke hit but The Orphuns are clearly more influenced by the version by The Animals.

This was the group's second and last 45.


17 May, 2010

THE ETHICS - (I Can't Get You) Out Of My Mind

THE ETHICS - '(A Whole Lot Of) Confusion'/'(I Can't Get You) Out Of My Mind' (Dynamic 2001) 1966

The Ethics came from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and this 45 demonstrates their lo-fi garage approach. 'Confusion' is a tough R'n'B workout but to my ears doesn't rise above the mediocre. I prefer the uncompiled pop of '(I Can't Get You) Out Of My Mind' on the flip.

The group would change their name to The Invasion and release a couple more 45s on Dynamic Sound.
For further reading head on over to Garage Hangover.

THE ETHICS - (I Can't Get You) Out Of My Mind

11 May, 2010

THE BRITISH WALKERS - The Girl Can't Help It

THE BRITISH WALKERS - 'The Girl Can't Help It'/'Lonely Lover's Poem' (Charger CRG-108) June 1965

One of the most popular groups from Washington D.C were Invasion obsessed The British Walkers. During their time as an active combo releasing 45s on various labels (Try, Cameo, Manchester, Charger) they also had a kind of 'revolving door' where members were concerned. I checked out a British Walkers myspace page and they appear to have had as many members as the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

'The Girl Can't Help It' written by Bobby Troup and a big hit for Little Richard in 1957 provides an insight into the sound they created on record. By all accounts they really rocked live with their English styled garage beat and built up a strong following at their local hang out, "The Roundtable"

The flip 'Lonely Lover's Poem' is a rather forgettable beat ballad lament with corny spoken parts where the singer tries his best English accent but believe me I'm English and no one talks like this in these parts. A bad move gents but in 1965 and on a B-Side I suppose it was worth a gamble.

Here's a picture of The British Walkers from 1966 performing at The College of William and Mary. Cool pic was sent in by Jake H.

THE BRITISH WALKERS - The Girl Can't Help It

09 May, 2010


GRANT HIGGINS - 'The Way I Feel'/'Shame Shame' (Limelight Y-3036) Oct 1964

I don't know anything about Grant Higgins so any information will be welcome. I've checked some reference guides and this 45 was also released on Karen Records.

The flip side, 'The Way I Feel' is a Grant Higgins original and is an early attempt at Invasion beat. The Jimmy Reed cover, 'Shame Shame' is a harmonica heavy R'n'B swinger more akin to early Rolling Stones than The Beatles..

DJ/Producer Ollie McLaughlin is credited on the label. He was based in Ann Arbour, Michigan. So perhaps Grant Higgins is from this region.


07 May, 2010


THE AMERICAN BEETLES - 'Hey Hey Girl'/'School Days' (Roulette R-4559) 1964

Here's another great single by The American Beetles and again both sides are produced by Bob Yorey. He is even responsible for writing the energetic Invasion style rocker 'Hey Hey Girl'....it has to be said that there's a big nod to The Dave Clark Five on this cut with it's thumping bass lines and primitive drums pounding away in the background.

The flip is a cover of 'School Days' by Chuck Berry.


05 May, 2010


THE AMERICAN BEETLES - 'Say You Do'/'I Wish You Everything' (Yorey Records Y-1001) 1965

This group from Florida had a very unfortunate name, some would say an appalling one. Just what were they thinking of? Fortunately by 1966 they had the good sense to rename themselves The Razer's Edge.
Soundwise The American Beetles had a very raw British Invasion approach with the flip 'Say You Do' being a prime example of their undiluted teenbeat punch.

The A-Side 'I Wish You Everything' is a slow beat ballad with some sweet harmonies and is pretty much mainstream radio fodder.
New York producer Bob Yorey was responsible for getting The American Beetles sound down on tape for this release and I'm guessing that Yorey Records was his label.


03 May, 2010

THE CREATION - Nightmares

THE CREATION - Nightmares (Disques Vogue 76787) EP 1967

The Creation evolved out of Enfield group The Mark Four and are probably the ultimate cult 60s mod/freakbeat band from England.
For some reason The Creation never made it in England, now that certainly is one big puzzle. They were much more popular in France and Germany and the four track EP shown, was released in France and is a difficult one to score. All cuts were produced by the legendary Shel Talmy.

According to the liners of The Creation CD 'Our Music Is Red - With Purple Flashes' on Diablo Records, former band leader and vocalist Kenny Pickett did not play on 'Nightmares'. He had recently quit the group and was replaced by Kim Gardner. Bass player Bob Garner (ex Merseybeats) took over on lead vocals.

THE CREATION - Nightmares

Eddie Phillips (guitar)
Bob Garner (bass/vocals)
Jack Jones (drums)
Kim Gardner (guitar)