31 May, 2013

THE PLYMOUTH ROCKERS - GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY


 THE PLYMOUTH ROCKERS - 'Girl From The North Counrty'/'Roll Over Stephen Foster' (Valiant Records V-729) October 1965

Both sides of this disc are pure 'Flower Bomb Songs' with that gorgeous folk-rock sound, so typical of USA 1965. I actually held off from putting this track on my recent 'Dylanisms' compilation because it was lined up for my forthcoming Valiant Records 2CD set.

It's believed that The Plymouth Rockers were from the State of Arizona, some online sources have even suggested Phoenix. How they came to record two singles for Los Angeles label Valiant Records is uncertain but it's clear that the group possess the '65 Sunset Strip sound.

'Girl From The North Country' is a fabulous version of the Bob Dylan tune. I actually heard a version of the song by The Blue Things first before I'd even heard Dylan's original. The Plymouth Rockers certainly capture that sound I love and need to hear daily. The flip 'Roll Over Stephen Foster', a Tim Rose composition, has a much more aggressive jangle folk-rock attack..

Both songs have never appeared on any compilations in the past.


30 May, 2013

THE LORDS - SHE BELONGS TO ME


THE LORDS - 'She Belongs To Me'/'On The Road Again' (Valiant Records V-725) September 1965

The Lords are a mystery, virtually nothing has ever been written about them although they did get a mention in both 'Fuzz, Acid and Flowers' and 'Teenbeat Mayhem' but it appears that their line-up is a mystery and both sides of their one and only 45 have yet to see a compilation appearance.

'She Belongs To Me' and 'On The Road Again' are successful Bob Dylan cover versions done in the folk-rock style with 12 string jangle,clattering tambourine and in the case of 'On The Road Again' some sneering vocals and harmonica.

Hopefully one day someone from the group will read this review and get in touch.


27 May, 2013

THE MOTLEYS - LOUISIANA



THE MOTLEYS - 'Louisiana'/'I'll See Your Light' (Valiant Records V-724) September 1965

The Motleys are believed to have originated from Los Angeles, I'd like to think that they were a group in their own right but they may have been simply a studio creation fronted by Barry DeVorzon who founded Valiant Records.

'Louisiana' was co written by DeVorzon and is a pleasant folk-rock made pop rocker with a fabulous guitar break which was re-hashed from The Lost Ones song 'Little Annie' (also co-written by the same songwriting team).

The flip 'I'll See Your Light' is a superlative folk-pop winner with some compelling vocal harmonies and a dramatic edge. It's a curio that both sides remain uncompiled. I'll make them available on my Valiant Records 2CD compilation coming soon.

A second 45 was released on Valiant during March 1966, this one appears to be quite difficult to locate.
'You'/'My Race Is Run' can be found on those horrible 'Turds On A Bum Ride' comps.

Billboard - October 1965

    

25 May, 2013

THE LOST ONES - TROUBLE IN THE STREETS


THE LOST ONES - 'Trouble In The Streets'/'Little Annie' (Valiant Records V-721) August 1965

I'm a sucker for 60s style instros so it comes as no surprise that I've got this 45 by The Lost Ones tucked away in one of my record boxes. I haven't been able to establish if they were a group working the Sunset Strip or if The Lost Ones are merely a studio creation working away on possible incidental music for exploitation films.

'Trouble In The Streets' is an organ charged instro with reverb and snappy tambourine throughout and ends with wailing police sirens....super cool this one and is strangely the same backing used for Cory Wells and the Enemy's 'Sinner Man'.
The flip is almost as good especially the kickin' lead guitar break. Another curio emerges as the instro was used in 'Louisiana' by The Motleys, another Valiant Records label recording group.

   

23 May, 2013

CORY WELLS AND THE ENEMY'S - SINNER MAN


CORY WELLS AND THE ENEMY'S - 'Sinner Man'/'Say Goodbye To Donna' (Valiant Records V-714) April 1965

I wrote about The Enemys way back in October 2009, go here for the posting that includes label scans of all future releases after this one and a band picture. At that time I did not have their first 45 released on Valiant but credited as Cory Well & The Enemy's but have since added a copy to my collection last year.

'Sinner Man' is quite an intense rocker with crunchy Ventures style guitars, organ twists and clattering tambourine. The vocals are moody and perfect for the backbeat, I'd say killer early 1965 Sunset Strip beatsville. I'm not certain if the group had secured their residency at the Whiskey A Go Go at this point.


21 May, 2013

DENNY PROVISOR - IT REALLY TEARS ME UP



DENNY PROVISOR - 'It Really Tears Me Up'/'She's Not Mine Anymore' (Valiant Records V-728) October 1965

Here's a real sort after 45 from Denny Provisor, and quite rightly so in my opinion. 'It Really Tears Me Up' is a forceful folk-rocker with jangle and is pure Sunset Strip style ear candy. The vocal attack is akin to the gruff tones of Barry McGuire....an absolute killer and pure 'Flower Bomb Songs.'
The flip 'She's Not Mine Anymore' is a soul tinged pop ballad that holds my interest.

Denny Provisor released a few earlier singles which I've not heard. Both do not feature in Teenbeat Mayhem which leads me to believe that they lack the garage or teenbeat sound.

He ended up in a later line-up of The Hook and played for many years with The Grass Roots.


18 May, 2013

THE LITTER - DISTORTIONS


THE LITTER - 'Distortions' (Warick WM-671) 1967

One of my most played 60s garage albums has gotta be 'Distortions', over the years I've listened to this many times, too many to remember. Strange how it never seems to get much praise amongst collectors and 60s freaks, often overlooked in favour of releases by The Shadows Of Knight or The Chocolate Watch Band etc...

I've got a 70s re-issue on the Warick label bought mail order from Funhouse Records back in the mid eighties. The album has been re-issued/bootlegged many times since on labels like Eva and Arf Arf. I recently read that Sundazed were gonna re-issue 'Distortions' on vinyl and no doubt if it ever gets a release I'll be first in line to buy another copy.





Here's some history about The Litter (taken from the booklet of the CD release on K-Tel)

In the mid 60s members of two Twin Cities rock bands merged and became The Litter. From The Tabs came the guitars of Dan Rinaldi and Bill Strandlof. They were joined by two departing members of The Victors, keyboard/vocalist Denny Waite and bass player Jim Kane. While attending a local teen band contest at the Minnesota State Fair they met drummer Tom Murray and The Litter was born.

What set The Litter apart from the other local groups at the time was their focus on album cuts and obscure material by the 'British Invasion' groups (The Yardbirds, Small Faces, The Who).

While playing around the Twin Cities they came to the attention of producer/songwriter Warren Kendrick who took the group into his studio in late 1966 and recorded their first three songs. Two of them, 'Action Woman' and 'Soul Searchin', were originals written by Kendrick. The third, 'A Legal Matter' was a cover of a Who song. 'Action Woman'/'A Legal Matter' were chosen for the single and released in 1967 on the Scotty label. The 45 got excellent reaction in the Twin Cities.

Around this time St. Paul native Tom 'Zip' Caplan had returned from a year long stint in Los Angeles where he was doing studio work and cutting demos with songwriter Larry Loofbourrow. Caplan knew bassist Kane from earlier days when 'Zip' played guitar with local favourites The Escapades, Froggy & His Friends and The Accents.



Shortly after a gig at St. Paul's Prom Ballroom, Bill Strandlof left The Litter and 'Zip' Caplan was asked to join the band as lead guitarist, solidifying the line-up. By then the 'Action Woman' single had broken out of the Twin Cities and was getting airplay throughout the Midwest.
This led to bookings at a couple of clubs in Chicago's Old Town district. Their live performances were very well received and led to many more appearances and a large following in the Windy City.

Their next logical step was to cut an album. The group utilized both Dove Recording Studios and Warren Kendrick's Lake Street Studio as they began work on the songs and sounds that would eventually become 'Distortions'.

Three tunes 'Action Woman'. 'A Legal Matter' and 'Soul Searchin' were already in the can. 'Somebody Help Me' (Spencer Davis Group). 'Whatcha Gonna Do About It' (Small Faces) and 'Rack My Mind' (The Yardbirds) were songs that had gotten great reaction live, so studio version were recorded.
'Codine' was a Buffy St. Marie song the group had been playing for some time, so it was included as the album's one slow number. The group learned 'I'm So Glad' from Cream after sharing the bill with them at the New City Opera House in Minneapolis. A cover of The Who's 'Substitute' was paired as a medley with a 'Zip' Caplan original called 'The Mummy' (inspired by the Boris Karloff movie). They had been closing their gigs with a chaotic version of The Yardbirds 'I'm A Man'. That song was therefore chosen to close the album.



'Distortions' was released on the Warick label in 1967 to exceptional response. As momentum built, a second single 'Somebody To Love'/'I'm A Man' was also released on Warick. Touring escalated to a national level and included venues like The Peppermint Lounge in New York, The Cheetah in Los Angeles and everywhere in between.


11 May, 2013

THE FREAK SCENE - UPDATE MAY 2013


Since my last update four weeks ago I've been busy remastering, scanning labels, designing a cover and putting together a fabulous collection of Bob Dylan songs recorded by mid 60s folk-rock and garage bands.

I've called this collection "dylanisms" and as far as I know this is the first ever time something like this has been done. In the past compilers have focused on records that sound like Dylan.

Once again I have decided to keep copies to an initial run of five which will be on a 'first come first served' basis. I prefer not to over burden my collections so have kept the tracklist down to twenty songs with the majority having been recorded during those important years of 1966 and 1967.

Some cuts are comped for the first time but all are sounding better than ever before having been mastered direct from mono 45s or in the case of Bobby Comstock & The Counts and The Human Beinz from a stereo album. I then use iZotope RXII software for remastering the sounds to digital.
I've used a vinyl style CDR for than vintage look and the wraparound sleeve is printed on quality photography paper. I'm basically doing these for free but have to charge for materials used, paypal fees and postage/packing....the latter expense being part of the total cost of £6.


Compiled on "dylanisms" are tracks by: The Soup Greens, The Bitter Ind, Christopher and the Chaps, Erik, Evil Encorporated, The Myddle Class, Bobby Comstock and the Counts, The Empty Set, Jan & Dean, The Grass Roots, The Blue Things, The Daily Flash, The L.A. Teens, The Devons, The Bees, The Human Beinz, Eddie Hodges, The Mad Hatters and The Leathercoated Minds.

I've also got other homemade sets for sale......Here's my full list at this present time:

dylanisms £6
World Pacific Records - 3 CD set £18
a Milan Retrospection 1964 - 1968 £6
New Jersey Fragments 5 CD set £30
The Observation - donovanisms 2 CD set £12

All prices include worldwide shipping. Payment to my paypal account: dirtywater66@yahoo.co.uk

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Ernie Roig who was a member of The Purple Avalanche. They had a 45 released on Roulette back in 1969 and their song 'When I Saw Her' was featured on my New Jersey Fragments collection. Ernie provided me with information about his band and I also obtained a photograph of The Bex from him. Follow the link for the update.

It's been a busy month collecting vinyl records, I've mostly been buying from UK dealers as the shipping from USA is way too expensive these days. I still buy from my regular US contacts as they now have my trust to deliver the goods in described condition as well as offering good deals on shipping when 5 or more singles are purchased. Plus they enter a 'low' value item on the import sticker so I'm not busted for tax when the shipment enters Britain. I pay enough fucking tax as it is, never mind being burned for buying vintage 45s.

Amongst my best buys this month have been an Italian release of The Gurus 'Come Girl' with picture sleeve, an obscure record by The Sintrifical Fours 'Changes', a long time want by The Lemon Pipers 'Quiet Please', The Sheppards 'When Johnny Comes Marching Home', Del Shannon's beat mover from 1965 'Move It On Over', The Music Machine 'The Eagle Never Hunts The Fly', plus lots of cheap 45s by The Association, Barry McGuire and The Turtles.

Another big find was Rubble #18 "Rainbow Thyme Wynders" which now completes my 20 vinyl LP set of Rubble that started way back in the 80s with "Psychedelic Snarl" on Bam Caruso. The former had a limited pressing in the 90s and I missed out on it and had to pay £26 to secure my copy here in 2013.


During the next month I'm going to start piecing together a Valiant Records set. This will be a 2 CD set and will focus on the pop, garage, folk-rock and psych sides released on this fabulous label from Los Angeles. I've been scouring the internet looking for some missing 45s and recently secured copies of The Fastest Group Alive and Lee Mallory releases that I needed.

till next time freaks........ 

       

 

THE TROPICS - PART TWO - AN INTERVIEW WITH BUDDY PENDERGRASS - TAKEN FROM DENNIS DALCIN'S KALEIDODCOPE FANZINE #2 (1987)


09 May, 2013

THE TROPICS - IT'S YOU I MISS


THE TROPICS - 'You Better Move'/'It's You I Miss' (Laurie LR-3330) February 1966

'You Better Move' is probably the most sought after Tropics 45 among vintage garage punk collectors. This scorching harmonica wailin' punker first came to my attention in the 80s when it was compiled on 'I Was A Teenage Caveman' and quite naturally is favourably rated in 'Teenbeat Mayhem.'

The rarely heard folk-rock ballad 'It's You I Miss' on the flip is a gem and is perfect for 'Flower Bomb Songs'....this one comes straight outta The Searchers songbook....coolsville...

07 May, 2013

THE TROPICS - THIS MUST BE THE PLACE



THE TROPICS - 'This Must Be The Place'/'Summertime Blues / Land Of A Thousand Dances' (Columbia 4-44248) August 1967

This tough sounding garage offering from The Tropics on Columbia is becoming more sought after these days and it's price appears to reflect this. 'This Must Be The Place' is something of a fuzz raver and at under two minutes is gone before the listener can catch breath.
The flip is a mix of two songs that I'm not that keen on whovever remakes them especially 'Land Of A Thousand Dances' which is total boresville but both songs were live favourites at gigs. I would have preferred another original song.

The group actually won a recording contract with Columbia Records after coming out on top in an International Battle of the Bands held in Chicago. Their previous release 'As Time's Gone'/'Time' is much more legendary, maybe one day I'll own a copy.

Production was handled by famed jazz saxophonist and producer Teo Macero who stayed mostly within the jazz and orchestrated music field for Columbia but also worked on the 'Graduate' soundtrack for Simon and Garfunkel. I wonder what he made of these teenagers with their trebly guitars and fuzz. 

05 May, 2013

THE TROPICS - TALKING 'BOUT LOVE


THE TROPICS - 'Tired Of Waiting'/'Talking 'Bout Love' (Malaco 2003) January 1969

This was the final Tropics single released in the 60s and gone is their garage and folk-rock jangle sound of earlier releases replaced with the progressive heavy dirge sound made popular by Vanilla Fudge.
I'm not convinced by their heavy reading of The Kinks classic 'Tired Of Waiting' although it got a major thumbs up in a Cashbox review..

"Time back Kinks hit returns in a progressiv-ized rendering that could give the side another hot run on the pop sales lists. Track may score."

The heavy organ and fuzz of the flip 'Talking 'Bout Love' is far superior and still remains uncompiled. If and when any label decides to create a comp of Vanilla Fudge influenced 45s I'm sure this one will feature.

Months later and towards the end of 1969 The Tropics changed their name to White Witch. Their line-up to begin with was:

Beau Fisher (bass)
Ron Godert (vocals)
Bobby Shea (drums)
Buddy Richardson (guitar)
Buddy Pendergrass (keyboards)