29 June, 2014


THE SHADOWS - 'Maroc 7' / 'Bombay Duck' (Columbia DB 8170) April 1967

'Maroc 7' is an instrumental recorded by The Shadows for the British film of the same name. Flip it over for some 'Bombay Duck'

The mono single mix is superior with a longer fade out than the stereo version, which is the one usually heard via albums and CD retrospectives.
Also, check out the large font used on the label which is a bit weird on a UK Columbia 45.

28 June, 2014


THE EASYBEATS - 'St. Louis' / 'Can't Find Love' (Polydor 56335) June 1969

Killer late period Easybeats psychedelic rock double sider from 1969. 'St Louis' was deemed the A-Side and is a memorable rocker with brass flourishes.

Flip it over for the riff-tastic 'Can't Find Love' written by the awesome Vanda / Young songwriting partnership... Both songs were part of their '69 album 'Friends'.

27 June, 2014


THE BEACH BOYS - 'Barbara Ann' / 'Girl Don't Tell Me' (Capitol CL 15432) December 1965

One of my fave rave Beach Boys cuts is 'Girl Don't Tell Me' released first on their album 'Summer Days' in June 1965, then selected as the B-Side of 'Barbara Ann' during December 1965.

The song was recorded way back in April 1965 at Western Studios in Hollywood so it took eight months for it to be released on a single. It deserved to be the lead tune but it was hidden away on a flip.

'Girl Don't Tell Me' has a folk-rock guitar throughout but is a little buried in the mix that is until the all too brief solo. Carl Wilson performed lead vocal duties. It's believed that Brian Wilson wrote it heavily based on The Beatles 'Ticket To Ride.' The label credit gave Brian the songwriting accolade but during the 90s Mike Love was successful with a lawsuit and has now been given co-songwriting status for this particular song.  

I'm not interested in the 'who' or 'who didn't' write the song, all I know is that it's GREAT! and so did the record buying public as the 45 stormed up the charts, peaking at number 3.

British harmony pop group Tony Rivers & the Castaways released their version of 'Girl Don't Tell Me' on Immediate during February 1966. Check it out on the 1990 Sequel CD 'The Immediate Alternative.'

19 June, 2014


DINO, DESI & BILLY - 'She's So Far Out She's In' / 'Look Out Girls (Here We Come)' (Reprise 0496) July 1966

Very young teenbeat threesome Dino, Desi & Billy recorded two Baker Knight songs used on one of their mid 1966 singles. The often recorded 'She's So Far Out She's In' makes one of it's earliest appearances on record and it's a neat effort with a raunchy beat and fuzz.

They actually fashion quite the garage sound on both sides and use plenty of fuzztone especially on the flip 'Look Out Girls (Here We Come)' which is a personal favourite. Check it out on 'Flower Bomb Songs' Podcast #02.

The record was produced by Lee Hazlewood and arranged by Billy Strange.


14 June, 2014


THE NORTH STARS - 'She's So Far Out She's In' / 'Eenie Meenie Minee Mo' (Fontana TF 726) July 1966

Continuing my look at the more beatsville and psychedelic songs of Baker Knight during his song writing phaze of 1966 - 67 has led me to this beat cruncher by The North Stars. The latter are believed to have been from Manchester and hung around long enough to release two singles on Fontana.

Their version of Baker Knight's 'She's So Far Out She's In' was one of the earliest recorded and was released during July 1966, the same month as versions by Dino, Desi & Billy and Billy Fury.

The North Stars add a bit of Kinks toughness to their take and I rate the production superior. I wish I knew who it was but the information on the record label does not provide details. The flip 'Eenie Meenie Minee Mo' is even better.

Certainly a 45 to add to your collection but it may take some time to locate.

10 June, 2014


THE SATELLITERS - 'More Of The Satelliters' (Dionysus) July 2014

This combo from Germany have been regulars on the European garage scene since the mid 90s releasing records on tons of labels and displaying their solid garage beat action at prestigious festivals such as the Dionysus Demolition Derby, various Mod Rallies, Cavestomp and Euro Ye Ye...plus many other tours.

The Satelliters sound has developed over the years and maybe even become a little bit more sophisticated but importantly without losing any of their raunchy garage rock moves. Their music has always, to my ears, been heavily influenced by some of the better eighties garage revival groups such as The Cynics and early Miracle Workers, indeed the lead singer has a vocal style similar to Cynics frontman Michael Kastelic.

So with this in mind, it's usually time to take notice when The Satelliters have a new record out. Their latest offering "More Of The Satelliters" is due to be released next month on the famous Dionysus label and it's been a long time comin'. An update on their Facebook page confirmed that the group had completed the recording of the album during January 2013. So just over a year and a half later fans will be able to get copies from their favourite garage/psych emporiums.

A taster for the album was released as a single on Portuguese label Chaputa Records. They released their raucous version of "Girl It's Over" originally recorded by The Six Deep in 1967 backed with a non album cut "When I'm In Between."

Their new album contains the kind of tunes fans will wanna hear ranging from fuzztoned garage rockers like my favourite "It's Gotta Be You" and the opener "You Turned In My World".
The pace is slowed with a couple of psych-tinged winners, listen out for "I'm Up To Find" and "Tell Me Tell Me"... It wouldn't be The Satelliters if they didn't tackle some sixties cover versions and they please with the previously mentioned "Girl It's Over" and the classic "I Was Alone" originally recorded by The Exotics in 1967. Their version of "I'm A No Count" by Ty Wagner with the Scotchmen is decent enough but doesn't have the primitive power of the original from 1965....no surprise though, how could any contemporary group come close to even matching that crude snarler?

A highly recommended album for this Summer's garden parties.

The Satelliters homepage

The Satelliters Facebook page

*** thanks to Lee Joseph for sending me a preview of the album ***

09 June, 2014


THE POWER PLANT - 'It Can't Happen Without You' / 'She's So Far Out She's In' (Diamond D-229) September 1967

This 45 is a mystery, little has been written about it in guides etc. It was even omitted from 'Fuzz, Acid & Flowers' and 'Teenbeat Mayhem'.

Both sides were written and produced by Baker Knight leading me to suspect that The Power Plant could have been recordings by Baker Knight with his backing band The Knightmares but under a different guise. 

*** I have since found some in depth information on soundcloud which more or less discounts my theory. It appears that Baker Knight was simply the songwriter and producer for a soul group calling themselves The Power Plant! ***

'She's So Far Out She's In' has got a faster tempo than any of the other versions recorded by other groups. I'd make this version the definitive one..

With a Sept 1967 release date, it came out later than any of the others. But would have been more or less unheard back then because it was the B-Side of a soul pop tune 'I Can't Happen Without You'

I asked fellow psych collector and "Fuzz, Acid & Flowers" contributor Max Myndblown about The Power Plant and here's what he had to say: 

Hi Colin, I have two by them - the one on Diamond 229, both sides written & produced by Baker Knight. The second "Victim Of Love" / "Heavy With Me" (Diamond D-245) June 1968 is credited to Freddie May & The Power Plant and is soul.

I found this information about The Power Plant single "She's So Far Out She's In" on soundcloud:

Lead Singer- Freddie May.
Background vocals-Dale Bobbitt (bass), Gene Holmes(guitar), & Freddie May.
Kelly Royal- percussion, Larry White-Farfisa Organ 

Recorded in 1967 at American Recording, Studio City, CA with Richie Podolor & Bill Cooper engineering/mixing.
Executive Producer-Jimmy Bowen (Amos Productions)
Written & Arranged- Baker Knight
Baker had 17 Hollywood session players on the floor for tracking. Original recording done on Ampex AG-440

and this about the Freddie May & the Power Plant 45

Lead Singer- Freddie May.
Background vocals-Dale Bobbitt (bass), Gene Holmes(guitar), & Freddie May.
Kelly Royal- percussion, Larry White-keys

Recorded in 1968 at American Recording, Studio City, CA with Richie Podolor & Bill Cooper engineering/mixing.
Executive Producer-Jimmy Bowen (Amos Productions)
Written & Arranged- Baker Knight
Baker had 17 Hollywood session players on the floor for tracking. Original recording done on Ampex 8 Track

Freddie May information

"Victim of Love"

08 June, 2014


BAKER KNIGHT and the KNIGHTMARES - 'Hallucinations' / 'I Feel Sick About The Whole Thing' (Reprise 0554) February 1967

I first became aware of this mammoth psychedelic tune via Rhino's 2004 CD compilation titled "Hallucinations: Psychedelic Pop Psych Nuggets From The WEA Vaults." They liked it so much that the set was named after Baker Knight's song and it was placed as the CD opener to superbly get the listener in 'hot psych action' mode.

Over the years I've been tempted to buy an original copy of the 45 to add to my psych archive and earlier this week that's just what I did, and as you know, I'm now trying to find out as much about Baker's 'psych' period of songwriting as possible.

'Hallucinations' is a thrill trip of lysergic pop moves where much of the credit must go to producer Jimmy Bowen. The following information has been taken from the liner notes of the previously mentioned Rhino CD comp.

Believe it or not, Thomas Baker Knight was 34 years old when he wrote and recorded this psychedelic workout. Even more unbelievable is the fact that his very aptly named backing band, The Knightmares, was actually formed way back in 1956.

No doubt that this 1967 Reprise single was a long way from Knight's rockabilly past, when he opened for the likes of Carl Perkins and wrote songs for Ricky Nelson ('Lonesome Town'). By the mid 60s, Knight had fallen in with industry mover and shaker Jimmy Bowen and was writing songs for teen trio Dino, Desi & Billy.

Baker Knight:
"Hallucinations was recorded in a small studio on Melrose Avenue. I played some of the less prominent guitar parts and Gerry McGee (Monkees sessioner and later a member of The Ventures) played the lead guitar. Jimmy Bowen, the producer, got a neat idea for recording the background vocals. He mic'd me with a stage type mic connected to the input of a very large guitar amp.

The amp had a tremolo, which was turned on at a high depth level. They mic'd the speakers on the amp and fed that signal into the studio board.

I thought it was a pretty good record, so did Bowen. I tried to make it sound a little Beatle-ish."   

The flip 'I Feel Sick About The Whole Thing' is by no means a throwaway cut. Baker Knight is obviously going for a Lovin' Spoonful vibe here and in my opinion is successful in doing so. This song has yet to make a compilation appearance.

from the Rhino CD booklet


BILLY FURY - 'Give Me Your Word' / 'She's So Far Out She's In' (Decca F.12459) July 1966

England's answer to Elvis Presley was probably Billy Fury and he enjoyed lots of rock 'n' roll hits pre Beatlemania. None of these songs are 'Flower Bomb Songs' material.

However, hidden away on the B-Side of a mid 1966 single is a Baker Knight penned mod dancer with some classy guitar and organ bursts.

"She's So Far Out She's In" was also recorded by Manchester beat group The North Stars, Dino, Desi & Billy, The Power Plant and The Monkees, although their version was unfinished and only a backing track survives.

07 June, 2014


WEST COAST POP ART EXPERIMENTAL BAND - '1906' / 'Shifting Sands' (Reprise 0552) February 1967

I'm currently researching Baker Knight. He is mostly known as being a rockabilly recording artist in the late 50s and early 60s with his backing band The Knightmares. Big names including Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Jerry Lee Lewis recorded his songs.

Baker's song "The Wonder Of You" was a big hit for Elvis.

However, in his early 30s, during the years 1966/67 he was writing some happenin' songs. Don't know if readers are aware of this but The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band recorded two Baker Knight songs for their album "Part One"

These were the ultra great "Shifting Sands", also released as a single and an old song from around 1964 called "If You Want This Love"... this song was released as a 45 by Sonny Knight.

"Part One" released May 1967

05 June, 2014


THE HIGHER STATE - 'Same Title' (13 O'Clock Records 015) November 2013

This was England's very own The Higher State's fourth album and third for Austin, Texas label, 13 O'Clock Records. I'm uncertain as to any reason why the group decided not to give the album a title, maybe they just didn't want to, after all the band name alone is so killer, why detract from a Higher State?

Out of interest 13 O'Clock Records are a new label who've been busy recruiting talented groups and performers from around the globe, mostly European I may add. Their roster also includes Paul Messis, who is the new bass player for The Higher State, The Flight Reaction (from Sweden), Os Haxixins (from Brazil) and Arsene Obscene (from France).

They also reproduce wonderful thick card album sleeves and use heavy vinyl. Satisfaction is guaranteed for the purveyor of a quality record. If this wasn't enough, The Higher State have recorded their new long player in MONO and it all sounds sublime.

The album was officially released on the 12th November 2013 but I got a sneak preview of it's folk-rockin' greatness via a very limited edition promo CD that Higher State's drummer Mole kindly sent me during October. It's taken me nine months to get my act together and write a review!

In hindsight, the year 2013 was quite busy for The Higher State. They replaced bass player Ben Jones with Paul Messis. I have exchanged many emails with Paul over the years and I can say for certain that he was thrilled to be joining such an amazing group, after all, The Higher State are the U.K's foremost exponents of authentic folk-rock. Who wouldn't want to be associated with and part of such a class act?

With this album, Kent's finest have gone all out to create a purist '65/'66 Los Angeles / Sunset Strip folk rock masterpiece. It's a direction that they've hinted at ever since they began recording but in 2013 it seems that The Higher State focused their efforts wholly on this style of music.

The music is expertly recorded by Marty & Mole at Sandgate Sound Studio where they have custom built an 8 track recording facility. All twelve songs have beautiful multi-layered harmonies over the soundscapes of Rickenbacker jangle, tambourine splashes and drum patterns that are at the very least the equal of anything laid down at the 'epicentre of jangle' during mid 1965 to mid 1966.

It's difficult to pick my favourite cuts from the album as I dig them all, they really are stupendous and ooze a classy commercial folk beat. Back when The Byrds were having their hit records these boys would surely have also hit the big time. They have received rave reviews in the notable music magazines and fanzines as well as online blogs etc but underground critical acclaim aside, The Higher State have already hit the big time in my 'forever mid 60s' world....

Paul Messis provided one song in the set, the driving folk rocker 'Why Don't You Prove It' which adds clattering Keith Moon style stick work and stellar guitar tones. Marty's opening gambits 'Need To Shine' and 'Jagged Words' are sublime and so too is his mournful 'Sky Clears To Blue' which sounds like the same kind of 12 string moody trip Westchester, LA combo The Roosters were so adept at recording.

Side two opens with the exciting single 'Potentially (Everyone Is Your Enemy)' and continues on an unrelenting folk jangling trip until the powerful 'Try Slowing Down' where Marty spits out some insightful and thought provoking words seemingly about 'plastic people'.

"But look here comes another trend
Now you look just like your friend
Where will it end - where will it end.

You've laughed at me for all these years
It helps to divert from your fears.
Get the latest style from the salon
as the band wagon rolls along - rolls along."

Marty Ratcliffe (12 string guitar, harmonica, vocals)
Daniel Shaw (guitar, vocals)
Mole (drums, percussion, vocals)
Paul Messis (bass)

Prior to the release of this album in November 2013 The Higher State released a single on their own label State Records as part of their "Sandgate Sound Acetate Series" This came out in July 2013, limited to just 500 copies on super heavyweight vinyl.

'Potentially (Everyone Is Your Enemy)' was backed with the non album cut 'All Ties That Bind' written by Mole. This could easily have nestled on the album but the 60s purist creatures that they are could not have a thirteen song album. The classic 60s albums never had more than twelve songs.

The Higher State released one more song in 2013 when they provided a cover of  the classic 'Don't Run And Hide' for the Fruits de Mer, Hollies tribute "Re-Evolution."

I wonder what 2014 holds for the group, we're already half way through the year without any offerings although I believe that they have been active in the studio last month cutting a couple of
13th Floor Elevators covers for a forthcoming Fruits de Mer 7" box set, "7 And 7 Is"

Where to buy The Higher State records:
13 O'Clock Records 
State Records


04 June, 2014


THE GRAVEYARD FIVE - 'The Marble Orchard' / 'The Graveyard Theme' (Stanco Records SR-102) September 1968
I've just bought a re-issue of this MONSTROUS 1968 fuzz tormentor made available by Lysergic Sound Dist. Original copies are virtually none existent, maybe a handful survive and copies sell for several THOUSAND dollars so this is a required item that looks and sounds amazing.
It is believed that The Graveyard Five hailed from the Kelseyville - Lakeport area of California (Teenbeat Mayhem) and despite the apparent late 1968 release, this sounds like it belongs two years in the past.

Have a listen to this cranium smasher, crank up the volume and feed your mind with some reverbed guitars and FUZZ....... remember, that the late 60s weren't all about love and white doves, dig a little deeper and you'll find the good stuff that no one knows about.... 
confirmed group line-up as follows:
Gary Prather (rhythm guitar)
Louis Shriner (lead guitar)
Steve Kuppinger (bass)
David Templeton (drums) 
I got in touch with The Graveyard Five rhythm guitarist Gary Prather via YouTube and he answered my questions.

Gary - if you want to elaborate more on the killer Graveyard Five record please get in touch. I've just wrote about the disc on my blog but would like to know who played what instruments, the recordings, did the group play any gigs, were you in any groups prior to the Graveyard Five and did anyone go onto other groups etc etc....just nerdy stuff that I kinda dig and need to know!

Hi Colin, Dave played drums, Louie played lead guitar, Steve was on bass guitar, and I played rhythm guitar.  We played a lot of local gigs before winning a battle of the bands contest in Lakeport, California that got us the recording contract to cut the record with Stanco.  

We were all in high school at the time, and I had to quit the band shortly after making the record (my parents kinda forced me to for personal reasons).  I don't know if the others went on to play with other bands after that, but I played for a short time with my brothers in a band before going on to college.  

My brothers still play to this day, and have cut a couple of albums of their own music.  They are the Prather Brothers Band and are playing at the Cobb Stock festival in Lake County this weekend.  Nowdays all I play is the radio LOL!

03 June, 2014


THE WHO - 'So Sad About Us' (Polydor 2383 147) December 1966

My somewhat irregular trip through my album collection continues with The Who's second studio long player "A Quick One" released on the 3rd December 1966. It more or less coincided with the release of their EP "Ready Steady Who" which came out on 11th December 1966 on Reaction Records.

My copy of the album is the limited edition stereo re-issue released in West Germany on Polydor  during 1981. The LP sleeve was designed by Alan Aldridge who was an exponent of the Pop Art movement.

The album has been reviewed hundreds of times over the years and information exists in music guides, online sites, blogs and magazines. My aim is to focus on one particular song from the set and provide as much information about it here as I can. My song of choice and one which has been one of my very favourite Who songs is the Pete Townshend composed "So Sad About Us", his poignant pop song about a break up and the emotions he experienced, common with us all during such a moment.

"Apologies mean nothing
When the damage is done
But I can't switch off my loving
Like you can't switch off the sun."

Pete Townshend actually wrote "So Sad About Us" for The Merseys and they duly recorded the song at IBC Studios on the 13th July 1966. Townshend produced and mixed their version although the credit for this went to Kit Lambert.

A couple of weeks later, at the back end of July 1966, The Merseys baroque pop edged version of "So Sad About Us" was released backed with "Love Will Continue" (Fontana TF.732). John Entwistle added french horn.

It should be noted that The Who recorded their studio version of "So Sad About Us" three months later during October/November 1966. However, an earlier stripped down version was recorded on the 13th September. The Who performed the song as part of their session for the Light Programme's "Saturday Club" at The Playhouse Theatre, London.

The songs recorded at this session also included "Disguises", "I'm A Boy", "Heatwave" and a cover of The Lovin' Spoonful's "On The Road Again."
I have a bootleg album called "The Who - Maximum BBC" (Mod-1) that compiles three of the songs from the 'Saturday Club' session, "So Sad About Us", "Disguises" and "I'm A Boy". The sound quality is decent and the front cover is awesome. The information on the back of the album cover claims that all cuts were taken from the original master tapes.    

During February 1977, Polydor invited The Jam into the studio to record a demo session before signing them. One of the songs they laid down was a version "So Sad About Us." The song was a popular live staple at their gigs. The song was re-recorded during September 1978 as a tribute to Keith Moon, who had died earlier in the month.

The Jam released their version of "So Sad About Us" on the B-Side of their October 1978 hit single 'Down In The Tube Station At Midnight' (Polydor POSB 8). The back of the single sleeve showed a moody picture of Keith. I can still remember when I first heard of his death back in September 1978. All very sad or should I say so sad about him.

"So Sad About Us" was also released as a single by Swedish group The Mascots on Hep House Records in 1967....

01 June, 2014


PHIL and the FRANTICS - 'I Must Run' / 'Pain' (Rabbit 45-1219) February 1966

The best place to hear the recordings of Phoenix, AZ group Phil and the Frantics is via the mid 80s retrospective on Voxx Records, strange then, that I can't find my copy. Maybe I didn't even buy it back in the day but thought I had!

'I Must Run' is almost 100% based on The Zombies song 'I Must Move' but nevertheless, it's still an awesome moody beat number with a great organ dominated sound. The flip 'Pain' is also a British Invasion styled tune.

According to 'Fuzz Acid & Flowers' 'I Must Run' was a sizable local hit which brought the group some notice, eventually gaining a touring slot with Peter & Gordon.