mercy! sound!! uk!!! 1964-1969!!!!


Something completely new and different after hundreds of compilations dealing with UK 60s beat? Yes! (And no...) While lots of nuggets from R&B via Merseybeat to psych excursions can be found on the way to Golgatha, the UK xian beat scene has been widely neglected, or at least ignored. But soon as we had compiled what we thaught to be the cream of the heavenly crop, we had to find out, that our friend Michael Vee had done a wonderful job in this field over at his „60s (mostly) uncompiled“ blog, called „the xian syde“ more than 2 years ago. You'll find this fine „companion“ comp at 60s (mostly) uncomped. To avoid more than the absolutely inevitable doublettes, we kept on digging deeper, and it was worth our while, and yours too, I guess. This one rocks, and where it doesn't, it rolls away the Stones...

They don't call me the lolly pope for nothing, but often there's not more than the mere facts of the recordings handed down (see the attached covers), and some of these, like The Pilgrims, haven't been released back then, but only showed up on private CDs much later. Infallibility doesn't necessarily mean omnisience, and some of the groups have their own sites meanwhile (google yourself!).

Here's just a bit of what I found out on this crusade: London's church punks The Pilgrims, who later mutated to xian prog band Out Of Darkness, had a 7“, but the best stuff was released on a CD called „Telling Youth The Truth“ some years ago.

Liverpool's Witnesses only released an EP on Herald, but all 4 songs are worth a listen.

Merseyside comrades The Crossbeats recorded 2 singles and an LP for Pilgrim Rec., and on „Changes“ they sound like re-modelling The Roulettes' „Bad Time“ with Ringo on vocals. The Joystrings were the Salvation Army's pride, and had at least 2 LPs and a lot of 45s. The Gospelfolk from Scotland released a garage album of some sorts on Emblem called „Prodigal“, with some songs too wild for inclusion on a „beat“-comp. (See previous entry on spurensicherung for another of their hits. But they had weirder stuff...) The Strangers are the earliest here with an extract from the world's first rock opera „A Man Dies“ (64). The Living Stones' LP „Jesus Music“ was released at late as 74, but sounds like recorded in the late 60s. Like, say, VU jamming with Quintessence. (This band shouldn't be confused with the German xian band of the same name, who recorded the classic „Christen und Heiden“ („Christians and Heathens“) among others.) The all black Overcomers from London (via Kingston, probably) sound like God's own Equals with a bit of ska thrown in for good measure on this EP, the very first release of the Key label. All Things New's only recordings appeared on the xian compilation „Alive“ (Key, 69), the LP that already delivered 2 songs by The Whispers Of Truth to the legacy of Brit psych. (see Syde Tryps Vol.1)

The Advocates' bubblegum R&B comes from the debut EP (72) and is the second contribution here that was released in the 70s. The Liverpool Raiders sound like Jonathan Richman fronting The Bonzos on this sole EP on Tower CLM. But draw your own conclusions... There's a lot to discover. While words (and even music) sometimes come close to the most hilarious and freaky moments of Prae-Kraut Pandaemonium, this is vintage British beat of the 60s. Rhythm in religion! Who said the devil's got ALL the good music?!? ( Well, me probably, but there's pie in the sky too, so get your fingers sticky now, if you dare.)

1: THE PILGRIMS – Thank You Lord

2: THE WITNESSES – The Winning Side


4: THE OVERCOMERS – If You're Saved

5: THE ENVOYS – Door

6: THE PEACEMAKERS – Millionaire

7: THE JOYSTRINGS – No Time To Lose



10:THE PEBBLES – He Knows The Way

11:THE STRANGERS with RICKY FORDE – Just Look At Him

12:THE LIVING STONES – Forever To Stay

13:THE SHARONS – You Must Believe Me

14:THE JOYSTRINGS – Love That's All Around






20:ALL THINGS NEW – Jesus Is Coming Again

21:THE ENVOYS – Danger

22:THE COBBLERS – Not A Chance

23:THE PILGRIMS – There's Someone In Your Life


25:THE ADVOCATES – Jumping Jeremiah

26:WHISPERS OF TRUTH – Ode To Arnold

27:THE LIVERPOOL RAIDERS – Lord And Giver Of Life

(mp3 / art and liners included / direct download)


michael vee said...

Halleluyeah! Another tomb-raid in the almost forgotten cemetery of Jesus-Beatgroups! Who else but the Lolly Pope could have delivered more asskickin’ killers from the depth of the catacombs (don’t mind the language, Pastor)… again, after my last attempt to separate the grain from the chaff of xian-sounds, I have bent my knees to worship the Lord and his UK-Beat-disciples. I must say, I don’t regret. Apart of a few tracks I already knew, there’s heaps of new goodies. My fave xian group is the Pilgrims with their gutty sound that reminds me of the Savage Resurrection (another link to the bible, huh?) and the Crossbeats who offer that typical Liverpudlian sound like the Swinging Blue Jeans or the Merseybeats (you can find their exhaustive bio including pics & prayers (redeem yourself!) and their complete downloadable songbook at http://www.crossbeats.co.uk/songs.htm). (“If Only”, another fine Crossbeat-track was comped on Today is just tomorrow's Yesterday, Vol. Two). As the Pope rightly states, The Overcomers recall the Equals (but also the Sir Douglas Quartet), both of their tracks are new to me and fantastic. Anyone interested in xian-beat will dig the Witnesses and the Envoys, tho’ I didn’t know their great “Danger” (“Just a heartbeat from Hell”). Same goes for the Paecemakers: Dig the crispy guitars on “Millionaire" and “Power” and get the message (Jesus Christ is calling you today). Together with the Crossbeats, The Joystrings must have been the hardest working band in showbiz, pardon, in the Christian congregations, and I love “No Time To Lose” and “ Love That's All Around” the same way. Scotland’s Gospelfolk have a pretty cool Westcoast-sound, whereas the Strangers recall Roy Orbison which is never a bad thing. The Living Stones bring in mind the famous “what would you do if Jesus came to your house today” (actually, what would YOU do?), The Messengers of the Cross’ “This Concerns You” is even better than their “What Would You Say” (again…?), and All Things New deliver a cool track even if it has trumpets. The Cobblers (great stage-outfit, mates!) make part of the company with the only listenable track of their EP (at least for my ears), and the Chordials sound like a cross (pun intended) between Buffalo Springfield and the Four Seasons. The Advocates stand out for their great frilly shirts, and their Jumpin’ Jeremia (obviously inspired by womanizer Long Tall Shorty, but putting another headstone on his grave) is downright hilarious. Finally, The Whispers of the Truth make me think of the Kinks (which places them in the top drawer) , and the Liverpool Raiders bring me back to the Cavern. If you close your eyes, some groups with female voicing sound very much like the early Jefferson Airplane, and the track I like best of all is the Pebbles’ “He Knows The Way”, innocent and honest, but well crafted. Thinking it over, all these tracks here have one thing in common: The eschewal of anything false and artificial. Which puts the church-music very close to that of the Garage. And that’s exactly why I’d kill for it (I mean die for it). So praise the Lord and, most of all, the Lolly Pope. (and wait for the xian aftermath, coming soon on my own site).

Anonymous said...

wow, st. michael, i'm blushing... instead of excommunicating you for calling Sir Douglas' band a Quartet, i appoint you my Nuntius. thanks a lot and goddess bless you. (The Cobblers track, by the way, isn't from the pictured ep, but from their lp "warm are the sounds". but indeed, it's the only half decent song on that one. the ep is an acquired taste, but we couldn't resist to use the freaky looks on the cover. yours, lolly.

michael vee said...

....kleine Stinktiere in der Kirche?....Vaterunserusw. v/s LDS...?
O-ton: "Tipps, Tricks und Texte kamen aus höherer Warte"... muß man gesehen haben, ums zu glauben:


aldo said...

Some FANTASTIC tracks!

I'm not surprised Michael Vee has put together a Christian Beat comp in the past...

after all in our native Italy there were quite few examples of that, beginning with I BARRITAS Beat Mass LP and other bands singing about San Francesco and all...

jajaja said...

can someone please send me this mp3 format?

Anonymous said...

to jajaja - what do you mean? just scroll down to the end of the tracklist. after track 27 click at mercy!sound!! and you can download it directly. urbi et orbi, baby...

The Viking said...

Hi there,
amymore information on the Liverpool Raiders and their records ? I'm looking for that info for the discography in my forthcoming book.
Thanks a lot - for every bit !

Anonymous said...

@Manfred. Go to http://www.1960schristianmusic.com/1960s_Christian_Music/Liverpool_Raiders.html It's a new site for xian 60s beat and you can even listen to the whole Raiders EP, which was the only release of the group. L. P.

Jeani Bond said...

I play many of these tracks on my Live365 radio station! www.live365.com/stations/christianhippie

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much.

Caleb Slain said...

You are a saint. This is one of the greatest gifts to mankind. Bless you for keeping it alive.