The BEAT goes on WUNDERBAR again: lads and gentlemen, start your sheep! (no hamster licence necessary for your pleasure: listen to rare obscure 60s british noise)
Here's what you get:
01- You're The One I Need - The Move (unreleased outtake 66)
02- Tell Me - The Bo Street Runners (Decca, 64)
03- Mr. Frantic - Bluesology (Fontana, 66)
04- It Is Love - Pat Wayne & The Beachcombers (Columbia, 63)
05- Everybody's Laughing - The Chancis (Decca, 64)
06- I Know A Boy - The Bluechips (Pye, 66)
07- No Baby At All - The Measles (Columbia, 66)
08- The World's Been Good To Me - The Peenuts (Ember, 67)
09- Run For Your Life - The Transatlantics (King, 66)
10- People Say - Studio Six (Polydor, 67)
11- I Feel So Blue - The Limeys (Decca, 66)
12- I've Been Crying - The Denny Mitchell Soundsations (Decca, 64)
13- There's Nothing Like It - The Four (aka The 4) (Decca, 64)
14- I've Got That Feeling - The Black Knights (unreleased outtake 64)
15- Dreamer's Fun Fair - Dave Curtiss & The Tremors (Philips, 63)
16- Can You Hear Me - The Cymbaline (Mercury, 66)
17- I Told You Before - The Peeps (Philips, 66)
18- I've Got My Mojo Workin' - The Thyrds (Oak, 64)
19- It Hurts When I Cry - Sean Buckley & The Breadcrumbs (Stateside, 65)
20- So Much In Love - The Herd (Parlophone, 66)
21- We're Through - The Hygrades (Columbia, 65)
22- The Twitch - The Rockin' Berries (Decca, 63)
23- Wishbone - Rey Anton & The Peppermint Men (Parlophone, 65)
24- Mercy Mercy - The Athenians (Waverley, 65)
25- Did You Ever Hear The Sound - Tony Knight & The Live Wires (Decca, 64)
26- It Ain't Right - The Tomcats (Philips EP, 66, released in Spain)
27- Baby Baby, I Should Have Known - The Rackets (Elite Special, 65, released in Germany)
28- Footstomp - Jet Harris & Tony Meehan (Decca, 63)
29- La La La La La - The Persuasions (Columbia, 66)
30- Wait And See - Pete Best (US-only LP "Best Of The Beatles", Savage, 66)
31- Any Day - Jim Pembroke & The Pems (RCA, 66, released in Finland)
32- Laughin' Cryin' Laughin' - Robert Plant (CBS, 67)
33- I Can't Stand The Pain - The Lancastrians (Pye, 65)
34- Gibb Us Coke! - Fly Robin Fly (Club, 68)
Another early Move track, probably from audition tapes, that never had a proper release. A pity, but considering the tremendous quality of the 45s of the first line-up, they simply didn't look back.
Bo Street Runners: see vol. 8. "Tell Me" (not the Stones song) was the flip of their second record, and the first for Decca, who immediately signed the winners of the "Ready Steady Win" battle of the bands. It shouldn't be confused with the next one, "Tell Me What You're Gonna Do".
Bluesology came from Middlesex to London, where they often backed Long John Baldry when he still was a bluesman. Without much success they recorded three 45s on their own, and probably would be forgotten completely nowadays. But they had a young man called Reg Dwight on keyboards and vocals, who soon would change his name to Elton John. Less known, but more interesting: one of their their sax players was Elton Dean, who later joined Soft Machine. But I'm not sure whether or not he's on "Mr. Frantic", their second release.
Brumbeaters Pat Wayne & The Beachcombers had four singles on Columbia, before Pat went solo and released another three. "It Is Love" is the flip of "Roll Over Beethoven", one of Jimmy Page's more dubious session jobs, as guitarist Geoff Roberts insists, that Page never was involved in any recording of The Beachcombers.
Nothing known about The Chancis and their sole 7" on Decca. They may have something to do with later beatgroups The Chances Are or The Chances-R (two different outfits), but no one seems to know reliably.
Another quite obsure band are The Bluechips, even though they had three 45s on Pye. This is the b-side of the second.
Manchester's Measles again. (See also vol. 7 & 10) Here's the flip of "Kicks", the third of four records on Columbia.
The Peenuts (what a name!) probably were a studio outfit, or a band under pseudonym, who recorded a version of The Monkees Theme to cash in on the rave about the TV-show in Great Britain. The real earcatcher was hidden on the other side.
More from The Transatlantics: (See vols. 3, 7, 11 & 12) This nice treatment of a Beatles classic was the first of two efforts for the small King label, when Fontana cancel them after two 7"s. The fifth and last was on Mercury, and both sides can be found on the "Chocolate Soup For Diabetics" series.
Studio Six was a combo from Glasgow with four tough to find singles on Polydor. "People Say" was written by lead guitarist Neil Grimshaw. More on vol. 1.
Four singles for Pye and Decca, but still not much known about London's Limeys. This is the flip of the often compilated "Cara-Lin".
The Denny Mitchell Soundsations came from Bromley and vanished again from the scene after this, their one and only recorded legacy.
Even less known about The Four, whose only record was credited to The 4 by Decca. (The picture shows an advance pressing, but you hear the official release.) The other side is a neat, but rather tame version of Curtis Mayfield's "It's Alright".
Liverpool's Black Knights had their famous 15 minutes when they were casted to appear in the movie "Ferry Cross The Mersey". The apperance in the film was short, but three tracks had been recorded at Abbey Road with George Martin producing. Two of these made up the only 45 of the group, the third one stayed in the can. Until now... Grab it!
More about Dave Curtiss & The Tremors from Essex on vol. 4. "Dreamer's Fun Fair" graced the flip of the second of three singles on Philips.
Also from Essex were The Cymbaline, who released seven 45s between 65 and 69 on Pye, Mercury and Philips. "Can You Hear Me" was on the back of the second, "Top Girl", another fine modish song that will show up here in the not too distant future.
The Peeps from Coventry recorded four 7"s plus one as Martin Cure & The Peeps. Guitarist Roy Albrighton later made it big in Germany with Nektar.
The Thyrds from London (Paul Ellis, Mike Hughes, John Malcolmb and Mick Teasdale) didn't make much impression on "Ready Steady Win", where smoother sounds were en vogue. Still Decca released "Hide 'n' Seek" as a single. It sank without trace, but is one of the more expensive releases of the era now. Before that they had recorded the same song at R. G. Jones of Morden, and the associated Oak label released it in a small pressing with a diffenent b-side, "Mojo Working". And, just to put the record straight: this Preston Foster composition was first recorded and released by Ann Cole, not Muddy Waters.
We had Sean Buckley with his second outfit and his German adventures on vol. 12. Here's the band he played with in England, The Breadcrumbs from Dagenham. I had this request for the a-side of the groups only 45, so here we go. Not as frantic as the famous flip "Everybody Knows", but a decent piece of 60s beat nevertheless.
Peter Frampton plays Jagger-Richards on Herd's third and last Parlophone single. The hits came a year later with the switch to Fontana. While The Stones never released it, "So Much In Love" also flopped in versions of The Mighty Avengers and Charles Dickens. More of The Herd on vols. 5 & 8.
The Hygrades reportedly were based in Harrow, North-West London. But that's all I could find about another of these extremely rare and obscure major label one-offs.
Birmingham's Rockin' Berries a garage punk band?!? Not really, but before they hit the big time for a while with "He's In Town" and a string of 13 singles, a couple of EPs and two albums on Piccadilly, they recorded two 7-inchers in 63 for Decca, and both are killers. (Well, the b-sides anyway...) "The Twitch" was on the second, we'll run into the debut on a future volume.
Read more about Rey Anton from Bournemouth on vol. 4, where we presented him with his third band Pro Form. He started solo in 62 on Oriole, recorded with The Batons in 63, changed to Parlophone and had five singles 64/65 with The Peppermint Men, before he called his group Pro Form for another three in 65/66. He never had a hit, but most of his records are pretty good.
The Athenians from the Athens of the North: A Scottish R&B group from Edinburgh, and still some kind of a legend there. They recorded one of these hard to find students charity singles - we'll get back to that on a future issue - before they released two singles for the small local Waverley label. With covers of Chuck Berry, Slim Harpo and Lazy Lester you know what to expect. "Mercy Mercy", one of Don Covay's many fantabulous songs, was on the final record and is more familiar in the version of The Stones.
Tony Knight & The Live Wires from London also were competitors in 64's "Ready Steady Win" contest, and Decca had high hopes in the group with the most polished sound of them all. But "Did You Ever Hear That Sound" didn't chart, and Tony went on to remodel the band with the addition of brass to Tony Knight's Chessmen, who are best remembered these days for having our hero Lol Coxhill on sax. An unreleased acetate of the Chessmen will be featured on vols. 17 & 18.
Two bands from Ealing, The Second Thoughts and The Tomcats, teamed up and the latters' name stuck, when they settled down in Spain for a year and a half. With few competition except the (German) Vampires, they went down a storm there for having long hair alone. But they could play, and recorded four EPs in Madrid. Among lots of Top 20 hits like "Monday, Monday" and "Somebody Help Me", they smuggled in some of their own material, and showed a lot of potential, even though studio time was tight and recording technology primitive. Back home they evolved into psychsters July of "Dandelion Seeds" fame.
For more info about our coverboys The Rackets go back to vol. 7. For a while they ruled in Germany, but in some kind of Moby Grape overkill action Elite Special released eight (!) of their singles in 65 alone, and that was a bit too much for us teens with low budgets. A lot of first class originals went down the drain unnoticed this way, and we'll certainly meet them again on Tommyknickers.
Jet (Terence) Harris & Tony Meehan used to be the rhythm section of The Shadows, bass and drums respectively. In 62 Harris had enough, because ongoing rumours about Cliff Richard messin' round with his wife caused bad feelings. (Ey what?!? Cliff and the other sex?) A little later Meehan quit too and teamed up with Harris in a duo that had an instant hit with "Diamonds" in 63. Hidden on the flip was one of their rare vocal performances, and "Footstomp" is an overlooked early beat gem in my book. (The Austrian Boys picked it up in 65, changed the lyrics dramatically and recorded it for an EP which was only released in Yugoslavia. But that's just trivia for Prae-Kraut buffs.)
For The (ex-Wackers) Persuasions see vol. 8. Here's the last of three soulful singles of the band. There on vol. 8 you'll also find an equally exciting version of The Blendells' hit "La La La La La" done by C. M. J.
Pete Best was good enough, right? Well, sure, but his nose was too small for George Martin. After an unsuccessful 45 for Decca he went to the States with his Combo and recorded a lot of material that usually was released there credited to "Best of The Beatles" by cheapo cash-in labels on 45 and 33. Well, you can fool all of the people some times, but of course this was a disasterous strategy on long time terms. A recommendable collection of his US recordings has been released by Cherry Red in 1996, but that's only half of the story, and there are a handful or two of fine numbers that didn't make it on the CD. We'll drop in some of these in our series now and then.
An Englishman in Finland: Jim Pembroke & The Pems: see vol. 2, where you'll find the other side of this 45, and vols. 6 & 10, where we've documented his Finnish period with Blues Section.
I've never been much of a Zeppelin fan, but Robert Plant's 45 with the band Listen (CBS; 66) is a smash. After that he recorded two less impressive blue-eyed soul singles for the label, and "Laughin' Cryin" Laughin" still is the best of four 60s tunes he released under own name. A bit substandard for Tommyknockers, but we like to do some name dropping here and there. Of historical interest anyway...
The Lancastrians from Altrincham, an outskirt of Manchester, released six 45s on Pye from 64 to 66, all produced by Shel Talmy. They really had a fine hand for moody ballads, but a horrible version of "The Ballad Of The Green Berets" on the last one is a bit too much even for my stomach. On some records they had help from Jimmy Page and Nicky Hopkins, but not on "I Can't Stand The Pain", which is a group composition, not the Pretty Things song. They disbanded disillusioned when they came back from a tour through Germany with less cash than before.
TOMMYKNOCKERS VOLUME 13
(mp3 / 256 kbps / scans included / direct download)
(mp3 / 256 kbps / scans included / direct download)
This series is a labour of love and a labour of lust, but first of all it's labour. I know, we're preaching to the converted, but a little more response or criticism might be encouraging for continuation.
The Lolly Pope & westfauster.