Starknocker-Starknicker-Starknacker-Starnixer-Star! Farstuckers this time:
01- I'm Mad - The Tages (HMV,66)
02- Boys - Dickie Rock & The Miami Showband (Piccadilly,63)
03- I Can't Stand To Lose You - Gary Walker & The Rain (Polydor,68)
04- Love Made A Fool - The Dixies (Irish Parlophone,65)
05- I Ran All The Way Home - The Royal Showband Waterford (HMV,64)
06- Long Tall Texan - The Druids (Parlophone,64)
07- Willow Tree - The King Pins (aka Kingpins) (Star Club,66, German release)
08- Ha Ha, Mr. Froggie - The Maggots (Star Club,65, German release)
09- Things I Should Have Known - The Fortunes (Decca,65)
10- I'm Not the Loving Kind - The Rustiks (Decca,65)
11- Slow Down - The Mersey Five (Storz,65, German release)
12- Come Along With Me - Sonny Stewart (Bellaphon,66, German release)
13- I've Had Enough - Dave Lacey & The Corvettes (Philips,65)
14- I Keep Forgettin' - The Easybeats (BBC session,66, unreleased)
15- The Morning Sunshine - The Idle Race (Liberty,68)
16- L-O-V-E - Jackie Edwards (Island,66)
17- Roarin' And Scorin' - : ---? (Major,66)
18- After The Fox - Peter Sellers & The Hollies (United Artists,66)
19- One Mint Julep - The Nomads (unreleased studio rec.64)
20- Tango - The Mark Five (Fontana,64)
21- Hey Lulu - Shane Fenton & The Fentones (Parlophone,64)
22- Hey Little Girl - The End (Philips,65)
23- Whole Lotta Woman - The Wild Oats (unreleased studio rec.65)
24- Fool Killer - The Brian Auger Trinity (Columbia,65)
25- Howling For My Baby - The Shamrocks (German-only LP, s.t., Liverpool Beat series, Ariola,65)
26- Bittersweet - The Hykells (unreleased BBC session, 68)
27- Thinking Of You Baby - The Starlings (Embassy,64)
28- Key To Love - John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers (Decca,66)
29- Messin' With The Kid - Tony Knight's Chessmen (unreleased acetate,64)
30- Sticks And Stones -The Wes Minster Five (Carnival,64)
31- Rockin' Pneumonia - The Candymen (French EP "De Manchester a Paris", Barclay,65)
32- (Just Like) Romeo And Juliet - West Five (HMV,65)
33- San Francisco Poet - Marc Bolan (Decca,66)
34- Looking At Tomorrow - The Creatures (CBS, 67)
Erm... not very British, The Tages from Gothenburg, Sweden. But their first UK release (the seventh Swedish 45) is one of the hardest to find on the HMV Pop label, so here you have it. We've seen bands like The Rattles, The Shanes, Wonderland and about 30 other Continental outfits on UK comps, and I needed a good opener. Who the care fucks anyway...
Dickie Rock & The Miami were one of Ireland's most prominent showbands, and quite popular on the Continent too. Like all the showbands they didn't rock often, but when they did, they knew how to roll it. We've heard Ringo and Pete doing their Best at interpreting The Shirelles' hit "Boys", but Dickie beats both left-handed.
Big in Japan: Gary Walker, as Gary Leeds once the drummer of The Standells, always was the odd man out in The Walker Brothers, and went solo when he had enough of miming the drummer for two crooners backed by an orchestra. With The Rain he had a proper band again, but the superb album they recorded was only released in Japan, where the Walkers were bigger than The Stones. In the UK only two singles with The Rain were released. Here we have the b-side of the first, "Spooky". It's Joey Molland, formerly with The Masterminds and later in Badfinger, and Paul Crane, who used to front The Cryin' Shames, on vocals and guitars, plus John Lawson on bass.
Two more Irish Showbands: The Dixies from Cork with frontman Brendan O'Brien doing a convincing beat-up of Buddy Holly...
...and The Royal Showband Waterford with the extremely catchy (to my ears at least) "I Ran All The Way Home", which was released in most West European countries, and was a hit in Scandinavia under the title "Sorry".
The Druids were a band from Essex with two 45s in 63 and 64. This is the first and we'll come to the second on Tommy 18. "Long Tall Texan", originally released by Jerry Woodard for the American country market, was also covered by The Beach Boys, and Kim Fowley recorded a much funny rip-off called "Big Fat Alaskan" under the name of Donnie & The Outcasts in 63.
The King Pins from Stoke-on-Trent already had a 7" on Pye and a rare split-flexi (other side by The Escorts, but I don't know whether these were THEE Escorts) for Keele Rag on Lyntone as Lance Harvey & The Kingpins, before they went to Hamburg, probably without Lance, and were received well enough to get a record out on the Star Club label.
Similar story with The Maggots, but they are the most obscure band on Star Club Records. 47 years later, and in spite of a lot of research, all we know is that they definitely came from Great Britain.
The second most uncool UK band of the 60s, beaten only by The Bachelors and with The Overlanders hard on their heels, were The Fortunes. BUT as the Pope and Popeye always say: no-one can solely and exclusively produce shit, and even the blindest hen..., well anyway, "Things I Should Have Known", flip of "Here It Comes Again", is a pretty cool midtempo beater brought to your attention here.
Read about The Rustiks from Plymouth in our last issue, where you'll find the debut. This is the follow-up, which was their swansong as well...
As opposed to many German releases with Liverpool or Mersey in the name, The Mersey Five actually came from Merseyside, but were a foursome with a giant stagediving rubber duck being the fifth member. They recorded two singles for the famous (among collectors) Storz label, and you could find the other one on Prae-Kraut Pandaemonium Vol. 13, if you could find it. (Or try: http://www.mediafire.com/file/bjybsn8m8fhfudz)
Another one who tried his luck in Germany without much payoff was Sonny Stewart (Arthur Chamberlain) from London, who started with The Dynamos in the very early sixties. Jimmy Duncombe of The Continentals, later leader of The Rackets, was his guitarist for a while, and it probably was this connection that brought him to Hanau , the secret German capital of Beat, and then to Frankfurt, where he recorded his only 45.
Dave Lacey & The Corvettes were among the less known and unsung heroes of the Birmingham Beat. They had a track each on the compilations Brumbeat Vol. 1 and 2 before they recorded this, their sole single for Philips a year later. Here it is...
Of course The Easybeats were an Australian band after all, but two of them were Hollanders and three were born and grew up in Leeds, Glasgow and Bootle, Lancashire. Brit enough for me, specially as they came back home - or relocated, as they say - in 66 to record the smash "Friday On My Mind" in London, where they spent the next years. During that time they recorded quite a lot of BBC sessions which are hard to find these days, and still are waiting for documentation and re-release like they've done with The Yardbirds or The Pretty Things among many others. Here's a taster. Leiber-Stoller's "I Keep Forgettin'" was a 62 US R&B hit for Chuck Jackson, and might be known among collectors in the version of The (UK) Hi-Fis.
Brum again... The Idle Race rose from the ashes of The Nightriders, and were Jeff Lynne's chance to develop his own musical ideas on the Beatlesque side of Psychedelia. Not exactly your standard beat record, but "Morning Sunshine" is a charming little ditty that fits in perfectly, even if -or because? - it sounds like Tyrannosaurus Rex trying to play Pet Sounds.
Jackie Edwards was a black Jamaican soul and ska singer who came to London in 62 to record for Chris Blackwell's Island Records, where he soon hit the big times as a songwriter for others, most notably The Spencer Davis Group, who had two smashes in a row with his compositions "Keep On Running" and "Somebody Help Me". He also co-wrote "When I Come Home" with Steve Winwood, but when this single didn't reach the same heights, the group didn't record "L-O-V-E", another of Jackie's numbers tailormade for Stevie's style. His own recording of the song also had a German release, and Hamburg's Rivets soon put out a pretty decent version, that tickled the lower regions of the German charts a bit in 66.
Now everybody without a big heart for football: SKIP the next number! Nothing known about this 45, obviously the only release on Major Records. Not even a group or an artist is stated, just: ---?. Ignoring the traditional rivalry between Liverpool FC and Everton FC, Merseyside's two Premier Leaguers, these chaps just celebrate both in a most amusing way to the melody of "Barbara Ann". Well, you'll really never walk alone like that...
Another entry at the edge of sanity: Peter Sellers & The Hollies with the title song of a movie called "After The Fox". The "lyrics" are by Hal David, who passed away last week.
This Nomads here have nothing to do with the group of the same name from the Orkneys, which we featured on Tommy 9. They were from London and changed name to The Cymbaline in 65. A year earlier they had recorded a demo at Ryemuse Sound Studio as The Nomads, and "One Mint Julip", an R&B hit for The Clovers, was the best cut on that acetate.
The Mark Five are often mistaken for an earlier incarnation of the pre-Creation Mark Four. Wrong. They were from Edinburgh and released only this 45, a strange "Tango" they had found on an Isley Brothers record. (Just listen to these Hey-Hey-Hey-Heys and imagine what Freddie & The Dreamers could have done to the song.) You'll find the other side, "Baby What's Wrong", on That Driving Beat Vol. 1. Guitarist Manny Charlton was in Nazareth in the 70s.
Shane Fenton, who later metamorphized to Alvin Stardust, was born as Bernard William Jewry in Muswell Hill. With The Fentones he started recording in 61, and his first 45, "I'm A Moody Guy", was a sizeable hit in the Billy Fury, Adam Faith, Mike Berry etc. Cliff Richard-clones category. He held on to that concept, and only for "Hey Lulu", a lotta "La Bamba" with a bit of "Twist And Shout" thrown in, he gave the hipper sounds of 64 a try. It was his last record for quite a while...
Read about The End on Tommy 15. This is the other side of their debut on Philips.
Here's another of the unreleased tracks - not on Oak Story and not on the 10th Planet LP - by The Wild Oats from Leiston, Surrey. "Whole Lotta Woman" was a hit for US country rocker Marvin Rainwater. See also vols. 2&7.
The pretty cool "Fool Killer" was the debut of Brian Auger. The Trinity 65 was Vic Briggs, Rick Brown and Mickey Waller. All of them were part of Steampacket as well, and this line-up only made two singles in 65. The better known formation with Julie Driscoll was, except for Auger, a totally different group in 67.
The Shamrocks came to Germany from The Isle of Wight and spent the better part of the career there. The resulting LP and two 45s (one drawn from the longplayer) are among the finest UK 60s R&B platters, but widely unknown or ignored in their homeland. For trivia fans: Bassist Gary Cowtan stayed in Germany as a producer and wrote David Hasselhoff's "Looking For Freedom" Ouch, ouch, ouch...
The only 60s recording of Birmingham's Hykells was made for and broadcasted by the local BBC station. They reputedly were quite popular in the area in the late 60s, but never made it to vinyl.
The Starlings were another fantasy name for an anonymous studio outfit recording one of these Woolworth cheapos for Embassy. While many of these efforts were lacklustre cash-ins, in the case of "Thinking Of You Baby" The Starlings beat The Dave Clark Five at their own game for my tastes.
No need to introduce John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. While Mayall certainly was devoted to the more puristic side of the blues, he now and then also recorded some downright rocking white R&B sides like "I'm Your Witchdoctor", "Crawling Up A Hill" or "Crocodile Walk". "Key To Love" is another fine example of his kind of pop art. And, yes, it's Clapton on the axe. Rhythm section is John McVie and Hughie Flint. Brass contributed by Alan Skidmore, John Almond and Derek Healey.
Talking 'bout brass: One of our heroes, the late, great woodwinder Lol Coxhill was the reason why we found - or stumbled over - this unreleased acetate by Tony Knight's Chessmen, a London R&B combo with one official release, "How Sweet"/"Surfer Street", on Decca a year later. This rare acetate here is part of a 2-CD retrospective compilation of Lol's entire career, which is recommended to all illumiati of free jazz and even weirder sounds (like us), but not for strict beat freaks (like most of you, I guess) Fortunately it's a (admittedly scratchy) two-sider, so stay tuned. Tony Knight had released a single with The Live Wires in 64, which obviously didn't feature Lol. No brass, that is. You can listen to it on Tommy 13.
The London-based Wes Minster Five recorded two 45s for the small Carnival label, that's better known for ska and rocksteady. Wes Minster's real name was Brian Smith, and among the Five were Dave Greenslade and Tony Reeves, both later in Colosseum.
There's a bit of confusion about The Candymen. The group that released "Georgia Pines" in the UK on HMV were from, yes, Georgia, in fact the nucleus of the rather successful Atlanta Rhythm Section in the 70s. The UK Candymen from Manchester never had a domestic release, but managed to be carved in vinyl on a French-only EP for Barclay. The often covered "Rockin' Pneumonia" is one of the many classic R&B numbers Huey "Piano" Smith from New Orleans gave the world.
West Five from London recorded three singles for HMV 65/66, the best known was the first, a good interpretation of The Stones' "Congratulations". Originally by The Reflections, "Just Like Romeo And Juliet" was the second, and should be familiar in the version of Chicago's Michael & The Messengers, which was on the mother of all 60s comps, the original "Nuggets" double-album from 72. (Knock me, that's 40 years ago. Time waits for no-one...)
Ha, Marc Bolan again, this time doing his best possible Dylan-goes-electric impersonation. "San Francisco Poet", flip of "The Third Degree" was the second of three pre-John's Children 45s and is worth a fortune or two nowadays. We love the man, and so should you. See Tommy 15 for "Misfits", his third solo 7".
And, just because we've still got 2 minutes to go in a hurry: Here are our old friends from Ireland again, The Creatures, with one of their 45s that had a UK release.
Thanks for the increasing number of comments. It's always a pleasure to discuss that stuff with likeminded looners. See you next month. The Lolly Pope & westfauster.
(mp3 / 256 kbps / scans and more included / direct download)
submission impossible: root and trace