Another collection of previously uncompiled UK Beat and R&B rarities from the sixties. Singles, EPs, acetates, a BBC session and three choice cuts from rare albums. The BEAT goes on, meet us at the Wunderbar. We keep diggin' deeper...
01. It's Just A Little Bit Too Late - The Druids (Parlophone,64)
02. Take My Tip - Kenny Miller (Stateside,65)
03. I'll Keep Holding On - The Incas (Parlophone,66)
04. Help Me - Kris Ryan & The Questions (EP "On The Right Track", Mercury,65)
05. So Sad - Curiosity Shoppe (Deram,68)
06. Daddy Cool - Mel Turner & The Bandits (Columbia,62)
07. It's No Good - The Maggots (Star Club,65, German release)
08. Russian Boat Song - The Cheetahs (Philips,66)
09. Bumble Bee - The Searchers (EP, s.t., Pye,65)
10. Tomorrow I'll Be Gone - The Quiet Five (Parlophone,65)
11. Hot Blooded Lover - The Carefrees (Oriole,64)
12. Artificial City - The Rothchilds (Decca,66)
13. Scratchin' Ma Head - The Event (Metronome,67, German release)
14. What You're Doing To Me - The Rusty Nail ( EP "Ooh Baby", Hi-Fi,66, released in Singapore)
15. Bad Boy - Tony Knight's Chessmen (unreleased acetate 64)
16. Why - The Mustang (Parlophone,67)
17. Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere - The Jaybirds (V.A.-EP, Embassy,65)
18. I Can't Stand It - The Michael Allen Group (V.A.-LP "Liverpool Today. Live At The Cavern", Ember,65)
19. I Won't Let You Down - The Richmond (Group) (from same LP as track 18)
20. What Do You Want With My Baby - Bern Elliott & The Klan (Decca,64)
21. See You Later Alligator - Freddie & The Dreamers (German Columbia,65)
22. Whirlybird, Part 1 - The Pros & Cons (US-only Decca release,65)
23. Gonna Make A Woman Of You - A Band Of Angels (United Artists,64)
24. Mind Over Matter - The Firebrands (unreleased acetate,66)
25. Shades Of Blue - The Pirates (Polydor,66)
26. Roach Daddy - Ambrose Slade (Fontana,69)
27. I Want You - Those (aka) Belfast Gypsies (acetate,66)
28. Ain't It A Shame - The Vibrons (V.A.-LP "Ready Steady Win", Decca,64)
29. The Hard Way - The Nashville Teens (Decca,66)
30.Good Lovin' - The Who (BBC recording, Saturday Club,65)
31. Bo Diddley Is A Lover - The Liverbirds (Star Club,66, German release)
32. Anything You Do Is Alright - The U.K. Bonds (Polydor,66)
We've been talking about The Druids from Essex in our last issue. Here's the second and last 7", "It's Just A Little Bit Too Late", a song originally written by American Clint Ballard for Wayne Fontana's Mindbenders as a follow-up to "Game Of Love", Ballard's best known composition. He also wrote "I'm Alive" (Hollies) and "You're No Good" (Blue Jeans) among many others.
Don't know much about Kenny Miller. Some say he was an American actor who came to Swinging London in the 60s, but again it's the author of the song here, who catches the ear. Produced by Shel Talmy, it's the first recorded composition of a young hopeful by the name of Davie Jones, and it was released before he had his own version out with The Manish Boys. He later became quite popular as Ziggy Stardust. (No, not Alvin....)
Reputedly from Birmingham, this is the flip of the only 45 of The Incas. Originally a Tamla Motown floorfiller by The Marvelettes, it was one of the mightiest singles of England's premier mod group, The Action. The other side has been comped on Rare 60s Beat Treasures Vol.5)
We already had a couple of tracks by Kris Ryan & The Questions from Manchester. Too lazy now to to do your job. You know the name, look up the number...
Liverpool's Curiosity Shoppe only had one single, the often comped "Baby I Need You". Obviously no-one bothered with digging up the b-side yet, so here it is.
Pre-Beatles rocker Mel Turner and his Bandits are an empty page in my book. Mel was a black man, possibly from Jamaica, and also recorded with The Mohicans and The Jokers in the UK 61 to 65 for Melodisc, Carnival and Columbia.
Next is the other side of the only record by the mysterious Maggots on Star Club. Old posters and ads prove that they were British and played at the club, but that's all we know. (See last volume.)
The Cheetahs from Birmingham, formerly known as Carl (Baron) & The Cheetahs with one 45 on Columbia in 63, had five singles on Philips 64-66. "Russian Boat Song", a variation of the famous Russian nursery rhyme about the evil witch Baba Yaga, was the last, and had a licenced German release on Star Club records, although The Cheetahs were no regulars there, as far as I know.
Maybe pointless to include The Searchers here, but in case you don't own their entire 60s output, chances are that you've missed this immaculate version of La Vern Baker's "Bumble Bee", a number that was popular here in Deutschland in an outrageous German language version by Casey Jones & The Governors.
All images I've found reveal that London's Quiet Five actually were a sextet led by Kris Ife, who pursued a mildly successful solo career after they split in 67. But still they lived up to their name: very quiet harmony pop ballads. Notable exception is the b-side of the debut. Not exactly a garage killer, but definitely worth a listen. They had four more, and even covered The Stones' "I Am Waiting", but quite quiet...
The Carefrees had a US hit with the novelty cash-in "We Love You Beatles", but it was a UK production for Oriole, and here we are interested in the overlooked flipside, which sounds like it's been recorded by an entirely different outfit. And while "Hot Blooded Lover" is a veritable 60s rocker, the most exciting thing about the record is, that John Stevens, one of our avantgarde-jazz-heroes, did one of his very few early session jobs here, reportedly on both sides. See his own entries here on this blog, he even has his own department in "labels and tags" on the right, but don't expect to find something beat-related there. The Carefrees had another 45 on Oriole, which we're still trying to hunt down.
Next is another unknown harmony popgroup from my shortlist, but the more I listen to The Rothchilds' "Artificial City", the more I like Arthur Greenslade's whimsical arrangement, and I got to get the monkey off my back now, take it or leave it. This was the second of two singles.
The Event were a British group, whose sole 45, though recorded in England, was only released in Germany. Both sides were written and produced by the Fletcher-Flett team, and a version of "Scratchin' Ma Head" by Tony Crane was released on Pye a year later. The guy on the left of the cover looks like someone I should know by name, but I just can't identify him at the moment.
The Rusty Nail were a Brit band based in Singapore, and while the notes on the back of this EP promised a forthcoming LP, this seemingly never saw the light. You can find another EP-track on Incredible Sound Show Stories Vol.9.
As promised in our last volume, here's the other side of the unreleased acetate by Tony Knight's Chessmen with Lol Coxhill, a meaty, beaty, big and scratchy version of Larry Williams' "Bad Boy".
Absolutely nothing known about The Mustang, except that "Why" is not a cover of the majestic song by The Byrds, as some sources claim to know.
And another one by Embassy's most effective in-house beat forces, The Jaybirds. While their versions often keep up with, or even outdo the originals, here they rumble through a classic like a derailed freight train missing the station. And remind us of how important Keith Moon was for the sound of The Who.
Next are two tracks from the rare LP "Liverpool Today. Live At The Cavern", originally released on Ember, but a little easier to find in the US licenced issue on Capitol. The Michael Allen Group from Birkenhead began as The Abstracts and recorded an acetate as Mike Mulloy & The Mountwoods. The tracks on this VA-LP are the only officially released songs of the band.
Same is true for The Richmond, who often were advertised as The Richmond Group. They were formed as The Poets in 64, but had to find a new brand when the Scottish band of the same name started releasing records. One of the singers on these recordings was Eddie Cave, who later had his own group, The Fyx with a 7" on Pye. Another prominent member, who joined after the Cavern recordings, was Mike Hart of The Roadrunners. The Richmond split in 66.
Bern Elliott & The Fenmen originally came from Kent, but settled down in the big city when they charted with the debut "Money" and the follow-up "New Orleans". Why they thought that a switch of name for the third 45 to Bern Elliott & The Klan was such a clever idea... well, boozers, I guess...and hope. (Some say that The Klan was a different group, but I've been told that that's wrong.) It flopped like Elliott's two following solo singles. The Fenmen with future Pretty Things John Povey and Wally Allen later recorded four singles without Bern.
Ha, Freddie & The Dreamers again! I know that some of you party poopers out there hate them, but here at spurensicherung we'll always have a soft spot for Manchester's madmen. "See You Later Alligator" wasn't released on single in the UK. It was the German flip of "Do The Freddie", a hit here and in the USA, where it came out with a different b-side. And no, it's not a Bill Haley song. The original was released by Bobby Charles, a pseudonym for Robert Guidry from Louisiana.
Nothing known about The Pros And Cons. A band of that name had a 45 with two DD,D,B,M & Tich-covers on UK CBS a year later, but I doubt that that's the same band that recorded this Shel Talmy-produced single in England, as the label confirms. We'll probably never know why it only was released on US Decca.
More about A Band Of Angels with future Manfred Mann vocalist Mike D'Abo on Tommyknockers 9, where you'll find the other side of "Gonna Make A Woman Of You" (Oh boy, you couldn't release a song with a title like that on a major these days...) It's the second of four singles.
This is the other side of the acetate by The Firebrands from Coleford. (See vol. 16) Any info about the band is welcome.
After Johnny Kidd's tragical death, The Pirates released two 45s in the 60s. The first, "My Babe"/"Casting My Spell" on HMV is well documented on various compilations, but I haven't found the flip of the second anywhere. Here it comes. "Shades Of Blue" reminds my partner in crime of the more lyrical moments of Syd Barrett, and while I admit that this hasn't crossed my mind yet, it's not far from target either. The reunited Pirates rose to old strength in the mid-70s again.
Between The 'N Betweens and Slade was Ambrose Slade. They only had one LP and this 7" before they dropped the Ambrose, but man, what a scorcher. Forget about the skinhead, glitter, bootstomper and stadium rock images of Slade's later career (although they're still are a great live band), and try to get hold of a copy of the Ambrose Slade album. You won't be disappointed.
An acetate by the former Them, who had to change name to Belfast Gypsies after lots of disarrangements about the rights of the moniker in the post-Morrison phase, when various groups on both sides of the Atlantic tried to sail under that flag. I've seen the label of this acetate, where someone crossed out "Them" and replaced the credits with "Those", but to avoid further confusion we'll list Them as Those Belfast Gypsies, the group who released the great LP on Sweden's Sonet label. The non-LP "I Want You", originally written and released by The Graham Bond Organisation, is the only track you still need if you have all the re-released LP- and CD-collections of this phenomenal group, who, to mince matter even more, also released a Kim Fowley produced single as The Freaks of Nature.
The Vibrons attended the 1964 "Ready Steady Win" battle of the bands contest without much success, or -like most of the others - a contract with Decca, but at least we have this quite amazing early Brit R&B number documented on the resulting VA-LP.
After a whole lot of reissues on various labels during the past two decades, there still are three tracks by The Nashville Teens you can't get there. One of these is the sixth single "The Hard Way". Why the Teens always have been - and still are - criminally underestimated, even put down as a one hit wonder, is beyond my imagination.
The Who doing their best Young Rascals impersonation on SaturdayClub. Those were the days of permanent wonders, my friend, and thank god and his wife that I don't have to be young nowadays...
Rumour has it, that is was naughty old John Lennon, who encouraged the maidens... Liverpool to Hamburg was the usual thing to do in the early to mid-60s, but not for girls. Except The Liverbirds, who stayed there for quite a while, and at least one of them even married a Star Club alumnus. They were BIG in Germany, and we loved them. Initially smiled (or frowned) at as some kind of novelty act, they soon showed all the wankers what grrrls can do with guitars. Yeah, garage punk with lipstick flavour! Two LPs and a couple of 45s showed them in all their glorious limited variety. "Bo Diddley's A Lover" was the last single, and one of the few songs not included on one of the longplayers.
The U.K. Bonds? Sorry, nothing. They had two 45s on Polydor in 66, both produced by Claire Francis, one of the very few female competitors back then. The other side, "The Last Thing I'll Ever Do", has been comped on "Basement Beat 1 - Nothing Comes Easy," but I'm still desperately seeking for their first 7".
Get up, get down, get with it... or stay in bed clicking your fingers applauding the play. But tell us what you think about it. See you next month.
The Lolly Pope (Nash) & rvd west-faust-er (Vile) & Cathy McGowan (Teen) 1966
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