söndagen den 20:e november 2011

Swedish Sixties Pt. 4: Fabulous Four - Rotten Rats/Goodbye My Love

Fabulous Four- Rotten Rats/Goodbye My Love Swedish Fontana 271 257 TF  1966
The next one up for my Swedish sixties pandemonium is this Stockholm group with the probably Beatles-influenced name of Fabulous Four. The group was mostly known for their light harmony pop, but this is about as far from light harmony pop as you can get.


"Rotten Rats" is a perfect example of what might happen when the charts and producers doesn't get all the power. There is lots of aggressive fuzz noise and gritty (in a good way) production.

The B-side, a cover of "Goodbye My Love", is more in the "light harmony pop" vein. It is not bad, albeit not really my thing.

"Rotten Rats":

lördagen den 19:e november 2011

Swedish Sixties Pt. 3: The Moderations - Hard To Forget/Shake

(I could not find a picture of the 45 on the internet. Here is instead a picture of The Moderations themselves.)
(No, that is NOT Jimmy Page sitting on the left)
The Moderations came from Malmö and released this classy piece of pop perfection in 1966. They consisted of:
Anders Netshagen: vocals
Peter Clemmendson: lead guitar
Lars-Åke "Lacke" Kellgren: rhythm guitar
Anders "Jonte" Bjellerup: bass
Per-Ove "Muffe" Kellgren: drums.
This, their only single, seems to be recorded in the Metronome studio in Copenhagen. "Hard To Forget" is a driving Mod-pop track with great "twanging" guitar and a tinkling piano in the background. The vocalist's English is also very good for being a Swedish teen in the mid-60's. On the flip there is a cover of Sam Cooke's "Shake". It is an okay version, not bad but not as excellent as "Hard To Forget" by any means.

"Hard To Forget":



onsdagen den 2:e november 2011

Swedish Sixties Sounds Part Two: "14"

"14"-"Umbrella/Drizzle

Ok, first off I would like to say I'm sorry that I haven't been able to post anything in the latest days. I was planning to post a lot, but then I had to work a lot so I didn't get any time to post. I'll stretch it out anyway, the "Swedish special" will go on for eight more posts.

Here we have "14" (yes, it is supposed to be spelled with quotes) with their second and last UK 45, "Umbrella/Drizzle" (Olga OLE 006). "14" came from Finspång and released impressive eight singles and one LP on the Olga label, (run by local hitmakers The Hep Stars), something very unusual for a fairly unsuccessful Swedish pop group in the 60's.


"Umbrella" is a jolly piece of baroque psych with great lyrics. The harpsichord that we hear in about the middle of the song really drives it home. My favourite is the flip, though. "Drizzle" also features the harpsichord, albeit a little bit more of it which is not a bad thing at all. A bad thing is, though, that they only included phasing on the demo copies of the 45. 

"Umbrella": 

"Drizzle":

torsdagen den 27:e oktober 2011

Swedish Sounds Part One: The Other Side


Newly I've listened a lot to more obscure, Swedish 60's beat/freakbeat/psych/garage bands, so I decided that until next Thursday I am just going to write about Swedish bands and artistes. 

Jack Downing, the group's leader, was born in Little Rock, Arkansas but moved to Sweden in 1963. In October '65, he formed The Other Side together with three Englishmen and one Swede. They released one 45 in 1966 on a label called Karusell, before changing their name to Jack Downing & The Other Side and releasing four more country-sounding 45's on RCA Victor and CBS from 1969 to 1973. Downing also had a solo career for some years in the 70's.

This is the one single they released as The Other Side, and by far their best 45. The A-side is a song many have tried to cover, but few has made a good version of it. This version is OK, but nothing more. The flip, on the other hand, is great. The organ riff is brilliant, Downing's vocals are brilliant and everything else is rather brilliant as well.


Since a young man called Mac MacLeod was a member of the Other Side, both songs can be found on a compilation called "The Incredible Musical Odyssey Of The Original Hurdy Gurdy Man: Mac MacLeod".

"Out My Light":    

lördagen den 1:e oktober 2011

Heavy Metal '66

Parlophone R-5510


What we have here children, is one of my favourite British 60's freak psych 45's EVER MADE, and possibly one of the rarer (a mint copy is worth vertiginous 750 British pounds according to Record Collector Magazine's "Rare Record Price Guide" from December 2010) as well. Guitarist Geoff Gibbs' website says Him & The Others were George Demetrious (vocals), Colin Roche and Geoff Gibbs (both guitar), Lennie Shaw (bass) and Keith Giles (drums) and released only this nugget in 1966. 


"I Mean It" is a pretty good song, but the flip side "She's Got Eyes That Tell Lies" totally blows it away. With the lovely guitar noise and amazing drumming it pre-dates Blue Cheer's "Summertime Blues" as the first ever heavy metal track with two years. In 1967,  Lennie Shaw decided to leave, so Geoff Gibbs became basist and the group changed their name to The Hand.

As "The Hand", 1967


She's Got Eyes That Tell Lies

"I Mean It" appeared at a 1998 comp. called "Purple Pill Eaters", but I do not believe it is still in print.




lördagen den 10:e september 2011

Record Hunting: 10th September

Been a while now since I blogged about record I've bought, and tomorrow it's ten years since two planes destroyed the World Trade Centre. So I thought, why not lighten the mood with some record hunting? Here's what I bought.

Tages-Extra Extra LP Platina 1966
Tages - Extra Extra. Tages third LP from 1966. Mostly cover versions, but also some great originals like "Secret Room", "True Fine Woman" and "Extra". Another favourite track of mine is an amazing cover of The Small Faces' "Understanding". Not "Contrast" or "Studio" but still a good LP.

Terry Knight & The Pack-Self titled LP Lucky Eleven 1966
Terry Knight & The Pack-Self titled. The first of two LP's released by this American garage group. Several members went on to join Grand Funk Railroad, and Knight himself became their producer and manager. Favourite track: "Numbers".

The Poets-Wooden Spoon: The Singles Anthology 1964-1967 CD Grapefruit 2011
The Poets-Wooden Spoon: The Singles Anthology 1964-1967. Compilation by Scotland's Poets compiling both sides of all their 45's. Unfortunately no bonus tracks but I am still pleased, he he.

The Rokes-Let's Live For Today: The Rokes In English 1966-68 CD Rev-Ola 2008
The Rokes-Let's Live For Today: The Rokes In English 1966-68. This Beat group came from London but soon moved to Italy where they found great success, which resulted in many of their songs being sung in Italian. This compilation compiles all the group's songs sung in English.

Various-With The Sun In My Eyes: 20 psychedelic spins from the UK and Europe CD Psychic Circle 2007
Various-With The Sun In My Eyes: 20 psychedelic spins from the UK and Europe. Compilation CD with psychedelic music, like Ola & The Janglers, The Gnomes Of Zurich and more.

The In-Be-Tweens-You Better Run/Evil Witchman Repro 45 Columbia 1966
The In-Be-Tweens-You Better Run/Evil Witchman. Only single released by The In-Be-Tweens. Later evolved into Slade.

Hamilton & The Movement-I'm Not The Marrying Kind/My Love Belongs To You Repro 45 CBS 1967
Know barely anything about this group, but i really like this single. Produced and A-side written by Rolling Stone Bill Wyman.

torsdagen den 8:e september 2011

Tages


Just heard that Swedish EMI newly released a 5 CD set compiling our very own beat gods Tages' 5 LP's (Tages, Tages 2, Extra Extra, Contrast and Studio) that they released between 1965 and '67. Unfortunately no bonus tracks but not bad at all anyway. Mysteriously i can't find it on Amazon OR eBay but if you live in the EU you can order it from this site for only 17.95 € (about 25 USD / 15 GBP):

http://cdon.eu/music/tages/original_album_series_(5cd)-14573447