söndag 20 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":

lördag 19 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":

onsdag 2 november 2011

Swedish Sixties Sounds Part Two: "14"


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. 



torsdag 27 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":    

lördag 1 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.

lördag 10 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.

torsdag 8 september 2011


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):


tisdag 30 augusti 2011

The Merseys

Cool live clip of The Merseys doing Sorrow, broadcasted on French TV.

torsdag 18 augusti 2011

The Mark Four-Hurt Me If You Will/I'm Leaving

THE MARK FOUR-Hurt Me If You Will/I'm Leaving Decca F12204 1965

Before the mighty Creation, there was The Mark Four. The first four are, in my opinion, pretty lame but by the release of the third, things begin to happen. 'Hurt Me If You Will' is a pretty okay beat song, not bad but there's not very much things that happens, the song keeps it's slow rhythm all the way, a rave-up would not have been wrong. The great one on this 45 is the B-side, I'm Leaving. This has somewhat a Bo Diddley beat, great guitar plucking, a booming, fat bass, bouncing drums in the Sorrows-vein and stone cold vocals from Kenny Pickett. The group made one more great 45 on Fontana, 'Work All Day (Sleep All Night)/Going Down Fast before evolving into The Creation and the rest is history.

From left: Kenny Pickett, Jack Jones, John Dalton,
Mick 'Spud' Thompson and Eddie Phillips

Hurt Me If You Will

I'm Leaving

onsdag 17 augusti 2011

Good Beatles Covers, Part Two

St Louis Union Girl/Respect Decca F12318 1966

So, here we have the St. Louis Union's debut single also on Decca from 1966, a cover of 'Girl'. It was also the Union's only chart success, as it got to #11 on the charts. However, even though it became a hit it is far from the group's best recording; i feel it is not a good representation of the group's real mega cool Mod image. The only highlight with this one is Tony Cassidy's nice vocal performance, which lifts the number a little higher. Much, much better is the flip, a cover of Otis Redding's 'Respect', which is a much better representation of the group's image. Cassidy's vocals is also on top, howling and fits great to the track.



Good Beatles Covers, Part One

Some people say that the Beatles' songs are like old heaters: they should have 'do not cover' written on them. And I agree to the half. There are many terrible Beatles covers out there, but also some terrific. Here's what I came up with...

Joe Cocker-I'll Cry Instead/Precious Words Decca F11974 1964
John Joe Cocker fronted Sheffield band Vance Arnold & The Avengers when he won an audition for a solo recording with Decca. This one, Cocker's first single from 1964 is a song written by messers Lennon & McCartney from the Beatles' LP 'A Hard Day's Night' from the same year. Personally, i think it is actually better than the original Beatles version; Cocker's voice fits much better to the song and i like the slightly faster rhythm. Also, we have some great guitar work which i've read is done by Big Jim Sullivan (the rest of the studio work is done by members of The Ivy League). The single flopped, but four years later Joe enjoyed international success with another Beatles cover, 'With A Little Help From My Friends'. On the B-side, mister J. Page plays guitar as he did with many Beat groups/artists before joining up with the Yardbirds in '66.

måndag 15 augusti 2011

Hammond Heroes: Julien Covey

JULIEN COVEY & THE MACHINE-A Little Bit Hurt / Sweet Bacon
Julien Covey, or Phil Kinorra as you might know him, released this piece of Hammond grooviness in 1967. You'll may know mister Kinorra/Covey for playing with greats like Brian Auger, Graham Bond, Don Rendell and even replacing Keith Moon of The Who for only one concert in 1967 (before Chris Townson from John's Children took over after Kinorra/Covey/Whateveryouliketocallhim for four more concerts until Keith came back). 'A Little Bit Hurt' is a good northern soul track, with a great, wild Hammond and a good vocal performance from Covey. But i'll have to agree with our friends the anoraks here (get teleported to the article by pressing this text)my favourite here is Sweet Bacon, an instrumental groover which is so great I can't even describe it! One of the BEST mod Hammond tracks from the '60s out there - it's actually as good as Green Onions! Highly recommended!



onsdag 3 augusti 2011

Purple Pill Eaters: Cool people from the '60s part 3









måndag 1 augusti 2011

Horrible debuts from otherwise great bands Part 1: Tages - 'Sleep Little Girl / Tell Me You're Mine'

TAGES - 'Sleep Little Girl / Tell Me You're Mine' Platina 1964
Sweden's very own Tages are best known for releasing one of the greatest '60s psych LP's not from Britain, 'Studio'. They also released a handful of great singles and another great LP, 'Contrast'. But everybody has to start somewhere. And in the start, Tages were five neat-looking geezeers with matching suits who... well, needed some more excersize. In about two years, they were a top class act. But by October '64, no. Just no.

Tages shortly after the single's release in 1964. Göran (top
right) (bass player and Mr. Real Crazy Apartment's
neighbour) seems to think about excactly what i think
of the single

lördag 30 juli 2011

Dreammakers: Les Baroques

Les Baroques "Working On A Tsjing-Tsjang / Dreammaker" Whamm 1967
Some people say that Holland band Les Baroques stopped making good records when original lead singer Gary O'Shannon (real name Gerard Shoenaker) left the group for military service in September 1966 and replacement vocalist Michel van Dijk joined instead. And true, the group never was the same without O'Shannon (even if i think van Dijk was a pretty good singer, actually), except for on this single.
'Working On A Tsjing Tsjang' features some nice acid rock guitar and savage, tortured vocals from van Dijk. Just one thing, isn't it meant to be "Chain gang"? Anyhow, the flip, Dreammaker, sounds like a somewhat blues-influenced pop song with some nice, slow keyboards that reminds me of The Pink Floyd's 'See Emily Play'. Now, my question is, is it about drugs? Listening to the spoken lyrics in the end, it sounds very much like van Dijk describes an LSD trip.

And i would also like to share some nice pictures of the group i found while just floating around on the internet some weeks ago.

Very early Baroques pic, probably late '64-early '65.
Promo shot, 1965.

Promo card for the "Such A Cad / Summerbeach" 45, 1965

Les Baroques rocking in 1965

Les Baroques rocking in 1965/66

Ad for the "I Know / She's Mine" 45, 1966

In the park with new vocalist Michel van Dijk, 1966

Backstage in late '66/early '67

Photo session, 1967

Without guitarists Hans van Emden and Frank Muyser; with new guitarist
Ferdy Karmelk, 1968. Around this time Les Baroques began falling apart.
Working On A Tsjing-Tsjang


(ignore the weird promo clips)

fredag 29 juli 2011

Austrian Psych Beat(!): The Charles Ryders Corporation

The Charles Ryders Corporation: "White Flames / Happy Day" Decca 1968
What a week it's been. Anyhow, let's have some Austrian psych beat to cheer us up! The Charles Ryders Corporation came from Wien, Austria and released two brill 45's in 1968, this one being the first. The A side, 'White Flames', is a great piece of fuzz with spoken, poetic lyrics, and in some way it reminds me of Cuby & The Blizzards. 

The flip, 'Happy Day', is a pretty charming, moody, soul-influenced pop song, which reminds me of The Mockingbirds' 'Lovingly Yours' or A Band Of Angels' 'Accept My Invitation'. Anyway, the guitar work makes the song a little more like a garage-pop track. 

White Flames

Happy Day

Excerpt of the group performing 'Happy Day' in Austrian 1968 mindf*ck movie 'Schamlos'.