Tag Archives: psych pop

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

July: July (UK 1968)

July - July (promo)
 
Epic – BN 26416 (US) promotional issue
this LP took over ‘the original wizard’s position as the ‘crown jewel’ of my collection when i bought it this summer. i was lucky to get it for such a fair price ($174), which is mainly due to the flaws on the rear side of the cover (doesnt matter very much to me though). the vinyl, however, plays just beautifully; ranging from EX- to M-. i doubt that there are truly dead-silent copies of the US issue out there, so i guess this is about as fantastic as it gets!

as far as i know, there are 5 original issues of this record from four different countries:
UK Major Minor – MMLP 29 (mono), SMLP 29 (stereo) US Epic – BN 26416 (stereo, mostly promo copies) Brazil Musidisc – 2.177 (mono) Mexico Fresa – FL-2 (mono)
it could also be 4 different issues if you count UK mono and stereo as one issue. however, the UK issues are insanely expensive in mono as well as in stereo. a copy would eat up more than half of my monthly salary (of which i still …

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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

The End: Introspection (UK 1969)

The End - Introspection
 
Decca – SKL – R 5.015 (France)
this is one of those albums i always wanted to have and have been looking for for a long time. although it is rather unknown generally, it enjoys great popularity among record collectors and aficionados of late 60s psych – and also die-hard rolling stones fans, as it was produced by bill wyman (no need to introduce this guy ;-)).
the original UK pressings (Decca LK-R 5015) are ridiculously expensive, so they were never an option for me. the US pressings (London PS 560) are more common and affordable, but I hate those silver covers – they look terrible unless theyre in mint condition, and you rarely find those. apart from that, the white cover design simply looks much better to me. i had seen a french pressing of this album in jaarbeurs, utrecht in april for sale for about 320 euros. still a prohibitive price for me keeping in mind its not from the country the music and the group originated from.

a couple of months ago this copy turned up on ebay for less than a third (!) of that, with …

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Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Jacques Dutronc: La Publicité (1967)


 
resuming the series on french artists that i once started (yes i admit it is not very coherent), heres a (imho) marvelous ep by french singer jacques dutronc (husband of francoise hardy by the way).
the style of his music ranges from 60s pop, rock to garage rock or yeye as french 60s music is often called, and – unlike michel polnareff for instance – exclusively sung in french. the title track is a swinging little number with a lot of drive, followed by a slow beautiful ballad somewhat more into the vein of chanson, with amazing soft vocals. again i am sorry that i cant tell you a lot about the lyrics, if youre curious just google the title and look for a translation (the better if you speak french yourself ;-).
the flipside starts with a song that id call the weakest on this record, but, as this is a fine record, even the weakest song is a good one. well, my favourite track on this ep, and i must say also my favourite dutronc song over all, is the last one: hippie hippie hourrah. this time i also looked up the lyrics, and …

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Saturday, 31 July 2010

Grapefruit: C’Mon Marianne / Ain’t It Good (1968)


 
completely changing the subject, heres some lovely british psych-pop by one of my favourite groups: grapefruit – formerly known as ‘the grapefruit’ (named after yoko onos infamous book). their most famous song was ‘dear delilah’ (to follow soon, i didnt have time to rip it yet), and their debut album ‘around grapefruit’ is legendary, most of the material being written by the groups bassist george alexander, born alexander young (his brother george young being a founding member of the easybeats, brothers malcom and angus young being founding members of AC/DC). one of the two swettenham brothers, geoff (drums), later joined the mysterious but just as legendary 70s prog band fynn mccool.

the nice psychedelic cover art is more than obviously “stolen” from pink floyds ‘the piper at the gates of dawn’! but now about the music:
‘cmon marianne’ is a fast, driving and cheery song with a dynamic drum beat, fresh and lively brass accompaniment and sweet beatlish background vocals. perfect to lift up your mood when feeling down!
sorry for the noise on the b-side, this is the best that i could make out of the original rip. ‘aint it good’ (written …

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Monday, 31 May 2010

The Equals: Softly, Softly / Lonely Rita (1968)


 
heres a little gem by a one-hit-wonder group mainly famous for their singular succes ‘baby come back’ – the equals. funny enough the group were discovered by gene latter, the singer of the british/rhodesian pop group the shake spears – a group that you will be hearing a lot about when i start my series on them this summer.
the a-side, ‘softly, softly’ does sound much like the style of their aforementioned hit, a driving pop number that should not be missed, although it is not that outstanding that it could change your life.
now about the b-side, which the gem i was talking about. ‘lonely rita’ (has nothing to do with the beatles ‘lovely rita’, although it is sometimes missspelled that way), is a late-60s psych-pop monster with a haunting chorus that will dig itself deeply into your ears. marvelous!!! as for me, i had known only one of their albums before (‘unequalled’ from 1967, which contains ‘baby come back’), which didnt appeal much to me, so i was more than just surprised when i first heard unexpected, awesome number – lonely rita come inside, have a cup of tea and sit by my …

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Monday, 31 May 2010

The Spencer Davis Group: After Tea / Moonshine (1968)


 
heres a cover of ‘we will be there after tea’ by the spencer davis group with steve winwood. the song was originally released by a dutch group called after tea the year before and several cover versions exist, but this is perhaps the most popular one. in their version, the spencer davis group added some slightly-psychedelic sitar instrumentation, but otherwise stuck rather closely to the original. theres another version of this song by the german group the rattles, in which they added a flute instead of a sitar. all in all this is one of my very favourite songs, in all three versions. it is cute mid- to late-sixties popsike, sure to put you in a good mood.
the b-side, ‘moonshine’ (which is also a term for illicitly-distilled liquor, but in this case i think they perhaps really mean the light of the moon), is a self-penned number taking the group back to their r&b; roots. a groovy, driving number that surely deserves five stars aswell. all in all, this is a fantastic record and i hope you like it as much as i do. sorry for the cover art looking a little awkward, but that blue …

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Sunday, 2 May 2010

Sir Henry & His Butlers: Camp / Pretty Style (1967)


 
sir henry and his butlers were a danish pop group who were active from the mid- to late sixties. their most remembered song perhaps is their debut single ‘lets go’, but if you search for records to buy, this is what you get mostly: ‘camp’ / ‘pretty style’.
the a-side is a slow, silly, and perhaps (after a while) annoying instrumental, sounding like a sort of circus music; but if youre in the mood for silly things it is nice and woth a laugh. ‘pretty style’ also is slow, but its more psychedelic, with some sitar accompaniment, monk-chant like backing vocals, sloping stoned instrumentation that in the second half of the song bursts out into a distorted, psychy wall of sound.

interesting links:
the complete sir henry and his butlers at wingsofdream
sir henry and his butlers on rateyourmusic
sir henry and his butlers on last.fm

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Sunday, 17 January 2010

Rob Hoeke’s R&B Group: Try To Realize / It Won’t Be Long (1968)


 
heres something very special for you: the greatest r&b; pianist of holland and beyond, rob hoeke and his r&b; group. theyre truely one of my favourite dutch acts and their sound is like they just had invented the boogie woogie. maybe their most famous, and i must admit also one of their very best songs is margio, a 66 a-side, of which i will trying to get hold someday, but until now i only got of their 45s, and heres the first of them.
i had some problems ripping the a-side, at least it sounds very weird, but i made sure that there was nothing wrong with my turntable so perhaps it was recorded that way. try to realize is a psychy pop number, rather untypical for the usual hoeke style. well, its not outstanding but ok, so it gets 3 out of 5 stars from me.
the b-side sounds a little scratchy im afraid, but at least we got some genuine rhythm & blues here. it wont be long in fact is a cooled-down slow blues based on hoekes groovy piano playing, well worth hearing. as i see it this one rather should have been …

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Sunday, 10 January 2010

Wonderland: Poochy / Moscow (1968)


 
wonderland is one of those groups that consisted of great, superstar musicians but never achieved the fame you would expect from something like a supergroup. this single however meanwhile is highly appreciated among lovers of late 60s psych and was even featured in a movie (the german early-70s-hommage called sonnenallee, which is about youths life and the suppression of music culture in the GDR) – but few know who actually is responsible for this wicked track. even if you get to know it was released by a group called wonderland, what does that tell you? who were they – a mere one hit wonder from little ol’ germany? solving this mystery takes some more detailed research – surely no problem consulting the omniscient internet (though even wikipedia for once is no help here).

wonderland was a (rather) short lived project started by two ex members of the hamburg beat group the rattles (who were at a time considered “the german beatles” and would have an enourmous hit with the witch only two years later), achim reichel (head of the group, guitar), frank dostal (vocals on this b-side) and dicki tarrach, that also involved les humphries …

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