Friday, December 27, 2013

The Fifth Estate - Lost Generation (1967)

This Connecticut band had a huge hit with "Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead" as their first record on the Jubilee label. A creatively written and arranged song for all intents and purposes, that song was deserving of its hit status. Unfortunately, this song, "Lost Generation", never stood a chance of being a hit, as it was the B-side of their first 45 after "Ding Dong". Nevertheless, it is very cleverly written and somewhat self-deprecating, as it describes the "lost generation" that the band apparently is a part of. This, folks, is why you listen to the B-side!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

West - Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues (1968)

To call me a Bob Dylan fan would be a gross overstatement.  I don't like the guy for a number of reasons, but I do admire his songwriting skill - especially as a fan of the "slice-of-life" style.  Here's a cover of "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" by the band West, from (predictably) the West coast.  The whole album appears to be worth a listen - here's a quick writeup about it.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Peter's Pipers - The Magic Book (1968)

If one were cruelly forced to use only one song to represent the nostalgic and simple feeling that was expressed in many songs of the psychedelic era, "The Magic Book" would be a pretty fine candidate.  I had heard this song before on one of the excellent "60s Psych Pop Treasures" compilations by a boy band called the Gibsons, but this version is a bit more sparse.  I will admit that I like the harmonies on the Gibsons' version, but Peter (if he's the lead vocalist) and his Pipers do a good job with it as well.

The Sugar Blues - Look What We Have Joined Together (1969)

Weird title? Sure.  Pretty ungainly considering the actual song, which is a softer pop affair.  It sounds almost like something out of the Kasenetz-Katz (Super K) production office - but perhaps one way you can tell it isn't is because food or candy isn't mentioned anywhere in the song!  No idea who these guys are, but it almost sounds like a studio group.

Jamie Power - There's No Living Without Your Lovin' (1966)

This record is a US-only release from British singer Duffy Power (one has to wonder if he used this pseudonym due to his label in the US...) which is, apparently, a key example of "big city soul".  I found this for a dollar at a record store earlier this year, not knowing that it was a highly sought-after record by Northern Soul enthusiasts.  Well worth a Washington, I'd say.