Friday, April 11, 2014

Professor Morrison's Lollipop - Gypsy Lady (1968)

This is an unusual record for sure.  Listen to it first and then I'll explain why it is that way.

A nice, hauntingly beautiful acoustic tune, isn't it?  Seems like no one's there but the singer and his guitar.

Now look at the production credits.  That's right - those tricksters Kasenetz and Katz are behind this.  Their work should be more obvious on the power-pop/bubblegum A-side, "You Got The Love".  But this sounds nothing like the psychedelic pop they were known for.

One other thing they are known for is lifting other artists' recordings to use on B-sides.  See the Ohio Express's "Zig Zag," or the reversed backing track to Jerry and Jeff/Kasenetz-Katz Singing Orchestral Circus's "Poor Old Mr. Jensen,"; or 1910 Fruitgum Co.'s "Pow Wow," actually the Flying Giraffe's "Bring Back Howdy Doody" in reverse.  That said, I think it's somewhat likely that this is someone else's recording.  The somewhat lo-fi nature of it, plus the rather abrupt ending, lead me to believe that it might be some sort of demo record. 

If anyone has more information on this B-side, shoot me a comment and let me know.  It's a terrific song and I'd like to know the story behind it.

Hedgehoppers Anonymous - Don't Push Me/Please Don't Hurt Your Heart For Me (1966)

These guys are best known for their pretty edgy first single, "It's Good News Week", which contained lyrics so gruesome that they had to be edited out.  Even more passive-aggressive is this bass-driven A-side.  Luckily, the B-side is not nearly as angsty.  Still a good record overall.

The New Breed - Green Eye'd Woman/I'm In Love (1965)

This one's a true garage rock classic.  Although the B-side is a Lennon-McCartney composition, I don't know who it was originally written for. Peter and Gordon, perhaps?

Brian Arthur - What Can You Do With A Broken Heart/I'd Like To Know (1966)

Another masterpiece discovered thanks to the "60s Psych Pop Treasures" series, this one's a nice jangly piece of garage rock and pop rolled into one.

The Plus Four - Swiss Maid/Silence Is Golden (1967)

God only knows how this band's one-off release, on the German Telefunken label, ended up in Cincinnati, but there it was at a church rummage sale this morning.  I got it for a dollar.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Camel Drivers - Sunday Morning 6 O'Clock/Give It A Try (1968)

This must have been a regional hit somewhere, as it was picked up by Buddah from Top Dog Records for national distribution.  (The A-side is not in any way related to "Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M." by Simon and Garfunkel, in case you were curious.)

 It fits in pretty well with Buddah's other bubblegum releases of the era, but doesn't strike me as anything particularly special or unique.

The Bullring - Birmingham Brass Band/Lady Of The Morning Sun (1970)

Ha ha! You thought we were done with the hokey British accents once we moved on from Jack Wild, didn't you? The Bullring have something to say about that!

 Goodness knows why this was given a US release at all - did they expect this to have even a slim chance of becoming a hit in 1970?

Today's Special - Krista/Stop And Say You're Sorry (1968)

This record features guitar talents from two ex-members of London and the Bridges (of "I'll Probably Understand When I'm Older" and "Tell It To The Preacher").  Other members, including ex-L&B vocalist Richie Weintraub, provide a little musical assistance on this record.

 The A-side is a fairly hard-driving psychedelic number, with the B-side being more pop-oriented.

Sound Experience - 40 Acres And A Mule/Blow Your Mind (1971)

I bought this record for 75 cents at an antique mall which has now been razed for an automotive shop.  Little did I know that I would find information about the band, Sound Experience, in my parents' hometown outside of Baltimore.

 Hailing from Morgan State College, here is what the membership of the band looked like.

Arthur Grant, vocals
Reginald Wright, lead trumpet
Melvin Miles, trumpet
Gregory Holmes, tenor sax
James Lindsey, alto sax and flute
Johnny Forman, trombone
Leroy Frailing, organ
Everett Harris, lead guitar
Antone Scott, bass
Rodney Parks, drums
If you don't think this is groovy, then it may be time to get your ears checked!

The Jet Stream - All's Quiet On West 23rd/Crazy Me (1967)

How about a nice song about the Kitty Genovese murder? Thanks, Joey Levine! We can always count on you for a good time!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Mancini & Fox - Don'tcha Believe I Put Him Down, Ma? (1971)

This is one of those records that's hard to categorize.  It's not psychedelic, it's not exactly rock or pop, but it is somewhere in the middle of all of those genres.  This song is a B-side and quite a spooky song, in my opinion.