Friday, May 16, 2014

Country Mile - Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You (1969)

The only apparent release from this untraceable group, this is a pretty good soulful version of a Bob Dylan song.

The Illusion - Did You See Her Eyes/Falling In Love (1969)

Jeff Barry, famed songwriter, had a small streak of hit singles in mid-1969 to early 1970, comprised of this, Andy Kim's "Baby I Love You," and Robin McNamara's "Lay A Little Lovin' On Me".  This is the only one of the three to sound like straightforward rock - and it is rather heavy, too.  The flip side leans more toward soft pop.

The Parade - This Old Melody (1967)

Everyone knows the A-side of this single, "Sunshine Girl", which hit #20 on the Billboard pop charts - and it is a great song.  I'm not including it with this, the B-side, because it is so well-known.  The acoustic "This Old Melody" is more to my tastes.

The Association - Under Branches/Hear In Here (1969)

The Association's entire "Birthday Party" album is pretty good, but these two tracks and the hit "Time For Livin'" are the cream of the crop.  It's a shame that this band's reputation as a pop group precedes them over some of their great psychedelic songs.

Harvey Connell and the Efics - Sentimental Journey/Autumn Heart (1961)

Here's a great rocker from a hometown label.  The A-side is a swinging take on the Doris Day classic, while the B-side is a bit more mellow and features Harvey C. on lead vocals.

The Sweet Tymes - I Think I Know Her/You Ought To Belong To Me (1967)

I don't post a lot of female stuff on here, just because it seems to clash with my tastes too often.  (Case in point: the Outcasts' "Loving You Sometimes", which I think is a pretty bad record due in part to the gal singing lead vocals.)  But this is just too well-sung and well-produced for me to resist.  I thought it was released four or five years later than it actually was...

Rick Rock - Buddha, Buddha/Sputnik (1983)

Tonight, we move into THE 1980S!!!  But this is not your typical synthesizer-laden, lame-ass, Euro-pop record from THE 1980S!!!  This band was from Chapel Hill, North Carolina - and my mother, who lived there at the time, bought herself a copy of this fabulous slab o' wax.

Springwell - It's For You/Our Question (1971)

Both sides of this record are great - and as a result, this was one of Parrot's last hits. Note that the A-side is a Lennon-McCartney tune.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Brimstone - Keyhole Jake/The Monkey Song (1971)

You can tell how, around 1970-71, changes began appearing in the music scene.  Pop and rock began to separate into more distinctive genres as the psychedelic era came to a close.  Groups like Brimstone would likely have been more on the "pop" side of things, as evidenced by this release.

Legend - Heather On The Hill/Wouldn't You (1969)

A highly sought-after psychedelic group, Mickey Jupp's Legend released an entire album featuring no electrical instrumentation.  Nevertheless, the sounds you hear on this record are excellent, the A-side in particular.

Strawberry Children - Love Years Coming/One Stands Here (1967)

A nice bit of psychedelic pop, this record was produced (very well, I might add) by Johnny Rivers.  However, given that it is not a soul record by any means, one has to wonder why it wasn't released on sister labels Liberty or Imperial. 

The Apple - Thank U Very Much/Your Heart Is Free Just Like The Wind (1968)

The original version of this A-side was a gigantic hit by the UK group The Scaffold - probably in some part due to the fact that Paul McCartney's brother Mike (stage name: Mike McGear) was a member.  Oddly enough, although the song was a big hit for them, the Apple's cover version did not get a British release... This cover version sounds similar to the original, but it does not seem like a song that a lot could be done with.

Shango - Sunshine Superman (1969)

Here's a cover of Donovan's psychedelic hit featuring some rather bizarre steel drum(?) work.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Rosebud - Western Wisconsin (1970)

This may not fit the usual theme of this blog, but it's such a pretty pop piece that I had to include it.  Hopefully the rest of the "Rosebud" album is as well put together as this song...

Hog Heaven - Theme From A Thought (1970)

Once Tommy James and the Shondells broke up, the Shondells changed their name to Hog Heaven and released a couple of singles worldwide.  "Theme From A Thought" is a psychedelic rock piece that starts off slowly but picks up a bit.

Bandanna - Time Will Equalize (1970)

I've always considered the Paramount label pretty underrated - it attracted rock acts like Smoke Rise (who did the soundtrack for "The Survival of St. Joan", the first American rock opera) and Detroit.  This group has been lost to the annals of time as well, but their song here is a pretty decent horn rock piece.

The Shy Guys - We Gotta Go/Lay It On The Line (1966)

Here is a great two-sider from an Oak Park, Michigan group.  Apparently this was somewhat of a local hit, and it should be abundantly clear why - clean guitar playing, tight harmonies, and well-written songs.

The Daily Flash - The French Girl (1967)

You folk fans out there may know this one - it is a song originally done by Ian and Sylvia, later covered by Bob Dylan and others.  The Daily Flash did this version with some nice harmonizing as the very first release on the Uni label in 1967.

This was another record I heard thanks to the 60s Psych Pop Treasures series, and I tracked down a copy in a dollar box of a certain record vendor at this past Saturday's record show.

Rosie's Boy - If You Could See Yourself (1969)

Another unknown group, possibly a studio creation.  "If You Could See Yourself" is a great slice of sunshine pop.

The Music Explosion - What You Want (Baby I Want You) (1968)

This was the second single that the Music Explosion released on Laurie that was not a Hot 100 hit - it only reached #119 on the charts in February '68.  It's still a decent enough tune, with some nice fuzz guitar at the beginning.

Miami - Just Can't Quit (1970)

Here's a funky and rather hard-rocking garage record from right after Starday acquired the King label.

Fighter Squadron - When He Comes/Ah-La (1971)

Now this is a weird one...a Kasenetz & Katz production, on Bell Records, with a gospel-influenced tune.  Turns out that this A-side features Lol Creme and Kevin Godley (the same guys who, under the names "Frabjoy and Runcible Spoon," cut the awesome "I'm Beside Myself" on UK label Marmalade Records) along with Graham Gouldman and Eric other words, 10CC's first lineup.  Apparently K&K didn't have any actual hand in writing it, they just took the credit on their own...

The Buckinghams - Don't Want To Cry (1966)

This is exactly the sort of record you wouldn't expect the Buckinghams to make.  When I picked it up at a flea market last summer, I was hoping for it to be some pop tune that I hadn't heard before, given that the band had hits with cheesy numbers like "Back In Love Again" and "Don't You Care".  I never played it, and instead tried to sell it for $3 at a record fair...with no takers.  It wasn't until I saw this record score a 7 out of 9 on the TeenBeat Mayhem garage rock rating scale that I actually listened to it...and WOW.

The Mouse - Mouse/Streets Of Dusty Towns (1969)

Nice oddball psych-pop record from an unknown group.  Apart from being comped on one of the Fading Yellow volumes, there appears to be precious little information available regarding this record...

Earth Quake - Bright Lights (1972)

Here's some pretty good airplay-oriented rock from a San Francisco band.  Love how they list each band member on the label!