27 April, 2015


THE FOURMOST - "A Little Loving" / "Waitin' For You" (Parlophone R 5128) April 1964

I created and am sole administrator of a 60s "British Beat" group on Facebook, setting it up to explore the British beat movement circa 1960 - 1965. It's quite refreshing to listen to, buy and spend some time with a genre that hasn't had much of a look in with me since the eighties.

If anyone would like to check out my British Beat FB group go here

Now for the 45 under my spotlight because it's not very often I post merseybeat stye ballads but here's one called "Waitin' For You" by The Fourmost. This was the B-Side of their huge hit single "A Little Loving", a vintage colour video exists on YouTube showing The Fourmost performing the latter song which incidentely reached #6 in the UK Charts.

"Waitin' For You" is slow paced acoustic beat with harmonies, similar in style to those love songs Paul McCartney would compose during this period. It was written by The Fourmost's lead guitarist Brian O'Hara.

26 April, 2015


THE FOURMOST - "Hello Little Girl" / "Just In Case" (Parlophone R 5056) August 1963

"Hello Little Girl" is a jolly little beat number performed by Liverpool group The Fourmost and written by John Lennon when he was a teenager in the late 1950s. The Beatles also recorded "Hello Little Girl" but it remained a demo and was never released by them at the time but it has since surfaced on the "Anthology" set of CDs from the 90s. This single went Top 10 in the charts by the way and was also recorded by Gerry & the Pacemakers.

The B-Side is also good, this time their merseybeat is tinged with latin rhythms. Quite a unique sound going on for 1963. The Fourmost more than likely heard The Everly Brothers performing the song. They cut a version in 1962, check it out on their EP "It's Everly Time"

25 April, 2015


THE EASYBEATS - "She's So Fine" / "The Old Oak Tree" (Parlophone A-8157) May 1965

Fifty years ago, this dynamic single by The Easybeats was released and it's surely one of their best rockers. "She's So Fine", written by the Vanda - Young partnership and recorded at Armstrong Studios in Melbourne was a big hit in Australia reaching #03 propelling this fabulous beat combo to national acclaim, particularly amongst their fans.

The hit has been deemed more or less the start of Easybeats fan hysteria, similar to "Beatlemania" and was dubbed by the Australian press as "Easyfever."

23 April, 2015


THE TWILIGHTS - "9:50" / "What's Wrong With The Way I Live" (Columbia DO-4764) February 1967

The Twilights have featured on my blog once before when I highlighted their psychedelic single "Time and Motion Study Man" so I thought it about time to write about them again. They hailed from a small Town in Australia called Elizabeth, which is not too far away from Adelaide and they had a very talented songwriter in Terry Britten.

In 1966 The Twilights won a music competition "The Hoadley's Battle Of The Sounds", the first prize being a trip to England. They set off in September 1966, checked out Carnaby Street for mod clobber and the sights and sounds of London. Also working a residency for a week at The Cavern in Liverpool.

The highlight of their visit to England however, was recording some songs at Abbey Road Studios with Beatles engineer Norman Smith, and if you didn't already know he also produced Pink Floyd's "Piper At The Gates Of Dawn" and The Pretty Things "S.F. Sorrow" among many other psych classics.

"9:50" is a sensational psychedelic rocker with a pounding riff, harmonies and a gritty guitar sound. It's been said that Vanda and Young used the song as an inspiration for their big hit "Friday On My Mind" with The Easybeats.

The other side is a wonderful cover version of The Hollies tune "What's Wrong With The Way I Live."

During the mid 80s Terry Britten co-wrote "What's Love Got To Do With It" and "We Don't Need Another Hero" for Tina Turner. But the only songs of his I want to hear are those he wrote for The Twilights.


20 April, 2015


BILLY J KRAMER with the DAKOTAS - "We're Doing Fine" / "Forgive Me" (Parlophone R 5408) February 1966

Great two sided gem from mid sixties period Billy J Kramer, recorded late 1965 and released a few months later. "Forgive Me" has a tough vocal attack backed up by an edgy driving beat from The Dakotas.

The Dakotas now have guitarist Mick Green in their ranks. He joined from Johnny Kidd & the Pirates in 1965. "Forgive Me" is one of his compositions co-written with bass guitarist Robin MacDonald. File under one of those B-Side killers that hardly anyone knows about.

BBC Transcription Service
Top Of The Pops #75


BILLY J KRAMER with the DAKOTAS - "Neon City" / "I'll Be Doggone" (Parlophone R 5362) November 1965

Choice cover version by Billy J Kramer & the Dakotas of the Marvin Gaye hit. His recording went Top 10 in USA after it's release during February 1965. Paul Revere & the Raiders also recorded a version, check it out on their January 1966 album "Just Like Us"

I doubt few people would have been aware of it's coolness though as it was the B-Side of "Neon City" which failed to sell in any quantity to get the record chart bound.

19 April, 2015


THE NATURALS - "Blue Roses" / "Shame On You" (Parlophone R 5267) March 1965

The Naturals hailed from Harlow, Essex and released four singles on Parlophone before being dropped by the label. This was their fourth and final single with "Blue Roses" deemed as the side with the hit potential. It's a beat ballad with harmonies done in The Searchers style but it failed to generate much interest.

Far superior, in my opinion, is "Shame On You" on the B-Side. This is a fast paced beat number with harmonica and organ. Probably could have been even better with one of those Jimmy Page type lead guitar solo's that he seemed to place on beat and R&B tunes when he was a hired hand in the studio.

Guitarist Curt Cresswell and drummer Roy Hoather would team up again a year or so later in The Living Daylights who released a version of "Let's Live For Today" on Philips.

Curt Cresswell (guitar)
Roy Hoather (drums)
Doug Ellis (guitar)
Rikki Potter (vocals)
Bob O'Neal (vocals)
Mike Wakelin (guitar)


THE THYRDS - "Hide 'N' Seek" / "No Time Like The Present" (Decca F.12010) October 1964

So many beat and R&B singles were released during October 1964 in Britain and here's another one to add to the list. The boys from The Thyrds were all still attending Emanuel School, Battersea Rise in London when they formed the band and entered a "Ready Steady Go" Beat Group competition.

They didn't win the Beat Group contest, the victors were The Bo Street Runners. This disappointment didn't stop them from recording a couple of songs for Oak Records who released a Thyrds single "Hide & Seek" b/w ""I've Got My Mojo Working" sometime in 1964.

The single was then picked up for release by Decca Records who changed the B-Side to another group original "No Time Like The Present." Sadly, like so many singles released back then it failed to gain much notice and remains quite an elusive 45 to find.

"Hide 'N' Seek" is a Bo Diddley inspired R&B mover with a fast tempo. It's appeared on several compilations over the years. I'm pleased to own an original copy. I found a site mentioning The Thyrds with some more information. Go here.

Paul Ellis (vocals / lead guitar)
John Malcolb (bass)
Mick Teasdale (drums)
Michael Hughes (rhythm guitar)

I don't think any of the members went onto other combos when The Thyrds called it quits. Probably when they left school!



GOLDIE & the GINGERBREADS - "That's Why I Love You" / "The Skip" (Decca F.12126) April 1965

This all girl group were American but lived, worked, recorded and released several records in Britain during 1964 - 1967 so were very much part of the UK music scene.

They appeared in all of the British music papers and magazines and toured Britain extensively with The Rolling Stones, The Hollies, The Animals, The Yardbirds and The Kinks etc etc.... in other words, the English rock royalty.

One of their tunes that most definitely fits in here is the killer mod instrumental "The Skip" which was hidden away on the flip side of "That's Why I Love You" - a group original too, no faceless studio hacks here piecing together a B-Side for an obscure girl group. Produced by Shel Talmy.


THE MOCKINGBIRDS - 'You Stole My Love' / 'Skit Skat' (Immediate IM 015) October 1965

The Graham Gouldman penned "You Stole My Love" is a fabulous record but like so many classy 45s released in Britain back in the mid 60s it failed to sell and flopped, which seriously beggars believe.

The song has a haunting quality with mod style backing vocals. The production is by Paul Samwell-Smith which gives it a Yardbirds edge, the guitar hook is wondrous and the melody is happenin'.... totally stunning in every way.

The nucleus of The Mockinbirds formed 10cc. but "You Stole My Love" is where it's really at!


THE PLEBS - "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" / "Bad Blood" (MGM K13320) October 1964

The Plebs were briefly discussed the other day in another thread and I got curious to find out more about them especially since I've had their single on MGM for several years. MGM was their USA label and it got a release February 1965.

The single came out in Britain during October 1964 on Decca records. Probably easier to find the MGM release!
By the way, producer Mark Wildey who produced The Plebs also worked with The Attack and The Fairytale.
As far as I know the Plebs were:

Derek Sirmon (drums)
Terry Crowe (vocals) *
Mick Dunford (guitar) * (went onto Renaissance)
Danny McCulloch (bass) * (went onto Eric Burdon & the Animals)
Chris Dennis (keyboards)

* now deceased

The Association recorded "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" for their debut single.... more of a moody folk-rock take and nothing like their usual vocal harmony pop tunes, and of course Led Zeppelin in 1969 - on their first album. Quicksilver Messenger Service also recorded a version for the Revolution soundtrack.

Bass guitarist for The Plebs was Danny McCulloch who was previously a member of Screaming Lord Sutch & The Savages. Afterwards he teamed up with Eric Burdon and became his bassist in the new Animals.... Sadly, Danny died a few months ago (January 29th 2015).... 


THE NATURALS - "I Should Have Known Better" / "Didn' I?" (Parlophone R 5165) July 1964

This beat combo were short-lived but managed to release a handful of singles on Parlophone. Their version of The Beatles "I Should Have Known Better" has a commercial beat sound and was a Chart hit, reaching #24.

"there were a few chords that i didn't know were on it" - George Harrison on jukebox jury.


THE NITESHADES - "Be My Guest" / "I Must Reveal" (CBS 201763) May 1965

Here's an obscure single by an equally obscure combo from Stevenage in Hertfordshire. As far as I can ascertain this was their first single of two they released on CBS.

"Be My Guest" has an uptempo surf-beat sound with harmonies and a short but flashy guitar break and was produced by the legendary Shel Talmy. It's never been compiled which is unbelievable considering the many thousands of comps in circulation.

Both the song and The Niteshades fearured in the teen movie "Be My Guest" which also had parts for a young, pre Small Faces Steve Marriott and David Hemmings.

Check out the Tindeck clip, it's BEAT man.


18 April, 2015


MORTIMER - "Mortimer" (Philips PHS 600-267) April 1968

This group from New York are most definitely 'Opulent Conceptions' favourites. I've highlighted their work several times on my site, including their earlier recordings when they were called The Teddy Boys and their mindblowing psychedelic single as Pinnochio & the Puppets. Check out my archives.

Mortimer's only album comes highly recommended. It's quite a brilliant laid back affair, largely acoustic based and full of pure pop harmonies. The songs have depth and interest. It was recently re-issued on CD from the master tapes (I don't have this by the way).

My pick from the album is "Where The Dragons Guard The Doors" which is three minutes of delightful pop psych and reminds me of post 'Syd' Pink Floyd's more dreamy mind trips. Hang onto your coloured dreamscapes and prepare for lift-off.

Billboard - April 1968

Billboard - April 1968

16 April, 2015


PINKERTON'S ASSORT' COLOURS - "Don't Stop Loving Me Baby" / "Will Ya?" (Decca F.12377) April 1966

This early 1966 is a hard driving beat number that was curiously overlooked when Sequel released a 2CD collection called "Flight Recorder" in the late 90s.

"Will Ya?" is my fave Pinkerton's side and should have been the A-Side that's for sure. It would have been great to follow their hit "Mirror Mirror" with this swinger.

"Will Ya?" was written by their manager Reg Calvert who was shot and killed a couple of months after this single was released. He was also the owner of an offshore pirate radio station called "Radio City." Pinkerton's drummer Dave Holland left the band in 1968 and formed Trapeze then became the drummer for Judas Priest!

14 April, 2015


FORD THEATRE - "Theme For The Masses" / "From A Back Door Window (The Search)" (ABC 45-11118) 1968

These two songs were chosen by ABC to promote Ford Theatre's debut album "Trilogy For The Masses" and I'm presuming that they're edited to fit on a single, in particular "From A Back Door Window (The Search)" which fades out just as the heavy psychedelic keyboards start rumbling. I really must make an effort to buy the album!

I'm not quite sure where this single originates from, it's a European release but the blue label holds no clues. I'm sure I bought this from a Belgian record dealer some years ago. It's quite a rarity with the picture sleeve and doesn't appear to be that well known.

By the way, I posted this picture sleeve on my outasite way back in August 2007 but never got around to writing about it. Almost eight years later I'm finally giving Ford Theatre my tyme.

13 April, 2015


FORD THEATRE - "I've Got The Fever" / "Jefferson Airplane" (ABC 45-11227) July 1969

Another outing on my scene for Ford Theatre, a psychedelic rock band from Milford, Mass.
As I suggested on my earlier posting a great deal of internet exposure has brought this fascinating group to the masses, perhaps the best place to find out more about Ford Theatre is here.

Both sides were part of their recommended concept album "Time Changes" with my pick being "Jefferson Airplane", a soothing psychedelic interlude that sucks the listener into it's web of mynd sounds. I doubt that the song has anything to do with West Coast band The Jefferson Airplane.

12 April, 2015


FORD THEATRE - "Time Changes" (Stateside SSL 10288) June 1969

There are several sites on the internet with information about Ford Theatre, a psychedelic rock group from Boston, USA, so I'll be brief and just concentrate on "I Feel Uncertain" which was an album track and never released as a single.

The Album "Time Changes" by the way is the story of a young man named Clifford Smothergill and his search for meaning and significance in life. It's a musical tale based on the very life of a very real person, whose true identity is a matter for very careful consideration, significant as it is.

"I Feel Uncertain"
Who can survive too long a journey such as this? Clifford Smothergill can only take it so long, and eventually he decides to return to Mary Jane and to resume the love affair. Mary Jane receives him gladly (after having gone through some pretty heavy changes herself), and now Clifford is left once again with haunting feelings of insecurity.

John Mazzarelli (organ, pianos, vocals)
Harry Palmer (guitars, percussion)
Joey Scott (bass, vocals)
Robert Tamagni (drums, percussion, vocals)
Arthur 'Butch' Webster (guitars)

10 April, 2015


I've decided to rename my music blog to "Opulent Conceptions" which is a name I made up in the late 80s to tag my artwork, gig posters and demo cassette tapes for the designs I created for revival garage band The Mourning After.

So it's "Flower Bomb Songs" R.I.P. but long live "Opulent Conceptions"

08 April, 2015


DANNY WARNER - "Go 'Way Little Girl" / "Bright Colors" (Smash S-2110) September 1967

I've drawn a complete blank here. Who was Danny Warner? What I do know is that he released two previous 45s on Reprise during 1966 aided and produced by Lee Hazelwood. Those songs are in the soul or crooner style and not 'flower bomb song' worthy.

His first single for Smash Records and presumably his last was "Go 'Way Little Girl" a fuzztoned groovin' version of the Janis Ian classic, also recorded in England by mod psych group The Shame. Check out my earlier posting for their classy take.

The flip "Bright Colors" is bouncy pop, tinged with some psych moves and a big helping of brass to 'colour' the song.

"(You Got) The Power Of Love" / "Love Is You" (Reprise 0459) 04/66
"It Hurts" / "Not The Lovin' Kind" (Reprise 0505) 08/66
"Go 'Way Little Girl" / "Bright Colors" (Smash S-2110) 09/67

07 April, 2015


THE SHAME - "Too Old To Go 'Way Little Girl" / "Dreams Don't Bother Me" (Poppy POP 501) November 1967

The Shame hailed from Bournemouth on the South Coast of England and released this one and only single. It was released in Britain on MGM during September 1967 then in USA on Poppy Records a few months later.

"Too Old To Go 'Way Little Girl" is a song written and recorded by a teenage girl called Janis Ian and was a track on her debut album from February 1967. This album got it's first European reissue on CD from the mono masters on Now Sounds back in 2009.

The Shame's take of "Too Old To Go 'Way Little Girl" adds snaking psychedelic guitar leads, sitar,  mod-like drum action with turned-on vocals by Greg Lake. The other side "Dreams Don't Bother Me" was written by keyboardist John Dickenson and is pleasing psych pop with a lush organ sound throughout.

After this disc flopped Greg Lake and John Dickenson formed The Shy Limbs with Andrew McCulloch on drums. They then released the classic psychedelic 45 "Reputation" / "Love" on CBS. Guitarist Greg Lake would later form progressive  rock band Emerson, Lake & Palmer after a stint with King Crimson. 

06 April, 2015


THE TRUTH - "I Go To Sleep" (BBC Transcription Service) May 1966

Here's the BBC Transcription Service recording of "I Go To Sleep" by The Truth. The song was written by Ray Davies and exists as his demo but was never recorded by The Kinks.

"I Go To Sleep" was released by The Truth as an A-Side during April 1966 but this live version from 23rd May 1966 is perhaps even better.... I don't have the recent Truth retrospective CD... "Mod Bedlam" - but I've just checked the track-list and this BBC recording is not present, although the studio single is.

miscellaneous information: other versions of "I Go To Sleep"

Peggy Lee (Capitol) August 1965
The Applejacks (Decca) August 1965
Cher (Liberty LP) October 1965
The Truth (Pye) April 1966
The Fingers (Polydor) June 1966