16 October, 2016


THE L.A. TEENS - 'I'm Gonna Get You' / 'I'll Come Running Back' (Decca 31763) May 1965

The L.A. Teens only released two singles, this one under review being their first from May 1965. My previous blog entry when their second 45 "Saturday's Child" was reviewed has been updated go here  

"I'm Gonna Get You" is a hard edged beat mover with some wild pounding and eerie organ. The other side is a lot more tamer and was probably the chosen side to play on the radio. "I'll Come Running Back" falls into the British Invasion bag and is reminiscent of The Searchers. It's commercial sounding uptempo jangle beat.

I'd love to know more about The L.A. Teens but information is scant and as far as I'm aware no group pix have ever surfaced on the internet. Three / all of the group members were possibly Ronald Weiser, James Weiser and William Schneed.

15 October, 2016


THE CHEYNES - "Goin' To The River" / "Cheyne-Re-La" (Columbia DB 7368) September 1964

Great R&B mover by this obscure London based group who would have been completely ignored had it not been for drummer Mick Fleetwood, who eventually formed his own blues band Fleetwood Mac via The Bo Street Runners and John Mayall's Blues Breakers.

The Cheynes also included Peter Bardens who would later join Them, then The Shotgun Express and Phil Sawyer who was also with The Fleur de Lys. Lead singer Roger Peacock took over from Mark Leeman in The Mark Leeman Five.

The B-Side "Cheyne-Re-La" is a fab R&B instrumental composed by Bardens.

Peter Bardens (keyboards)
Mick Fleetwood (drums)
Phil Sawyer (guitar)
Roger Peacock (vocals)
Peter Hollis (bass)

13 October, 2016


SHIVA'S HEAD BAND - "Kaleidescoptic" / "Song For Peace" (Ignite H-681) 1968

Austin, Texas was the home of cosmic hippie group Shiva's Head Band. They were the house band for a while for the famous Vulcan Gas Company and were in high demand, earning large amounts of money for gigs.

Shiva's Head Band secured a deal with Capitol Records and eventually released a 1969 album titled "Take Me To The Mountains." I've never heard the latter but I've read that it's a mixture of roots rock, country and psychedelia. For the time being I'll just stick with their first single on Ignite Records.

I understand that the first recording of "Kaleidescoptic" was unsatisfactory so they re-recorded the song again at Pecan Street Studios under the supervision of producer Bruce Hooper, with a Summer of 1968 release. The song is a perfect blend of counter-culture sounds, loping rhythms, electric violin and an hallucinatory groove.


THE ROSALYNS - "Hide And Seek" EP (UT-S75) 2014

Here's a knock out all-star girl garage record to track down via your favourite independent stores by The Rosalyns. It was only released a couple of years ago and shouldn't be too difficult to find.

My focus is on the savage and skull crunchin' opener "Der Hund Von Baskerville" with bassist Anja taking lead vocals in her native German and harmonies from keyboardist Birdy on Cindy and Bert's take of  "Paranoid" 

There are also rockin' versions of "Dream In My Mind", "Destroy That Boy" and "Hold On."
A worthy record to spin LOUD and knock some skulls together to.

recorded and mastered at Earthling Studios, El Cajon, California.

12 October, 2016


TRAFFIC - "Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush" / "Coloured Rain" (Island WIP 6025) November 1967

Another startling, punch-packed and absolutely fascinating disc from Traffic - full of light and shade, contrasting tempos and intriguing sounds. For the most part, it's busy, urgent and infectiously beaty - but there are constant breaks in the rhythm when all manner of absorbing things happen.

The organ is gutty and fruity, and on one occasion gives out like a ship's siren. The whole record swings along with uninhibited eagerness, and works up a walloping fever pitch - apart, of course, from those sudden breaks. In fact, on first hearing, you're never quite sure what's going to happen next. The vocal is spirited and alive, and the whole thing has an irresistible carousel flavour. As the title song from a film it must be big.

FLIP: A much more bluesy number, with an intense and impassioned vocal by Stevie, and again that swirling organ. A touch of psychedelia in the instrumental passages. (NME review, November 1967)

11 October, 2016


ANDY ELLISON - "It's Been A Long Time" / "Arthur Green" (Track 604018) December 1967

Andy Ellison's "It's Been A Long Time" ranks as one of my fave rave orchestrated pop psych tunes from the late 1960s. This cut is from the original motion picture soundtrack of "Here We Go 'Round The Mulberry Bush" filmed and recorded in 1967 but not released until the following year.
A copy of this sought after single sold a few months ago for £140, sadly I was well beaten in the bidding war and came up short but I decided to download the image from the eBay sale and research the disc.

Most interesting feature of this single is that it comes from the soundtrack of the movie "Here We Go 'Round The Mulberry Bush." It's a poignant, almost sad song - with the scoring of sighing cellos, solo trumpet and muffled tambourine establishing a suitably plaintive mood.
The descriptive lyric is impressively performed by Andy Ellison  - though it loses a little out of context. (music press record review) 

Andy Ellison sang "It's Been A Long Time" on the film's soundtrack. He recalls that Simon Napier-Bell was editing the music score at a cutting room in Old Compton Street while the legendary Beatles project Magical Mystery Tour was being edited next door. It appears that Donner and Napier-Bell were not happy with the romantic music written for the Judy Geeson character, Mary. At the last moment Napier-Bell suggested a piece that he had written and which had already been recorded, namely "It's Been A Long Time."

Donner liked the recording, so it appeared in the finished film. However by this time, the credit sequences for the movie had all been filmed and the front cover of the album had already been sent to the printers, so it was too late for Ellison's name to be featured, though Napier-Bell feels contractual reasons might also have played a part in it.

Napier-Bell sequenced the various music strands well. The film title song was set against Richard Williams pop art credits. The Andy Ellison track played when Mary is on screen, is also heard in varying forms throughout the film. (CD liners - RPM re-issue)


09 October, 2016


THE BANANA BUNCH - "The Tra-La-La Song" / "Funky Hoe" (Page One POF 183) October 1970

Hidden away on the B-Side of this cash-in Banana Splits theme tune single is a happenin' hammond organ groover that will most definitely interest some psych collectors. "Funky Hoe" sounds like a group given freedom to do whatever they want in the studio and they came up with a bluesy proto-prog instro like the kind used in film sequences during late 60s party scenes.

Digging deeper it appears that The Banana Bunch were infact psychedelic outfit The Nite People who had previously recorded for Fontana and also released records under the latter name on Page One. Why the moniker change for their final single is unknown to me.

Their producer Phil Waller also worked with The Troggs and Plastic Penny.

08 October, 2016


THE MONOTONES - "It's Great" / "Anymore" (Pye 7N.15640) April 1964

I must admit to not knowing much about The Monotones until I started researching the group after buying their second single "It's Great" from early 1964, right at the height of the Beat Boom.
There is loads of information about the Monotones here so I won't dwell too much on their history.

"It's Great" is a fine uptempo beat number which would have been even better with a savage lead guitar break but sadly these boys or their producer kept the freak outta the beat. The other side "Anymore" is much slower and in beat ballad mode. A decent two-sider and I'll be looking out for their other singles released during February 1964 to April 1965.

I also collect vintage 60s music magazines and have found some Monotones items in my FABulous mag archives. The double page pictures and article date from 20th June 1964 edition while the group photo and information is scanned from FABulous 6th February, 1965.

04 October, 2016


THE OXFORD WATCHBAND - "Diagnosis (One Way Empty & Down)" / "Welcome To The World" (Hand Records 496) August 1969

This group is a mystery to me, I know very little and scant information is available online. Someone left a message on YouTube years ago and suggested that The Oxford Watchband hailed from Rochester, USA.

"Diagnosis (One Way Empty & Down)" is an aural assault on the mind, I don't have a clue what the song is about but who cares when it's as way-out as this. The production by John Linde is certainly impressive, no expense has been spared. It's a full on race until the end with sound FX, shouting, pounding beats and fuzz which then ebbs away into a realm of bewilderment.