Thursday, 24 April 2008

Flowers are Flowering (14 Blossoms from the UK 1965-'69)

A collection of UK bands from the second half of the 60s.
Included are some of the very best and famous like The Kinks and The Move both with tracks that were never released at the time and some very obscure ones...all very well known by the fanatics of course!
The Kirkbys had some great singles out that were collected in the great retrospective dedicated to 23RD Turnoff of the magical "Michaelangelo" fame together with some demos, here are a couple of my favourites, they probably had alredy changed name by then...
Around that time Kaleidoscope were recording some of the most wonderful examples of UK Psychedelia and here is a demo of an unreleased song possibly from late 1966, maybe early 1967 when the band had just adopted their new moniker.
Same with The Syn that famously played "The 14th Hour Technicolour Dream" event headlined by The Pink Floyd and recorded a song of the same title, but here is an early garagey demo from their beginnings.
The Brood? They changed their name to Turquoise and went on telling us tales of Flossie Fillet, while the trio that called themselves Friday's Chyld changed their name to Fire and released the great "Father's name was Dad".
Some of the rest was properly issued, like my favourite song on the great Bee Gees first album,the often comped but never tired of "I don't want you" by the brilliantly named Anteeeks all the way from Kilmarnock,Scotland and a cool one from Status Quo's second LP otherwise a much inferior effort to their debut.
01.The Anteeeks I don't want you (1966)
02.The Bee Gees In my own time (1967)
03.The Brood Wrong way (demo 1966)
04.The Syn Merry-go-round (acetate 1965)
05.The Kinks Time will tell (prev.unreleased 1965)
06.Friday's Chyld I didn't know you (demo 1967)
07.The Move Vote for me (prev.unreleased 1967)
08.The Kirkbys/23rd Turnoff You sing your own song (demo 1967)
09.Majority One Depths of my mind (1969)
10.Friday's Chyld I just can't wait (demo 1967)
11.The Kirkbys/23rd Turnoff Flowers are flowering (demo 1967)
12.Status Quo You're just what I was looking for (1969)
13.Kaleidoscope You're not mine (prev. unreleased 1967)
14.Giles Giles and Fripp Under the sky (prev.unreleased 1968)

THE MOVE: They were something else...LIVE !!!

Here is some great live footage by the original five piece MOVE.
Thanks to the great German TV shows "Beat Club" and "Beat Beat Beat" (from where this footage is taken) we can enjoy some spectacular performances like this one and often by obscure and forgotten bands.
The Move was a great act live as you can tell by watching these live versions of "Night of Fear", "Walk upon the water" and the brilliant "I can hear the grass grow" (always loved that title!)... even though there are no explosions or smashing TV sets!

One person that was really impressed by them was producer Joe Boyd that saw them first in 1966 and says in his book "White Bicycles" how he fantasized about what would have happened had The Move made the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. He thinks Americans would have been astonished by them as they were by The Who and The Jimi Hendrix Experience.
Joe Boyd wanted the Move to sign for Elektra but it did not work out...
On 27th February 1968 The Move recorded a live set at the famous Marquee and in September they released an EP "Something Else from The Move" that included live tracks by the Byrds and Love.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

The Scorpions: Brits in Holland, 1965 -1966!

While at times it’s been assumed The Scorpions were a Dutch band they actually came from Manchester. They formed in 1961 and moved to Holland in July 1964. They released several singles in different European countries with Holland and Germany being the main ones.
In Holland they had 3 albums released (4 if you count the two versions of the second LP).
Their first LP “Hello Josephine” was named after their biggest hit, released as a single at the end of 1964. The album is made up of their first 5 singles released between August 1964 and January 1965 and a couple of extra numbers. While lacking in original material there’s a lot of energy and excitement in the performances, with a great original song “Baby back now” saved until the end of the record.
On their second album “ Climbing the Charts” (also released as “Sweet & Lovely”) there is one of their very best song, “Hey Honey” that has been covered many times since the eighties by bands like The Tell-Tale Hearts and The Thanes among others.
It was first released as the B-side of “Greensleeves” a big hit for the band and recorded by the original line-up.
By the time of this second album though, only a couple of the original members were left.
Due to problems with working permits the line-up kept changing and in 1966 they released a final album “Keep in touch with…” together with 3 singles. It’s my least favourite album showing like many other groups of the time a “new” Soul direction but also including a Fab original, “Too many lovers” also the B-side of their final single.
German picture sleeve

Here are those three Dutch albums which is virtually everything they recorded including all their singles sides.

Monday, 14 April 2008

More Wonderful Eastern (European!) Sounds from ILLES!

This is the first album I heard by ILLES, thanks to a tape that my dear friend Lenny Helsing made for me.
It's the second and the most consistent of their 60s albums. I love this band especially their unique Eastern flavoured sound that you can hear on several of their songs.
I've added no less than 5 bonus tracks, all from singles and all from 1968, the best year in the recorded output of ILLES.
This post too would have been impossible without my friend Gyula Dudas, owner of the original LPs.
With so much stuff around the web these days it's easy to just pass by something like this and infact I've found next to nothing by them...don't be put off by being all in Hungarian: do yourself a favour hear ILLES, hear them now!!!

1.Oh, mondd
2.Nehéz az út
3.Amikor én még kis srác voltam
4.Sárga rózsa
5.Átkozott féltékenység
6.Little Richard
7.Eltávozott a nap - az azonos című filmből
8.Nézz rám
9.Ne gondold
11.Az ész a fontos, nem a haj
12.Mondd, hogy nem hiszed el
Bonus tracks:
13.Nem érti más csak én
14.Teli alom
15.Régi dal
16.Holdfény ’69
17.Alig volt zöld


Monday, 7 April 2008

The Druids Of Stonehenge LIVE FOOTAGE!!!

I decided to put these two clips up since I read some recent comments from original Druids here
Druids of Stonehenge LIVE!!!

The band is having a reunion concert "in NYC (at a club called Havana Central) -- some time on the weekend of April 26/27." according to Tom Paine Workman.
About these performances Carl J. Hauser says "The experience on the Joe Franklin show was just another Spinal-Tap-like Druidic cut-up. we did that after we came back from our soujourn in San Francisco...
At that point I moved over to rhythm guitar and we were *really* good. David and I were writing great songs (most were never recorded) and Elliott was a GREAT soloist..."
Druids Of Stonehenge LIVE!!! (Part 2)

"Then some bright-eyed assistant producer got the 'old meets new' idea (..OF COURSE!) and they told us we could do one of our songs (Mumsey) if we'd also do "God bless the child". Now we all loved Billie Holiday, but that's no song for a rock and roll band (as later proved by BS&T's BUTCHERY of it.) So we decided to "Paint it Black" in protest. It was all live TV in those days, so we just DID IT. I can remember the look on Joe Franklin's face to this day. I think if there'd been a couple of peanuts on his desk his wig would have jumped off and ate 'em"

Sundazed has recently released a 10" with some great versions of "Who do you love", "Baby please don't go", "I put a pell on you" and "Pretty Thing" recorded in November 1965 when they were still simply the Druids.
There are also 3 tracks recorded later that did not show up on their lone album.
Meanwhile here are those performances, I'm sure you'll all agree that's GREAT stuff that makes you wishing there was more but then again...I never thought I would see this!

The Wonderful Unique Sounds Of ILLES: Illesek Es Pofonok!

As promised here is more from Hungary's ILLES.
This post was possible thanks to my friend Gyula Dudas,who also provided the artwork, all the guessed it...from Hungary!
This album like "Ezek A Fiatalok" doesn't really start with their strongest cut, but be patient and you'll be rewarded!
I reproduce below a review from few years ago, I couldn't agree more with it!

The Journal of British Psychedelia
Issue No.: 13 * Date: Xmas 2002 *
ILLES - 'Illesek Es Pofonok' (Hungary: Qualiton LP, '69)
Hey come back here! So it's from Hungary and sung in Hungarian? Give it a chance! This is the Hungarian Sgt. Pepper. Really! Put through a indigenous folk pop mincer of course, but certainly with enough skewed psychedelic surprises to satisfy the psyche. There are some songs that sound like bouncy ska/ pop adaptations of hoary old Hungarian folk tunes that I have to say, go way over my head. Mostly though, the cultural collision is at least interesting and sometimes pretty mind boggling. Two tracks in particular go for a trance like mystical far eastern vibe that sounds great, and not quite like anything else I've heard, shot through with a vaguely sitar-like instrument of presumably Hungarian origin. There's a fair bit of studio trickery, especially between the tracks and some spoken snippets that could be highly subversive acid humour digs at their communist oppressors. At least that's what I like to think, though of course because I don't understand a word, the lyrics are a blank canvas on which any meaning can be gleefully imposed. My favorite songs here are those that combine equal measures of "Hungarian-ness" with Beatlesque pop to produce music that is both interesting and pretty damn catchy. When you find yourself singing Hungarian in the shower you know something's got under your skin. The sleeve must have caused the Art Dept. at Qualiton to mutter and grumble under their breath about decadent capitalistic excesses, being a multi-coloured pop-art gatefold pop-up job. There was even an insert featuring a 'Yellow Submarine'-style rendering of the band in the same garish colours as the sleeve. As far as I can work out this should be cut out, folded origami style, made into a tube and then placed upright on the label of the record as it spins on the turntable thereby creating a low budget psychedelic movie show to accompany the music.
1.Újra itt van
2.Lehetett volna
3.A kugli
4.Emlékszem, esténként
5.Történet M.-ről
6.A beérkezett levelekre válaszolva
7.Keresem a szót
8.Igérd meg
9.Téged vár
10.Reklám úr
11.Oh, kisleány
13.Lusta vagyok
14.Két év nem sok
16.Nem akarok allni
17.Rockandroll Rezi