Saturday, May 25, 2013

May's Picks

1. JOE BATAAN-"Subway Joe"
I'm a complete whiteboy when it comes to Latin stuff.  It's not usually my bag, but a friend posted this on FaceBook awhile back and wow, I'm hipped.  What a groove with great percussion, solid backing vocals, "in your face horns" and hysterical lyrics about a cat and a chick in New York City fighting over a seat on the Subway train.  From 1966.

2. VIRGIN SLEEP-"Secret"
It's spring time here in anorakland and it's perfectly encapsulated by this brilliant slice of 1967 Deram pop psych from guys who wore Ben Sherman's and had high parted hair but laid down some mystical stuff. Complete with Mellotron, flute, organ, searing guitar and yes even a cello. Just pop this on your tongue and tell me what you see.....

I'm a bit uninterested in 60's French pop because for a while there we seemed so inundated by it.  I'm a huge Jacques Dutronc fan but beyond that, meh.  This number actually pricked up my ears after dragging out the "Le Belle Epoque" CD comp and giving it another shot.  It has a great melody with some cool orchestration and is a duet with Serge Ganisbourg (one of my least favorite Gallic performers when it comes to his voice), but somehow it still works.

4. GENE AMMONS-"Angel Eyes"
A groovy bit of jazz with some nifty organ c/o our hero Johnny "Hammond" Smith and Ammon's sweet tenor from the "Angel Eyes" LP on the Prestige label.

5. T-REX-"London Boys"
Not to be confused with the 1966 Bowie classic of the same name, Bolan borrows it's title and the theme for his 1976 homage to the mod scene via a recycled "Bang a Gong (Get It On)" riff, disco strings and Gloria Jones almost overpowering backing vocals.  Disposable but fun.  I recently discovered it on a deluxe edition of the "Futuristic Dragon" LP generously provided by a good friend.

6. BYRON LEE -"Love At First Sight (Reggae)"
Copped a 45 of this recently at a record show and always enjoyed the Sounds Nice tune "Love At First Sight" (a Hammond instrumental of Serge Gainsbourg/Jane Birkin's "Je T'aime"), so imagine a reggae version of that and it's pretty damn cool!

7. THE COWSILLS-"Mr. Flynn"
After watching the amazing Cowsill's documentary on Showtime last month I became interested in the band and my pal Larry over at Iron Leg was kind enough to burn me a CD of some of their stuff including this harmony drenched pop psych ditty that comes across like the Episode 6 meets The Who's "Glow girl" (it sounds oddly quite similar to the latter). Lyrically one wonders if this was a not too obvious dig at their tyrannical father/manager. B-R-I-L-L-I-A-N-T!

I recently snagged a used See For Miles 60's CD comp called "The Blue Beat Ska And Reggae Revolution" and it contained this track.  The liner notes told me little about it but it's the first reggae/rocksteady record I've ever heard a Mellotron on!  And the Mellotron lick seems to almost resemble "The Lonely Bull".  Boss sounds indeed.

9. THE DENTISTS-I Had An Excellent Dream"
Discordant, jangly neo-60's Medway sounds that were never far from my turntable back in '85-'86 alongside the prisoners, the times, Biff Bang Pow and The Direct Hits!  And now through the miracle of YouTube we can see them performing the number live in 1986!

10. THE CREATION-"Like A Rolling Stone"
The time has come my friends to reclaim The Creation from those hipsters who took them away from us all these years ago in the late 90's!  This Dylan cover was one of my early faves since I purchased my very first Creation LP (a dodgy French LP on Eva that paired a few of their tracks with all the singles by The Mark Four and one by the unrelated Mark Five for good measure back at Sounds on St. Mark's Place in NYC on the same day I bought "The Ultimate Action" and a pair of Jam shoes).  It works because of the cool backing vocals and jangly guitar.  And recently scoring a VG+ copy of their German only '67 LP put me in even more of a Creation mood!

1 comment:

Supermod said...

Amen on the list in general, but especially the Creation comments! Once we're done unpacking our LPs/CDs, I need to start revisiting a lot of the '60s British stuff. Your list's inspired me!