Saturday, December 14, 2019

Etta James : The Definitive Collection 2006

She was born Jamesetta Hawkins to 14-year-old Dorothy Hawkins and an unknown white father, although James maintained he was the pool shark Rudolf "Minnesota Fats" Wanderone, and was raised at first in Los Angeles by adoptive parents. From the age of five, she sang gospel in the local church and later acknowledged the influence of the choirmaster, Professor James Earl Hines.

Etta James (January 25, 1938 – January 20, 2012) was an American singer who performed in various genres, including blues, R&B, soul, rock and roll, jazz and gospel. Starting her career in 1954, she gained fame with hits such as "The Wallflower", "At Last", "Tell Mama", "Something's Got a Hold on Me", and "I'd Rather Go Blind".

She faced a number of personal problems, including heroin addiction, severe physical abuse, and incarceration, before making a musical comeback in the late 1980s with the album Seven Year Itch.
James's powerful, deep, earthy voice bridged the gap between rhythm and blues and rock and roll. She won six Grammy Awards and 17 Blues Music Awards. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001, and the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.

Rolling Stone magazine ranked James number 22 on its list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time; she was also ranked number 62 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. 

[Whoa. There are many Etta James collections out there. The standard-bearers thus far have been the Chess Box and the Essential Etta James. This set attempts to do something else and goes deep into her catalog to dig out the gems from her years with Modern, Argo, Cadet, Chess, Warner Brothers, Island, and Private Music/BMG, and presents the full spectrum of her five-decade career.

As such, there are many different kinds of songs here revealing the complexity of the vocalist herself, and as such, thus becomes a real portrait of the artist. Juxtapose, for instance, early sides like "The Wallflower Dance (Dance With Me Henry)," with its wild R&B bravado and the deep soul-blues of "All I Could Do Is Cry," the balladry of "The Man I Love," the bone-crushing blues of "The Sky Is Crying," and the torch song ballad technique on "My Dearest Darling," and the despairing soul inherent in songs such as "All the Way Down," and the listener begins to get an idea of just how vast and deep James talent really is.

These 23 cuts give a fine and full picture of all that diversity without sacrificing a note of quality. This is a fine introduction to James for those listeners who have become acquainted with her in recent years, and a decent look at the later material for those cynical purists who think it was over and done by 1970.
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek]

Etta James, who has died aged 73 after suffering from leukaemia, was among the most critically acclaimed and influential female singers of the past 50 years, even if she never achieved huge popular success. From her first R&B hit, in 1955, the risqué Roll With Me Henry – cut when she was only 15 – through a series of classic 1960s soul sides (the lush ballad At Last, the raucous house rocker Tell Mama and the emotional agony of I'd Rather Go Blind), then a series of critically acclaimed 1970s and 1980s albums that won her a broad rock audience, to more recent albums of jazz vocals, James proved capable of developing and changing as an artist.

Her approach to both singing and life was throughout one of wild, often desperate engagement that included violence, drug addiction, armed robbery and highly capricious behaviour. James sang with unmatched emotional hunger and a pain that can chill the listener. The ferocity of her voice documents a neglected child, a woman constantly entering into bad relationships and an artist raging against an industry and a society that had routinely discriminated against her.

In 1967 Leonard Chess, the founder of Chess Records, sent James to Alabama to record at Fame studios with the producer Rick Hall. The resulting sessions produced the roaring Tell Mama, which took her back to the R&B top 10. Tell Mama's B-side was I'd Rather Go Blind, a brooding, agonised ballad of loss and jealousy which now stands as James's most celebrated recording and one of the classic sides of soul music. James wrote or co-wrote several of her greatest songs.

James never again enjoyed a major US hit, although she continued to record strong material. Perhaps her voice, so raw and emotionally expressive, was too fierce for the general public. Indeed, hurt, anger and self-destructive behaviour boiled beneath the surface of her vocals. Once asked to describe her style, she responded that singing allowed her to vent "all this bitch shit inside of me".


01. The Wallflower (Dance With Me Henry)
Backing Vocals – Abbye Mitchell, Jean Mitchell
Baritone Saxophone – Big Jim Wynn
Drums – Johnny Otis
Trumpet – Don Johnson
Vocals [Male] – Richard Berry
Written-By – Etta James, Hank Ballard, Johnny Otis

02. Good Rockin' Daddy
Written-By – Joe Josea, Richard Berry

03. W-O-M-A-N
Written-By – Dorothy Hawkins, Etta James

04 .All I Could Do Is Cry
Written-By – Berry Gordy, Jr., Billy Davis , Gwen Gordy

05. If I Can't Have You
Vocals – Harvey Fuqua
Written-By – Etta James, Harvey Fuqua

06. My Dearest Darling
Written-By – Edwin Bocage, Paul Gayten

07. At Last
Written-By – Harry Warren , Mack Gordon

08. Don't Cry Baby
Written-By – Jimmy Johnson, Saul Bernie, Stella Unger

09. A Sunday Kind Of Love
Written-By – Anita Leonard, Barbara Belle, Louis Prima, Stan Rhodes

10. Trust In Me
Written-By – Jean Schwartz, Milton Ager, Ned Wever

11. Something's Got A Hold On Me
Bass – Reggie Boyd
Drums – Al Duncan
Guitar – Matt Murphy
Piano – John Young
Written-By – Etta James, Leroy Kirkland, Pearl Woods

12. Stop The Wedding
Producer – Ralph Bass
Written-By – Freddy Johnson, Leroy Kirkland, Pearl Woods

13. Pushover
Written-By – Tony Clarke
Written-By, Producer – Billy Davis

14. Tell Mama
Written-By – Clarence Carter, Marcus Daniel, Wilbur Terrell

15. I'd Rather Go Blind
Written-By – Billy Foster, Ellington Jordan

16. Security
Bass – David Hood
Organ – Barry Beckett
Piano – George Davis
Saxophone – James Mitchell
Written-By – Margaret Wesson, Otis Redding

17. All The Way Down

Congas – King Errison
Drums – Kenny Rice
Guitar – Ken Marco
Keyboards – William D. Smith
Written-By – Catherine C. Williamson, Trevor Lawrence
Written-By, Producer – Gabriel Mekler

18. Take It To The Limit
Arranged By [Strings & Horns] – Jimmy Haskell
Backing Vocals – Gilbert Ivey, Henry Jackson , Joyce Austin, Merry Clayton, Reuben Franklin
Drums – Jeff Porcaro
Electric Piano – Keith Johnson
Lead Guitar – Cornell Dupree
Leader [Backing Vocals], Arranged By [Vocals] – Alexander Hamilton
Percussion – Tom Roady
Piano, Organ – Richard Tee
Producer – Jerry Wexler
Rhythm Guitar – Larry Carlton
Slide Guitar – Brian Ray
Written-By – Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Randy Meisner

19. Damn Your Eyes
Arranged By [Sax and Horns] – Jim Horn
Bass – Bob Wray, Willie Weeks
Guitar – Kenny Greenberg, Reggie Young, Steve Cropper
Written-By – Barbara Wyrick, Steve Bogard

20. Whatever Gets You Through The Night
Backing Vocals – Ashley Cleveland, Carol Chase, Dobie Gray, Jonell Mosser, Thomas Cain
Keyboards – Jim Pugh
Lead Guitar [Overdubbed] – Arik Marshall
Producer [Additional] – Etta James, Kim Buie
Rhythm Guitar – Danny Rhodes, Gary Burnette, Mabon "Teenie" Hodges
Synthesizer – Mike Lawler
Written-By – Bucky Lindsey, Carson Whitsett, Dan Penn

21. The Man I Love
Bass – Tony Dumas
Drums – Ralph Penland
Piano, Arranged By – Cedar Walton
Producer – John Snyder
Saxophone – Red Holloway
Written-By – George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin

22. I've Been Loving You Too Long
Acoustic Guitar – Don Potter
Backing Vocals – Curtis "Mr. Harmony" Young*, Dennis Wilson , Donna McElroy, John Wesley Ryles, Louis Nunley, Vicki Hamilton*, Yvonne Hodges
Drums – Eddie Bayers
Guitar – Brent Rowan, Dann Huff
Horns – The Southside Horns
Keyboards – Steve Nathan
Percussion – Terry McMillan
Steel Guitar – Paul Franklin
Written-By – Jerry Butler, Otis Redding

23. The Sky Is Crying
Guitar – Brian Ray
Producer – Donto James, Etta James, Josh Sklair, Sametto James
Written-By – Clarence Lewis, Elmore James, Morgan Robinson

Etta James ‎– The Definitive Collection
Label: Geffen Records ‎– B000401002, Chronicles ‎– B000401002, UMe ‎– B000401002
Series: The Definitive Collection
Format: CD, Compilation
Country: Canada
Released: 2006
Genre: Soul, Blues
Manufactured By – Universal Music Canada Inc.
Distributed By – Universal Music Canada Inc.
Remastered At – Universal Mastering Studios West

Arranged By [Orchestra], Conductor – Riley Hampton (tracks: 4 to 10)
Art Direction – Vartan
Backing Vocals – Jesse Belvin (tracks: 2, 3), Richard Berry (tracks: 2, 3), The Dreamers  (tracks: 2, 3)
Bass – Chuck Rainey (tracks: 17, 18), Michael Rhodes (tracks: 20, 22)
Compilation Producer – Andy McKaie
Computer [Fairlight III] – Carl Marsh  (tracks: 19, 20)
Design – t42design
Drums – Leard Bell (tracks: 2, 3), Roger Hawkins (tracks: 14 to 16, 19, 20)
Electric Bass – David Hood (tracks: 14, 15)
Executive Producer – Pat Lawrence
Guitar – Albert Lowe, Jr. (tracks: 14 to 16), Jimmy Ray Johnson (tracks: 14 to 16), Josh Sklair (tracks: 21, 22)
Horns – Jim Horn (tracks: 19, 20, 22), The Horn Section (tracks: 19, 20)
Liner Notes – Alice James, Etta James
Orchestra – Maxwell Davis Orchestra (tracks: 2, 3)
Organ – Carl Banks  (tracks: 14, 15)
Organ, Piano – Dewey Oldham (tracks: 14, 15)
Photography [Coordination] – Ryan Null
Photography By [Cover] – Jim McCrary
Piano – Devonia Williams (tracks: 1 to 3)
Producer – Maxwell Davis (tracks: 1 to 3), Rick Hall (tracks: 14 to 16)
Producer, Keyboards – Barry Beckett (tracks: 19, 20, 22)
Product Manager – Adam Starr
Production Manager – Beth Stempel
Remastered By [Digitally] – Erick Labson
Saxophone – Aaron Varnell (tracks: 14 to 16), Charles Chalmers (tracks: 14 to 16), Floyd Newman (tracks: 14, 15), Maxwell Davis (tracks: 2, 3)
Trumpet – Gene "Bowlegs" Miller (tracks: 14 to 16)

This Post is dedicated to my friend Konstantinos and his "Beatniks Road Bar" Exarhia-Athens.

Monday, December 09, 2019

Lene Lovich : Stateless 1979

Lene Lovich (born March 30, 1949) is an English-American singer, songwriter and musician. She first gained attention in 1979 with the release of her hit single "Lucky Number", which peaked at number 3 on the UK Singles Chart and made her a leading figure of the new wave music scene.

Lovich was born Lili-Marlene Premilovich in Detroit, Michigan, to an English mother and American father of Serbian descent. After her father had health problems, her mother took her and her three siblings to live in Hull, England. Lovich was 13 years old at the time. She met the guitarist/songwriter Les Chappell when they were teenagers, and he became her longtime collaborator and life partner.

In autumn 1968, they went to London to attend art school. It was there that Lovich first tied her hair into the plaits that later became a visual trademark, though at first she did it to keep her hair out of the clay when studying sculpture.
She developed an interest in art and theater, enrolling at the Central School of Art and Design where she took saxophone lessons.

[One of Stiff Records' most stable staples, the truly alternative Lene Lovich laid much of the groundwork for an entire generation of singers left to pick up the pieces in the wasteland of the post-punk era. Her stunning debut, 1979's Stateless, was so unique, so vibrant, and her vocal stylings so unusual that the LP not only put her right at the front of the pack of nascent new wavers, it also sounded a commercial death knell of sorts, relegating her to the realms of novelty acts -- at least as far as the mainstream was concerned. 

But that's not to say that the mainstream wasn't keeping an ear cocked. Re-recorded from the demo that landed her a deal in the first place, a unique rendering of the bubblegum puff piece "I Think We're Alone Now" provided such propulsion that its B-side, the now-classic "Lucky Number," was itself then re-recorded, to land Lovich a Number Three U.K. hit in early 1979.

Elsewhere, the darkly sinister "Home" played off the rumors concerning Lovich's exotic Eastern European background (she was actually from Detroit, but she could fake a great accent). The piano-led Patti Smith-y "Too Tender (Too Touch)" allowed Lovich to explore a quieter corner, as did a sexy, sensuous rehash of fellow Stiff-er Nick Lowe's "Tonight.

" The rambunctious squeak of "Say When," on the other hand, not only tempered that mood but also scored Lovich another hit. While Stateless is certainly very much of its era, and well-placed in its time, inspired and adventurous songwriting coupled with a truly pioneering intent ensure that this LP will always remain the lit roadside marker that whispered "this way" to the hundreds of bands who followed.
Review by Amy Hanson]

The album was first released outside the United Kingdom, then following the success of the lead single "Lucky Number". The UK version of the album was released with a slightly different track list. In the United States, the album was released in 1979.

The album was available in two very different variations. The more common release had most of the songs remixed from the original versions and now included the single version of Lucky Number. Some songs were slightly shortened and many had new vocals accentuating Lene's quirky singing style. The original vocals were often more straightforward. The running order was shuffled and the album cover also varied between countries.


Lene Lovich: vocals, saxophone
Les Chappell: guitar, synthesizer, percussion, vocals
Jeff Smith: synthesizer
Nick Plytas: Hammond organ, piano
Ron Francois: bass, percussion, vocals
Bobby Irwin: drums, percussion, vocals
Don Snow: piano on "Too Tender (to Touch)"
Brian Griffin: photography


01. Lucky Number     2:47
02. Sleeping Beauty     2:58
03. Home     3:39
04. Too Tender (To Touch)     4:05
05. Say When   2:47
06. Tonight   4:30
07. Writing On The Wall     3:08
08. Telepathy   2:44
09. Momentary Breakdown     3:16
10. One In A Million     2:50
11. I Think We're Alone Now   2:44
12. Be Stiff   2:37
13. Big Bird     3:26
14. The Fall   3:38
15. I Think We're Alone Now (Japanese Version)   2:44


Remastered By: Bill Inglot, Ken Perry
Written-By: Lovich (tracks: 1 to 4, 7, 9, 10, 13), Chappell (tracks: 1 to 4, 7, 9, 10, 13)


Tracks 12 to 15 are identified as CD Bonus Tracks. Track order 1 to 11, and mixes, match the 1979 Stiff re-issue. No remixes are mentioned in the credits.

Monday, December 02, 2019

The Standells: Dirty Water 1966 - The Standells: Why Pick on Me Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White 1966

The Standells are an American garage rock band from Los Angeles, California, formed in the 1960s, who have been referred to as the "punk band of the 1960s", and said to have inspired such groups as the Sex Pistols and Ramones. They are best known for their 1966 cover of Ed Cobb’s hit "Dirty Water".

[ The Standells made number 11 in 1966 with "Dirty Water," an archetypal garage rock hit with its Stones-ish riff, lecherous vocal, and combination of raunchy guitar and organ. While they never again reached the Top 40, they cut a number of strong, similar tunes in the 1966-1967 era that have belatedly been recognized as '60s punk classics. "Garage rock" may not have been a really accurate term for them in the first place, as the production on their best material was full and polished, with some imaginative touches of period psychedelia and pop.

Considerably toughening their image, the group churned out four albums in 1966 and 1967, as well as appearing in (and contributing the theme song to) the psychedelic exploitation movie Riot on Sunset Strip. Cobb, in addition to writing "Dirty Water," also penned their other most enduring singles, including "Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White," "Why Pick on Me," and "Try It" (the last of which was widely banned for its suggestive delivery).

The Standells never had a stable lineup; bass players were constantly leaving (John Fleck, aka John Fleckenstein, who was briefly in an early version of Love, held the spot for a while), and Dick Dodd went solo in 1968, the year they released their last single.
Richie Unterberger ]

In 1965 the group – Dodd, Tamblyn, Valentino and Lane – signed with Capitol Records' label Tower, teaming up with producer Ed Cobb. Cobb wrote the group's most popular song, "Dirty Water", which the band recorded in late 1965. The song's references to the city of Boston are owed to Cobb's experiences with a mugger in Boston. The song also makes reference to the Boston Strangler and the dorm curfews for college women in those days.
In early 1966, after recording "Dirty Water", Dodd briefly left the Standells, and was replaced by Dewey Martin, who became a member of Buffalo Springfield.

Along with Why Pick on Me, this was the group's strongest album, although you're always better off with a greatest hits collection. "There Is a Storm Comin'" and "Pride and Devotion" are a couple of strong numbers that don't make it onto compilations, and "Rari, " the moody B-side of "Dirty Water, " tis one of their best little-known tracks. The CD reissue takes off one cut (the easily found "Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White") and adds six bonus tracks of only mild interest, including a version of "Batman." Add points for finding a longer version of "Rari, " though.

Dirty Water is listed in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as one of the 500 songs that shaped Rock & Roll.. A biography titled "Love that Dirty Water – The Standells and the Improbable Red Sox Victory Anthem" is currently available on, Barnes & Noble, Target, and in other retail outlets.

Today, the Standells consist of original members Larry Tamblyn (lead singer & keyboard), Dick Dodd (lead singer, percussion & guitar), John Fleckenstein (bass), plus Mark Adrian (co-lead singer & guitar) and veteran drummer Greg Burnham. They are currently working on their new record album, the first in over 45 years.


The Standells in Person at P.J.s. (1964) (re-edited as Live and Out of Sight with two bonus songs) (1966, 1990)
Dirty Water (1966)
Why Pick on Me Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White (1966)
The Hot Ones! (1967)
Try It (1967)
Bump (2013)

The Standells: Dirty Water
Label: Sundazed Music: SC 6019
Format: CD, Album, Reissue
Country: US
Released: 2016
Genre: Rock
Style: Garage Rock, Psychedelic Rock


01. Medication (Minette Alton, Ben DiTosti) – 2:27
02. Little Sally Tease (Jim Valley) – 2:35
03. There's a Storm Coming (Ed Cobb) – 2:43
04. 19th Nervous Breakdown (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) – 3:55
05. Dirty Water (Ed Cobb) – 2:48
06. Pride and Devotion (Larry Tamblyn) – 2:15
07. Hey Joe, Where You Gonna Go? (Chester Powers)* – 2:10
08. Why Did You Hurt Me? (Dick Dodd, Tony Valentino) – 2:30
09. Rari (Ed Cobb) – 3:18
10. Batman (Neil Hefti) – 3:04
11. It's All in Your Mind (Ed Cobb) – 2:38
12. Love Me (Dick Dodd, Tony Valentino) – 2:45
13. Medication [Instrumental] (Minette Alton, Ben DiTosti) – 2:43
14. Poor Man's Prison (Keith Colley, Knox Henderson) – 2:23
15. Take a Ride – 2:08

A CD version of the album, released in 1994, deletes "Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White" (as it was also included on the band's follow-up album), and adds six more songs.

MP3 @ 320 Size: 103 MB
Flac  Size: 142 MB


For their second Tower album, Why Pick On Me, the Standells received a significant sonic boost with the move to American Recording Company. Legendary engineer Richie Podolor cut the best sounding records of the era; from the Standells, Chocolate Watchband, and Electric Prunes to Steppenwolf and Three Dog Night.

The drum tracks on this album are simply not to be believed, the bass drum sound possibly registering on the Richter scale.

Here the Standells build on their strengths with tough originals from producer Ed Cobb, equally-hard driving outside material ("Black Hearted Woman," "Mainline"), and notably, the emergence of Larry Tamblyn as a songwriter (his "Mr. Nobody" arguably the album's highlight).

The Standells 

Larry Tamblyn - Organ, Guitar, Vocals
Tony Valentino - Guitar, Vocals
Dave Burke - Bass, Vocals
Gary Lane - Bass
Dick Dodd - Drums, Lead Vocals


01. Why Pick On Me (E. Cobb) - 3:75
02. Paint It Black (Jagger, Richards) - 3:76
03. Mi Hai Fatto Innamorare (T.Valentino) - 2:28
04. 1 Hate To Leave You (T.Valentino) - 2:35
05. Black Hearted Woman (Houle) - 3:70
06. Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White (E.Cobb) - 3:36
07. The Girl And The Moon (L. Tamblyn) - 2:55
08. Looking At Tomorrow (B.Mann, CWeil) - 2:29
09. Mr. Nobody (L.Tamblyn) - 2:52
10. My Little Red Book (Bacharach, David) - 2:24
11. Mainline (Huntress, Chellis) - 2:07
12. Have You Ever Spent The Night In Jail (E.Cobb) - 2:57
13. Our Candidate (M.Smith) - 2:35
14. Don't Say Nothing At All (instrumental) (Hill, Washington) - 2:27
15. The Boy Who Is Lost (L.Tamblyn) - 2:33

MP3 @ 320 Size: 97.7 MB
Flac  Size: 205 MB

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Various Artists - Pebbles, Vol. 9 Subtitled: Southern California 2, Original '60s Punk & Psych Classics 1996

Various Artists - Pebbles, Vol. 9
Subtitled: Southern California 2, Original '60s Punk & Psych Classics
1996 Archive International Productions (AIP)
CD cat. #: AIP CD 5026

Pebbles, Volume 9 is a compilation album among the CDs in the Pebbles series; it is subtitled Southern California 2. The previous CD in the series, Pebbles, Volume 8 also features bands from
Southern California; while Highs in the Mid-Sixties, Volume 1, Highs in the Mid-Sixties, Volume 2, and Highs in the Mid-Sixties, Volume 3 showcase music from Los Angeles specifically.
This album was released on AIP Records in 1996 as #AIP-CD-5026 (although the disk is actually imprinted with the catalogue number of the previous volume). 
Despite the similar catalogue number, there is no relation between the tracks on this CD and the tracks on the corresponding LP.
Notes on the tracks


According to the liner notes, the track by the Standells had not been reissued before now; and this is probably the first-released version of the early Monkees hit "I'm Not Your Stepping Stone". One of the members of the Second Helping was Kenny Loggins, and this single is his earliest known release. The Velvet Illusions are actually not from California but were a Yakima, Washington based band; while often mentioned as having heiress Patricia Hearst's former boyfriend Steven Weed as a member, the band actually featured a different Steve Weed. The final track is from an unreleased acetate by the band that is best known for "I Never Loved Her" (included on the Pebbles, Volume 8 CD).

The two songs by Fenwyck, "I Wanna Die" and "Iye" were produced by Zane Ashton (aka Bill Aken) who had founded Progressive Sounds of America in 1963 and recorded the two sides at Western Recorders in Hollywood, California. After an emotional breakdown when one of his artists 'Kathy
Dee' suffered a stroke and died, he sold the label to the Quinlan Corporation and Jay Bonner with the stipulation that 'Fenwyck' would be the first record released under the new management. That is why the label says "Produced by Zane Ashton." Ironically, although the new owners ridiculed him as being emotionally unstable, without its founder's love of rock and roll and his production instincts, the label died a very quick death and within a year was out of business.

Even though its not quite as good as its predecessor, the second volume of the Pebbles series to focus on ultra-obscure sixties garage rock from Southern California is still a smokin' collection of tunes, stuffed with mean fuzz guitars and primal vocals, courtesy of a whole buncha bands that just never
managed to make it big. A few songs that make this disc a blast o' joy are Ty Wagner's "I'm a No Count," a nasty two-chord outcast anthem that bristles with teenage agression, as well as Thee In Set's stomping caveman frat pounder, "They Say." There's also "Someday You'll Cry," a snotty garage-pop tune from the pre-"Dirty Water" Standells, and the Care Takers' funky soul-shakin' cover of Bob Seger's "East Side Story" (shut up, Bob Seger rules!), not to mention the Velvet Illusions' menacing "Velvet Illusions" (gotta love bands with their own theme songs). The Children of the Mushroom's "August Madamoiselle" is a psychedelic tune that manages to pull of the neat trick of being both dark and whimsical. Great stuff. The David's "I'm Not Alone" is a fuzzy, flailing, organ-propelled fuzz thumper and the Second Helping's "Let Me In" is just plain wonderfully creepy. There are plenty of other highlights (don't even get me started on the W.C. Fields Memorial String Band!), but this set falls a bit short of the five star rating, thanks to the inclusion of a few tunes that are little more than by-the-book garage rock (I'm lookin' at you, "Won't Come Down!"). 
Still, this is an excellent disc, a really good addition to the Pebbles series, and it deserves to belong in every garage fan's collection.

[Twenty-four Socal garage-band obscurities from 1965-69, more psychedelic in tone than the average Pebbles collection (though not every track is psychedelic-influenced). It's about average for a '60s
garage anthology, with some standouts like the Standells' Beatlesque "Someday You'll Cry" (not available on any other CD), the David's garage-pop take on the Doors ("I'm Not Alone"), the Gypsy Trips' folk-rock "Ain't It Hard" (later covered by the Electric Prunes), a pre-Monkees version of "I'm Not Your Stepping Stone" (by the W.C. Fields Memorial Electric String Band), and the blues-rock protest of the Starfires' "Cry for Freedom." It's the first time on CD for all selections, a few of which had been previously unreissued.
Richie Unterberger, AllMusic]

Track listing

01. Ty Wagner and the Scotchmen: "I'm a No Count"; rel. 1966
02. The Caretakers: "East Side Story"; rel. 1966
03. The Hysterics: "Won't Get Far"; rel. 1965 (?)
04. The Standells: "Someday You'll Cry"; rel. 1965
05. The Magic Mushroom: "I'm Gone"; rel. 1966
06. Fenwyck: "IYE"; rel. 1967 On Progressive Sounds of America
07. The Buddhas: "Lost Innocence"; rel. 1967 (?)
08. The David: "I'm Not Alone"; rel. 1967 (?)
09. The David: "40 Miles"; rel. 1966
10. The Edge: "Scene thru the Eyes"; rel. 1969
11. The Second Helping: "Let Me In"; rel. 1967 (?)
12. Good Feelings: "Shattered"; rel. 1968
13. Gypsy Trips: "Ain't It Hard"; rel. 1965
14. The Nervous Breakdowns: "I Dig Your Mind" (Rusy Evans)
15. Moms Boys: "Up & Down"; rel. 1967 (?)
16. W. C. Fields Memorial Electric String Band: "I'm Not Your Stepping Stone";     rel. 1966
17. Children of the Mushroom: "August Mademoiselle"; rel. 1967 (?)
18. The Velvet Illusions: "Velvet Illusions"; rel. 1967
19. Perpetual Motion Workshop: "Won't Come Down"; rel. 1967 (?)
20. The Crumpets: "Mama Baby"; rel. 1966 (?)
21. Sounds Unreal: "Scene of the Crime"; rel. 1967
22. Mal-T's: "Here to Stay"; rel. 1966 (?)
23. Thee In Set: "They Say"; rel. 1966 (?)
24. The Starfires: "Cry for Freedom"; rel. 1967 (?)

Friday, November 22, 2019

Spacemen 3 : Recurring 1991

Spacemen 3 were an English alternative rock band, formed in 1982 in Rugby, Warwickshire by Peter Kember and Jason Pierce, known respectively under their pseudonyms Sonic Boom and J Spaceman. Their music is known for its brand of "minimalistic psychedelia".

They gained a reputation as a 'drug band' due to the members' drug-taking habits and Kember's candid interviews and outspoken opinions on recreational drug use. Kember and Pierce were the only members common to all line-ups of the band. Both founding members have enjoyed considerable success with their respective subsequent projects: Sonic Boom/Spectrum and Spiritualized.

In 1984 they made their first studio recordings at the home studio of Dave Sheriff in Rugby. This material – which included early iterations of the songs "Walkin' with Jesus", "Come Down Easy" and "Thing'll Never be the Same" – was used for a short demo tape entitled For All The Fucked Up
Children Of The World We Give You Spacemen 3. They got a few hundred cassette copies made and produced their own artwork and booklet to accompany it, selling the tapes for £1 at a local record shop. Spacemen 3's music at this stage had a loose, swampy Blues feel; some songs included harmonica and slide guitar, and their style sounded akin to The Cramps. These early demo recordings, which Kember later recalled as being "really dreadful", would later be released unofficially in 1995 on the Sympathy for the Record Industry label, thus providing an insight into the band's embryonic sound.

Kember and Pierce opted to upgrade their guitar equipment ahead of recording the new demos. Kember purchased a Burns Jazz electric guitar and 1960s Vox Conqueror amplifier; whilst Pierce bought a Fender Telecaster and a 1970s HH amplifier. Both of their new amplifiers included distortion/fuzz and tremolo; these two effects were key components of Spacemen 3's signature sound.

In January 1986, Spacemen 3 attended the Studio Morocco based at the home of Carlo Marocco at Piddington, outside Northampton, to record their new demo tape. They spent three-and-a-half days at the 16-track studio. Recording live as a group, with minimal overdubs, they managed to get demos for approximately seven songs. Kember and Pierce handled the production. with studio manager Dave Howard dealing with the technicalities. These "fine set of performances" (Ned Raggett, AllMusic) would later be unofficially released as the vinyl album Taking Drugs to Make Music to Take Drugs To on the Father Yod label in 1990 (albeit described incorrectly as "rehearsals in Rugby").

Spacemen 3 managed to obtain a record deal shortly after producing their new demos.
The Spectrum album was advertised as being by the "founder member/leader of Spacemen 3".
Also in January, Pierce was developing ideas for forming a new band or side project of his own. He invited Spacemen 3 compatriots, Refoy, Carruthers and Mattock, to jam and rehearse with him at a
small church hall and his flat. Initially it was informal, but this was the origin of Pierce's Spacemen 3 'splinter' band, Spiritualized, comprising all the same members as Spacemen 3 except for Kember. In February 1990, this new grouping recorded "Anyway That You Want Me". This was recorded at VHF Studios; the purpose of these sessions was kept secret from Kember who was still working there. Speaking in 1991, Pierce explained the purpose of starting Spiritualized.

Recurring was the fourth and final Spacemen 3 studio album, finally released (after considerable delay) in February 1991, some time after the band had broken up. By the time the album was recorded, relations between the band had soured to the extent that the record is in 2 parts - the first side by Peter Kember, and the second by Jason Pierce.

The album included "Hypnotized", a Pierce composition that was a minor hit in the UK in 1989.
The only track on which both Pierce and Kember appear is "When Tomorrow Hits", a cover of a Mudhoney song, originally intended for a double A-side split single, with Mudhoney covering "Revolution" from Playing With Fire. This release was scotched when Kember caught wind of the fact that Mudhoney had fitted "Revolution" with somewhat irreverent lyrics about methadone suppositories. The Mudhoney recording eventually surfaced as a b-side. There's a subtle continuity between both tracks, specifically duelling references to The Stooges; the Spacemen 3 track opens with the "look out!" invocation that began "Loose", and "When Tomorrow Hits" is mostly a rewrite of "I Wanna Be Your Dog".


01. Big City (Everybody I Know Can Be Found Here) 6:35
02. Why Wouldn't I See 5:31       
03. I Love You    5:32
04. Just To See You Smile     3:28
05. Set Me Free / I've Got the Key    5:11
06. When Tomorrow hits 4:26
07. Feel So sad 2:48
08. Hypnotized    5:58
09. Sometimes    6:38
10. Feelin' Just Fine (Head Full of Shit)    4:34
11. Billy Whizz / Blue 1    5:09

Label: Dedicated ?– ZD 74917
Format: CD, Album
Country: Germany
Released: 1991
Genre: Rock
Style: Indie Rock, Space Rock

 Paul Adkins : Engineer
 Pat Fish : Flute
 Richard Formby : Lead Guitar
 J. Spaceman, Sonic Boom (2) : Producer
 Alex Green : Saxophone
 Owen John : Violin
Peter Kembe :  Bass, vocals and guitars
Jason Pierce : Vocals, guitar, bass, piano, keyboards, percussion
Mark Refoy : Guitars (Played as singer/guitarist for The Tell Tale Hearts (UK), Spacemen 3, Spiritualized, Pet Shop Boys, currently in Slipstream.)
Roswell Jonny Mattock : Drums, Guitars, Vocals.