Friday, December 30, 2022

Jan And Lorraine: Gypsy People 1969


This is British duo Jan Hendin and Lorraine Lefevre, and their superb collection of acid-tinged folk and pop has been acclaimed as one of the best female psychedelic albums of the late 1960s, with contents varying from fragile ballads to rousing rock and roll, set to complex arrangements and gorgeous vocal harmonies. Recorded in London but only released in the US and Canada, it features support from musicians including Terry Cox (Pentangle), Brian Odgers (Al Stewart, Van Morrison, Elton John), Keshav Sathe (Magic Carpet) and legendary session drummer, Clem Cattini. Amongst the most enigmatic recordings of its time and full of mostly original songs (and one song co-written by Davy Graham), it makes its long-awaited CD debut here.

Gypsy People was recorded in London's IBC Studios with Anthony Browne producing and with backing from a rather impressive collection of UK musicians. With both Hendin and LeFevre contributing material the album offered up an engaging mix of folk, psych and world music moves.
Dealers continually drop the term 'acid-folk when trying to unload lame folk stuff on unsuspecting collectors, but if you want to hear a true acid-folk LP, then this may well set the benchmark for such comparisons.

There is something of a vogue for female duos in 1960s American Pop, and albums by the likes of Kathy & Carol, Lily & Maria and Wendy & Bonnie have gone on to be acclaimed as lost classics. But the sole LP by Jan Hendin and Lorraine LeFevre, 1969's impressively ambitious Gypsy People, is still more or less unknown. This Certainly isn't because it doesn't match up to other gems that have been unearthed in recent years, but is perhaps because so little is known about it. Thought to have been either American or Canadian (though Lorraine's surname perhaps tips the balance in favour of the latter), for reasons unknown the LP was recorded in London's IBC studios in October 1968 (alongside the New Seekers, Gun, Manfred mann, Colosseum and Thunderclap Newman, according to November 1969 issue of Beat Instrumental magazine).

Female singers were often marginalized in the studio in this period, but Jan and Lorraine took an unusually central role in the gypsy people sessions. Seven of the ten songs were self-penned (four by LeFevre, three by Hendin), and as well as singing (beautifully in harmony, it might be added) they played a variety of guitars and keyboards to a very highstandart. Most unusual, however, is the fact that they also devised the complex Eastern-styled arrangements which define several of the songs. There is much to enjoy on Gypsy People, from the superb rhythm section (featuring Terry Cox from Pentangle and heavy duty sessioneers like Brian Odgers and Clem Cattini) and vocal arrangements to the nostalgic pastiche of Old Tyme Movie and eccentric decision to give the vocals on number 33 to Jan's small daughter Taki.

Much mystery surrounds Jan & Lorraine, a female duo who recorded an obscure folk-rock Psychedelic album, Gypsy People, in London in October 1969. Jan Hendin and Lorraine Le Fevre both sang (often in harmony) on the record, did the ensemble arrangements, and also wrote (working separately) most of the material. Too, Hendin handled electric and acoustic guitars, piano, and organ, and Le Fevre contributed acoustic guitar as well. In part because the LP didn’t sound much like other British folk-rock efforts of the time, it’s been thought that Hendin and Le Fevre might have actually hailed from North America, despite the record being cut in London.

And it does have a greater American influence to its mildly psychedelic late-’60s folk-rock than most British efforts in the genre, with stirring, slightly strident singing; some slight pop accents with a little similarity to the early work of Joni Mitchell, Jefferson Airplane, Fairport Convention, and even the Seekers, though the resemblance isn’t explicit; and some occasional exotic Eastern sounds on tamboura and tabla. The record’s slightly moody and introspective, though pleasant (and sometimes a little loosely drifting) in feel, and one presumes that the “D. Graham/M. Chapman” songwriting credit for “Gypsy People” could signify a tune co-written by noted British folkies Davy Graham and Michael Chapman. A couple noted musicians who were definitely involved in the recording were Pentangle drummer Terry Cox, who contributed percussion, and top British session drummer Clem Cattini. The album was reissued on CD in 2006.
Richie Unterberger

[“If I had my life to live over, I wouldn’t be anyone else but me,” Jan & Lorraine enthusiastically proclaim on “Break Out the Wine,” the opening track on the duo’s sole release, 1969’s Gypsy People. The pair’s origin is obscure, and although the set was recorded in London, slotting neatly into the contemporary British folk-prog scene, their accents tell another tale, with some evidence now suggesting they hailed from Canada. The duo certainly exuded a New World exuberance, particularly on the rollicking “Wine” and the ragtime rave-up of “Old Tyme Movie.” The childlike delight that wraps around “Number 33,” the soulfulness of “Foolin’ Myself,” and the intensity with which they deliver both “Life’s Parade” and the acid-laced “The Assignment Song-Sequence” are also far removed from the usual fare found at an English fayre. And it’s the intensity of the multi-instrumentalist pair’s delivery that sets Jan & Lorraine apart, with the women attacking both their vocals and guitars in particular with absolute gusto.

There are, however, decidedly British elements leaking into the set as well, notably the orchestral strings that wrap around “Bird of Passage” and the sitar and tablas that shade the title track. Although supported by a clutch of guest musicians, Jan & Lorraine still asserted their independence. In a day when women artists had little control over their music, the pair not only penned the bulk of the set, they arranged it all. And it’s here the duo truly excelled, for the use of instrumentation is inspired, each song carefully crafted to create maximum effect. The whistles, kazoo, and jazzy piano that capture Hollywood’s yesteryear, the subtle use of organ to build up the excitement of “Song-Sequence,” the pulsing bassline that floods “Wine,” and the otherworldly atmosphere they create on “Gypsy People” all highlight the strength of the duo’s sound and vision. Like the Gypsies themselves, the pair’s past was shrouded in mystery, and once they packed up and left, their future destination was equally unknown. But Jan & Lorraine left behind a stunning, fiery album, as thrilling and exotic as a Gypsy dance. By Jo-Ann Greene]

This is a lost Acid - Folk Psychedelic gem of the obscure era of the 60's,  reissued by the Fallout Records. Don't miss it!!!


Nazir Jair Azbhoy — tamboura
Clem Cattini — drums
Terry Cox — percussion
Jan Hendin — vocals, 6 String acoustic guitar, 6 String electric guitar, piano, organ, kazoo
Takie Hendin — backing vocals
Lorraine LeFevre — vocals, 6 String acoudtic guitar, 12 String acoustic guitar
Rod Mirfield — percussion
Brian Odgers — bass
Kaeshav Sathe — tabla

Jan & Lorraine – Gypsy People
Label: Fallout – FOCD2015
Format: CD, Album, Reissue, Unofficial Release
Country: UK
Released: 2006
Genre: Rock, Pop, Folk, World, & Country
Style: Folk Rock, Acoustic, Pop Rock, Psychedelic Rock



01. Break Out The Wine (Keelan)   3:08
02. Bird Of Passage  (Le Fevre)   3:56
03. Gypsy People  (D. Graham/M. Chapman)   5:03
04. Foolin' Myself  (Hendin)   2:38
05. Old Tyme Movie  (Le Fevre)   3:10
06. Life's Parade  (Le Fevre)   2:39
07. Snow Roses  (Le Fevre)   3:05
08. The Assignment Song - Sequence  (Hendin)   8:59
09. Number 33  (Hendin)   1:41
10. Don't You Feel Fine?  (Keelan)   2:26

MP3 @ 320 Size: 87 MB
Flac  Size: 207 MB

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Spooky Tooth: The Island Years (An Anthology) 1967 - 1974


The story begins in summer 1963, in Carlisle and Aspatria, in Cumberland, in the far North-West of England. Jimmy Henshaw (guitar, keyboards), Walter Johnstone (drums), Frank Kenyan (guitar) and former export clerk Mike Harrison (vocals) formed a beat combo, and dubbed themselves The VIPs. Johnston and Kenyan had previously been in The Teenagers; not long after forming the band, The VIPs

added Greg Ridley on bass, who had previously lined up with Dino & The Danubes, and The Dakotas and The Ramrods, together with Harrison. They scored a record deal with RCA, who put out their debut single, "She's So Good" / "Don't Keep Shouting At Me" in 1964, both sides being penned by Henshaw. The single is a great slice of sneery Brit R&B, and is now an ultra-rare collector's favourite. From 1965 to 1966 the band were a top club attraction in London, and gigged regularly at the Star Club in Hamburg, garnering a sizeable cult following,

The original VIP's line-up recorded three more singles ("Wintertime" as The Vipps for CBS, plus "I

Wanna Be Free" / "Don't Let It Go" and "Straight Down To The Bottom" / "In A Dream" for Island, produced by Island stalwart Guy Stevens) before disbanding. Henshaw, Johnstone and Kenyan were replaced by Luther Grosvenor (guitar), Mike Kellie (drums), and Keith Emerson (keyboards). Emerson had previously been a member of Gary Farr & The T-Bones; this variant of The VIPs gigged for only three months, before Emerson upped and formed The Nice, with Brian "Blinky" Davidson, Lee Jackson and Davy O'List. The remaining quartet changed their name from the by then somewhat anachronistic VIPs, to simply Art-Worcester-born Grosvenor had played guitar for The Hellians, whose 1964 single, "Daydreaming Of You", released on Pye subsidiary Piccadilly, was produced by maverick West Coast genius / madman /charlatan Kim Fowley. The Hellians, if I may digress still further, boasted the nascent talents of both Dave Mason and Jim Capaldi, who would, of course, go on to form Island mainstays Traffic with Steve Winwood, and a young Poli Palmer, who latterly rattled the Joanna for Family. The Hellians in turn mutated into Deep Feeling.

Mike Kellie, originally from Birmingham, had drummed for second city band Locomotive, who also featured sax and flute player Chris Wood, who joined Traffic in 1967. There. See how incestuous this little scene was? Anyway, Locomotive would go on to enjoy a UK Top 30 hit with the ska-rhythmed

"Rudi's 1? Love" (unusually enough, the band were very heavily ska and bluebeat driven), and in 1969 put out the awesome latterday psychedelic gem "Mr. Armageddon".
Back to Art. Art cut one album, "Supernatural Fairy Tales", also produced by Guy Stevens (and also available on Edsel), released in 1967. Beautifully housed in a Hapshash And The Coloured Coat-designed sleeve, its original Island Records catalogue number was, ironically enough, ILP 967. Hapshash And The Coloured Coat released an album on Liberty, in which Art featured as backing band on several tracks. Art's line-up was swelled by the addition of American Gary Wright in October 1967, which initiated a name change - Art became Spooky Tooth.

Wright was born in New Jersey, and had been a child actor, before studying psychology. It was these studies which brought him to Europe initially. The vocal and keyboard interplay between Wright and Harrison is what characterised the Spooky Tooth sound. The debut album, "It's All About", originally on Island ILPS 9080, and released in May 1968, featured the band's blistering reading of the John D.

Loudermilk classic "Tobacco Road", always a live showstopper, and their debut single, "Sunshine Help Me". The latter so enamoured Brummie poppers The Move that they cut their own version on the live "Somethin' Else" EP. It's inevitable that the band's heavily Hammond organ-saturated sound drew comparisons with Island stablemates Traffic; after all, the various band members had worked together in other outfits, but Winwood & ?? had the head start in terms of record releases and chart success. Moreover, both Traffic and Spooky Tooth shared producers in the shape of Jimmy Miller, so such sonic similarities are perhaps less of a surprise. If anything, Spooky Tooth were darker and doomier, although their strongly melodic rock set them apart from their contemporaries.

The band's penchant for road work ensured that they built up a loyal club following in the UK, but it

was in the USA that the band enjoyed greater commercial success. "It's All About" was renamed "Tobacco Road" for the US, and belatedly made no. 152 in the US album charts in August 1970. The original Spooky Tooth line-up cut two further albums for Island, "Spooky Two" (Island ILPS 9098, released March 1969) and "Ceremony" (Island ILPS 9107, released January 1970), the latter being unusually distinguished by featuring French electronics wizard Pierre Henry. By "Ceremony" Greg Ridley had left Spooky Tooth already for Humble Pie and the bass parts were played by Andy Leigh. The band, however, regarded the album as "an utter failure", and claimed that after two and a half years, they had slipped into "stale, predictable music and creative demoralisation", and promptly split in' February 1970. Following the demise, Gary Wright formed the band Wonderwheel (who boasted guitar

ace Jerry Donahue in the original line-up, replaced in turn by Mick Jones, who had been musical director with French rock and roller Johnny Hallyday), Wonderwheel lasting from April 1971 lo September 1972. Wright cut two albums with the band for A&M, after signing to the label in September 1970, namely "Extraction" (A&M AMLS 2004, April 1971), o and "Footprint" (A&M AMLS 64296, January 1972).

The rest of the band didn't take long to get out of the slough of despond they seemed to have descended into post-"Ceremony"; in Autumn 1970, Harrison, Governor and Kellie reconvened under the Spooky Tooth banner, with the addition of ex-Grease Band members Alan Spanner (bass) and Henry

McCullough (guitar) replacing Ridley and Wright to record' "The Last Puff" (Island ILPS 9117, July 1970). Ridley had early departed to join Humble Pie with Steve Marriott and Peter Brampton. John Hawke (ex-Nashville Teens keyboard man - it was the 'teens who had the original UK chart hit with "Tobacco Road") and Steve Thompson (bass) joined the others to tour the record. "The Last Puff", despite the line-up changes, was still a fine album, with the band's storming version of "I Am The Walrus" kicking things off energetically. They also showed great taste in covering David Cackles' aching "Down River", as well as a spirited version of Elton John's "Son Of Your Father". The band folded again shortly afterwards, however.

After this (again albeit temporary) hiatus, Mike Harrison utilised the services of Carlisle band Junkyard Angel to back him on his eponymous solo debut (Island ILPS 9170, October 1971), and also cut a second solo work, "Smokestack Lightning" (Island ILPS 9209,1972). Luther Grosvenor, after a period

of recuperation and songwriting in=Spain, recorded a solo album, "Under Open Skies" (Island ILPS 9168, October 1971, also available on Edsel), before joining Stealers Wheel for their last six months. After that, he replaced Mott The Hoople lead guitarist Mick Ralphs, joining the band at their commercial peak, having been renamed "Ariel Bender" by the Mott main man Ian Hunter. After splitting from Mott to be replaced for a valedictory single by ex Spider From Mars Mick Ronson, he formed Widowmaker with former Love Affair vocalist Steve Ellis. Mike Kellie went on to rattle the traps with Peter Frampton's Camel, as well as lots of session work.

By September 1972, however, with neither Wright nor Harrison's solo ventures stirring up " much commercial paydirt, the band again decided to get back into the ring as Spooky Tooth. Apart from

Wright and Harrison, the line-up that recorded "You Broke My Heart...So. I Busted Your Jaw" (Island ILPS 9227, May 1973) featured Mick Jones (guitar, vocals), Bryson Graham (drums), and ex-Junkyard Angel Ian Herbert (bass), and lasted from September 1972 to March 1973. Jones and Graham had worked with Wright in Wonderwheel. "You Broke..." was again a reasonably successful album, Stateside; it reached number 84 in May 1973, and the album was toured and enthusiastically promoted by the band.

Kellie was welcomed back into the fold to record "Witness". (Island ILPS 9255, Nov. 1973 -the band's last album for the label), and Keith Ellis replaced Herbert on bass. This line-up lasted until February 1974, when Harrison, split for good, eventually cutting a solo alb urn for Good Ear, entitled "Rainbow

Rider" (Good Ear "EARL 7002, August 1975). His place was taken by Mike Patto, who had fronted Timebox, his own, eponymous band, and Boxer; the band decamped to New York, but by now the Spooky Tooth plot was severely lost. The band stuttered on until September 1974, cutting a final album, "The Mirror", also for Good Ear (EARL 2001 - October 1974). By this time, Wright was the only original member of the band, Kellie and Ellis jumping ship, replaced by Bryson Graham (again!) and Val Burke.

So, the band rather ignominiously ground to a halt by September 1974. The final line-up saw Mick

Jones first join ex-Mountain guitarist Leslie West's band, before throwing in his lot with former King Crimson keyboards / horns man Ian McDonald in the massively successful Foreigner; Mike Patto eventually succumbed to throat cancer in 1979; Bryson Graham and Burke went back to session work. Mike Kellie turned up in The Only Ones, another great lost band of the 1970s. Gary Wright signed with Warner Brothers as a solo act, and struck immediate platinum with the hugely successful "The Dream Weaver" (Warner Bros. K56141, July 1975). Follow-ups didn't scale the same commercial heights, although he remained a recording artist until the late 1980's. So that was the Spooky Tooth story. The band are still fondly remembered as one of the great live acts of their time who never earned their

commercial due. They bequeathed some great records, and bizarrely enough, their name would latterly accrue notoriety following an infamous US court case, wherein one of the band's songs - "Better By You, Better By Me", covered by Sheffield Heavy Metal band Judas Priest, resulted in a court case following the death of two fans in a "back masking" controversy. No matter the best of their music is to be found in these Edsel reissues.

Spooky Tooth – The Island Years (An Anthology) 1967-1974
Label: Universal Music Catalogue – 470 531-1, Island Records – 0602547053114, Universal Music Catalogue – 470 531-1, Island Records – 0602547053114
Format:    CD, Album, Reissue, Remastered, Stereo, Box Set, Compilation
Country: Europe
Released: 2015
Genre: Rock
Style: Blues Rock, Prog Rock





The band formed in 1967 from an offshoot of three other bands, The Ramrods,Art and the VIP's. In fact Art released one album called Supernatural Fairy Tales before Gary Wright joined the band where subsequent releases were under the Spooky Tooth name. 


01. I Think I'm Going Weird    3:22
02. What's That Sound (For What It's Worth)    2:50
03. African Thing    4:07
04. Room With A View    3:41
05. Flying Anchors    2:43
06. Supernatural Fairy Tale    3:37
07. Love Is Real    3:21
08. Come On Up    3:05
09. Brothers, Dads And Mothers    3:30
10. Talkin' To Myself    1:41
11. Alive Not Dead    2:14
12. Rome Take Away Three    3:04

Bonus Tracks - Stereo Mixes
13. Love Is Real    2:41
14. I Think I'm Going Weird    3:18
15. Room With A View    3:40
16. Flying Anchors     2:50
17. Supernatural Fairy Tale    3:37
18. Talkin' To Myself    1:40

MP3 @ 320 Size: 135 MB
Flac  Size: 247 MB



01. Society's Child    4:31
02. Love Really Changed Me    3:34
03. Here I Lived So Well    5:07
04. Too Much Of Nothing    3:57
05. Sunshine Help Me    3:07
06. It's All About A Roundabout    2:45
07. Tobacco Road    5:16
08. It Hurts You So    3:05
09. Forget It, Got It    3:27
10. Bubbles    2:54

Bonus Tracks   

11. Sunshine Help Me (Original Version)    2:59
12. Weird (Single B-Side)    4:02
13. The Weight (Single A-Side)    3:08
14. Do Right People (Single B-Side)    4:43
15. Love Really Changed Me (Single A-Side)    3:18
16. Luger’s Groove (Single B-Side)    3:58
17. It Hurts You So (Mono Mix)    3:03
18. Sunshine Help Me (BBC Radio One "Top Gear" Session 1968)     2:04
19. Too Much Of Nothing (BBC Radio One "Top Gear" Session 1968)    3:52
20. The Weight (BBC Radio One "Top Gear" Session 1968)    3:15

MP3 @ 320 Size: 174 MB
Flac  Size: 346 MB



01. Waitin' For The Wind    3:45
02. Feelin' Bad    3:24
03. I've Got Enough Heartaches    3:29
04. Evil Woman    9:09
05. Lost In My Dream    5:07
06. That Was Only Yesterday    3:55
07. Better By You, Better Than Me    3:42
08. Hangman Hang My Shell On A Tree    5:50

Bonus Tracks   

09. Feelin' Bad    2:55
10. I Can't Quit Her (BBC Radio One "Top Gear" Session 1968)    3:02
11. Blues Town (BBC Radio One "Top Gear" Session 1968)    3:35
12. Something Got Into Your Life (Recorded At Morgan Studios, Novemer 1968)    3:27
13. When I Get Home (Recorded At Morgan Studios, Novemer 1968)    4:13
14. Waitin' For The Wind (First Mix)    3:30
15. Lost In My Dream (First Mix)    5:46
16. Better By You, Better Than Me (First Mix)    4:08
17. Pretty Woman (Single B-Side)    3:27

MP3 @ 320 Size: 175 MB
Flac  Size: 362 MB



01. Have Mercy    7:54
02. Jubilation    8:26
03. Confession    6:48
04. Prayer    10:51
05. Offering    3:29
06. Hosanna    7:40

Bonus Tracks
07. That Was Only Yesterday (Single A-Side)    3:53
08. Waiting For The Wind (Single A-Side)    3:31
09. Feelin’ Bad (Single B-Side)    3:19
10. Have Mercy (First Version)    6:10
11. Shine A Light On Me    4:36

MP3 @ 320 Size: 161 MB
Flac  Size: 392 MB

THE LAST PUFF 1970           


01. I Am The Walrus    6:26
02. The Wrong Time    5:13
03. Something To Say    5:54
04. Nobody There At All    4:02
05. Down River    4:51
06. Son Of Your Father    3:56
07. The Last Puff    3:43

Bonus Tracks
08. Son Of Your Father (Single A-Side)    3:40
09. I Am The Walrus (Single A-Side)    5:22
10. Hangman Hang My Shell On A Tree (Mono Single B-Side)    5:43
11. Nobody There At All (Mono Promo Single A-Side)    3:47
12. The Wrong Time (First Mix)    5:09
13. The Weight (1970 Remix US Album Tobacco Road)    3:15

MP3 @ 320 Size: 136 MB
Flac  Size: 326 MB



01. Cotton Growing Man    4:40
02. Old As I Was Born    4:42
03. This Time Around    4:09
04. Holy Water    3:30
05. Wildfire    4:07
06. Self-Seeking Man    3:48
07. Times Have Changed    3:55
08. Moriah    6:22

MP3 @ 320 Size: 91 MB
Flac  Size: 220 MB



01. Ocean Of Power    4:41
02. Wings Of My Heart    3:33
03. As Long As The World Keeps Turning    3:40
04. Don't Ever Stray Away    3:14
05. Things Change    4:19
06. All Sewn Up    3:45
07. Dream Me A Mountain    3:31
08. Sunlight Of My Mind    4:56
09. Pyramids    4:32

Bonus Track   

10. All Sewn Up (Alternate Mix)    4:02

MP3 @ 320 Size: 102 MB
Flac  Size: 234 MB



01. Fantasy Satisfier    4:39
02. Two Time Love    3:30
03. Kyle    3:48
04. Woman And Gold    3:42
05. Higher Circles    5:22
06. Hell Or High Water    5:10
07. I'm Alive    4:15
08. The Mirror    5:24
09. The Hoofer    3:55

MP3 @ 320 Size: 101 MB
Flac  Size: 268 MB



01. Waitin' For The Wind    4:13
02. I Am The Walrus    5:53
03. The Wrong Time    4:03
04. Cotton Growing Man    4:22
05. Old As I Was Born    9:28
06. Better By You, Better Than Me    5:03
07. Tobacco Road    5:42
08. Evil Woman    7:21
09. Sunshine Help Me    8:38

MP3 @ 320 Size: 136 MB
Flac  Size: 320 MB


Bass Guitar – Alan Spenner (tracks: 5-1 to 5-9, 5-11, 5-12), Andy Leigh (tracks: 4-1 to 4-11), Chris Stewart (tracks: 6-1 to 7-10, 9-1 to 9-9)
Bass Guitar, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Val Burke (tracks: 8-1 to 8-9)
Bass Guitar, Piano, Organ, Guitar – Chris Stainton (tracks: 5-1 to 5-7, 5-9, 5-11 to 5-12)
Bass Guitar, Vocals – Greg Ridley (tracks: 1-1 to 3-17, 5-10, 5-13,)
Clavinet, Synthesizer – Gary Wright (tracks: 7-1 to 8-9)
Drums – Bryson Graham (tracks: 6-1 to 6-8, 8-1 to 8-9)
Drums, Percussion – Mike Kellie (tracks: 1-1 to 5-13, 7-1 to 7-10, 9-1 to 9-9)
Electronics – Pierre Henry (tracks: 4-1 to 4-11)
Guitar – Henry McCullough (tracks: 5-1 to 5-7, 5-9, 5-11 to 5-12)
Harpsichord – Mike Harrison  (tracks: 2-1 to 2-20)
Lead Guitar – Luther Grosvenor (tracks: 1-1 to 5-13), Mick Jones (tracks: 6-1 to 9-9)
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Electric Piano, Drums, Percussion, Clavinet, Organ – Mike Patto  (tracks: 8-1 to 8-9)
Organ, Vocals – Gary Wright (tracks: 2-1 to 4-11, 5-8, 5-10, 5-13, 6-1 to 9-9)
Vocals – Luther Grosvenor (tracks: 1-1 to 1-18)
Vocals, Keyboards – Mike Harrison  (tracks: 1-1 to 9-9)

Saturday, December 24, 2022

The Tangerine Zoo: The Tangerine Zoo 1968 + Looking Outside In 1968


The Tangerine Zoo was an American psychedelic rock band formed in Swansea, Massachusetts, in 1966. Encompassed in Boston's psychedelic scene and considered a part of the Bosstown Sound, the band became popular regionally, and released two albums on Mainstream Records during their recording career. The Tangerine Zoo had an opportunity to achieve national recognition at the Woodstock Festival, but was forced to decline the invitation. Nonetheless, the group's material has been reinstated into the public conscious after 1960s psychedelic music collectors have discovered the Tangerine Zoo's work years after their disbandment.

The year was 1966, the town was Swansea, Mass. located 50 miles south of Boston. Three Zoo members Bob Benevides, Donald Smith and Tony Taveira along with two brothers from nearby Warren, R.I. came together to form the band called The EBB TIDES. All members had come from other local garage bands (Batmen, Rogues & Rockin Teens). The newly formed band soon began to play anywhere they could to get exposure. Such places included clubs, outdoor drive-ins, and even on the deck of a battleship. Most of the songs on the set list were cover songs except for one song written by the lead singer called "My Baby's Gone" which was recorded on a 45rpm at a local label called Arco Records. This song was reissued on a compilation CD called Sixties Rebellion Vol.4. Soon after the band parted ways with the two brothers and brought in two new members Ron Medeiros who had his own band called the Knight Rockers, brought his hammond organ and Wayne Gagnon brought his guitar and fuzz pedal. The band changed it's name to the Flower Pot at the time.

The newly formed band was soon ready to hit the club scene under new management and a whole fuller sound featuring a Hammond B3 organ and added rhythm guitar. They soon picked up the following it had with the Ebb Tides and more. The hippy movement was starting to spread into the music from the streets and the times. Up in Boston a large college movement was also influencing the music. Management rented a large generator and decided that the band would play outside on the Boston Commons. Actually the band was the first band to so, despite the police coming and pulling the plug after playing for two hours. The next move by the band was to head to New York City to audition for record labels that had shown an interest in the band.

First came Mercury records and RCA, both labels wanted to sign the band to a 45rpm then follow with a album if the single sold. Then came Mainstream who offered an album and a single to be released simultaneously. The band took the latter partly due the fact that at the time it was a great ego boost to five young musicians and Mainstream had just signed Big Brother and the Holding Company ( Janis Jopin ) and the Amboy Dukes( Ted Nugent ). The deal was signed and soon it was off to record the album in late 1967. Ten songs were recorded with the song "One More Heartache" as the first single. The band was confronted with another major decision which was suggested by the record company that the band's name had to be changed again due to the nature of the "Pot" in Flower Pot.

February 1968 the long awaited LP and single are finally released. Seven of the nine songs are original songs written by the band. Six of these are psychedelic arrangements. The single is a remake of the Marvin Gaye tune "One More Heartache". Ironically, the song that was recorded and left off the album was a song written by Harry Nilsson called "One" which in three months later sprung the group Three Dog Night. The song The Flight is the most played song by radio and fans of garage psych music even today.

While recording their debut LP, label execs demanded another name change, fearing backlash from the obvious marijuana reference in the Flower Pot moniker; after setting on the Tangerine Zoo, the group released its self-titled debut in early 1968. Taveira exited the lineup prior to recording the follow-up, Outside Looking In. In mid-1969, the Tangerine Zoo was invited to play the Woodstock festival, but were forced to decline due to prior commitments. The band dissolved in 1970, with Gagnon soon resurfacing in Wadsworth Mansion, which scored a Billboard Top Ten hit with 1971's "Sweet Mary." The original Tangerine Zoo lineup reunited in 1988 to play a charity fundraiser, intermittently reconvening during the decades that followed.

With the release of their first album and single the band began touring, mostly on college campuses in the are playing as many as 2 or 3 shows per night, doable due to the close distance between them. While the tour is going on, the group is getting tied into the much publicized Boston Sound being promoted by the record company MGM who has signed Boston based groups, The Beacon Street Union, Ultimate Spinach & Orpheus. After the five months of during end the band returns to their hometown to rest and while there, more new songs are being written to record for the second album, due to be recorded in the late fall of 1968 in NYC.

The band becomes a four piece band with the departure of Tony. The second album is released with nine songs. Eight tunes are original and one is a remake of the Moody Blues' "Another Morning." This album is titled "Outside Looking In" with the single "Like People" as the 45. This album doesn't have the same appeal as the first and the band ends in 1970. The band got together again for Reunions for fund raisers for local charities first in 1988 again in 1990 and the last being in 1993. These were played before packed houses. There are no current plans for another Reunion.


Tangerine Zoo - Mainstream Records (56107), 1968
Outside Looking In - Mainstream Records (S-6116), 1968



One of the more notable obscurities from the unknown-ridden realm of '60s Rock, "The Tangerine Zoo" is a representative artifact of its time. Filled with the esoteric, hazy, Eastern and spacy sounds typical of the era the group lay down their psychedelic jams. Adept guitar playing with its skittery fuzzed-out leads is the highlight as swirling keyboards and a solid rhythm section make up for the lackluster vocals. The platter starts out slow with none of the songs taking off but comes to life on the second half as the tracks gain pace with a verve and the songwriting chops that showcase the band's fine interplay and considerable talents.

The Tangerine Zoo – The Tangerine Zoo
Label: Mainstream Records – S/6107
Country: US
Released: Feb 1968
Genre: Rock
Style: Psychedelic Rock


01. Gloria    6:06
02. Trip To The Zoo   3:50
Written-By – Donald Smith, Robert Benevides
03. Please Don't Set Me Free   3:48
Written-By – Wayne Gagnon
04. Nature's Children   3:49
Written-By – Donald Smith, Ronald Medeiros
05. The Flight   4:27
Written-By – Ronald Medeiros
06. Mommy And Daddy   1:42
Written-By – Ronald Medeiros
07. Symphonic Psyche   3:50
Written-By – Wayne Gagnon
08. Crystalescent Heaven   4:36
Written-By – Wayne Gagnon
09. One More Heartache   2:35
Written-By – M. Tarplin, R. Rogers, R. White, W.Moore, W. Robinson
Bass Guitar – Tony Tavares
Drums – Donald Smith
Lead Guitar – Robert Benevides
Organ, Harmonica – Ronald Medeiros
Rhythm Guitar – Wayne Gagnon



The Tangerine Zoo – Outside Looking In
Label: Mainstream Records – S/6116
Country: US
Released: 1968
Genre: Rock
Style: Psychedelic Rock


01. Birth   2:36
Written-By – Ronald Medeiros
02. Like People   2:32
Written-By – Robert Benevedes
03. Wake Up Sun   4:17
Written-By – The Zoo, Vic Armen
04. Another Morning   2:45
Written-By – Moody Blues
05. Confusion   4:49
Written-By – Wayne Gagnon
06. You I Love   3:52
Written-By – R. Medeiros, V. Armen
07. Farther Down The Road   4:30
Written-By – V. Armen, W. Gagnon
08. Can't You See   3:52
Written-By – R. Medeiros, W. Gagnon
09. Young Dream   9:15
Written-By – Wayne Gagnon

Bass, Vocals – Robert Benevedes
Drums, Vocals – Donald Smith
Guitar, Vocals – Wayne Gagnon
Piano, Organ, Harpsichord, Vocals – Ronald Medeiros
Supervised By – Joe Cain

Take Both Albums HERE
(Fingerprint Records, Unofficial Release - GEMA CDTZ 2175))

MP3 @ 320 Size: 169 MB
Flac  Size: 432 MB