Happy Valentines Day! Yikes! Have I done this "Dan's Garage" thing twenty times already???? I'm glad you're all enjoying these posts. As I've always said, it gives me a good reason to sit down and spin records. It's really relaxing. This post features the usual "eclectic" mix of 60s sounds. I really don't plan themes for these things, I just grab a handful of 45s and go at it, although about two thirds of this post are very recent acquisitions. I will in the future post an all instrumental edition, and one that will feature upstate New York groups so stay tuned. On to the music...
Liverpool 5 - The Snake
I'm a real big fan of these guys, mostly because they could cover songs with their own unique spin, and this is no exception. "The Snake" was a huge hit for Al Green in 1968, but this version pre-dates it by about a year and a half. This flip is a real disappointment though, as most of their 45s were solid two siders.
Bandits - Baby Feel Good
From 1964 comes this Buddy Hollyish number with some amusing Beatlesque style falsetto "wooos". Note the real sparse production and lack of any electric guitars......
Sterlings - Thank You Babe
OK, so I'm listening to this 45, and it's a real good folk rocker with some nice "wall of sound" style production, and it hits me...I think these guys are the same group as The Changin' Times who were famous for "How Is The Air Up There" and a real good version of "The Pied Piper" of which this very song here was the flip side of. I'm pretty sure they're the same tune although I don't have the Pied Piper 45 in front of me to confirm it. By the way...where the hell was I when they were selling stuff like this for 5 cents??????
Floyd & Jerry with The Counterpoints - Summer Kisses / Why Do You
Floyd & Jerry Westfall were brothers who did sort of an Everly Brothers styled thing, and were big stars in the Phoenix area. They had several 45s, their best being "Believe In Things" a great folk rocker. This one is a bit tamer, and has nice teenybopper sound to it.
Beau Brummels - Good Time Music / Sad Little Girl
The last of five 45s they released on Autumn, this is a great two sider. I'm anything but a fan of John Sebastian and The Lovin' Spoonful, but the Beau's version of this song is pretty good, with some nice chugging guitar work. The flip is a typically great slow folk rocker that they always did so well.
Debs - Life And Soul Of The Party
Girl groups anyone???? Why not? This is a pretty cool cover of a Petula Clark tune, with a nice fuzz guitar driving it along in the background, and oddly enough, it has that same "wall of sound" type thing heard on the Sterlings 45. I can't come up with any info on this group except that producer Joe Venneri was in The Tokens of "Lion Sleeps Tonight" fame, and was probably a house producer for a bunch of things on Mercury records.
Mike Settle - Bhubee Baby
Not exactly a "garage" 45, but I really like it. The guy sounds a lot like Sir Doug, and it has this cool swampy vibe to it. Mike Settle was from Tulsa, OK and wasin The New Christy Minstrels, and Kenny Rodgers and the First Dimension.
Rockin' Ramrods - Don't Fool With Fumanchu / Tears Melt The Stones
A very popular Boston act, these guys relesed at least nine 45's in various styles. This shows two sides of the group. The A side is (another) garage novelty with a nod to "Louie Louie", and the flip is a frantic, yet depressing garage mover with real off key vocals.
Motivators - Ode To Loneliness / Heart Of Blue
Talk about depressing. This El Paso group waxed not one, but two sides of sublime moodiness. Both songs feature cool Farfisa organ.
Rumbles - Fourteen Years / It's My Turn To Cry
Omaha, NE biggest act from the 60s. The Rumbles, also known as Rumbles LTD. released 14 45s on 10 different labels. This one is a great moody (here we go again....) two sided folk rocker with fantastic 12 string guitars and vocals.
Great Scots - Don't Want Your Love / Give Me Lovin'
Supremely cool band from Nova Scotia. The A side is fantastic invasion styled beat, and the B side is a beat raver with gruff screaming vocals. All of this group's output is highly recommended.
Pride & Joy - If You're Ready / Girl
Originally known as the Del-Vetts whose "Last Time Around" is a bona-fide garage classic. They don't disappoint with this one either. Basically a rewrite of "Last Time" with a different arrangement, this one has the same intense fuzz guitars and menacing vocals, and the flip is a great folk rocker (seems like there's a plethora of those this time around eh?).
Astronauts - I Know You Rider
Another great song from this very versatile group who covered all styles from surf, to this traditional folk rocker. Again.The flip is really atrocious though....
Collectors - Make It Easy
Totally crazed psych punker from Vancouver. These guys were produced by Dave Hassinger, who at the time was also working with The Grateful Dead on their first LP. You can tell they have somewhat of a "Bay Area" sound to them, especially the guitar solo with it's heavy vibrato, which to me sounds like it was heavily influenced by Jorma Kaukonen.
Country Joe & The Fish - Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine / Masked Marauder
Hey! Why don't we go right to the Bay Area and check out Country Joe & The Fish?? I'm not a huge fan of San Francisco area bands, but The Fish's 1st LP, along with the first Grateful Dead LP are among my favorites, mainly because of the heavy use of Farfisa and Vox organs, and relatively "non-progressive" guitar tones.
Capes Of Good Hope - Lady Margaret
Here's some trippy psychedelic "raga rock" 45 from Chicago. This is a great example of how groups from 1967/68 were so influenced by Indian and Middle Eastern sounds.
Amen Corner - Nema
The Amen Corner were a fine beat/psyche group from the UK. Although most of their material falls a bit short of garage or beat or even psyche, this one tune stands out. I think it's great.
Alan Franklin Explosion - Bye Bye Baby / Peice Of My Heart
OK, this is a weird one. If you've ever heard "The Blues Climax" LP you know that it's one of the worst recorded things ever. I mean, it's bad. But in a good way you know? Kinda like The Milkshakes, although I wouldn't put this act in the same league. So I was a bit surprised to hear a more "polished" Alan Franklin on this 45, which sounds as if it was recorded in a different session, although I must say, for 1970, this is pretty lo-fi.
Gregorians - Dialated Eyes
Maybe I should have called this post the "Special Depressed Edition", because this song here takes the cake. This guy talks about fathers beating their kids for sneaking beers, and mom just doesn't give a rats ass because she's so messed up herself, with her "dialated eyes" Though this is a very late 60's effort that edges on progressive rock, it deserves inclusion here.
Jaspar Wrath - Did You Know That
I may get some groans of disapproval for including this one from 1972, but I really like it. These guys were from New Haven, Connecticut and also had an album.
Get it HERE