Thursday, October 30, 2014

In Dan’s Garage…#103

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Hello music lovers! It’s great to be here once again giving you another edition of “In Dan’s Garage”, my humble blog which I hope you will all enjoy. I don’t have much to say today, except that I really wanted to get this one out before the end of the month, because I’m going on a well deserved (in my opinion) vacation next week, cruising on the MSC Divina, a gargantuan vessel that serves fresh pasta, pizza, gelato, and Italian pastry all day (and night). If any one of you happen to sail out of Miami on Nov.1 on this thing, look for me. I’ll be wearing Ray Ban sunglasses and sporting a Rochester Red Wings baseball cap for the duration of the cruise.
    As usual I have another potpourri of 60s sounds, with a bit of 50s and 70s thrown in for good measure. I hope you all enjoy and I’ll see you next month before the Thanksgiving holiday. Bon Voyage……….

Chan Romero – My Little Ruby (1959)
chan romero


I really dig this 45 by the legendary Chan Romero who wrote one of my favorite songs ever, “Hippy Hippy Shake”. This follow-up does not disappoint and is just as good as “Hippy”.

Underbeats – Book Of Love / Darling Lorraine (1966)
A very popular Minneapolis group that had a heavy group vocal/do-wop influence.

Astronauts – Tomorrow’s Gonna Be Another Day (1965)
Before The Monkees recorded this song and released it on their debut LP in 1966, The Astronauts tackled this beast and gave it an incredibly snotty garage/punk delivery. The flip is merely an instrumental version of the A side. What a rip off!!!!!!

Beatin’ Path – The Original Nothing People / I Waited So Long (1966)
Total legendary coolness from a Reading, PA band that had this one release. I love the whole “recorded in a cave” type sound they get here. Real garage band stuff here my friends.

Beat Merchants – So Fine (1965)
beat merchants
The flip side of Freddie & The Dreamers’ “You Were Made For Me”. I guess Tower couldn’t come up with anything decent to put on the B side, so they let these guys loose with a great beat pounder that’s based on the Fiestas’ original. Actually, this 45 was released twice with the same catalog number. The first version was actually a Freddie & The Dreamers two sider.

Sean & The Brandywines – She Ain’t No Good / Cod’ine (1966)
An unknown California group that released this one spectacular 45 produced by Gary Usher. He may have been part of the group but I really don’t know for sure……

Standells - Mi Hai Fatto Innamorare (1965)
I’m very picky about re-issues but I think this one deserves inclusion. This was written by guitarist Tony Valentino who was a native of Italy and probably held a lot of sway in the release of this song, although I’m not quite sure when it was released and if it was a B side. In any case, Tony and the crew get real “Italian” here with a traditional Italian style intro featuring mandolins and all before busting into a great garage/pop number.

Remains – My Babe / Why Do I Cry (1965)
Oh my God. These guys are perhaps the greatest band to never to make it big. I don’t consider these guys a “garage” band because they’re too good. The Remains are the best band never to make it big from the 1960’s. Period. If any one is wondering why I feature the “My Babe” side here first, it’s because it was deemed the A side by the brilliant execs at Epic records, whilst the “B” side “Why Do I Cry” is the real gem here as we all know. “My Babe” is OK but pales in comparison to “Why Do I Cry”.

Rising Sons – Candy Man / The Devil’s Got My Woman (1966)
rising sons
A group that included such greats as Ry Cooder and Taj Mahal. They released this one 45 in 1966 and they were considered one of the best bands in LA at the time, their sound being way ahead of their time and rivaling the popularity of the Byrds.

Sonics – You Got Your Head On Backwards (1966)
sonics head back
One of The Sonics’ best. Real brutal crunch on this one as well as being one of the best chick put down songs of all time. A+.

Los Bravos – Brand New Baby / Going Nowhere (1966)
I like Los Bravos, even if all their songs kinda sounded like “Black Is Black”. This two sider is especially good.

Bob Seger & The Last Heard – Heavy Music (part 1) (1967)
heavy seger
This was Bob’s last 45 to appear on Cameo Records before Cameo went bust, and Bob signed with Capitol. It’s too bad that the execs at Cameo didn’t stick with him, but of course how do you compete with a mega-label like Capitol? Anyway…This 45 is OK in my opinion, but pales alongside his earlier efforts. The flip is just a continuation of the same “groove” on the A side.

Seeds – No Escape (1966)
I love the Seeds. Mainly because they would use the same riff over and over again, and rather successfully I might add. The reason I include this most common of Seeds songs is that there are actually TWO versions. The one that everyone has a prominent reverb on the vocals, and this… a completely different mix altogether is pretty dry. The Seeds, or Crescendo Records, had a habit of releasing different singles with the same catalogue numbers. I featured this “same” 45 back in IDG # 18 where the flip of “Mr. Farmer” was “Up In Her Room”…

Fountain Of Youth – Don’t Blame Me (For Trying) / Take A Giant Step (1968)
These guys from Texas were once rumored to be the “test band” for The Monkees, but I don’t really buy that although they were on Colgems, and they did cover “Take A Giant Step”, and they did sound a little bit like them(The Monkees that is). This is their best 45 and I always was a big fan of “Don’t Blame Me” from when it was re-released on Boulders, but I must say, their version of “Take A Giant Step” is stunning to say the least. Almost near perfect pop perfection.

Chosen Few – Asian Chrome / The Earth Above The Sky Below (1967)
I featured their other 45 in IDG #99, but this is their crowning achievement. Real cool far/middle east style guitar ramblings that culminate in a wacked out fuzz and reverb drenched solo. The B side which has had little attention is pretty good as well.

Springfield Rifle – Left Of Nowhere (1968)
One of the best bands to come out of the Pacific NW in the late 60’. They concentrated on good arrangements and tight vocal harmonies.

Music Explosion – Where Are We Going (1968)
One of many 45s that this Ohio based band would release, including the great “Little Bit Of Soul”.

Bards – Never Too Much Love / The Jabberwocky (1968)
The Bards were a very popular Pacific NW, kinda like The Sonics and The Springfield Rifle, both featured in this post. These guys were lucky enough to land a recording contract with Capitol Records and release this interesting 45 that mixes some really good blue-eyed soul with a whacked out rendition of “The Jabberwocky”.

Lucifers Friend – Everybody’s Clown (1970)
Sooooo… let’s fast forward to 1970, where in Germany, a band called “Lucifer’s Friend” was conjuring up a mix of Deep Purple, and Black Sabbath type sounds. This 45 45 from 1970 is a good example of how psych crossed over with hard rock.


Saturday, October 11, 2014

In Dan’s Garage…#102

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   Welcome friends to another edition of.. “Dan’s Garage”! This volume here is kinda different, well… not really, it’s just that it’s all stuff is on major labels, not that that’s a bad thing. For the slightly uninitiated, many local bands with regional hits on small local labels were picked up by major labels or labels with national distribution. Columbia, RCA, Capitol, United Artists, Laurie, etc. I’m not suggesting that all of the bands featured in this volume were locals who got lucky enough to get their music released nationally, it’s just that this “handful” happened to be all majors. In any case I hope you enjoy all of them. Cheers!

Faron’s Flamingos – Let’s Stomp (1964)
I really dig these guys. They were what you could consider a typical Merseybeat group but judging from this one song that was released in the UK on Oriole, you can tell they were an amazing live act. I love the furious guitar solo and the general crazy vibe. A+ indeed. This and a bunch of other acts were on a compilation recorded in 1963 and released by Columbia Records in 1964 trying to cash in on The Beatles craze at the time. It’s worth searching out and it was also re-released in the 80’s but the actual name of the LP escapes me at the moment……… This was the A side of a single which featured Faron and……

Rory Storm & The Hurricanes – I Can Tell (1964)
The B side of the above 45. These guys were  famous for being the group that the Beatles got Ringo Starr from. Here they give a nice rendition of Bo Diddley’s “I Can Tell”.

Symbols – Don’t Go / One Fine Girl (1964)
A British group from Essex that was together well into the 70s yet only had a handful of releases including this their first which was produced by Mickie Most handler of such acts as Herman’s Hermits and The Animals.

Music Asylum – Yesterday’s Children / I Need Someone (1967)
I can’t find much info on this group, possibly a New York City area act. They turn in a real nice moody folk/rock-like two sider here.

6⅞ – Ski-Daddle / Ev’rybody’s Got A Home But Me (1966)
A 45 that isn't exactly garage, but has a real folky feel with lots of vocals and a “wall of sound” type production with tons of reverb. I thought this one was a real loser when I first picked it up but it slowly grew on me. No other info is available on this obscure band.

Gants – Crackin’ Up / Dr. Feelgood (1966)
An ace two sider by the great Gants from Mississippi. This was the follow-up to “Little Boy Sad”.

Merry-Go-Round – Where Have You Been All My Life / You’re A Very Lovely Woman (1967)
Led by the multi-talented Emitt Rhodes, The Merry-Go-Round had a rather short career but released a bunch of 45s and an LP on A&M. Rhodes would later record a critically acclaimed solo LP.

A Passing Fancy – People In Me / Spread Out (1967)
A great Canadian group that had some very cool 45s including the awesome “I’m Losing Tonight”

Playboys Of Edinburgh – Mickey’s Monkey / Sanford Ringleton V Of Abernathy (1967)
This Texas group was all over the place style-wise. Last post I featured “Look At Me Girl” a decent slice of country influenced folk/rock, but on this 45 they show two completely different sides. The A side is a nice cover of The Miracles “Mickey’s Monkey” and on the B they kinda do a complete 180.

Thee Prophets – Patricia Ann (1967)
A Milwaukee group that released an LP that was rather mixed in styles but this B side from it is pretty good. They were managed by Carl Bonafede who was a member of Chicago’s Buckinghams.

Seagulls – Death Of A Clown (1967)
A pretty good version of The Kinks / Dave Davies classic. I picked this up while visiting my brother in San Diego back in 1987 and didn’t think much of it then (probably because I paid more than it was worth at the time) but again, this one really grew on me.

Truth – Hey Gyp / Jingle Jangle (1967)
A British duo that had a hit with of a cover of The Beatles’ “Girl”, but not much afterward. Their cover of Donavan’s “Hey Gyp” is a nice bit of mod freakbeat. The flip on the other hand is a great version of The Troggs’ “Jingle Jangle” and although it’s kind of lightweight, I really like it a lot. One of my favorite songs.

Balloon Farm – Hurry Up Sundown (1968)
From the same group of studio gurus that gave us the CLASSIC “Question Of Temperature”. They tone things down a bit with this oh so cool lite psyche number. The flip (or A side if you will) is unfortunately complete garbage.

Music Explosion – We Gotta Go Home / Hearts And Flowers (1967)
One of nearly a dozen 45s released by this Ohio based group. This one’s a little more pop and also includes a spaced out instrumental flip side.

Nazz – Not Wrong Long / Under The Ice (1969)
One of the truly great bands to emerge from the late 60s, this, their third 45 is in my opinion their best. “Not Wrong Long” is power pop perfection while “Under The Ice” is a real heavy workout. Superb.

Rattles – The Witch / Geraldine (1970)
The Rattles were a very popular and prolific beat group from Germany and had quite a few personnel changes in their lifetime. By the time “The Witch” was released there were no longer any original members and with that their sound changed quite drastically as well. Lots of crazy guitar work and some sinister sounding orchestration made this a hit in 1970.

Syndicate Of Sound – You’re Looking Fine / Change The World (1969)
Speaking of personnel changes, by the time The Syndicate Of Sound got around to recording this Kinks/Animals covers, there was only one original band member. As you’ll hear, this record sounds absolutely nothing like the jangly garage sounds of “Little Girl”. Instead, it’s a very heavy late 60s sounding effort with lots of flashy guitar work.