Greetings music lovers!!!!! I started this post last weekend after attening "Record Store Day" for the very first time in my life last week. I was at one of these events back in 2012, but I was playing with The True Believers that day in a live music event that was tied in to the whole affair and was promoted by a local record store guy. I really didn't do any record shopping 'cause I was so distracted by setting up, playing, blah, blah, blah, and I had just returned from a trip to D.C. that really cut into my schedule, but I had to be there.
So last Saturday I went mostly to go see one of my bandmates who was playing a gig at this rather large record store in Rochester, but being a record collector I had to really witness the "hoopla" involved with "Record Store Day". Turns out, my buddy got sick and wasn't even playing, and the atmosphere was...eh...chaotic? I didn't know where they were keeping the so-called "valuable' "Record Store Day" stuff so I migrated towards the bargain bins (where bottom feeders like me usually reside), and scoured all of them. Long story short, I spent $20 and walked away with 10 L.P.'s including a decent copy of Badfinger's "Straight Up', a huge hole in my collection of albums.
I'm certain that there's mixed feelings about this event. I get that "exclusives" are part of what record collecting is about. You want that cool stuff that is limited so you can say, "I got that one", but I'm not so sure the cost of these things are worth it. I can safely say I got Badfinger's "Straight Up" now, but do I really need a copy of Dave Mason's "Alone Together Again" for 30+ dollars? Probably not. I know some of you friends out there will strongly disagree with me and that's OK, we love to collect records and revel in the joy of dropping the needle on them, but personally, I think going out for a day and spending four figures on a bunch of records is way over the top, at least for my budget. Even if I had that kind of money to spend, I'd be looking for originals, and not some repacked stuff on colored vinyl. That's just my opinion.
Glad to be here again, and I'm striving to make this at least a monthly thing. This time around we have some very cool 45's featured so dig in and enjoy!!!!
American Four - Luci Baines / Soul Food (1965)
Here's a pre-Love Arthur Lee re-making the classic "Louie Louie" riff into a serenade for Lyndon Johnson's hip swingin' daughter Luci Baines. I'm not sure if this was a hit, but it sure is a classic. Lee would then go on to form Love, and become a cult hero.
Belairs - Mr. Moto / Little Brown Jug (1962)
Overtones - La La La La La / Please Let Me Know (1965)
Here's a great garage band from The Bronx that actually released FOUR 45's on the Ajax record label. I've heard at least one other and it's also very good. On this one they cover The Blendell's "La La La La La" with a very moody flip side.
5X5 - Shake A Tail Feather / Tell Me What To Do (1967)
The Five By Five, as some of you may know, had a slew of 45's on Paula Records. They hailed from Magnolia, Arkansas and released EIGHT 45's and a full length LP on that label. This was their first and is a decent rendition of "Shake A Tail Feather". A lot of people dig the flip side which is a cover of The Uniques' "Tell Me What To Do" which ironically was released on the same label a year before. I need two more Five By Five 45's to complete my collection.....
E-Cellents - And I'm Cryin' / The Slide (1966)
The "E-Cellents" were actually better known as the "X-cellents". They were from Dayton, Ohio and released three 45's, two on Sure Play and one on Smash, a nationally distributed label. Apparently, they misspelled the band's name on this 45 which caused some confusion amongst the Dayton, OH record buying public.
Deadlys - On The Road Again (1966)
Penetrations - Midnight Hour (1966)
I don't like to feature re-issues or bootleg 45's on this blog because I try to find originals. In the case of this 45 there is no "original 45" as both of these songs were taken from a "sampler L.P." that came out on Hillside Records, a label out of Columbus, Ohio that had a dozen or so 45's released on it, most being Country and a bit of Soul. They did though, release an L.P. of local bands in 1966 which is very sought after by collectors of Garage bands and these two songs were taken from it. I'm not sure if these are the best examples from that record, but I do know that The Deadlys "On The Road Again" was on a "Highs In The Mid Sixties" comp and is certainly deadly in terms of garage band cred. "Midnight Hour" is no slouch either. It seems as if all of this was recorded in a high school auditorium on the same day, because there's really no difference in in the quality of the recordings (next up...THE DEADLYS!). There's a few of these 45's floating around on Ebay at a decent price. By the way...dig the colored vinyl! Highly recommended.
Esquires - It's A Dirty Shame / Love Hides A Multitude Of Sins (1966)
The Esquires were a Canadian band out of Ottawa, Ontario that started as an instrumental group, they backed Any Kim early in their career and kind of migrated towards being a vocal band. They released several 45's and once had Don Norman (of The Other 4) and Bruce Cockburn in the group. Both sides of this 45 are really hip and it's one of my better finds from 2022.
Cut-Ups - Everything's Yellow (1967)
Here's a 45 that I came across very early in my days of crate digging at "Fat Chuck's" warehouse in downtown Rochester. Fat Chuck bought the entire library of records from former radio station WSAY, a LEGENDARY spot on the dial that was run by on old guy named Gordon Brown. After he passed on, the station got sold along with it's contents, but I digress.
Chuck's inventory was literally in cardboard boxes. Boxes of all types including fruit boxes and the like, but it was an amazing place! Lot's of things were sorted by label which is where I found my copies of The Sparkles "Hipsville 29 B.C. and Neal Ford And The Fanatics' "Shame On You" as well as Roy Jr.'s "Victim Of Circumstance".
So anytime I'd come across a record on the Hickory label I was thinking, "good stuff here" right??? Well.....maybe not so much. I played this one and after the first 15 seconds or so I thought, yeah baby, KILLER! No, not so much. This isn't a Horrible record, but it's rather unique in it's mashup of garage and pop. I was able to find a nice copy for real cheap because, hell, I wouldn't pay a lot for this, but it has strangely grown on me over the years....
Three People - Have You Ever Been There / The Good Times (1966)
Lovin' Cohens - Noshville Katz / Shoily Klien (1966)
I don't usually feature "novelty" songs on this blog unless they're really cool. This is one of them. I'm going to keep this short, because I love Jewish culture, and it really is like Italian culture (where I was brought up) where food is an important component to daily living.
This tune, which is a re-make of The Lovin' Spoonful's "Nashville Cats" is hilarious! The 'B' side is not bad either, so if you're near a nice kosher deli grab a potato knish, or a corned beef on rye, and play this while you're noshing. Eat darling, eat.
Koffee Beans - Orange Colored Penguin / Ad Man (1970)
Koffee Beans were a group out of the Baltimore, MD area and once were The Henchmen, a band that released a KILLER 45 on Ru-Jac. Obviously as the years went on, they went a bit "progressive", changed their name to Koffee Beans and released two 45's on the Format label. Both of these are really good and this one is a little more on the psychedelic side.
Move - Something / Yellow Rainbow (1968)
I love The Move. They were one of the British bands that straddled the line between freakbeat, mod, and total psychedelia. In my opinion, they were one of the greatest "pre-power pop" bands ever. They had quite a few 45's released here in the U.S. as well as the U.K. and their history is somewhat hard to keep track of, but the main characters in the band were, Roy Wood, Trevor Burton, Ace Kefford, Jeff Lynne... almost a revolving door of British superstars. They would split up several times in their career, evolved into the Electric Light Orchestra, and left us with some very cool music. This 45 from 1968 is one of their best.
Bob Seger - Tales Of Lucy Blue (1968)
I was at a record show (or 'fair" as some folks call them these days) and came across a seller who was basically trying to get rid of shit. Seriously, he had a box of 45's that were mostly garbage, but had a few cool things in it and asked me if I would take the entire box off his hands for $25. I declined, as a dear friend of mine (Rox, are you reading this???) gave me three large shopping bags full of 45's a few months before, and I'm still trying to sort though all of them. Anyway....I did buy a half dozen or so from him at 25¢ apiece and this was one of them. I gotta admit, I love Seger's early work on Cameo Records, but I kinda have to put my foot through the radio when I hear the typical "classic rock" stuff that's played 500 times a day on FM radio. This tune here was the flip of "Rambin' Gamblin' Man" one of his better songs that transitioned him into an FM mainstay. I'm posting this one, because it's really freakin' cool and possibly one of his last garage/psyche songs ever to be released.
Neil MacArthur - She's Not There / World Of Glass (1969)
Neil MacArthur is one of my favorites and was actually Colin Blunstone post Zombies and released three 45's that were produced by Mike Hurst a guy that was involved with Dusty Springfield in "The Springfields", a band called "The Methods" that included Tony Ashton and Jimmy Page, and then discovered Cat Stevens and produced some of his early hits on Deram, as well as producing Manfred Mann's "Mighty Quinn", Marc Bolan's "The Wizard", The Spencer Davis Group (post Steve Winwood), The Move, plus scores of others. His imprint on these 45's by MacArthur are not exactly "rock", but a fusion of pop and psychedelia that's rather unique and quite catchy. I love this version of "She's Not There" and I first discovered it watching the Netflix series "The Crown" where they used it for the closing credits of an episode.