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The Kinks on Pye: Part 1 – “I’m not like everybody else”

This entry is part 11 of 11 in the series Collectors Corner

Although The Kinks have long been one of our most influential and cherished groups, in the last couple of years since the hit musical “Sunny Afternoon” and especially since Ray Davies joined brother Dave onstage in London back in December 2015, fans have been hopefully awaiting the reformation of this most wonderful of bands. Although The Kinks back catalogue spans over forty years it’s the halcyon Pye years from 1964 to 1971 in which the band constantly released classic hit records which have collectors scouring record shops, fairs, and the internet for hits and rarities, and a full set of UK releases will set you back a fair few quid should you wish to complete the set. For this two-part article, we’re going to give you a run through of the hard to find releases from the debut 45 back in early 64 to the “Percy” soundtrack eight years later. The first part will concentrate on the “Pink” years, when the band had a string of top ten singles, including three UK number one hits, the second part will then concentrate on the “Blue” years when Ray was at his songwriting peak but the record buying public were not buying the records in such great numbers. Hindsight shows how wrong they were.

Hailing from Muswell Hill in North London, Ray, Dave and bassist Pete Quaife were originally an R’n’B combo called The Ravens who came to the attention of ace producer Shel Talmy after he heard a demo tape and helped get the group signed to the Pye record group where they were enlisted drummer Mick Avory to complete the classic first line up. On 7th February 1964 their debut single “Long tall Sally”, a R’n’B cover of the Little Richard classic was released on the pink Pye label (7N15611) was unveiled to the record buying public. Although the single hit the lower reaches of the NME chart it was a commercial flop making copies a nice rare collector’s item today with prices usually reaching £75-120 depending on condition. The next 45 was released in April 1964 and like all the Kinks singles after the debut, it was a Ray Davies penned number “You still want me” (7N15636). Although the first single sold in respectable amounts, this one was an unjustified complete flop and is by far the hardest Kinks UK 45 to locate in nice condition. Expect to pay at least £200 for a copy of this, one even reached the amazing price of £400+ at auction in 2016! With Pye threatening to cancel the band’s contract if they didn’t have a hit single, Ray composed one of the most influential two and bit minute slabs of musical perfection ever committed to vinyl, “You really got me”. With Dave’s incendiary and groundbreaking lead guitar bursting through the track, it couldn’t fail when it was released on 7th August 1964 (7N15673). And fail it didn’t as it shot up the UK charts, reaching the coveted number one spot shortly after where it stayed for two weeks. The Kinks had arrived.

From then on every single the group released up until 1968 hit the upper regions of the UK charts, with every single release apart from “Everybody’s gonna be happy” hitting the top ten, two of them reaching the top spot. As runs of stellar 45’s go, the following one takes some beating for songcraft, influence and sheer greatness: “All day and all of the night”, “Tired of waiting for you”, “Everybody’s gonna be happy”, “Set me free”, “See my friends”, “Till the end of the day”, “Dedicated follower of  fashion”, “Sunny afternoon”, “Dead end street”, “Waterloo sunset”, “Autumn almanac”. Being massive chart smashes these are usually findable in nice condition for around £3-5 each, with a premium for truly mint copies. All the Kinks singles were also pressed as demonstration copies in small numbers, these are very desirable to collectors and can reach top prices at auction, especially in top condition with unblemished labels. Also look out for UK export release 45’s, mainly for the European market. There are four in total, including album tracks “David Watts”, “A well-respected man” and “Milk cow blues” on a 7″ format. Ray’s songwriting prowess also resulted in some fantastic and very rare releases by other artists around this time. “I go to sleep” was covered by The Applejacks, Peggy Lee, Marion, Fingers and The Truth in 1965-66 although none were hits and it wasn’t till a few years later The Pretenders took the song into the charts. Other great, obscure and coveted releases include Barry Fantoni “Little man in a little box” (Fontana), The Thoughts “All night stand” (Planet), The Cascades “I bet you won’t stay” (Liberty) and Leapy Lee “King of the whole wide world” (Decca). Ironically it’s Dave’s composition “One fine day” which was covered by Shel Naylor and released on Decca in 1964 which fetches by far the most money, with prices sometimes hitting the £500+ mark!

With the band constantly having smash hits Pye also released a nice series of EP’s in wonderful colour laminated sleeves. Five were released in total, the first three”Kwyet Kinks”, “Kinksize hits” and “Kinksize session” are not particularly hard to find, but the fourth “Dedicated Kinks” from 1966 is more elusive and the final EP “The Kinks” from April 1968 is incredibly scarce easily reaching £200+ at auction in top condition. The band’s first three LP’s “The Kinks”, “Kinda Kinks” and “The Kink controversy” were good sellers but easily sell for £50+ in nice condition with clean sleeves. Particularly coveted are rare export Stereo pressings of the first two LP’s with stickered UK sleeves as they were mono only releases in the UK. “Face to face” from 1966 was a move towards Ray’s late 60’s songwriting style and is an absolute classic but strangely failed to chart resulting in scarcity of copies today. This was followed by the live album “Live at Kelvin Hall” in early 1967 and lastly by the masterpiece “Something else by The Kinks” in September of the same year. All were released in both Mono and Stereo, the latter being the scarcer of the two, especially with the Stereo sticker still attached! Prices vary wildly from one week to the next but be prepared to have a large bank account if you want a truly mint copy of any of them. As 1968 approached Ray’s songwriting grew more world-weary and pastoral and the band embarked on an influential but poorly received at the time run of releases on the newly redesigned light blue Pye label. We’ll have a look at these next time around…


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James Clark

Loves collecting records. My main loves are 50's rock'n'roll, 60's soul and r'n'b, beat, mod and psych and hopefully will be sharing some nuggets with you over the next few months. Apart from being a vinyl junkie I'm a Arsenal obsessive and a hopelessly romantic drunkard, but don't let put you off, we all have our faults.

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February 15, 2017 By : Category : Articles Bands Front Page Music Picks Reviews Tags:, , , , , ,
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Rob’s Round-Up 5

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Rob’s Roundup

Massive thanks to all those who joined us for yet another fun NYE party.

Despite the madness going on all around us the one thing that is still in our destiny is having a good time and enjoying the music and style, we are all passionate about. Our team have been working hard on our annual Easter extravaganza in central London.

Le Beat Bespoké attracts pleasure seekers from all over the globe, with only one thing in mind having a real damn good party. So, with that firmly in mind, we have assembled yet another exciting line-up across two fantastic venues in the heart of London.

Check out our brand-new website www.lebeatbespoke.com for all the info you need. We booked ten stellar live bands featuring some of the best up and coming talent alongside two stellar acts from the 20th century.

However live music is just part of what makes Le Beat Bespoké such a fun and unique event. For your dancing pleasure, we have booked a dynamic DJ line-up from across Europe armed with explosive sounds on 100% original vinyl across 3 rooms of clubbing after the live bands.

Our guest club nights for the Rhythm & Blues Weekend include Crossfire, The Pow Wow, Lady Luck & Mousetrap all at the forefront of good times and taste. The menu is served All-night and includes authentic Rhythm & Blues, Northern Soul, Jazz, Latin, Boogaloo and Ska/Reggae.

The Beat Basement hosts the wildest and grooviest Freakbeat, Garage and Psychedelic ‘nuggets’ known to man to a back drop of eye candy visuals and groovy Go-Go girls.

A brand-new location for our daytime treats on Sat & Sunday afternoon is Dingwalls one of London’s most beautiful venues, situated right next to Camden lock in the World-famous Camden market. Expect DJ’s, bands, Easter egg hunt, record fair and market.

Contact drrobert@btinternet.com for trade stand.

But before Easter, we have celebrated an incredible 26 years at Mousetrap in the same venue with the same owner virtually unheard of these days, let alone in the ever-changing landscape of London. All those that attended would have got a free 45 with two rare tracks from the club’s playlist including one that has never been released on 45 before.

Hope to see you all Easter for an epic party!

www.lebeatbespoke.com

Cheers Dr. Robert


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admin

Pip! Pip! Are the Creative Business Engine behind various music based organisations of the cool underground variety. Providing angst, confusion, bewilderment and annoyance in equal amounts. We design/host/manage great sites like this one! Why not hire us one day soon?

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February 21, 2017 By : Category : Articles Bands Clubs DJs Events Front Page Music Picks Reviews Tags:, , ,
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NUTsCast – Sessions – part 14 (episode 23)

NUTsCast December 2016
Join The Baron for a look back at some of the highlights of the last twelve months with live tracks recorded at Le Beat Bespoke, Margate and Crossfire by Graham Day & Forefathers, The Stairs, Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind, Wicked Whispers, Dustaphonics, Big Boss Man, Bronco Bullfrog, Paul Orwell, Cat Black and The Mynd Set.

We look ahead to our Nutty New Year’s Eve Party with DJ selections by Irish Greg, Jim Watson, Lee Miller, Peter Feely, Joel Maslin, Ady Lupton & Carolina.

So join The Baron for the last Nutscast Session of 2016.


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Graham Lentz

AKA ‘The Baron’ - Like many of his generation, The Jam started Graham's love affair with all things mod back in 1977. He is the author of 'The Influential Factor - A History Of Mod' which was originally published in 2002. An extract from the book was re-printed in Paolo Hewitt's 'The Sharper Word - revised edition' in 2011. Being a self-confessed 'broad-church' mod, Graham's interests range from Modern Jazz to today's up-coming new bands and everything in between. Although he has a passion for mod history, he also has a passion for the new. Whether it's music, clubs, media of every kind, clothing, scooters or art and photography, Graham supports, promotes and encourages as much as he can, because that's how we keep going. 'Give it a chance' is his motto. If it's not for you, that's cool, at least you tried it.

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December 4, 2016 By : Category : Bands DJs Front Page Music Picks Tags:, , ,
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My mind’s eye – A 1966 musical Christmas

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1966 has been in the news a lot this past year. From the 50th anniversary of England’s only world cup final win, the counterculture exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, through to endless documentaries on BBC4 and magazines celebrating this seismic musical year, 1966 seems to have been everywhere. 1966 was also probably the last year when the POP 45 really was king as a groundbreaking musical device too, album sales would soon overtake it’s 7″ counterpart and the newly labelled psychedelic rock would soon transfer to the much more serious, and expansive LP format. But, although groundbreaking LP’s such as “Pet sounds”, “Revolver” and “Blonde on blonde” were released in this year, the singles chart would still host classic number one hits such as “Paperback writer”, “Paint it, black”, “Sunny afternoon” and “Reach out, I’ll be there” and untold forward thinking 7″ gems from Love, Creation, Yardbirds, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, James Brown and Otis Redding were all vying for the teenagers hard-earned cash. As the year drew to a close and Christmas came a-calling, Psychedelia was still definitely underground and not yet bothering the upper echelons of “Top of the pops” and the Hit Parade, but what was pouring out of transistors and Dansettes in the build-up to the festive season? Let’s have a look at some of the hits, and classic misses of December 1966…

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In the run up to Christmas, the 7th December singles chart was stuffed with great music: Number 47 found Martha & the Vandellas with “I’m ready for love” and prime US garage from Question Mark & the Mysterians “96 tears” was on it’s way up at 37. Nudging towards the top twenty you’d find The Temptations “Beauty is only skin deep” at 30, prime Stax soul from Otis, “Fa, fa, fa, fa, fa” at 28, classic UK beat from The Hollies “Stop, stop, stop” at 13 and The Kinks downbeat “Dead End Street” at 16. Just outside the top ten was a slice of pounding Australian beat from The Easybeats with “Friday on my mind”, and nestling inside the top ten you’d find stellar US soul from Lee Dorsey at 6 with “Holy cow” and blue-eyed UK soul from The Spencer Davis Group, with Stevie Winwood’s blistering vocal lighting up the number three spot with “Gimme some loving”. A trip down your local record shop on this week would find new releases from the pre-Slade combo The N’Betweens’ with “You better run”, Ella Fitzgerald’s cracking version of “These boots were made for walking”, and Herbal Mixture’s mod-psych “Machines”. None of these sold at all and are all now much in-demand slabs of vinyl.

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A week nearer to Christmas day, the charts of 14th December included some classy new entries to the singles charts including Donovan’s proto-psychedelic classic “Sunshine superman” straight in at number 31, classic Motown from The Supremes “You keep me hangin’ on” flying up into the top twenty at 15, and, much to the groups annoyance, The Small Faces “My mind’s eye” shot into the top ten at number 4! Available this week, and destined for the unsold bargain bins, were releases from John Patto with the double-sided aceness of “Love / Can’t stop talkin’ about my baby”, Mike Leslie’s future NUTS favourite “Right or wrong”, The Olympics soul shindig “Baby do the Philly Dog” and The Mirage’s great take on The Fab Four’s “Revolver” LP show stopper “Tomorrow never knows”.

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Onto the week before Christmas and the 21st December saw a multitude of new releases in the lower reaches of the chart, all of which would soon hurtle up to much higher places early in 1967. How about this lot for utter greatness: The Cream “I feel free” at 50, The wicked Wilson Pickett’s “Mustang Sally” one place higher at 49, Motown greatness from The Temptations with “I know I’m losing you” at 47, Andover’s Troggs with “Anyway that you want me” at 39 and The Who’s future top ten hit, and ode to a seaside donkey, “Happy Jack” bursting straight in at number 30. New releases the week before Christmas which ended up in nobodies stocking included Paul Butterfield Blues Band garage stomper “Come on in”, The Flies pop-art madness “(I’m not your) Stepping stone” and The Misunderstood’s truly breathtaking “I can take you to the sun”. As usual, the more parent (and grandparent!) friendly album chart was full of the big selling easy listening gods of the day, with Jim Reeves, The Seekers and Herb Alpert hogging the high sellers league. The Kinks “Face to face”, Beatles “Revolver”, Georgie Fame’s “Sound venture” and Spencer Davis Group’s “Autumn ’66” at least made up some of the numbers below!

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So… finally we reached the last chart of that coolest of musical years, the Christmas chart of 28th December 1966, and only two new releases of note bothered the lower echelons, Smokey and the Miracles Motown stomper “(Come round here) I’m the one you need” entered at 45 and Georgie Fame’s cool mod take of “Sitting in the park” came in just above it at number 43. So what were the top sellers of that mighty week you may ask? Well, the album chart had The Seekers, Jim Reeves, The Beach Boys near the top, with “The sound of music” sitting on top where it had been for months! And the singles chart? The Beatles… Nah, they were in EMI studios working on their 1967 masterpiece. The Stones? The Hollies? Small Faces? The Supremes? Dusty? …. Nope, our top three had Val Doonican at 3, The Seekers at 2, and Tom “The voice” Jones on top of the pile with “The Green, Green grass of home”. Changes were definitely in the air though, as witnessed by one 45 released on 16th December 1966: “Hey Joe” by the Jimi Hendrix Experience. This would blow the UK music aristocracy apart with it’s moving of sonic of sonic boundaries, and soon shot into the UK top ten in January. 1967 was just round the corner and our radios and televisions would be introduced to the new sounds and delights of Hendrix, The Pink Floyd, Kaleidoscope, The Doors, Move and many, many more new and exciting artists. Merry Christmas!


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James Clark

Loves collecting records. My main loves are 50's rock'n'roll, 60's soul and r'n'b, beat, mod and psych and hopefully will be sharing some nuggets with you over the next few months. Apart from being a vinyl junkie I'm a Arsenal obsessive and a hopelessly romantic drunkard, but don't let put you off, we all have our faults.

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December 7, 2016 By : Category : Bands Front Page Music Picks Tags:, , , ,
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Jazz for Modernists 11 Blue Note 45s

The iconic status of Blue Note’s catalogue of LPs from the 1950s and 60s in the field of funky and soulful modern jazz is, of course, a testament to the high quality of its recording artists, the general excellence of the music and the production values instilled by owners Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff and perfected by audio engineer Rudy Van Gelder (RIP). However, it would be fair to state that the cover art, designed for the most part by Reid Miles, and with informative sleeve notes by the cream of contemporary jazz critics, together form an integral part of both the listening experience and the overall modernist package. Of those who own the vinyl, especially, who can disassociate the music of, say, John Coltrane’s Blue Train from its cover, or Dexter Gordon’s Our Man in Paris?

One consequence of this is that this most revered of labels tends to be valued for its 33 rpm products almost exclusively, something perhaps a little unusual for the world of mod music collectors. So it may come as a surprise to some (it was to me) to find out that, in addition to the 400+ LPs recorded on Blue Note between 1955 and 1972, the same period also saw something in the region of 350 7” 45 rpm singles released by the label. A handful of rare export copies came in picture sleeves, but on the whole we’re talking blue and blue and white label in paper bag territory.

The first thing to say is that virtually all the singles were sides already cut for an LP. Certainly this holds true for the ‘A’ sides, though a notable exception is the 1958 vocal version of Horace Silver’s ‘Señor Blues’ (see number two in list). The ‘A’ sides are overwhelmingly the ‘catchiest’ track on the LP, and in some cases, such as Horace Silver’s Tokyo Blues LP (1962), as many as three tracks were released on separate singles (as parts 1 & 2), such were the commercial possibilities of that finger-snapping record. Some tracks recorded in the studio for an album were edited in length for the singles or divided across both sides as ‘Parts 1 & 2’. Whether always the same take is something I haven’t yet been able to ascertain.

In future articles, we will look in more depth into the Blue Note singles catalogue (even acknowledging some of the 78s that were released from 1939 to 1955). This will involve examining the social context for their releases and their audience and reception compared with the albums. For now, though, here is an introductory selection of 10 major releases, many of which have been played over the years on the mod scene.

 


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01. Sonny Rollins, ‘Decision (pts 1 & 2)’ (1957) – Blue Note-45-1669

After nine LPs for Prestige, New York-born tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins recorded four for Blue Note between December 1956 and November ’57. Four singles were culled from these sessions, including this marvellous mid-tempo slice of soulful hard-bop taken from the 1957 LP now known as Sonny Rollins, Vol. 1 (BLP-1542). A stellar line-up featuring future Miles Davis pianist Wynton Kelly, drummer Max Roach, bassist Gene Ramey and trumpeter Donald Byrd trace out over 8 minutes the transition from bebop to soul jazz.

WATCH & LISTEN HERE


02. Horace Silver Quintet (with Bill Henderson), ‘Señor Blues’ (1958) –Blue Note-45-1710

Horace Silver initially recorded this Latin-tinged tune as an instrumental in late 1956 for the 6 Pieces of Silver LP (BLP1539) and a shorter, alternate take was duly released as a single coupled with ‘Cool Eyes’ from the same session. Then, in 1958, a new lyric version, with a different line-up (though Donald Byrd remained) was recorded with Chicago-born actor and vocalist Bill Henderson. Apparently one of the labels best-selling 45s, ‘Señor Blues’ turned up on the excellent 1993 compilation Blue ‘n’ Groovy. Henderson, who passed away earlier this year at the age of 90, also recorded two singles with Jimmy Smith in 1958.

WATCH & LISTEN HERE


03. Herbie Hancock, ‘Watermelon Man’/ ‘Three Bags Full’ (1962) – Blue Note 45-1862

Covered by John Hendricks, Mongo Santamaría and Manfred Mann, among others, Chicago-born pianist and composer Herbie Hancock’s ‘Watermelon Man’ is now a jazz standard both in this, its original form, and the electro-funk version he made over ten years later for the 1973 Head Hunters LP. Some see this track, taken from debut LP Takin’ Off as the first blueprint of one of the label’s key signatures of the next five or six years: the inclusion on an LP of at least one exotically-titled funky, latin-tinged soul-jazz number which, in edited form at least, could get dance floors moving. Featuring Dexter Gordon on tenor sax, trumpeter Freddie Hubbard and, with Hancock, a rhythm section comprising Billy Higgins (drums) and Butch Warren (bass), ‘Watermelon Man’ was written with commercial success in mind and evokes from Hancock’s childhood the cry of a Chicago street vendor and the rhythmic beat of his wagon wheels.

WATCH & LISTEN HERE


04. Jimmy Smith, ‘Can Heat’/’Matilda Matilda’ (1963) – Blue Note 45-1905

Taken from his penultimate Blue Note LP, Rockin’ the Boat (BLP4141), featuring Lou Donaldson on alto sax, ‘Can Heat’ is just one of over 40 singles released by Jimmy Smith on the Blue Note label between 1955 and 1972. This one, a nice slice of mid-tempo r & b/soul jazz, is classic mid-60s Smith, one for getting the dance floor bubbling as opposed to an out-and-out mover. A lovely tune, though, for relaxing to with a glass of cool beer or camomile tea for more adventurous souls.

WATCH & LISTEN HERE


05. Stanley Turrentine, ‘River’s Invitation’ (pts 1 & 2) (1965) – Blue Note 45-1917

Another stalwart of Blue Note’s soulful side, Pittsburgh tenor man Stanley Turrentine (1934-2000) had already recorded with R & B heavyweights Lowell Fulsom and Earl Bostic before teaming up with Max Roach in 1959. In 1960, he married organist Shirley Scott, going on to record with her for Prestige and Impulse! ‘River’s Invitation’, a sparkling orchestral version of Percy Mayfield’s gospel-drenched blues, is taken from Joyride (BST84201) and features Herbie Hancock and guitarist Kenny Burrell.

WATCH & LISTEN HERE


06. Lee Morgan, ‘The Rumproller’ (pts 1 & 2) (1965) – Blue Note-45-1918

Readers of our recent top 10 soul-jazz LPs will know that trumpeter Lee Morgan’s ‘The Sidewinder’ (both as single and LP) was a massive success for Blue Note in 1964. ‘The Rumproller’, released in late 65/early 66, was the follow-up single and LP (though in the meantime Morgan had recorded the excellent Search for the New Land). A funky blues in the ‘Sidewinder’ fashion, this track was written by pianist Andrew Hill, one of Blue Note’s more experimental artists whose LPs for the label are highly recommended.

WATCH & LISTEN HERE


08. Lee Morgan, ‘Cornbread’ (pts 1 & 2) (1965) – Blue Note-45-1930
Recorded at the end of the funky summer of 1965, the Cornbread LP (BST84222) reached the Billboard top 10 when it was finally released in early ’67. Featuring the great ballad ‘Ceora’, the record holds a special place in this writer’s heart as the first Blue Note LP he bought as a teenager. The title track, another infectious bit of bluesy funk, was released as a single.

WATCH & LISTEN HERE



09. Duke Pearson, ‘Sweet Honey Bee’/’Ready Rudy?’ (1967) Blue Note-45-1931
The next single in the catalogue after ‘Cornbread’, ‘Sweet Honey Bee’, by in-house Blue Note pianist and composer Duke Pearson was taken from a late ’66 LP of the same name. At this time, Blue Note was often pairing its funky players with modal modernists and here Miles Davis bassist Ron Carter provides a more spacious and contemplative feel to the rhythm section. Flautist James Spalding, though, dominates with the melody that structures this bouncy mid-tempo track.

WATCH & LISTEN HERE


10. Lou Donaldson, ‘Alligator Boogaloo’/’Rev Moses’ (1967) Blue Note-45-1934

Coming on like a slower-tempo ‘Hot Barbecue’ (Jack McDuff), with Lonnie Smith at the organ, this Lou Donaldson swinging groove remains a bona fide mod jazz favourite. Though the album version weighs in at over six minutes, the single, as can be seen from the picture, is an edited version of less than 3 minutes and thus ideal for the discotheque. However, many mods will want to find the (original) vinyl LP for the iconic cover of Peggy Moffitt wearing a psychedelic Rudi Gernreich gown.

WATCH & LISTEN HERE


11. Bobby Hutcherson, ‘Ummh’ (pts 1 & 2) (1970) Blue Note – 1966
And so into 1970! This list is completed with a brief homage to the late great vibes player Bobby Hutcherson (1941-2016). LA-born Hutcherson was a regular featured artist at Blue Note and played on key dates such as Eric Dolphy’s Out to Lunch (1964). His own series of dates for the label, including Dialogue (1965), Components (1966) and Happenings (1967) are among the most thoughtful and atmospheric in the entire catalogue. By the time of San Francisco (1970), he had moved from the fringes of the avant-garde into the realm of jazz fusion and funk. Taken from this album, Ummh (pts 1 & 2) features Jazz Crusader Joe Sample on electric piano, John Williams on fender bass, drummer Mickey Roker and tenor sax player Harold Land (he that inspired the title of a song by Yes). It is one relentless gargantuan groove which hopefully Bobby above is still playing along to.

WATCH & LISTEN HERE


Postscript
In 1998, Dean Rudland compiled a selection of Blue Note 45s under the title ‘Blue 45s-the ultimate jukebox’. I don’t have a copy of this, but it might still be available and will no doubt have more useful information.


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James Thomas

James Thomas was born in Bristol just the wrong side of 1970 (1971). His first encounters with the 1960s were his two-year-old elder brother’s reminiscences of the Moon Landing (since deleted by the BBC) and an afternoon in 1975 listening to the Beatles with his parents. He remembers 2-Tone and the ’79 revival, but was the one in his primary school still wearing flares until he persuaded his mum to buy him a black Harrington jacket (a stylish-enough copy by Burtons) and asked a hair stylist to make him ‘look like Suggs’. In the 1980s he became obsessed with almost every aspect of the 1960s, whether it were Star Trek, the length of George Harrison’s hair in March 1965 or the first colour TV broadcast of a cricket match (he thinks it was 1968). After being side-tracked by progressive rock (an ongoing guilty pleasure), James came to his senses in 1986 on seeing footage of Booker T and the MGs and Otis Redding on a programme celebrating the 60th anniversary of television. A flirtation with ‘indie pop’ (in the bowl-cut and anorak days) led to too much introspection, but also a new interest in the psychedelic sounds of the 1960s that seemed to go hand in glove with a liking for The Pastels and The Razorcuts. A summery afternoon in the jazz tent at Bristol’s annual (and long gone) Ashton Court Festival in 1989 opened his mind to the sounds of Lee Morgan, Horace Silver, Art Blakey and most forms of modern jazz. In 1990, James attended his first proper 60s club night, the revered Kaleidoscope Pop! in Leeds. On his return from the North in 1992, he developed a new commitment to Mod culture. He recalls early Untouchables Brighton New Year rallies and in 1994 moved to London. A real education for him (in so many ways...) was a period in Barcelona (1997-2002) where he helped out with the Magic in the Air club for a year or two and where his IQ was permanently reduced by a record dealer who made him clean vinyl for four weeks in a windowless room. After a decade or so in the West Country, he is now living again in London, where he plans to write about jazz, meet like-minded people and study the history of the cravat.

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December 6, 2016 By : Category : Bands Front Page ModJazz Music Picks Tags:, , ,
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Jazz for Modernists 10 – Ten Classic Soul-Jazz LPs, 1958-1967

Jazz for Modernists 10 – Ten Classic Soul-Jazz LPs, 1958-1967

Ok folks, after veering off into free improvisation and progressive rock, it’s time to steer our jazz ship back to the (perhaps) less stormy, but equally exciting, waters of soul. Sometime in the mid-1950s, partly in direct contrast to ‘cool’ or ‘West Coast’ jazz, boppers on the East Coast and in Detroit and Philadelphia began to infuse their modern jazz with healthy new doses of rhythm and blues, swing, Latin and gospel. The subsequent sound, as practised by groups such as Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, the Horace Silver Quintet and the various combos of Clifford Brown, Cannonball Adderley and Sonny Rollins, became known as
hard bop.

Before long, much of this music was being described as ‘funky’ and ‘soulful’, terms denoting the down-home earthiness of the blues and the call-and-response spiritual union of black gospel music. As early as 1953, Silver had recorded ‘Opus de Funk’ and Blakey the drum piece ‘Nothing but the Soul’ for the 10” Blue Note LP Horace Silver Trio Vol. 2 and Art Blakey-Sabu (Blue Note 5034). The gospel influence was clearer on Silver’s ‘The Preacher’, originally released in 1955 on the 10” Horace Silver Quintet, Vol. 2 (BLP 5062), a collection also featuring a track entitled ‘Hippy’.

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Horace Silver Trio Vol. 2 and Art Blakey-Sabu, 1953 (Blue Note 5034).

Anyway, as the 50s rolled on, ‘soul’ became an increasingly important ingredient in the hard bop vocabulary, often identified in track titles. Examples from 1957 include Cannonball Adderley’s ‘Another kind of Soul’, Milt Jackson’s ‘Plenty Plenty Soul’ and Horace Silver’s ‘Soulville’ (also the title of a track and LP by Ben Webster). Though ‘soul-jazz’ wasn’t really a distinct, recognized genre before 1959, the fusion of r & b and gospel vocal music perfected around this time by Ray Charles (what in future would be called soul) was seeping into the jazz idiom. This was virtually inevitable the great man was an accomplished jazz pianist and arranger (taught by the equally great Quincy Jones back in 1948 in Seattle) and Atlantic, his label, had been recording the Modern Jazz Quartet since early ’56.

What follows is a selection of ten LPs, one each from years 1958-1967, which forms a short introduction to soul-jazz. It’s not a ‘best of’, but something charting the development and variety of the genre during its glory years. Of course soul-jazz continued to evolve after 1967, but that’s another story.

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1. Ray Charles & Milt Jackson, Soul Brothers (Atlantic), 1958 (1957)

The first of two 1957-8 collaborations between MJQ vibes man Milt ‘Bags’ Jackson and Ray Charles (the other, Soul Meeting, was held back until 1961), this is an important stage in the evolution of soul-jazz. Though a trained bopper, Jackson was a member of the Modern Jazz Quartet, at the time synonymous with the rather formal chamber jazz style. That Atlantic should pair him with their gospel-drenched blues genius Ray Charles was recognition that cool jazz could swing and a clear indication that future soul-jazz would benefit from the metronomic structure of cool rhythm sections (MJQ drummer Connie Kay is on both dates). Another important feature is the guitar, played by Skeeter Best on Soul Brothers and Kenny Burrell on Soul Meeting. The title track is by Quincy Jones, life-long friend of Charles and a huge influence on later orchestral settings for soul-jazz. WATCH VIDEO

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2. Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Moanin’ (Blue Note), 1959 (1958)

An essential album for any serious jazz modernist. Featuring 20-year-old Lee Morgan (trumpet), Benny Golson (tenor sax), Jymie Merritt (bass) and Bobby Timmons (piano), drummer-leader Art Blakey provides the backbone for an excellent and varied session of hard bop. Known today as ‘Moanin’’, after the Timmons-penned opening track, the album was released as Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. Leonard Feather’s notes describe the opening chorus of ‘Moanin’’ as “the quintessence of funk, based on the classic call-and-response pattern, with Bobby’s simple phrases (focused on the tonic) answered by the horns and rhythm punctuations on straight, churchy pairs of chords (B Flat and F)”. Quite so, and, heard once, it remains lodged in the brain along with images of New York skyscrapers and men in pork-pie hats. Shorter vocal versions were recorded soon after by Bill Henderson and Lambert, Hendricks and Ross. WATCH VIDEO

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3. The Cannonball Adderley Quintet, Them Dirty Blues (Riverside), 1960

With pianist Bobby Timmons providing the link with Blakey’s Moanin’, this might well be the first bona-fide classic soul-jazz LP (though much hype surrounded the previous Cannonball Adderley Quintet in San Francisco). Leader and alto sax player Julian ‘Cannonball’ Adderley had recently excelled on Miles Davis’s timeless modal classic Kind of Blue, but his forte was definitely funky hard bop and soul-jazz. Them Dirty Blues contains three absolute classics of the soul-jazz genre: Timmons’s ‘Dat Dere’, a version of Duke Pearson’s ‘Jeannine’ and cornet player Nat Adderley’s ‘Work Song’. Mod dancers will be familiar with Oscar Brown Jr’s vocal versions of all three. WATCH VIDEO

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4. Jack McDuff, The Honeydripper (Prestige), 1961

Used in American churches since its invention in 1935 and then in pop, swing and rhythm & blues (Ethel Smith, Fats Waller, Count Basie, Wild Bill Davis, Bill Doggett), the Hammond organ, most notably the B-3, would soon become a fundamental instrument in soul-jazz. Jimmy Smith started his incredible run of Blue Note LPs in 1956 with A New Sound… A New Star and readers may be surprised not to see Back at the Chicken Shack in the list. Well, though the best of the Blue Notes are great, personally I prefer the big band sound of his Verve debut Bashin’ (see 5) and The Cat (1964). So, 1961’s soul-jazz organ spot goes to Jack McDuff’s The Honeydripper, the Illinois man’s third LP for Prestige. From the opening blast of ‘Whap!’, McDuff’s quartet (with tenor sax legend Jimmy Forrest, drummer Ben Dixon and the great Grant Green on guitar) never falters. WATCH VIDEO

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5. Jimmy Smith, Bashin’: The Unpredictable Jimmy Smith (Verve), 1962

Smith’s first date for Verve was with a stellar big band led by Oliver Nelson, whose recording for Impulse, The Blues and the Abstract Truth (1961) will be familiar to fans of Eric Dolphy, Freddie Hubbard and Bill Evans. The arrangements of standards ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ (Bernstein & David), ‘Ol’ Man River’ and Ellington’s ‘In a Mellow Tone’ are so tight and clean that, when it arrives, the Hammond screams out at the listener. The title track, an original played just as a trio, is, in contrast, fairly gentle for a bashin’, while Nelson’s ‘Step Right Up’ echoes the jaunty Copeland feel of ‘Hoe-Down’ from the Abstract Truth LP. A fine record. WATCH VIDEO

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6. Lee Morgan, The Sidewinder (Blue Note), 1964 (1963)

A comeback date for the young Morgan, The Sidewinder’s title track set the bar high for finger-snapping soul-jazz/funky hard bop in both its musical execution and commercial success (the album and a parts 1&2 single of the title track made the Billboard top 100). An LP format of sorts thus evolved around 1964-8, whereby a swinging blues would be followed by two or three hard bop blowouts, a ballad and maybe something modal (though the greatest Blue Note dates of the period transcended this pattern). Echoing the bodily movements implied by The Sidewinder, examples of the mid-sixties Blue Note house style include Morgan’s The Rumproller (1965), Hank Mobley’s The Turnaround! (1965) and Horace Silver’s wonderful The Jody Grind (1966). Shorter versions of The Sidewinder by Woody Herman (with vocal), Soulful Strings, Quincy Jones and Kai Winding are popular on the dance floor. WATCH VIDEO

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7. Horace Silver, Song for My Father (Blue Note), 1965 [1964]

As already stated, pianist Silver was at the ground zero of soul-jazz. His Cape Verdean heritage drove him on to exploring folk tunes and Latin, African and other rhythms which he combined expertly in the funky stew. By 1964, his style had absorbed some of the modal touches of players like Bill Evans and McCoy Tyner, making his 1960s recordings for Blue Note amongst the most atmospheric and exotic in the hard bop and soul-jazz cannons. Recorded with different line-ups over two dates in ’63 and ’64, Song for My Father is the crown jewel in a golden run of albums Silver recorded for the label. Check out this 1968 live version of the title track here: WATCH VIDEO

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8. Jazz Crusaders, Chile con Soul (Pacific Jazz), 1965

The very epitome of Latin-inspired 60s funk, the Jazz Crusaders deserve a place in any top ten of soul-jazz. Throughout the decade, the combination of Joe Sample (piano), Wilton Felder (tenor sax), Hubert Laws (flute), Wayne Henderson (trombone), Stix Hooper (drums), Al McKibbon (bass) and others produced an incredible sequence of smooth and swinging albums for the Pacific Jazz label, including the classic 1965 ‘Chile con soul’. Highlights include opening salvo ‘Aguadulce’, a second version of ‘Tough Talk’, ‘Tacos’ and ‘Dulzura’. Warning – once heard, this music is addictive. WATCH VIDEO

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9. The George Benson Quartet, It’s Uptown (Columbia), 1966

A wonderful LP by a master guitarist, sounding as fresh today as it must have done 50 years ago. Taking his inspirations from Gershwin standards, Marvin Gaye, boleros, bossas and more, George Benson produces a record as varied and virtuosic as anything in the soul-jazz guitar canon. Though stylistically different, it shares the adventurous spirit of Davy Graham’s Folk, Blues and Beyond. For sheer excitement, opener ‘Clockwise’ and closing number ‘Mynah Bird Blues’ are hard to beat. The contributions of organist Lonnie Smith are particularly effective throughout. Dancers will want to check out ‘Summertime’, ‘Ain’t that Peculiar’ and ‘Jaguar’ (where Benson gets his guitar to sound like a flute!) WATCH VIDEO

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10. The Soulful Strings, Groovin’ With the Soulful Strings (Cadet), 1967

Although Blue Note would divide some of their funkier extended tracks into parts 1&2 singles (if anyone’s got a nice 7” copy of Horace Silver’s ‘The Jody Grind’ please write in), it was not really responsible for the mid-sixties shift towards shorter, bite-sized chunks of soul-jazz aimed either at the dance floor or the singles charts. Arguably that was Chess subsidiary Cadet (earlier Argo), which, from 1965 to the 1970s, released a slew of singles and albums usually comprising shorter tunes, many influenced by, or cover versions of, contemporary pop, bossa nova and r & b songs. Amid some admittedly patchy albums between 1965 and 1967, one that definitely stands out from the pack is Groovin’ with the Soulful Strings. Mixing the cream of the Chess house band (including guitarist Phil Upchurch) with violas, violins and cellos, group leader Richard Evans takes us on a strange, at times psychedelic journey from Bach to the Beatles, via Miles Davis. The single ‘Burning Spear’, an Evans original featuring a kalimba (an African traditional instrument known also as the mbira), is big on numerous dance floors, a flute-driven precursor to Johnny Harris’ ‘Stepping Stones’. WATCH VIDEO


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James Thomas

James Thomas was born in Bristol just the wrong side of 1970 (1971). His first encounters with the 1960s were his two-year-old elder brother’s reminiscences of the Moon Landing (since deleted by the BBC) and an afternoon in 1975 listening to the Beatles with his parents. He remembers 2-Tone and the ’79 revival, but was the one in his primary school still wearing flares until he persuaded his mum to buy him a black Harrington jacket (a stylish-enough copy by Burtons) and asked a hair stylist to make him ‘look like Suggs’. In the 1980s he became obsessed with almost every aspect of the 1960s, whether it were Star Trek, the length of George Harrison’s hair in March 1965 or the first colour TV broadcast of a cricket match (he thinks it was 1968). After being side-tracked by progressive rock (an ongoing guilty pleasure), James came to his senses in 1986 on seeing footage of Booker T and the MGs and Otis Redding on a programme celebrating the 60th anniversary of television. A flirtation with ‘indie pop’ (in the bowl-cut and anorak days) led to too much introspection, but also a new interest in the psychedelic sounds of the 1960s that seemed to go hand in glove with a liking for The Pastels and The Razorcuts. A summery afternoon in the jazz tent at Bristol’s annual (and long gone) Ashton Court Festival in 1989 opened his mind to the sounds of Lee Morgan, Horace Silver, Art Blakey and most forms of modern jazz. In 1990, James attended his first proper 60s club night, the revered Kaleidoscope Pop! in Leeds. On his return from the North in 1992, he developed a new commitment to Mod culture. He recalls early Untouchables Brighton New Year rallies and in 1994 moved to London. A real education for him (in so many ways...) was a period in Barcelona (1997-2002) where he helped out with the Magic in the Air club for a year or two and where his IQ was permanently reduced by a record dealer who made him clean vinyl for four weeks in a windowless room. After a decade or so in the West Country, he is now living again in London, where he plans to write about jazz, meet like-minded people and study the history of the cravat.

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September 27, 2016 By : Category : Articles Front Page Music Picks Tags:, , , , , , ,
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Substitute! – The Sounds of the World Cup 1966

This entry is part 10 of 11 in the series Collectors Corner

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50 years ago this month at Wembley stadium the England football team lifted its first, (and as I type this), only major trophy, the daddy of them all, the World Cup. Watch any programme about the ‘swinging sixties’ and chances are you’ll see clips of Carnaby Street, Twiggy, Mini cars, girls wearing mini skirts and the beautiful gold trophy being held aloft by Bobby Moore on the hallowed Wembley turf. Obviously music also played a major part in this wonderful decade, but everything seemed to come to a wonderous climax in July 1966 when anything seemed possible in Britain, and especially its epicentre, London. So we’re going to take you on a musical journey following England’s progress in the competition along with the music that soundtracked that most glorious of months, July 1966.

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The competition started on 11 July, with England hosting Uruguay which ended in a 0 – 0 draw at Wembley. Six days previously the latest singles chart was awash with classic soul and beat 45’s, most of them homegrown too! A new entry at 49 was the majestic pop-art of “Making time” by The Creation, at 47 we had the soul from London mod club stalwart Geno Washington with “Water”, at 38 stood the Small Faces with “Hey girl” and at 23 were the Stones with their sitar drenched “Paint it black”. The top twenty included the Yardbirds groundbreaking “Over, under, sideways, down” at 12, up thirteen places to 20 stood Chris Farlowe’s “Out of time” and the top three was surely one of the best ever: Ike and Tina’s “River deep, mountain high” at 3, The Beatles “Paperback writer” at 2 and top of the pile, The Kinks majestic “Sunny afternoon”. The album chart was no less stellar, the top ten alone featuring current releases including “Animalisms”, “Small Faces”, “Pet sounds”, “Aftermath” and Georgie Fame’s “Sweet things”. Ironically topping the pile was the soundtrack to “The sound of music” but you can’t have it all! If none of these releases whetted your appetite, a trip to your local record store this week would find new releases from The Miracles “Whole lotta shakin’ in my heart” on Tamla Motown, The Spidells “Find out what’s happening” on Sue and Herbie Goins and the Nightimers club classic “Cruisin” on Parlophone.

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On the 16th July at Wembley, England saw off Mexico 2 – 0, and then on the 20th France were also beaten 2 – 0 by them sending the team into the last sixteen of the tournament with seven points. This week the singles charts saw new entries from Otis Redding with “My lovers prayer”, The Temptations all time Motown classic “Ain’t to proud to beg”, The Lovin’ Spoonful’s claustrophobic transatlantic smash “Summer in the city” and the highest entry, at 29, was the future number one from The Troggs, “With a girl like you”. New albums making an appearance included “Otis Redding’s dictionary of soul” on Atlantic and The Yardbirds self titled final UK album, known by most of us as “Roger the engineer”. Some wonderful new release 45’s available to the British public for the first time this week, and mostly left unsold in the racks, included stellar soul from Donald Height “Talk of the grapevine”, Major Lance “Investigate”, The Orlons “Spinnin’ top”, Edwin Starr’s floor filler “Headline news”, and not forgetting Manchester’s Richard Kent Style with the great blue-eyed mover “Go Go children”.

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On the 23rd July the quarter finals were played which saw England beating Argentina by a slim 1 – 0 margin whilst West Germany thumped Uruguay 4 – 0 up in Sheffield. New entries in the hit parade came from the Pretty things “A house in the country”, Four Tops “Loving you is sweeter than ever” and Bob Dylan’s “I want you”. Meanwhile sweet Georgie Fame swept up to the top spot for a second time with his catchy “Getaway” which stayed there for a solitary week. Meanwhile in the LP charts one of the most influential UK blues albums made its first appearance, “The Bluesbreakers featuring Eric Clapton”, complete with its iconic ‘Eric reading The Beano’ front cover. On television, “Ready, steady, go!” featured performances from Madeline Bell and The Yardbirds (unfortunately, as with most RSG footage, long missing from the archives), and new 45 releases included “Shake your hips” from Slim Harpo on Stateside and the Pye released freakbeat mega-rarity “Hungry” by the 5am event.

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On the 25th July up in Liverpool, West Germany saw off the USSR 2 – 1 to secure their place in the final of the trophy. The next day England were to join them after beating Portugal at Wembley, also with a 2 – 1 victory. The final two teams were now ready for their showpiece showdown four days later. Meanwhile, in the new chart we saw the appearance of two all time greats from across the atlantic when the The Mamas and Papas “I saw her again” and The Beach Boys double sider “God only knows/Wouldn’t it be nice” both crashed into the UK top fifty, both soon to sail into the top ten. This weeks top three was another jaw dropping corker, with The Troggs at 3, Los Bravos Spanish groover “Black is black” at two, and top of the pile, in its iconic Immediate company sleeve, sat Chris Farlowe’s “Out of time”. On the 30th July 1966, below the twin towers of Wembley Stadium, the host nation England played a thrilling final against West Germany, eventually coming out 4 – 2 winners after extra time and a still hotly disputed third England goal. At that moment in time when the trophy was held triumphantly aloft anything seemed possible in the country that “swinged” but fifty years later we’re still waiting for that elusive second trophy… but lets hope you enjoyed our trip through that magical month of July 1966.


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James Clark

Loves collecting records. My main loves are 50's rock'n'roll, 60's soul and r'n'b, beat, mod and psych and hopefully will be sharing some nuggets with you over the next few months. Apart from being a vinyl junkie I'm a Arsenal obsessive and a hopelessly romantic drunkard, but don't let put you off, we all have our faults.

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June 21, 2016 By : Category : Bands Front Page Music Picks Reviews Tags:,
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UK Tamla Motown singles Part 2: Stateside

“In my lonely room – UK Tamla Motown singles Part 2: Stateside”

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After beginning to make bigger leaps into the UK record buying markets in 1963, the Tamla / Motown / Gordy group found themselves under the umbrella of the EMI subsidiary label, Stateside in October of the same year. Stateside was formed in mid 1962 by EMI to release singles under licence from American labels such as Swan, Wand and Vee-Jay in a similar style to Decca records very successful London American imprint. Licensing tracks from many independent USA labels ensured Stateside released a whole slew of great current rhythm’n’blues and soul releases, and the label soon endeared itself to mods and soul fans on this side of the Atlantic. As well as having hits with Freddy Cannon and Gene Pitney, early releases included such stellar names as The Isley Brothers, Jimmy Reed, Chuck Jackson and The Shirelles. When Oriole’s UK contract with Motown ran out the previous month the new distributor launched its first release on Stateside on 11th October 1963 with Martha and the Vandellas all time classic “Heatwave” (SS228). When sales were quite brisk, the label then released three more singles the following month by Little Stevie Wonder, Mary Wells and Marvin Gaye’s fantastic “Can I get a witness” (SS243).

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By January 1964 Motown was causing quite a stir on these shores, being regularly name checked by the UK’s biggest pop combo, The Beatles, who took Mary Wells on tour with them and mentioning Motown artists numerous times in interviews. Add to this the burgeoning underground mod and soul club scene which was hungry for the dance floor friendly sounds coming out of Detroit and it wouldn’t be long before Stateside had a bona-fide hit single on their hands. Between January and April 1964, no less than twelve 45’s were released in the UK, including tracks by The Miracles, The Marvelettes and debut UK releases from The Temptations, “The way you do the things you do” (SS278), and the group that would soon hit the top spot, The Supremes “When the lovelight starts shining thru his eyes (SS257). On May 8th 1964 Stateside released a hook laden single written by Smokey Robinson, and it was sung by Motown’s number one lady of the time, Mary Wells, “My Guy” (SS288). Two weeks later, on the 21st May 1964, “My guy” entered the UK charts at number 37, finally hitting the heady heights of number 5 the following month. Berry Gordy’s company had now scored their first of many big hit singles in Britain.

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Between May ’64 and March 1965 Stateside issued a further 30 singles, including debuts from The Velvelettes, Earl Van Dyke, Four Tops and Kim Weston. Most of these were steady sellers, with titles by Marvin Gaye, Martha and the Vandellas, Mary Wells and The Temptations all scoring top fifty placings. On 28th August, and eight months after their initial flop, The Supremes “Where did our love go” (SS327) was released to an impressed public, who bought the single in droves, sending it number three in the chart. Less than two months later, and capitalising on the nation’s newfound love with the sounds from Motor City, “Baby love” (SS350) was released and hit the top spot soon after, with the group actually having two songs in the top ten at the same time for one week in October! Unfortunately not all releases were massive hits and some are now hard to find. These always sell for good prices when they appear on the market, especially in mint condition. Martha & The Vandellas “In my lonely room” (SS305), Brenda Holloway “Every little bit hurts” (SS307), The Tempations “Why you wanna make me blue” (SS348), Earl Van Dyke “Soul stomp” (SS357), Kim Weston “A little more love” (SS359), Four Tops “Without the one you love” (SS371), Carolyn Crawford “When someone’s good to you” (SS384) and Tony Martin “Talkin’ to your picture” (SS394) are probably the hardest to find, especially the last two. Also coming with a ridiculous price tag, all the Stateside EMI singles were sent to pluggers and radio DJ’s as red and white label demonstration discs and all are extremely collectable, and valuable too!

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EMI was also loved to release EP’s and hundreds of them were released across their labels from the early ’50’s to the late ’60’s. After no EP releases on Fontana or Oriole, Stateside bit the bullet and released no less than five of them in the time they were licensing material. Little Stevie Wonder was afforded the only single artist EP, “I call it pretty music but old people call it the blues” (SE1014) which is ridiculously hard to find. There were also four editions of a cracking new EP series, concentrating on material otherwise unavailable in the UK on 45, “R & B Chartmakers”. The series featured some great tracks, including two stellar previously USA only releases from Eddie Holland, “Just ain’t enough love” and “Leaving here”, all came in amazing picture sleeves too. Although steady sellers they’re hard to find in great condition nowadays, expect to pay between £50-£100 for each of them. By March 1965 the label was as big, if not bigger than Atlantic over here in the UK so it came as no surprise that, with a little help from super fan Dave Godin, Berry Gordy signed an exclusive deal with EMI to set up a brand new record company in Britain, Tamla Motown records. On 19th March 1965, clad in an iconic orange and white company sleeve, record stores took release of a new disc, TMG 501, “Stop! in the name of love” by The Supremes and the rest, as they say, is history.


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James Clark

Loves collecting records. My main loves are 50's rock'n'roll, 60's soul and r'n'b, beat, mod and psych and hopefully will be sharing some nuggets with you over the next few months. Apart from being a vinyl junkie I'm a Arsenal obsessive and a hopelessly romantic drunkard, but don't let put you off, we all have our faults.

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May 4, 2016 By : Category : Articles Club Soul Front Page Music Picks Reviews UK USA Tags:, , , ,
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Rob’s Roundup 3

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Rob’s Roundup

Welcome to part 3 of my new blog where I can chat to you about what’s going on in the NUTsWORLD. Thanks to everyone who made it along to the recent Crossfire and the 18th anniversary party events.

Our new shop is online, we offer you 20% discount on orders before 10 December, just sign up to the NUTs network here. A coupon with promo code number on will be sent out by e-mail once you signed up to apply the 20% discount.

The latest NUTSMAG has a dozen articles from our authors including a look back at the last 25 years of the Mousetrap allnighter ahead of the anniversary in February. Tune into the NUTSCAST which looks back at some of the ace live shows we recorded during 2015 including Le Beat Bespoke 10 performers, and some of the latest record releases reviewed in the NUTSMAG.

We are looking for people with a passion for writing to join the team please drop me a line if you would like to get involved. If you have a passion for films please get in touch we are looking to start a new series recommending some cool flicks to our readers.

Nutty NYE Allnighter/Weekender

Come and celebrate the New Year in style at our Nutty New Year Ball with 3 rooms of magical music. I am delighted to announce the wildest and most exciting band on the scene right now LES GRYS GRYS will see in the new year with us for their only London date, maximum fun and R&B guaranteed. A killer DJ line-up across three rooms with Northern Soul in the ballroom, authentic Mod club sounds in room 2 and sounds from the underground in room 3. Doors open at 9pm and we party right through till 6am. Tickets are £16 in advance or £22 on the door and available from www.newuntouchables.com. For those who are planning to travel or Londoner’s who want to continue partying on new year’s day the Zoo Zoo club night at Blues Kitchen is on with two great live bands and DJ’s.

Le Beat Bespoke 11 – Easter 2016

Le Beat Bespoke 11 lands in swinging London over the Easter bank holiday weekend. Expect Killer live bands & DJ’s, riverboat party, 3 dance floors, guest club nights, light show, dancers & more that will send you spinning into orbit. You can also visit the spectacular new London landmark the FUTURO. A limited amount of early bird tickets are available here – but be quick. For accommodation, travel & program announcements go www.newuntouchables.com

Moustrap 25th Anniversay Allnighter

Mousetrap allnighter silver jubilee is on Sat 20 Feb (Psych) and Sat 5 March (R&B). This will sell out – so advance tickets are advisable and available here. All customers get a FREE 45 on the door. Check out my article in the NUTSMAG on the history of the Mousetrap including some videos of the club taken in the nineties and naughties.

Brixton Got Soul

Finally a club night down the road from me in South London will make a refreshing change after decades of travelling north of the river for a night out listening and dancing to the music I love. Brixton Got Soul launches at Blues Kitchen on Friday 8 Jan. E-mail me at drrobert@btinternet.com for guestlist. The ground floor is the dining area and upstairs the club with a great sound system and stage that is perfect for our live ‘soul revues’. I booked the dynamic GIZELLE SMITH for the launch party live at 10pm followed the house band The Atlantic Soul Orch. Me and a guest DJ will play between and after the bands through till 2.30 am. A wide selection of alcoholic beverages and Soul food is available to book a table go here.

Cheers, Rob Bailey & New Untouchables Team  

Nutstore

Some great reviews and airplay recently, grab a copy on vinyl or CD while stock lasts. The other new release this year was the Mousetrap 24th anniversary 45 both available in the NUTSTORE along with Mousetrap 45’s, Le Beat Bespoke and Modstock Vinyl & CDs, The Action DVD and I’m One-21st Century Mod’s Book, Pins and T-Shirts, via the Nutstore!

RnB Records

I just added a lot of new 45’s to the website and offer 10% discount on any order over £50. Rare 45s and LPs! Clubs Sounds (RnB, Soul Jazz, Latin, Boogaloo, Blues and Funk) Freakbeat/ Garage/ Psych/ Rock/ Blue Eyed Soul, Northern Soul/ Mod Revival & Punk. Go to: RnB Records here!

Network

Why Join NUTs Network?
Get the latest NUTs news as priority, including premiere events like Le Beat Bespoké and Brighton. Network members get first opportunity to purchase tickets and receive discounts on merchandise and a chance to enter network competitions and win great prizes. It’s FREE to join and takes five minutes to create your profile. The NUTS Network is a cool, fresh place to keep in touch and meet new faces or chat with old friends! You can share pictures, videos, music, customise your own page and join the many clubs and forums to chatter away or promote your interests! Join the Network now!

Advertise with A push!

New Ad Package Deals For 2016 – Including full Event Sponsorship are available now! Contact: Rob Bailey@newuntouchables.com

Or you may need your own bespoke one-stop service (design, web, magazines, marketing, e-newletters) then please contact Pip! Pip! 

So errrr… What exactly is the New Untouchables?

The New Untouchables is a London, UK-based organisation promoting 21st century modernist & sixties underground music culture, through various methods including; nightlife, events, media, film, fashion, scootering, record collecting, with both UK and International Events!

Cheers, Rob Bailey & New Untouchables Team

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Pip! Pip! Are the Creative Business Engine behind various music based organisations of the cool underground variety. Providing angst, confusion, bewilderment and annoyance in equal amounts. We design/host/manage great sites like this one! Why not hire us one day soon?

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November 27, 2015 By : Category : Articles Front Page General News Picks Scene Tags:, ,
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The Beatles Fan Club Christmas Discs

This entry is part 1 of 11 in the series Collectors Corner

NUTS Christmas Special

It goes without saying that the new Beatles #1’s DVD will be top of a lot of Fab Four fans Christmas present lists this year. Stuffed full of remastered videos and TV performances from 1962 to 1970, it’s a fans visual wet dream come true. But way back in their heyday the group had a yearly present for members of their fan club which were firstly visually stunning with fold out sleeves and inserts, and secondly chock full of exclusive messages, skits and music which to this day have mostly never been given an official release. Seven singles and one LP were sent out in total and today we’re going to have a little look through the contents of each one.

Christmas 1963

A mere year after the band hit the UK charts in 1962 The Beatles were by far the hottest band in Britain and Europe which soon led to their own monthly magazine and a fan club was soon started too. In October 1963 it was decided to send out a special flexi disc to members of the club in time for the freezing cold December of 1963. Recorded on 17th October, and scripted by well-known music scribe Tony Barrow, the disc featured skits and renditions of “Good King Wenceslas” and, erm, “Rudolph the red-nosed Ringo”! Delivered on 6th December “The Beatles Christmas record” was issued in a lovely yellow card stapled gatefold sleeve which was extremely fragile and is prone to falling apart. It’s the hardest disc to find, especially in good condition with its original brown envelope. This beautiful artefact is valued at over £100, up to £200 in pristine condition
with the envelope.

Christmas 1966

By 1964 Beatlemania had swept the globe and on 26th October the boys were back at Abbey Road recording the second flexidisc, imaginatively titled “Another Beatles Christmas record”. This one was delivered on 18th December and featured more skits, messages to fans and versions of “Jingle bells” and “Oh can you wash your fathers shirt?” in its grooves. This, like the rest that followed, was issued in a standard unlaminated card sleeve with a 7″ paper insert. 1965 saw the recording of the third flexi, the even more boringly titled “The Beatles third Christmas Record” featured such delights as an off-key “Yesterday”, “Happy Christmas to Ya List’nas” and “Auld lang syne” and a snippet of the Four Tops recent hit “It’s the same old song”. This was posted out on 17th December just in time for Christmas day! By the time the 1966 flexi disc was recorded in October the band were in the middle of recording the best ever single to reach #2, “Strawberry fields forever” and unsurprisingly the skits found in the previous years were replaced with a collection of small surreal songs around the idea of pantomine. The first to be produced by George Martin, “Pantomine, everywhere it’s Christmas” was posted out on 16th December, this also came with a newsletter insert. These three discs are the easiest to find as they were released at the height of Beatlemania, discs with inserts usually fetch between £60-100 depending on condition, but a premium is again added if they are still in the original tan envelopes.

Christmas 1967

By 1967 The Beatles had embraced psychedelia and also released the years’ defining rock album “Sgt Pepper’s lonely hearts club band” but still found time to pop into EMI on the 25th November to record their latest gift to their fans, “Christmas time is here again!”. Despatched on 15th December and again produced by George Martin this was a fantastic collage of fake BBC radio auditions with the original track “Christmas time is here again” appearing at various points of the record. This track was the only piece to ever receive a proper release when it appeared on the B side of “Free as a bird” in the mid ”90’s. It came clad in a marvellous Pepper-esque collage sleeve and insert. By the time winter 1968 came around the band were now Apple artists and slowly beginning to fall apart. Tellingly this single featured snippets recorded separately by band members and put together by radio DJ and good friend Kenny Everett. At nearly eight minutes long, “The Beatles 1968 Christmas record” was posted out on 20th December, but rather than coming with a fan club insert this one had a Superpix advert peddling some rather fetching posters of the band. The last flexi disc “Happy Christmas 1969” was posted on 19th December 1969 when the band were no longer together and the same as the previous year it was made up of seperately recorded snippets, with George hardly featuring at all. A two-sided affair, the flexi came complete with a two page letter from fan club secretary Freda Kelly. The sleeve was a beautiful full colour affair designed by Ringo and his son Zac. These discs are slightly harder to find than the 1964-66 discs and usually sell between £70-150 especially with the inserts which always seem to be missing!

Christmas 1968

By December 1970 all members had released hit solo singles and albums and The Beatles themselves had ceased to exist as a recording unit. But as one last present to their fans the club decided to collect all the previous recordings and press them up on a full length Apple 12″ LP. It doesn’t seem there were many members left by December 1970 as the album is ridiculously hard to find and easily fetches £250+ if you can find one. One warning though, it has been heavily bootlegged over the years and in good quality too. Collecting the full set can be a hard task but is a great way of capturing a different side to that fantastic band… happy hunting, and a happy-er Christmas and a “Merry Grew Year” to you all!


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James Clark

Loves collecting records. My main loves are 50's rock'n'roll, 60's soul and r'n'b, beat, mod and psych and hopefully will be sharing some nuggets with you over the next few months. Apart from being a vinyl junkie I'm a Arsenal obsessive and a hopelessly romantic drunkard, but don't let put you off, we all have our faults.

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December 1, 2015 By : Category : Bands Front Page Music Picks Reviews Tags:, ,
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Rob’s Roundup 2

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series Rob’s Roundup

Welcome to Rob’s Round-Up!

Welcome to part 2 of my new blog where I can chat to you about what’s going on in the NUTsWORLD. Thanks to everyone who made it to Euro YeYe or Brighton this summer. Fear not we have plenty to look forward to this autumn and winter.

The new issue of NUTSMAG with a dozen new articles from our writing team includes Interviews with Cat Black, Roger Banks, Lady Kamikaze, Val Palmer, DJ Cello,  Howard Baker author of ‘Sawdust Caesar’ and Catherine Croft from the Twentieth Century society. Other articles include our series on men and women’s fashion and music with Jazz for Modernists and the Collectors Corner as well as the latest music reviews and book reviews. We are looking for people with a passion for writing to join the team please drop me a line if you would like to get involved. If you have a passion for films please get in touch we are looking to start a new series recommending flicks to our readers.

Out now for your listening pleasure is the new NUTSCAST with tracks from artists and DJ’s performing at Crossfire and our 18th anniversary party as well as the best of the latest record releases.

Join the NU network for FREE here for the very latest news and special offers.

CROSSFIRE – Sat 10 October 2015

Not long now until the London’ scene’s big night out at 229 in the heart of the Capitol. We have three rooms of action with an all night bar and stellar DJ line-up to keep you grooving. Live music from FOGBOUND, CAT BLACK and THE BEATNIKS in the Beat Room. Doors open 10pm and the first band is on 10.30pm Full info here.

New Untouchables 18th Anniversary Party – Sat 21 November

Old enough now for the legal highs of alcohol, so we will celebrate the coming of age at our fab west end venue with great cocktails and craft beers on tap. The Phoenix is a fab basement venue with big dance floor and ace sound system, add to that the best music ever committed to vinyl and you got an explosive night to look forward too. I’m also delighted to have the full DJ team available for this one plus special guest band and DJ. Full info here!

NUTTY NYE Allnighter/Weekender

Come and celebrate the New Year in style at our Nutty New Year Ball with 3 rooms of magical music. I am delighted to announce the wildest and most exciting band on the scene right now LES GRYS GRYS will see in the new year with us for their only London date, maximum fun and R&B guaranteed. A killer DJ line-up across three rooms with Northern Soul in the ballroom, authentic Mod club sounds in room 2 and sounds from the underground in room 3. Doors open at 9pm and we party right through till 6am. Tickets are £16 in advance or £22 on the door and available from www.newuntouchables.com For those who are planning to travel or Londoner’s who want to continue partying on new year’s day a gig and club night at Blues Kitchen is being planned as well as a Saturday night club night. We will make some more announcements via our network very soon.

NEW UNTOUCHABLES CLUB & GIG SCENE

We have a lot of great gigs coming up at the Blues Kitchen in Camden, Shoreditch and BRIXTON which will be opening in October. For the launch of the new venue we’re inviting locals in for dinner & drinks before we officially open to the rest of London. If you live in South London and fancy joining us between Thursday 1st & Thursday 15th October, we’ll be offering 50% off your total bill send an email over to katie@thecolumbogroup.com let her know your table size and we’ll do our best to accommodate you. Join our network for news on bands and DJ’s performing at NUTsMAG, ZOO ZOO, SHOREDITCH GOT SOUL and TIMEBOX.

Nutstore

Some great reviews and airplay recently, grab a copy on vinyl or CD while stock lasts. The other new release this year was the Mousetrap 24th anniversary 45 both available in the NUTSTORE along with Mousetrap 45’s, Le Beat Bespoke and Modstock Vinyl & CDs, The Action DVD and I’m One-21st Century Mod’s Book, Pins and T-Shirts, via the Nutstore!

RnB Records

I just added a lot of new 45’s to the website and offer 10% discount on any order over £50. Rare 45s and LPs! Clubs Sounds (RnB, Soul Jazz, Latin, Boogaloo, Blues and Funk) Freakbeat/ Garage/ Psych/ Rock/ Blue Eyed Soul, Northern Soul/ Mod Revival & Punk. Go to: RnB Records here!

Network

Why Join NUTs Network?
Get the latest NUTs news as priority, including premiere events like Le Beat Bespoké and Brighton. Network members get first opportunity to purchase tickets and receive discounts on merchandise and a chance to enter network competitions and win great prizes. It’s FREE to join and takes five minutes to create your profile. The NUTS Network is a cool, fresh place to keep in touch and meet new faces or chat with old friends! You can share pictures, videos, music, customise your own page and join the many clubs and forums to chatter away or promote your interests! Join the Network now!

Advertise with A push!

New Ad Package Deals For 2015/16 – Including full Event Sponsorship are available now! Contact: Rob Bailey@newuntouchables.com

Or you may need your own bespoke one-stop service (design, web, magazines, marketing, e-newletters) then please contact Pip! Pip! 

So errrr… What exactly is the New Untouchables?

The New Untouchables is a London, UK-based organisation promoting 21st century modernist & sixties underground music culture, through various methods including; nightlife, events, media, film, fashion, scootering, record collecting, with both UK and International Events!

Cheers, Rob Bailey & New Untouchables Team

Feedback here please folks! 

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drrobert

I run The New Untouchables organization and events like the Brighton Mod Weekender, Le Beat Bespoké Festival (and compilation series of the same name) and I co-organize Euro Ye Ye with the Trouble & Tea crew. I have run many clubs over the last 20 years in London, where I live and current nights include Timebox, Zoo Zoo, Crossfire, 100 Club and Mousetrap allnighter which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011. I have been lucky to DJ all over the globe including Japan, Canada, USA and Europe and met some great people on my journey. I run RnB Records to offset my vinyl addiction: newuntouchables.com/rnbrecords for rare vintage vinyl.

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September 23, 2015 By : Category : Articles Front Page General Picks Scene Tags:, ,
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Collectors Corner – ‘Run mascara – The girl group sound!’

This entry is part 2 of 11 in the series Collectors Corner

Of all the genres, fads and phases pop music ran through in the 1960’s one of the most collectable and enduring has to be the explosion of girls behind the microphone, either solo or in a group. Although a lot of the classics were written to order for them, the music produced was simultaneously heartbreaking, uplifting and always way under three minutes long. In the USA throughout the 60’s, little 7″ nuggets of perfect pop were churned out on a weekly basis, and most artists ended up with one, or maybe two flop singles. But occasionally they’d hit big and usually they’d soon secure a record release in Britain shortly afterwards. In a future article we’ll concentrate on the British girls, who made some stellar tracks themselves, but in this article I’m going to look at four of the biggest acts from that decade, who although may have hit big in the USA, usually had one or two British hits as well as leaving some beautiful, and rare, releases for UK collectors to hunt out too.

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The Shirelles were formed in high school in 1957 and were promptly signed by local label Tiara Records who released their debut release “I met him on a Sunday”. The track soon came to the attention of Decca in the States who bought out the group’s contract and leased the track to Brunswick in Britain (05746, both on 45 and also their only UK 78rpm!) . Even though it was a catchy track, the single sank without trace over here and is easily the hardest UK release to find, especially in mint condition (£80-100). After a lack of follow-up hits in the USA they were released from their Decca contract and were signed by the new Scepter label which released all the classic singles The Shirelles would put out in the decade. After three flop US singles, they hit the Billboard charts in 1960 with “Tonight’s the night”, written by seasoned smash hit writer Luther Dixon. Shortly after the track became the solitary release by the group in Britain on London American recordings but alas, it missed the chart over here (HL9233 – £20). Then came the 45 that changed everything…”Will you love me tomorrow”. Written by stellar songsmiths Goffin and King, this all time classic sailed to the top of US charts, and soon followed suit up the UK charts where it hit number four in the spring of 1961 when it was released on Top Rank (JAR 540). Although easy to find and not valuable (£4-5) the record is coveted both for the wonderful A side, and it’s great r’n’b flip, “Boys”. The Beatles, and Lennon in particular were great fans and namechecked the girls on numerous occasions, and also covered the track on their debut album in 1963. Top Rank followed the hit with five more 45 releases, the pick being “Mama said” (JAR 567) and “Baby it’s you” (JAR601 – also covered by the fab four). Top Rank also released a very rare EP “The Shirelles sound” (JKP 3012 – £80) and a disappointing but hard to find LP “Trumpet and Strings” (35-115 – £100). A move to HMV secured their second, though much smaller hit in the UK, “Soldier Boy” (POP 1019) which reached number 23 in late 1962. This was the only release on the label as they were then placed on the legendary Stateside imprint, releasing a further six 45’s and two beautiful and rare LP’s, “Baby it’s you” and “The Shirelles hits”, the former commanding an £80 price tag nowadays. In late ’63 Pye International took over the releases in Britain, putting out seven great 45’s. But the hits had dried up by now and after a couple of late sixties releases on Mercury and Bell (as Shirley and the Shirelles) the band were no more. Apart from the first single, the EP’s and albums all the singles are quite affordable and a complete run is a sight (and sound) to behold indeed.

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For collectors of the genre, Phil Spector needs no introduction. Although also now notorious for other things, in his time he was by far the most original and forward thinking record producer in the world. Two of the groups that helped mould that legend were The Crystals and The Ronettes and Britain took both groups to their hearts with some big sellers over here for both bands. A resume of their respective careers would take up a small novel, as many tracks featured some or none of the names on the labels so we’ll concentrate on some of the big hits and amazing rarities both artists released over here.

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The Ronettes had British hit singles with Spector favourites “Be my baby”, “Baby I love you”, and “Do I love you” on London American recordings but the label also released some great rarities for them too. Both 1965 flop 45’s “Born to be together” (HLU 9952) and soul favourite “You baby” (HLU 9976) both command £20-30 price tags, and the withdrawn 1966 release “I can hear music” (HLU 10087) has hit the £100 mark in the past. The group also had two LP releases, “Presenting the fabulous Ronettes featuring Veronica” (London HA-U 8212) and “The Ronettes” (Colpix PXL 486), which are both hard to find and come in striking covers adding to their appeal, expect to pay up to £100 for either of these beauties. The Crystals also hit the UK charts, scoring massive hits on London American records with “He’s a rebel”, “Da doo ron ron” and “Then he kissed me”. Their debut release” There’s no other (like my baby)”, although a Philles track, was released over here on Parlophone (R 4867) way back in early 1962 and is very hard to find, especially in mint condition with it’s sleeve and centre intact (£80-100). 1964 withdrawn London American release “Little boy” with “Uptown” on the flip is a £100+ rarity, the replacement release “I wonder” / “Little boy” is easier to find but still sells for £30+ as does their final original UK release “My place” (United Artists UP 1110). The group was also afforded an EP release “Da doo ron ron” (London REU 1381 – £50+) and a super rare LP “He’s a rebel” (London HAU 8120 – £100+) which came in a cracking “leather jacket wearing, motorcycle bad boy” cartoon sleeve.

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Perhaps the coolest band of them all was the Shangri-Las, who had everything: The heartache, the songs, and just as importantly, the coolest look imaginable. A four piece comprised of two sisters from New York, the group had a couple of one shot US releases on Smash and Spokane before they were signed by Red Bird records in April 1964 whilst all still minors. Placed under the considerable production skills of “Shadow” Morton, the first release was the eerie “Remember (walkin’ in the sand)” which promptly shot into the US top ten. Pye in the UK had a distribution deal with the company and the track was soon released over here where it hit the number 14 spot (RB 10008). The follow-up “Leader of the pack” is probably the best of it’s genre, of both the girl group sound and the death disc craze, and soon hit number one in the USA and number 11 over here, though it also hit the UK top ten twice in the 1970’s too. An EP, “The Shangri-Las”, was swiftly released but sales were poor, probably due to the dull picture sleeve which ridiculously didn’t feature a photo of this most photogenic group (RB 40002 – £40+). This was followed by an album, “Leader of the pack” (RB 20 101 – £60+), which although this time in a wonderful colour sleeve, also sold poorly. Not ones to give up, Pye / Red Bird released a further eight UK singles between 1965-66 and not one troubled the charts. Amongst these were all time classics “Give him a great big kiss”, “Out in the streets”, “I can never go home anymore” and “He cried”, and all eight are quite difficult to locate in pristine condition without any writing on the labels and with their hard to find “Red bird” company sleeves. There is rumour of a second UK EP, “I can never go home anymore”, but it’s never been seen so can only be assumed to be unreleased unless a test pressing ever appears. A further three UK flop singles on Philips and Mercury in 1967 and our Shangri -Las story comes to an end. But all their records are worth tracking down, it gives great listening pleasure! Although these four stellar artists are the building blocks for a great collection, soon we’ll hunt down some of the more obscure girl group rarities released over here for a future article, from the Brits, the Americans, and all over the world too!


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James Clark

Loves collecting records. My main loves are 50's rock'n'roll, 60's soul and r'n'b, beat, mod and psych and hopefully will be sharing some nuggets with you over the next few months. Apart from being a vinyl junkie I'm a Arsenal obsessive and a hopelessly romantic drunkard, but don't let put you off, we all have our faults.

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September 23, 2015 By : Category : Front Page Music Picks Reviews Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Record Reviews – Sept 2015

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Record Reviews 2

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Stone Foundation

A Life Unlimited – LP

This was another one that arrived a few days after the deadline for the last edition of NutsMag Reviews, so it feels a bit like ‘closing the gate after the horse has bolted’, but what a ‘horse’! Pure thoroughbred from start to finish.

‘A Life Unlimited’ sees a progression from the previous outing ‘To Find The Spirit’. Indeed, the opening track on the new album is really the only reference point to the former.

‘Beverley’ is also the title song to a Cass Pennant short film and it conveys that lilting relaxed blue-eyed soul feel that Stone Foundation produce with consummate ease.

The main departure from their previous work is the influence of soul and jazz funk on this LP. I’m thinking of artists like Donald Byrd for example.
However, ‘Pushing Your Love’ is a sumptuous ballad, ‘These Life Stories’ exemplifies the jazz funk groove while ‘Leaning The Hard Way’ is a more upbeat soul.

Add the guest appearances by Graham Parker, Nolan Porter and Dr Robert (Blow Monkeys) to name a few and once again Stone Foundation have produced another great album. Since it’s release, ‘A Life Unlimited’ has reached the official national album chart with no major label backing. Now that is something worth celebrating because it proves there is hope after all and one wonders just how much longer the mainstream media (including radio) will ignore this band. Not much longer I’ll wager.

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Lois

The Polperro Horse Bus Company –  Album

If you can count Mark Radcliffe of BBC Radio 6 Music among your supporters, then you can’t be all bad. This four-piece from Nottingham have a knack of blending their various influences into a coherent and very appealing collection of songs on this album.

Radcliffe’s assertion that Lois sound both ‘retro and absolutely contemporary’ is spot on. The melting pot of Lois seems to range from the Kinks and the Zombies to Manic Street Preachers and Suede (at least, that’s what I’m getting).

Whether it’s the gently rocking along of ‘Jeanie (Ooh La La)’ or the up tempo ‘Monkey Girl’, the songs tend to grab you after just one listen.

For my money, ‘My Precious Love’ and ‘Star Is Falling’ are the outstanding tracks from this LP, and that is saying something when you have 16 gems to choose from. There is depth, a well-thought-out running order and texture to this collection and I am sure we will be seeing a lot more of Lois in the near future.

loistheband.com
facebook.com/loistheband
twitter.com/loistheband

rsz_nm_sept_2015_past_tense

The Past Tense

Heads Held High – Album

This album has been available for a few months, but it was kindly handed to me by the band shortly after the last edition of NUTsMAG, hence the delay in reviewing it.

For those unaware, Past Tense has been around for a few years, although the members of the band have worked together under various names since school days. Andy, Ken, Warren and Buzz believe this is their best work to date, and it is hard to disagree. Their influences are un-ashamedly Mod Revival, Punk, Garage and 60s Beat bands and this album encompasses all of them to a greater or lesser extent.

For me, the stand-out tracks are the ones that show Past Tense are not a one-trick-pony and have so much more in the locker.
‘Vision (From Another World)’ is a prime example with the inclusion of a Hammond organ growling away in the mix to give the song a different dimension.

‘Crying’ has a huge dose of Ray Davis about it with guest Paul R Osborn taking vocal duties on a song that is really catchy and thoroughly enjoyable.
‘No Apologies’ sees Past Tense dabble with a Northern Soul vibe that fairly rattles along. ‘Another Putney Sunrise’ is a pleasant surprise because it is unexpected and shows a real touch of finesse when it could so easily have been overcooked.

The closing track; ‘What’s Coming Next?’ has a touch of The Strokes about it and has another infectious chorus.
So, yes, I would agree, this is the best album by Past Tense to date. I’ve a funny feeling the next one might be even better.

thepasttense.fourfour.com
www.facebook.com/thepasttense

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Jennie And The Slingers

Tales Of The Unexpected – Album

Hands up all those who remember the Bellestars in the Eighties? How about the Polecats or Madness? Well, Jennie And The Slingers is made up of former members of those bands (although Lee Thompson makes a guest appearance). Apparently, this album was two years in the making, but it was well worth the wait.

It’s a combination of Rockabilly, Ska and R&B influences and with such seasoned professionals in the mix, it is a superb album. There are cleverly constructed lyrics (some done with humour sadly lacking in the last lot of decades) and some astute observations on society. It’s the kind of album we used to get on a regular basis 30 plus years ago and it made for an interesting mainstream music industry (which it certainly is not these days.)

The album gets off to a flyer with ‘Last Gang In Camden Town’, a solid rockabilly infused, catchy number. ‘Better Guy’ and ‘Gamblin Man’ provide the aforementioned humour and social commentary. In short, there is not a duff track to be found. The closer, ‘King Kong’ reminds me of that strange hybrid of rockabilly meets ska that Madness could deliver now and again.

I have to say though, Jennie Matthias (Bellestars) has never sounded better. There’s a quality to her voice and delivery that is an ideal match for the music. Take a listen to the ballad ‘Lady Sings The Blues’ (not the Billie Holliday tune I might add) and you will see what I mean. Jennie oozes class in a manner similar to the great ‘torch’ singers like Julie London.

If you like something a bit different, (and I do with bands like Rhythm Shakers, Dustaphonics, Gizzelle etc) this is definitely and album for you.

facebook.com/pages/Jennie…Slingers
diablorecordsuk.bandcamp.com/jennie-the-slingers


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Graham Lentz

AKA ‘The Baron’ - Like many of his generation, The Jam started Graham's love affair with all things mod back in 1977. He is the author of 'The Influential Factor - A History Of Mod' which was originally published in 2002. An extract from the book was re-printed in Paolo Hewitt's 'The Sharper Word - revised edition' in 2011. Being a self-confessed 'broad-church' mod, Graham's interests range from Modern Jazz to today's up-coming new bands and everything in between. Although he has a passion for mod history, he also has a passion for the new. Whether it's music, clubs, media of every kind, clothing, scooters or art and photography, Graham supports, promotes and encourages as much as he can, because that's how we keep going. 'Give it a chance' is his motto. If it's not for you, that's cool, at least you tried it.

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September 22, 2015 By : Category : Bands Front Page Music Picks Reviews Tags:, , , , ,
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Rob’s Roundup

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Rob’s Roundup

Welcome to Rob’s Round-Up!

I hope you are enjoying the sunshine and welcome to my new blog where I can chat to you about what’s going on in the NUTsWORLD. Our summer events are coming thick and fast now, below I talk about some of the highlights to look out for and click on the links for the full programs.

The new issue of NUTSMAG with over a dozen great articles from our writing team includes Interviews with Betty Harris, Powder and The Excitements plus a number of scene DJ’s.

Out now for your listening pleasure is the new NUTSCAST with tracks from artists and DJ’s performing at Brighton and Euro YeYe and some of the latest record releases from current artists.

We got some great gigs and club nights coming up in the Capitol over the summer.

Join the NU network for FREE here for the very latest news and special offers.

Euro YeYe – 31 July – 2 August 2015

After the Oasis closed to become a McDonalds drive through (sacrilege), we have two amazing new venues in the City Centre for our favourite event of the year. If you have never been you still have a few weeks to join us for a wild weekend in Spain, you won’t regret it! For full info: Click Here! & Promo video here!

Brighton Mod Weekender – 28-30 August 2015

We have just 20 tickets left for Sunday and 50 for the Friday night at the Komedia now. Tickets for Venue 2 and 3 on Saturday night are selling fast and will get you into the Komedia allnighter after 3am. The full program including DJ’s and bands +  ticket info is here:
This video will give you a good idea of what to expect in Brighton.

Brighton ‘fuzz-for-freaks’ Weekender – 29 + 30 August 2015

After the success of last year we have planned another weekender for those of the Paisley persuasion featuring an exciting line-up of the best new up and coming live bands. On Sunday Les Grys Grys and Saturday the Magnetic Mind and The Carnations. Our disc jockeys will be playing the wildest Freakbeat, Garage and Psych 45’s in our intimate groovy cellar club just off Brighton seafront, think Mousetrap by the seaside and you got the picture. Check out our short promo video here! Program & tickets are here!

Crossfire Sat 10 October 2015

Get ready for another big night out of pure vintage underground partying. Our 1000 capacity venue in the heart of central London has three rooms of action with an all night bar. A stellar DJ line-up plus FOGBOUND, CAT BLACK and THE BEATNIKS live in the Beat Room.
Full info here!

Small Faces Convention – Sat 12 September 2015

The 19th annual Small Faces Convention takes place at 229, Central London. Small World, The Universal, The 45’s and The Electric Stars confirmed + special guests, memorabilia market and a Ronnie Lane Exhibition. Tickets are £22 from HERE! (No Booking Fee!)

New Untouchables Club & Gig Scene

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We have a lot of great gigs coming up at the Blues Kitchen, Camden in July. This Thursday NUTSMAG review continues with Cat Black, French Boutik and The Mocking Birds live for FREE. On 23 July we are delighted to announce a NUTsMAG special with the first ever performance from America’s answer to the Who, POWDER. Arrive early it’s FREE to get in and will be a busy one, you can read Graham Lentz fab interview with Richard Martin HERE. Friday 24 July is ZOO ZOO with one of my favourite bands from the early naughties the Phrogs for what will be a double-header with the evergreen Big Boss Man, arrive early folks. I’ll be spinning some discs along with a special guest until 3am.

Sat 18 July more MAXIMUM R&B this time at The Phoenix in Oxford Circus, expect Freakbeat, Pop-Art, R&B and boss Garage 45’s in our fab basement venue with a great selection of cocktails and craft beers and a huge wooden dancefloor with brilliant sound system.

August is quiet on the club front except two shows at the Blues Kitchen on the Friday 28 August. Gemma & the Travellers play Shoreditch Got Soul and Les Grys Grys play two sets at Zoo Zoo, Blues Kitchen Camden.

Mousetrap returns September with two stellar DJ line-ups. R&B allnighter returns on 12 September with guest DJ’s Cousin Benson (A Band A Parte), Jamie Parr (Teen Scene) and Lewis Mumford (Dandy Bloom) joining me and Chris Dale. The following Saturday Fabrice De Feo of UBU Popland records in Paris, Rhys Webb of Horrors fame and Carolina join me for ‘Fuzz For Freaks’ sessions.

The line-up’s for NUTsMAG, ZOO ZOO and TIMEBOX in September is yet to be confirmed.

Nutsmag

The new issue of NUTSMAG is out and includes Interviews with Betty Harris, Powder and The Excitements and DJ’s Mary Boogaloo, Gary Wall, Simon Bridger, Craig ‘Swifty’ Simpson, Paul Molloy and Scott Fraser Simpson. Other articles include part 2 James Thomas excellent new series ‘Jazz for Modernists’. James Clark collectors corner is the UK Atlantic Soul record releases. Enjoy Pete Feeley and Claire Mahoney simply brilliant articles on style and fashion and Graham Lentz reviews the latest record and books worth a punt on.

Some great reviews and airplay recently, grab a copy on vinyl or CD while stock lasts. The other new release this year was the Mousetrap 24th anniversary 45 both available in the NUTSTORE along with Mousetrap 45’s, Le Beat Bespoke and Modstock Vinyl & CDs, The Action DVD and I’m One-21st Century Mod’s Book, Pins and T-Shirts.

Nutstores

Out Now! Modstock LP and Le Beat Bepsoke 6 Vinyl & CD via the Nutstore!

RnB Records

I just added a lot of new 45’s to the website and offer 10% discount on any order over £50. Rare 45s and LPs! Clubs Sounds (RnB, Soul Jazz, Latin, Boogaloo, Blues and Funk) Freakbeat/ Garage/ Psych/ Rock/ Blue Eyed Soul, Northern Soul/ Mod Revival & Punk. Go to: RnB Records here!

Network

Why Join NUTs Network?
Get the latest NUTs news as priority, including premiere events like Le Beat Bespoké and Brighton. Network members get first opportunity to purchase tickets and receive discounts on merchandise and a chance to enter network competitions and win great prizes. It’s FREE to join and takes five minutes to create your profile. The NUTS Network is a cool, fresh place to keep in touch and meet new faces or chat with old friends! You can share pictures, videos, music, customise your own page and join the many clubs and forums to chatter away or promote your interests! Join the Network now!

Advertise with A push!

New Ad Package Deals For 2015/16 – Including full Event Sponsorship are available now! Contact: Rob Bailey@newuntouchables.com

Or you may need your own bespoke one-stop service (design, web, magazines, marketing, e-newletters) then please contact Pip! Pip! 

So errrr… What exactly is the New Untouchables?

The New Untouchables is a London, UK-based organisation promoting 21st century modernist & sixties underground music culture, through various methods including; nightlife, events, media, film, fashion, scootering, record collecting, with both UK and International Events!

Feedback here please folks! 

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drrobert

I run The New Untouchables organization and events like the Brighton Mod Weekender, Le Beat Bespoké Festival (and compilation series of the same name) and I co-organize Euro Ye Ye with the Trouble & Tea crew. I have run many clubs over the last 20 years in London, where I live and current nights include Timebox, Zoo Zoo, Crossfire, 100 Club and Mousetrap allnighter which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011. I have been lucky to DJ all over the globe including Japan, Canada, USA and Europe and met some great people on my journey. I run RnB Records to offset my vinyl addiction: newuntouchables.com/rnbrecords for rare vintage vinyl.

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July 8, 2015 By : Category : Articles Front Page General News Picks Scene Tags:, , , , , , ,
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