Substitute! – The Sounds of the World Cup 1966

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Collectors Corner 3

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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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Collectors Corner – “The UK Atlantic Records story Pt 2”

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Collectors Corner 3

In mid 1964 Britain’s hit parade was in the middle of a musical hurricane sweeping the country, home-grown guitar and harmonica wielding beat groups. From a chart ruled by Cliff Richard, Frank Ifield and Billy Fury barely a year earlier, 1964 found 45’s by young, modern and decidedly hipper groups such as The Animals, Rolling Stones, Georgie Fame & the Blue Flames and The Kinks hitting the number one spot. One thing all these artists had in common was the great big influence of American rhythm & blues, and more recently soul music. This in turn made the kids who bought records by those artists want to hear the original music itself. Along with constant name checking from stars like Dusty Springfield, John Lennon and Eric Burdon, soul music was coming out from the underground discotheques and into households via plays on the new pirate radio stations and Redifusion’s Friday evening must-see TV show “Ready, Steady, Go!”. This was where you could hear, and also see, the latest releases from Martha & The Vandellas, James Brown and Otis Redding (who even got a whole episode to himself, watch it on YouTube!). Although R’N’B had been released in the UK in large amounts since the mid ’50’s, the major labels now realised this stuff could sell, and in large amounts too. Pye records set up the International imprint back in 1958 which was followed in 1963 with an R&B series, EMI followed suit with it’s Stateside imprint which released heaps of great black American soul music, and Decca had London American which did the same thing, the jewel in it’s crown being the licence to release Atlantic tracks over here. On 24th July 1964 Decca took the plunge and Atlantic Records UK received its first proper British release, the recent US hitbound smash by The Drifters “Under the boardwalk”. This was given the number AT 4001 and was issued over here on the classic black and silver designed label with a plain white sleeve. Over the next two years nearly another 100 45’s were pressed up and released, encompassing classic soul, jazz, garage and even a number one hit single.

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After the first AT release by The Drifters hit the UK charts, albeit hitting a lowly number 45, they were graced with a further eight releases in the series including such classic tracks as “Come over to my place”, “Saturday night at the movies” and “At the club”. Like a lot of the black label Atlantic series, even though most releases didn’t hit the top of the charts they were all mostly steady sellers and apart from a few nuggets (more about those later) can be picked up for under a tenner each. Despite continually releasing great singles in the sixties, including the legendary “Everybody needs somebody to love” (AT 4004), Solomon Burke didn’t crack the charts until 2003. This didn’t stop him having seven AT releases, including “Peepin” and a great driving version of Bob Dylan’s “Maggie’s Farm”. Otis Redding was a massive success in Britain and narrowly missed the top ten when his cover of “My girl” (AT 4050) reached number 11 in 1965. He had four releases on the label including his storming version of “Satisfaction” (AT 4080), but his 45 of “I’ve been loving you too long” (AT4029) was never released, instead being relegated to the B side of “Respect” (AT 4039) a short while later. Rufus Thomas had US singles released as far back as 1953 and had a great two sider pressed up over here in 1965, “Jump back” / “All night worker” (AT 4009). Stax favourites Booker T and the M.G’s continued their run of great R’N’B instrumentals with two releases “Boot-leg” (AT 4033) and “Red beans and rice” (AT 4063) , another two dance floor winners. Amongst the other legendary names you’ll find in this glorious run include Barbara Lewis, Joe Tex, Don Covay, Wilson Pickett, Carla Thomas, Sam & Dave and Patti Labelle.

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Two releases stood amongst the release sheets of 1965, the first was AT 4035, “I got you babe” by Sonny and Cher. None of the previous releases (apart from Bobby Darin) had been straight forward pop, but this fantastic duet was a perfect commercial nugget and duly sailed up the UK charts, nestling up at the number one slot in the autumn of 1965. If you haven’t seen the legendary Ready, Steady, Go performance of this, have a look on YouTube for a visual feast complete with members of the Rolling Stones hamming it up for the cameras along with the loved up couple. The second, and a taster for the shape of things come for the ever-expanding label, was Bocky and the Visions “I go crazy” (AT 4049), a prime slice of American garage. This was swiftly followed by Levon and the Hawks “The stones I throw” (AT 4054) which featured future members of The Band, The Young Rascals “I ain’t gonna eat out my heart anymore” (AT 4059) which came out shortly after, and then in March 1966 came the release of garage legends The Shadows of Knight with their killer version of “Gloria” (AT 4085). All of these are very collectable, not just with UK garage release collectors but with Atlantic label completest too and prices do reflect this.

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But in 1965 and 1966 soul was still Atlantic’s main selling point and the label released a whole glut of classic tracks, some of which somehow managed to sell next to nothing over here, becoming long-term expensive rarities in the following years. Although it was a UK top five smash in the early 70’s, Tami Lynn’s all time classic “I’m gonna run away from you” (AT 4071) originally was released in March 1966 and sold nothing hence it’s rarity and value nowadays. Esther Phillips end of night favourite “Just say goodbye” (AT 4077) is another hard one to source, and can easily reach £100 in nice condition. Googie Rene Combo’s jazz tinged 45 “Smokey Joe’s La La” (AT 4076) is another hard to find great, as is Travis Wammack’s instrumental classic “Scratchy” (AT 4017) and The Astors “Candy” (AT 4037) also goes for top money. Other tough but great tunes to seek out include Joe Turner’s “Midnight cannonball” (AT 4026), The Isley Brothers “The last girl” (AT 4010), Jimmy Williams “Walking on air” (AT 4042), “Chills and fever” (AT 4053) by Paul Williams, and Jackie Ivory’s “Hi heel sneakers” (AT 4075). As with most soul releases in the UK never forget that black label “Stock copies” will usually be available at a cheaper price than the more prized yellow label “demo copies”. Luckily these can be found without spending the ridiculous amount of money you’d need to collect the classic Atlantic R’N’B released by London in the 1950’s and most should be findable with a bit of luck, patience and a full wallet. And when it’s complete you’ll be the owner of one of the best runs of musical genius released, ever.

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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 22, 2016 By : Category : Articles Bands Front Page Music Reviews Tags:, ,
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My mind’s eye – A 1966 musical Christmas

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Collectors Corner 3

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

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Collectors Corner 3

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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