Thursday 29 March 2018

Spanish 60/70s Band Los Brincos - Mundo, Demonio y Carne/ World, Devil, Body 1970 (2001 Zafiro BMG Espana)

The impressive history of this four-piece Spanish rock band from the 1960s began when Juan Pardo and Fernando Arbex met at a local club called Norba, sharing their passion for music and deciding to create a new project that was later called los Brincos. When ex-los Estudiantes Luis Sartorius was named director of the label Novola, the executive chose los Brincos to create an alternative to the Beatles. The band's name was an idea of Rosa Arbex who dismissed a proposition of calling the act Las Ovejas Negras.
After Manuel González and Junior joined in, the group started composing, writing songs in English and Spanish. In 1964, Luis Sartorius passed away after a car accident, but even when that tragic news hardly hit the band, the four musicians were determined to go ahead. After recording their debut album, los Brincos's "Flamenco" became their first hit. To make the following record, the group moved to Milan in 1966.
Soon after, its song "Tú Me Dijiste Adios" started climbing the charts. After performing at Benidorm's Festival, Juan Pardo and Junior decided to leave the act to start their own project, being replaced by Vicente Ramírez and Miguel Morales. In 1967, los Brincos's "Lola" became their breakthrough.
After recording a third album in 1968, the band started to experiment with their music, moving to the U.S. in 1970 to make an alternative record called Mundodemoniocarne with Oscar Lasprilla on keyboards. Soon after, los Brincos broke up, leaving behind one of the most outstanding music experiences ever.(allmusic)

Los Brincos was a band who always looked for different ways and that's what i really liked. If you don't know the band maybe you will give their music a try.(Frank)


PowerPop By Van Duren: Van Duren - Resonance Road (2010 Three Cool Cats)

Van Duren was part of the early Memphis power pop scene that spawned the legendary Big Star, and made several underexposed, small-label records during the late '70s. Duren began playing in bands at the age of 13 in 1966 and attended high school with eventual Big Star drummer Jody Stephens; he auditioned to replace Chris Bell in Big Star in 1974, shortly after the completion of Third/Sister Lovers. In 1975, he and Stephens collaborated on some demos that were produced by former Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham (whom he met through producer Jon Tiven), and a year later he was playing in a group called the Baker Street Regulars with both Bell and Stephens. In 1977, Duren traveled to New England to record for Tiven's new Big Sound label; his solo debut, Are You Serious?, was released in March 1978. The album was released in Europe as Staring at the Ceiling on Big Sound. A second album, Idiot Optimism, was recorded in 1978 and 1979, though disagreements and financial difficulties prevented it from being released (until it was licensed to the Japanese Air Mail label in 1999). Duren returned to Memphis in 1981 and the following year put together a band called Good Question, which gigged around the city off and on for the next 18 years. In 1999, Duren collaborated with fellow Memphis power popster Tommy Hoehn on the album Hailstone Holiday, on which he received co-billing. Unfortunately, health problems forced Duren to severely curtail his activities in 2000, which led to the breakup of Good Question.(

Talking about Van Duren's music to describe it is like ''carrying owls to Athens''. But that's not entirely true because Van Duren's albums always reveal different things in his music. The generic term ''Power Pop'' is certainly correct, but his spectrum on the various albums ranges from clear Beatles reminiscences to southern harmonies in his pop songs. Chris Bell's jump to almost Steely Dan arrangements is also mastered effortlessly. One could still name some influences which he has processed over the years. For me, his work with Tommy Hoehn was his strongest. But every fan has his own favourites and favourite works. Van Duren certainly belongs to the great (power) pop musicians of his time.(Frank)

p.s.: To me the strongest part of this album is where he shows his wonderful skills as a Singer/Songwriter in songs like ''Hamsterdam'', ''Gargoyles'', ''Worried About You with small arrangements where the songs nearly carry themselve.

Flac (zippy)                                                      Flac (M)

 mp3 (zippy)                                                     mp3 (M)

Pop/Powerpop by Linus Of Hollywood - Cabin Life 2018

I don't wanna lose too much words of this album because i only heard it for one time. After this first listen i am not shure if it is a developement in the music of Linus. It's on you to give it a listen and decide if it's a further fine work or whatever. (Frank)

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Wednesday 28 March 2018

60s Garage Rock from Portland: The Brigade - Last Laugh 1970 (2000 Shadoks)

Formed in North Portland, Oregon during the summer of 1966. Brigade won the KLSN Radio Portland Teen Fair Battle Of The Bands on 9th June 1968 and received a 1954 custom purple Cadillac Hearse as a prize! By now they were a top local attraction and the same year they signed to the American Record Company and recorded a demo which received a lot of local airplay. They went on to record an album for the B&V (Band 'n' Vocal) label in 1970, but split up before it was released. Consequently it received little airplay and flopped.

Reissue of this obscure LP release from 1970, originally from the Pacific Northwest. "This is one of our alltime favorite album when it comes to Underground & Psychedelic music. One of ten we would take on an island. Full of dynamic and strong fuzz guitar solos, driving drums and amazing vocals, which deserves this offical reissue.(

The band has a powerful sound that comes across as very powerful and for example in ''Desert Song'' as well as in ''Bad Town'' the band anticipates the progressive seventies with their possibilities. Every song on the album testifies to the band's absolute independence and in my opinion the band was a decade ahead of its time. As strong as the album presents itself continuously, the band closes the album with ''Everybody is Laughing''. (Frank)

Flac (zippy)                                       Flac (M)

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California Sunshine by: The Rose Garden - The Rose Garden 1967 (2003 Collector's Choice)

The Rose Garden's "Next Plane to London" was one of the more well-remembered one-shot hits of the flower power era, reaching number 17 at the end of 1967. Like many of the records coming out of Southern California during the era, it bore the heavy influence of Los Angeles folk-rockers the Mamas & the Papas and the Byrds, though it had a more of a sunshine pop feel than the Byrds did. Like the Mamas & the Papas, the group featured male-female harmonies, with the group's sole female member, Diana de Rose, taking the lead on "Next Plane to London" with her deeper-than-average vocals.

The group's sole, self-titled album was produced by Charlie Greene and Brian Stone with Pat Pipolo; Greene and Stone were also involved, as managers and/or producers, in the early careers of Buffalo Springfield, Sonny & Cher, and Bob Lind. Most of the material on the LP actually had a more pronounced Byrds influence than "Next Plane to London" did, with many of the 12-string guitar lines specifically recalling Roger McGuinn's style on that instrument. The Byrds comparisons were further engendered by the inclusion of two Gene Clark songs, "Till Today" and "Long Time," that were never recorded by Clark, the Byrds, or anyone else.

The Rose Garden began in the mid-'60s as the heavily Byrds-influenced band the Blokes, picking up de Rose before changing their name. Although the group is sometimes recalled as having virtually vanished after their hit single, the album did actually sneak up to number 176 on the charts, and was followed by a flop non-LP single, "Here's Today"/"If My World Falls Through." They split in late 1968 without recording anything else, though they briefly re-formed in 1969 with an altered lineup.(

New Flac
Sunshine pop with a light country feel. If you like California Sunshine Pop, there's nothing wrong here.(Frank)

Pop or Folk, Folk or Pop...Both? Neither? Agincourt - Fly Away 1970 (2004 ACME Lion)

Though Agincourt's album is sometimes described as folk-rock, it's really more accurately pegged as a combination of folk-rock (of the contemporary rather than traditional British variety), a bit of psychedelia, and a bit of swooning pop. Certainly it's got more drive and catchy pop melodies than most of the plentiful oodles of obscure barely pressed British folk-rock releases of the early '70s, though there are similarities in the gentleness of the approach and the wistful, slightly sad melodies. As these kind of U.K. folk-rockish rarities go, it's certainly one of the better ones -- not on the level of the most famous British folk-rockers, mind you, but among the upper tier of things you should check out if you're accumulating unknown albums in that realm.
Lee Menelaus has a sweet, high voice that's lighter and more innocent-sounding (to good effect) than many woman singers of the style, and the original tunes have a way of shining with pleasing sunniness while steering clear of the saccharine. Not everything here is that good -- some of the occasional harder-rocking tunes are more ordinary than the fetching folkier ones ("Mirabella" sounds almost like a garage Moody Blues), and the fairly homespun recording quality (particularly on the drums), while not a serious distraction, keeps some of this from coming across as well as it could have.(

Sometimes I just have to laugh about reviews. I wonder where this fantasy comes from, however, this is a great pop record with folk elements. Or a folk record with pop elements? Anyway, this is a great record if you like interesting pop music. And if you like interesting folk music...
...this is a great record. A record that is fun and comes in a different way.(Frank)


Wednesday 21 March 2018

Great Vocal Pop/Folk by Design: Design - Design 1970 & Tomorrow Is So Far Away 1972 (2011 RPM Retrodisc)

The British vocal group Design were an odd ensemble. They're sometimes described as soft rock, and there's a lot of validity to that categorization. Yet they were more idiosyncratic and eclectic than most early-'70s groups saddled with that tag. And although the wholesome-looking-and-sounding four-man, two-woman sextet had some of the traits of a manufactured group, they wrote most of their own material and did their own vocal arrangements.

This U.K. CD compiles their first two albums, 1970's Design and 1971's Tomorrow Is So Far Away, onto one disc, with lengthy liner notes by one of the group's original member/singers, Barry Alexander (nee Barry Johnston). Guitarist Tony Smith (the only instrumentalist in Design's first recording lineup) wrote most of the material on their debut, whose most attractive features are the high, feathery female vocal harmonies.

This has generated comparisons with the 5th Dimension (on the back cover of this reissue, at least), and those elements also slightly resemble the female harmonies in some of the more pop-oriented folk-rock groups, like the Mamas & the Papas and (more obscurely) the British band Eclection. Yet Design weren't by any means as soulful as the 5th Dimension, nor as folky or progressive as the Mamas & the Papas. With their orchestrated, poppy arrangements, they were more a whitebread act, and their pleasant songs fell on the precious and dainty side, as can be gathered after reading some of the titles alone ("Willow Stream," "The Minstrel's Theme," "Buttercup Stranger," "Children of the Mist").

Smith's songs aren't outstanding enough to command attention, yet the material's just a little too pleasing to fall into the category of easily ignored background music. It's soothing stuff that's best when it's at its folkiest, though lacking enough grit or imagination to appeal to many listeners who don't specialize in sunshine pop or soft rock. Smith left partway through the recording of Tomorrow Is So Far Away, on which just four of the songs are his compositions

That accounts in part for a change in approach which, though hardly dramatic, is noticeable. Other members take on some of the writing duties, and a few odd covers are inserted. Though hardly heavy, the instrumentation and tunes are a mite more forceful. Things are still on the wistfully upbeat, mildly folky side, even on a song ("Jennifer No One") that seems to be about a young mother giving up her son for adoption.

Again, the album's too trifling to sound like it should have gotten a wide audience, but too substantial to dismiss entirely, even if you're not an early-'70s vocal pop/rock specialist. The cover of "Strawberry Fields Forever" that starts off with a cappella choral scat vocals, however, is more novel than enjoyable, though there must have been few (if any) other covers of "Man We Was Lonely" (from Paul McCartney's first solo album) at the time.(

In my opinion, first-class pop music with a folk touch is delivered here. Because it did not meet the commercial requirements of the market at the time, it is this certainly not a quality feature. Judging music by record sales is a benchmark, but not mine. I think a completely different audience should be addressed here. This should never sound like Californian sunny beaches and this has solved the band first-class, also by intensified work in some songs with typical big band harmonies and partial arrangements. In my opinion first-class vocal pop music that mostly moves on its own terrain, even though some songs have references to American sounds (e.g. ''Ladybird Don't Fly). I think who likes first class vocals and well done pop music is right here.(Frank)

Flac (zippy)

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British Invasion Sounds: The Quiet Five - When the Morning Sun Dries the Dew 1965 -1967 (2005 RPM)

One of the more unknown British Invasion bands of the mid-'60s to make the lower reaches of the U.K. charts, the Quiet Five released half a dozen singles in 1965-1967 (one in the U.S. only) in various styles showcasing their accomplished vocal harmonies. The best of these, their debut, "When the Morning Sun Dries the Dew," was written by guitarist/singer Kris Ife for Marianne Faithfull. While its haunting folkiness would have been appropriate for Faithfull's early approach, the Quiet Five ended up releasing it themselves, and it did nudge just inside the British Top 50. So did a subsequent cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "Homeward Bound," but that was effectively wiped out when the original version went into the U.K. Top Ten. Other singles found the group working in several formats, including rocked-up pop standards, reasonably convincing Merseybeat-influenced rock, and tunes showing the vocal harmony influence of American acts such as the Beach Boys. Perhaps, like some other such groups with accomplished and flexible vocal harmonies, they were a little too versatile. Some of their work had fleeting similarities to other pop-oriented acts of the British Invasion, such as the Fortunes, Peter & Gordon, and the Tremeloes, but they never established too strong an identity of their own. Nor, unfortunately, did they record too many of their own songs, despite the ability shown by Kris Ife on some of their tracks and some of Ife's post-Quiet Five work.

When the Morning Sun Dries the Dew The Quiet Five formed in the early '60s in London, first as the Trebletones before changing their name to the Vikings. As the Vikings, they did manage one side of a 45 single, the instrumental "Space Walk," whose title was changed to "Gemini" when it was eventually issued by Columbia. The Vikings became the Quiet Five, however, in 1964 when they became the backing band for singer Patrick Dane, replacing another group that had used the Quiet Five name. After some personnel changes, the Quiet Five split from Dane to go out on their own, signing with Parlophone, where they were produced by Ron Richards (who also handled the Hollies). As was appropriate considering that "When the Morning Sun Dries the Dew" had been penned for Marianne Faithfull, they also backed Faithfull on a 1965 EP, with Faithfull's guitarist Jon Mark also participating. Though they toured with the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Donovan, the Byrds, and the Ronettes, the Quiet Five never had a big-selling disc. Ife left the group in 1967 to record as a solo act with MGM, and is best known for the late-'60s single on which he covered Joe South's "Hush," as this was the version that inspired the big cover hit of the same song by Deep Purple. Both sides of all six of the Quiet Five singles, along with seven previously unreleased tracks, were compiled on the 2005 CD anthology When the Morning Sun Dries the Dew.(

A really good compilation with all singles A and B pages as well as the bonus tracks. the band was pretty good but as already said in the review they were really active in too many areas to realize their own vision. In any case an album absolutely worth listening to and to recommend it to anyone who likes this music.(Frank)

Sixties Psychedelic Pop Garage: The Dearly Beloved - Rough Diamonds: The History Of Garage Band Music (1964-67)

Along with the Grodes, the Dearly Beloved were Tucson, AZ's top group in the mid-'60s. They started out in 1963 as a surf music combo called the Intruders, who were heavily influenced by the Ventures, and added singer Larry Cox to their lineup in early 1964. The Intruders cut one single, "Everytime It's You" b/w "Let Me Stay," as a result of winning a battle of the bands contest. The single wasn't much, although it had a vaguely Beatlesque quality and showed a band with a lot of potential, and this was borne out by their local reputation -- by the spring of 1964 they were one of the hottest bands in Tucson. The quintet was forced to change their name when they learned that there was a vocal group of the same name based in Detroit -- they existed very briefly as the Quinstrells and then, at the behest of Dan Gates, a local disc jockey and producer-manager who came in to help guide the group's fortunes, they became the Dearly Beloved.

The group broke out of Tucson in 1966, playing clubs as far away as Los Angeles and teen fairs throughout the west and southwest. They also cut a strange novelty single, "Peep Peep Pop Pop," which had been foisted on them by Gates, which became a number one hit in Tucson when issued on the local Boyd label, which got Columbia Records interested in the band. A Columbia version of the single was issued and scraped the lower reaches of the Billboard Hot 100, even getting onto American Bandstand's rate-a-record segment. They also recorded a complete album for the label that stayed in the can for 30 years. One lawsuit later, they were on White Whale, with a lot of promise before them, and then it all fell apart when Larry Cox was killed in a car crash that took place while the band was driving back to Tucson, to get Cox to his wedding the next day. The group never recovered, despite getting an unexpected regional hit out of the song "Flight 13," the B-side of their one attempt to cut a record after Cox's death.

Let's Talk About Girls! Music from Tuscon 1964-1968 Their seven singles are passable period pop/garage rock that don't measure up to the standards of literally hundreds of better obscure '60s garage groups throughout the country. The evidence from their unreleased Columbia LP, part of which was issued in 1997 on Dionysus Records' Tucson garage band collection Let's Talk About Girls, shows that they did have a good ear for hooks, a hard attack on their instruments that translated well in the studio, and that Cox was a strong singer. Had he lived, the Dearly Beloved might've been White Whale's answer to the Leaves. Bassist Shep Cooke went on to join the Stone Poneys briefly, before returning to the Dearly Beloved during their final days, and went on to play on albums by Tom Waits, Linda Ronstadt, and Jackson Browne.(


Saturday 17 March 2018

Garage Rock From Iowa: Gonn - Gonn For Good - The Best Of Gonn 1966-96 (2008 Kimerik Music)

Like many garage bands of the '60s, the Gonn achieved (slight) international fame beyond anything they attained in their lifetime when their single "Blackout of Gretely" was rediscovered by collectors and reissued in the '80s. From Keokuk, IA, the Gonn released only a couple singles on tiny local labels in 1966 and 1967. Probably the toughest garage band in Iowa (not that there was an enormous amount of competition), the Gonn took their inspiration from the raunchiest aspects of the early Rolling Stones, adding the raw, throat-shredding screams that American groups of the kind were wont to use during this period.(

The band has more to offer than these few words describe. The band had a really hard sound. Even on the few singles of the sixties they did not seem to peer at hits. To me they sounded really hard-line. However, this is a fine compilation of her musical work.(Frank)

Flac (zippy)                                      Flac (M)

mp3@320 (zippy)                           mp3@320 (M)

Two Classics On One Disc By Andy Kim - Baby, I Love You & Andy Kim (2006 Collector's Choice)


Andy Kim enjoyed major success on the pop charts as a singer, songwriter, and producer in the 1960s and '70s before experiencing a career resurgence in the new millennium. Born Andrew Youakim, he was the son of Lebanese expatriates who had settled in Montreal, Canada and run a grocery store. As a youngster, Youakim developed a passion for music, and when he turned 16, he left home with just $40 to his name, heading to New York City with a dream of breaking into the music business. He cut a few singles for several labels with no particular success before he met the noted songwriter and producer Jeff Barry who, with Ellie Greenwich, had penned several major hits for Phil Spector.

Barry was impressed enough with a song the young man had written, "How'd We Ever Get This Way," to sign him to Steed Records, a label run by Barry. Youakim streamlined his name to Andy Kim and "How'd We Ever Get This Way" became a Top 20 hit in the United States and Canada in 1968. That same year, Barry was one of the writers and producers brought in to make music for the Archies, a fictive rock group appearing in an animated television series based on the popular comic book series. With Barry, Kim co-wrote two of the Archies' biggest hits, "Sugar Sugar" and "Jingle Jangle," and he also sang on some of the Archies' sessions, though Ron Dante was the primary lead vocalist for the "group." In 1969, Kim scored another solo hit, "So Good Together," and the following year he hit the Top Ten with a cover of "Baby I Love You," which Barry had co-written for the Ronettes. In 1974,, Kim rose to the top of the Billboard charts with the single "Rock Me Gently," but despite this success, his brand of simple, well-scrubbed pop, influenced both by bubblegum and the Brill Building songwriters, was falling out of favor; this would prove to be his last major hit in the United States.

Believing his image and reputation were holding him back, Kim released an album in 1980 under the name Baron Longfellow; it was a modest success, and a second Longfellow album, Prisoner by Design, followed in 1984. However, it was in 1995, when Kim appeared at the Kumbaya Festival in Toronto (an annual fundraising event for AIDS charities) that he met Ed Robertson of Barenaked Ladies and discovered that a member of Canada's biggest group was a longtime Andy Kim fan. It was through Robertson that Kim learned he was held in high esteem by many noted Canadian musicians, and Kim found himself writing songs with Robertson and Ron Sexsmith, as well as appearing on-stage with Canadian indie rockers Broken Social Scene. In 2005, Kim, who has long been involved in charity work, launched the Andy Kim Christmas Show, an annual fundraising concert held at Toronto's Mod Club, in which Kim is joined on-stage by a number of Canadian pop stars ranging from Luke Doucet to Alex Lifeson of Rush, to perform seasonable material.

Happen Again In 2010, Andy Kim returned to the recording studio and released a comeback album, Happen Again, which included some of the songs he'd written with Robertson and Sexsmith. Kim's connection to Broken Social Scene's Kevin Drew stayed strong through the years, and eventually the two collaborated on an album. The resulting It's Decided had a strong indie rock influence and featured contributions from Dave Hamelin of the Stills, John McEntire of Tortoise (and a multitude of other projects), and Ohad Benchetrit of Do Make Say Think. The album was released by Arts & Crafts in early 2015.(

There is nothing more to say about this great pop musician and wonderful personality.(Frank)

Flac (zippy)

pass: SB1

Great Pop Album Of The Late '60s: Jamme - Jamme 1970 (2010 Now Sounds)

Jamme recorded an obscure, pleasant self-titled album that couldn't help but remind listeners of the mildest side of the Beatles when it was issued in 1970, influenced by California pop/rock. The story of Jamme, however, was quite complicated and interwoven with far more famous figures, and arguably more interesting than the music the group made.  Jamme evolved in some respects out of the mid-'60s Washington, D.C. group the British Walkers, who did indeed include a genuinely British guitarist, Paul Downing. Downing moved to Los Angeles in 1967 with his girlfriend, Nancy Throckmorton, staying with her mother, Susan Adams, who'd been John Phillips' first wife.

Downing joined the San Diego band the Hard Times for a while, and got to know Phillips, playing on some sessions in Phillips' home studio. After Downing played guitar on some tracks on the Mamas & the Papas album The Papas & the Mamas, Phillips suggested Downing put a group together, which he did in spring 1968 with fellow ex-British Walker Tim Smyser (on bass) and fellow British expatriate guitarist Don Adey. The drum slot was filled by Terry Rae, who had played with the Palace Guard.  This was the personnel that began recording Jamme's album in Phillips' home studio in Bel Air, but the road to the LP's completion wouldn't be smooth.

Phillips was distracted by the breakup of both the Mamas & the Papas and his marriage to Michelle Phillips, and instigated the departure of Rae. A plan to replace him with post-Van Morrison Them drummer Dave Tufrey didn't work out, with session drummers Jim Gordon (later to be in Derek & the Dominos) and Jerry Allison (of the Crickets) contributing to the sessions. Phillips then asked Downing to replace Smyser with another musician, and when Downing balked, the album fell deeper into limbo, Smyser soon joining a fading Standells.
With help from Adey's bassist brother Keith, the album was finally completed and released in March 1970 on Phillips' Warlock label. Unsurprisingly given the chaotic circumstances, the LP didn't gain much exposure, although a 2010 CD reissue on Now Sounds restored it to availability with eight bonus tracks and thorough historical liner notes.(

I really love this album because to me it's full of beautiful pop songs played and produced by really great musicians. What i really like is you can find here the finest influences from both sides, the US with finest west coast pop and the mainly UK Beatles influences. Great Pop of it's time back then. And still it is.(Frank)