Tuesday 29 May 2018

Pop, Beat, Psychedelic Pop: The Knickerbockers - The Challenge Recordings (2015 Sundazed) 4 Disc Box

Contrary to popular opinion, the Knickerbockers had more than one hit. They had two. "One Track Mind" just missed Billboard's Top 40 in 1966, several months after "Lies" galloped to a peak position of 20 in late 1965. Twenty isn't a blockbuster number but "Lies" is considered a classic 45 thanks in part to its inclusion in Lenny Kaye's 1972 garage rock compilation Nuggets. Their presence on Nuggets suggested the Knickerbockers were a hard and wild garage band, an assessment that isn't strictly true. Certainly, the Jersey-based quartet could kick up some dust as they bashed out three chords but Sundazed's four-disc 2015 box set The Challenge Recordings -- a disc containing everything the group did, including the full-length LPs Jerk & Twine Time and Lies, the 1994 archival set The Great Lost Album!, singles, alternate takes, and previously unissued demos -- paints the portrait of a hard-working combo willing to try on any sound that might get them an audience.
This eagerness led them straight to "Lies," as expert an imitation of the Beatlemania-era Fab Four as there ever was, but the Knickerbockers didn't content themselves with mimicking John, Paul, George, and Ringo. During their brief time at Challenge -- a stint that essentially amounts to all of 1965 and 1966, although there is a demo from 1964, a stray single and other unreleased items from 1967 -- the band touched upon every mainstream rock or pop sound of the pre-psychedelic '60s, starting as a fratty combo grinding out party covers of R&B and British Invasion hits -- not to mention a version of "The Jolly Green Giant" by early '60s rock & roll kingpins the Kingsmen -- and quickly touching upon surf and the limbo, folk-rock, and swinging pop, coming across like an AM pop station condensed into one quartet.
After the hit, the productions got grander -- they were slathered in strings and horns that placed them somewhere between B.J. Thomas and Glen Campbell -- but they also had an eye for snazzy covers of crossover standards ("Harlem Nocturne," "The Girl from Ipanema") and they were hip enough to spin "King of the Road" into a groover in the style of the Sir Douglas Quintet.
All of this can be heard on Sundazed's original CD reissues of the band -- apart from the unreleased 1967 side "Guaranteed Satisfaction," where the group swaggers convincingly -- but the reason why these recordings sound better as a box than on their own is how listening to four discs in succession emphasizes how the Knickerbockers jumped aboard every trend and, even if they didn't always cop a style with distinction, there's a charm to their hard-working aesthetic.
Plus, their malleability is almost an asset: it makes The Challenge Recordings seem like a time capsule of what American rock & roll really sounded like in the mid-'60s.(allmusic.com)

A great box and highly recommended.

Have fun

Flac 1 
Flac 2 
You need both parts!

Garage Pop/Power Pop Of The Eighties: The Stems - Mushroom Soup, The Citadel Years (2003 Citadel)

Leaders Dom Mariani and Richard Lane formed Australia garage/punk rockers the Stems in 1983. Playing such local venues as The Wizbah, The Old Melbourne, and The Shenton Park on a regular basis, the group built a substantial following, resulting in the release of their debut single in mid-1985, "Make You Mine" b/w "She's A Monster."
Further releases soon followed, including singles, EPs (such as the Love Will Grow EP, produced by Radio Birdman's Rob Younger), and full-lengths (1987's best-selling At First Sight Violets Are Blue). Strangely, at the height of their success, the group suddenly disbanded. But over the years, Mariani and Lane have been able to put their differences aside to reunite the Stems for the odd reunion show, including a pair of shows in 1997 (which coincided with the release an archival live release from the good old days, titled Weed Out!: Live at the Old Melbourne).(allmusic.com)

This is a very fine compilation with real great psychedelic garage sounds and power pop at it's best.
Truly great.

Have fun


Ars Nova - Sunshine And Shadows 1969 (1993 Repetoire)

Hello folks,

this is the band's second album and may not be as strong as their debut, but it is the second album of a band that, in my opinion, a few years before the early seventies Prog Boom, already played in more than just beginnings a sound that years later influenced musicians and became a strong trend in popular music (mainly in the seventies). The band has always understood well not to get lost in complex structures and always to put slight pop undertones into their songs. This is not necessarily a typical ''Pop Runners'' recommendation, but what is typical... :-)

Have a lot of fun


Bobbie Gentry - The Very Best Of Bobbie Gentry (EMI 2005 Gold Series)

A lot of critics have often described Bobbie Gentry as a pure country act in her reviews and only rarely was she appreciated as what she was in my eyes: A gifted songwriter, a world class pop singer and a wonderful artist. People who like i.e. Nancy Sinatra or Dusty will love Bobbie Gentry. And Bobbie Gentry had the better songs (mostly), the better voice and in my opinion also a less pop star-trimmed image to stick with the comparison with Nancy. Although Bobbie Gentry put a lot of work into her shows and a ''perfect'' appearance was very important to her.

However, she seemed to be more sparing with the ''everybodys pop darling'' image. Many of her lyrics also seemed more broken than many of her colleagues. However, in retrospect, I would have liked Bobbie Gentry and Lee Hazlewood to work together. I think both artists could have profited from this from a musical point of view. If you don't know Bobbie Gentry's work, listen here.

Have fun


Pop, Beat and Psychedelic Pop of the Sixties: The Dovers - We're Not Just Anybody 1966 (2002 Misty Lane Records) Vinyl

The Dovers are rightly revered among collectors for having released a few of the finest obscure pop-oriented singles in the '60s garage rock style. All eight of the tracks from their four rare 45s are on this 10" LP. The best of the songs -- "She's Gone," "She's Not Just Anybody," and "What Am I Going to Do" -- were all among the best such singles to combine heavily Beatles/Byrds-influenced guitars, melodies, and vocals with a distinctively self-pitying teen garage sullenness.
As is often the case when a thorough compilation of such a garage group is assembled, however, it also turns out that the three songs that were previously given the heaviest exposure on various-artist '60s garage anthologies are the best by a clear margin. In this instance, those songs are the aforementioned "She's Gone," "She's Not Just Anybody," and "What Am I Going to Do," all of which appeared on the original series of Pebbles LPs about 20 years before this Italian album was issued. Still, the other songs have their merits, especially in the Byrds-like guitar riffs, and "The Third Eye" in particular shows a psychedelic raga-rock influence that the group might have developed more had they continued to put out records.(R. Unterberger, allmusic.com)

A great band that presents eight songs that show on a very high level what fine pop music was made in the sixties. More is not necessary to mention to this compilation of singles by the band. Highly recommended for garage pop lovers.


p.s.: If you think it's very small for a Flac file you are right but the reason is: Only eight mono tracks recorded without much technique in the time back then. I checked it with different software and it's definitely Flac.


Sixties Pop, Psychedelic Pop, Surf: The Freshmen ‎– When Summer Comes, The Pye Anthology 1965-1969 (2001 Sanctuary)

This CD assembles the complete recordings from 1965 through 1969 by the Freshmen, their music freely mixing the sounds of (and often encompassing the songs of) the Beach Boys, Sam & Dave, Jay & the Americans, and the Beatles. The music is well played and sung, and a lot of fun, and some of it is given enough of a fresh twist to make it worth owning -- their versions of "The Little Girl I Once Knew" and "Cara Mia" are rather endearing, even if they don't quite soar to the same heights as the originals. The group had a prodigious reputation in Ireland and not only got to record a string of singles but also an LP, all of which are represented here. The sound is excellent and the annotation is extremely thorough, delving not only into the group's history but also into a 1960s Irish music scene that isn't too well known among Americans or even contemporary Britons.(Bruce Eder, allmusic.com)

This compilation is wonderful. There are no fillers, every song has a quality that convinces musically. Everything sounds summery, like joie de vivre and musicians who know their trade. I love this kind of music, even though it's popular songs from other artists here and there. I was honestly surprised to read that there was an Irish band at work here. Anyone who loves pop music of the sixties with great melodies is right here.

Viel Spaß

New Flac

Psychedelic Pop/Sunshine Pop by Tommy Roe - Paisley Dreams 1967 (2008 Rev-Ola)

Paisley Dreams pairs the two albums (It's Now Winters Day and Phantasy, both released in 1967) Tommy Roe made with producer Curt Boettcher's guidance. The pair had already collaborated on the bubblegummy hit singles "Sweet Pea" and "Hooray for Hazel" but when they went in to make It's Now Winters Day, they aimed to make something more atmospheric and more in line with the psychedelic times.
The songs are still pure sugary pop but come loaded with swirling background vocals, electronic tricks, and other sonic wallpaper. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, but it works incredibly well and some of the songs here ("Aggravation," "Long Live Love," and "Misty Eyes") stand with the best sunshine pop of the era.
The album's title track is a work of genius, sounding like a melancholy transmission form the saddest planet in the galaxy with Roe's lachrymose vocals wrapped in a "Spector trapped under the ice" production that cements Boettcher's status as a studio wizard. The album understandably flopped and the next effort was a simpler, less produced record that paled in comparison.
The songs Roe turned in for Phantasy were a shade on the weak side, the arrangements were less interesting, and the whole thing smacks of a rush job. A pleasant rush job, but still rather forgettable. Putting the two records together does no favors for Phantasy, but it is interesting to hear them back to back and the fact that this is the first official release of It's Now Winters Day makes this package rather essential to fans of slightly left of center sunshine pop.(allmusic.com)

In my opinion a very strong compilation of two albums from '67 (It's Now Winters Day and Phantasy) who are full of material as strong as his best works. And for me, a very big fan of Curt Boettcher, of course two very special albums (together in a compilation of both here). 

Have fun


Friday 25 May 2018

Thanks Folks!!!

Hello folks, just a short and quick info. I will be back in some days and i want to say ''Thank you all for your nice and lovely wishes and words. Thank you all!''
It will still take some days but than i will be back again. All the best to you all and grateful regards