Saturday 30 June 2018

Sunshine/Psychedelic Pop: The Cowsills - Captain Sad And His Ship Of Fools & II x II 1968+1969 (1989 Cowchip Records) 2in1

I never thought I’d be recommending a Cowsills album here on the Storm but I guess stranger things have happened. II x II is considered the group’s finest album along with 1968’s We Can Fly. This lp was a concious attempt to get away from the Cowsills pop image and create something a bit more original and experimental. I think they succeeded marvelously as II x II is a great folk-rock album that saw the band writing more mature, reflective material.

Unlike a lot of sunshine pop groups, the Cowsills could actually play their own instruments. They did this well, along with writing most of the album’s material. Bill and Bob Cowsill wrote a lion’s share of this material, much of it in a gentle, lilting folk-rock style. Father best exemplifies this new approach being a beautiful folk-rocker with a lite psych mellotron touch – this track floats in the air like the best sun pop gems should. Some of the tracks like Signs and Anything Changes even rock hard in spots, much closer to power-pop in spirit but successful any way you slice it. Highlights are really hard to point out on such a consistent and varied album. Don’t Look Back, an early morning country-rocker with a strong CSNY influence is a real gem in the Cowsills catalog while The Prophecy Of Daniel And John The Divine is more abstract and easily their most advanced album cut – a mini masterpiece of lite psychedelia.

This lp should have proven to the world that there was much more to the Cowsills than great singles like The Rain, The Park & Other Things. The sound is very homespun and where the earlier albums relied heavily on studio technology this one doesn’t. When II x II was released the group was suffering a major commercial downfall. The album should have remedied this and repaired their critical standing amongst the rock world. Sunshine pop fans should not miss this near classic album.(

Not really something to add except maybe some days ago i read somewhere in the web (i forgot the site) that the still living siblings plan to record a new album. But i don't know if it's really true or not.
And what i want to add of course is, i highly recommend both albums.


Vielen vielen Dank, Christian!

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Sunshine Pop/Pop Rock/Bubblegum: Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart - The Singles Vol.2 (1995 Oxford Records)

Early years
Hart's father was a church minister and he himself served in the Army after leaving high school. Upon discharge, he travelled to Los Angeles seeking a career as a singer. Boyce was separately pursuing a career as a singer. After being rejected numerous times, Boyce took his father's suggestion to write a song called "Be My Guest" for rock and roll star Fats Domino. He waited six hours at Domino's hotel room to present him with the demo, and got Domino to promise to listen to the song. The song hit #8 in the US and #11 in the UK, becoming Domino's biggest hit there in several years, and sold over a million copies. Boyce met Hart in 1959, and the following year played guitar on Hart's single "Girl in the Window", which flopped, but marked the first time he used the name Bobby Hart, since his manager shortened it to fit the label.
Their partnership made a breakthrough with a song recorded by Chubby Checker, "Lazy Elsie Molly", in 1964. They went on to write hits for Jay & the Americans ("Come a Little Bit Closer"), Paul Revere and the Raiders ("(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone") and The Leaves ("Words"). The latter two songs provided the Monkees with hit B-sides in 1967. The duo also wrote the theme song of the daytime soap Days of Our Lives. At one point in this period, Hart also co-wrote "Hurt So Bad" for Little Anthony & the Imperials with Teddy Randazzo and his regular songwriting partner, Bobby Weinstein.

The Monkees
In late 1965, they wrote, produced and performed the soundtrack of the pilot for The Monkees, including singing lead vocals (which were later replaced, once the show was cast). In 1966, despite some conflicts with Don Kirshner, who was the show's musical supervisor, they were retained in essentially the same role. It was Boyce and Hart who wrote, produced and recorded, accompanied by their backing band, the Candy Store Prophets, backing tracks for a large portion of the first season of The Monkees, and the band's accompanying debut album.
The Monkees themselves re-recorded their vocals over Boyce and Hart's when it came time to release the songs, including both "(Theme from) The Monkees" and "Last Train to Clarksville", the latter being a huge hit. Kirshner suddenly relieved Boyce and Hart as producers, by claiming they were using studio time booked for Monkees songs to record tracks for their own solo project.
After their departure from the Monkees, and the negative publicity that erupted when word got out that the band hadn't played the instruments on their early records, Boyce and Hart were unsure how the Monkees felt about them personally. Attending one of their concerts, though, the duo were spotted in the audience, and singer Davy Jones invited them onstage to introduce them: "These are the fellows who wrote our great hits — Tommy and Bobby!" Every original Monkees album (except for the Head soundtrack) included Boyce and Hart songs.

Other successes

Hart and Boyce appearing on Soupy Sales' show, 1970
While working with The Monkees, Boyce and Hart embarked on a successful career as recording artists in their own right, releasing three albums on A&M Records: Test Patterns, I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight, and It's All Happening on the Inside (released in Canada as Which One's Boyce and Which One's Hart?). The duo also had five charting singles; the most well-known of these was "I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight", which reached #8 in early 1968. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. "Out and About" (#39) and "Alice Long" (#27) were their other Top 40 hits. The duo also performed "I'll Blow You a Kiss in the Wind"[nb 1] on the television show Bewitched in one of several TV series appearances that included guest spots on The Flying Nun and I Dream of Jeannie ("Jeannie the Hip Hippie", and all of these shows were produced by Screen Gems, the television subsidiary of Columbia Pictures. In each of the three sitcom guest appearances, their music was featured including two covers (unreleased) they did on The Flying Nun.
Boyce and Hart also had filmed video promos for their songs "Out and About" and "Alice Long".
Boyce and Hart also were involved in producing music for Columbia Pictures' motion pictures during the mid-late 1960s, including two Matt Helm movies (The Ambushers and Murderer's Row), Winter A-Go-Go and Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows. They also provided the music score for a TV movie called Three's a Crowd starring Larry Hagman and Jessica Walter. Boyce and Hart also did promos for the U.S. Army Reserve and Coca Cola. This included the creation of two Coca-Cola commercial jingles, one being a powerful psychedelic song, "Wake Up Girl", while the other was their single "Smilin'" with totally different lyrics.
In 1971 a sitcom named Getting Together appeared on ABC-TV, starring Bobby Sherman and Wes Stern as two struggling songwriters, who were friends of The Partridge Family (and were introduced on their show in the last episode of the show's first season). The series was reportedly based loosely on Boyce and Hart's partnership. At this point, they decided to work on various solo projects.

Dolenz, Jones, Boyce, and Hart
In the mid-1970s, Boyce and Hart reunited with Davy Jones and Micky Dolenz, performing the songs Boyce and Hart had written for The Monkees a decade before. Legally prohibited from using the Monkees name, they called themselves Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart. The group toured amusement parks and other venues throughout America, Japan and other locations from July 4, 1975, to early 1977, also becoming the first American band to play in Thailand. Signed to Capitol Records by Al Coury, the group released an album of new material in 1976. (A live album was also recorded in Japan, but was not released in the United States until the mid-1990s.) The tours coincided with the syndication of the Monkees TV series, and helped boost sales of Arista's The Monkees Greatest Hits.
Dolenz, Jones, Boyce and Hart also starred in their own TV special called The Great Golden Hits of the Monkees Show, which appeared in syndication. It featured a medley of other Boyce and Hart songs, as well as the songs they had produced for the Monkees. It did not include any songs from their new album.

Later years
Boyce released an album under the pseudonym Christopher Cloud in 1973.[6] He produced several hit records UK rock n roll revival group Darts including, "Daddy Cool/The Girl Can't Help It", "Come Back My Love" and "It's Raining". In 1979, he formed his own band, called The Tommy Band, and toured the UK as support for Andrew Matheson (ex-Hollywood Brats). The tour was largely ignored by the public, especially in Middlesbrough where reportedly just one person paid to watch the show. Boyce and Hart reunited during the 1980s resurgence of the Monkees, and performed live.

During that same year, The First Bobby Hart Solo Album was released in Europe on WEA. The group included: Bobby Hart on keyboard and vocals, Victor Vanacore on keyboards, Larry Taylor on bass, Vince Megna on guitar, John Hoke on drums, and "Blue Jay" Patton on saxophone. Five years later, in 1983, Hart was nominated for an Oscar for his song "Over You", written for the film Tender Mercies.

After a stint living in the UK, Boyce returned to live in Memphis, Tennessee, where he taught songwriting on Beale Street, and Nashville, Tennessee, and later suffered a brain aneurysm. On November 23, 1994, Boyce committed suicide by gunshot.

According to the Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll, Boyce and Hart wrote more than 300 songs, and sold more than 42 million records as a partnership.(Wiki)

A wonderful collection by one of the greatest pop songwriters and songwriter teams of the last millenium, Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart.(Frank)

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Mexican Psychedelic Rock/Pop: The Spiders - Back 1970 (2000 La Ciruela Electrica)

The Spiders were a Mexican rock group that hailed from the city of Guadalajara and recorded in the 1970s. The band’s sound assimilated the psychedelic sounds that were in vogue at the close of the 1960s. One of the band’s early singles, “Back,” ranked among the most-played tracks on Mexican radio in 1970. The band went on to release three albums in the 1970s, in addition an EP and various singles. 1993 saw the release of a live reunion album. In retrospect, the band has been described as one of the key bands in Avandaro-era Mexican rock.(Discogs)

The band does not come from the garage rock genre like many South American bands from that time back then but can be clearly assigned to psychedelic rock. The band plays mainly songs with guitar and organ in the foreground. Songs like ''I'm A Man'' ''Something i heard'' and ''Now'' have a more Pop rock/latin background and are also highlights of the album for me. But the whole album is convincing, also because it doesn't drift into Prog Rock. A very good album.(Frank)

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Psychedelic Garage: The Human Expression - Love At Psychedelic Velocity 1965-1967 (2010 Cicadelic)

The Human Expression was an American garage and psychedelic rock band from Los Angeles that released three well-regarded singles, and made additional demo recordings between 1966 and 1967.

The band formed in 1966, with the members coming from Westminster, California, and Tustin, California (both in Orange County). Jim Quarles came up with the name "because it had a mystical and otherworldly ring", and the father of one of the band members (Jim Foster) served as their manager.

The two then began writing songs for the new band: "I didn't know what I was doing at the time. I just wrote the songs with Jim Foster. I didn't have any prior experience." The band would start performing in local venues and school dances to create a more cohesive unit.
After rehearsing for six months, they went to a recording studio and cut the demo recordings for their first single, eventually securing a recording contract with Los Angeles-based Accent Records. While the "A" side of the demo single was selected, the "B" side was replaced with a song that is probably their best known recording, "Love at Psychedelic Velocity."

Two more original compositions made up the second single; the demos and the released recordings of each side have survived. Both singles were mixed by Wally Heider, famed for his work with the Grateful Dead.
Perhaps due to the slow sales of the band's own songs, their manager brought demos of two songs by then-unknown songwriter Mars Bonfire to the band to consider for their third single. They selected "Sweet Child of Nothingness" as the "A" side of their third single, to be backed with another original composition as the "B" side.

The other song was "Born to be Wild," which did not impress Jim Quarles; in 1968, this would become a smash hit by Steppenwolf. The band, at this point, also began playing across the Sunset Strip but were limited in venues due to still being minors.

Before the band's third single was released, lead guitarist Martin Eshleman injured his hand. The band was practicing, and were taking a break when Tom Hamilton accidentally slammed a door on Eshleman's hand, lodging it in glass. Eshleman had severed tendons and an artery, and was forced to leave the band. Although a new guitarist was brought in, Quarles left almost immediately: "This move kind of destroyed the chemistry of the band. I felt it was time to move on".(excerpt by Wiki)

The band have done a lot of very fine psychedelic garage rock songs and this is a fine collection of their work they've done in the studio.(Frank)


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Psychedelic Rock: The Corporation - Get On Our Swing & Hassels In MyMind 1970 (2008 Big Beat) 2in1

To listen to this CD, get ready for a trip - in the 60s- 70s sense of the word. Overall, the Corporation employed liberal use of instrumental colours, a dynamic range of vocals - from gentle to scream, solo to group - experimental and thoughtful arrangements (with many twists and turns combining elements of pop, garage rock, blues, hard rock and psychedelic), dissonance and high energy (with lots of busy drums). Expect sudden changes in direction. And a brief whistle call thrown into a few cuts is fun.(excerpt from a review by Gary Myers)

This few words by Gary Myers describe very good the sound of the band. A lot of styles are mixed in the band songs but over all these different styles its psychedelic rock what the band played.This is real psychedelic and it's real Rock.(Frank)

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Thursday 28 June 2018

Beatlesque Pop/Power Pop: We All Together - We All Together 2 1974 (1997 Lazarus Audio Product) (5 Bonus Tracks)

The Peruvian band We All Together, though unknown beyond a core cluster of cultists, was among the prime exponents of Beatlesque pop/rock in the early '70s. Led by singer and frequent composer Carlos Guerrero, who (along with some other members) had been in the Peruvian rock band Laghonia, they released two albums (singing in English) in the first half of the '70s. These were fashioned after the lighter side of the late-'60s Beatles, particularly in the vocal harmonies, melodic tunes, and sophisticated arrangements blending keyboards, acoustic guitars, and electric guitars in a graceful manner.
Although Lennon, McCartney, and for that matter, Harrison's influence, show up in We All Together's work, they had more of an affinity for McCartney's engaging melodicism, to the point of covering some obscure, early McCartney solo tunes. On their second album, they also reached into some British progressive rock riffs, although the Beatles vibe remained dominant. With the exception of Badfinger, they may have been the best band of their time to play in an avowedly Beatlesque style. Their albums, once all but impossible to find in the Northern Hemisphere, were reissued in the U.S. in the late '90s.(R. Unterberger,

Their second and final album strongly echoes late-period Beatles, particularly Paul McCartney; in fact, it often seems pitched about midway between the 1969 and 1970 Beatles and the beginning of McCartney's solo career. Although it's hard to shake the nagging feeling while listening to this that it's somehow been created by a cover band who got access to discarded early-'70s McCartney demos, it's a convincing and enjoyable emulation of Lennon & McCartney's pop/rock craftsmanship, if more lightweight, less cogent and personal, and lacking in truly world-class tunes.

It's on a much higher plateau than Klaatu, for instance. And the Beatles aren't the sole point of reference; guitar riffs on "Follow Me If You Can," for instance, have been altered just enough from Yes' "Roundabout" to avoid plagiarism, while the full guitars and harmonies on many cuts will appeal to many a Badfinger fan. The CD reissue has five bonus cuts, some quite worthwhile. On "Rock of Ages," they offer a surprisingly convincing raunchy rocker, in contrast to their usual midtempo blends of voice, guitar, piano, and some orchestration; Carlos Guerrero's "Together Forever" and "It's Us Who Say Goodbye" are in the mold of folky White Album ballads like "I Will" and "Julia"; and there's a faithful version of McCartney's "Band on the Run," not exactly a common cover choice for bands of the time.(R.Unterberger,

I think, all of you know i am a huge Beatles maniac and these guys were no copy cats. They had their own vision of that style (yes, to me Beatles/McCartney created their own style of the pop genre) and here the band showed what fine songwriters and musicians they were. Wonderful pop album.(Frank)


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Marvelous US Psychedelia: The Asteroid No.4 - Collide (2018 13 O'Clock Records)

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been riding with Asteroid #4 for two decades now, with their new album Collide celebrating those mystic years when they first washed my Philadelphia nights with their hypnotic watercolored jangling guitar driven emancipations, then up and moved themselves to California, the land of warmth and sunshine, where here with a limited edition gatefold on clear vinyl they’ve delivered an enticing postcard, suggesting that they are very happy with their tall glasses of fresh orange juice and girls in summer dresses all year long.

Collide is sonically layered, uncommonly innovative, laid back, drenched with mild reverb and swirling with comfort, all while embracing the listener with worthy lyrics … Asteroid #4 have indeed found that delicate balance, creating a series of songs that come off as half remembered hypnotic lucid dreams hovering just out of reach.

This is perhaps Asteroid #4’s most drifting psychedelic album to date, sweeping me back to romantically tripped out bygone days, where with my bedroom lights covered by paisley scarves I danced with the shadows that moved across my walls, lost in new thoughts, finding a new path, and becoming the person I am today, which is pretty much that same girl with Jeanie Shrimpton hair, Brian Jones red hip-hugger corduroy bellbottoms, and an excitement for all that lay ahead of me.  In short, what Asteroid #4 have magically managed to do is to create that 60’s west coast vision afresh, giving me a reason to remember why my eyes followed the long orange fingers of the setting sun, where I imagined that star filled velvet nights enveloped everyone who like Asteroid 4 up and slid across the country, finding a new home and a new way of being at the water’s edge.
I promise, you’ll enjoy this shimmering delight of wondrous imagery lost to time, arriving at your door like a postcard from yourself to remind you with a new voice of those lush hazed and dream-filled years.(Jenell Kesler,

These guys are now on the road for twenty years and they getting better and better. With ''Collide'' they deliver a very fine work of their wonderful psychedelic soundscapes. If you like it you can order it HERE

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Australian pop of the '60s and '70s by The Mixtures - The Pushbike Song 1970 (1996 Fable, EMI)

Australian musicians Terry Dean and Rod De Clerk met in Tasmania in 1965. They then met Laurie Arthur, a member of The Strangers, and the three decided to form a band together after a jam session. They quickly signed to EMI that same year and released three singles. They went through several line-up changes over the following few years, then signed to CBS Records in 1969. A few further singles followed before transferring to Fable Records in 1970.

The Mixtures recorded a cover of Mungo Jerry's "In the Summertime" and—as a result of the 1970 radio ban, during which many Australian radio stations refused to play Australian and British music released by major labels—received much more airplay than had initially been expected for a group on a small record label. The single went to #1 in Australia for six weeks. They followed up with "The Pushbike Song" (produced by David Mackay), which went to #1 in Australia for two weeks, hit #2 in the UK Singles Chart,[1] and went to #44 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. after being released on Sire Records.

The next single, "Henry Ford", peaked at #43 in Australia. Further line-up changes ensued before "Captain Zero" went to #6 in Australia in 1971, their last big hit. The group underwent some more line-up changes including Brenton Fosdike (Guitar, vocals), John Petcovich (Drums, Vocals) and the last member to join was Keyboard Player Rob Scott. In 1978 the band travelled to Perth to do some recording and put together a new show. During this time Bass Player Chris Spooner died in a fishing accident at Trigg Beach. The band only carried on for a further three months as a four-piece before breaking up in early 1979. The remaining four members, Brenton, John, Rob and Peter Williams, then formed a new band with two other Australians, (Dennis Broad and Paul Reynolds) and the band was named BRIX.(wiki)

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Monday 25 June 2018

The Rats (David Kubinec) - First Long Player Record 1974 (2006 RPM)

With only one single to their credit, the Rats were forgotten until they and that single, "Turtle Dove," were excavated for RPM's junk-shop glam rock Boobs -- and a few years later, RPM put out First Long Play Record, the first time a full-length Rats record ever surfaced.

Appropriately for a band that barely existed in the charts, the Rats weren't so much a real group as a project, fronted by David Kubinec and produced by ex-Joe Meek engineer Adrian Millar. They were meant to ride the glitter wave, so it's not much surprise that they sounded like a blend of T. Rex and the Sweet, two of the biggest bands in the style, and that kind of unapologetic theft is part of the pleasure here.
Glam and glitter always sounded better when they were trash, and what's trashier than stealing from other bands? But the Rats stole with style, crafting a bunch of really intoxicating pop along the way, including the boogie of "L.A. Highway" and "Oxford Donna," which brings to mind shades of Bolan's "Mad Donna."

If the cheap pleasures of First Long Play Record kind of fizzle out by the end of the album, it nevertheless has plenty of punch throughout, and is the rare glitter record that comes very close to delivering on the promise of its single.(

Alternative Flac
Alternative mp3@320

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Sunday 24 June 2018

Tuesday's Children - Strange Light From The East (The Complete Recordings (2007 Rev-Ola)

Both sides of all six of this obscure British group's 1966-1968 singles are included on this compilation, which adds a 1969 solo A-side by original Tuesday's Children singer/songwriter Phil Cordell and five previously unreleased tracks.
In an essential sense, Tuesday's Children are similar to several other British groups of the time that managed to release several records for different labels without making the charts, or even making much of a reputation among collectors. Like numerous other such bands, they had enough talent to separate them from the innumerable groups that only managed to put out one or two flops (or nothing at all), but not nearly enough to put them on the level of the notable bands of the era.

And like many such acts, they never developed or stuck to a certain style, or came up with that song or two strong enough to be an undeniable hit, despite numerous opportunities. They did write much of their own material, and the passable British pop/rock period sounds of this CD range from light trendy psychedelia ("Strange Light from the East," "In the Valley of the Shadow of the East") to Beatlesque mod rock ("Summer Leaves Me with a Sigh," "High and Drifting"), Walker Brothers-lite ("When You Walk in the Sand"), Baroque pop-folk ("High on a Hill"), a heavy psych adaptation of a Spanish ballet ("Ritual Fire Dance"), and good-time vocal harmony-driven pop with an American influence.
Just because this is in the also-ran category doesn't mean that fans of these genres in general might not find something to enjoy here, as the material's sung and produced well. There's not much here that's going to grab non-specialists, though, with the jubilant, orchestrated light psych of "Bright Eyed Apples" counting as about their best moment.(R. Unterberger,

I am a great fan of this kind of music and i really love this album. It's a pity the band never made it.(Frank)

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