Sunday 29 July 2018

Computer Crash! uwääääähhh....

Hello folks and friends,

this morning my machine said goodbye. I've tried nearly four hours to fix it but i can't find the reason why it don't work. For today it's enough. I will try it once again tomorrow with a friend of mine who is a real computer freak. Anyway, what i want to say is that everything will need a little more time but i will do my best to give all of you fast answers. In case it lasts a little longer i hope for your understanding. I wish all of you a nice sunday


Saturday 28 July 2018

Sixties Pop, Beat, British Invasion by The Merseybeats - I Think Of You - The Complete Recordings 1963-65 (2002 Bear Family Records)

The Merseybeats were one of the better quartets to come out of the British Invasion without ever making a dent on the charts in the United States -- along with the Roulettes, the Chants, and the Undertakers, they represent an undeservedly lost chapter in early-'60s British rock & roll. Although they enjoyed a little less than a year of serious chart success, the Merseybeats were unable to pull together the various facets of their sound into a cohesive, coherent whole in the manner of the Beatles or the Hollies, and into something lasting, in part because of a lack of original songwriting ability in their ranks. The group's roots go back to the early '60s in Liverpool, and a band originally known as "the Mavericks," comprised of Tony Crane (lead guitar, vocals), Billy Kinsley (bass, vocals), David Elias (rhythm guitar, vocals), and Frank Sloane (drums). They were doing well but soon found the name to be a drag on their success, making people think that they were a country & western band. They briefly used the name "the Pacifics," and then became the Merseybeats -- evidently their timing was such that they grabbed the name, previously a local music reference, ahead of anyone else in a city boiling over with musical activity.

By the end of 1962, the Merseybeats lineup had solidified around Crane and Kinsley, with Aaron Williams joining on rhythm guitar in place of Elias and John Banks succeeding Sloane. The group made their recording debut around this time as part of the Oriole label's Liverpool showcase, This Is Merseybeat. With the help of the manager of the Cavern Club, they were formally signed to Fontana Records in mid-1963, and made their debut in August of that year with a single of "It's Love That Really Counts" b/w "Fortune Teller" -- the A-side, a Bacharach/David tune, was a solid piece of British Invasion pop/rock in the best Beatles/Hollies/Searchers mode, with memorable guitar hooks and a memorable chorus, and it reached number 24 on the U.K. charts. They were later signed up by the Beatles' legendary manager, Brian Epstein, but the fit was an awkward one, owing to differences in musical sensibility -- the group was a fairly hard rock & roll outfit, but their singles tended much more to the pop side of rock & roll, and the A-sides never represented their real sound very well. In early 1964, the Merseybeats released a second single, "I Think of You" backed with the pop/rock standard "Mister Moonlight," which reached number five in England. In both of these instances, the B-side was closer to the band's sound than the A-side and, in both instances, the band had latched onto the material first -- but was eclipsed by rival versions by the Rolling Stones and the Beatles.

Though it had come along a little late, "It's Love That Really Counts" turned the group into a major pop/rock act, and the future looked good for them. But there were problems on the horizon, starting with the fact that neither of those singles had made even the slightest impact in the United States, which was where the real fortunes were to be made; and, much more seriously, the decision by Billy Kinsley to leave the band in 1964 in order to form his own group, the Kinsleys. In his place, they got John Gustafson on bass and vocals. formerly of Liverpool's Big Three trio, who also contributed some songwriting.
In April of 1963, they released "Don't Turn Around" b/w "Really Mystified," which -- despite a beautifully catchy, harmony-and-hook-laden A-side that was heavily influenced by the work of Roy Orbison, and an original B-side co-authored by Crane and Gustafson -- didn't do quite as well, peaking at number 13. A third single in July, "Wishin' and Hopin'" b/w "Milkman" (the latter another Crane/Gustafson original), also reached number 13. The band released a pair of extended-play singles, including "I Think of You" and "Merseybeats on Stage," the latter capturing their real sound in concert and included "Long Tall Sally" and "You Can't Judge a Book by Its Cover" in early 1964. They also worked their way into two rock & roll featurettes, Swinging UK and UK Swings Again -- one of their clips, "Don't Turn Around," was nicely staged, the band miming to the single on a platform that, on the chorus of the title, starts to rotate.

The Merseybeats were successful enough to get an LP release, and the resulting self-titled album showcased their limitations as well as their virtues. Amid a few inspired moments, mostly on the single-sides (such as "Milkman") picked up for the LP, there were some "originals" that were highly derivative of Bo Diddley and Little Richard, interspersed with some decent Liverpool-style adaptations of American R&B ("Bring It on Home to Me," "He Will Break Your Heart,") and a strange choice of show tunes, one ("Hello Young Lovers") partly successful and the other not. Apart from a lack of originality in their sound, the album pointed to the group's very thin in-house songwriting -- they were almost wholly dependent on Peter Lee Stirling, who had written their three biggest, single A-sides, for success. And to judge from the weak diversity on their album, one couldn't tell if the Merseybeats wanted to sound like the Beatles, the Fortunes, or the Pretty Things, and as a consequence gained very few fans from the release.

Their fall 1964 single "Last Night I Made a Little Girl Cry" b/w "Send Me Back," barely made the British Top 40, peaking at number 40, and it wasn't long after this that Gustafson left the band and was replaced by Kinsley, whose return to the lineup coincided with their last round of success as the Merseybeats. By 1965, the Liverpool sound synonymous with the term "Merseybeat" was considered old-hat, and the name that had helped gain the group some vital recognition was now weighing them down. Following "I Love You, Yes I Do" b/w "Good, Good Lovin'," and "I Stand Accused" (later covered by Elvis Costello) backed with "All My Life," which peaked at numbers 22 and 38, respectively, the group seemed to have run its course for commercial success by early 1966. They were rescued by the interest of the members of the Who, whose members knew Crane and Kinsley, and got them under the management of Chris Stamp and Kit Lambert.

Pin Ups In mid-1966, Crane and Kinsley became the Merseys and scored a huge hit with "Sorrow" later that year, reaching number four in England. They'd still never charted a record in America, however, and their next single, a fine rendition of the Who song "So Sad About Us," never charted. The duo called it quits after the release of their single "Lovely" b/w "Loretta Drifting." Kinsley went on to form Rockin' Horse, while Crane later re-fomed the old band -- after a fashion -- as Tony Crane & the Merseybeats during the '70s and '80s, with Bob Packham on bass and vocals, Alan Cosgrove on drums and vocals, and Colin Drummond on keyboards and vocals.

The original group was fondly remembered and the band did well embracing its own past; in the meantime, David Bowie covered "Sorrow" on Pin Ups in 1973, an acknowledgment of the lingering appeal of their best work. By the '90s, Kinsley was working with them again as the Merseybeats, built around that same core lineup except for Dave Goldberg on keyboards. In 2000, Crane's son Adrian joined on keyboards and guitar, and Lou Rosenthal took over on drums.(Bruce Eder,

It's a pity the band never made it in the US. They were really a strong act and could compete with nearly all of the so called ''big bands'' in their genre at the time back then. The collection here is a fine legacy of their work and highly recommended for all who are not familiar with the band and of course to all who are interested in this special sound of the sixties.(Frank)

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Seth Swirsky & Mike Ruekberg AKA The Red Button: The Red Button - Now It's All This! (2017 Jem Records) 2 CD Remastered

If you haven't heard of this release maybe you know the both albums by The Red Button from 2007 ''She's About To Cross My Mind and the 2011 release ''As Far As Yesterday Goes''. Both top notch sixties retro (it's a pain to use this word in this context).

Wonderful sixties style pop music. In 2017 both albums are released again together with a new six track ep and four acoustic songs known from the two albums. All is packaged in a two disc DigiPack and to me the new ep was it worth to buy the wonderful two disc edition although i have the albums since years. I highly recommend this edition to everyone who love british invasion pop from the sixties.(Frank)


Southern Soul by Dan Penn: Dan Penn - The Fame Recordings (2012 Ace Records)

In the first few pages of Peter Guralnick's superb book Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm & Blues and the Southern Dream of Freedom, the author describes Dan Penn as "the renegade white hero of this book," and Penn has been widely and justly celebrated by many music historians as one of the great songwriters to emerge from the 1960s soul music boom, penning classic tunes for Aretha Franklin, Percy Sledge, James Carr, Otis Redding, James & Bobby Purify, and many more.
Penn is less widely acclaimed as a great soul singer, largely because so few people have heard his work; while Guralnick and other writers have spoken rhapsodically of the publishing demos Penn cut in the '60s, Penn put out only four obscure singles prior to making his misbegotten debut album in 1973, and his body of recorded work remains elusive.
Thankfully, Ace Records has finally made it possible for fans to hear the recordings that so impressed Guralnick; The Fame Recordings includes 24 numbers Penn recorded at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama between 1964 and 1966, all but one of which has never before been released. While a few of these songs would be major hits for other artists, nearly all of them sound like winners, and unlike most songwriters demo-ing their material,
Penn's performances are raw, passionate, full-bodied, and soulful; he was a white kid from the deep south in love with the sound of Ray Charles and Bobby "Blue" Bland, and on the best cuts here, he goes past conjuring an approximation of their sound, revealing a voice and style all his own that suggests he influenced the singers who would cut these songs almost as much as they influenced him.
While Penn could mimic other artists -- "I'm Living Good" is an uncanny Sam Cooke lift, and "Take a Good Look" finds Penn channeling Otis Redding -- he puts in enough force and sheer belief to make these performances his own no matter how well you may already know these songs, and with a number of legendary session men backing him up, these recordings are remarkably accomplished, slightly rough but full of the sound of musicians thrilled by the act of creation.
(And one can hear more than a bit of what Penn taught Alex Chilton when he produced the Box Tops' original string of hits, transforming Chilton's British Invasion instincts into some of the most soulful pop of the '60s.) The Fame Recordings is a valuable lost chapter in the history of Southern Soul, and confirms the legend that Dan Penn's publishing demos were more than just talk -- anyone with a taste for vintage R&B owes it to himself to give this a listen.(Mark Deming,

Dan Penn was one of the greatest white ''black'' soul songwriters the world ever have listened to. As a musician on stage and also as recording artist he was completely underrated. His songs are legend and if you listen to these recordings you will know what a great performer of his songs he was. Highly recommended.(Frank)


Beryl Marsden - Changes-The Story Of Beryl Marsden (2012 RPM)

Beryl Marsden's musical story begins back in the heady days of the mid 60s Merseybeat boom. Then a diminutive teenager, Beryl belted out soul and R&B covers with the best of the Liverpool bands. She won a contract with Decca and released a number of great singles which for all kinds of reasons didn't dent the charts.
A switch to Columbia didn't change young Beryl's luck so a bewildered management teamed her with the acclaimed instrumentalist Peter Bardens and a young vocalist called Rod Stewart in a mid 60s "super group" – The Shotgun Express. Again, though, chart success remained elusive. Despite all that, Beryl stuck with music – recording sporadically herself and becoming an in-demand session and backing singer. In that latter role she enjoyed the unique role of being the only ever white Vandella!

Still working, Beryl Marsden has never had an album released on her... till now. Archive label RPM (part of the Cherry Red group) have here pulled together all of Beryl's recordings and what a great musical journey they make.
All the memory-jerking 60s stuff is here - including spirited versions of things like Barbara George's 'I Know', The Supremes 'When The Love Light Starts Shining Though His Eyes' and Stevie Wonder's 'Music Talk' along with some sweet, soul-based pop and those rare recording with The Shotgun Express.

The big surprise though is the quality of the recordings Beryl made in 2007/08. They include spine-tingling versions of 'Baby It's You' and 'Will You Love Me Tomorrow' along with original songs 'Hello Stranger' and 'Everything I Need' which are equal in that crucial spine tingle department.
The album ends with a simple yet plaintive 2011-recorded cover of Bobby Darin's 'I'll Be There' (the song that always used to end the sessions at Liverpool's Cavern Club in the 60s).(Bill Buckley,


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Wednesday 18 July 2018

(Members of Tages) Blond - The Lilac Years 1969 (2003 Universal AB)

Blond grew out of the Swedish heroes Tages, who ruled Sweden's hit parade during their 1964-67 heyday and arguably was one the best Scandinavian rock groups in the 60's. 1969's Lilac Years, a failed attempt to reach the British music market, is their most psychedelic album featuring moody pop-psych melodies, great guitar works, weird effects and lush orchestration. Produced by Andy Henrickson (King Crimson, Quatermass, Life and Jericho).

The 2003 CD reissue of this LP adds several bonus tracks, among them a live cover of "The Weight", probably recorded at the studios of Swedish television channel STV. The reissue also includes a video CD-R with Blond performing "The Weight" on STV, that originally aired in Sweden on July 29, 1970.(

The video CD-R isn't included here. The album is a wonderful work of psychedelic pop with great orchestration and fine melodic lines. Also good rockin' songs you'll find here. The album opens with ''Six White Horses'' and it's a real wake up :-). You also hear influences by the Moodys and the Beatles. Listen yourself, i like it very much.(Frank)


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Great UK Pop/Psychedelic Pop With Fine Orchestrations: The Others, Sands, Sun Dragon - Listen To The Sky The Complete Recordings 1964-73 (2006 Rev-Ola)

Rob Freeman and Ian McLintock never quite achieved rock stardom, but it wasn't for a lack of talent or effort, and their career together unwittingly serves as a superb example of the shifting tides of the British rock scene in the 1960s and early '70s. Freeman and McLintock's recordings get a thorough examination on Listen to the Sky, which follows the stylistic evolution of their bands over the course of a decade.
Freeman (guitar and vocals) and McLintock (bass and vocals) first worked together in the Others, an R&B combo from Southwest London whose lone single, a cover of Bo Diddley's "Oh Yeah," was a well crafted rave-up in the manner of the Rolling Stones and the Pretty Things. Both sides of that single appear here, along with an unreleased follow-up, but by 1966 the Others had split and Freeman and McLintock had formed a new band, the more pop-oriented Sands. There was more than a bit of nascent psychedelia in Sands' music, especially their cover of the Bee Gees' "Mrs. Gillespie's Refrigerator" and "Listen to the Sky," an original that ends in a bizarre noise coda that quotes Holst's The Planets!
After one single Sands fell apart, despite management by Brian Epstein, but Freeman and McLintock soldiered on with a new project, Sun Dragon, which scored an almost-hit with their cover of the Lemon Pipers' "Green Tambourine" in 1968 (with typical luck, their label's pressing plant went on strike as the single was starting to gain radio play, prematurely ending its run on the charts).
Sun Dragon's music was more polished and calculatingly commercial than their earlier efforts, with polished production and a strong emphasis on covers, but the group's first and only album, included here, is well-crafted U.K. pop that would have done some of the better-known production teams of the day proud. The set closes out with two cuts from post-Sun Dragon projects of the '70s, which are slick but solidly professional pop product. Given the stylistic diversity of the music here, Listen to the Sky would best serve loyal fans of Freeman and McLintock, who unfortunately are small in number, but folks with an interest in how U.K. pop changed during the '60s will find this edifying, and Freeman and McLintock's undervalued talent is certainly evident throughout.(Mark Deming,

I really love this collection with so much fine pop music and i don't understand why they didn't made it. Maybe it was because the often changing names. Anyway, if you like good pop music with fine arrangements, full of catchy melodies you are right here.(Frank)


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Late 60s Brit Folk Pop: Dave Waite And Marianne Segal - Paper Flowers 1969 (2004 Lightning Tree)

Prior to taking on a third member to form the folk-rock group Jade, Dave Waite and Marianne Segal performed as a folk duo in the late 1960s, as well as doing a fair amount of recording in studios, at home, and on the radio. None of that material was released at the time, but 22 such previously unissued tracks from 1967-1970 appear on this CD, most of them original compositions, and most of them by Segal (who also takes most of the lead vocals).

As Jade's sole album was highly reminiscent of the Sandy Denny-era Fairport Convention, it should come as no surprise that much of the music on this CD is reminiscent of Denny's pre-Fairport folk recordings, though it's somewhat more pop-oriented and not as striking. At times it seems to be plowing ground somewhere between the early Sandy Denny and the less hip, more folk-pop sound of the Seekers, though to be honest, Segal's voice isn't as distinctive or moving as Denny's, or even as the Seekers' Judith Durham's.

Judging from the change of both songwriting and vocal phrasing in some of the later tracks, such as "All the Reasons" and "Rainbow," it seems like Segal might have been heavily influenced by early Joni Mitchell as well, at least after Mitchell's first recordings became available. Three 1969 studio tracks recorded for a possible Polydor single show the duo moving into more of a folk-pop-rock direction with the addition of bass, drums, and string and brass arrangements, though as it happened nothing was issued from those sessions.

The body of work on this disc is not as developed as, and certainly more acoustic folk-oriented than, the recordings Waite and Segal would make as part of Jade. And, like Jade, it's not among the most original folk or folk-rock of the era. But it's pleasant period late-'60s British folk-pop, with extensive historical liner notes by Waite and Segal themselves.(R.Unterberger,

This is a fine folk pop rock collection and maybe not as strong as the best acts of this genre at the time back then but like Mr Unterberger mentioned in his critic it's real pleasant late sixties british folk pop. Nice music.(Frank)

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