Wednesday 31 July 2019

Neo Psych from the early 80s: Plasticland - Mink Dress And Other Cats (1995 Timothy's Brain)

An archival release of early singles, formative demos, and unreleased songs from the first recording sessions by this seminal Milwaukee psych band, Mink Dress and Other Cats is a great way to discover (or rediscover) Plasticland. One of the great neo-psych bands of the '80s,
the quartet, led by singer/songwriters Glenn Rehse and John Frankovic, was occasionally dismissed as fashion-conscious lightweights due to their sartorial obsessions, but the records themselves are glorious blends of Syd Barrett whimsy; West Coast harmonies (more Peanut Butter Conspiracy than Jefferson Airplane, wisely); and good old-fashioned plane-crash guitar drones,
with both a better sense of atmosphere and, most often, more hooks than most of the Californian paisley underground bands. Highlights here include the ringing, Byrdsian "In My Black and White"; the glorious "Mink Dress" (Plasticland's 1981 debut single); and the garage-punky "Office Skills," which resembles the freakier side of the Seeds.
As always with this sort of compilation, some of the unreleased tracks had been unreleased for good reason, but overall, this is a solid overview of Plasticland's first three or four years. The disc includes a lengthy band history by Dave Luhrssen and notes on all the songs by Rehse. (Stewart Mason,

The band followed both English and US American role models of the sixties and that made the band really outstanding. Recommendable. Enjoy.(Frank)


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Sunday 28 July 2019

No Internet Connection

Hello Folks,
My Connection ist since two days interrupted and my Provider can not tell me when it will Work again (damn Vodafone). Please be patient and i will back If the connection is working again. I wish all of you a nice sunday.
Kind regards

Thursday 25 July 2019

60s Beat, Pop, Brill Building: The Four Pennies - The World Of The Four Pennies (1996 Karussell) Flac

The Four Pennies were founded in 1963, and initially consisted of Lionel Morton (vocals, rhythm guitar), Fritz Fryer (lead guitar), Mike Wilshaw (bass, keyboards, backing vocals), and Alan Buck (drums) The group's name was chosen as a more commercial alternative to "The Lionel Morton Four", and was decided upon after a meeting above a Blackburn music shop, the shop being situated on "Penny Street". In their homeland, the group scored a number 47 placing with their first single, 1964's "Do You Want Me To". They then became famous for having a number one hit in the UK Singles Chart later in 1964 with "Juliet".
 It was written by group members Fritz Fryer, Mike Wilshaw and Lionel Morton. The ballad was originally intended for release as a b-side (b/w "Tell Me Girl"). "Juliet" was the only 1964 Number one by a UK group not to chart in America. The US division of Philips Records issued only two of the Four Pennies' singles stateside. Both these singles ("Juliet" and "Until It's Time for You to Go") were major European hits, but while "Juliet" did pick up some airplay on a number of US radio stations, "Until It's Time For You To Go" did not. In any event, neither single picked up enough US airplay or sales to chart. Following the UK chart-topping success of "Juliet", the Four Pennies racked up subsequent 1964 UK hits with their original "I Found Out The Hard Way" and a cover version of Lead Belly's, "Black Girl". They also issued an album, Two Sides of Four Pennies, which, as was customary for British acts of the time, mostly ignored their hit singles. After their first single of 1965 did not reach the UK chart, Fryer left the Four Pennies to found a folk trio called Fritz, Mike and Mo. (The single's b-side, "A Place Where No-One Goes", found success in Turkey later that year).

 Fryer was replaced on guitar by David Graham. The revamped quartet then hit the UK chart again with "Until It's Time for You to Go", written by Buffy Sainte-Marie. 1966 saw the final UK chart entry for the Four Pennies, with a cover version of Bobby Vinton's "Trouble Is My Middle Name". Fryer then returned to the fold, replacing Graham. They finished 1966 – and their career – with a non-charting album (Mixed Bag), and two non-charting singles: UK songwriter Charles Bell's "Keep The Freeway Open", and Tom Springfield's "No More Sad Songs For Me". By the end of the year, the group had dissolved. (excerpt of Wiki article)

I saw today that the guys from the ''Old Melodies'' blog (a wonderful blog) posted this album. That's why I thought it might be of interest for some people to hear a Lossless version. That's why there is only the lossless version here. The mp3 is on ''Old Melodies''.

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Psychedelic/Baroque/Sunshine Pop: The Left Banke - Walk Away Renee...Pretty Ballerina 1967 & Too 1968 (2011 Sundazed) 2 CD

Based in New York, the Left Banke pioneered "baroque & roll" in the '60s with a mix of pop/rock and grand, quasi-classical arrangements and melodies. Featuring teenage prodigy Michael Brown as keyboardist and chief songwriter, the group scored two quick hits with "Walk Away Renee" (number five) and "Pretty Ballerina" (number 15). Chamber-like string arrangements, the soaring, near-falsetto lead vocals of Steve Martin (aka Steve Martin Caro),

and tight harmonies that borrowed from British Invasion bands like the Beatles and the Zombies were also key elements of the Left Banke sound. Though their two hits are their only well-remembered efforts, their debut album (Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina) was a strong, near-classic work that matched the quality of their hit singles in songwriting and production.

Unfortunately, the Left Banke's internal dynamic wasn't nearly as harmonious as their sound, and their history goes some way toward explaining their short career. Initially, the group made some recordings that were produced by Brown's father, Harry Lookofsky. When these recordings failed to interest companies in signing the band, the Left Banke broke up, Brown moving to California with the group's original drummer. A backing track for "Walk Away Renee" had already been completed, and the other members overdubbed vocals in Brown's absence. The song was released on Smash and became a hit, and the musicians reunited to tour and continue recording.

Despite popular success, the group, which showed such tremendous promise, was quickly torn asunder by dissension. Due to the nature of their music (which often employed session musicians), the Left Banke's sound was difficult to reproduce on the road, and one could sympathize with Brown's wishes to become a Brian Wilson-like figure, concentrating on writing and recording while the rest of the musicians took to the road.

 A variety of guitarists, as both session musicians and ostensible group members, flitted in and out of the lineup; Rick Brand, credited as the guitarist on the first LP, actually plays on only one of the album's songs. Adding fuel to the fire, Brown's bandmates wanted to oust Brown's father as the act's manager. In early 1967, Brown went as far as to record a Left Banke single without them, using vocalist Bert Sommer.

The Left Banke Too
That single ("And Suddenly") flopped, and for a brief time in September 1967 the original members were recording together again.

After just one single ("Desiree"), though, Brown left for good. Most of the group's second and final album, The Left Banke Too, was recorded without him. While it still sported baroque arrangements and contained some fine moments, Brown's presence was sorely missed, and the record pales in comparison to their debut. Brown went on to form a Left Banke-styled group, Montage, which released a fine and underappreciated album in the late '60s. He later teamed up to form Stories with vocalist Ian Lloyd.

There were some confusing son-of-Left Banke recordings over the next few years, although the band really came to a halt in 1969, after the second album. Brown, Martin, and unknown musicians made a few recordings in late 1969; then, oddly, the original group re-formed for a fine early-1971 single on Buddah ("Love Songs in the Night" b/w "Two by Two"), although the record itself was credited to Steve Martin. And the original group, minus its key visionary Michael Brown, made an album's worth of ill-advised reunion recordings in 1978, which surfaced under the title Strangers on a Train

The Left Banke's cult following slowly but steadily grew over the passage of time, especially after the release of 1992's There's Gonna Be a Storm, which collected the group's entire Smash Records catalog on one CD. And the Left Banke's songs were covered by everyone from Rickie Lee Jones, Susanna Hoffs & Matthew Sweet, and Richard Thompson to Alice Cooper.

 In 2010, two of the original members of the group, Tom Finn and George Cameron, staged a pair of Left Banke reunion shows at Joe's Pub in New York City; joining them were vocalist Mike Fornatale, guitarist Paul Alves, bassist Charly Cazalet, drummer Rick Reil, and keyboardists Mickey Finn and Joe McGinty. The Joe's Pub shows were a critical and popular success, and the new edition of the Left Banke gigged periodically over the next few years, with McGinty replaced by John Spurney in 2012.

 In 2011, Sundazed Records reissued Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina and The Left Banke Too on vinyl and CD, allowing the two albums to be heard in their original sequence since they fell out of print in the '60s. In April 2013, Michael Brown joined the new Left Banke on-stage in New York City to perform "Pretty Ballerina," and it was announced that Steve Martin had signed on to return as the group's lead vocalist on March 18, 2015.

 Martin's return was sadly overshadowed by the announcement the following day that Michael Brown died of heart failure at his home in Englewood, New Jersey; he was 65 years old. In June of 2018, original drummer and occasional vocalist George Cameron died of cancer at age 70 in New York City.

To say a lot more about ''The Left Banke'' and Michael Brown in particular is, I think, superfluous. I'm listening to both albums more often at the moment and so I thought I'd post both albums (complete artwork), also because I've only posted Michael Brown's ''The Beckies'' album here so far. Enjoy.(Frank)


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You find The Beckies HERE

Wednesday 24 July 2019

60s Pop, Vocal Pop, Psychedelic Pop: The Californians - Selfmade Home Singles Collection 1967-69

A major local group, the Californians came together in May 1966 as a product of a change in the Black Diamonds (Sheila Deni left to go solo). The original Californians comprised the remaining members of the Black Diamonds, Roger Clark lead, Pete Abberley bass and Keith Evans on drums, with John O'Hara as lead vocalist.
They were managed by Roger Allen. Later members included Mick Brookes (from the Cobras) who took Roger Clarke's place, Bob Trevis (from Choice) who replaced Keith Evans, Adrian Ingram (ex-Choice, Gilt Edge, Evolution) who became an extra guitarist and Geoff Parkes who became a second vocalist.

Their intention was to produce close harmonies, reminiscent of the Beach Boys and the Four Seasons. Their success as a harmony group was very much down to the tuition they received from George Taylor, a pianist who had been a member of the Hedley Ward Trio. From the start the group was very popular in the local area because of its clean-cut image and because they made a very pleasing sound.

They were to release quite a number of records from 1967 to 1969, mainly on Decca.
Their first release was called Golden Apples, other titles included Sunday Will Never Be The Same, Congratulations, You've Got Your Troubles. While they never reached the Top Twenty, their records sold well, they toured extensively and made a large number of radio appearances.

They appeared on one very major package tour in 1967 with Jimi Hendrix, Cat Stevens, Engelbert Humperdink and the Walker Brothers. (

Teensville Records released a compilation this year with everything The Californians and members of the band have worked on, including Finders Keepers, Royalty, Sight And Sound, Tony Jackson Group, Paul Craig and of course under their own name. Since the album is still very new, I don't want to post it here yet, but I've put together a compilation of their singles myself and hope you like the band.

You can buy the Teensville album here: The Californians & Friends - Early Morning Sun: 60s Harmony Pop Produced by Irving Martin

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Pop/Pop Rock/Baroque Pop: Robin Gibb - Saved By The Bell (The Collected Works Of Robin Gibb 1968-1970) 2015 3CD

A little known phase of the Bee Gees' history is the late '60s, when Robin Gibb left the band in a pique following the decision to banish his song "Lamplight" to the B-side of a single. Gibb pursued a solo career, releasing Robin's Reign in 1970 and coming close to completing a second called Sing Slowly Sisters before he decided to return to the fold in the summer of 1970.
Robin was on his own for just over a year, but he recorded plenty of material during that time, all of which is collected on the 2015 triple-disc box Saved by the Bell: The Collected Works of Robin Gibb 1969-1970. Producer Andrew Sandoval began work on this set while Gibb was alive and continued after the singer's 2012 death,
creating it by digging through the vaults and relying on fans to provide rarities (Saint Etienne's Bob Stanley provides the much-needed liner notes). The resulting box contains all of Robin's Reign, presented in its stereo mix, along with selected mono mixes and an outtake ("Hudson's Fallen Wind"),
and an alternate take of "Lord Bless All," a finished version of Sing Slowly Sisters on the second disc, then a collection of BBC sessions, Italian versions, and demos on the third disc. With the exception of a couple of grand, punchy pop tunes and the mock-country of "Engines Aeroplanes," all of the music is very much of a piece with the Baroque stylings of Odessa: eccentric, deeply melancholy pop perched on the edge of being slightly too precious.
The only time where it seems as if Gibb is indulging himself is on the demos -- the eight-minute "Return to Austria" is a very long sit -- but there's a precocious curiosity to his ideas here. He's willfully following his muse and while it may lead him into twisted, flowery tunnels, it's often quite compelling and it's good to have it preserved for the historical record in this fashion. (S.T. Erlewine,

All said in the review. Enjoy.(Frank)

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Tuesday 23 July 2019

Pop/Pop Rock/Psychedelic Rock: The Pandamonium - The Unreleased Album 1970 (2004 Radioactive, Unofficial Release)

A little confusingly, the core duo of Pandamonium, singer/songwriter-guitarists Bob Ponton and Martin Curtis, recorded as the figureheads of two different groups in the late '60s and early '70s. At first, with a few other musicians, they did some mid- to late-'60s singles for CBS; then, as Thoughts & Words, they did a 1969 album for Liberty. After that obscure LP, they recorded a 1970 album that went unreleased at the time. That 1970 LP was belatedly released in 2004 in the form of this CD, titled The Unreleased Album, and credited to Pandamonium, though it's not clear whether it would have been billed to Pandamonium had it come out in 1970.
Certainly Ponton and Curtis were supported by several notable figures on these sessions, including Gerry Conway, Jerry Donahue, and Pat Donaldson from Fotheringay; guitarist Albert Lee; bassist Chas Hodges, later part of hitmaking duo Chas & Dave; top British session drummer Clem Cattini (that is, assuming the "Clem Katiny" credited on this CD is the same guy); engineer John Wood, who worked on numerous major British folk-rock albums of the period by the likes of Fairport Convention and Nick Drake; and Shel Talmy, who's credited as co-producer. For all that, however, the failure of this material to gain release is no mystery. It's affable, diverse, but rather nondescript circa-1970 British rock that doesn't fit comfortably into either the folk-rock or pop/rock categories. Ponton and Curtis put together some fair minor-keyed, introspective numbers like "It's a Long Time" (which is very slightly reminiscent of the Moody Blues) and "I Am What I Am" (which is in turn very slightly reminiscent of the psychedelic Byrds), with touches of folk-rock, orchestrated pop/rock, and singer/songwriter influences, but the songs aren't exceptionally memorable.
At other times, like "Sunrise" and the peppy "Sit and Watch the Sunshine," they seem to be gearing toward a more conventionally uplifting single, though the breezier "Waiting for Summer" is a more successful effort along those lines; the country-rock-influenced "Baby I'll Be Yours" is rather like the most lighthearted moments of late-'60s Fairport Convention with the Sandy Denny lineup. There's certainly no harm done that this album's finally available, of course, but it's only recommended to very deep collectors of British rock of the period, or specific fans of Ponton and Curtis. (Richie Unterberger,

In contrast to Mr Unterberger, I can get a lot out of the album. Good songs, good arrangements, all in all a really good pop album. Enjoy.(Frank)


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The Rockin' Berries - Life Is Just A Bowl Of Berries 1965 mono (1991 Repertoire)

The group decided to push their comic routines to the fore on their second album, with fairly disastrous results. Their use of comedy in their live act may have helped get them work at seaside resorts and cabarets, but it's painfully corny on record. That's what you hear on about half of the album--yuk-yuk run-throughs of hammy novelties like "I Know an Old Lady," "When I'm Cleaning Windows," and "The Laughing Policeman." Interspersed, with all the flavorful consistency of a licorice pizza, are standards like "The Way You Look Tonight" and covers of Goffin-King's soul-ballad "I Need You," the Dixie Cups' "Iko Iko," and Bacharach-David's "My Little Red Book."

 The non-comedy material is competent but unremarkable, and not as good as the straight rock and pop stuff the Berries did on their first LP, In Town. If you must seek this out, the painless way to do so is on Sequel's two-CD They're in Town, which includes Life Is Just a Bowl in its entirety, surrounded by dozens of other (usually superior) tracks recorded by the band in the 1960s. (Richie Unterberger,

Mr Unterberger is certainly right with what he noticed in the review and I fully agree. But the compilation of 'Repertoire Records' with 19 bonus tracks puts the whole thing in a much better light. Enjoy(Frank)


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You can find their first album here Link

@Request: Psychedelic Pop: The Peep Show - Mazy The Secret World Of The Peep Show 1967-68 (2007 Castle)

The Peep Show were purveyors of very decent psych fare indeed. Decidedly darker in tone and far less acid-driven than many of their contemporaries, the band remain something of an enigma. Songs such as Your Servant Stephen and Esprit De Corps marked them out as oddballs even then; but then with the former dealing with a man’ plea to his pregnant girlfriend’s father and the latter with the inadequacy felt when comparing oneself to a Battle Of Britain pilot, it’s not overly surprising.

Although not necessarily in-tune with the kids, The Peep Show, in the space of no-more than a year, recorded a series of solid psych tracks, one of which, Mazy, is now rightly regarded as a classic. It’s for songs such as Do Not Wait for Better Times, Morning and the wonderful What A Funny Name, however, that the band should be remembered.

Satirical, pessimistic and peculiarly English, The Peep Show are in a fine tradition that stretches from The Kinks to The Smiths. The wilful difference of much of the material here will surprise those expecting another just another psych reissue. These guys were genuine mavericks and, 40 years on, they still sound refreshingly different.(

Too bad, the band is still undervalued today, or should I say better; practically not noticed at all. Their songs never come by chance, but are characterized by a certain emotional depth. Great band. Enjoy.(Frank)


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