Here we go again, the start of another week of listening to music in all formats. Could be CDs, vinyl LPs or the cherished 7″ single a.k.a. 45rpm. I have no organised plan of ACTion, most of the time I just check what’s out on the many shelves or flick through a load of singles in the many boxes I have filed away carefully and neatly inside EXPO67 HQ.
How about San Fransisco based hippie combo The Travel Agency. They released a well regarded album in 1968 on Viva Records. As far as I know the recordings took place in Los Angeles, a Snuff Garrett production. There will be more information on the net I’m sure but for now I’ll leave it with this lone single from May 1969. Both cuts appear on their ’68 studio album.
“She Understands” / “What’s A Man” display the laid back, psychedelically charged West Coast sound that fans of the genre admire so much. “She Understand” reminds me of the Buffalo Springfield.
Who were the Traveling Salesmen? Not a great deal of information anywhere, no photos exist . . . . only this one-off single on RCA Victor from May 1967. What you get is “Days Of My Years” a yearning folk-pop number with jangle and a well produced vocal attack. At under two minutes, it’s a short and sweet piece of ear candy.
The flip is a version of “I’m Alive” which despite their best efforts can’t compete with the Hollies take but the guitar sound and drums are excellent.
Another official re-issue single I bought last week on the Solution label was the magnificent Turnstyle, both sides of this rare 45 intact, sounding delightful and weighing as much as Mama Cass. This record is heavy, no expense spared.
Turnstyle with the massive psychedelic pop gem ‘Riding A Wave’ drenched in dream fuzz with catchy tone bending hooks all coming together like a magical mind altering masterpiece.
The flip ‘Trot’ is equally as brilliant with rolling drums, a hard hitting bass groove & cutting sharp guitar that together freakout!
Fully remastered & officially re-released on limited press vinyl for the first time since the original 1968 Pye 45… (which will set you back a small fortune with some prices hitting close to £1k for a mint copy).
Both tracks written by the founder of the short lived Turnstyle, 17 year old drummer/songwriter Mark Ashton who later received fame in Rare Bird.
Over the last couple of days I’ve been playing ‘Dutch Beat Explosion’ CD. This is a must have for lovers of pop and beat Dutch style….
As you know, mid 60s bands from Holland seemed to be obsessed by The Pretty Things, so most of the time what YOU get is R’&’B with or without fuzz guitars…
The interesting thing about ‘Dutch Beat Explosion’ is that Distortions have delved deeper and compiled a good quality set of Searchers and Byrds inspired folk-rock jangle…..some tunes don’t make any impression with me but most are memorable especially those by The Sandy Coast, The Toreros, The Condors and The Cavaliers.
“Join Hands”, the 1979 album by Siouxsie & the Banshees is an interesting sonic trip of post-punk rhythms, jagged, edgy guitars and wailing banshee vocals / yelps from Siouxsie. Most of the songs are enjoyable and experimental.
Not a pop hit anywhere to be seen or rather heard. “Hong Kong Garden” would be a difficult one to top I suppose but they tried with “The Staircase (Mystery)” and “Playground Twist” with mixed success. The latter number is here as well as “Love In A Void” a bonus cut on the CD with the previously unreleased instrumental “Infantry”.
All of Side One has a strange congenial appeal, strange because I’m not really understanding where the band are coming from lyrically. Songs like “Poppy Day” and “Regal Zone” are album fodder, nothing really catchy or worthy of staying in my head for much more than ten minutes. But having said that they really are captivating.
“Mother / Oh Mein Papa” is a dark dirge of noise, something to put on when you’re trying to get rid of company who have outstayed their welcome.
THE Trees -‘Don’t Miss The Turn’/’Your Life’ (Bali-Hi 808) 1968
Years ago I uploaded their fierce fuzz punker “Don’t Miss The Turn” so here’s the flip “Your Life”, a lot more pop sounding and possibly the A-Side.
The U.S. Males – “Come Out Of The Rain” / “Open Up Your Heart” (Britania Records B-101) August 1968
Two good pop sides with “Come Out Of The Rain” slightly edging it due to it’s Five Americans pop style. A product of Abnak so they may have been an influence.