Well, here I go again with another playlist, or rather the records and CDs on rotation during the next week or so. One of the benefits of working from home is the chance to play some sounds and yesterday I laid my hands on three records by The Will-O-Bees.
The Will-O-Bees were an American folk based trio, similar in sound and structure to The Seekers, two older looking fellas and a young blond haired girl. I like their sound a lot but don’t expect turned-on psychedelia or garage rockers. Chart worthy hits were where they were at. I have no idea if they were a success in America but in England they missed out completely.
“It’s Not Easy” / “Looking Glass” (CBS 3263) December 1967
Here’s another number from The Will-O-Bees, this time around they’re going for a pure pop approach, aimed firmly at the Charts. “It’s Not Easy” must have had a decent showing in USA because the single was released on CBS in Britain. My copy is a promo disc and was probably a radio station copy or music journalist freebie.
Someone wrote “very good record” on the label and I’m inclined to agree. Written by the song-writing team of Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil.
At around this time other notable recordings of their songs were “Hungry” by Paul Revere & the Raiders, “Shades Of Gray” better known as a Monkees track but also recorded by The Will-O-Bees, and “Love Is Only Sleeping” by The Monkees from their “Headquarters” LP. These are off the top of my head, I’m sure there will be more from 1967.
Great drum sound on this record. Drums can never sound like this again.
Here’s an obscurity on Era Records by an outfit calling themselves The Wizard’s, not sure what the grammatical error on the label is all about though! Both sides were written by Benny Lopez who was a former bass player with Thee Midniters.
“I’m A Blind” sounds like it’s heavily influenced by Dylan meets the Stones ripping off “I’m Free” . . . . the other side follows a similar vibration but adds orchestration. So, one side is Dylan, the other side is Donovan.
Here’s a very obscure album called Psychedelicsex Kicks, this one is even brand new to me. I saw it on Amazon last week and had to have it! I’ve never bought any records from Amazon before so was a bit curious with regards to the packaging they would use to ship the item.
Thankfully, the record arrived unscathed and in one piece. They placed the LP inside the usual mailing envelopes commonly used for records but then placed the packaged album within a huge box, way too big. I’ve seen these boxes before from Amazon when they send HI-FI gear like amplifiers and speakers!
The music is typical hippie stuff, no drums or electric guitars. It’s all a head rush of tablas and sitars. No vocals either, spoken words over the hippie din. The fella doesn’t even sound like he’s some totally wired street cat with a pocket full of acid tabs and bags of hash hidden down his socks. A very curious memento and a record to play when you just want to hang-out in the dark and smell some sweet smoke from an incense stick.
Revving up the pace somewhat with this stunning 3CD set from Cherry Red Records. They’ve hit the jackpot once again with their “Harmony In My Head” jaunt to the late ’70s. UK power pop and new wave is a whole lot of melodic fun and games. There’s so much to enjoy and discover within the box.
The booklet is an essential piece too, giving loads of information about each number, cool graphics and plenty of ephemera and graphics. A job very well done, let’s hope they create another set of UK power-pop soon.
“Poppies” is a new compilation discovery for me although it has been out a couple of years, saw it on eBay for the princely sum of £5 and it was a no-brainer. What can you get for a fiver these days?
All selections are obscure and deep album cuts from the Vanguard and Stax vaults, only thirteen tracks on this CD so I’m assuming this was originally vinyl only. Booklet stuffed full of information.
Counting down the days until retirement . . . . 19 days left!!! stick that fucker in your pipe and smoke it. Playing Turtles ’66 before I rub shoulders with thee kung-flu virus riddled masses in Asda.