MARTY WILDE – “Abergavenny: The Philips Pop Years 1966 – 1971” (Teensville Records TV 1030) 2018

It’s fair to say that Marty Wilde had been left behind by the Beat Scene happening in Britain, his hits had dried up, Brylcreemed quiff’s were no longer in vogue and the early sixties rock and rollers were now deemed ancient squares.

It seems that Marty spent his time out of the limelight by buying a pair of John Lennon penny specs and growing his side-burns even longer and bushier that they were in his heyday. He was also writing interesting pop records for the more fashionable and current groups to record and have hits with. At least this way Marty would still roll around on his bed with his royalty cheques and buy more tubs of Brylcreem.

Teensville Records, a re-issue label from Australia, have resurrected “Abergavenny”, his album from 1968. There are some really excellent cuts on this including his versions of “Ice In The Sun” and “Jesamine” – which are not as strong as those efforts made by Status Quo and The Casuals, but they’re still a required listening experience.

Most of the other material on his album is probably aimed at the older-set with cheerful pop songs and brass heavy ballads. Nothing too deep, meaningful or tripped-out. It’s background music when you have a cup of tea and dip your digestives or read the latest edition of Record Collector magazine.

Teensville have filled up the rest of their release with Marty’s singles recorded for Philips and it’s a treat to hear some of those sides. I have a couple of these singles so knew about his “Abergavenny” single backed with “Alice In Blue” – both charming pop numbers but I previously had no idea about his Move inspired rocker “Shelley” from late 1969. This record is now on my radar!

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