THE PURPLE UNDERGROUND – ”Count Back” / ”Soon” (Boss 010) August 1967

My turntable spin today is this psychedelic punk 45 by The Purple Underground. Wow man, this is intense! Check out ”Count Back” and the weird FX, treated vocals, whispered in parts, pounding bass and backwards outro. A bit like Love’s ”Seven And Seven Is”. I reckon they must have been influenced by Love with this.

Everything is kool, even the label name of ”Boss” Florida group, record released August 1967 and one to add to your psych boxes, recent sales have been $200+ though!

The flip ”Soon” is an intense weeper where the guy has lost his girl to another, awkward beat, way-out organ and more studio trickery towards the end. 


Some groups take their name then base their whole image around that name. Take North Hollywood’s Purple Gang for instance. Someone decided that it would be cool or different or way out for all of the band members to wear purple shirts with puffy sleeves. Bass player Marty Tryon even came up with the concept of wearing a purple glove on one hand for added purpleness. So the image is corny, what of the music?

Both sides on this disc are real growers, the strange rhythms and fuzztones will slowly absorb into your mind. Sadly, The Purple Gang only released two singles before the players drifted off to other projects.  The first to go was rhythm guitarist Mark Landon.

He joined The Music Machine and took the single glove idea with him. Bass player Marty Tryon joined The Lamp Of Childhood and also worked with W.C. Fields Memorial Electric String Band. Alan Wisdom (lead guitar) and Harry Garfield (farfisa) eventually moved on to a later line-up of The Music Machine whilst singer Bob Corff stayed with MGM Records and released a single under the name of The Ark. 

Last night’s Blu-ray entertainment was “That Thing You Do!” – written and directed by Tom Hanks. The story is about a teenage garage band called The Wonders who hit the big time with their one and only single. Where have we heard that tale before?

The Wonders went from playing dives with cheap guitars to performing on National TV, surrounded by a screaming audience, go-go dancers and of course by now, Play-Tone Records had swapped their weapons of choice to expensive Rickenbacker and Fender guitars.

Just when they were on the cusp of domination and congregating inside a swanky professional studio, with a producer and arrangers all set to record a follow-up single to their Top 10 hit, “That Thing You Do!” – disaster struck.

Their lead singer, songwriter and guitarist went all egotistical and insisted on recording his own compositions, instead of one that Play-Tone had selected from one of their label songwriters. He quit and The Wonders were no more.

CD round-up

Over the past few days I’ve been catching up with a heap of CDs that have remained unplayed for some time. This one by The Archies is from the early ’90s and compiles 24 tracks of bubblegum greatness. Every number on this has merit with perhaps “Hot Dog” reigning supreme.

Dave Davies really did have some killer tracks in his repertoire. I’m sure everything he ever recorded during his brief ’60s solo career is on “Hidden Treasures”
There are plenty of mono and their stereo counterparts on here including the beat freak of “Creeping Jean” which sounds as dirty as the name suggests.

This “Best Of” John Lee Hooker was a recent £2 charity shop find. All of the tracks date from 1955 to 1963 and were releases on the Vee Jay label.
The greats are all here, “Boom Boom”, “Dimples”, “Crawlin’ Kingsnake”, “This Is Hip” and many more.

“Arthur” was released at the end of 1969 and flopped badly in Britain. It’s not their best to be fair, and it seems that Ray had ran out of ideas to make his songs both tuneful and memorable.
“Victoria” and “Shangri-La” reach normal Kinks supreme standards though!

Seeds completists will need this CD which comprises all of their single sides from 1965 – 1970. It’s clear that Sky Saxon was something of a one-trick pony, I lost count of the times he croaked “Night and Day” on many of the numbers here.

“That Thing You Do!” CD soundtrack is impressive. There are plenty of great numbers on this, not just by The Wonders, but also The Heardsmen and The Saturn 5.
I know they’re trying to recreate those 1964 sounds, aping the British Invasion but the drum sound and production is what it is . . . the mid ’90s.

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