THE WHO – “I Can See For Miles”
Oh yes, yes, yes! Out of fire and thunder comes this shattering work of art by the Who. This is a typically brilliant musical H-bomb from the flaming pen of Pete Townshend – the absolute ultimate in hard, violent, blasting music for now.

Even with the volume control at medium, the sheer power of the sound is overwhelming. You wonder just how much the human mind can take without breaking into a million pieces.

It’s like being on your knees at the foot of some massive shuddering cliff which is going to come crashing down to destroy you any minute. Twisting, screaming guitar, unstoppable earthquake bass, menacingly explosive drums, wave upon wave of harsh but subtle harmonies punctuated with sarcastic “oh yeah’s.”

It all adds up to what hack pop writers used to call “mean, moody and magnificent.” Only in this case it’s the gospel truth.

THE TROGGS – “Love Is All Around”
As Intro pop columnist Peter Roche said the other week, groups like the Troggs are doing very nicely by playing it completely safe. Well, here we go again with yet another record which is about as simple and commercial as a soap powder ad.

It’s quieter than previous Troggs records, incorporates strings and was written by Reg Presley. Finish. What annoys me is that it seems to be a rehash of all the Bobby Vee-type sound rampant a few years ago, jumbled up with musical cliches of other Troggs records.

Afraid we’ve heard it all before. And the Troggs can continue to commute from Top Of The Pops to the bank with big rich grins all over their faces.

Once more, with feeling – and it’s another unmistakable Orbison hit. Doesn’t do anything for me, but I can’t see what should stop this big, slow, dramatic number selling in thousands.

At least the man’s got style.

THE BEES – “Jesse James Rides Again”
First product of the new Columbia Blue Beat label is a real beauty from Jamaican group The Bees. Straight out of the Wild West (Indies, that is), the saga of “Jesse James Rides Again” is a relaxed yet uninhibited rhythm which I defy anybody with two feet to sit out.

Following the success of “The Guns Of Navarone” and “Train To Skaville”, the British ice must be to a certain extent broken, leaving the way clear for The Bees to lollop into our charts with their wonderful happy sound.

Flipside, “The Girl In My Dreams,” has got the same insistent shuffle beat, and should go down a bomb in the clubs. Looks like ska, blue beat or whatever you want to call it is coming back on the scene with a bang.

LOS BRAVOS – “Like Nobody Else”
Proving that you don’t have to come to London and wear a caftan to make good, honest rocking sounds is Spanish group Los Bravos.

“Like Nobody Else” could well have walked out of the early days of unsophisticated rock and roll – which is surprising when you discover that the song was written by B. R. and M. Gibb of the Bee Gees.

Be that as it may, this record belts along like an express train and is a huge improvement on their previous hits.

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