THE HERD – “Paradise Lost”
Fasten your safety belts and open your earholes for what has to be a top ten shot from The Herd. Steaming full-speed ahead in the wake of “From The Underworld”, “Paradise Lost” starts off by hitting you full in the face with a blast of burlesque show / strip tease music.

Then the mood changes and we’re back to the pop-classical sound featured on their first hit. Great noises – and lead singer Peter Frampton throws himself into the fray with vocal guns blazing.

From which you’ll guess that this single isn’t in the dark, moody vein of “Underworld”; but you can bet your last devalued halfpenny it’ll go booming up the charts just the same!

THE LOVIN’ SPOONFUL – “She’s Still A Mystery”
It surely is a small mystery why a great group like The Spoonful suddenly dropped out of chart favour after such hits as “Daydream” and “Summer In The City”. Still, that’s the way it is, and I don’t see this single winning back the missing millions.

It’s nowhere near as good as previous stuff. Written by lead singer John Sebastian, it seems to have become bogged down in the muddy arrangement. The heavy backing just doesn’t get off the ground, and the record gets smothered in its own sound.

The Spoonful are at their best with either powerful beat or whimsical tunefulness. This falls between the two and misses out all along the way. A pity.

It’s another field day for blues addicts. And yet again it comes from a group headed by a refugee from the John Mayall band. This time, it’s drummer Aynsley Dunbar.

“Warning” is just what the title suggests: a hard, brooding song with a stop beat and menacing singing from Vic Brox (who used to have one of the best groups in England himself a couple of years ago).

Lead guitarist John Morshead is impressive with his neat, wailing riffs, and all told, Retaliation have made a more than impressive record which should blow many minds.

THE JEFFERSON AIRPLANE – “Ballad Of You And Me And Pooniel
This wondrous single should attract a horde of Airplane worshippers. It’s a driving up-tempo number with a great beat, biting bottleneck guitar (where the guitarist puts a metal tube on little finger of his left hand and instead of conventional fingering, slides it on the strings – like “Little Red Rooster”).

But the outstanding feature of this single is the singing – a glorious tapestry of sound with exciting, intertwining harmonies. The only thing to fault is the feedback; they overdo it somewhat.

However, it’s still a fine record and should increase The Airplane’s reputation as one of the best groups in the business.

GEORGIE FAME – “Ballad Of Bonnie And Clyde”
What a record! It’s the epic of Bonnie and Clyde put into a chunky song, full to the brim with wry, tragi-comic lyrics and played in a style that’s a mixture of Country and Western, Dixieland and beat.

Not forgetting the rattle of machine guns, police sirens and screeching cars! Like the film, this record has an original flavour.

Bonnie and Clyde have reached folk-hero proportions now; Georgie Fame is singing and playing with no holds barred, and sounds as if he’s really enjoying it. Adds up to what must be one of Georgie’s biggest hits.

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