Some of their releases reviewed
Here are some of my random thoughts and words about The Mindbenders over the years. All of the original Mindbenders blog posts on my old website have since been deleted so no label scans or picture sleeves are available. Instead, I’ve used images scanned from ’60s music weekly ‘Record Mirror’.
THE MINDBENDERS – ”The Letter” / ”My New Day And Age” (Fontana TF 869) September 1967
A cover version of a current U.S. hit, this is the Mindbenders’ most commercial single for some time. It’s an upbeat swinger that bounds along with fire and enthusiasm, but still manages to incorporate a catchy tune and a cute lyric.
Their version is polished and immaculately handled, with crisp brass, lush strings and pleasing harmonies.
FLIP: The boys pump out an absolute thundering beat on this track. Not a great deal of melody, but plenty of interest in the lyric and the backing cellos.
(NME review – 09/09/67)
Cover of an American hit and the clean-cut sound of the boys should see it into the charts. Strings behind, and a strong beat….and the harmonies are clean and straight forward. Song may not prove as big as I think it will, but certainly the Mindbenders should make the charts. FLIP: Rather brash instrumental opening and fair enough material.
(Record Mirror review – 09/09/67)
This was a big hit in the States for an American group recently. From what I can remember of that recording I rather prefer this which really deserves to give the Mindbenders their long awaited hit.
It’s a rather simple tune with simple words about how he’s just got a letter from his baby and he’s going home. Good for him. The best production job the group have ever had.
(Disc & Music Weekly review – 09/09/67)
UK Chart Position: 42
THE MINDBENDERS – ”Schoolgirl” / ”Coming Back” (Fontana TF 877) November 1967
Everyone will know The Mindbenders hit ”A Groovy Kind Of Love” but few will realise that afterwards their singles got progressively wigged-out, including this no hit wonder ”Schoolgirl” from late 1967.
I doubt many would have even heard the record never mind bought it, because as was usually the case, the squaresville BBC banned ”Schoolgirl” for it’s lyrical content about teenage sex and pregnancy. Perhaps this is why The Hollies version, recorded during February 1967 was never released at the time. They would have known that being regarded as a pop group, under-age sex was always gonna be a difficult concept to sell on a record. The Standells also recorded a version!
Regardless of all of the idiotic notions ”Schoolgirl” is a memorable song, written by hit-maker Graham Gouldman, who also produced both sides of the disc. Gouldman would become a full time member of The Mindbenders in 1968.
For reasons unknown to me, The Mindbenders re-recorded ”Schoolgirl” for this single release. They recorded it earlier in the year and that version can be heard on their ”With Woman In Mind” album released during April 1967. This single cut has wah-wah guitar and strings and is perhaps a little more psychedelic.
The B-Side ”Coming Back” is also great inventive pop psych featuring not one but three fade-outs and is non-album and very obscure.
Promotional singles sent to Radio Stations and the music press featured a glossy fold out picture sleeve showing a blond go-go girl wearing a school uniform.
WAYNE FONTANA AND THE MINDBENDERS – ’She’s Got The Power’ (Fontana TE 17449) 1965
This beat band were from Manchester and after a couple of hit singles split in two with Wayne Fontana going solo and The Mindbenders continuing as a three piece.
The big world wide hit was ’Game Of Love’ which is the opener on this EP but for I’ll go for the obscure flip ’She’s Got The Power’ to highlight here. This EP was the only place to hear this song because it did not feature on any UK album or single release at the time. This song may well be as ’beaty’ as they ever got!