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PREVIOUSLY ARCHIVED RECORD REVIEWS FROM MY OLD BLOG


Here are some of my random thoughts and words about obscure and in-demand ’60s garage and psychedelic singles over the years. All of the original 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 youth music magazine “Intro”.

JACQUES DUTRONC – ’Le Monde a l’envers’/’J’Avais La Cervelle Qui Faisait Des Vagues’ (Disques Vogue 45-4010) 1971

I’ll complete my Jacques Dutronc expose with this 1971 single that neatly updates his francais rhythms with a more progressive sound. There’s still that beloved tambourine rattle, subtle fuzz and some background hammond organ.

I wonder if this was a hit? Or if Dutronc was that bothered, because he was starting to focus his attentions on French movies during this period.

Reader comment:
”Le Monde à l’envers” was not a hit. The side A of the record, ”J’avais la cervelle qui faisait des vagues” was the first song written in verlan (a language based on the inversion of the syllables), with a music very french… Very interesting…

(17/05/11)

JACQUES DUTRONC – ’Le Responsable’/’Laquelle Des Deux Est La Plus Snob’ (Disques Vogue 45-1596) 1969

The Dutronc magic was still in evidence during 1969 with this monster mod shaker complete with the Frenchman’s rapid vocal delivery, killer guitar, brass and trademark tambourine bashin’.

Quite possibly his finest work.

Readers comments:
yep! Definitely his best. Up there in the French top 3 with ”Dodecaphonie” by Antoine’s backing band Les Problemes and Michel Polnareff’s ”Time Will Tell”. Lolly Pope.

My favorite Dutronc’s tune would be ”je suis content” and maybe ”à la queue les Yvelines” I think I’ve heard ”le responsable” too much in 60s parties, it’s still one of my favorites too

(16/05/11)

JACQUES DUTRONC – ’Les Metamorphoses’ (Disques Vogue EPL 8630) 1968

This Dutronc EP carries on with the same kinda bag as the previous one but with mixed results. The opener ’Le Courrier Du Coeur’ is irrating French pop sung crooner style. ’Ca Prend, Ca N’Prend Pas’ is blues rock and is quite listenable.

The best two cuts are reserved for the second side with the psychedelically processed ’Les Metamorphoses’ the pick. The French seemed to make no attempt to write and perform psychedelic music in the 60s, there are rare examples…very rare attempts.

At least Dutronc offers us a Donovan(esque) surprise.

(15/05/11)

JACQUES DUTRONC – Fais Pas Ci, Fais Pas Ca (Disques Vogue EPL 8611) 1968

Dutronc weaves more magic on this 1968 four song EP with my favourite ’Fais Pas Ci, Fais Pas Ca’ being the standout. This cut races along with Dutronc’s sharp vocal delivery over a crisp tambourine rattle and at 1:40 in length ends all too quickly.

Curiously, ’Fais Pas Ci, Fais Pas Ca’ was not compiled on the recent Jacques Dutronc ’Best Of’ CD on RPM? 

’L’Augmentation’ is perhaps the most well known song here, ’Comment Elles Dorment’ has a vague Doors like sound with it’s eerie organ weaving throughout the arrangement.  

Special praise also needed for the wonderful EP sleeve design.

Readers comments:
in France the most well known song is ”fais pas ci fais pas ça”it was used in an advertise during years, and also for a TV theme it’s one of his most famous songs actually I think (with les cactus, j’aime les filles, la fille du père noel, et moi et moi et moi or les playboys)

In this EP, the hit is ”Il est cinq heures, Paris s’éveille”, number one in France, number 3 in Holland (see Charts). ”Fais pas ci, fais pas ça”, nº12 in the hit-parade of the magazine Salut les Copains”, is now the credits’ music of a french TV serial, ”Fais pas ci, fais pas ça”.

(14/05/11)

JACQUES DUTRONC – ’Les Rois De La Reforme’ (Disques Vogue EPL 8587) Nov 1967

The fifth Jacques Dutronc four song EP followed in November 1967 with only the quasi psychedelic ’Les Rois De La Reforme’ getting repeat plays in EXPO67 towers. The piss taking hippie anthem (of sorts) ’Hippie Hippie Hourrah’ is passable but a bit novelty for my tastes.

Reader comment:
”la publicité” is my fav on this EP, I love this song! I think I’ve already played it in parties! anyway ”hippy hippy hourrah” is also great, I’ve seen two days ago the Black Lips in live and they did a nice rendition of it in English

(11/05/11)

JACQUES DUTRONC – L’idole (Disques Vogue EPL 8536) April 1967

By the start of 1967 everything was looking rosy in Jacques’ garden. He’d had three smash hit singles in France and was in a relationship with the beautiful Francoise Hardy. Surely it couldn’t get much better than that (as long as he had his cigarettes).

The fourth Dutronc EP was released in April 1967 and again featured three decent songs and a real bad  apple spoiling things. ’Ain’t got a clue why he’d want to record ’J’aime Les Filles’….terrible French pop.

’J’ai Tout Lu, Tout Vu, Tout Bu’ is a strong Kinksy rocker but the winner for me is ’L’idole’ complete with searing fuzz bursts and a stop start arrangement.

(07/05/11)

JACQUES DUTRONC – ’L’espace d’une Fille’ (Disques Vogue EPL 8498) December 1966

The third and last Jacques Dutronc EP to be released in 1966 was ’Les Cactus’, the picture cover showing Jacques decked out in mock Mexican gear with an acoustic guitar standing in front of a huge cactus. Yes, the 60s artistic shots could be that obvious sometimes.

Out of the four songs on offer the folk rock tinged ’L’espace d’une Fille’ is my favourite.

Only the appalling ’La Compapade’ shows that the Frenchman was fallible.

(02/05/11)

JACQUES DUTRONC – ’La Fille Du Pere Noel’ (Disques Vogue EPL 8497) October 1966

The enormous success of the first Dutronc EP made a follow up an obvious one and the four songs on this disc mirror much of his debut. There is a more garage sound though on two of the tracks, for instance ’On Nous Cache Tout, On Nous Dit Rien’ there’s some neat fuzz guitar and there is compact organ utilized on ’Sur Une Nappe De Restaurant’.

The only song not compiled on the recent Dutronc ’Best Of’ EP released on RPM is ’La Fille Du Pere Noel’…not sure why the compiler didn’t use it but it’s got a satisfying Bo Diddley backbeat with Dutronc’s lazy Dylan style vocals. Too good to miss.

Readers comments:
Hi Colin, thanks for your nice comment on the Wrong Words! if you enjoyed the song, the LP is a pretty good deal I think it’s strange to not have put ”la fille du père noël” on the RPM comp’.

In France it’s one of the most famous Jacques Dutronc’s songs (with ”les cactus” ”les playboys” or ”il est 5 heures du matin”) and it’s also a great one.Someone (I can’t remember who) quite famous here in France did a funny cover of ”la fille du père noël” mixed with ”jean génie” of Bowie, which is quite similar!

Among my personal favorites of Dutronc you have ”hippie hippie hourrah” which was covered by the Black Lips in the recent years, very nice song with a melody inspired from a traditional song from Britany , a kind of drinking song.

The Dutronc song was about the bandwagon hippies: people which became hippies because you could sell more discs but not because of their own convictions.

This record with ”Les playboys”, nº1 in France, nº30 in Germany, nº32 en Holland, is the best seller EP for Dutronc. His CD best seller is ”Dutronc au Casino” (760 000).

A Belgian group, Été 67, sings ”On nous cache tout, on nous dit rien” (I think it’s possible to see in YouTube).It’s possible to hear public versions of ”La fille du père Noel” and ”Sur une nappe de restaurant” in the last record of Dutronc, ”Et vous, et vous, et vous”.

(02/05/11)

JACQUES DUTRONC – ’Mini-Mini-Mini’ ((Disques Vogue EPL 8461) June 1966

In France, Jacques Dutronc is now a national treasure but in the 60s he was a Superstar. His good looks, high cheekbones and blue eyes helped enormously. So did his fabulous mod clothes.

Jacques’ first record was this four track EP, all of which were sung in French (why not that’s where he’s from). I don’t speak French and don’t have a notion what he’s singing about but I dig the sound and that’s what’s important to me.

All of the cuts on this EP are very primitive and quite crude in their recording. I can hear a strong Bob Dylan and Troggs influence particularly on ’Mini-Mini-Mini’. In France the EP sold approx 300,000 copies (can you imagine that!)

comment from a reader:
Hi, I just discovered your fantastic blog today and as a French guy I was naturally attracted by the Jacques Dutronc section ! Just to say it’s a pity you don’t speak French because lyrics by
Jacques Lanzmann are really the key to understand why Dutronc was so successful.

It’s obvious the music is great but it’s only half of the thing. I say that because I read you was wondering about « j’aime les filles. The clue is not only he sang with a crooner voice to mock the genre but all the way through the song there are references to hip night clubs or places like Megeve and St Tropez and so on. in les play boys too and the pun at the end « telepnonez moi, telephonez me is funny too.

Dutronc/Lanzmann’s era is a topical reference to the 66/68 era, and typically Parisian.

If you could have the lyrics translated you would discover a new perspective in the understanding of those masterpieces.
All the best.
Grégoire

et moi et moi et moi was covered by the Mungo Jerry under the title ”alright alright alright” but the original song is much better as you can imagine!

Just come across your blog – great stuff. I knew nothing about Jacques Dutronc until reading your posts, but it caught my eye as I’d previously seen a clip of him doing ‘Et moi et moi et moi’ on the German ‘Beat Club’ programme on which it really stood out!

Restaurant in New York owned by Daniel Boulud uses this song Mini Mini Mini on its website.

(01/05/11)

THE V.I.P.’S – Every Girl I See (Funtona V 8600) bootleg LP

One of the very best R&B/soul groups to come out of England during the mid 60s were The V.I.P.’s. They emerged during the beat boom in the small town of Carlisle. This place was obviously far too small for their talents so they re-located (like most groups) to London.

The V.I.P.’s were hugely respected on the circuit and played all of the premier London venues such as the hip The Scotch Of St James Club. They went largely ignored by the record buying public in England though despite some strong single releases.

They had loyal followings in Germany where they were regulars at The Star Club in Hamburg during 1965/66 and in France where they released three EPs. Much of the material on these EPs never saw any release in Britain.

’Every Girl I See’ is one such mod mover with a slightly trippy production that was hidden away on a French EP.

The V.I.P.’s called it quits in early 1967 but soon returned as Art then changed their name again, this time to Spooky Tooth.  

(18/06/11)

THE V.I.P.’s – ’That’s My Woman’ (Funtona V 8600) bootleg LP

’That’s My Woman’ never saw a release in Britain but it was the flip of ’Mercy, Mercy’,  a 1966 single released in USA. It also featured on a bootleg German EP from the 80s.

The song was also recorded by The Nashville Teens who released it on Decca in January 1967.

The V.I.P.’s treatment of ’That’s My Woman’ is a raw fuzztoned blast and at just over two minutes is short enough to be perfect for radio. Sadly, probably few people would have heard it’s power at the time. 

(19/06/11)

THE V.I.P.’s – ’I Wanna Be Free’/’Don’t Let It Go’/’Smokestack Lightning’ (Fontana 460.982 ME) October 1966 – French release

’I Wanna Be Free’ b/w ’Don’t Let It Go was released in Britain during October 1966 but flopped. I actually prefer the soul ballad of sorts ’Don’t Let It Go’ on the flip but overall I know that The V.I.P.’s had much stronger material that Island could have put out.

The French EP on Fontana added a pedestrian version of Howlin’ Wolf’s ’Smokestack Lightning’ which I’ve never cared for no matter who records it. It’s just one of those songs that doesn’t get me stirring with any interest.

(20/06/11)

LES GYPSYS – ’Je Ne Te Pardonnerai Pas’ (Tryptic Records TR01) re-issue

Earlier this month I posted rare and exclusive pictures of French group Les Gypsys. Jean Pierre Hipken, bass player from Les Gypsys has been in touch with me several times over the past few weeks and I had a big surprise the other day when he sent me a signed copy of the super cool re-issue of his old band’s 45 ’Proletaire’.

The re-issue is very limited (500 copies) and is already SOLD OUT!!

This time around for my second and final Gypsys post I’ve uploaded the tough R’n’B flip ’Je Ne Te Pardonnerai Pas’ which you will hear is pure Pretty Things in sound and structure. 

(23/04/11)

THE PERSUADERS THEME – 1971

Back in the late 60s and early 70s when men were men they did macho things like having punch ups, they drank barrels of real ale and could still get up for work next day.

They kept their unchanged underpants on for days on end, they smoked cigars, drove fast cars and gambled their pay away. Quite often they went unshaven for weeks.

Sadly, modern men are now either mincers, metrosexuals or have allowed themselves to be hen pecked by an overbearing woman.  

But cheer up my faithful men friends from around the globe, I’ll attempt to release your pent up male pheromones with this GREAT theme tune from John Barry. It’s from British TV show The Persuaders starring future James Bond, Roger Moore (Lord Brett Sinclair) and Hollywood superstar Tony Curtis (Danny Wilde)..

The format of the show was simple: these two International Playboys teamed up to solve cases the courts could not.

During their escapades they would bed woman, have some fights, get into some scrapes and bed more woman. Proper bloke stuff in other words.

 John Barry also delivered the goods with theme tunes for movies such as Midnight Cowboy, The Ipcress File, The Knack and plenty of James Bond highlights. Rule Britannia!

(04/09/10)

I’ll continue my ’Made In Britain’ series with this relic from 1969.

Back when I was a pre teen kid in the 70s I remember watching repeats of TV Show Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased).

This was first shown in England during the late 60s. It was a weird private eye show with a twist because it involved a ghost (Marty Hopkirk) his partner (Jeff Randall) and a foxy blond Dolly Bird. Their seedy approach to fighting crime was a cut above the usual crime fighting tripe.

The theme always stood out to me as being a classic and was used by The Godfathers as their signature tune when they came out on stage at gigs back in the mid 80s, well it was the couple of times I saw the group perform.

The theme tune was compiled on a CD called ’Cult Fiction Royale’ in the 90s.

Keith Bickerton:
Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) was a great programme, that I never missed in the 60’s. There is an obscure musical connection: the actor who played Jeff Randall was the boyfriend of Chiitra Neogy who made the wonderful ”The Perfumed Garden” album on Gemini. Sadly the actor died relatively young.

(02/09/10)

THE SESSIONS – ’Let Me In’/’Bouncing Bass’ (Fontana F-1529) November 1965

I’ve had this record several years and did some research on it ages ago but never got around to posting it on ’Flower Bomb Songs’. I guess after writing about The Sorrows version of ’Let Me In’ last time out, this is the perfect time for The Sessions.

Scant information exists about The Sessions but they were a short lived Brum beat outfit that enjoyed NO releases in England but somehow ’Let Me In’ b/w ’Bouncing Bass’ got a release in USA.

The Sessions included future Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and according to his official website The Sessions also included Chas Hodges (bass), Nicky Hopkins (piano), Jimmy Evans (drums) and singer/songwriter (and future Sorrows member Miki Dallon on vocals).

The studio sessions for both recordings took place during March 1965, so this version was way earlier than the more familiar Sorrows take. ’Bouncing Bass’ is an instrumental.

(11/09/10)

THE SORROWS – ’Let Me In’/’How Love Used To Be’ (Piccadilly 7N35336) August 1966

The Sorrows were one of the toughest sounding bands to emerge from the mid 60s R’N’B scene in England. Far more gritty than the more popular groups on the scene and of course Don Fardon was a hugely talented vocalist. Just perfect for the supercharged Sorrows mod sound.

Miki Dallon’s ’Let Me In’ is a powerful song with crunching guitar, powerful vocals and a pulsating beat or could that be freakbeat? Not surprisingly, it was far too snotty for the charts and it sank into oblivion.

The flip ’How It Used To Be’ is a moody masterpiece and is the perfect come down after the thundering raunch of ’Let Me In’. This is a classic two sided 45 in every sense.

(08/09/10)

BILLY FURY – ’I Call For My Rose’/’Bye Bye’ (Parlophone R 5788) July 1969

England’s answer to Elvis Presley was probably Billy Fury and he enjoyed lots of rock ’n’ roll hits pre Beatlemania. None of these songs are ’Flower Bomb Songs’ material. However, in December 1966 Billy Fury signed to Parlophone and some of this material does fit my blog criteria.

Every Billy Fury Parlophone 45 is tough to score and they rarely turn up because each release bombed worse than the previous one. So this new CD release is essential if you want to listen to these rare and forgotten sides.

Have a listen to his self penned ’Bye Bye’ which borrows heavily from hammond heavy groups like Spencer Davis Group and The Brian Auger Trinity. He’s certainly got a great mod mover with this one.

(31/08/10)

GIL NOW – ’Dis-Le Moi’ EP (Barclay 71182) 1967

This week a couple of vinyl music Blogs I regularly visited decided to call it quits, which is a shame of course. They were both well written and I was able to discover some new sounds via these outlets.

I think the bloggers quit due to time constraints which may be true but I have a feeling they both wrapped it in because of a low receipt of comments and/or other people blatantly downloading their MP3s and label scans & images and posting them elsewhere without any credit.

I’ve noticed that my label scans and photos are all over YouTube, but has my site had any credit? Has it fuck! AND the amount of garage records for sale on eBay where the seller has cut and pasted my review has me laughing my tits off.. (p.s. I don’t actually own any tits it’s just coin a phrase)

Anyway, enough of the EXPO rant. Here’s a rarely seen undiscovered gem by French singer Gil Now. I know nothing about the geezer but he looks like he was a well turned out mod.

The most notable cuts for ’Flower Bomb Songs’ are the brassy hammond movers ’Dis-Le Moi’ and ’Les Ville’ (both will feature on my next Circles compilation)

’Dis-Le Noi’ uses the same rhythm section of ’Skate’ by Dean Parrish but adds some new lyrics. I don’t care about that when Gil Now can churn out such a monster mod club sound.

(22/10/10)

THE ROB HOEKE RHYTHM AND BLUES BAND – ’When People Talk’/’Rain, Snow, Misery (Philips JF 333 592) September 1966

The common practice with most when discussing Dutch groups is to name drop The Outsiders, Q65 or Cuby and the Blizzards to name but three. Sure they recorded some memorable rockin’ beat tunes but my absolute favourites are The Rob Hoeke Rhythm & Blues Band.

They had a terrific run of singles during the mid to late 60s, none better than the punked out R’n’B of the bone crunchin’ ’When People Talk’….talk about making the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. Wow, such a killer.

I can’t make out most of the words but who cares when you’ve got that fuzz guitar sprawling all over Hoeke’s  boogie piano fills, clattering tambourine and trippy backwards sound effects mid way through this beat made by freaks.

(08/06/11)

Jim W has supplied me with several scans of Euro picture sleeves over the years for ’Flower Bomb Songs’ and recently he found a demo tape of a 1967-68 Dutch group called The Locks. He obtained the six song tape from a band member (via a friend) way back in the 80s.
Since then Jim has tried to track the band down but has never been successful. They originated from the Southern part of Holland.

Although the taped sounds were not sonically the best I can still detect that The Locks had something to offer and were obviously influenced a great deal by the more progressive psych sounds from the West Coast like The Doors and Iron Butterfly.

songs on tape:

I’m Gonna Fight
Island Of Love
Tomorrow
Rainy Days
We Need Help
It Seems To Me

(01/06/11)

THE MASCOTS – ’Call Me Your Love’/’Baby, Baby’ (Decca F 44420) late 1964

Here’s evidence that the British Invasion sound had reached Stockholm, Sweden by late 1964 with a charming two sided beat 45 by The Mascots. This was their third single and the last time I looked on YouTube there was an excellent quality promo clip of the group performing ’Call Me Your Love’ probably for a Swedish pop show.

’Baby, Baby’ is a little more rough around the edges and has a pretty neat beat guitar break raising the standards. My copy comes with a picture sleeve that has seen some damage, but it shows that The Mascots were sharp mod dressers.

(10/06/11)

LOS CANARIOS – ’Peppermint Frappe’/’Keep On The Right Side’ (Sono Play 20.051) 1967

’Peppermint Frappe’ is a strange psych soul mover with a great guitar riff and maximum brassy bursts. The vocals are powerfully delivered over the mod backbeat. The song at times veers towards full blown psychedelia but twists and turns in a danceable manner.

Probably why ’Peppermint Frappe’ is popular at mod events (so I’ve read).

Both songs were recorded at Lansdowne Studios, London during June 1967. Not a great deal has been written about Los Canarios but I believe that they were from the Canary Islands, Spain.

(15/06/11)

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