Friday, October 31, 2008
Back From the Ipod Pt. 2
Today and this whole weekend it is sunny and in the 60s, possibly for the last time in awhile. So being the 'man of leisure' (some might say 'bum') that I am, I've been enjoying one of my favorite pastimes, taking long walks around town while listening to my trusty Ipod. And that is what has inspired this latest posting. Just a random sampling of tunes from my own private jukebox. Like last time, I am appeasing the Itunes gods and goddesses by presenting them in the exact order in which they played back. A one and a two and a one two three...
Alvin Robinson - I'm Gonna Put Some Hurt on You
Taking a cue from Huey Piano Smith, Alvin Robinson gets the proceedings started with a bouncing mid-tempo New Orleans shuffle. Despite the threatening tone of the lyrics the song as a whole has an irresistible good-time feeling to it.The Beatles - I Feel Fine [Mono]
As just about any Beatles fanatic/collector knows, many of their records, especially their singles were mixed differently for various markets around the world. This was especially true for the U.S. single mix of "I Feel Fine" where they added a ton of reverb, especially on the choruses and harmonies. The part where they sing "I'm so glad...' sounds like there must be a thousand voices harmonizing all at once. Hearing it on my 3-inch table radio speakers back in 1964, nothing ever sounded quite so mesmerizing - and actually it still has the same effect today.
Chris Bell - I Don't Know
From the "I Am The Cosmos" album, this track is more rocking but it still retains the same kind of ethereal charm as the title track. Unfortunately he was killed in a car crash not long after these sessions and one can't help but wonder where his considerable talent would've taken him had he lived.
Cuby & The Blizzards - Stumble And Fall
This is a perfect example of the snotty brand of Stones/Pretties influenced R&B that many of the Dutch bands were known for back in the mid-60s. "Stumble..." was Cuby & Co's first 45 and while they continued to record into this century, for many fans this was their best.
Fever Tree - I Can Beat Your Drum
"San Francisco Girls" was a a minor hit for this Houston Texas combo in the summer of 1968 but "...Drum" was a much more punkified affair that came out a few years earlier. While they went on to release a few albums in the late 60s, many collectors (myself included) consider this their finest moment.
Howard Mayberry & Sangamon Boys - This Just Can't Be Puppy Love
I know absolutely nothing about this record besides the fact that it's on a few different Rockabilly comps that have come out over the years. With lyrics like "She's my sweetie pie, she's my turtle dove, this just can't be puppy love" sung to a rockin' backbeat, how can anyone resist?
Jerry McCain - A Cutie Named Judy
Rock and Roll just doesn't get much cruder than this. Jerry recorded a number of songs back in the mid-50's in the same vein and they're all just as wacked-out as "Cutie". I don't think his Rhino CD is still in print but Norton Records released most of them in their jukebox 45 series a few years ago and they're well worth buying (see the Norton link in my previous post). He's still recording and while his new material isn't as wild, he's got a great voice and he's always been an excellent harmonica player.
Love - You I'll Be Following [Mono]
A friend of mine pointed me to a website where they are showing the Love documentary. For anyone who is a fan of the band, it's a must see. I'm not sure how long it's going to be there so better check it out while you still can. As much as I love "Forever Changes", their first album has been a favorite of mine ever since I discovered it in EJ Korvettes' record department when I was 15. I can only imagine what it must have been like seeing them live back in the day.
Marble Orchard - Love's Just Begun
Formed from the ashes of The Surf Trio, this Oregon trio released a few singles and an album, "Savage Sleep" on Estrus Records back in the early 90s. This is from that album, copies of which can be found on Amazon for around 6 bucks. I remember thinking at the time that had he not tragically ended his own life, this would have been a perfect song for Del Shannon to cover.
Mega City 4 - Severe Attack Of The Truth
This is from Mega's first album "Transphobia" recorded in 1989. While their overall style never varied much, their combination of driving punky riffs, catchy melodies and heartfelt lyrics was nothing less than exhilarating. Sadly, lead singer Wiz passed away in December of 2006.
The Olivers - I Saw What You Did
I'm still jealous of a good friend of mine who found a near mint copy of this garage classic at a WFMU record show for $15 a few years ago. Luckily for the rest of us, this organ fueled stomper is available, loud and proud on a number of garage comps.
The Pooh Sticks - Heroes And Villians
Not the Beach Boys classic of the same name, this is nonetheless a nice bright pop tune. Mainly a studio conglomeration put together by producer/songwriter Steve Gregory and vocalist Hue Williams, their discography, according to Wikipedia, is rather lengthy. While I haven't heard all or even most of it, what I have heard is quite enjoyable in a bubbly sort of way.
Thelonious Monk - Humph
Thelonious Monk is a household name among Jazz fans, as much for his compositions as his piano playing. Listening to this I can almost hear the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. Picture this playing in some movie while they're showing sped-up scenes of cars whizzing by and people scurrying every which way.
Sonny Hall & The Echoes - My Big Fat Baby
Sonny Hall and his cohorts held nothing back on this Rockabilly classic. "My Big Fat Baby" has been featured on a number of compilations over the years and it's not hard to see why. After a mere two minutes of this totally over-the-top screamer you almost need to catch your breath.
The Vycounts - Can't You Tell
Slowing things down a bit, I can never play this nifty little folk-rock nugget just once whenever it comes on the Ipod. On a bigger label with a slightly beefier production this would have 'hit' written all over it. At least it would've back in 1965 which is when, at least by the sound of it, this little gem was most likely recorded
Wendy Rene - Bar-B-Q
An homage to good old southern home cooking, this has, ironically enough, become somewhat of a Northern Soul and Mod favorite over the last few years. With that bouncin', boppin' New Orleans style beat I can see how this would be a real dancefloor filler.
The Yum Yums - Digging On You
The Yum Yums sound like they could be Norway's answer to the Ramones or the Real Kids. Yes, they really are that good. Taken from their (unfortunately out of print) best-of compilation, this is just one of many songs that in a more Rock & Roll friendly world, would be making them rich and famous.
Cliffon Chenier - Hot Rod
Going back to Louisiana, Clifton Chenier recorded and toured extensively from the mid-50s until his death in 1987. There's something about the sound he got out of his accordion - so rich and sweet and bluesy all at once - that's such a sheer pleasure to listen to. "Hot Rod" is one of his more Rock & Roll styled tracks.
The Nashville Teens - Find My Way Back Home
There's not much I need to say about this Nashville Teens stomper. If I had to put together an all-time favorite Top 10, I'm sure this song would be there. If it doesn't get you at least tapping your feet and smiling, you might need to get your pulse checked.