Obscurities from the Underground
In 2009 I turned my attention to fifty ’60s styled / inspired nuggets that deserved to be listened. These singles went largely ignored but are worthy of your investigation.
01 MOVIEES – COME ON
02 OPTIC NERVE – AIN’T THAT A MAN
03 BOYS FROM NOWHERE – GOIN’ TOO FAR
04 CELLAR DWELLERS – DWELLIN’
05 BARRACUDAS – I WANT MY WOODY BACK
06 PETER BERRY AND THE SHAKE SET – LET ME
07 PLASTICLAND – POP! OP DROPS
08 GRUESOMES – HEY!
09 PANDORAS – IT’S ABOUT TIME
10 LEE JOSEPH – STAY BY MY SIDE
11 STOMACH MOUTHS – R&B No 65
12 PROJECTILES – SOME THINGS NEVER CHANGE
13 STOMACH MOUTHS – DON’T PUT ME DOWN
14 VIPERS – AIN’T THAT A MAN
15 PAUL MESSIS – THE WORLD IS SQUARE
16 MERRY MELODIES – APPLE JAKE
17 TELL TALE HEARTS – TOO MANY LOVERS
18 TELL TALE HEARTS – TAKE A LOOK INSIDE
19 FLESHTONES – I’VE GOTTA CHANGE MY LIFE
20 FRANTIC V – ROOM 409
21 TINA PEEL – FIFI GOES POP
22 KLIEK – ME RIGHT NOW
23 UNCLAIMED – UGH
24 RIDE – BIRDMAN
25 BOMBORAS – MOON PROBE
26 PLAYN JAYN – JULIETTE
27 TINA PEEL – PUNK ROCK JANITOR
28 BOYS FROM NOWHERE – JUNGLE BOY
29 CLIQUE – REGGIE
30 STONE ROSES – MERSEY PARADISE
31 DUKES OF HAMBURG – LITTLE LOVER
32 ROAMIN’ NUMERALS – FRUIT OF THE DAY
33 SIOXSIE AND THE BANSHEES – DEAR PRUDENCE
34 REACTIONS – I WANT YOU
35 TRIP – STICK LIKE GLUE
36 TRIP – NEVER TOO LATE FOR LINDA
37 HOODOO GURUS – I WANT YOU BACK
38 MYSTREATED – THE EMPORER WEARS NO CLOTHES
39 SUNNYBOYS – TOMORROW WILL BE FINE
40 LEARS – HER MAGIC SMILE
41 FREDDY & THE FOUR-GONE CONCLUSIONS – STAND UP
42 TEENAGE FANCLUB – I NEED DIRECTION
43 HYPNOMEN – SUNSTROKE DREAMER
44 FRED BISON FIVE – GIRL GUITAR
45 BOGEYMEN – YOU’VE GOT NO SCRUPLES
46 JAMES TAYLOR QUARTET – THE MONEYSPYDER
47 THANES – WORLD OF STONE
48 RUTLES – I MUST BE IN LOVE
49 HURRAH! – THE SUN SHINES HERE
50 PLASTICLAND – COLOR APPRECIATION
01. THE MOVIEES – ’Come On’/’You Got What I Want’ (Living Eye Records LSD-4) 1998
Insanely cool 45 release on Living Eye Productions by a Rochester band called The Moviees. In the late 90s the band had it all….the mod threads, the tunes, the contacts and an album on Sundazed. Then it all went sour when Paul Morabito quit to join The Chesterfield Kings.
’Come On’, a band original is a killer mod garage crossover.
The flip ’You Got What I Want’ is a cover of the raunchy freakbeat raver by The Sorrows/Boys Blue that matches the original.
Both songs produced by Greg Prevost and Andy Babiuk.
Hank Borchers (vocals/lead guitar)
Paul Morabito (12 string guitar/organ)
James Hanson (bass)
Ryan Kemp (drums)
02. THE OPTIC NERVE – ’Ain’t That A Man’ (Cryptovision CR 800) 1986
If you dig fragile vocals/harmonies with jangly folk rock melodies look no further than this New York band of mop-tops. They formed in late 1985 and during the following year released their first single on Cryptovision.
They were also a good ’haircut band’ (as I used to call some bands) with a cool mid 60s Sunset Strip image (very important when you’re young and starting out)…and fortunately for them they had the songs to match their poses.
The band on this debut release contained Bobby Belfiore (lead vocals/guiar), Tony Matura (lead guitar), ex Outta Place member Orin Portnoy (bass) and Frank Manlin (drums).
The Optic Nerve managed to get three songs on this cheap and nasty release – this is by far the shittiest vinyl I’ve probably seen and must weigh no more than a handful of mouse droppings.
songs on 45:
’Ain’t That A Man’ (Belfiore), ’Happy Ever After’ (Belfiore) and ’Mayfair’ (Matura)
03. BOYS FROM NOWHERE – ’Goin’ Too Far’/’I Don’t Bother’ (Young Lion LR030) 1987
I’ve already reviewed the ’Jungle Boy’ single by Columbus band Boys From Nowhere last month so here’s another winner from them.
For their third 45 they decided to cover ’Goin’ Too Far’ by 60s Columbus heroes The Fifth Order. Not content to make a faithful version, Boys From Nowhere more or less inject some 70s punk crunch action in the mix, the guitars are sharp and snappy & Mick Divvens has that unique snarled warble, like he’s been swallowing razorblades…..check it out on ’Hung On You – Part 1’.
The flip ’I Don’t Bother’ again sounds more 70s punk than 60s garage with a neat guitar sound.
The line up on this disc is completely different apart from mainstay Divvens.
Mark Poole (guitar)
Mick Divvens (vocals/guitar)
Todd Burge (bass)
Wes Poole (drums)
04. THEE CELLAR DWELLERS – ’Wonderin’ Why?’/’Dwellin’ (Get Hip GH-105) 1987
One of the early releases on Get Hip Records was by this neo garage band from Carlisle, PA.
The sleeve is a beautiful thing but the music is a bit of a let down. ’Wonderin’ Why?’ written by Jim Baetz doesn’t quite lift off like it could have done with some 60s punk style snarls but worse to come is how the record just kinda fades out to a whimper. Blame the production on this?
The flip ’Dwellin’ is a fuzztoned & organ swingin’ instro with the odd ’Hey!’ thrown in for good measure. It’s obviously a much better side but again I don’t think the production is that great.
The fuzz guitar pans from one channel to another in an annoying stereo way. This would have been more powerful and purist in a mono mix.
I found some information online from a mod fanzine called Top Gear. This is from issue 4 circulated in 1988:
THEE CELLAR DWELLERS- WONDERIN’ WHY? / DWELLIN’
GET HIP RECORDS
I was a little disappointed with this single. I like the band a
lot, and their live shows are always a blast, but they didn’t
seem to capture their live excitement on this release. I don’t even feel that the choice of material is a good representation of their style. However, for some good news, read the next review.
THEE CELLAR DWELLERS
6 SONG DEMO CASSETTE #2
If you remember last issue, I reviewed Thee Cellar Dwellers’
demo cassette. Well, this is their second demo cassette, which contains rough mixes of their forthcoming EP. This blows away both the single and the previous demo cassette. Much closer to Thee Dwellers live sound.
My favorites are the Beatlesque cuts ’Girl In My Dreams’ and ’I Know It’s True’. There are also some excellent instrumentals.
My copy of the tape includes an additional track, which is a cover of The Eyes’ ’Please Don’t Cry’. This will not be included on the EP, but released on a compilation tape put out by Sound Affects fanzine in San Diego. These tracks are more like Thee Cellar Dwellers I know.
Get this tape by sending either $2.00 and a blank cassette, or
THEE CELLAR DWELLERS
c/o JIM BAETZ
Carlisle, PA 17013
I’ve not heard these demo tapes and didn’t know they existed. I don’t think any EP was released after this 45 for Get Hip as the reviewer suggested. If you know any better let me know.
05. THE BARRACUDAS – ’I Want My Woody Back’/’Subway Surfin’ (Cell-Out 1) 1979
Surf punk heroes of mine The Barracudas, recorded and mixed this two sider in one day during mid June 1979 at Freerange Studios. It was their first ever visit to a professional studio.
According to the liners of CD ’Through The Mysts Of Time: Barracudas Rarities 1978-81’, lead guitarist and songwriter of both songs on this 45 Robin Wills, claimed he was just making things up and perhaps got the concept of a Woody and a G.T.O. a little confused.
’Subway Surfin’ is a mix of punk rock and Jan & Dean with throw away lyrics.
Their surfin’ period was all too brief and after the small hit ’Summer Fun’ The Barracudas developed a Byrdsian folk rock jangle sound which I’m sure you’re all aware of anyway.
”London is a lonely town when you’re the only surfer boys around”
Robin Wills: ”I am wearing the leather jacket that Steve Jones nicked, passed onto Sid who then sold it to me for £25, before it got nicked backstage at a gig in Huddersfield a few weeks later…”
06. PETER BERRY & The SHAKE SET – ’Berry Express’ EP (Larsen Records LZ 090) 2008
There must be something in the water Norwegians drink that makes their musicians wanna pick up Rickenbacker and Fender guitars because it seems there’s a never ending supply of real cool talent that releases a couple of 45s then are gone.
Hopefully, the latest set of beat kings will stay with us a little longer. If authentic 60s sounding merseybeat shakers is your bag then check out these lads. The band only use vintage equipment and utilize the famous Toe Rag Studios in London to get their analogue beatitude on tape.
This whole EP is GREAT beat, all are originals apart from ’Donna’ (Ritchie Valens) but I’ll choose ’Let Me’ to sell the EP to you all. And look at the cover with the band larking about on a mini steam train.
Absolutely priceless and pure 1964 (before groups decided they were too cool to lark about at photo shoots and wanted to be mean and moody like Them or The Pretty Things)
Band members go under an alias (they’ve given themselves English names such as Barry Brumble, Perry Dear, Peter Berry and Magnus Merrington (well apart from Magnus)….Peder Bernhardt used to be in one of my favourite bands The Indikation (they’ve split up sadly)
07. PLASTICLAND – ’Pop! Op Drops’ (Scadillac SC-3003) 1982
One of the very few bands that successfully re-made ’67 era English psych during the 80s were Plasticland, especially on their early 45s. This 4 track EP released on Scadillac in 1982 was the second foray onto vinyl for this Milwaukee, Wisconsin group of acid heads.
’Pop! Op Drops’ is inspired by LSD influenced music such as Tomorrow and Electric Banana (Pretty Things) and describes a magic sweet with a million different flavours all at once. Can you possibly imagine that?
All four songs on this EP are band originals:
Pop! Op Drops
The Garden In Pain
Driving Accident Prone
Plasticland releases on Scadillac are virtually impossible to come by now and when they do turn up they command high prices. The first Plasticland 45 ’Mink Dress’ went for $103 on eBay last week!!!
08. THE GRUESOMES – ’Hey!’ (OG-20) 1988
Montreal, Canada is where The Gruesomes hail from. They’re still going but it was their mid 80s heyday that matters to ’Flower Bomb Songs’…
This is the funny promo video that went with the rockin’ garage tune where the only words snarled are ’Hey!’ …an all time classic.
By the way do not adjust the volume…there’s no sound until the song starts at 20 odd seconds!!!
09. THE PANDORAS – ’It’s About Time’ (Moxie MM1044) 1984
The Pandoras were the darlings of the garage revival underground in Los Angeles and on their early releases on Moxie and Voxx, had a more than decent 60s punk style sound.
Unfortunately after a good start, internal conflict within the band and a change in direction to a hard rock sound lost The Pandoras any credibility they had.
It couldn’t have helped signing to Elektra Records either….once a band leaves the underground that’s usually bad news as far as I’m concerned.
Leader, Paula Pierce died of an aneurysm in 1991, aged only 31.
’It’s About Time’ from this 4 track EP on Moxie Records is the best thing The Pandoras ever recorded and is a classic folk rock jangler.
10. LEE JOSEPH – ’Stay By My Side’ (Mystery Scene 004) 1987
The EP ’Four By One’ from Lee Joseph were home recordings from the Summer of 1984 then mixed at Westbeach, Los Angeles a couple of years later.
On the crude recordings Lee Joseph had input from ex Unclaimed member Rich Coffee and Zebra from The Zebra Stripes?? who provided handclaps on ’Stay By My Side’ the Music Explosion bubblegum punker.
All of the songs on this EP have a whole lot of fuzz and a sparse echoey production. The vocals are thin and weak but who cares about that cos the fuzz is where it’s at.
tracks on EP:
Stay By My Side
The Special Ones
Sounds Of Color
Hey COLIN—Zebra iz Lee Jospeh’z ex-wife who had a long player of her own titled ”Zebra Stripes”! I think she waz also a member of girl punk/trash band Hot Damn! Best alwayz—”mad” louie
11. THE STOMACH MOUTHS – R & B No. 65 (Got To Hurry 101) 1986
The Stomach Mouths debut LP ’Something Weird’ really stands the test of time and it’s easily one of the best garage revival records recorded during the halcyon days of the mid 80s.
’R & B No. 65’ from this album is a furious garage punk rave up and coming in at just over two minutes is a necessary listening experience.
The 14 track long player contains 12 originals and cover versions of ’Born Loser’ and ’The Cat Came Back’….
The promo picture above came with my copy of the LP and was a real cool touch.
12. THE PROJECTILES – ’Some Things Never Change’/’I Need Somebody’ (Jargon Records 1285006) 1986
The Projectiles came from Rochester, New York and probably formed after hearing Rochester’s own garage royalty The Chesterfield Kings. Judging by the pic sleeve the band weren’t exactly purist in their dress code with the baggy jeans, Magnum P.I. sunshades and the guy wearing what looks like Doc Martin boots.
The cover graphics are also of a low standard as well. No doubt the combination of dodgy image and bad psych lettering would put some people off buying the 45. Fortunately, it didn’t stop me.
’Some Things Never Change’ is decent garage with snarled vocals and a constant high pitched farfisa organ in the mix.
The flip is an OK cover of ’I Need Somebody’ originally by ? and the Mysterians of course.
Both sides were recorded at Saxon Studios, Rochester in November 1985.
Dan Frank (vocals/guitar/tambourine)
Tony Pilato (farfisa organ)
Brian Goodman (drums)
Terry Flanagan (guitar)
Kevin Keefer (bass)
Wow. It’s nice to see people still interested in our band. I started The Projectiles back in 1983 with Jerry Flanagan and Kevin Keefer, and the 45 was the result of us winning a battle of the bands at a very popular night club in Rochester.
We won some recording time at Saxon Studios and enough cash to barely cover the cost of the pressing, hence the ”low budget” look of the sleeve. You have a very nice blog by the way. Nice pics and great research too. Keep up the fine work. Sincerely, Dan Frank
13. THE STOMACH MOUTHS – ’Wild Trip’/’Don’t Put Me Down’ (Mansi Sunlight 196025-01) 1985
One of the very best bands to hail from Sweden are mid 80s garage punk band The Stomach Mouths. With their fuzz and farfisa trademark sound combined with Stefan Kery’s wild vocals the band built up a huge reputation and all of their records are hard to come by now.
This debut 45 appeared in ’85 and was quickly sold out. It was pressed three times and the one I’ve got is the very first pressing with the band pic on the front cover. The second pressing has a ’monster’ sleeve and the third has black and purple vinyl.
’Wild Trip’ as the title suggests is indeed a ’wild’ trip and is closer to the acid punk sound from ’66. ’Don’t Put Me Down’ is more of a ’back from the grave’ style garage winner with a break neck backbeat, fuzz and screaming vocals.
An undeniably GREAT 45 whatever era.
19. THE FLESHTONES – ’I’ve Gotta Change My Life’ (IRS SP70018) 1981
’Roman Gods’ is a hyped up album and I suppose many will really dig the whole work but there’s just too many souly things on it for me to totally enjoy, including a fair sprinkling of saxophone (an instrument that spoils records IMO) and some funky bass.
I much prefer TheFleshtones when they go for the garage sound and ’I’ve Gotta Change My Life’ ticks the boxes on that score.
20. THE FRANTIC V – ’Room 409’ (On Stage Records 005) 2004
The Frantic V are (along with The Sound Explosion) the garage kings of Greece and they’re still a performing band and have been since 1994.
They’ve released many records on various labels over the years and have become well respected men on the neo garage circuit.
’Room 409’ is a farfisa and fuzz surf instro that opened the long player released by On Stage Records back in 2004. It’s a recommended LP, side one in particular is fantastic including a fuzzed out version of The Wailers killer’ Hang Up’.
When I was doing some research on the band, I happened upon their myspace page and lo and behold in the pictures album there is a flyer where someone has blatantly plagiarized my deleted ’Timelapse Jangle’ compilation cover. It brought back memories of how I ripped off the sleeve of Pebbles Volume 11 for a Mourning After poster back in the 80s.
Guitarist Kostas Kapetanakis sent me a copy of ’A Long Play With…The Frantic V’ years ago…thanks again Kostas.
21. TINA PEEL – ’Fifi Goes Pop’/’Weekend Geek’ (Teen Appeal Records 69) 1979
The second single by Tina Peel was released on their own label and comes housed in a neat sleeve showing a young Rudi Protrudi, the lovely Deb O’Nair and a big poodle called Fifi.
Well, I think that’s Fifi pictured. ’Fifi Goes Pop’ is about an unfortunate dog that get’s baked in a microwave oven until it bursts. All I can say is that it must have been one of those large industrial microwaves to fit that bloody huge thing in.
’Fifi Goes Pop on setting number two’….
The back of the picture sleeve shows the band in more dodgy gear!
22. THE KLIEK – ’Me Right Now’/’Nothing’s Changed’ (Twist Records 6) 1993
Amsterdam was the home of this fine combo who mixed obscure Euro beat and American garage with their own compositions. They built up a massive reputation with their live performances and released many records on various indie labels in the late 80s and early 90s.
’Me Right Now’ is a faithful rendition of The Remains classic and The Kliek really do the song justice. Covering a song by the legendary Remains could have been a disaster but thankfully they pull it off with astute skill and a decent production.
The flip ’Nothing’s Changed’ is a moody beat song originally recorded by The Zombies and is another winner.
Robert Muter (vocals)
Marcel Kruup (guitar)
Theo Brouwer (bass)
The Gub (drums)
When The Kliek disbanded in the mid 90s Robert Muter formed Kek’66.
23. THE UNCLAIMED – ’Ugh’ (Hysteria Records HLP 1300) 1983
I’ve written about The Unclaimed a couple of times on my blog and no doubt I’ll write about them in the future because I think they’re one of the most authentic sounding non ’66 punkers ever. Some would say a perfect example of a band operating in the wrong time zone.
’Ugh’ from the Hysteria Records six track mini LP titled ’Primordial Ooze Flavoured’ is a fuzzadelic wig out and I hope to give it some exposure on a ’Hung On You’ podcast in the future, but until then my moptop freaks you’ll have to make do with looking at this promo picture of The Unclaimed.
Long Ryders frontman Sid Griffin is pictured but by the time the band recorded ’Ugh’ he had departed.
25. THE BOMBORAS – ’Forbidden Planet’/’Moon Probe’/’Time Bomb’ (Dionysus ID074562) 1997
Way cool surf instrumentals from Los Angeles based band The Bomboras but sadly they’re no more. Ex Fuzztone, Jake Cavaliere provides the only original in ’Forbidden Planet’, ’Time Bomb’ is an Avengers VI cover but my pick from the 45 is the spooky ’Moon Probe’.
26. THE PLAYN JAYN – ’Juliette’/’Something Died’ (A and M Records 241) 1985
London band The Playn Jayn had a massive reputation for their memorable high powered live performances but most of their recordings in the studio (like so many 80s bands) didn’t compare.
’Juliette’ shines however as a very commercial 60s influenced pop song. I’m not sure if a major label like A and M knew what to do with a garage style band like The Playn Jayn when the forgettable 80s were infested with awful synth bands and perm haired metal puffs from America.
’Juliette’ of course sank without trace and the band were no more less than a year later.
27. TINA PEEL – ’More Than Just Good Looks EP’ (Dacoit/Limp Records) 1978
Now this is a funny old record by a band from Harrisburg, PA called Tina Peel. The music on offer could probably be described as bubblegum punk and judging by the image of the group it’s a very much post ’77 punk rock and pre New Wave look, so I don’t think they’re meant to be taken too seriously.
’Punk Rock Janitor’ from the EP is a live recording but the sleeve doesn’t indicate if it was from a gig. According to the sleeve though, all four songs were recorded in producer Jeff Meglio’s basement, so maybe this was a one take run through.
”I wanna run my fingers thru Sylvain’s hair
Sniff Debbie Harry’s underwear
Dish the dirt with Deb O’Nair
I wanna be a punk rock janitor”
Tina Peel included in their ranks Rudi Protrudi and Deb O’Nair. All songs were written by Protrudi including ’Fabian Lips’, a song he would demo with his next band The Fuzztones in 1983.
There were originally 450 EPs released with a picture sleeve. My copy is one of a handful with the title hand coloured in yellow. It’s also signed by Rudi.
28. BOYS FROM NOWHERE – ’Jungle Boy’/’1966’ (Young Lion LR020) 1986
Conflicting sources indicate either a Columbus or Youngstown location in Ohio for this garage punk band led by singer/songwriter Mick Divvens.
Boys From Nowhere released three powerful 45s in the mid 80s with an influential nod towards The Lyres/DMZ. Mick Divvens has an almost 70s punk rock vocal attack. ’Jungle Boy’ came out on their own label which apparently sold poorly at the time but is now a sought after collectors item. The song was compiled on ’Declaration Of Fuzz’…
Despite the negative comments made by Tim Gassen in his ’The Knights Of Fuzz’ book I can recommend the first three Boys From Nowhere singles and another one of their 45s will feature higher in my Top 50 at some point.
Johnny Bernardo (drums)
Ted Nagel (bass)
Mick Divvens (vocals/vox organ)
Eric Martin (backing vocals on ’1966’)
Charlie McNeil (guitar)
The Boys From Nowhere were amazing, I feel lucky to have been able to see them play live in NYC in 1985. ”1966” is still one of my fave U.S. 80’s garage records. Johnny Benardo was one of the best drummers I’ve ever seen.
And for the record I don’t think Tim Gassen knew what he was writing about half the time. Trust me, I was there, TBFN were rockin’.
Well, I used to correspond a bit with Mick D back in the late 80s. I sent him a tape of my wyld radio show broadcast weekly on FM, and in return, he sent me a limited to 200 copies pressing with pic sleeve of ”Indefinite Inhibition” with ”1966” on the flip.”Beg” is my fave tune on the old Goldmine Garage Sale tape. MopTopMike
Columbus, Ohio. Also, Matthew Specktor’s book That Summertime Sound (MTV Books) is a fictionalized version of his time with Mick in the 80’s Columbus music scene. This is from a local magazine reporting about Specktor’s reading in Columbus with Mick: http://614columbus.com/magazine/12-01-2009/rock-n-roll-reunion
Chris- wicked old post here but I just found it – searching for our version of Hang Up! this is Ted Nagel, I played bass for the original BFN line up. We were in Columbus at that time. Youngstown guys came later…
The songs you have on mp3 were recorded IIRC at the same time as Jungle Boy ’66. I loved the Need you version with Charlie playing with a metal pick! Charlie M. (guitar) may have put them out into the web-o-sphere without the blessing of Mick, who controlled that activity.
I’ve got them on cassette…going to dig that up later. I’m now F@(=Book friends with Tim Gasson… also a Columbus music scene prodigy. I had to crack up about his review of BFN! Cheers, Ted
29. THE CLIQUE – ’Reggie’/’She Doesn’t Need You Anymore’ (Detour Records DR 014) July 1994
There’s been plenty of bands calling themselves The Clique down the years and in the 90s there just happened to be another combo with this moniker. This particular Clique were a set of London mods armed with a swingin’ hammond organ and a nice range of shirts and circle lens sunglasses.
’Reggie’ is a decent attempt at mod psych I suppose but it could have done with a bone crunchin’ lead guitar solo or perhaps some fuzz.
The flip ’She Doesn’t Need You Anymore’ lasted about 10 seconds on my turntable before the record was swiftly dispatched back in it’s sleeve. Way too much brass on it for me to cope with. It sounds like friggin’ Dexy’s Midnight Runners and sent shivers down my spine.
The record sold well though and 4 pressings were made between July 1994 and June 1995 with a final count of 2,500 copies
30. STONE ROSES – ’Mersey Paradise’ (Silvertone ORE 6) July 1989
For some strange reason ’Mersey Paradise’ was left off the acclaimed album ’Fools Gold’… The song was written in their early days when they wore paisley shirts, sported bowl haircuts and were pretty much unknown outside of their home City of Manchester. It’s a shame all of that baggy shite spoilt them.
The only place to find the infectious jangle pop of ’Mersey Paradise’ was on the B-Side of the 12” release of ’She Bangs The Drums’. It wasn’t even available as a regular B-Side on the single format.
The first time I heard this tune was on the radio and I thought it was by some obscure Scottish jangle band and I got my pen ready to write down the groups name so I could go out and buy it. Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be The Stone Roses.
’Mersey Paradise’ is the best thing they ever did.
31. THE DUKES OF HAMBURG – ’Little Lover’/’It’s My Fault’ (Screaming Apple SCAP 051) 1998
A release worth checking out on the respected Screaming Apple Records label is this one by The Dukes Of Hamburg. If primitive 60s style beat is your bag well, you’re gonna dig this slice of vinyl.
’Little Lover’ is a lo-fi punk beat cover of The Hollies tune whilst the other side is a version of ’It’s My Fault’ originally recorded by German band The Rattles.
32. THE ROAMIN’ NUMERALS – ’Fruit Of The Day’/’Buckle Up!’ (Beluga 002) 1998
Beluga Records was a small indie label out of Stockholm, Sweden that is now defunct. But the label did release early 45s by The Roadrunners, The Maggots and this gem by The Roamin’ Numerals.
The Roamin’ Numerals included in their ranks ex Fuzztones, Twisted and Headless Horsemen lead guitarist Elan Portnoy. I don’t know the names of any other band members.
’Fruit Of The Day’ sounds similar to those garage rockers he wrote with The Headless Horsemen with spiky lead guitar licks high in the mix. ’Buckle Up!’ is perhaps the better side with bursts of wah wah but the words to the song are undecipherable.
Trevor Gallant from Beluga Records recently contacted me and kindly shared an image of the cancelled sleeve design. Trevor confirmed that 10 copies of the 45 in this sleeve were shipped to Australia before The Roamin’ Numerals requested that future copies were sold with the psychedelic negative sleeve.
Follow Flower Bomb Songs on my Facebook page. I add loads of things I just don’t have time to post on my website.
This record had another sleeve when it was released, but was stopped by the band and reprinted. (about 20 copies managed to leave the label headquarters). Beluga
33. SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES – ’Dear Prudence’/’Tattoo’ (Wonderland SHE 04) Sept 1983
This 45 was an unexpected foray into psychedelia by a band more associated with the 70s punk rock scene in England, but by 1983 they had developed a more complex sound and had undergone a few personnel changes.
One such change was the introduction of Robert Smith from The Cure on lead guitar. He took over duties from John McGeoch and persuaded the band to record The Beatles classic ’Dear Prudence’.
The Siouxsie and the Banshees version is a much quicker assault with Robert Smith’s guitar to the fore.
During this period he was solely using a Vox Teardrop Mark VI. Producer Mike Hodges also uses the technique of phasing or ’skying’ as it’s sometimes known to create that otherworldly soundscape.
34. THE REACTIONS – ’I Want You’/’Frenzied’ (St. Valentine Records SVR-014) 1986
Power Pop bands weren’t exactly falling over themselves in the mid 80s but three piece group The Reactions used the Flamin’ Groovies template well adding their own touch of modernisms. Some pleasant Rickenbacker guitar leads and the drum patterns weaved are splendid as they say.
Both the rocker ’I Want You’ and the instro ’Frenzied’ are worth checking out.
The Reactions were from Cleveland, Ohio.
Dave Swanson (guitars, drums)
Chuck Wagner (guitars, lead vocals)
Brian P. McCafferty (bass)
great 7”!! when the Reactions end Dave star with the Rainy Day Saints and Brian with the BEATNICK TERMITES. regards!!
35. THE TRIP – Stick Like Glue (Voxx Records 200.019) 1984
The second and last song by The Trip to be compiled was ’Stick Like Glue’ written by Tom Neale. This garage psych winner appeared on Greg Shaw’s ’Battle Of The Garages’ Vol 2.
I wonder if the Don Ciccone in The Trip is the same person who was a member of The Critters and wrote their famous song ’Mr Dieingly Sad’
Answers on a postcard as they say….
Tom Neale (guitar, organ, vocals)
Don Ciccone (guitar, vocals)
Steve Balestra (bass)
Vic Gentile (drums)
Don Ciccone from The Trip recently got in touch and confirmed that he is NOT Don Ciccone from The Critters. He has provided the following information:
Funny you should mention the unreleased tape. it was supposed to come out in the 80s on a label called Sounds Interesting out of New Jersey but they folded.
The problem was always that we didn’t quite have enough tracks for an album. We had something like 8 songs.
Some label in Australia wants to put it out but again they want us to find extra tracks.
We did record a different version of ”Stick Like Glue” – with 12 string and organ. Right now we’re trying to go thru the tapes and see what’s there.
I don’t know how Tim Gassen got the tape. That was a surprise, seeing us in that book.
We got a LOT of fan mail when those two songs came out on those comps and a fair amount of press, considering.
Tom Neale and I still work together, writing songs and jamming. The other guys are on the East Coast but we’re all still in touch. I’d love to put the band together again.
No, I’m not the same don Ciccone as the critters guy (sorry don). and ”stick like glue” was our first release. ”Never Too Late For Linda” was second. – don
36. THE TRIP – ’Never Too Late For Linda’ (Goldmine tape A-135) March 1985
Goldmine Magazine sponsored the cassette only release of new bands with that 60s influence calling it ’Garage Sale!’ Most of the bands on it had previous releases on small labels such as The Gravedigger V, The Tell Tale Hearts, The Fuzztones and The Unclaimed.
I was more interested in the bands that didn’t have much or any exposure before and one of those bands that stood out were The Trip.
The liners of the tape state that they hailed from San Francisco. ’Never Too Late For Linda’ has got some choice fuzz and a spooky sounding organ. The band also had a song called ’Stick Like Glue’ compiled on Voxx LP ’Battle Of The Garages Volume 2’.
But apart from these two songs mentioned that was it from The Trip, although Tim Gassen mentions in his book ’The Knights Of Fuzz’ they have an unreleased tape of material that has never seen the light of day.
Don Ciccone: yes there is an unreleased tape of Trip material. you might be interested to know that ”Never Too late for Linda” was covered by San Francisco’s Angel Corpus Christi which came out on a CD called THE 80’s on the Gulcher label.
37. THE HOODOO GURUS – ’I Want You Back’/’Hoodoo You Love’ (Big Time BTS 1177) March 1984
One of the few Australian bands to make it outside their native land were Sydney based quartet The Hoodoo Gurus. ’I Want You Back’ is very anthemic and I’m not sure how you would describe the sound. Is it power pop or garage rock? Maybe it was this strange mix that got them to a higher level success wise.
Brad Shepherd (guitar/vocals)
Dave Faulkner (guitar/lead vocals)
Clyde Bramley (bass/vocals)
James Baker (drums)
38. THE MYSTREATED – ’The Emperor Wears No Clothes’ (Shindig Records 002) 1997
’Lovely Sunday Dreaming’ was the final album offering by English band The Mystreated before they disbanded shortly after it’s release. When The Mystreated started making records one reviewer said they sounded like an inept Monkees but by 1997 they’d become very competent musicians and this album is loaded with such great melodies.
’The strangely named ’The Emperor Wears No Clothes’ is my pick from this long player. It’s a melancholic raga psych gem with killer organ and lead guitar breaks closing out the song.
39. THE SUNNYBOYS – ’Happy Man’/’Tomorrow Will Be Fine’ (Mushroom K8335) June 1981
The Sunnyboys hailed from the Sydney area and were named after an orange flavoured frozen ice treat. They got their break supporting The Lipstick Killers and a record deal with Mushroom Records soon followed.
’Happy Man’ was their first 45 for Mushroom but it’s the B-Side ’Tomorrow Will Be Fine’ that gets the nod and enters the recommended 50. This is a fine power pop record and was no doubt an influence on bands that followed in Australia a couple of years later.
40. THE LEARS – ’Her Magic Smile’/’Don’t You Know’ (Misty Lane Records 028) 1995
Wow! I was so surprised to see my old band’s single included on your great blog! I’m Dennis Dalcin (guitar/vocals) with The Lears.
Both of these songs are ones that I wrote & sang lead on. These were ever only very rough mixes and NOT the way we really wanted them to sound.
We were asked by Massimo of Misty Lane Records if we would allow him to release these as a single on his label. We were glad to finally have something recorded in a real recording studio get released.
Our our previous releases were from recordings done on a 4-track machine that Paul Mutchler had, and they were recorded in a garage!
They were true garage recordings! I too believe we never reached our peak musically before the band split after first Paul then I moved back to Clearwater/St Petersburg respectively. Thanks for your support of The Lears!!
41. FREDDY and the FOUR-GONE CONCLUSIONS – ’Stand Up’/’Today’ (Get Hip GH-228) 2002
’Stand Up’ is an obscure Del Shannon song that wasn’t released in his lifetime and here Michigan based Freddy Fortune and his band deliver the goods with respect. It also features Max Crook, Del Shannon’s original keyboard player providing a solo on his custom built Musitron keyboard.
The flip ’Today’ is a tasty folk rocker with lots of jangle and similar in style to the last recordings by Freddy’s previous band Fortune and Maltese and the Phabulous Pallbearers.
42. TEENAGE FANCLUB – I Need Direction (Columbia XPCD1303) 2000
Time for a pure pop overdose by Scottish band Teenage Fanclub. ’I Need Direction’ is a perfect mix of Byrdsian guitars and Beach Boys harmonies. I’ve never heard better ’bah bah bah’s since the mid 60s.
An utter delight in every way.
43. THE HYPNOMEN – ’Trip With Satan’ (Gearhead RPM 014) May 2000
Having a ’trip with satan’ is one of the things I’d never want to do in my life but it’s a good title and this mini album by The Hypnomen should have been highly recommended by myself but unfortunately the drum beats sound WAY too modern for my taste.
The production is also clean and tidy, it’s as if all of the life has been sucked out of the tunes for the modern mod set. ’Sunstroke Dreamer’ a more laid back instro is not as annoying.
If you don’t know about The Hypnomen, they’re from Helsinki (I think) and their early 45s are cool surf garage style instros. By 2000 though it sounds like they’re playing by numbers.
So this enters my list of 50 purely because I dig the cover, which rips off the poster for 60s flick ’Girl On A MotorCycle’….
44. THE FRED BISON FIVE – Beat Roots (Woronzow WOO 19) 1992
An obscure and hard to find Nick Saloman release, The Fred Bison Five album ‘Beat Roots’ was his garage psych album recorded over a weekend. All instruments were played by himself and produced with a back to basics approach after his acid guitar psych exploits under the name Bevis Frond.
Incidentally, the name Fred Bison Five is an anagram of Bevis Frond (Fred Bison V)…..Nick Saloman also gives himself three pseudonyms, Fred Bison, Ray Dean and Graham Mills-Wainwright and dresses up differently for each one for the photos used for the cover. Not sure who Candice Hostettler is, maybe she’s Fred Bison’s milk maid.
45. THE BOGEYMEN – ’You’ve Got No Scruples’/’Let Me Give You My Love’/’Gimme A Little Sign’ (Detour Records DR 008) Nov 1993
I wrote about the very first Bogeymen 45 ’You Are My Friend’/’Candy’ on my blog ages ago and if you want to read about it and check out the cover just follow the labels below.
This three song single was their third 45 and it contains three excellent mod cuts with a reverential nod to The Small Faces. ’You’ve Got No Scruples’ being the stand out.
Detour Records had the good grace to release this sought after disc in a period style cover. Full marks to the designer because it suits the band’s style perfectly.
They pressed an initial 1000 copies with a second pressing of 500 shortly after.
46. JAMES TAYLOR QUARTET – The Moneyspyder (Re Elect The President Records) 1987
When The Prisoners disbanded in the mid 80s James Taylor (organ) and Alan Crockford (bass) formed instro au go go band The James Taylor Quartet with an emphasis on groovy 60s style spy music and hammond organ swingers.
After the initial two albums I lost track and I think the band moved more in a jazz funk direction which obviously filled me with horror. So I just stuck with the early stuff and ’The Moneyspyder’ is a good place to start. By the way, their version of ’Blow Up’ from the movie of the same name really smokes and is way better than the original.
47. THE THANES – ’World Of Stone’ (Screaming Apple SCACD 147) 2002
I’m a long time fan of The Thanes and just could not believe my ears when I first played their album ’Downbeat and Folked Up’ because it was simply the best jangle beat music since the mid 60s.
’World Of Stone’ is an Angus McPake original from said album and I think you’ll agree it’s stunning. In a perfect world The Thanes would be superstars but they sadly remain unknown outside the garage beat alumni.
48. THE RUTLES – ’I Must Be In Love’ / ’Cheese And Onions’/’A Girl Like You’ (Warner Bros. Records K 17125) March 1978
Debut single by the pre-fab four and when Dirk McQuickly, Ron Nasty, Stig O’Hara and Barry Wom get together they create that wonderful merseybeat music.
They had the Nehru jackets, they had the teeth and hair, they had the loveable cheeky grins and cuff-links in their shirt sleeves but still, they weren’t as big as The Beatles.
49. HURRAH! – ’The Sun Shines Here’ / ’I’ll Be Your Surprise’ (Kitchenware Records SK2) April 1982
In my mid teens I was quick off the blocks to get into the early indie guitar bands, mostly because almost everything else didn’t thrill me and this was before I’d discovered 60s garage.
Anyway, Hurrah! came from my local City of Newcastle so I was clearly interested especially after reading a review of the record in one of the music weeklies (could have been either Sounds, NME or Melody Maker).
Even after all of these years ’The Sun Shines Here’ still has a certain charm with it’s edgy jangling guitar and sparse production. This of course became the template for most of the English indie guitar bands that followed. This record was released in April 1982 so it’s one of the first of the genre.
I remember seeing them perform live at a local Night Club in Sunderland (probably 1983) and talked to singer/guitarist David Hughes about 60s stuff. At that time he sported a mental haircut with a fringe some two inches away from his eyebrows. It was one of those psychiatric hospital inmate cuts possibly fashioned by a blind and thumb free barber.
”Woke up to the smell of fresh cut grass,
The jangling guitars in my ears”….
50. PLASTICLAND – ’Color Appreciation’ / ’Mushroom Hill’ (Scadillac Records SC-1002) April 1982
This psychedelic band from Milwaukee were one of the few bands from the 80s to go with the English psych sound from ’67 and I’m talking about the Carnaby Street flipped out and new progressive style of music by The Pretty Things, Tomorrow and Pink Floyd. Plasticland brought those coloured sights and sounds back in ’82
This 45 came out on their own label Scadillac Records, I’m not sure how many were pressed but it can’t have been that many. This was Plasticland’s third release.
line-up on this disc:
Glenn Rehse (vocals)
John Frankovic (bass)
Bob DuBlon (drums)
Brian Ritchie (guitar)
It was to become a short lived line-up as Brian Ritchie left in late 1982 to form The Violent Femmes.