The Mindbenders – The Morning After

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The Mindbenders

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Listen/Download – The Mindbenders – The Morning After

Greetings all.

This week I have something very heavy and very groovy for you.

‘The Morning After’ by the Mindbenders is one of those records that fell into my ears via the Rubble comps back in the 80s and pretty much found a secure home in my mind ever since.

Though most people are familiar with the Wayne Fontana led Mindbenders, they had a decent amount of success following his departure from the band in 1965.

Guitarist Eric Stewart (later of 10CC) took over as lead vocalist, fronting the band on their big 1966 hit ‘Groovy Kind of Love’, as well as their fantastic, overlooked 45 of the two songs the band mimed to in ‘To Sir With Love’, ‘Off and Running’ b/w ‘It’s Getting Harder All the Time’, one of the finest bits of progressive beat sounds on the way to freakbeat.

Speaking of freakbeat, there is hardly a better example of the genre than ‘The Morning After’.

Released in December of 1966 on Fontana (I was surprised to discover that there is a US release of this single as well), ‘The Morning After’ b/w ‘I Want Here She Wants Me’ (written by Rod Argent but recorded prior to the Zombies version) is one of the most amazing 45s of the period.

‘The Morning After’ powered by a stomping rhythm guitar, and exploding into an anthemic (yet wordless) chorus, is the perfect bridge between the straight ahead rock of the beat era and the flights of fancy of the psychedelic years, thus the freakbeat.

Strangely, despite the fact that the Mindbenders were in the midst of a run of UK hits, neither side of this 45 charted.

I waited almost thirty years before I got my hands on this 45, and I was as excited to listen to it now as I was back in the day.

It is a certified killer, and I hope you dig it as much as I do.

See you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

The Sonics – Keep a Knockin’

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“Officer!! They’re looting the Food King!”

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Listen/Download – The Sonics – Keep a Knockin’

Greetings all.

As I was cleaning (or more aptly, working some level of organizational triage) in my record vault, I pulled the 45 you see before you today out of a box and thought to myself, ‘Hey, the time is right for something a little nutty.’

Sure, I could have put it back and whipped a little sunshine pop on you, or maybe even some fuzzy garage, but when fate steps up and hands you a Sonics 45, you kind of have to fall in line and do what you’re told.

If you don’t know the Sonics, even if only by reputation, then I don’t know what to say.

The day I first heard the Sonics, some 30-odd years ago, my brain was rewired permanently, in a way that only happens to you a few times in life (if you’re lucky).

I had some small amount of experience with ‘garage punk’, but no amount of snotty, teenage fuzz could have prepared me for the Sonics.

Taking form in the foggy, moss-covered glens of the Pacific Northwest in the early 60s, the Sonics sounded like (and I’m going to quote myself here, because I don’t think I can do any better)

“…pure, unbridled animal energy, mixed with an electrified libido and marinated in grain alcohol is reduced to a serum, injected into Little Richard, who then went to the zoo, mated with a hyena in a swimming pool during an electrical storm then took their unholy spawn into a recording studio (during a tornado) and whipped up something very, very heavy.”

The Little Richard comparison is apt, since today’s selection – ‘Keep a Knockin’ – was first unleashed on the world, via Mr Penniman in 1957, which seems like an eternity away, but when the Sonics recorded it (the b-side to their very first 45), was only seven years in the past.

Now, any fool knows that trying to beat Little Richard at his own game is work (usually) reserved for fools, but the Sonics had something special.

That something was the musical equivalent of a sledgehammer made of dynamite.

This is the sound of a band running at top speed plus, like a car used to burning gasoline with a tank full of rocket fuel instead.

There’s nothing subtle about the Sonics take on ‘Keep a Knockin’, but there never needed to be.

I’m convinced that their first album was called ‘Boom’, only because ‘KABLAMMO!!!’ wouldn’t fit on the cover.

You either grab on and hold tight, or fall under their wheels.

Your choice, buddy.

See you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

Iron Leg Radio Show #39

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Beep beep beep beep…..

Playlist

Alan Hawkshaw/Keith Mansfield – Action Scene (KPM)
The Cocktail Cabinet – Breathalyser (Page One)
Locomotive – Rudi’s In Love (Bell)
Earth Quake – I Get the Sweetest Feeling (A&M)
Harper and Rowe – Here Comes Yesterday Again (World Pacific)
Hal Blaine – Drums A Go Go (Dunhill)
Kim Fowley – Born to Be Wild (Imperial)
Wild Angels Promo

Bobby Sty – Incense and Peppermints (Hit Sounds)
Mike Landers – Hush (Hit Sounds)
Mike Landers – I Can See For Miles (Hit Sounds)
Mustang – Haight Ashbury Time (Somerset)
Mustang – The Acid Test (Somerset)
Soul Strings and a Funky Horn – Grazing In the Grass (Solid State)
Sam Wright Group – Green Onions (Curio)
Tommy Knight and the Knights – Tighten Up (Promenade)
Psych-Out Promo

Associated Soul Group – Are You Experienced (Contessa)
Electric Piano Playground – I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night (Bell)
Electric Piano Playground – Good Vibrations (Bell)
Electronic Concept Orchestra – Aquarius (Limelight)
Electric Indian – Storm Warning (UA)
Electric Tommy – Overture (Viva)
Marketts – Come to the Sunshine (World Pacific)
Stapleton-Morley Expression – Creeque Alley (Dunhill)
Stapleton-Morley Expression – 12:30 (Young Girls Are Coming to the Canyon) (Dunhill)
Stapleton-Morley Expression – San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair) (Dunhill)
101 Strings – A Taste of Soul (Alshire)
The Trip Promo

JP Rags – Scruffety (World Pacific)
JP Rags – The Bells 0f St Barbara (World Pacific)
JP Rags – Still Life (World Pacific)
Karen Karsh – Wasn’t Born To Follow (Dunhill)
Karen Karsh – Musty Dusty (Dunhill)
Brady Bunch – I Just Want To Be Your Friend (Paramount)
The Collage – Would You Like To Go (Smash)
New Life – Canterbury Road (Epic)
Wild In the Streets Promo

 

Listen/Download -Iron Leg Radio Show Episode 39 – 222MB/256kbps

Greetings all.

Welcome to this month’s episode of the Iron Leg Radio Show.

This time out I have a nice, long show for you, with more than two hours of sonic wonderment.

We get things off to a start with some groovy new arrivals, segue into two long sets looking at the various and sundry types of musical exploitation, and then some softer sounds to round out the show.

If this is your first taste, make sure to drop into the archive in the header and check out the previous 38 (?!?) episodes.

I think you’ll dig it.

See you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners

The Shillings – Children and Flowers b/w Lying and Trying

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The Shillings

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Listen/Download – The Shillings – Children and Flowers

Listen/Download – The Shillings – Lying and Trying

Greetings all.

The tracks I bring to you this fine day are a stellar example of East Coast folk/pop.

The Shillings (of which there were many, but these cats were from Eastern, PA) released several 45s on labels like Fontana, Virtue and Three Rivers in 1966 and 1967.

They hailed from the Allentown area and played local ten clubs like the Mod Mill and King Arthur’s Court.

The record you see before you was released in 1966.

‘Children and Flowers’, written by Jackie DeShannon, had already been a minor hit for New Jersey’s Critters in 1965.

DeShannon recorded – but did not release – her own version, which later surfaced on the CD reissue of the ‘Laurel Canyon’ LP.

The Shillings version takes the Sunset Strip folk rock sound and dials it down a notch, softening it up with a dose of AM pop.

The flipside of the 45, ‘Lying and Trying’ (written by group member Tom Ross) was actually a regional hit, charting in the Top 20 in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

‘Lying and Trying’ follows the same basic formula, with just enough jangle and drums to be taken seriously, but poppy enough to keep the teenyboppers interested.

I especially dig the guitar solo.

The Shillings  broke up in 1968.

You can pick up a collection of the Shillings recordings, entitled ‘Hoagie Shop’ (including these two songs) in iTunes!

I hope you dig the tunes, and I’ll see you next week with a new episode of the Iron Leg Radio Show.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

Merrilee Rush – Reach Out

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Merrilee Rush

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Listen/Download – Merrilee Rush – Reach Out

Greetings all.

The tune I bring you today is something I picked upwhilst digging in the New York hinterlands.

While I certainly knew who Merrilee Rush was – i.e. singer of ‘Angel of the Morning’, a huge hit in 1968 – I had no idea that she had ever recorded a version of the Four Tops ‘Reach Out’.

My obsession with Pacific Northwest rock had clued me in that Rush hailed from and had started her career in Seattle.

What I did not know (and what would have explained the AGP 45) is that she recorded ‘Angel of the Morning’, in Memphis with famed producer Chips Moman at the dials, and the American Studios group playing.

Following her hit with ‘Angel…’ Rush signed with Moman and the AGP imprint and recorded a series of 45s in 1968 and 1969, before moving on to Scepter Records.

I picked this 45 up out of curiosity, but was very happy indeed when I finally got it home and gave it a spin.

Unlike the placid pop of ‘Angel…’, Rush’s take on the Four Tops hit seems as if Rush had been marinating in the Vanilla Fudge version of another Motown classic, ‘You Keep Me Hangin’ On’.

You get the fuzz guitar, organ, a fairly restrained horn section and plenty of busy, Appice-like drumming.

The overall effect seems aimed at the psychedelicized listeners (though the oddly warped sounding organ at 1:54 sounds like a mistake), especially the fact that the track stretches out to nearly five minutes!

I’m inclined to attribute any lysergic effect at the feet of the studious, flexible American Studios crew, who were able to tap into (and channel) the zeitgeist without experiencing any of it directly, i.e. why reinvent Vanilla Fudge when a room full of professionals can whip up a satisfactory simulacrum?

‘Reach Out’ seems to have had some small measure of success, charting in the Northeast and a few other regional markets, but it would be Rush’s second to last hit (with ‘Everyday Livin’ Days’ her last, and much less successful entry a few months later).

Rush would continue to record into the 1970s.

You can get this track, and her other AGP 45s on the Rev-Ola reissue:  Angel of the Morning / Comp Bell Sides.

I hope you dig the track, and I’ll see you all next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

Paul and Barry Ryan – Keep It Out of Sight

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The Brothers Ryan

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Listen/Download – Paul and Barry Ryan – Keep It Out of Sight

Greetings all.

Welcome to the new week, here at the leg of iron (not as delicious as leg of lamb, but it’ll do).

The track I bring you today is one of those numbers that dropped intoi my ears via a Mr Luther mixtape back in the olden days and lodged itself deep in my skull.

I kept my eyes peeled for a copy for many (many) years, until a few months ago one popped up on a sales list and I grabbed it forthwith.

The artists are Paul and Barry Ryan, who have appeared in this space before (more on them here) with a number of tracks from their excellent 1968 UK LP ‘The Ryans’, most especially ‘Hey Mister Wiseman’, quite the delicious slice of freakbeat.

On that particular tip, is the record I was referencing above, which is not coincidentally this week’s selection, ‘Keep It Out of Sight’.

Released in 1967 in the UK on Decca (where it made it into the Top 40) and on the US on MGM, ‘Keep It Out of Sight’ is also freakbeaty, big and bouncy, with plety of rock, but also enough Carnaby Street freakery on the fringes to keep the flower children pleased.

In a special bit of extra credit bonus-ery, it was also penned by none other than Cat Stevens, who was – at the time – working the same side of the stylistic street before stepping out of his brogues and into some bare feet for a successful run as a gentle soul.

‘Keep It Out of Sight’ has a very groovy arrangement (by library composer Alan Tew) mixing acoustic guitar, swirling strings, fuzz guitar, castanets, seagulls (yes, seagulls) and some particularly nice electric bass.

It really ought to have been a bigger hit, but it wasn’t, so you get to dig it now and lord it over the cool kids at the record hop (not really).

That said, I hope you dig it as much as I do, and I’ll see you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

Iron Leg Radio Show Episode #38

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Beep beep beep beep…..

Playlist

Alan Hawkshaw and Keith Mansfield – Action Scene (KPM)
The Van Dyke Parks –Number Nine (MGM)
The Van Dyke Parks – Do What You Wanta (MGM)
Van Dyke Parks – Come To the Sunshine (MGM)
Van Dyke Parks – Farther Along (MGM)
The Byrds – 5D (Columbia)
The Byrds – Voices of Vista Segment/Don’t Make Waves
Cheetah Club Commercial

Manfred Mann – 5-4-3-2-1 (Prestige)
Manfred Mann – The One In the Middle (Ascot)
Manfred Mann – Come Tomorrow (Ascot)
Manfred Mann – Dashing Away With a Smoothing Iron (Ascot)
Manfred Mann – I’m Your Kingpin (Ascot)
Manfred Mann – It’s Gonna Work Out Fine (Ascot)
Manfred Mann – Untie Me (Ascot)
Manfred Mann – Sack O Woe (Ascot)
Manfred Mann – Watermelon Man (Ascot)
Manfred Mann – Watch Your Step (EMI) Mann Made

Jerry Blavat and the Yon Teenagers – Discophonic Walk (Favor)
Jerry Blavat – The Geator and the Geatorettes – Tasty (To Me) (Bond)
Jerry Blavat The Geator and the Geatorettes – All Be Joyous (Bond)
The Esko Affair – Morning Dull Fires (Mercury)

Eldridge Holmes – If I Were a Carpenter (Deesu)
ZZ Hill – Don’t Make Promises (Kent)
The Dillards – Reason to Believe (Elektra)
Bobby Darin – Misty Roses (Atlantic)
Bobby Darin – Red Balloon (Atlantic)
Wayne Cochran – If I Were Carpenter (King)
Gary Puckett and the Union Gap – Don’t Make Promises (Columbia)
Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich – If I Were a Carpenter (Imperial)

 

 

Listen/Download -Iron Leg Radio Show Episode 38 – 172MB/256kbps

Greetings all.

Welcome to this month’s episode of the Iron Leg Radio Show.

I have a very groovy collection of sounds for you this month, with sets devoted to Van Dyke Parks, Manfred Mann, the long lost musical career of Jerry ‘The Geator’ Blavat, and some very cool covers of Tim Hardin songs.

I think you’ll dig it.

See you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners

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