Shanes – Chris Craft No. 9

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(a borrowed pic of) The Shanes

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Listen – Chris Craft No. 9 – MP3

Greetings all.
Here’s hoping all is well in your end of the world.

All is well hereabouts, with the end of the week approaching and some cool new (old) vinyl sitting in stacks on my desk awaiting digi-ma-tization.

Today’s selection is a story of a pleasant surprise. One of those tales where I’m out digging and happen upon a record that I never expected in a million (zillion?) years to find (at least here in the US). The record itself is not especially expensive (it wasn’t when I found it, and now seems to be changing hands in the $25USD range, but it is – as might be expected – excellent, and so that is why I am bringing it to you today.

Today’s selection, ‘Chris Craft No.9’ by the Shanes also provides another example of the fog of memory. When I pulled out the single to record it, I thought that I had first heard the tune on a mid-80’s comp of Swedish Beat sounds. When I sat down to research this post I discovered that this was not in fact the case (though the comp I was remembering did have another track by the Shanes) and that I probably heard it first on a mix tape provided by a friend. Either way, ‘Chris Craft No. 9’ came into my life somewhere around 1986, and quickly became a fave.

I can’t say that I’m anything like an authority on Swedish beat. Here, 20-some years down the pike I have yet to pick up anything by the Tages or the Hep Stars (the two BIG names of that era), but I like what I’ve heard.

The Shanes released their first records in 1963, and started out doing mostly Shadows-style instrumentals. By 1965 they had switched to a more Beat-ish sound and were one of the most popular bands in the country. Between 1965 and 1967 (when four of the bands members had to take leave to perform compulsory national military service) they rode the top of the Swedish charts.

‘Chris Craft No. 9’ was a hit when it was released in 1966, and has that great combination of Beat pop, and just a touch of garage roughness that places it – at least for me – in the Freakbeat category.

I remember when I came across the 45 being shocked, first that I found it at all, second that it had been released in the US. There are certainly precedents for oddball releases by foreign bands on US labels (like the Capitol 45 I have of the Dave Davani Four), and I can only imagine some cigar-chomping suit figuring, ‘They have long hair and guitars…the kids’ll LOVE it!’. Adding credence to this scenario is the fact that the record company thought enough of the Shanes to send them to the UK to record this 45.

The band eventually regrouped, but broke up by the end of the 60’s.

That said, I hope you dig the tune. If I can motivate myself I’ll be back on Monday with another UK psyche mix.

Until then…

Peace
Larry

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PS Make sure to stop by Funky16Corners for funky stuff.

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5 Comments

  1. Thanks for the post, as I’ve never had a chance to hear the Shanes before. Last time I looked, which was admittedly a few months ago, I don’t think there were even any videos on YouTube.

    You must get hold of some Tages SOON. Their Studio album from 1967 is a psych-pop masterpiece (better in my view than many comparable releases by contemporary British bands, including Odeyssey and Oracle), while the album they made after they changed their name to Blond – The Lilac Years (1969) – I rate as one of the top ten albums of the ’60s. Both albums are absolutely first rate.

  2. You can hear a track from The Lilac Years here (a favourite of mine, although one that’s not typical of the album):

    http://toppop100.blogspot.com/2008/03/82-sun-in-her-hand-blond.html

  3. I just came across a promo 45 of this single at an estate sale. It’s a Capitol promo with a light green label. Until your site, I could find no info on the band. I have yet to play it, but will check it out now.

  4. It should be noted that this track is a wholesale lift from “A Must To Avoid:…

    Regards,
    Alan (V.) Karr

  5. It’s weird. I just got this on a great download of 1966 songs, and as soon as I saw the title I started singing the song like it was second nature, but I have no idea where I know it from. Didn’t have the 45, didn’t know it was the Shanes. Probably had it on a mystery radio tape somewhere.
    Another great song in the download was “Sunny Girl” by the Hep Stars (with Benny Anderson) released in the US on Dunhill 4040, (only took me 20 years to find that one) John Sebastian had been a guest on Murray the K’s radio show and raved about them and the single from when the Spoonful were in Europe.
    And a song called “Balla Balla” I sort of knew but don’t know who did it.

    Johnno


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