Iron Leg Digital Trip #20 – The Year In Vintage Pop

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Playlist
Lynne Randell – It’s a Hoedown (Epic)
Nilsson – Together (RCA)
Primrose Circus – PS Call Me Lulu (Mira)
Blue Things – The Orange Rooftop of Your Mind (RCA)
Chere – There But For Fortune (Imperial)
Clique – Superman (White Whale)
Francoise Hardy – Ce Petit Couer (4 Corners)
Moody Blues – Fly Me High (London)
Hondells – Just One More Chance (Columbia)
Gene & Debbe – Playboy (TRX)
Colin Blunstone – Caroline Goodbye (Epic)
Kaleidoscope – Holidaymaker (Fontana)
Buzzy Linhart – The Love’s Still Growing (Kama Sutra)
The Lime – Love a Go Go (Westwood)
Jacques Dutronc – Et Moi Et Moi Et Moi (Vogue)
Lyme & Cybelle – Follow Me (White Whale)
Paul Revere & the Raiders – The Great Airplane Strike (Columbia)
Thoughts – All Night Stand (Planet)
Shanes – Chris Craft Number 9 (Capitol)
Simon & Garfunkel – Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine (Columbia)
Small Faces – All or Nothing (RCA)
Nashville Teens – Find My Way Home (London)
Brenda Lee – The Crying Game (Decca)
 

Download 40MB ZIP File-

Greetings all.
Just a brief note to wish you all a happy New Year, and to thank you all for dropping by this year.
The mix above is a selection of my favorite individual tracks from the past year here at Iron Leg.
I enjoy doing these year-end mixes because they give me a chance to reconsider/relisten to a bunch of cool tracks. A fairly large percentage of the tunes I feature here and at Funky16Corners are records that I’ve known and loved for years. That said, I go through a very rewarding process of rediscovery when selecting and digi-ma-tizing them, but once the posts are finished, I continue to move forward with new(er) material. Ironically, the tunes I tend to listen to repeatedly are those that I include in the podcasts, which make up a significant amount of my recreational listening.
There’s also the added benefit of rehearing these songs in close proximity to one another.
As always, there’s a pretty wide stylistic variety here, and if there’s something you don’t dig, hang on tight because something cool isn’t far behind.
I hope you dig the selection, and that you come back in 2009 for some more sounds.
I’ll be back on Monday.

Peace & Happy New Year
Larry


Example

PS Head over to Funky16Corners for a funky and soulful year in review.

PSS Check out Paperback Rider too…

Cream – N.S.U.

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Cream

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Listen – Cream – N.S.U. – MP3

Greetings all.

Sorry for the long absence, but if you’ve stopped by Funky16Corners recently you’ll know where I’ve been (i.e. hospitalized).
Right now, it’s the day after Christmas, I’m tired as hell, and just as bored, and oddly enough feeling unproductive (when I ought to be taking a nap of some kind), so here I sit at the laptop, tap tap tapping away.
I remember buying my first Cream record, at the Englishtown flea market more than 30 years ago, using a big chunk of my daily slave wages. It was the old ATCO Best of Cream (the one with the drawings of the vegetables on the cover), and I’m pretty sure that after I got it home I played ‘Sunshine of Your Love’ no less than 20 times in a row.
It was a long time before I picked up any of the group’s full LPs (might even have been as late as the dawn of the CD era), and when I did I was blown away by the more psyched out album tracks, most of which I’d never heard before. My favorite among these was today’s selection, ‘N.S.U.’.
One of the things I always dug about Cream was their knack for taking the dramatic nature of a tune and amplifying it to the extreme, whether via Clapton’s fuzzed out lead, Ginger Baker’s Neolithic pounding or Jack Bruce’s just up to the point of being overwrought vocals (not too far off from Marty Balin’s efforts with the Jefferson Airplane).
The band’s 1966 debut ‘Fresh Cream’ is still my favorite, with a mix of Bruce’s originals and their amped up reworkings of old blues material.
‘N.S.U.’ (not sure what Bruce meant by the title, unless he’d just been to his urologist) is a wild ride, opening with an odd rhythmic counterpoint of Clapton and Baker and Bruce singing (a la Jacques Dutronc) dryly about the life of the spoiled rock star, thing take a sudden turn, sounding as if the band was recording on a roller coaster. They draw you in as you tick toward the crest of the hill, and as you go over the top, you (not surprisingly) go over the top, right under Bruce’s bugged out eyes, past his teeth and right down his windpipe in an explosion of LSD, Nut Brown Ale and his own unique brand of musical hysteria. It’s worth hanging on until the end.
Crazy.
I’ll be back for New Years with the year-end wrap up.

Peace

Larry

Example

PS Head over to Funky16Corners for a mind bogglingly good 45

PSS Check out Paperback Rider too…

John Barry Seven – Monkey Feathers

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John Barry Seven

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Listen – The John Barry Seven – Monkey Feathers – MP3

Greetings all.

The end of the week is upon us, and I have a special treat for you all.
One of the great bones of contention between my lovely wife and I is the movie ‘Zulu!’, the 1964 epic retelling of the Battle of Rorke’s Drift in South Africa. It’s one of the great war/action movies, Michael Caine’s first starring role, and as much as I love it, the wife hates it.
Some years back, my man Mr. Luther passed on a tape with a couple of tracks from the soundtrack, one of which I bring you today.
For some reason, I used to think that the John Barry leading the John Barry Seven was not the hugely successful soundtrack composer who wrote many of the most famous James Bond related themes, as well as the theme to ‘Midnight Cowboy’ (the famous instrumental, not Fred Neil’s ‘Everybody’s Talkin’).
As it turns out they are in fact the same guy. Barry got his start as a jazz arranger, moving on to composing for British teen idol Adam Faith, composing the soundtrack to the cult film ‘Beat Girl’.
He went on to work on the Bond films, and then on to ‘Zulu’.
While the theme to the movie – the a-side of this very 45 – is a cool Shadows-esque tune, ‘Monkey Feathers’ takes the whole reverb thing and runs with it, adding a surf-like feel over a martial beat.
Very cool.
Have a great weekend and I’ll be back on Monday with the Iron Leg Year In Review mix.

Peace

Larry

Example

PS Head over to Funky16Corners for a surprisingly slamming soul 45

PSS Check out Paperback Rider too…

Janis Ian – Go ‘way Little Girl

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Janis Ian

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Listen – Janis Ian – Go’Way Little Girl – MP3

Greetings all.

I hope the dawning of a new week finds you well.
My current batch of struggles continues unabated, so I figured since the blogging isn’t contributing to the trouble, and in fact works wonderfully as a mental health preservative, the show – as they say – must go on.
Some years back, whoever happened to be reissuing the Verve records catalog put out a 2CD set that contained the four albums that Janis Ian had recorded for that label as a teenager.
Like most folks, all I was familiar with was her 1973 Top Ten record ‘At Seventeen’, one of the most depressing (yet defiant) records ever committed to vinyl. At some point in the 80s I became aware that this had not in fact been her first hit, having made the charts in 1967 with ‘Society’s Child’ (which had actually been recorded in 1965, and released three separate times before becoming a hit. I first heard that tune on a weird sampler of Mercury/MGM/Verve 60s stuff that included Keith, the Sir Douglas Quintet and Spanky and Our Gang.
Anyway, back when the Verve comp came out, it got all kinds of wonderful reviews, all indicating that Janis Ian’s catalog was both deep and consistently interesting. Naturally, rube that I am, I neglected to get a copy, and regretted it ever since.
Not too long ago I was out digging the market du fleas, and happened upon Ian’s eponymous first LP for Verve, which contained ‘Society’s Child’.
Man, what a good record.
Ian was only in her mid-teens when she recorded her first album, and was fortunate enough to be working with the man who built the sound of the Shangri Las, George ‘Shadow’ Morton. Where ‘Janis Ian’ might have been just another earnest exercise in folkie asceticism, Morton and Ian laid on just enough melodrama, mixed in with a healthy dose of mid-decade sonic flavour, i.e. ringing electric guitars, fuzz, echo and bits and pieces of psychedelic wonderfulness.
Unlike the vast majority of LPs that I buy, I actually recorded the entire ‘Janis Ian’ LP, and I’m glad I did. It’s a lost classic that was perhaps too stylistically broad (and maybe just a touch too dark coming from a 15 year old) to make the impact it deserved to.
The track I bring you today, ‘Go ‘Way Little Girl’ sounds like an instrumental outtake from some Laurel Canyon folk rock session, with vocals by a precocious, angry New York poetess. There are hints of Dylan at the fringes, but not too much.
Very groovy indeed.
I hope you dig it, and if I can keep my shit from unraveling in mid-week I’ll be back later in the week with some more coolness.

Peace

Larry

Example

PS Head over to Funky16Corners for a new edition of Funky16Corners Radio featuring various and sundry covers of James Brown tunes

PSS Check out Paperback Rider too…

Iron Leg Digital Trip #19 – The Fuzz Is The Message

Example

Playlist
Uncalled Four – Do Like Me (Laurie)
The Pack – Next To Your Fire (Capitol)
The Sophomores – I Know I Should (SS7)
49th Parallel – (Come On Little Child and) Talk To Me (Maverick)
Butlers – It’s a Fine Time (Cameo/Parkway)
Kidds – Straighten Up and Fly Right (Big Beat)
Guilloteens – Wild Child (Columbia)
Michael & the Messengers – Midnight Hour (USA)
Thee Muffins – Surprise Surprise (private)
Mouse and the Traps – I Satisfy (Fraternity)
Standells – Why Did You Hurt Me (Tower)
Blues Magoos – Gotta Get Away (Mercury)
Tino & the Revelons – I’m Coming Home (Dearborn)

Listen/Download 48MB Mixed MP3

Download 44MB ZIP File-

Greetings all.
I figured the time was long since due for another edition of the Iron Leg Digital Trip, and I just happened to have some time I my hands, so I got to recording, digi-ma-tizing and mixing, and now I sit here pecking away at the laptop while my coffee gets cold(er).
This mix is mostly garage, garagey, garage-esque etc 45s (and one weird LP track), pressing on both temporal ends of the fuzz era, touching on rural imitations of British Beatsters imitating Sir Chuck of Berry, long haired snots hammering away at the cheapest organ in the music store window (more likely the Montgomery Ward catalog), and just a hint – a soupcon if you will – of the psychedelic, edging its longhaired, incense scented paisley-isms onto the fringes of the sound.
Things get started with the top-side of one of my all-time favorite 60s 45s, ‘Do Like Me’ by the Uncalled Four. I first heard this song as covered by a Michigan garage revival band in the 80s, and then found it on a Nuggets, or a Pebbles or a Highs In the Whatnot and realized that there was an OG 45 out there somewhere, which, after not too long a search (or too deep an excavation into the wallet) found a home in my crates. The flipside (‘Get Out of the Way’ is also excellent).
The Pack (as in Terry Knight & the…) were Michigan stars before a few of their members broke out onto the national stage as Grand Funk Railroad. Their version of Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Fire’ (which was also covered by Southern punkers Five by Five) is very cool.
I know nothing about the Sophomores, other than they probably hailed from below the Mason Dixon Line, and they managed to put together a perfect garage punk side that captures the essence of the Ferris Beuller “Never had a lesson!” vibe.
The 49th Parallel were Canadian (from Calgary, Alberta) and released a number of excellent singles in the mid-to-late 60s. ‘(Come on Little Child and) Talk To Me’ bears the marks of the later end of the decade with a hard charging horn section.
I’m not sure where the Butlers were from. Their record was released on Cameo/Parkway (I’m pretty sure I initially picked this one up because I incorrectly assumed that it was the Philly soul group) but so were 45s by Question Mark & the Mysterians, so that means nothing (geographically). Dig that fuzz guitar opening.
The Kidds 45 is one of my earliest garage punk 45s finds. I’ll assume they were from Mississippi or the surrounding area (home of the Big Beat label). I was shocked many years later when I scored a funk 45 (‘Funky Belly’ by Larry Foster) on the same label.
The Guilloteens have appeared in this space before. They were a Memphis based group (reportedly Elvis’ fave local combo) that recorded a couple of excellent sides for the HBR label, before moving on to Columbia for a short time. ‘Wild Child’ is a great bit of folk rock inflected punk.
Michael & the Messengers were a Milwaukee, WI combo that recorded for Chicago’s storied USA label (original home of the Buckinghams among others). Michael and the Messengers had a soulful edge to their sound, as witnessed by their cover of Wilson Pickett’s ’Midnight Hour’, as well as their version of the Uniques ‘Run and Hide’.
Thee Muffins are another band that I don’t know much about. I’ve heard rumors that they were from Upstate NY, and I know for a fact that they played on the Jersey Shore (I have copies of old ads where they were performing at one of the local clubs), and found my copy of their rare, privately released LP somewhere around here as well. Most of the tracks are kind of uninspired, but I dig their version of the Kinks ‘Surprise Surprise’.
Mouse and the Traps were serious Texas bad-asses, with the ‘Public Execution’ and the ‘Lie Beg Borrow and Steal’ ( a personal fave) and the ‘Maid of Sugar’ and it’s a wonder they weren’t a much bigger deal, instead of the garage fuzz fetish object that they are. ‘I Satisfy’ hails from the trippier, somewhat sinister end of their catalog.
Speaking of bands that ought to have been HUGE, I bring you a b-side by the mighty Standells. I owned this 45 for years, and neglected this side of it (the a-side is the legendary ‘Sometimes Good Guys Don’t Wear White’) forever. One day, I just happened to be sitting around digging through my crates and decided to flip the record over and WHOA DAD! There on the other side of the disc was a certified, moody 1966 killer. The tune opens with some standard issue guitar chops, but when the organ kicks in it’s all over.
Next up is a tune that was featured here as a single track a while back, but I love it so much that I had to whip it on you one more time, the fuzzed out garage snot of New York City’s own Blues Magoo’s and ‘Gotta Get Away’.
This edition of the Iron Leg Digital Trip closes out with yet another Michigan nugget, ‘I’m Coming Home’ by Tino and the Revelons.
That said, I hope you dig the mix, and I’ll be back next week with some more groovies, and the week after that with a year in review podcast.

Peace
Larry
Example

PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some jazz funk vocals.

PSS Check out Paperback Rider too…

Mad River – Amphetamine Gazelle

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Mad River

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Listen – Mad River – Amphetamine Gazelle – MP3

Greetings all.As promised, I figured I close out the week with a bit of unlikely San Fran speed freak jam.
How I came upon my copy of the first Mad River album is a interesting story.
I first heard of the group via a connection with one of my favorite authors, Richard Brautigan who contributed a spoken word bit to one of their LPs.
I bought (I thought) my first copy of their album at a garage sale years ago, only to discover that what I really got was a Mad River album cover with a Cars record inside of it (nothing against the Cars, but seriously, what a letdown…).
Anyway, Mad River and I never crossed paths after that, until kismet recently stepped in.
One of the ladies my wife teaches with (and a family friend) asked her if I might be interested in taking some vinyl off her hands.
Now, I tend to be dubious about situations like this, only because I’ve so buried myself in records at this point that if the estate of Howlin’ Wolf were to call me with a similar offer, I’d have to give it some thought.
However, it had been a while since I’d been digging (in person or on the interwebs) so I figured it would be a nice treat (fully expecting nothing of interest or value).
I ended up being pleasantly surprised.
Though the four or five crates of LPs (most belonging to her late husband) contained nothing of great rarity, they did demonstrate that this man had excellent taste in music, and brought to me a grip of 60s rock LPs that I only had on CD ( a bunch of Beatles/Stones and the like). The one big surprise in the batch was the first album by Mad River.
Though they were signed to a major label, Mad River remains one of the lesser known Bay Area bands. They never had a hit, and apparently altered their style considerably between their first and second albums, so their obscurity, or at least that they’ve gotten lost in the shuffle of their more successful San Fran brethren (and sistren) should come as no surprise.
The first LP (which I’ve read was mastered at the incorrect speed, apparently making today’s selection a touch fast) is actually pretty good, and holds up as a good example of the darker side of psychedelia. The darkest tune on the record is ‘Amphetamine Gazelle’.
Where the West Coast music scene was by and large singing the virtues of psychedelics, Mad River decided to step out of line and compose an ode to the jittery, teeth grinding side of the drug experience.
I mean, honest to jeebus, how many times, outside of the garage punk underground do you hear lines like:

“Why’d you put spiders in my mind?”

The tune sounds like a distant cousin to Love’s ‘My Flash On You’, tossed into a meat grinder with the members of Moby Grape and a gallon or so of strong, black coffee. There are elements of the record (the vocals especially) that sound eerily prescient (heavy metal wise), and I can only imagine the surprise on the faces of a ballroom full of soporific hippies when the band whipped this one on them. I suspect it would involve a fair amount of tears, rolling into the fetal position or running in fear.
Very cool.
See you on Monday.

Peace

Larry

Example

PS Head over to Funky16Corners for a very groovy Hammond 45

PSS Check out Paperback Rider too…

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