Dave Berry – The Crying Game

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Dave Berry

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Listen -Dave Berry – The Crying Game – MP3

Greetings all.

This post is coming to you a day early courtesy of the fact that I have to hit the road on Wednesday for a couple of DJ gigs down in Washington, DC.

The tune I bring you today is no less than the third version of ‘The Crying Game’ to be featured at Iron Leg. If you haven’t figured out yet that I love this song, then you might not be paying attention.

This time out, the interpretation is the OG, as recorded and released in 1964 by Mr. Dave Berry. Though he is all but unknown here in the US (outside of BritBeat fans) Berry had a long and respectable career in the UK and on the European mainland (his version of Ray Davies ‘This Strange Effect’ was a #1 hit in Holland and Belgium).

The ‘Crying Game’ was written by Geoff Stephens, who wrote (or co-wrote) such hits as ‘There’s a Kind of Hush’, ‘Winchester Cathedral’, ‘Daddy Don’t You Walk So Fast’ and ‘My World Fell Down (originally recorded by the Ivy League, but best known here by Sagittarius).

The Berry version of ‘The Crying Game’ features rhythm guitar by Jimmy Page and the odd sounding lead by Big Jim Sullivan. Berry’s plaintive vocal may not match the epic power of Brenda Lee’s take on the song, but it suits the arrangement. It bears mentioning that Berry’s version was the only real hit (#5 in the UK in 1964) until Boy George remade the song for the soundtrack of the movie of the same name in 1992.

If you ever get the chance to pick up a copy of the original 45 grab it, since the flipside ‘Don’t Gimme No Lip Child’ is fantastic.

I hope you dig the tune, and I’ll be back on Monday.

Peace

Larry

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some funk.

Joe Cocker – Darling Be Home Soon

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Another in a long line of unflattering pictures of Joe Cocker…

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Listen -Joe Cocker – Darling Be Home Soon – MP3

Greetings all.

This will have to be a quick one, since I’m still on the road to recovery and up to my ass in vinyl alligators. I have to travel down to Washington, DC at midweek for a couple of DJ gigs and I’ve been trying to get the records sorted and selected, as well as doing the usual full slate of family-type stuff. It’s a little daunting right now, so bear with me if I curb my prolix tendencies (at least this time out).
The tune I bring you today is one of my favorite versions (a cover) of one of my all time favorite songs, ‘Darling Be Home Soon’.
The OG is – of course – by the Lovin’ Spoonful. The cover we’re hearing today is from Joe Cocker’s second album, entitled, not surprisingly, ‘Joe Cocker’.
Though I don’t find myself going back to Cocker’s early work, it is mostly very good, often informed by his collaboration with the mighty Leon Russell.
It’s Russell’s piano that weaves around Cocker’s soulful interpretation of ‘Darlin’…’ and the backing vocals are provided by a who’s who of great female singers, including Patrice Holloway (Brenda’s sister), Sherlie Matthews, and Merry Clayton.
Sometime in the next few months I’m going to write something at length on Leon Russell, and artist who I feel is not only misunderstood but sorely underrated.
I’m not sure if I’ll be back with anything later this week, so if you’re starved for some sounds, dip into the archives.

Peace

Larry

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for two Aretha Franklin covers.

Iron Leg Digital Trip #26 – Second Anniversary Mix

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Iron Leg Digital Trip #26 – Super Duper 45RPM Folk Rock
Psychedelic Fuzz Dance Party!

Playlist
Bad Seeds – He’s Lying (Columbia)
Blue Things – You Can Live In Our Tree (RCA)
Ron-Dels – Picture of You (Smash)
The Wicked – The Spider and the Fly (Isabelle)
Beckett Quintet – It’s All Over Now Baby Blue (Gemcor)
Cast of Thousands – Girl What You Gonna Do (Tower)
Middle Window – Treasure Land (Garm)
New Breed – One More for the Good Guys (HBR)
HP Lovecraft – Wayfaring Stranger (Philips//Dunwich)
Five by Five – Hang Up (Paula)
Bards – Jabberwocky (Capitol)
Blues Magoos – We Ain’t Got Nothin’ Yet (Smash)
Bob Seger & the Last Heard – East Side Sound (Cameo)
Unlimited – You’re Never There (Century)
Them – Call My Name (Parrot)
This mix can be heard in the Iron Leg Digital Trip Podcast Archive

Greetings all.
As stated in my previous communiqué, I am currently a prisoner of sorts, bound by my ailing kidney to a hospital room. The food’s not that bad, and my wife’s here keeping me company, but at the end of the day there are few places I’d rather be less than the hospital.
The mix I bring you today has been assembled in celebration/commemoration of two years of blog-o-fication here at Iron Leg. When I started up Iron Leg – ignoring the little voice in my head that kept shouting that I’d never have enough time – I never figured I’d still be at it two years down the road.
Yet here we all are.
Though the write up will be a little shorter than I’m used to – since I am where I am – the music is (as always) of the finest quality, featuring a number of fairly recent acquisitions as well as some old faces from the crates. The vibe this time out is mostly garagey, with some prime folk rock, some psyched out fuzz and a couple of certified raveups.
Things get off to a jangly start with ‘He’s Lying’ by the Bad Seeds. I have to admit, when I bought this 45 I thought I was getting something by the legendary Texas punk band. When I got home and did a little research I discovered that this particular batch of Bad Seeds hailed not from the Lone Star state but rather from Kentucky. Both sides of this one are cool, and the flip will be featured here some time soon.
The Blue Things have appeared here before, and they remain one of my fave 60s bands, as capable with a beat number as they were with psyched out garage like the tune in this mix ‘You Can Live In Our Tree’. Dig the backward phased guitar and that Gregorian Chant-like chorus. Trippy.
I featured the more rocking flipside of the Ron-Dels’ folky ‘Picture of You’ a few weeks ago. ‘Picture…’ features a cool guitar effect that sounds like someone messing with the volume knob.
I have no idea who ‘The Wicked’ were, but am pretty sure that ‘The Spider and the Fly’ is one of the sickest records ever committed to vinyl, and provided the soundtrack to countless poor slobs who, thanks to lysergic assistance were suddenly convinced they could fly. Oddly enough the flip side is a fairly tame cover of Gary Lewis and the Playboys’ ‘This Diamond Ring’.
The Beckett Quintet hailed recorded for the Hollywood, CA label Gemcor, but actually came from New Mexico. Their blazing ‘No Correspondence’ appeared in the Iron Leg First Anniversary mix. The tune I bring you today is that record’s flipside, a cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘It’s All Over Now Baby Blue’, which was apparently a local radio hit in California.
The Cast of Thousands were in fact a Texas based band that recorded the slamming ‘Girl What You Gonna Do’ in 1966. This is as prime a slice of pure, mid-60s garage punk, with the combo organ, ringing guitar and snotty vocals as you’re ever likely to hear. I LOVE this one.
I know nothing about the Middle Window, or their oddly named record label GARM. I can say with assurance that ‘Treasure Land’ is a very nice bit of melodic garage pop.
The New Breed is one of those bands that recorded for HBR (like the Unrelated Segments) who’s records I’m always looking for but never finding – until last month. It was while pawing through a box of one-dollar 45s that I saw the HBR label and was stunned when it turned out to be a mint copy of the New Breed 45. The band came from the Bay Area in California and is best known as the starting place for one Timothy B Schmidt, later of an insignificant, barely known band called the Eagles. While I’ll feature this 45s well-known a-side ‘Want Ad Reader’ at a later date, I had to include the surprising flipside ‘One More For the Good Guys’ which has a bit of an Avalon Ballroom feeling.
‘Wayfaring Stranger’ – an adaptation of a traditional tune – was the first 45 and the lead-off track on the debut album by Chicago’s H.P. Lovecraft. Featuring the folkier sound of their decidedly psychey sound. The 45 comes on a cool Philips label with a Dunwich logo on the side.
The Five by Five came blazing out of Magnolia, Arkansas with the psyched out guitar of ‘Hang Up’ (the flip of which is a fairly cool cover of Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Fire’).
The Bards were a Pacific Northwest band who recorded for the Picadilly label. Their adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s ‘Jabberwocky’ appeared on the flip of a Curtis Mayfield cover. They later went on to record as Moses Lake, produced by none other than Curt Boettcher.
If there’s anyone here who doesn’t know ‘We Ain’t Got Nothin’ Yet’ by the Blues Magoos – for all intents and purposes the national anthem of garage punk – I’d be surprised. I just happened to pull it out of the box and decided to include it in the mix.
‘East Side Story’ by Bob Seger and the Last Heard is one of my all time faves. It was covered in the US by the Caretakers and in the UK by the St Louis Union. ‘East Side Sound’, basically an instrumental dub of the song appears on the b-side of the Last Heard’s Cameo 45.
If anyone has any information about the Unlimited, please drop me a line. They recorded the jangly ‘You’re Never There’ for the custom pressing label Century. Based in Saugus, California they pressed records by church choirs, high school bands, rock groups and anyone who had the dough and the wherewithal to send in a tape.
We close things out with a record that is not “technically” garage, but since it’s by the Irish group that launched a thousand garage bands, it’ll do. Them’s ‘Call My Name’ is from their second US album and displays many of the trademarks (including Van Morrison’s wail) of the nascent garage punk movement in the US.
That all said, I hope you dig the mix and I’ll be back next week with some more cool stuff.

Peace
Larry


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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some heavy Afro-Funk.

PSS Check out Paperback Rider too…

Back In the Sick Ward…

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Greetings all! Guess here I’m writing this? In the goddamn, motherf&%$#! hospital, that’s where. As I mentioned last week I had been in for a “minor” (heh heh…) procedure related to my ongoing kidney issues. Well, I get out of the hospital, and over the course of the next week I start feeling not so good, I call my doctor, describe the symptoms and the next thing you know, bob’s yer uncle and I’m back in a hospital bed. The catch this time is that I have been nephrostomy-fied, which means I have a tube leading from my kidney (I only have the one), out my back and into a lovely rubber bag. It will remain thus for the next few days until they go back in, put back in ANOTHER stent (look it up) and set me free once again like a rogue bear being helicoptered into the wild. I have had just about enough of this shit, but there’s not much I can do about it. The one little ray of sunshine is that I just discovered quite accidentally that the hospital has a wi-fi connection, so I am able to alleviate the positively soul numbing boredom of this place by communicating with you all via the interwebs. I’ll be here until at least Tuesday, so I am going to attempt to get my Monday posts together, and will be monitoring the blog. Wish me well. Peace Larry

David McWilliams – The Days of Pearly Spencer

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David McWilliams

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Listen -David McWilliams – The Days of Pearly Spencer – MP3

Greetings all.

I hope everyone has had an excellent week.
I should begin by noting that in a typical bit of obliviousness I only just noticed that Iron Leg has been up and running for two years (last month). I was looking for something from an old post and noticed by chance that the first post here dated to June of 2007.
Much like Funky16Corners, things got off to a somewhat different start hereabouts before settling into a certain groove, as pertains to 60s rock and pop. I don’t think I thought I’d still be doing it two years on, but then I felt the same way about Funky16Corners, which will turn five later this year.
So, I’ll be putting up a celebratory edition of the Iron Leg Digital Trip this coming Monday, packed to the brim with all manner of garage fuzz, folk and psyche. I hope you dig it.
The tune I bring you today comes to us courtesy of a singer who I first heard back in the 80s mod/garage days. He wasn’t recording back then, but was in fact included on some reissue comp or other, and passed on to me – like so many others – on a tape by my man Mr. Luther.
I had largely forgotten the song – if not the title and the artists’ name, David McWilliams – when I happened upon a copy of his first album at an Asbury Lanes record show some months ago. I had always assumed, via his connection to the Rubble/Twinkly Fairydust Crocheted Donut Twirl scene that McWilliams was an obscure artist who’s work might only be procured via expensive 45s. I never imagined that he had an LP (maybe more than one?) released in the US.
When I got that album home I was shocked – though not disappointed – to discover that McWilliams was not in fact a purveyor of psychedelia, but could more accurately be described as yet another folkie singer songwriter sucked up in the paisley shirted vortex of 1967, ultimately having more in common with Bob Dylan than Syd Barrett.
McWilliams hailed from Belfast in Ireland, recorded his first album in 1966 (produced by Mike Leander). ‘The Days of Pearly Spencer’ – which admittedly has a slightly baroque feel due to the string section – the tale of a homeless man wasn’t a hit in the UK, but managed to make the charts on the European mainland, where McWilliams would find most of his popularity.
The rest of the album is actually pretty good, with bits of protest folk and the occasional Glenn Campbell-ish country twinge (‘Who Killed Ezra Brymay’).
McWilliams went on to record more than ten albums, eventually passing away in 2002 at the age of 56.
Interestingly enough, ‘The Days of Pearly Spencer’ was covered a number of times, in the 60s and much later, as in 1992 when Marc Almond’s recording of the song was a UK Top 10 hit.
As always, I hope you dig the tune and I’ll be back on Monday with that mix.

Peace

Larry

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for two Aretha Franklin covers.

The Beach Boys – Heroes and Villains

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Brian prepares to record the scotch tape dispenser solo

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Listen -Beach Boys – Heroes and Villains – MP3

Greetings all.

I hope everyone had a most excellent weekend. Aside from some lingering ill effects of a medical procedure on Friday (mostly fatigue) things were pretty cool, with a nice day and a family party on Saturday and chilling with the immediate family on Sunday.
I should preface this entry by admitting that although I always liked the Beach Boys – one of my first, and most played records was a copy of ‘Endless Summer’ – but as an adult, with more developed musical tastes, I always found myself somewhat suspicious of folks that were willing to rate the Wilsons et al on a level with the Beatles (same thing goes for folks that do that with the Kinks, the ne plus ultra of 60s fanboy antics*).
On the surface, it seems like an absurd position to take (I still kind of feel that way, if to a lesser degree) since the Beach Boys (or more accurately, Brian Wilson) would never have entered their experimental phase without the influence of the Beatles. I’ve wasted lots of valuable time debating this subject, and as long as there are those who deify Wilson in such a way I will continue to.
However, over the last 15 or so years I’ve taken the time to really dig into the Beach Boys, and come away with a deeper understanding – and appreciation – of Brian Wilson’s abilities as a maker of records, and writer of songs.
This is due in large part to an understanding of the far reaching influence of the Wall of Sound, from Phil Spector’s productions to those of his acolytes, like Jack Nitzsche, Brian Wilson and even Sonny Bono.
I’ve also come to understand that Wilson’s was a lonely artistic life. It’s not hard to see him as a proxy for Kurt Vonnegut’s Harrison Bergeron in that he was an exceedingly talented and gifted individual who was eternally, unfairly handicapped, first by the lingering influence of his tyrannical, abusive father, and then by the rest of the Beach Boys, or more accurately the image they carried with them. This is not to say that the rest of the group was useless, which they weren’t, but no one among them was in the same artistic universe as Brian**. Wilson – like Spector – put the workable parts of the rest of the Beach Boys (i.e. their harmonies) to their best use on his records, in much the same way as a carpenter might employ a nail. The nails being necessary to hold the house together still cannot take any credit for its creation.
He was similarly hobbled by his own psyche, which was deteriorating rapidly during his most creative period.
The song I bring you today is for me, the intersection of his pop sensibility and his more experimental leanings. ‘Heroes and Villains’, cowritten by Van Dyke Parks, and composed by Wilson in his storied living room sandbox. It is lyrically inscrutable (Parks) but musically accessible, psychedelic in a truly original way with bits and pieces of avant garde-isms working their way in from the margins.
‘Heroes and Villains’ – which was recorded more than once, developing further in its iterations – has a chugging rhythm, wrapped in a number of choral interludes (the largest contribution by the Beach Boys as a group, since they didn’t play on the single) and one moment of pure bliss. Following the aforementioned harmony break (during which Parks inserts a vague reference to the R&B classic ‘CC Rider’) , with the group working against what sounds like a harmonium, there is an avalanche of voices that seems to strain the sonic limits of the 45.
‘Heroes and Villains’ was supposedly the centerpiece of the aborted, and legendary ‘Smile’ album. It was recorded over several sessions in 1966 and 1967. There was a planned release on Capitol, before it was withdrawn and released as the first record on the Beach Boys own Brother label (where the production is very generously – and unbelievably – credited to the entire group). It was a Top 20 hit in the US (Top 10 in the UK). It was the last of Wilson’s big/experimental productions to chart respectably, probably due to his worsening condition.
As it stands, it’s a little pop masterpiece, more rough around the edges than the songs from Pet Sounds, but while it does indicate a deterioration of sorts, it’s also – at least musically -  a positive by product.
If you haven’t heard Wilson’s (with Parks) 2004 resurrection/completion of the ‘Smile’ project, it is nothing less that a work of subtle genius, and (hopefully) an indication that the Brian Wilson of old is still in there somewhere. It includes a long form version of ‘Heroes and Villains’ that is positively sublime.

I hope you dig the tune, and I’ll be back later in the week with something groovy.

Peace

Larry

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*Listen…I love me some Kinks, I think Ray Davies is a hell of a songwriter and the Kinks a great band, but they ain’t the Beatles.

**I’ve always liked Carl Wilson’s voice a lot, but still consider Mike Love to be one of the most useless individuals in the history of rock. One need only witness Love in his hippy Grizzly Addams persona, disinterestedly fiddling with the theremin on the Ed Sullivan show to realize the Beach Boys could have done very well without him.

PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some funk.

Ron-Dels – Lose Your Money

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Delbert McClinton

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Listen -The Ron-Dels – Lose Your Money – MP3

Greetings all.

I hope everyone has had at least as good a week as I have. Despite a full slate of non-fun stuff to do, things have moved along pretty well.
The tune I bring you today is something I happened upon earlier this year while trolling the interwebs for records.
While searching for garage punk I saw the title, wondered if it was a Moody Blues cover, and thanks to a sound file was able to confirm same.
Once I got a hold of the 45, and heard the whole thing I was quite pleased with my purchase and started to dig.
As it turns out, the Ron-Dels were a Texas based group that released around a dozen 45s between 1963 and 1968. They also featured the early work of one of the great blues/soul singers/harp players to come out of the Lone Star State, that being Delbert McClinton (the Del part of the equation).
Though I haven’t seen much in the way of info on the Ron-Dels, it can be said with certainty that they had excellent taste in cover material. They got their claws into the Moody Blues ravingest number and whipped a little 1965 Texas howdyado onto it, wailing away on the vocals and harp, and pumping away with a taste of that ‘She’s About a Mover’ Tex-Mex-rock-a-polka vibe.
The flip side of the 45 (which will be featured in an upcoming mix) is a moody bit of folk rock with some groovy guitar.
I hope you dig the tune and I’ll be back on Monday.

Peace

Larry

Example

PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some funk.

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