Iron Leg Digital Trip #30 – The Year In Vintage Pop 2009

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Iron Leg Digital Trip #30 – The Year In Vintage Pop 2009

Playlist
Kak – Rain (Epic)
Beau Brummels – One Too ManyMornings (WB)
Dudley Moore – The Real Stuff (London)
The Everly Brothers – Man With Money (WB)
Gene Clark – So You Say You Lost Your Baby (Columbia)
Lulu – Love Loves To Love Love (Epic)
McCoys – Say Those Magic Words (Bang)
Paul Revere & the Raiders – Too Much Talk (Columbia)
Blades of Grass – I Love You Alice B Toklas (Jubilee)
Cake – Baby That’s Me (Decca)
Free Design – Kites Are Fun (Project 3)
Enoch Light – You Showed Me (Project 3)
John Barry – A Man Alone (Decca)
Love Generation – Not Be Found (Imperial)
Mindbenders – Getting Harder All the Time (Fontana)
Puppet – Best Friend (Date)
Sunshine Company – Love That’s Where It Is (Imperial)
Mighty Baby – Egyptian Tomb (Head)
Kaleidoscope – Egyptian Garden (Epic)
Soft Machine – A Certain Kind (Command/ABC)
Linda Ronstadt – She’s a Very Lovely Woman (Capitol)
Steff – Where Did She Go (Epic)
Standells – Little Sally Tease (Tower)


This mix can be heard in the Iron Leg Digital Trip Podcast Archive

Greetings all.
It’s that time again, with the current 365 day cycle expiring and a new set of 24-hour segments is on its way.
The family and I are going to hit the road for a little bit of year-end visiting with the relatives, so after posting this mix I will be refraining from blogging until the beginning of next week/year.
As a result, I have dipped back into the Iron Leg archives (at least that segment that falls between January 2009 and today) and selected about an hour’s worth of my favorites as something of a refresher course in the whole Iron Leg “thing”.
There’s all kinds of stuff here, from sunshine pop, film music, garage punk and psychedelia to pure pop.
A look at the playlist above reveals that this has been another groovy year at Iron Leg, and while not everyone (besides myself) is going to dig everything in this mix, there’s certainly something there for everyone to dig (if you get what I’m saying, and I think that you do).
If you seek more information on any of the above listed tracks, you need only dip into the Google-verse, placing both Iron Leg, and the name of the artist in quotes, and search away. You could also start with this post and then click on the ”next page” link at the bottom of the page and scroll backwards through the year, entering a low-powered intertubes time machine of sorts.
I hope you dig the mix, and that the previous years posts have been to your musical and historical edification.
I’ll be back next week with some more groovies.
Happy New Year.

Peace
Larry


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NOTE: The Iron Leg Digital Trip Podcast Archive (see link in sidebar) has been brought up to date, with all twenty nine previous mixes listed.

PS Head over to Funky16Corners for a special year-end funk 45 mix!

PSS Check out Paperback Rider too…

Iron Leg Christmas – Free Design – The Proper Ornaments

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Free Design
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It’s actually the other side of this 45, which I didn’t feel like digging for,
but you get the idea, right?

Listen – Free Design – The Proper Ornaments – MP3

Greetings all.
As previously stated, Christmas is upon us once again, and I wouldn’t be a fit member of the bloggerati were I not to provide something seasonal for your delectation.
I’ve gone into this many times before (here and at Funky16Corners) but to recap briefly, I’ve never been a big collector of holiday music, and as a result diving into the crates in search of same is rarely fruitful.
Sometimes – however – I get lucky and get myself a holiday record by accident, which is how I came upon today’s selection.
I’ve been a big fan of the Free Design since I first heard their music back in the 90s when the easy/sunshine pop savants over in Japan got wise to their particular brand of wonderfulness and started to rerelease their 60s and 70s albums.
If you’re not familiar with the Free Design sound, working with Easy maestro Enoch Light, the Dedrick brothers and sisters created a mix of intricate harmony singing and progressive pop that was ahead of (and outside of) its time when it was first released. It’s not too much of a stretch to suggest that there are probably a lot of people today that wouldn’t cozy up to their sound, put off by its seeming naiveté and polished veneer. I am not one of them.
Enoch Light’s mini-empire of easy/space age pop was staffed with lots of talented musicians and singers, and while some of the output on his Command and Project 3 labels was in fact disposable, there is lots of gold in them thar hills for those willing to dig a little deeper.
I found today’s selection, ‘The Proper Ornaments’ when I picked it up on the flipside to the 45 for the Free Design’s best known song, ‘Kites are Fun’. The tune is a Christmas song, but it takes the Charlie Brown-ian tack of indicting the commercialism of the season. Check out the lyrics….

Ornaments of Life, ornaments of life
There’s your brand new car, sir, here’s your hat and gloves
There’s your pretty wife, sir, whom you almost love

There’s your color TV set and your impressive pad
There’s your little baby girl you’re almost glad you had
Such a pretty dress, miss, such a graceful walk
Bubbling femininity, authoritative talk
There’s your man he’s prominent; treats you like a queen
All your little secrets kept, your reputations clean
The proper ornaments of life.

Gotta have status
have a paid vacation,
have an intellectual education
ornaments of life
proper ornaments of life

fur coats, jewels and laces, bright red lipstick, big cars, money, tuxes and top hats
hide behind the mask of clothes and makeup: ornaments
There’s your brand new car, sir, here’s your hat and gloves
There’s your pretty wife, sir, whom you almost love
There’s your color TV set and your impressive pad
There’s your little baby girl you’re almost glad you had

What’s behind that countenance
What’s behind the lace,
What is in your mind and heart
Thats hidden by your face
Behind the ornaments in your life?

Not exactly a cup of warm yuletide cheer, is it?
The tune appeared on their debut LP (also called ‘Kites Are Fun’). You can pick up the Free Design’s best stuff in reissue, and their original albums are still not too hard to find (if you’re willing to dig).
I hope you like the song, and that – if you celebrate the holiday – you have a most excellent Christmas.
I’ll see you next week.

Peace
Larry

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Head over to Funky16Corners for some soulful Christmas cheer…

Iron Leg Christmas Flashback – Bob Seger & the Last Heard

Greetings all.
The Yuletide is upon us, and to get things going I’m going to bring back last years Christmas post/track, followed on Monday with something new for the holiday season. I would have been more proactive but I suffered through a root canal this morning.
I hope you dig the track and I’ll see you all next week.
Peace
Larry

Originally posted December 2008

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Bob Seger (top left) & the Last Heard

Listen – Sock It To Me Santa – MP3

Greetings all.
I hope all is well on your end.
Today I bring you the very first Iron Leg Christmas post (hopefully the first of many).
Though this blog has a much smaller audience than Funky16Corners, I’m having a tremendous amount of fun working on it. Though soul and funk are the main focus of my collectors mania, my musical interests – accumulated over all my 45 years – are much broader.
As I’ve related in this space a bunch of times, during the mid-80’s I was pretty deeply involved in the garage/mod bag, both as an active (fanzines, bands) and passive (fan, collector) participant. It is the music I was digging through during that period (and before and after) that I cover here at Iron Leg.
One of the positive aspects of doing a music blog is that it kind of forces you to go back into your crates and dig, rediscovering and more importantly re-appreciating music that may not currently occupy the center stage. In that respect, Iron Leg definitely fits the bill.
If you’re a Funky16Corners reader, you’ll already know that I’ve never been a big collector of holiday music. Certainly someone that consumes music as voraciously as I do is bound to grab a couple of Christmas sides, but it has never been my focus.
I was originally going to post something quiet and meditative for Christmas, on account of that’s the kind of mood I find myself in these days.
However…
The bygone 60’s punk that still dwells within took over and I decided that we would all be better served with something from the kick-ass side of the menu.
In service of that notion, I bring you one of the punkiest Christmas records this side of the Sonics, Bob Seger & the Last Heard’s ‘Sock It To Me Santa’.
I’ve touched briefly on the dynamic pre-Night Moves career of Seger before (and will go even more in depth in the future). I don’t have the original 45 of this number (I ripped it from a 20 year old Euro bootleg of his Cameo 45s, but for those of you interested in the early Last Heard sides there are a few of them (including ‘Sock It To Me Santa’ on the recent Cameo-Parkway boxed set, which I believe is available via iTunes).
Here we see the 1966 model Seger, in which later pretensions to arena-rock-osity were preceded by just a touch of that Detroit suburban whiteboy James Brown wannabee-ism, which by the way predates a similar (though not Yuletide) sonic assault a year later by his fellow Motorcity rocker Mitch Ryder.
That all said, I ride for early Seger up through his Capitol years and ‘Sock It To Me Santa’ is a fine example.
I hope you dig it.
I have two more Iron Leg podcasts in the bag, as well as a large supply of individual bangers, so stick around kids. I won’t be posting again til up and around New Years Eve, so you all have yourselves an excellent holiday.
Peace
Larry

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Les Reed – Man of Action

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Les Reed

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Listen – Les Reed – Man of Action – MP3

Greetings all.

I hope the beginning of another new week on the sphere finds you well.
I had a busy weekend, traveling here and there, the opening ceremonies of Chanukah (during which much delicious pastrami and matzoh ball soup was consumed, including the mandatory half-sour pickles) and a quick getaway for the wife and I.
The tune I bring you today was a very recent acquisition, having been scooped up last week at the Allentown Record Show. Oddly enough it was pulled from a box of funk and soul 45s, and unless I’m missing a sampling hereof, this record fits neither of those categories.
I grabbed it – unheard – because I knew Les Reed from his soundtrack to ‘Girl on a Motorcycle’, and because the title ‘Man of Action’ was intriguing, and all that having been tallied, it was a cheapo, so I tossed it on the keeper stack and took it home with me.
Reed was a soundtrack/Easy/Library type cat who had a lot of success in the UK and elsewhere as a composer/arranger and recording artist, and is best known to diggers for the aforementioned OST. He got his start playing keyboards for none other than the John Barry Seven.
When I started digging up info on ‘Man of Action’ I was pleasantly surprised to see that in addition to being a cool bit of instro-pop, it was the longtime theme song for pirate radio station Radio Northsea International (anchored off the Dutch coast during the 70s).
Also cool is the fact that the jaunty pop melody is intersected twice by some groovy organ, which has a decidedly Hawkshaw-ian bent. I have not been able to confirm that the library master was indeed massaging the keys, but my ears suggest that he was.
If anyone knows for sure, drop me a line.
I’ll be back later in the week with something cool.

Peace

Larry

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for a new funk 45 mix!

Stone Country – Love Psalm

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Stone Country

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Listen – Stone Country – Love Psalm – MP3

Greetings all.

This week I’d like to close things out with a record that is a very recent – and happy – discovery for me.
If you follow all things Iron Leg you’ll already be aware that I am a huge fan of the music coming out of Los Angeles in the mid-to-late 60s, especially the sounds that erupted as rockers started to weave a little country into the musical fabric. The Byrds, Gene Clark and the Gosdin Brothers, Dillards, Monkees (Yes, the Monkees), Buffalo Springfield, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Stone Poneys, Rick Nelson (again, YES Rick Nelson) etc etc on and on ad infinitum, or at least I wish it went on forever, so deep is my thirst for these sounds.
It was only very recently, during an extended bout of E-digging that I heard a sample of today’s selection by Stone Country. I have to be honest and tell you that before I came across this particular auction I had never even heard of Stone Country, which it turns out is a shame since the music they made is very groovy.
Founded in 1967 by Steve Young – who went on to a substantial solo career as a country rock pioneer – Stone Country recorded four 45s and an album for RCA before splitting up soon after. They also managed to make an appearance in one of my favorite bizarre movies of the 60s, ‘Skidoo’ (which if you haven’t seen, you simply must since it features Jackie Gleason, Groucho Marx, Carol Channing and a soundtrack by no less a light than Harry Nilsson).
The tune I bring you today is the top side of their third 45, written by bassist Dan Barry and songwriter Diane Hildebrand. ‘Love Psalm’ is the kind of record that nobody was making outside of LA IN 1967, a perfect mix of psychedelia, folk rock, lush production (the record was produced and arranged by Rick Jarrard and George Tipton who worked on Nilsson’s early albums) and pop sensibilities. There are touches of the Kaleidoscope (though not as far out), Gene Clark (not quite as countrified) and the great early sounds of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, all blended together into a perfect, almost flower power-ish mixture.
I really dig this record. Now I have to start looking for the album.

NOTE: Head over to Flower Bomb Songs for a very comprehensive post about Stone Country

I hope you dig it too, and I’ll see you all on Monday.

Peace

Larry

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some more Northern Soul.

The Union Gap feat. Gary Puckett – Don’t Make Promises

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Gary Puckett and the Union Gap

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Listen – The Union Gap feat. Gary Puckett – Don’t Make Promises – MP3

Greetings all.

I hope everyone is well, and that you had a chance to check out the last edition of the Iron Leg Digital Trip.
It was very interesting week here at the Leg, with comments posted by not one but two original members of the Millennium, Sandy Salisbury and Michael Fennelly. It’s an honor whenever an artist stops by to say hello, but especially so when it’s two members of one of my favorite bands.
The tune I bring you today is something I pulled from that big lot of 45s I won a while back. Normally I wouldn’t give a Gary Puckett and the Union Gap record a second look. Though Puckett had one of the great voices of late 60s pop, they’ve always been one of those bands that blended too easily into the wallpaper of oldies radio.
However, decades of digging have taught me a number of important record collector lessons, not the least of which is “turn the record over”. The flip sides of 45s are often a wellspring of hidden treasures, something I have often discovered after having a record languish in the crates for years.
This time out I just happened to have picked the 45 up with the b-side facing up and discovered that Puckett and the Union Gap had recorded a version of one of my all time favorite tunes, Tim Hardin’s ‘Don’t Make Promises’.
Naturally I had to give it a spin, and was pleasantly surprised when the Union Gap’s take on the song turned out to be pretty cool.
Appearing on the flipside of 1968’s mega-hit ‘Woman Woman’, this version of Hardin’s classic is taken at a brisk pace, with a horn section and a typically rich vocal by Puckett. It’s nothing profound or life-changing, just a quality performance of a great song.
I hope you dig it and I’ll be back later in the week with something groovy.

Peace

Larry

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some drum heavy Northern Soul.

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