Iron Leg Radio Show Episode #29

Example

Beep beep beep beep…..

Playlist

Alan Hawkshaw/Keith Mansfiueld – Action Scene (KPM)
Chuck Berry – Club Nitty Gritty (Mercury)
Believers – Soul Raga Simmerin’ (Capitol)
Lonnie Mack – Memphis ’68 (Elektra)
Baskerville Hounds – Hold Me (Avco)
Camel Drivers – Give It a Try (Buddha)
Unchained Mynds – Going Back to Miami (Buddha)
Unrelated Segments – Where You Gonna Go (Liberty)
Sopwith Camel – Cellophane Woman (Kama Sutra)
Sopwith Camel – Maybe In a Dream (Kama Sutra)
Sopwith Camel – Frantic Desolation (Kama Sutra)
Sopwith Camel – Levis Ad

Beach Boys – Surfs Up (Brother/Reprise)
The Upsetters – Draggin’ the Main (Autumn)
The Ventures – Flights of Fantasy (Liberty)
The Ventures – Walking the Carpet (Liberty)
The City – Snow Queen (Ode)
The City – That Old Sweet Roll (Hi De Ho) (Ode)
The City – Why are You Leaving (Ode)
The City – Paradise Alley (Ode)
The Hourglass – The Power of Love (Liberty)
Hourglass Concert Promo

Honey LTD – Come Down (LHI)
Honey LTD – Tomorrow Your Heart (LHI)
Shillings – Children and Flowers (Three Rivers)
The Fabulous Farquahr – Hollywood Ending (Verve)
Rita Coolidge – Walkin’ In the Morning (Pepper)
Rita Coolidge – Turn Around and Love You (Pepper)
Sunshine Company – Bolero (Imperial)
Evie Sands – Any Way That You Want Me (A&M)
Spanky and Our Gang – Sunday Morning (Mercury)
Boots – In the Beginning (Philips)
Boots – No Part of It (Philips)
Merrilee Rush – Reach Out (AMG)
Beyond the Valley of the Dolls Promo

Listen/Download -Iron Leg Radio Show Episode 29 – 193MB/256kbps

Greetings all.

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

This month should be an especially good episode since it is composed almost entirely of recently excavated new arrivals.

I was lucky enough to get in a couple of digging sessions on a recent vacation and came away with a nice fat stack of 45s and some very cool LPs as well. I even have some stuff left over for next month!

There some cool sunshine pop, popsike, garage and pure pop, all very groovy and guaranteed to keep your ears tingling.

As always, I hope you dig it and I’ll see you all next week.

Peace

Larry

 

Example


PS Head over to Funky16Corners

The California Sunshine of Mark Eric

Example

Mark Eric

Example

Listen/Download – Mark Eric – California Home

Listen/Download – Mark Eric – Night of the Lions

Listen/Download – Mark Eric – Where do the Girls of the Summer Go
Greetings all.

I hope the new week finds you well.

The fam and I recently returned from a brief vacation, during which I grabbed a nice fat stack of vinyl, for both Iron Leg (some very interesting stuff) and the Corners. Look forward to coming blog posts as well as September’s Iron Leg Radio Show for all manner of groovy sounds.

The tunes I bring you today represent one of my favorite discoveries (for me personally) of the last five years.

I forget where I first encountered the sounds of Mark Eric, but I suspect it was on the interwebs somewhere.

His sole LP, 1969’s ‘A Midsummer’s Daydream’ is a fairly scarce item, mainly because it went nowhere when it was first issued, and because those that have encountered it since have hard filed it.

Mark Eric’s music has been described – accurately – as some of the best Beach Boys material not actually created by Mr Wilson and his henchmen.

Eric, born Mark Eric Malmborg not only looked the part, with his sun-bleach blond good looks (he spent some time as a TV actor) but seems to have internalized the post-Pet Sounds vibe, mixing it with a healthy dose of Sunshine Pop.

He recorded ‘A Midsummer’s Daydream’ in 1969 with Animals guitarist Vic Briggs twiddling the knobs and arranging.

I’m always amazed that someone was able/willing to pull something like this off in 1969. There were certainly legions of Brian Wilson fanboys appropriating his sound (ironically or not) in the 80s and 90s, but for someone to dig this deep into that sound, and pull it off so well while the Beach Boys prime was still in the ether (as it were) was remarkable.

The three tracks I bring you today should provide a pretty nice introduction to Mark Eric.

‘California Home’, the track that opens the LP shows the level of sophistication at work. While he might not have had the laser-like focus of someone like Curt Boettcher (or Wilson himself), Mark Eric was no slouch in the ‘creating a soundscape’ department. ‘California Home’ features his own Brian-esque vocals and harmonies, laid atop a well-crafted arrangement.

By 1969, with the Brian Wilson pulled out from under them (mostly) the Beach Boys had kind of gone off the rails, and while they were still doing some very interesting work (‘Friends’ and ‘Surf’s Up’ especially) with the other members flexing their creative muscles a bit more, they were incapable of the kind of consistency that Mark Eric brought to his album.

This is of course a wholly theoretical exercise, since the Beach Boys/Brian Wilson probably had no idea who Mark Eric was, and certainly weren’t involved with the project in any way.

However, the record store basements of the world are packed floor to ceiling with 45s by acts that were dead set on imitating the Beach Boys, Beatles, Byrds, Rolling Stones and others, most of whom made a hash of it.

To hear an entire album so well done, in regard to songcraft, arranging and performing, yet so obviously derivative is a remarkable and rare thing.

‘Night Of the Lions’ is as close to a ‘rock’ track on the LP, and its French horn, harp and strings bring some of Jan and Dean’s best “Wall of Surf” productions. The song has had an interesting life of its own, appearing on the soundtrack to the biker film ‘Angels Die Hard’. It was also redone on the album ‘Surf Symphony” by Jan Rubini, with new a new guitar line added to the original track.

‘Where Do the Girls of the Summer Go’ is the finest “sunshine” track on the album. The melody takes some intriguing turns into Bacharach territory.

Though some have classified Mark Eric as “soft pop” – and there are undeniable elements of that sound here – I would say that his songs/records are generally more sophisticated and satisfying than a lot of that genre, offering incentive for multiple listens.

The big mystery for me, and certainly one of the reasons that ‘A Midsummer’s Daydream’ is so intriguing, is that after creating something so wonderful, Mark Eric seems to have just walked away from music.

His acting career lasted a few years and consisted of episodic TV roles (the Partridge Family, The Bill Cosby Show, Hawaii Five-O), one film (Pretty Maids All In a Row) and a number of commercials.

He released one, rare 45 as Mark Erickson and the Point Dume Boys on the Cove label in 1970, but apparently nothing after that.

Apparently he did at least one live performance around the time ‘A Midsummer’s Daydream’ was reissued by Rev-Ola in the early 2000s.

The album was available on iTunes for a while, but it doesn’t look like it’s there any longer.

Original copies of the album don’t turn up too often, and when they do they run between 40 and 100 dollars, but you can still find affordable copies of the CD reissue.

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

Peace

Larry

 

Example


PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

Iron Leg Radio Show Episode #19

Example

Beep beep beep beep…..

Playlist

Intro/Action Scene – Hawkshaw/Mansfield (KPM)
Byrds – Bad Night at the Whiskey (Columbia)
Brian Auger and Julie Driscoll – Save Me (Polydor)
Captain Beefheart – Who Do You Think You’re Fooling (A&M)
Chris Farlowe – Out of Time (Immediate)
Chris Farlowe – Baby Make It Soon (Immediate)
The Coopers – Didn’t I (White Whale)
The Hassles – You Got Me Hummin’ (UA)
Standells – Why Did You Hurt Me (Tower)
The Yardbirds – No Excess Baggage (Epic)
Yardbirds – Great Shakes Commercial

Hardy Boys – Here Come the Hardys (RCA/Dunwich)
Tradewinds – Mind Excursion (Kama Sutra)
Small Circle of Friends – Kind of Wasted Without You (A&M)
Pleasure Faire – Morning Glory Days (UNI)
Puppet – Best Friend (Date)
James Griffin – Miracle Worker (Viva)
Fun and Games – Don’t Worry Baby (White Whale)
Free Design – Bubbles (Project 3)
Brian Hyland – The Joker Went Wild (Philips)
Grin – White Lies (Spindizzy)
Blades of Grass – I Love You Alice B Toklas (Jubilee)
I Love You Alice B Toklas Movie Promo

Beaver and Krause – People’s Park 45 (WB)
Ananda Shankar – Light My Fire (Reprise)
The Fire Escape – The Trip (GNP Crescendo)
Cher – Hey Joe (Imperial)
Holy Mackerel – Scorpio Red (Reprise)
Living Strings – San Francisco Nights (Camden)
Mickey Newbury – Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) (RCA)
Peggy Lipton – The Lady of the Lake (Ode)
Mars Bonfire – Lady Moonwalker (UNI)
Scott Walker – Mrs Murphy (Philips)
Terry Reid – Stay With Me (Epic)
Van Dyke Parks – Datsun Commercial

Listen/Download -Iron Leg Radio Show Episode 19 – 176MB/256kbps

Greetings all.

I hope all is well in your part of the world.

It’s time once again for the Iron Leg Radio Show, episode 19!

This time around we have a great one for you, with three long sets of very groovy music.

We get things started with a bunch of garage and other rock, roll on into a set of sunshine and lighter fare, and close things out with a long, trippy grouping of sounds.

As always, I hope you dig it, and I’ll be back next week with something cool.

Peace

Larry

 

Example


PS Head over to Funky16Corners

Iron Leg Radio Show #14

Example

Beep beep beep beep…..

Playlist

Action Scene – Hawkshaw/Mansfield (KPM)
Beauregard and the Tuffs – (Love Is Like a) Ramblin’ Rose (Decca)
Ferris Wheel – I Can’t Break the Habit (Philips)
Ananda Shankar – Jumping Jack Flash (Reprise)
Ananda Shankar – Dance Indra (Reprise)
Fireballs – Groovy Motions (Atco)
Grass Roots – No Exit (Dunhill)
Grass Roots – Alone Phone Spot

Bee Gees – Coke Spot
Bee Gees – I Can’t See Nobody (Atco)
Robin Gibb – Saved By the Bell (Atco)
Robin Gibb – Mother and Jack (Atco)
Bee Gees – The Earnest of Being George (Atco)
Biff Rose – Fill Your Heart (Tetragrammaton)
Biff Rose – What’s Gnawing at Me (Tetragrammaton)
Biff Rose – The Promise (Buddah)
Laugh-In Promo

Curt Boettcher – Levis Spot #1
Curt Becher and California – Happy In Hollywood (WB)
Curt Boetcher – I Love You More Each Day (Elektra)
Eternity’s Children – Mrs Bluebird (Tower)
Tom Northcott – Who Planted Thorns In Miss Alice’s Garden (WB)
Tom Northcott – Sunny Goodge Street (WB)
Artie Schroeck Implosion – Six O’Clock (Verve)
The Association – Birthday Morning (WB)
The Beach Boys – I Know There’s an Answer (Capitol)
Blades of Grass – I Love You Alice B Toklas (Jubilee)
Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart – Smilin’ (Aquarian)
Emmit Rhodes – Golden Child of God (ABC/Dunhill)
Enoch Light and the Light Brigade – Marrakesh Express (Project 3)
The Herd – Understand Me (Fontana)

Listen/Download -Iron Leg Radio Show Episode 14 – 90MB/256kbps

Greetings all.

I hope the new week finds you well.

It’s time once again for the Iron Leg Radio Show.

Before we get started I want to let you know that this is Pledge Week over at Funky16Corners (aka the mothership).

I always put out the tip cup about this time every year to raise money for the server costs related to Funky16Corners and Iron Leg.

If soul and funk is a bag you’re in, there are close to 150 mixes and another 110 or so radio shows posted in the archives at Funky16Corners.

If you’re solely an Iron Leg-ger, there’s lots to pour into your ears over here as well, with the Iron Leg Digital Trip Podcast Archive as well as the Iron Leg Radio Show.

If it’s something you find valuable in any way, please click on the donate link over at F16C.
______________________________________________________________________________________________

This month’s Iron Leg Radio Show sees us back around the 90 minute mark, with some garage, freakbeat, worldbeat, a tribute to Robin Gibb, some tunes by Biff Rose and a very long set of sunshiney pop.

As always, I hope you dig it, and I’ll be back next week with something groovy.

Peace

Larry

Example


PS Head over to Funky16Corners

Iron Leg Radio Episode #4!!

Example

Beep beep beep beep…..

Playlist

Opening – Action Scene – Hawkshaw/Mansfield (KPM)

Jacques Dutronc – Et Moi Et Moi Et Moi (Vogue)
Ian and the Zodiacs – Na Na Na Na Na (Philips)
Rotary Connection – Burning of the Midnight Lamp (Cadet Concept)
Living Strings – Somebody To Love (Camden)
Litter – My Little Red Book (Probe)
Jethro Tull – Fat Man (Reprise)
Clear Light – Think Again (Elektra)
American Breed Alone Phone Spot

Glenn Campbell – Guess I’m Dumb (Capitol)
Brenda Lee – The Crying Game (Decca)
Colin Blunstone – Caroline Goodbye (Epic)
Enoch Light and the Glittering Guitars – You Showed Me (Project 3)
Linda Ronstadt – She’s a Very Lovely Woman (Capitol)
Love – The Red Telephone (Elektra)
Monkees – Porpoise Song -  45 edit (Colgems)
Pearls Before Swine – I Saw the World  – 45 edit (ESP Disk)
7-UP Commercial

Ascots – Sookie Sookie (Super)
Barbarians – Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl (Laurie)
Changing Times – How Is the Air Up There (Philips)
Music Machine – Trouble (Original Sound)
Peanut Gallery – Out of Breath (Canterbury)
Kingsmen – Trouble (Wand)
Kitchen Cinq – Determination (LHI)
Wayne Logiudice – Come On Lets Get a Little Action On (Philips)
Lindy Blaskey and the Lavells – You Ain’t Tuff (Space)
Guilloteens – Hey You (HBR)
Vanilla Fudge Coke Commercial

Listen/Download -Iron Leg Radio Show Episode 4 – 149MB/256kbps

Greetings all.

The middle of August is here, and that means it’s time again for the Iron Leg Radio Show.

This time out we have even more of the groovy stuff that you’ve come to expect from Iron Leg, with the garage, and the Euro punk, and the sunshine pop, kitsch, freaks (beaten well), sophisticated musical musings, pa-sike-o-modelica and of course anything else that pops.

So, pull out your ears, prepare them for liftoff and pull down the ones and zeros.
See you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

Example


PS Head over to Funky16Corners

The Dark, Weird Beginnings of Bruce Johnston…

Example

Bruce Johnston – On a buoy, and a strange looking bus…

Example

Example

Listen/Download -Bruce Johnston – Jersey Channel Islands Part 7

Listen/Download -Bruce Johnston – Capetown

Greetings all.

I hope you’re all well as we settle in for another week.

The tunes I bring you today are some crazy shit from a very unlikely source.

I’ve certainly known of Bruce Johnston for years, first and foremost as a longtime member of the Beach Boys, and before that (with Terry Melcher) as part of Bruce and Terry.

That said, I had no idea that he had anything like the cuts I bring you today inside of him.

I first heard ‘Jersey Channel Islands Part 7’ last year, and when I did the experience was akin to opening a box of Cheerios and finding a pack of rattlesnakes singing four part harmony, i.e. the very spirit of incongruity.

Recorded in 1963 and released on the Columbia label, ‘Surfin’ ‘Round the World’ is proof positive that no matter how much you dig, no matter who you hobnob with, you will never know all the cool music there is to know.

This also has something to do with the old saw about leaving no stone unturned.

If I saw a Bruce Johnston album in a record store, I’d probably pass it by. While I dig surf music a lot, I am in neither an expert nor a connoisseur, happy to get by with a couple of compilation CDs and whatever interesting looking albums or 45s I manage to pick up on the cheap.

However, when I heard these tracks I knew I had to track down this record. My initial efforts met with little success because ‘Surfin’…’ is both obscure, and I would later discover, rare and costly.

Fortunately for me (always thankful for Ebay sellers who know not what they have), I got lucky and managed to pick up a lot with both mono and stereo copies of the record for about a third of what a single copy usually goes for.

Interestingly enough, alongside manic episodes like ‘Jersey Channel Islands Part 7’ and ‘Capetown’ (most of the albums tracks namecheck famous surfing locales) there are a couple of fairly run of the mill Beach Boys-y tracks, which were no doubt what Johnston turned over to the suits when they agreed to release this album. I suspect that had he whipped any of the crazy stuff on them they would have soiled their Brooks Brothers, spit out their 12 year old scotch and had him killed and buried in a shallow grave.

If you take a look at the pictures of Johnston on the cover of the album, looking all clean-cut and wholesome, you’d probably never match them up with this lunacy.

The best tracks on the album sound as if some mental case in a 1990s surf revival band, with a whole lot of grain alcohol and bad attitude under his belt had been set loose in a recording studio.

I don’t doubt that somewhere in 1963, someone was making music this unhinged, but that it made it onto a major label release is especially shocking.

The cuts are filled with insane, fuzzed out guitars and bass, electric piano (probably all Johnston) and wailing sax, packed with sounds that were years ahead of their time.

What you get is a basic template of hardcore, Dick Dale-ish surf, frat rock, lots of studio experimentation and just a dash of psychosis.

Interestingly, one of the tracks from the LP (‘Maksha at Midnight’ which sounds like Hank Marvin on vacation in California) was released a year later on a Bruce and Terry 45.

In addition to his Beach Boys duties, Johnston also went on to write ‘I Write the Songs’ for Barry Manilow. Go figure…

Fortunately ‘Surfin’ ‘Round the World’ has been reissued on a CD two-fer for a much more reasonable price.

I hope you dig this madness, and I’ll be back next week.

Peace

Larry

 

Example

PS Head over to Funky16Corners for a soulful cover of Question mark and the Mysterians.

ILDT#36 – 2010 Year In Vintage Pop b/w Iron Leg is Back!

Example

Iron Leg Digital Trip #36 – 2010 Year In Vintage Pop

Playlist

Beach Boys – Wake the World (Brother)
Paul Williams – Trust (A&M)
Peggy Lipton – The Lady of the Lake (Ode)
Trade Winds – Mind Excursion (Buddha)
Dave Clark Five – Maze of Love (Columbia)
Artie Wayne – Automated Man (Smash)
Jimmie Haskell – Prelude/To Claudia On Thursday (ABC)
Boyce & Hart – Out and About (A&M)
Hassles – You Got Me Hummin (UA)
Joe South – Mirror of Your Mind (Capitol)
Small Faces – Tin Soldier (Immediate)
Shadows of Knight – Oh Yeah (Dunwich)
The Poor – She Got the Time (York)
Hangmen – Faces (Monument)
Beachnuts – Cycle Annie (Pickwick)
Byrds – Bad Night At the Whiskey (Columbia)
DDDBMT – He’s a Raver (Star Club)
Angels – Boy With the Green Eyes (RCA)
New Breed – Want Ad Reader (HBR)
Mike Sheridan’s Lot – Take My Hand (Edsel)
Music Machine – Trouble (Original Sound)
Ticker Tapes – Figment of Her Own Imagination (A Go Go)
Standells – Little Sally Tease (Tower)

Listen/Download 87MB/256K Mixed Mp3

Greetings all.

Hey, look who’s back!

Yeah, not all that exciting, but I had to say something.

The past few weeks – usually while digging for, or recording records – I’d been thinking a lot about getting the old metaphysical crowbar and jamming Iron Leg back into my schedule.

I don’t think I’ll be back to the twice-weekly rhythm that I had been working, but once a week with the occasional mix thrown in seemed perfectly reasonable, so here we are.

Even though my main musical focus happens to be funk and soul (this, the sixteen cornered beast), I have a taste for lots of other things, mos’specially the sounds of 60s pop, garage and psychedelia, thus, this bloggy type thing here.

When I instituted the temporary shutdown a few months back, I had a bunch of stuff backlogged and ready to go, and now, thanks to the fact that I always have time for digging (right up there with eating and sleeping) I now have more groovy stuff that I’d like to share with you good folks, including a couple of longtime want list items (now acquired), new discoveries and the like.

So, starting next week, with the dawn of twenty-eleven, Iron Leg will be back in beez-ness.

On second thought, it’s kind of back in business now, but since this mix is composed entirely of previously shared material (swept from the floors of the massive Funky16Corners/Iron Leg blogging complex), we can say that next week will signal the arrival of new stuff.

That said, the playlist of the mix in question would seem to indicate that 2010 was in fact an excellent year, bringing many groovy things from my record box to your ears, with the fuzzy garage, the happy pop and the dreamy psychedelics, all stirred together into one big, groaning Little Rascals cake of wonderfulness.

So, pull down the ones and zeros (there’s a similar, soulfully inclined mix over at Funky16Corners), give it all a listen and hang in there.

See you next week.

Happy New Year

Peace
Larry


Example

NOTE: There is no accompanying zip file since all of these tracks have appeared here individually in the past year.

PS Make sure to head over to Funky16Corners for a year end funk and soul mix.

PSS Check out Paperback Rider too…

Iron Leg Digital Trip #33 – Hey Ladies!!

Example

Iron Leg Digital Trip #33 – Hey Ladies!!

Playlist

Brian Auger and Julie Driscoll – Save Me (Polydor)

Jeannie Piersol – Your Sweet Inner Self (Cadet Concept)

Sweetwater – Look Out (Reprise)

Lulu – Love Love to Love Love (Epic)

Roberta Flack – Compared to What (Atlantic)

Lynne Randell – It’s a Hoedown (Epic)

Peggy Lipton – Wasn’t It You (Ode)

Evie Sands – I Can’t Let Go (Blue Cat)

Cher – Hey Joe (Imperial)

Shirley Bassey – Light My Fire (UA)

Janis Ian – Younger Generation Blues (Verve)

Jonna Gault – Good Vibrations (RCA)

Peggy Lee – Spinning Wheel (Capitol)

Herbie Mann and Tamiko Jones – The Sidewinder (Atlantic)

Roberta Lee – Come to the Sunshine (Montclare)

Rotary Connection – Burning of the Midnight Lamp (Cadet Concept)

Labelle – Won’t Get Fooled Again (WB)

Listen/Download 76MB/192K Mixed Mp3

Download 75MB Zip File

Greetings all.
This – as promised – is the mix I’ve been working on for the Iron Leg end of the 2010 Pledge Drive.
Though things in this regard have always been focused over at Funky16Corners, both blogs are produced by the same hardworking staff (that would be me…) and are centered in the same web/server space, so, all boats picked up by a rising tide and all, what benefit’s the big blog, also keeps Iron Leg afloat.
That I didn’t get this mix up and running until today has everything to do with a batshit crazy schedule, the heart of which was occupied by the purchase and assemble of a screened gazebo to protect the family from the cossack horde of mosquitos that descends on us as soon as the temperature rises above 60 degrees. We have a river a block away on one side and a creek a block away on the other. This would be great as a defensive measure in time of invasion, but during peacetime it’s pretty much just a giant mosquito incubator, and there’s something in our Grogan blood that the beasts find delectable.
Anyhoo, this is another one of those mixes that came together organically, in that I seemed to be picking up a lot of interesting stuff by female singers, and when I started to consider what the next Iron Leg Digital Trip would be, the idea kind of presented itself, and I ran (limped) with it.
There are a couple of tracks here that should be familiar (through previous appearances either here or at Funky16Corners), and a bunch of newer stuff, criss-crossing genres.
Things get started with Brian and Jools with their storming version of Aretha Franklin’s oft-covered ‘Save Me’. I’ll admit that I don’t always dig Driscoll’s voice, but it’s cooking on this track.
I picked up my first Jeannie Piersol 45 last year, solely on the strength of it being bew to me and on the storied Cadet Concept label. I liked the 45 so much I tracked down a copy of her other CC 45, both created with the assistance of none other than Darby Slick! Piersol did have something of a Grace Slick feel to her vocals, but both 45s have an unusual, soulful edge to them. ‘Your Sweet Inner Self’ manages to take that vibe and mix it with a bit of hippie-speak.
I knew nothing of Sweetwater (including the fact that they performed at Woodstock) until someone made a TV movie about the band a few years back.. I picked up one of their albums and liked what I heard. The band had one of those sonic mixtures that was very common in the late 60s, that being a collision of rock, soul, jazz and pop that worked well with an audience that had a much broader palate than what we see today. ‘Look Out’ is testament to the fact that prior to her tragic accident, Nansi Nevins had a powerful voice.
Lulu’s ‘Love Loves to Love Love’ is a mod classic, with a fat drum sound that prowls on the outskirts of funk.
Roberta Flack’s solid version of Gene McDaniel’s ‘Compared to What’ (one of my faves) has a slow, earthy funk to it, and Flack’s amazing voice wraps around the lyrics like a fur coat. It hails from her amazing first album.
Australian Lynne Randell’s ‘It’s a Hoedown’ is another vintage Iron Leg track with enough soul power packed alongside its pop kick to move a dancefloor, and enough ‘Last Train To Clarksville’ to remind you that she dated Davy Jones.
Yes, you read correctly. The next track is indeed by the same Peggy Lipton who starred on ‘The Mod Squad’. She made two albums in the late 60s, both of which are worth picking up. I grabbed the first one to get my hands on a dynamite pop-psyche track (which will be featured in this space sometime soon) and while I was listening to the album, one of the tracks sounded very familiar. After I wracked my brain a little I remembered that ‘Wasn’t It You’ had also been recorded by the Action. Lipton’s version is groovy, even if it lacks a little of the immediacy of the Action’s take.
‘I Can’t Let Go’ was – oddly enough – a song that I first heard performed by Linda Ronstadt! It was a few years later that I heard the Hollies’ version, and several more before I was exposed to the original by Evie Sands. Sands was a great, if terribly unlucky, singer who recorded a couple of great 45s, including what IU would consider to be the definitive version of ‘Take Me For a Little While’. Her take on ‘I Can’t Let Go’ moves at a slower pace than the Hollies, but builds slowly to a kind of grandeur.
Cher, despite her chameleonlike dodging from genre to genre, had a few solid folk-rock/pop years as a solo which she served concurrently with her time with Sonny. Her take on ‘Hey Joe’ is actually pretty good.
Pretty much everyone with access to a recording studio made their own version of the Doors ‘Light My Fire’. I featured Shirley Bassey’s version over at Funky16Corners a while back, and it is a stunner!
I’ve said it in this space before, but I will reiterate, if you aren’t already hip to Janis Ian’s early Verve albums, pick some up because they are filled with excellent, often fuzzed out folk rock like ‘Younger Generation Blues’.
If memory serves I found my first Jonna Gault 45 in a huge mountain of records that my father-in-law sent my way. I eventually grabbed a copy of her unusual RCA album. Gault was a kind of a self-contained artist, writing, arranging and producing her own odd mixture of pop and show tunes. She also recorded a couple of cool cover versions, one of which was the take on the Beach Boys’ ‘Good Vibrations’ featured here.
Peggy Lee was another multi-talented artist, starting out as a big band singer, moving on to writing a lot of her own material and developing a serious, jazz oriented interpreter of popular song. By the late 60s, Lee – like just about everyone else – was taking a stab at a broader market, covering contemporary pop material like Blood Sweat and Tears ‘Spinning Wheel’. Unlike so many of her ilk, she was good at it.
Herbie Mann is best known as the premiere proponent of the flute in soul jazz, Tamiko Jones recorded for a variety of labels, doing soul, jazz and even disco. The album she did with Mann features a couple of very cool tracks, their cover of Lee Morgan’s ‘The Sidewinder’ being one of them.
I have never been able to find out much about Roberta Lee, and even less about how she came to record Van Dyke Park’s ‘Come to the Sunshine’ (a hit for Harpers Bizarre). I dig her version, but she makes it sound like a commercial for the Florida Tourist Board.
Rotary Connection, featuring the voice of Minnie Riperton, are something of an acquired taste, bridging soul and psychedelic rock the way they did. Their version of Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Burning of the Midnight Lamp’ is fairly faithful to the spirit of the original.
This mix closes out with one of my favorite digging discoveries from last years trips down to Washington, DC. Thanks entirely to the largesse of my man DJ Birdman – who pulled the record out of a pile and handed it to me – I was introduced to LaBelle’s groovy cover of the Who’s ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’.
I hope you dig the mix, and of you do, think about heading over to Funky16Corners to make a donation in the 2010 Pledge Drive.
See you next week.
Peace
Larry

Peace
Larry


Example

PS Make sure to head over to Funky16Corners to donate to the 2010 Pledge Drive.

PSS Check out Paperback Rider too…

The Beach Boys – Wake the World / Passing By

Example

The Beach Boys (in watercolor…)

Example

Listen – The Beach Boys – Wake the World – MP3

Listen – The Beach Boys – Passing By – MP3

Greetings all, and welcome to another week of fun and games here at Iron Leg.

The tunes I bring you today is the example of digging a little deeper into a subject that I had unjustly neglected and discovering something revelatory (at least for me).
I’ve discussed my rediscovery and growing appreciation for the music of Brian Wilson in this space a couple of times over the years
Though I always dug the Beach Boys – having worn down a copy of ‘Endless Summer’  as an adolescent, when I got older, and started to collect and study records in earnest, I began to run into a particular species of collector/aficionado, i.e. the Brian Wilson fanatic. These were the people who considered Wilson THE genius of 1960s music, placed up and above the Beatles, which to me was an unforgivable sin. Despite years of reconsideration, it still is, but I’ve come a lot closer to understanding their point of view.
Last summer, in effort to learn a little bit more about Wilson’s work during the Beach Boys era, especially ‘Pet Sounds’ and beyond I picked up ‘Catch a Wave: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson’ by Peter Ames Carlin. The book was enlightening, especially in regard to the ever-widening gap between Brian Wilson, the rest of the Beach Boys, and the creative contributions to the band’s sound from both sides of that particular coin. ‘Catch a Wave…’ did nothing to dispel my already low opinion of Mike Love, but it did flesh out my understanding of Brian’s creative life, especially in contrast to his growing psychological problems.
Perhaps the most important effect the book had on my Beach Boys fandom was the introduction (to my ears) of the group’s post-Smile recordings, specifically the ‘Friends’ LP. When I started to read about the record, I headed over to iTunes and picked up the two-fer of ‘Friends’ and 1969’s ‘20/20’. From almost the first note it was obvious to me that I had been missing out on something special, and a few more notes down the line I became aware that a couple of later bands that I dig a lot had spent a lot of time listening to it as well.
‘Friends’ came along at a time when Wilson was becoming untethered, due to both psychological deterioration and the reaction, critical and popular, to what he (and henceforth many others) considered his greatest work. One need only listen to the re-creation of ‘Smile’ to understand how devastating it must have been to have the project fall apart. By the time the band started recording ‘Friends’ in 1968, Mike Love had hopped on the transcendental meditation bandwagon – it shows up in a couple of ‘Friends’ songs, specifically ‘Transcendental Meditation’ (duh..) – and as Brian began to lose hold (of both himself and the band’s music), his fellow Beach Boys started to take more responsibility. Brian only sings lead on four of the album’s twelve songs, with brothers Carl and Dennis, as well as Al Jardine and Mike Love covering the rest. Though Brian is credited with co-writing all but one song on ‘Friends’, the composer credits seem to get longer and longer with every song, including all the other members of the band, and in some instances a number of outsiders.
I was tempted to post a number of songs from the album today, but I figured if you like what you hear you should get yourself a copy of ‘Friends’, since it’s quite literally a lost classic. It’s not well known outside of hardcore Beach Boys fans and didn’t produce a single hit. This isn’t surprising, since there aren’t many songs on it that don’t reflect the band’s descent into SoCal hippiedom. It’s a kinder, gentler Beach Boys you hear on ‘Friends’, with Brian’s Spectorian bombast mostly gone, replaced by the sweet sound of inner reflection. The album is filled with beautiful melodies, and in one instance an amazing, unlikely detour into dissonance (oddly enough on ‘Transcendental Meditation’).
The tunes I bring you today are my favorites on the album, for a number of reasons, first and foremost that they pulled back the curtain on the influence this particular album had on a couple of my favorite modern pop bands, the Sneetches (a group I consider to be the finest pop band of the 80s and 90s) and Jellyfish.
In much the same way my Georgie Fame fandom was forever altered the first time I heard Mose Allison – or in any similar case – when I heard ‘Wake the World’ and ‘Passing By’ for the first time, it was immediately obvious that the Beach Boys had provided bits and pieces of sonic vocabulary employed by both of the aforementioned bands. This is not to suggest that either of those groups had cribbed anything of substance from either ‘Friends’ in general or these two songs specifically, but rather that it was obvious that they had probably heard both and come away from them affected as deeply (or moreso) than I had.
‘Wake the World’ is the second shortest song on ‘Friends’ (‘Meant for You’ is only 40 seconds long), clocking it at just over a minute and a half, but it’s a sweet bit of pop perfection. It features Brian and Carl sharing the lead vocal over a bed of piano, organ and strings, eventually joined in the chorus by a jolly tuba. ‘Friends’ is a very short album, the whole affair running just about 25 minutes, but it’s a great example of economy, packed to the rafters with great hooks and performances, featuring lots of perfectly honed songs. It’s relatively ambitious, but on a much smaller scale than an album like ‘Pet Sounds’. ‘Passing By’ is largely instrumental, though it does feature wordless vocalization by Brian and Al Jardine.
Like I said, if you haven’t heard ‘Friends’ in its entirety, do yourself a favor and grab yourself a copy asap.


Peace

Larry

Example

PS In case you were wondering, my vinyl copy is a weird ‘record club’ edition (another ‘two-fer’) and I have no idea how ‘Friends’, which was released on Capitol, ended up on Reprise

PS Head over to Funky16Corners for a great track by Booker T & the MGs.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,352 other followers