The “early” New Colony Six
Listen – Things I’d Like To Say – MP3
I hope everyone has had a chance to dig the guest mix over at Fufu Stew.
Today’s selection is by a band that I consider to me one of the most interesting Chicago bands of the 60’s, the New Colony Six.
I don’t recall how I first heard their music (probably from a compilation of some sort) but during my peak garage/psyche days in the 80’s I managed to track down a number of their locally released 45s, as well as their later LPs on Mercury.
The group formed in 1964, and started their career with a much different sound than when they dissolved in the 70’s.
Their first big impact was the huge regional hit ‘I Confess’ in 1966. The early sides the NC6 recorded for Sentar/Centaur were US garage with a serious Brit R&Beat inflection, more Pretty Things than Beatles.
They had two LPs released (in 1966 and 1967) on Sentar, ‘Breakthrough’ and ‘Colonization’ before being signed (like many other Chicago area bands) to Mercury in 1968.
By that time their sound had evolved considerably, moving from their heavier roots, to lighter pop and eventually into sophisticated, Association style pop.
The first time I heard today’s selection ‘Things I’d Like To Say’ (which was by far their biggest hit, making the national Top 40 in late 1968/early 1969) I had no idea I was hearing the New Colony Six. It was only a few years later when I picked it up on a CD comp that I realized how much they had changed as a band in a few short years.
This had a lot to do with personnel changes. By the time they hit with ‘Things…’ brothers Craig and Wally Kemp had left the band, and vocalist Ronnie Rice (who co-wrote ‘Things.. and their other big hit of that period ‘I Will Always Think About You’) had joined.
The sound of ‘Things I’d Like To Say’ sees the NC6 dropping all pretentions to fuzz-hood, choosing instead a lighter, more urbane pop sound. The albums from this period ‘Revelations’ and ‘Attacking a Straw Man’ are both fairly easy to come by and definitely worth picking up.
I hope you dig the tune.