Listen – The Tremeloes – What a State I’m In – MP3
I hope all is well in your part of the world.
The track I bring you today was a very pleasant – and relatively recent – discovery.
Earlier this year I was out doing some vinyl excavations in a previously untapped (at least by me) source. I ended up picking up a grip of ‘now sound’ and jazz LPs, and, as illustrated by today’s selection, some very nice 60’s rock and pop.
One of those LPs was the Tremeloes’ 1967 LP “Here Comes My Baby”. Known to me via their Beat Boom days as Brian Poole and the Tremeloes (Poole departed in 1966), I picked up the LP on the strength of the title cut, a US Top 20 hit in 1967.
Naturally – as is ALWAYS the case – I placed the LP on the turntable and started skipping around the disc checking out the vast majority of tracks that were previously unknown to me. Good thing too, because if I hadn’t I’d never have come upon the fuzzy, freakbeat delight I bring you today.
The Tremeloes were formed in the late 50’s in Dagenham, Essex (in the UK, natch) and were ironically the band that Decca DID sign, when they passed on a little pop group from Liverpool named the Beatles. Though they had a string of hits in the UK, it wasn’t until Poole hit the road that they started to chart across the pond with tunes like ‘Silence Is Golden’ (#1 UK, Top 10 US) and the aforementioned ‘Here Comes My Baby’ both in 1967.
‘What a Shape I’m In’ is a fantastic example of that gray area – thus freakbeat – between the Beat era and the onset of full blown psychedelia. There’s punch, melody, fuzzed out guitar and vaguely trippy touches, all adding up to a potent mix. The tune opens with an acoustic guitar riff, followed soon by thumping bass and electric guitar. It’s isn’t long before the fuzz guitar starts building in the background, becoming more and more prominent until it soars in a solo that wouldn’t be out of place on a garage punk record.
I’ve seen a reference that suggests that ‘What a Shape I’m In’ was released as the b-side of the Tremeloes cover of ‘Good Day Sunshine’, though I don’t know if that 45 was released in the US.
Either way it’s quite groovy and something of a lost classic.
I hope you dig it.
I’ll see you on Monday.