Manfred Mann – 5-4-3-2-1
Rattles – Come On and Sing
Del Shannon – Little Town Flirt
Dave Berry – Don’t Gimme No Lip Child
Herman’s Hermits – No Milk Today
Turtles – Outside Chance
Jacques Dutronc – Et Moi Et Moi Et Moi
Yardbirds – Over Under Sideways Down
Peter Lee Stirling – 8:35 On the Dot
Thane Russal – Drop Everything and Run
Changin’ Tymes – How Is the Air Up There
Choir – I’m Going Home
The week of the vacationing is upon us (or at least ‘me’), so in the spirit of all things space-holding, like the jelly that keeps a donut from caving in, I have quite literally slapped a mix together so that we all might have something to groove to until I get back in the saddle.
This is not to say that anyone depends on what they find here to keep their ears filled, but that the presentation of an additional option to do so, especially with groovy sounds, is why the Iron Leg exists, so mix I shall.
That said, I must begin with a caveat, that being that there are a couple or three tunes herein which I do not posess on original vinyl sources, but since they make my ears tingle, and ought to do the same for you all, I figured it couldn’t hurt (and it won’t). It helps that the whole stew is glued together with a series of vintage commercials.
The first of those (and the first song in the mix) is the brain bendingly cool ‘Hallucinations’ by Baker Knight and the Knightmares. Aside from the obvious sonic power of the song, it’s cool when you find out that Baker Knight had a long and varied career, making rockabilly, pop (including writing hits for Dean Martin) and this awesome slice of Californ-a-delica.
Next up is the song that is not only one of the finest things the Manfreds ever laid down, but waqs also for a time the theme song to ‘Ready Steady Go’. I remember quite well how my mind was blown when I first realized how much R&Beat was there underneath stuff like ‘The Mighty Quinn’ and ‘Pretty Flamingo’. Not to mention what an amazing singer Paul Jones was…
The version of Kraut-punkers The Rattles ‘Come On and Sing’ that I include here is from a soundtrack to a German TV movie. It sounds like a weird mix, but I’ll have to depend on those more versed in Rattle-iana to fall by with the facts on this one.
Things take a brief detour into my all-time favorite slice of proto Merseybeat, Del Shannon’s ‘Little Town Flirt’, before running head on into the nasty flip side to ‘The Crying Game’, Dave Berry’s ‘Don’t Gimme No Lip Child’, long rumored to feature a certain Mr. Page on lead guitar.
Say what you want about Peter Noone’s leaping, buck-toothed, innocent appeal to a whole generation of twelve year old girls, but Herman’s Hermits weren’t all ‘Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter’. They – like many of their peers – had access to the golden pen of Graham Gouldman, and used this access to create true brilliance like ‘No Milk Today’, still one of my favorite UK 60s tunes.
Over here in the US, probably down the street from Baker Knight, were the Turtles, who started out working the Bob Dylan cover-go-round and morphed into one of the truly great pop bands of their era. Back in the day when I hammered the drums with the Phantom Five we often whipped out ‘Outside Chance’ as a combination Chesterfield Kings/Turtles tribute.
I felt the mix wasn’t redolent enough of garlic butter, so I brought back the previously posted, and always brutal, Franco-garage of Jacques Dutronc’s ‘Et Moi Et Moi Et Moi’. I think you’ll agree that it is a song worth hearing again.
Despite the fact that it is currently being used to sell a Seth Rogen movie, the Yardbirds ‘Over Under Sideways Down’ will always be one of the greatest, fuzzed out bits of freaky, beaty, proto-psychy, wanna be a sitar-y goodness to ever come down the pike. That opening guitar riff still makes my hair stand on end, nearly forty years since I first heard it.
I know almost nothing about Peter Lee Stirling, other than that he seems to have released a number of poppy 45s before ending up fronting Alan Hawkshaw’s supergroup Rumplestiltskin. ‘8:35 On the Dot’ is a fine bit of late 60s UK pop.
Coming from th every same comp is a song that I’ve been chasing on vinyl for years (unsuccessfully), ‘Drop Everything and Run’ by Thane Russal and Three. Russal recorded a bunch of much harder-edged Mod stuff before this, but there’s a certain pop naivete in the grooves of this number that I find appealing in an underappreciated mid-period Rolling Stones-y way.
I’ve already gone into depth describing the blood-curdling, 1965-ish, awesome-osity of the Changing Tymes’ ‘How Is the Air Up There’, which is record of unique power and fuzz.
The last cut here is one that has appeared in this space before, in a post dedicated to spanking the Choir for the unabashed thievery herein (with apologies to the Nashville Teens). That said, ‘I’m Going Home’, yet another record I first heard via the Chesterfield Kings (aka Rochester’s Newest Hitmakers) is still a killer.
I hope you dig the mix, and with any luck I will return to you in a week, stuffed to the gills with lobsters and fresh New England air.