Week 35 - Fri 2 Sep
Welcome to the RPM Record Club Seven Day Soundtrack, week ending Friday 2nd September 2022. And due to circumstances, this is the order in which this week's sound selections arrived and therefore got posted...so there. Over to...
"Some 'good time' (well, sort of!!!) music this week."
Laugh Laugh by Beau Brummels (from 'Autumn in San Francisco' compilation LP released 1985. Edsel label) - "Probably viewed nowadays as Lovin' Spoonful influenced, the band were actually one of the instigators of what became known as the 'San Francisco Sound' alongside The Charlatans, the Grateful Dead, We Five, Moby Grape and others who all originally based their music on a mixture of bluegrass, folk and blues. Formed in 1964 by Sal Valentino, the band were quickly signed by Tom Donahue's Autumn label and thrust into the studio with the labels newest DJ and record producer Sylvester Stewart and were rewarded in January 1965 with a number 15 hit with 'Laugh Laugh'. There were obvious comparisons with '64/65' era Beatles, indeed it's rumoured that the band's name was chosen simply so their LP's would be directly behind the Fab Four's in the record racks, but this has since been disclaimed by Valentino who insists he didn't even know how to spell 'Beau....' at the time! Donahue believes that, if distribution of the disc had been picked up by a major label, the band would have achieved a number one and, in fact, it almost achieved that over the border in Canada, peaking at number two. There were a further three top fifty charters, all composed by lead guitarist Ron Elliott but his ongoing health problems, coupled with Autumns lack of major finance began to impact both the label and the band, despite the Brummels appearing in the 'Wild Wild Winter' movie and an episode of the Flintstones (as the Beau Brummelstones) but, despite the excellence of tracks such as 'Gentle Wandering' Ways' and, especially, 'I grow old', the bands singles and first two albums failed to consolidate their position. In early 1966, just as the band were recording their third LP the Autumn label was purchased outright by Warners, but, unfortunately for the Brummel's, not the publishing rights to their material. Warners insisted the band scrap the LP and record a full album of cover versions which consequently lost the band their core audience just as SF bands were beginning to break through nationally. After this debacle the band did record a further two critically acclaimed albums ('Triangle' and 'Bradley's Barn') but confidence and interest was waning and they broke up in October 1968, although there have been several (long term) reformations since then."
Cellophane Woman by Sopwith Camel (from 'Frantic Desolation' compilation LP released 1986. Edsel label) - "Another SF group, formed 1965, who had a couple of singles hit the charts ('Hello Hello' and 'Postcard from Jamaica' in early 1967) who did have associations with the Lovin' Spoonful as they both used the same producer, Erik Jacobsen. Their time as an active unit, however, was short lived as they were unable to sustain momentum as the music scene became more radical and they had ceased to function by late 1967. Their eponymous debut LP has since been reissued on a couple of occasions, including this excellent Edsel release, and the title track ('Frantic Desolation') has achieved some recognition by the critic Jon Savage who included it in his listing 'The Psychedelic 100' which was later included in the book 'I Want to Take You Higher: The Psychedelic Era 1965–1969' published by The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in 1997. There was a reformation in 1971 and in 1974, the band recorded the improbably titled ' The Miraculous Hump Returns from the Moon' which was described as "a jazzy John Sebastian who's into Eastern culture and vaudeville. This is pleasant, unambitious hippie groove music for a lazy, sunny afternoon. If you're in that mood, it will take you to a warm, fuzzy place." by Allmusic whilst, in 2014, The Guardian said, "What never fails to amaze me about this record is how it sounds like it was recorded about a week ago... Taking in elements of FM schmaltz, prog-rock, jazz, showtunes, Krautrock and Indian classical music, this is an album that overflows with ideas, but never overwhelms.""
Four in the Morning by The Youngbloods (from 'The Youngbloods' LP released December 1966. RCA Victor label. This from US 1971 reissue) - "Very much a 'Hey Joe' rewrite but, on the plus side, there is a fine Byrdsian guitar break towards the end courtesy of guitarist Jerry Corbitt. The song was composed by George Remailly who would go on to record his version with the 'sunshine pop' supergroup The Sunshine Company in 1967, but band leader Jesse Colin Young had recorded an acoustic version as early as 1964 The Youngblood debut album relies heavily on cover versions of 'blooze' songs already familiar thanks to such groups as the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Taj Mahal, Fleetwood Mac and many others and, to be honest, the band don't add a lot to those versions. Also among the covers is the Chet Powers hippie anthem 'Get Together', originally released in 1963 by The Folkswingers and also covered by Jefferson Airplane on their debut album '.... Takes Off' in 1966. The Youngbloods released the track as a single in early 1967 and were rewarded with a number 62 placing and that would have seemed the end but the song was picked up by several Companies and used in TV advertising which led to it's rerelease in 1969 when it achieved number 5, selling over a million copies. There are a couple of JCY compositions on the album, including the fine, cello enhanced 'Fooling Around (The Waltz) and there's also a fiery version of Fred Neils 'The other side of this life' but, on the whole, the album could be seen as fairly lightweight, in a Spoonful kinda way, compared to some of the other releases in late 1966."
Bonus Track -
That'll Be The Day by The Crickets -
"Hi RPMers, Here are three tracks I've listened to in the past seven days..."
For No One by Barclay James Harvest - "I first saw BJH at the Weeley Festival 51 years ago (August Bank Holiday Weekend 1971) when they were accompanied by a 36 Piece Symphony Orchestra! This track is from a little later in their career and is from the album 'Everyone is Everybody Else'."
Stripshow by Doll By Doll - "Another slice of life from the pen of Jackie Leven from the album 'Gypsy Blood'."
Glass House by Peter Tosh - "From the 'Mama Africa' album. Previous RPM choices of mine from this LP include the title track and a wonderful version of Johnny B. Goode. Check 'em out!!"
When Somebody Thinks You're Wonderful by Fats Waller -
Watch the Stars performed by Bert Jansch with Beth Orton -
Slow Air performed by Tony Hall -
In This Song by Martha Tilston -
"Hi RPMers, hope you all are well. Enjoying your picks. Here’s 3 tunes I have enjoyed this week."
Don't Beat the Girl Out of My Boy by Anna Calvi (live at A.P.E.) - "There are numerous disparaging comments on YouTube about Anna Calvi's (in)ability to sing in key, tune etc. I thought her performance was resplendent; incredible guitar playing and definitely not flat...although having listened to my caterwauling over the Ship song I definitely am..."
People's Faces by Kae Tempest - "Lost a 't'..cut all her hair off.. didn't affect her power 1 iota. 1 of my favourite poets ever."
Cribbar by Dalla - "Can't choose between spoken word & fab folk music? Why not have both! Cribbar is a huge surf break beyond Fistral in Newquay. Superb performance by Dalla & pals."
"This week's three nuggets that especially glittered in my ears..."
Oilyvoice by Ed Wynne - "Here we have the opening track from Ed's new solo album...and all is as expected, in a good way, as this could easily be a new Ozric Tentacles outing. Btw, Catch a joint Ozrics / Gong tour in November, dates include Leeds, Falmouth, Norwich and Cambridge...no excuses!"
'Til Next Time...