Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 30, 2021

268) The Mike Stuart Span — “Children of Tomorrow” (68) (UK) (psych) “Children of Tomorrow was the Span’s magnum opus (see also #225). Richie Unterberger in All Music Guide describes it as “a classic British psychedelic single [with] driving power chords, squealing guitar leads, and haunting harmonies . . . [striking] a classic midpoint betweenContinue reading “Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 30, 2021”

Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 29, 2021

267) Blonde on Blonde — “Don’t Be Too Long” An impossibly gorgeous track from Blonde on Blonde’s ’69 Contrasts album (see #227). “All alone my thoughts around me.  Still I feel you all around me.  As the sounds start to drown me, this is not the way you found me.  Oh how I’ve changed.  I’mContinue reading “Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 29, 2021”

Barry Ryan Remembrance Special Edition: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 28, 2021

Barry Ryan passed away two months ago today, on September 28th, at the age of 72. The melodramatic, theatrical and grandly orchestrated — “poperatic” — songs he sang (written by his identical twin Paul, who died in 1992) represent the best of a side of 60’s popcraft that has often been unjustly maligned. I thinkContinue reading “Barry Ryan Remembrance Special Edition: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 28, 2021”

Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 27, 2021

263) Pete Atkin — “Beware of the Beautiful Stranger” A gorgeous, like nothing else on the air (except for, maybe, Nick Garrie (who wasn’t actually on the air)) song by Pete Atkin with lyrics by Clive James. Christopher Evans says in All Music Guide that: Atkin’s music [drew] on every form of popular music fromContinue reading “Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 27, 2021”

Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 26, 2021

262) The Omens — “Searching” Sizzling ‘66 A-side of the first of two singles by the Hammond, Indiana, band, which was led by 16 year old Don Revercomb. The organist (then 15) who played on the demo but not the actual single remembers that: One of my most memorable gigs was at the Purple PoodleContinue reading “Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 26, 2021”

Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 25, 2021

261) Howard Tate — “Look at Granny Run Run” In honor of today’s Thanksgiving family get-togethers and the outpouring of love that readers of my blog sent Howard Tate’s way, here is Tate’s second minor hit — “Look at Granny Run Run.” It performed just about identically to “Ain’t Nobody Home” (#259), reaching #67 inContinue reading “Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 25, 2021”

Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 24, 2021

260) Pink Floyd — “If” From ‘70’s Atom Heart Mother (see #38). Paul Matt’s writes regarding Roger Waters’s “If” that: [I]t is a step in the direction of familiar future Waters issues, such as the madness expressed on Dark Side of the Moon. Some feel the “spaces between friends” line is a reference to theContinue reading “Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 24, 2021”

Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 23, 2021

259) Howard Tate — “Ain’t Nobody Home” Richie Unterberger says of Howard Tate in All Music Guide: Highly regarded by soul music cultists and virtually unknown by anybody else, Howard Tate had some minor success . . . in the late ’60s. The singer brought a lot of blues and gospel to his phrasing .Continue reading “Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 23, 2021”

Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 22, 2021

258) Reparata and the Delrons — “Take a Look Around You” Here is a wonderful ’65 B-side by the Delrons. They got together in ‘62 (the year I was born!) at St. Brendan’s Catholic School in Brooklyn (where I was living!). As to their name, Mary O’Leary, their first lead vocalist, explained that their managersContinue reading “Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 22, 2021”

Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 21, 2021

257) Kaleidoscope — “Please” No, Ashiya, not that Kaleidoscope. This is a ‘67 single from an American band founded by multi-instrumental super-session player (and future leader of El Rayo-X) David Lindley. Lindsay Planer says in All Music Guide that: [Kaleidoscope] synthesized rock & roll with roots and world music, first yielding Side Trips [on whichContinue reading “Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 21, 2021”

Brace for the Obscure (60s rock) — November 20, 2021

256) Justine — “See Saw”  Another wistful and gorgeous song from the all-too-short lived Justine (see #200). Clem of Nazareth perfectly captures the band and the song: Justine were short-lived and quickly forgotten, but the band did manage to put out one really charming and intoxicating record, especially if you’re one of those kind ofContinue reading “Brace for the Obscure (60s rock) — November 20, 2021”

Bob Dylan Cover Special: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 19, 2021

Earlier this year, Chris Willman noted perceptively in Variety that: How is it that the most idiosyncratic major songwriter of our lifetimes also came to be the most covered? Bob Dylan may be full of songs that are personal, peculiar and sometimes inscrutable, but if anything, that’s made them even more of a magnet forContinue reading “Bob Dylan Cover Special: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 19, 2021”

Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 18, 2021

252) Montage — “Desiree” (69) (US) (baroque pop) OK, please don’t walk away — even you, Renee: this shimmering baroque number was written by the Left Banke’s driving force, but isn’t performed by the Left, rather by four guys from Jersey (even though the Left had recorded it first, after the songwriter had left theContinue reading “Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 18, 2021”

Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 17, 2021

251) The Electric Banana — “Grey Skies” As I said regarding song #94, the Banana’s “Alexander,” the group was the Pretty Things in disguise, making some much needed money by providing songs for films trying to be hip. David Wells’s liner notes to The Complete De Wolfe Sessions comp explain that: [The] Swinging London phenomenonContinue reading “Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 17, 2021”

Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 16, 2021

250) The Del-Vetts — “The Last Time Around” I don’t honor the Del-Vetts because they hail from my hometown of Highland Park, Illinois, a semi-tony Chicago suburb on the shores of Lake Michigan. OK, it doesn’t hurt. And had they been from Winnetka, it would be a cold day in hell. . . But enoughContinue reading “Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 16, 2021”

Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 15, 2021

249) Parliament — “Oh Lord, Why Lord/Prayer” This is where it all began for Parliament (well, it really all began in 1955, but this was the first album). Alongside all George Clinton’s glorious ribaldry and side-splitting antics, the Wizard of Odd drops “Oh Lord,” a stunning “gospel lament . . . [Parliament’s] most reverent andContinue reading “Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 15, 2021”

Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 14, 2021

248) The Plague — “The Face of Time” If ever there was a group named for our times . . . A-side of the first of two singles (‘66) by the group all the way from Thunder Bay, Canada. The Plague later evolved into the Lexington Avenue and Jarvis Street Revue variants. Songwriter/singer/sax player TomContinue reading “Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 14, 2021”

and now for the songs — November 13, 2021

247) Thomas and Richard Frost — “With Me My Love” This A-side to their second single (‘69) and putative album track is my blog’s second selection from Visualize, THE great lost American album of the sixties. Richard Frost’s commentary: “The record didn’t do well for us.” I guess I can’t blame Andrew Loog Oldham forContinue reading “and now for the songs — November 13, 2021”

and now for the songs — November 12, 2021

246) The Buzz — “You’re Holding Me Down” The legendary Joe Meek produced this song, the A-side of the Edinburgh band’s only single (’66). “Down” is “a frantic piece which almost borders on total mayhem at times” (Vernon Joynson), “a beehive orgy of frenzied guitars” (Richie Unterberger in All Music Guide) with an “almost psychoticallyContinue reading “and now for the songs — November 12, 2021”

and now for the songs — November 11, 2021

245) Nick Garrie — “Queen of Spades” Randy ‘68 A-side by the incomparable St. Nick. “I am the queen of spades and what she said, goes round me head. Pair of lips that really thrill me, dirty eyes that nearly kill me. . . . Little married woman feeling bored. See what I can doContinue reading “and now for the songs — November 11, 2021”