Boudewijn De Groot: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — January 1, 2022

305) Boudewijn de Groot — “Een Meisje Van 16 (A Young Girl of 16)” On the first day of this new year, I’d like to remind everyone that here at Off the Charts/Brace for the Obscure, it is always Groundhog Day, always the Sixties. So, on to our first song of the year, an oft-coveredContinue reading “Boudewijn De Groot: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — January 1, 2022”

The Crystal Rain: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 31, 2021

304) The Crystal Rain — “Hey Ma Ma” In the Oxford English Dictionary, the definition of the term “monster riff” is accompanied by three musical illustrations — from T. Rex’s “Get It On,” Oasis’s “the Hindu Times” and the Crystal Rain’s “Hey Ma Ma.” No, really. “Ma Ma” was the first A-side by “a short-livedContinue reading “The Crystal Rain: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 31, 2021”

The Syn: Bracing for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 30, 2021

303) The Syn — “14-Hour Technicolour Dream” Ah, yes, the 14 Hour Technicolor Dream at the Alexandra Palace on April 29, 1967. In my mind, it and not Woodstock was the defining moment of and catalyst for the counterculture of the 1960’s. “Wow, I guess I’m not the only freak in this whole country.”* WhileContinue reading “The Syn: Bracing for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 30, 2021”

Billy J. Kramer with the Dakotas: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 29, 2021

302) Billy J. Kramer with the Dakotas — “I’m in Love” OK, the Fourmost did release “I’m in Love,” which reached #17 in the UK in December of 1963. Bruce Eder writes in All Music Guide that: The Fourmost’s fortunes took a sharp turn upward in 1963 when they were given the nod by BrianContinue reading “Billy J. Kramer with the Dakotas: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 29, 2021”

Tony Joe White: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 28, 2021

301) Tony Joe White — “Willie and Laura Mae Jones” Such a powerful song from TJW’s first album in ‘69, appropriately titled Black and White. “Willie and Laura Mae Jones” has been recorded dozens of times by a wide range of artists, from Mel Torme and Waylon Jennings, to Bettye Swan and Shelby Lynne. Interestingly,Continue reading “Tony Joe White: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 28, 2021”

Herman’s Hermits: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 27, 2021

300) Herman’s Hermits — “Upstairs, Downstairs” Yes, you heard right, Herman’s Hermits. As Vernon Joynson says, the Hermits “were one of the more lightweight [British] pop acts of the sixties but they were one of our most successful exports to the States and released several good three-minute pop singles.” (The Tapestry of Delights). By ’67,Continue reading “Herman’s Hermits: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 27, 2021”

Tim Hollier: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 26, 2021

Bruce Eder rightly says in All Music Guide that “Tim Hollier was one of the most unfairly neglected of folk-based artists to come out of late-’60s England . . . .” Eder goes on to say that: [Hollier’s] brand of trippy, quietly elegant psychedelic folk-rock deserving an infinitely wider hearing than it got . .Continue reading “Tim Hollier: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 26, 2021”

Masters Apprentices: Brace for the Obscure (60s Rock)! — December 25, 2021

297) The Master’s Apprentices — “Wars or Hands of Time” Richie Unterberger in All Music Guide calls this ‘66 B-side an “undiscovered classic,” Greg Shaw calls it “one of the greatest powerpop records of all time,” and Nuggets II says that: [It is] one of the era’s most affecting [Vietnam] antiwar songs. . . .Continue reading “Masters Apprentices: Brace for the Obscure (60s Rock)! — December 25, 2021”

Clarence Carter’s Christmas Eve Special Edition: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 24, 2021

296) Clarence Carter — “Back Door Santa” This is no “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.” Carter’s Santa is nobody’s fool — he gives kids a few pennies so that he and the mommies can be alone. Clarence Carter ended a triumphant 1968 by releasing this A-side, which “must certainly be the ax heavyweight championContinue reading “Clarence Carter’s Christmas Eve Special Edition: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 24, 2021”

The Spirit: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 23, 2021

295) The Spirit — “No Time to Rhyme” Sugar, this (the only) A-side by the Flushing, Queens, NYC band was written by Ron Dante — yes that Ron Dante (producer and Archies’s singer). “No time to rhyme, no time to reason. I need your love, I need your love, I need your love right now.Continue reading “The Spirit: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 23, 2021”

Web: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 22, 2021

294) Web — “Love You” In ’70, Web released I Spider, its third and final album. New singer Dave Lawson (who, earlier in life, took piano lessons with Stan Tracey, the “godfather of British jazz” (Dave Lawson liner notes to the CD reissue of I Spider)) wrote all the material, “transform[ing] Web into a jazz-rockContinue reading “Web: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 22, 2021”

Winter Solstice Special Edition: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 21, 2021

Here are three wistful, often somber, but always stirring songs reflecting the onset of winter. 291) The Bee Gees — “Lonely Winter” If the song’s subject got a Saturday night fever, it was probably because it was so cold outside. While the Bee Gees recorded this song in ’66, it was actually written by CarlContinue reading “Winter Solstice Special Edition: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 21, 2021”

Les Irresistibles: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 20, 2021

286) Les Irresistibles — “Lands of Shadow” Here is another melancholy gem from the sons of American diplomats (clear-spot.nl/item/483249/les_irresistibles_the_story_of_baxter_williams.html) living it up in Paris (see #194). “Shadows” was a ‘68 A-side (outside of the U.S.). The band formed in 1966 as The Sentrys, when the members were teenage classmates at the American School of Paris.Continue reading “Les Irresistibles: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 20, 2021”

The British North-American Act: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 19, 2021

289) The British North-American Act — “Only a Dream” OK, I featured Paul Revere and the Raiders’s “Midnite Ride” (see #109). So, it is only fair that I play the colonially-outfitted British North-American Act — named after the British statute which created Canada in 1867.* Just to note that the lovely “Only a Dream” isContinue reading “The British North-American Act: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 19, 2021”

Skip Bifferty: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 18, 2021

288) Skip Bifferty — “On Love” OK, after the precious “Pentecost Hotel”, let’s switch to some heavier British psych. “On Love”, Skip Bifferty’s* jaundiced dissertation on the subject, was their first A-side and the band’s crowning achievement, with Vernon Joynson calling out its “very catchy, insistent riff” and the liner notes to the Skip BiffertyContinue reading “Skip Bifferty: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 18, 2021”

Nirvana: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 17, 2021

287) Nirvana — “Pentecost Hotel” Steven McDonald surmises in All Music Guide that “[i]t must have been a rude surprise for Kurt Cobain and company to be hit with a lawsuit over the name of their band once they became internationally successful.” Yes, Nirvana from the 60’s sued Nirvana from the 90’s. Was this aContinue reading “Nirvana: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 17, 2021”

The Tages: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 16, 2021

286) The Tages — “Halcyon Days” This ‘68 A-side by the Swedish band uses the same melody as the Herd’s ‘68 B-side “Our Fairy Tale” with largely different lyrics. Makes sense, as both were written by Andy Bown and the Herd’s Peter Frampton. See http://www.45cat.com/record/mgm1443. I guess the Swedes achieved Herd immunity! Both songs areContinue reading “The Tages: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 16, 2021”

The Impressions: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 15, 2021

285) The Impressions — “ I Ain’t Supposed To” Another glorious, but lesser known, selection from Keep on Pushing, the Impressions’s 1st top 10 album (see #118): [T]he album featured all the hallmarks of an Impressions set: impeccably smooth harmonies, the dynamic horn charts of Johnny Pate, and many more of [Curtis] Mayfield’s irresistible songsContinue reading “The Impressions: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 15, 2021”

Jeff Monn: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 14, 2021

284) Jeff Monn – “Reality” Former Third Bardo lead singer Jeff Monn released an incredible album in ’68 (see #98). Orchestration courtesy of Peter Schickele — the one and only P.D.Q. Bach. The title song is Monn’s vain fantasy of a girlfriend crawling back to him. Of course it’s called “Reality”! “Baby, don’t know whatContinue reading “Jeff Monn: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 14, 2021”

Cher Up! It’s the Sonny, Cher, and Sonny & Cher Special Edition: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 13, 2021

281) Sonny Bono — “My Best Friend’s Girl Is Out of Sight.” Ah, Sonny. His sole solo album, his late ’67 psychedelic opus Inner Views, is not well known — Bruce Eder notes in All Music Guide that it “disappeared without a trace of its passing.” However, those who have been turned on to itContinue reading “Cher Up! It’s the Sonny, Cher, and Sonny & Cher Special Edition: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 13, 2021”