The Mindbenders — “Schoolgirl”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — June 25, 2022


496) The Mindbenders — “Schoolgirl”

BANNED BY THE BBC. This Graham Gouldman-composed (see #226) ‘67 A-side and album track by the post-Wayne Fontana Mindbenders got banned “over its allegedly lascivious tale of teen pregnancy)”/but “is an astonishingly catchy number that ought to have had enough hooks to get heard” in the U.S. (Bruce Eder, and “is an undiscovered gem”. (Dave Thompson, The Hollies also recorded a cool version, but didn’t release it at the time following the BBC ban.

Anorak Thing says of the Mindbenders’ single version:

Far punchier than the orchestrated version that was later recut for the band’s 2nd LP “With Woman In Mind” this single allegedly skirted controversy at the time for it’s lyrics . . . about a grad student who gets seduced, deflowered, knocked up and abandoned. It’s delivery is punchy accented by some near Eastern sounding licks, a fierce driving rhythm section and some high backing vocals.

Well, it’s certainly no groovy kind of love!

Dave Thompson tell us about the Mindbenders:

Remaining together following the departure of frontman Wayne Fontana, the Mindbenders got off to one of the most promising starts any band could enjoy, when their debut single “A Groovy Kind of Love” soared to number two in the U.K. and topped the chart in America. And had the group only succeeded in locating a decent follow-up, they might well have developed into one of the finest British bands of the late ’60s. Instead, a series of disastrous choices of 45s condemned them to the ranks of rank also-rans, and it is only later that the sheer quality of their other work — material hitherto lost on two Mindbenders LPs — had been re-evaluated sufficiently to let listeners state that here was one of the greatest of all Britain’s post-beat bands. A Groovy Kind of Love album totally failed to capitalize on the success of its title track, floundering to a lowly number 92 . . . . The Mindbenders made their final American tour in July 1966 . . . . Fighting hard to keep abreast of the changing currents, the Mindbenders next embarked on their most audacious yet strangely prescient move yet, a full-blown concept album. No matter that, several months before Sgt. Pepper . . . nobody had even heard of concept albums, the Mindbenders’ With Woman in Mind remains a gem in that genre. . . . Unreleased in America, it did little anywhere else and disappeared as quickly as the accompanying single . . . . The group was invited to contribute two songs to the soundtrack of Sidney Potier’s movie To Sir, With Love . . . . Unfortunately, not even major celluloid exposure could break the group’s run of bad luck. . . . By the end of the year, the band was reduced to recording covers of current American hits, which could be rush released in Britain in the hope of beating out the original. . . . The Mindbenders made one final stab at reversing their fortunes, re-recording “Schoolgirl” and pulling out every psychedelic rock trick in the book. A BBC ban (that lasciviousness again), however, kept the single a good arm’s length from either the radio or the charts . . . . [I]n March 1968 . . . Graham Gouldman [joined the band and they] cut one final single . . . . [and] then broke up . . . . Eric Stewart and Gouldman, however, would [become] one half of 10cc.

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Here is the single version:

Here is the album version:

Here are the Hollies:

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