Bob Seger and the Last Heard Special Edition: “East Side Story”, “Persecution Smith”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 2, 2021

233) Bob Seger and the Last Heard — “East Side Story”

234) Bob Seger and the Last Heard Persecution Smith”

Bob Seger was writing and performing garage rock classics in the mid-sixties? Who knew?! Well, if you lived in Detroit at the time, you knew. And offering a spot-on impersonation of Bruce Springsteen — decades before “Johnny 99” — and a hilarious parody of the other Bob (Dylan)? Who knew?!

Dave Marsh said in Rolling Stone in ‘78 that:

Bob Seger began it rougher than most. He grew up in Ann Arbor[, Michigan]. It was tough enough to be a townie in a college town, but it was far worse if your father went off when you were ten, leaving your mother, you and your brother to tiny apartments, cooking on hot plates.

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/bob-seger-not-a-stranger-anymore-42962/

Wow, I went to law school in Ann Arbor, and I didn’t know!

Then came the music. Cut to Mark Deming in All Music Guide:

[Seger’s mid-sixties singles are] as passionate and powerful a celebration of “the big bad beat” as you could hope for, and Seger’s first step into inarguable greatness. . . . proof that Seger was a major talent as a singer, songwriter, and frontman right from the start, and this is as good as Midwestern rock of the mid-’60s gets.

https://www.allmusic.com/album/heavy-music-the-complete-cameo-recordings-1966-1967-mw0003002528

As to “East Side Story,” Dave Marsh elaborates:

The record cost $1200, cheap even in those days; it sold more than 50,000 copies, almost all of them in Detroit. Cameo-Parkway soon picked it up for national distribution, but couldn’t spread it. . . . . [The] lyric . . . antedated Bruce Springsteen’s fantasies of juvenile street violence by a decade : . . .

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/bob-seger-not-a-stranger-anymore-42962/

Deming says “Persecution Smith” “may be the greatest fake Bob Dylan song (Highway 61 Revisited era) ever committed to wax.” (https://www.allmusic.com/album/heavy-music-the-complete-cameo-recordings-1966-1967-mw0003002528) Well, yes, unless you consider some of Dylan’s own.

Paul and Ritchie and the Cryin’ Shames — “Come on Back”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 1, 2021

232) Paul and Ritchie and the Cryin’ Shames — “Come on Back” 

The [Decca] Freakbeat Scene comp calls this ’66 B-side “one of the most exhilarating British records of the mid-to-late 1960s, a riot of manic vocals, frenzied guitar and florid organ playing.” Yup. The Real Life Permanent Dreams comp says it has a “magnificently neurotic vocal matched by a savage garage punk backing and a vague Eastern influence.” Yup.

What is astounding is that the single’s A-side was the standard “September in the Rain,” recorded by everyone from Frank Sinatra to Sarah Vaughan! WTF? Who in God’s name was the target audience?

Here is the A-side:

Halloween with the Sonics Special Edition: “The Witch”, “Psycho”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — October 31, 2021

230) The Sonics — “The Witch”

231) The Sonics — “Psycho”

OK, you definitely knew about the Sonics if you lived in the Pacific Northwest in the mid-sixties. But their fame only extended regionally, which is a shame, because if any band can be said to have rocked, the Sonics ROCKED! Mark Deming cuts to the chase in All Music Guide:

Of all the garage bands that made a glorious racket in the 1960s, few if any were louder, wilder, or more raw than the Sonics, a Tacoma, Washington quintet whose over the top style, complete with roaring guitars, pounding drums, and the fevered howls of lead singer Gerry [Roslie], anticipated the mania of punk and pushed rock & roll deep into the red zone during their 1963-1966 heyday. The Sonics were stars in Washington, but it took a while for the rest of the world to catch on, and in time they would become one of the most fabled bands on the Pacific Northwest rock scene.

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/the-sonics-mn0000428717/biography

Nuggets seconds the accolade:

In the Pacific Northwest, a place where bands in the ’60s were renowed for raw, honest, hard-kickin’ rock ‘n’ roll, the Sonics kicked just that much harder and faster, smashing out some of the roughest, toughest, screamin’est rock ‘n’ roll ever heard.”

So, anyway, as the story goes (Mark Deming again):

For their first single, the Sonics took one of their few original tunes and changed it from a number about a proposed dance craze into a cautionary tale about a treacherous female; the results, “The Witch,” had a dark, sinister undercurrent and . . . was louder and crazier-sounding than anything else a Northwest band had committed to tape. Backed with a manic cover of Little Richard’s “Keep A’ Knockin’,” the single was too much for many local radio stations, but eventually it broke through in enough smaller markets that the record became a major hit in the Northwest; enough so that rather than continue to pay publishing royalties to Little Richard for the B-side, the band recorded another original, “Psycho,” that soon turned the 45 into a two-sided hit.

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/the-sonics-mn0000428717/biography

Ahh! Man, I’m feeling supersonic, give me gin and tonic! Yet, sax player Rob Lind remembers that after laying “The Witch” down, “[w]e felt we had totally screwed up.” Maybe because as Bob Bennett remembers, “instead of recording to make something sound good, we recorded just to kick ass!” (quotes from the liner notes to the CD reissue of the Sonics’s first album Here Are the Sonics).

OK, pop quiz, match the Nuggets summary and the lyrics with the song:

Rosalie tear[s] his throat apart, Bob “Boom Boom” Bennett inflict[s] cruel violence on his drums, and [there’s an] utterly destructive guitar break from Larry Parypa.

[O]ne of the most raucous, hard-drivin’ slabs of rock ‘n’ roll mayhem ever waxed, with Gerry Roslie’s screaming vocals and Larry Parypa’s depraved, string-strangling guitar break . . . .

Marvin Gaye — “I Got to Get to California”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — October 30, 2021

229) Marvin Gaye — “I Got to Get to California”

From Gaye’s ’69 album M.P.G. that yielded two big hits comes this overlooked gem, which Jack Egan called in Rolling Stone in August of that year “my particular favorite; Marvin again strides through the song, building the intensity as his voice goes through an exquisite range of changes.” Gaye beat Led Zeppelin to the punch (“Going to California” in ’71).

The Mops — “Asahi Yo Saraba”: Brace for the Obscurte (60s rock)! — October 29, 2021

228) The Mops — “Asahi Yo Saraba”

The Mops were Japan’s self-proclaimed first psychedelic band! They formed in 1966 as an instrumental group (like the Ventures) and, then, according to Discogs:

In the summer of 1967 their manager visited San Francisco, and was very excited about the hippie movement. He brought a copy of a Jefferson Airplane album back with him to Japan, which he impressed the Mops with. The band became enthusiastic about the new sounds . . . .

Though, according to Outsider Japan’s version of the Mops’s origin story:

The Mops were pressured by their manager to become a psychedelic rock band, as he had just returned from a trip to San Francisco and brought back a copy of Jefferson Airplane Takes Off . . . for the band to listen to. . . . [I]n order to sign the deal JVC Records (the Japanese wing of Victor Records) was offering, they would have to do so.

http://outsiderjapan.pbworks.com/w/page/33639343/The%20Mops

Psychedelic Rock ‘n’ roll goes on to say that:

Live, [they] used psychedelic lighting effects and played blindfolded to stimulate themselves to hallucinogenic heights (obtaining LSD was next to impossible in Japan at the time). [They also] experimented in various ways to achieve their psychedelic sounds. However, by the time their first single “Asamade Matenai” had charted at the lower end of the Japanese top 40, other bands had caught up with their psychedlic stylings, pushing the Mops to all kinds of ruses in order to substantiate their claim as Japan’s premier psychedelicians — and in drug free Japan, this was not an easy task. Huge lighting rigs began to appear at Mops shows, and flangeing, Wah-way pedals and fuzz boxes saturated their live sounds, while the band themselves grew their hair even longer, adopted granny glasses, and played blind-folded in order to disorientate themselves and stimulate natural psychedlic effects. The Mops not only displayed an amazing adeptness at copying Psychedelia but also 60s American Garage Punk.

https://psychedelic-rocknroll.blogspot.com/2009/03/the-mops-psychedelic-sound-in-japan.html?m=1

As to today’s song, Discogs notes that:

The Mops album of April 1968 Psychedelic Sound in Japan [from which today’s song was taken] was full of flower power flourishes, including cosmic artwork, ethnic clothing, fuzz guitars and sitar playing. . . . . To complete the band’s hippie vibe, at their album release party they passed out banana peels to journalists.

Richie Unterberger opines in All Music Guide that:

As a whole, the record’s an interesting if flawed relic of a time when Japanese rock was just finding its feet, with a clumsy yet endearingly passionate force.

https://www.allmusic.com/album/psychedelic-sounds-in-japan-mw0002033144

Per Psychedelic Rock ‘n’ roll, “Asahi Yo Saraba” does have a garagey feel. And it is glorious.

Blonde on Blonde — “Eleanor Rigby”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! October 28, 2021

227) Blonde on Blonde — “Eleanor Rigby”

From the stunning album by the Welsh band named after Dylan’s double LP. Bruce Eder says in All Music Guide that:

The group took part in the Middle Earth Club’s Magical Mystery Tour, which brought them an initial splash of press exposure. They were also fortunate enough to open for the Jefferson Airplane on the latter group’s British tour. . . .

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/blonde-on-blonde-mn0000052978/biography

BoB also played at the Isle of Wight Festival (as did Dylan), but they never managed to garner widespread popularity.

Eder notes that their ‘69 album Contrasts “showed more of the early but burgeoning influence of progressive rock, while retaining their early psychedelic coloration.” It is from that album that I take BoB’s reimagining of McCartney’s “Eleanor Rigby,” one of the greatest covers of a Beatles song I have ever heard. Not everyone shares my assessment. Vernon Joynson opines that it is “[a]mong the [album’s] few blatant missteps . . . a needless horn enhanced cover.” However, David Wells notes in the CD reissue’s liner notes that:

[T]he performance that garnered most critical attention was a bold, dramatic reshaping of Eleanor Rigby [demonstrating that] Blonde on Blonde had the requisite blend of artistic nerve and instrumental prowess to compete at the highest levels.

By the way, hot off the presses is Paul McCartney on writing “Eleanor Rigby” — https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/10/25/paul-mccartney-writing-eleanor-rigby-beatles.

Graham Gouldman — “The Impossible Years”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — October 27, 2021

226) Graham Gouldman — “The Impossible Years”

I have taken “The Impossible Years” from songwriter extraordinaire (“For Your Love,” “Evil Hearted You,” and “Heart Full of Soul” for the Yardbirds, “Bus Stop” and “Look Through Any Window” for the Hollies, and “No Milk Today” for Herman’s Hermits) Graham Gouldman’s ’68 album The Graham Gouldman Thing. Dave Thompson in All Music Guide notes that the album is “[l]argely compris[ed of] Gouldman’s own versions of the songs he had written for others, the album (which would be released in America only) was prefaced with a new single, “No Milk Today” . . . . It flopped.” (“https://www.allmusic.com/artist/graham-gouldman-mn0000152446/biography) “Impossible” was released as a single the prior year by Wayne Fontana.

Here is Fontana’s version:

The Mike Stuart Span — “Time”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — October 26, 2021

225) The Mike Stuart Span — “Time” 

Let me go out on a limb and dare say that this unreleased gem from a wonderful band from Brighton has quite profound lyrics. The Span started out as a soul band and morphed into psychedelia. They never “made it.” Vernon Joynson explains:

[T]he BBC invited them to feature in a documentary focusing on the life of a pop group on the way up. What could have been their big break, however, turned out to be a tour de force of unintentional comedy. A Year in The Life: Big Deal Group . . . detailed their increasingly desperate efforts to make it in toe-curling detail. One of the most revealing films ever made about the realities of the music business. . . .

The Tapestry of Delights Revisited

Part of a promo clip for “Time” from A Year in The Life:

The Rumors — “Hold Me Now”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — October 25, 2021

224) The Rumors — “Hold Me Now”

The A-side of the LA band’s only single — one of only three singles issued by the label (Gemcor). Richie Unterberger says in All Music Guide that:

Of the many obscure “Louie Louie” ripoffs that have been recorded over the years, “Hold Me Now” is one of the best of them, with a raunchy vocal and blistering guitar break. . . . [It] had little impact, although it was used as part of a McDonald’s commercial.

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/the-rumors-mn0000896357

Richie is the master of the left- handed compliment. The best ripoff ever!

What the heck, here’s the B-side:

Room 222 Theme Song: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — October 24, 2021

222) Room 222 Theme Song

In honor of song #222, I present the theme song to the beloved TV show (for those of a certain age) Room 222, which aired from ‘69-‘74. As Nostalgia Central describes the series:

Life at Walt Whitman High School – an integrated high school in Los Angeles – as seen through the eyes of . . . a dedicated black American History instructor whose classes were held in Room 222. An optimistic idealist, [he] instilled his students with gentle lessons in tolerance and understanding. The students loved him for his easygoing manner and willingness to side with them when he knew they were being short-changed by the system.

Wow, the Sixties sure were simpler days (though no one thought so at the time!). If there was a reboot today, it would likely be titled Room 1619, with the students instilled with lessons in Critical Race Theory and lined up as oppressors or oppressed.

223) The Poets — “That’s the Way It’s Got To Be”

Another stunning song by Scotland’s own Poets. While it died through underpromotion, the song had the honor of being featured in the cult classic film Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster, which was named the 7th worst movie ever made by the 2004 documentary The 50 Worst Movies Ever Made.

As IMDb describes the movie:

When an atomic war on Mars destroys the planet’s women, it’s up to Martian Princess Marcuzan and her right-hand man Dr. Nadir to travel to earth and kidnap women for new breeding stock. Landing in Puerto Rico, they shoot down a NASA space capsule manned by an android. With his electronic brain damaged, the android terrorizes the island while the Martians raid beaches and pool parties.

“Love may be like summer’s rain, quickly come and gone again. It may last eternally. That’s the way it’s got to be. That’s the way it’s got to be.”

Here is the pivotal clip from Frankenstein:

Buddy Miles — “Them Changes”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — October 22, 2021

221) Buddy Miles — “Them Changes”

Bring on the funk! Title song from Jimi’s favorite Gypsy’s ‘70 album (see also #112). It was his highest charting song, reaching #62 in September of ‘71.

The Birds — “Say Those Magic Words”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — October 21, 2021

220) The Birds — “Say Those Magic Words”

The Birds kill it again (see #33, #99) — and I am not talkin’ Alfred Hitchcock — with this ’66 A-side. The Nuggets II comp opines that:

The Birds give the McCoys’ poppy original a lethal injection of mod aggression’s tough, confident vocals and . . . tremoloed guitar splashes against bashing power cords and an ingenious diving, burbling bass line. It’s a wonderful mix of pop art invention and hooky commerciality, but unfortunately the single bombed.

Yup. Virtually unrecognizable.

Here are the McCoys:

Chris Lucey — “Girl from Vernon Mountain”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — October 20, 2021

219) Chris Lucey — “Girl from Vernon Mountain”

A wonderful, haunting song and, if true, an incredible backstory. Richie Unterberger says in All Music Guide that Chris Lucey was “something of a mystery man of mid-’60s folk-rock.” In fact, Lucey was Bobby Jameson, a Sunset Strip folksinger who had turned to rock and roll after the British Invasion. Unterberger calls Lucey’s (as opposed to Jameson’s) only album (’65) — from which today’s song was taken — “an above-average obscurity in the folk-psych-rock tributary.” (https://www.allmusic.com/artist/chris-lucey-mn0000108203) While that may have been something of a left-handed compliment, Dean McFarlane, also in AMG, calls the album a “fantastic obscurity” and “a sought after psychedelic pop gem from obscure Californian songwriter . . . often compared to Love’s Forever Changes, in that it is an intricate exploration of sophisticated arrangements and bleak and twisted lyricism.” (https://www.allmusic.com/album/songs-of-protest-and-anti-protest-mw0000234704)

Now the proffered backstory. Chris Ducey recorded an album for Surrey Records, which then realized that it couldn’t release because of contractual obligations he had with another label. This put Surrey in a dilemma, because the album was going to spearhead a new budget record label in Europe, and the deal would fall apart if the album wasn’t released (in part, for some reason, because the album cover featured a photo of the Stones’s Brian Jones). The album sleeves had already been printed, and in addition to the Jones photo, they listed the LP’s songs. So Surrey threw a Hail Mary. It came up with the “great” idea of finding another singer-songwriter who would record all-new songs for the album — but songs with the same names as the Ducey songs so that they could use the album sleeves. The artist would have to go by the name Chris Lucey (as the printer could change the D in the name on the cover to an L). Getting desperate to find someone willing to sign up, they found Jameson, who was at the time homeless and penniless. He produced a great set of songs, and when he refused to sign away all rights to the songs and the album, Surrey released it anyway. For his efforts, he was paid a grand total of $200.

An obviously bitter Jameson tells his story here:
http://lifeandtimesofbobbyjameson.blogspot.com/2012/05/chris-lucey-what-really-happened.html?m=1

Lord Sitar — “I Can See for Miles”, The Whispers — “Knowin’”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — October 19, 2021

217) Lord Sitar — “I Can See for Miles”

No, Klaatu fans, “Lord Sitar” was not George Harrison, rather, session guitar wiz Bill Jim Sullivan (who happened to own a sitar). He and his label were trying to cash in on the sitar craze in ‘68. Bruce Eder in All Music Guide says that:

“On one level, it isn’t any better than one would expect from a studio pick-up band doing raga-style covers [but] it does have its odd moments of beauty, such as . . . the sitar subbing for the lead vocal line on Pete Townshend’s ‘I Can See For Miles’ is worth hearing once, at least.”

https://www.allmusic.com/album/lord-sitar-mw0000463909

Well, I think it is worth hearing on repeat!

218) The Whispers — “Knowin’”

The Whispers were actually Warren Schatz, who also went by the Petrified Forest at one point. Schatz went on to become a big disco producer for artists such as Vicki Sue Robinson and Evelyn King. “Knowin’” was his ‘66 garage classic. Talk about turning the beat around!

Susan Hampshire — “When Love Is True”, The La De Das — “How’s the Air Up There”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — October 18, 2021

215) Susan Hampshire — “When Love Is True”

Who knew that renowned English actress Susan Hampshire was a wonderful singer? Here is her A-side from July of ‘65. Per IMDb:

“[H]er role in the 1967 BBC mini-series, The Forsyte Saga . . . made her famous and won her the first of her three Emmy Awards. . . . The First Churchills (1969) . . . was the first series offered on “Masterpiece Theater” and brought her her second Emmy. In 1973, she won her third . . . in Vanity Fair . . . a mini-series that had been released in the UK in 1967.”

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0358925/

216) The La De Das — “How’s the Air Up There”

The Kiwis’ ‘66 single was written by songwriters Steve Duboff and Artie Kornfeld and first released in ‘65 by the Changin’ Times. Kornfeld was the “Father of Woodstock” and writer of scores of charting singles.

Here are the Changin Times:

Ike and Tina Turner — “Get It – Get It!”, The Accent — “Red Sky at Night”, The Brain Train — “Me”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — October 16, 2021

212) Ike and Tina Turner — “Get It – Get It!” 

’67 single and ’66 album title track — smokin!

213) The Accent — “Red Sky at Night” 

The Rubble comp calls this October of ’67 single by the lads from Yorkshire “staggering, with monstrous bone-crunching lead guitar and deaths-head voices that swirl out of the mix” and half of “one of the best two-sided singles of the 60s.” Vernon Joynson similarly notes its “voices of doom.” (The Tapestry of Delights Revisited) Yup, yup and yup.

214) The Brain Train, “Me”

The Brain Train morphed into Clear Light, and this, the A-side of their only single (October of ‘67) is an “astounding psych classic from California” (per the 30 Seconds Before the Calico Wall comp) with “pulsating psychedelic punk alternat[ing] with monk-like chanting and furious lysergic guitar playing [– t]his one is guaranteed to fry your synapses!” (per Cosmic Mind at Play (https://cosmicmindatplay.wordpress.com/2013/08/10/classic-singles-52-the-brain-train-black-roses-me-1967/)).

FROST IN THE OASIS? SPECIAL EDITION: Thomas and Richard Frost/Dick Domane: Thomas and Richard Frost — “If I Can’t Be Your Lover”, Dick Domane — “Bad Dream”, Thomas and Richard Frost — “She’s Got Love”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — October 15, 2021

I love Oasis to death, but Noel has been known to “borrow.” See, e.g.,

I don’t buy some of the examples in this video “expose,” but you have to be an idiot to hear “How Sweet to Be an Idiot” and not say “wait a second . . . .” The late great Neil Innes wasn’t an idiot, and successfully sued for royalties and co-songwriting credit on “Whatever.”

Now, let’s look at two songs from today’s edition of “now for the songs.” First, Thomas and Richard Frost’s “If I Can’t Be Your Lover” and, second, Dick Domane’s “Bad Dream.”

209) Thomas and Richard Frost — “If I Can’t Be Your Lover”

Bryan Thomas says that by 1970:

Thomas and Richard Frost had already recorded a handful of classic pop singles for Imperial and Liberty, including “She’s Got Love,” which charted at number 83 on Billboard’s Top 100 singles chart. Each subsequent single was a step further toward what was sure to be their artistic tour de force [but] plans to release [the Visualize] album were inexplicably aborted in the 11th hour by Imperial’s decision-makers, even though the master recordings were already in the can . . . . Imperial was in disarray, and the Frosts were, unfortunately, victimized by what was going on behind the scenes.

https://www.allmusic.com/album/visualise-mw0000340917

Thomas goes on to say that Visualize “turns out to be not just a lost classic from the late ’60s, but a sublime and stunning ‘soft pop’ wonder. ” Yup. The album wasn’t rediscovered and released until 2002.

Richard Frost said that they had to put “If You Won’t Be My Lover,” written by their producer Ted Glasser and singer Vic Dana, on the album as a favor (liner notes to Visualize). Well, it may have been a bigger favor to Noel Gallagher. Knowing Noel, any similarity to “All Around the World” — especially the “la la la la la la” outro — is intentional – except Visualize wasn’t released until ‘02, five years after the release of Be Here Now. Case closed. Or is it?

Here is “All Around the World”:

210) Dick Domane — “Bad Dream”

I don’t know much about Dick, but he seems to have come from Rhode Island and been in a band called the Blue Jays. “Bad Dream” is from his eponymous ’70 album. It is a stunning song, and sort of sounds like every Oasis song ever recorded. Which Oasis song(s) does it most remind you of? I can find no evidence that Noel had ever listened to this album, but, well, you be the judge.

211) Thomas and Richard Frost — “She’s Got Love”

This super-classic song does not sound like Oasis, but it actually got released in the decade it was recorded – and reached #83 in November of ‘69.

Richard Frost said that the song was actually the demo, “sweetened” with strings and horns. He went on to say that it “was written about a model we saw in a girlie magazine” who they then happened to see hitchhiking in LA and offered a ride (Visualize liner notes).

Annie Philippe — “Pas de Taxi”, The Honeybus — “Black Mourning Band”, The Dave Clark 5 — “When”: Brace for the Obscurte (60s rock)! — October 14, 2021

206) Annie Philippe — “Pas de Taxi”

Bouncy ‘67 single by the protege of Paul “Love Is Blue” Mauriat.

In the song, a young lady is considering getting into a car driven by a not-handsome man because it is cold outside. Suddenly, a taxi arrives and saves her. The “morale: when you’re not very handsome, you have to have a car.” In any event, Uber should scoop up this song for a commercial.

207) The Honeybus — “Black Mourning Band”

Another lovely song by the Honeybus, from the band’s sort of post-breakup ’70 album, which was “not so much released, as escaped: Decca gave it no promotion . . . and hardly surprisingly, it didn’t do any business” (liner notes to the comp Honeybus at Their Best).

208) The Dave Clark 5 — “When”

The DC5’s ballads were criminally underrated, including this ‘65 album track, which proclaimed “all you need is love” two years before the Beatles!

Los Mac’s — “F.M. Y Cia”, Vashti Bunyan — “Train Song”, The Scandal — “Girl, You’re Goin’ Out a My Mind”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — October 13, 2021

203) Los Mac’s — “F.M. Y Cia”

From Chile’s Sgt. Pepper’s. The Rising Storm says that:

[The song] ha[s] what may be strident left-wing political lyrics [but] the vocals are pretty unintelligible, so it’s hard to say whether this is in fact a scathing indictment of United States media control in Chile or just another teenybopper love song.

http://therisingstorm.net/los-macs-kaleidoscope-men/

204) Vashti Bunyan — “Train Song”

Vashti is now of course famous for being obscure, for “I’d Like to Walk Around in Your Mind” and for the Just Another Diamond Day album. But this ‘66 A-side is equally stunning. And the lyrics were really written by a man Vashti met on a train. Alisdair Clayre was “terribly uncool” as she remembers and would leave her poems inside milk bottles (liner notes to Dream Babes Vol. 5).

205) The Scandal — “Girl, You’re Goin’ Out a My Mind”

‘67 A-side. When compilers as fastidious as the Fading Yellow crew can only say “no info available,” you know this is obscure garage rock!

Justine — “She Brings the Morning with Her”, The Easybeats — “Sorry”, Tom Parrott — “Hole in the Ground”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — October 12, 2021

200) Justine — “She Brings the Morning with Her”

Melody Maker called this ’70 A-side “balm to the ears.” Yup.

Johnkatsmc5 says:

An odd British psych folk band comprised at their peak of three female vocalists and a couple male guitar players . . . American West Coast acid pop combined with rather staid English contemporary folk, and blended with plenty of obvious psych influences. The result was an engaging blend of sounds . . . . The star of the band was American vocalist Laurie Styvers . . . . 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 of people who love the late sixties/early seventies West Coast pop sound (which of course had more than a little psych sprinkled in it). 

https://johnkatsmc5.blogspot.com/2017/02/justine-justine-1970-usuk-psych-acid.html?m=1

201) The Easybeats — “Sorry”

If you had Friday on your mind, sorry. This raucous ‘66 single by the non-Aussies from Australia came first, and as the Nuggets II comp said, to “brilliant, spine-tingling effect.”

202) Tom Parrott — “Hole in the Ground”

Tom Parrott was a frequent contributor to Broadside Magazine in the 1960s (a key publication of the folk revival, founded in the year I was born and published on a mimeograph machine). “Hole in the Ground” is from his ‘68 album. In my opinion, it was the best Vietnam War song of the era, neither self-righteous nor bombastic, simply heartbreaking, whatever side you were on or would have been on.

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