Paul & Barry Ryan — “Pictures of Today”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 16, 2022

THE GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD

671) Paul & Barry Ryan — “Pictures if Today”

The last single by Paul and Barry as a duo (’68) should have been a double A-side triumph (“Madrigal” being the B-side (see #88)). Delightful “psych-pop experimentation” indeed. (liner notes to the Paul & Barry Ryan: Have Pity on the Boys!: The Pop Hits and More 1965-1968 comp) Acid Revolver says that:

The A-Side [“Pictures of Today”] is a charming psychedelic pop song liberally sprinkled with sitar and orchestration, written by Peter Morris who also contributed songs recorded by The Orange Seaweed and City Smoke. It was perfect pop psych concoction for 1968 but it failed to hit the Charts. “Pictures Of Today” was produced by Steve Rowland who was also working with The Herd, DDDBM&T and P.J. Proby at the time.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9fM_hFTXpYU

Barry himself says of the song that “I really like. I think it’s a really good track.” (https://thestrangebrew.co.uk/interviews/barry-ryan-interview/)

All Music Guide tells us that:

The twin sons of popular singer Marion Ryan . . . were launched as a clean-cut act to attendant showbusiness publicity. Their debut single, ‘Don’t Bring Me Your Heartaches’ reached the UK Top 20 in 1965, and over the ensuing months the siblings enjoyed respectable, if unspectacular, chart placings with ‘Have Pity On The Boy’ and ‘I Love Her’. The Ryans shifted away from their tailored image with ‘Have You Ever Loved Somebody’ (1966) and ‘Keep It Out Of Sight’ (1967), penned, respectively, by the Hollies and Cat Stevens, but such releases were less successful. They split amicably in 1968 with Paul embarking on a songwriting career while Barry recorded as a solo act (see #264, 265, 266, 317). Together they created ‘Eloise’, the latter’s impressive UK number 2 hit and subsequent million seller, but ensuing singles failed to emulate its popularity.

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/paul-barry-ryan-mn0000021416

Barry Ryan passed away last September 28th, at the age of 72. The (UK) Guardian‘s obituary says:

Barry’s life had its share of Dionysian excess – parties at his flat in Eaton Place were renowned; Jimi Hendrix spent his first night in London there. But he never forgot his roots. Born in Leeds, he was the son of Marion (nee Ryan) and Fred Sapherson. Fred left when the boys were two, and Barry and Paul were brought up by “Nana”, their adored grandmother, watched over by three loving “sisters” – technically their aunts, but who were roughly the same age as the twins – while Marion, who had had her boys as a teenager, pursued her singing career. She became a successful performer, rising to prominence in the 1950s with the band leader Ray Ellington, and was a regular on the television musical quiz show Spot the Tune. . . . At 16 Marion sent them to a kibbutz in Israel, where they lasted two weeks and were later discovered singing in a Tel Aviv nightclub. Now they knew what they wanted.

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2021/oct/07/barry-ryan-obituary

The (UK) Telegraph picks up the story from there:

Marion suggested they try a career as singers. Her soon-to-be second husband, the American impresario Harold Davison, managed the brothers and, with further guidance from other leading lights in the record industry, Paul & Barry Ryan had five Top 30 hits. . . .

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/obituaries/2021/10/01/barry-ryan-singer-formed-duo-brother-paul-had-worldwide-success/

Boudewijn de Kadt writes that:

Styled and groomed for stardom, the image of the groovy singing twins living together in a pad in Swinging London could have come straight out of some retro Austin Powers type flick . . . . But it was all too true. . . .

liner notes to the CD release of ‘68’s Barry Ryan Sings Paul Ryan and ‘69’s Barry Ryan 

Anyway, the Telegraph goes on:

A Cat Stevens song, Keep it Out of Sight, returned them to the upper echelons of the charts in 1967, but subsequent singles bombed. Paul then confronted Barry to tell him he no longer wanted to perform. “He had a nervous breakdown and wanted to quit show business,” Barry [said]. “He’d been frustrated about the fact we were getting nowhere. He didn’t like singing in public [but] thought he could write songs.” Eloise, included on the album Barry Ryan Sings Paul Ryan, proved that he could compose a hit and the brothers’ singer-songwriter partnership continued for several years. But future singles . . . were only mildly successful in Britain, compensated for by the fact that they charted well across Europe . . . . [H]e packed in singing in 1976 to become a [renowned] commercial and portrait photographer . . . . “The hits weren’t coming,” he [said]. “I was drinking a lot. I was slightly off the rails and I thought I’d had enough of this, and I discovered photography.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/obituaries/2021/10/01/barry-ryan-singer-formed-duo-brother-paul-had-worldwide-success/

Upon Barry’s death, the singer best known to us as Cat Stevens tweeted that:

Yesterday a good old buddy of mine passed away, his name was Barry Ryan. Our time together began back in the 60’s when he and his twin brother, Paul, were all tuxedo-suited, poppy teenage stars. I had written a song for Paul and Barry Ryan called “Keep It Out Of Sight” and so we began hanging out. . . . We were prone to raving—a lot. . . . When I contracted TB, it was Paul who gave me my first introductory book on Buddhism and meditation, The Secret Path, that inspired me to delve deep inside myself in search of ultimate answers to life’s questions. . . . When I spoke with [Barry] recently he told me he was fully at peace knowing he only had a short time left on this earth.

https://www.noise11.com/news/barry-ryan-of-eloise-fame-dies-at-age-72-20210930

Here are the boys on Beat Club:

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The playlist includes all the “greatest songs of the 1960’s that no one has ever heard” that are available on Spotify. The playlist will expand each time I feature an available song.

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The Bar-Kays — “Yesterday”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 14, 2022

THE GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD

670) The Bar-Kays — “Yesterday”

Like a phoenix, the post-disaster Bar-Kays rose and soared and released the phenomenal Gotta Groove album (see #416). Jason Ankeny calls it, the reconstituted band’s first album after the tragic plane crash that took the lives of Otis Redding, four members of the Bar-Kays, and two others “a celebration of life and music that ranks among the funkiest, hardest-driving LPs ever released under the Stax aegis” (https://www.allmusic.com/album/gotta-groove-mw0000674644). Andrew Winistorfer says that they “hit the ground running [OK, not the best metaphor, all considering] with this funky instrumental album that imagines Funkadelic if they never had anyone who could sing. Come for the funk, stay for the delirious cover of the Beatles’ “Yesterday” that, given the album’s context, feels like a funeral processional.” (https://www.vinylmeplease.com/blogs/magazine/bar-kays-primer) Well, it starts off like one, but this “Yesterday” then begins to party like a New Orleans funeral procession, and even brings in an Ennio Morricone-style horn blast. Tower Records Japan says that the Bar-Kays’ version “featuring Ben Cauley’s smooth trumpet work, is decidedly reminiscent of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.” (https://tower.jp/item/162801?kid=gs162801) Yeah, that too. Hank Cherry opines that “’Yesterday,’ a delicacy in the hands of its writers, here is stewed into a greasy requiem, [the] stop-ground organ holding court until a middle eight eruption by the rest of the band dances along for a few bars before disappearing quick as it came.” (https://theweeklings.com/hcherry/2013/07/10/soul-seduction-the-bar-kays-gotta-groove/amp/)

Though party-pooper Nathan Bush says “the Bar-Kays rework two Beatles’ ballads, sounding like a mediocre covers act on stiff takes on ‘Yesterday’ and ‘Hey Jude’ that hardly belong on the collection”(https://www.qobuz.com/no-en/album/black-rock-gotta-groove-the-bar-kays/0002521888182), this stiff would be honored with such a requiem!

Paul Sexton writes that:

[T]he Bar-Kays entered the US R&B chart [in ’69] with . . . Gotta Groove, the sound of which was very much up the same soul-rock alley as that of Sly and the Family Stone. It provided a taster for the burgeoning funk sound, but retained elements of . . . psychedelia . . . .  Gotta Groove failed to cross over to the pop album chart, but spent four weeks on the R&B list and reached No. 40. It would be more than two years further down the line before the latter-day Bar-Kays established themselves as a chart force to be reckoned with, hitting the R&B top ten with ‘Son Of Shaft,’ and then another long gap before they emerged once again with the disco-funk of their most consistently successful sales period of the mid-1970s to the mid-’80s.

https://www.udiscovermusic.com/stories/bar-kays-back-in-the-groove-in-69/

For some history, Steve Huey tells us that:

The Bar-Kays were formed in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1966, growing out of a local group dubbed the Imperials [and m]odeled on classic Memphis soul instrumental outfits like the Mar-Keys and Booker T. & the MG’s, the Bar-Kays . . . . [T]he band . . . caught the attention of Stax/Volt, which signed the sextet in early 1967. [T]he label began grooming [them] as a second studio backing group that would spell Booker R. & the MG’s on occasion. . . . “Soul Finger,” a playful, party-hearty instrumental punctuated by a group of neighborhood children shouting the title[,] reached the pop Top 20 and went all the way to number three on the R&B chart, establishing the Bar-Kays in the public eye . . . . Otis Redding chose them as his regular backing band that summer.

[D]isaster struck on December 10, 1967. En route to a gig in Madison, Wisconsin, Redding’s plane crashed into frozen Lake Monona. He, his road manager and four members of the Bar-Kay’s were killed. Trumpeter Ben Cayley survived the crash, and bassist James Alexander had not been on the flight; they soon assumed the heavy task of rebuilding the group. . . . [T]hey were used as the house band on numerous Stax/Volt recording sessions; they also backed Isaac Hayes on his groundbreaking 1969 opus Hot Buttered Soul. Still, they were unable to land a hit of their own [until the ’70’s, when they took off].

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/bar-kays-mn0000048300/biography

And Hank Cherry provides a marvelous summation of the album’s vibe:

Most other bands would have quit, started new bands, or given music a rest. Cauley and Alexander realized early after the crash that the only cure for the pain in their hearts was music, specifically the music of the Bar-Kays. With the jive kicking bravado of their youthful band still ringing in their heads, the two jumpstarted a new version of the band that first brought them fame. . . . Undeterred by the psychic wounds brought by Redding and [Martin Luther] King’s shocking deaths, perhaps even inspired by them, Cauley and Alexander headed into the studio with a new band. . . . Odds against them, the Bar-Kays made a record commensurate to or better than their first. . . . When Gotta Groove didn’t score the success of the Bar-Kay’s debut sending them out on an endless tour, Isaac Hayes employed the band to record his Hot Buttered Soul. . . . [which] is often considered the bench mark for soul music, and it gave the Bar-Kays their first number one hit, if only as the backing band. . . . [But] Gotta Groove’s innards deliver just as urgent a funk as Hayes’s issue, maybe more so. . . . Gotta Groove offers some of the best music the Bar-Kays ever made, new era funk abstractions layered right over top of their wound tight soul beginnings, providing categorically undeniable ass-wiggling goodness that’s all at once tender, compassionate and furious.

https://theweeklings.com/hcherry/2013/07/10/soul-seduction-the-bar-kays-gotta-groove/amp/

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Paul McCartney and Wings — “Tomorrow”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 13, 2022

THE GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD

669) Paul McCartney and Wings — “Tomorrow”

After playing a song honoring each day of the week, I thought I’d play one for tomorrow. So, here is Paul McCartney and Wings’ wonderful “Tomorrow”. What, you thought I’d do “Tomorrow Never Knows”?!

From the at-the-time (‘71) universally derided Wild Life (the first Wings album) comes this “terrific pop song” (https://everyrecordtellsastory.com/2022/09/30/paul-mccartney-in-1971-wings-wild-life/) that Mark Smotroff calls a “now-classic, Beatle-worthy McCartney composition” (https://audiophilereview.com/audiophile-music/listening-report-paul-mccartney-wings-wild-life-half-speed-master/) and Kenneth Womack says is “the kind[] of rock confection[] in which McCartney specializes like no other — endearing, emotionally affecting, and eminently well-played.” (https://www.salon.com/2022/02/04/paul-mccartneys-wings-debut-wild-life-panned-at-the-time-shimmers-at-50-with-a-powerful-reissue/) Jamie Atkins is a bit more measured:

Tomorrow [is] perhaps the best song [on the album]. Still, the emotional tug of the verse melody alone makes you wish Paul had taken more time with the arrangement. It’s a sunny-sounding song with a surprisingly anxious lyric – a fretful Paul pleads with his love not to let him down while he puts his faith (not all that convincingly) in the escape the future offers. Allowed more time to breathe, its greatness may have shone a little brighter.

https://recordcollectormag.com/reviews/album/paul-mccartney-wings-wild-life-half-speed-master

The album generated some inspired invective. Dave Connolly writes that “[i]t’s important to note that Wild Life isn’t just a cut below Paul’s usual work–it’s a cut below his worst work.” (https://progrography.com/paul-mccartney/wings-wild-life-1971/amp/) And John Mendelssohn wrote in the original Rolling Stone review that:

One somehow convinced of McCartney’s basic perversity might argue that he’s quite intentionally making mediocre music, knowing that his ex-partner will suffer more watching effortlessly-produced pop quasi-Muzak easily outsell his own anguish–predicated soul-barings. A more likely explanation for a theory holding that McCartney’s records have been deliberately second-rate is that he’s attempting to comment ironically on Lennon’s obsession with putting yet another huge hunk of his personality on every 12-inch vinyl disk by himself sticking to the most banal imaginable themes. . . . “Tomorrow” [is] archetypal post-Beatles McCartney: banal, self-celebrating lyrics full of many of the most tired rhymes in Western pop, sentiments that Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy would embrace without a moment’s hesitation; glossy, if unfocused production; pretty, eminently Muzakable melodies . . . .

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-album-reviews/wild-life-us-bonus-tracks-100721/amp/

Paul himself explains:

Dylan inspired Wild Life, because we heard he had been in the studio and done an album in just a week. So we thought of doing it like that, putting down the spontaneous stuff and not being too careful. So it came out a bit like that. We wrote the tracks in the summer, Linda and I, we wrote them in Scotland in the summer while the lambs we gambolling. We spent two weeks on the Wild Life album all together. At that time, it was just when I had rung Denny Laine up a few days before and he came up to where we were to rehearse for one or two days.

https://www.beatlesbible.com/people/paul-mccartney/albums/wild-life/

Wild Life has been getting more respect as of late. Jamie Atkins says:

In a fantastically rebellious move, [McCartney] defied expectations by making Wings’ debut a raw, brilliantly sloppy and human album that sounds a lot like freedom. . . . All the things Wild Life was once disparaged for – its spontaneity, untidy corners, looseness and indifference to expectations – are reasons to cherish it . . . .

https://recordcollectormag.com/reviews/album/paul-mccartney-wings-wild-life-half-speed-master

And Stephen Thomas Erlewine’s views are, well, hard to pin down:

[I]t feels like one step removed from coasting, which is wanking. It’s easy to get irritated by the upfront cutesiness, since it’s married to music that’s featherweight at best. Then again, that’s what makes this record bizarrely fascinating — it’s hard to imagine a record with less substance, especially from an artist who’s not just among the most influential of the 20th century, but from one known for precise song and studiocraft. Here, he’s thrown it all to the wind, trying to make a record that sounds as pastoral and relaxed as the album’s cover photo. He makes something that sounds easy — easy enough that you and a couple of neighbors who you don’t know very well could knock it out in your garage on a lazy Saturday afternoon — and that’s what’s frustrating and amazing about it. Yeah, it’s possible to call this a terrible record, but it’s so strange in its domestic bent and feigned ordinariness that it winds up being a pop album like no other.

https://www.allmusic.com/album/wild-life-mw0000193832

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Please consider helping to support my website/blog by contributing $6 a month for access to the Off the Charts Spotify Playlist. Using a term familiar to denizens of Capitol Hill, you pay to play! (“relating to or denoting an unethical or illicit arrangement in which payment is made by those who want certain privileges or advantages in such arenas as business, politics, sports, and entertainment” — dictionary.com).

The playlist includes all the “greatest songs of the 1960’s that no one has ever heard” that are available on Spotify. The playlist will expand each time I feature an available song.

All new subscribers will receive a Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock magnet. New subscribers who sign up for a year will also receive a Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock t-shirt or baseball cap. See pictures on the Pay to Play page.

When subscribing, please send me an e-mail (GMFtma1@gmail.com) or a comment on this site letting me know an e-mail address/phone number/Facebook address, etc. to which I can send instructions on accessing the playlist and a physical address to which I can sent a magnet/t-shirt/baseball cap. If choosing a t-shirt, please let me know the gender and size you prefer.

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I Get My Kicks on Route 666 Special Edition: Charles Manson/The Beach Boys/David Bixby: Charles Manson — “Cease to Exist”; The Beach Boys — “Never Learn Not to Love”, Dave Bixby — “666”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 12, 2022

THE GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD

666) Charles Manson — “Cease to Exist”

Yes, that Charles Manson. A song which does full justice to the moniker “acid folk”. Even more intriguing than the song is Manson’s relationship with the Beach Boys’ Dennis Wilson, who transformed it into 20/20′s “Never Learn Not to Love” and who never recovered from the psychic scars of his close encounter with “the Wizard”.

Lauren Bronston writes that:

In 1966, a 33-year-old Manson was discharged from prison and jumped right into the Summer of Love. He lived in the Haight-Ashbury area of San Francisco where he’d begun to cultivate his family of loyalists who would later become part of the Manson family. At the end of 1966, Manson insisted on moving to Los Angeles to start his music career . . . .

https://www.lethalamounts.com/magazine-index/2021/7/22/how-a-charles-manson-song-snuck-onto-a-beach-boys-album?format=amp

arwulf arwulf:

Charles Manson’s . . . [album LIE] and released . . . in 1970 while the Tate/La Bianca murders and subsequent Manson Family trials were still headline news. The album cover is an altered version of Manson’s likeness as it appeared on the cover of Life Magazine on December 19, 1969. On the record jacket the “F” has been removed, transforming “LIFE” into “LIE” in graphic denial of Manson’s guilt. . . . The mass media’s portrayal of Manson as the archetypal homicidal freak . . . permanently tarnished the common perception of ’60s counterculture . . . . Composer John Moran . . . has stated that “Until the murders, psychedelia had been associated with the idea of love. After Manson, and because of the way the media portrayed him, psychedelia became associated with flipping out and violence and fear.”

https://www.allmusic.com/album/lie-the-love-and-terror-cult-mw0000268437

667) The Beach Boys — “Never Learn Not to Love”

The Beach Boys give the song the Beach Boys treatment, and it shines (until you ponder its origins). Again, Lauren Bronston:

In the spring of 1968, Dennis Wilson, drummer for the Beach Boys . . . picked up two female hitchhikers. . . . [who u]nbeknownst to Wilson . . . were Patricia Krenwinkel and Ella Jo Bailey from the Manson family. . . . [They saw] Wilson . . . as another good-looking Angeleno to fool around with — not fully appreciating his . . . status as a Beach Boy. . . . [and] relish[ing] having a place to crash, particularly since it was a mansion. . . . Manson was drawn to Wilson for his connections in the music industry, and Wilson was enticed by Manson’s open pocket of drugs, women, and sense of spiritually. . . . often referr[ing] to Manson as “the Wizard.” . . . It wouldn’t be long before Wilson would start hosting parties filled with Manson’s guitar playing, LSD trips, and sex . . . . With the Manson clan staying with Wilson, they were slowly taking over his house. . . .

Wilson tried to get Manson some attention by taking him out to nightclubs to meet people from the music industry, including Neil Young . . . and [producer] Terry Melcher. . . . [but Manson] never wound up getting any deals. . . . Wilson himself would sign Manson . . . . [and] set up recording sessions with Stephen Desper . . . . Manson’s erratic behavior raised many red flags . . . . [and w]hen his criminal past was discovered, it was passed along to Wilson who at this point shelled out around $100,000 to pay for Manson and his family’s lifestyle of food, gifts and penicillin to control a gonorrhea outbreak. To avoid a confrontation, Wilson had deserted his leased house . . . . When the lease expired, Manson and his crew were kicked out . . . . Wilson . . . continued to try to help him out.

One of Manson’s songs, “Cease to Exist,” was of particular interest to Wilson who [procured the] rights to the song. . . . for some money and a motorcycle. . . . Wilson changed the lyrics, tune, and name to “Never Learn Not to Love.” Taking full credit, the song wound up on the Beach Boys’s album, 20/20, without the other members knowing [at the time that] it was written and created by Manson . . . . Wilson changed a key component of the lyric “cease to exist[ just come and say you love me” to “cease to resist, [come on say you love me]” . . . . Manson, who had no idea that Wilson was going to change the song so much, became enraged at this and laid a bullet on Wilson’s pillow to let him know “the bullet was for him.” Wilson cut ties with Manson immediately . . . .

With one door of opportunity closed to having a music career, Manson sought out one final option through Melcher, who tried to give Manson a shot but [ultimately] . . . withdraw his offer. . . . igniting hatred and anger . . . . Melcher and his wife would move out of [their house] having been scared of Manson, allowing its new occupants, Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate, to move in. It would be months later when Tate, and several guests, would be murdered by the Manson family because of a misunderstanding that Melcher still lived there.

https://www.lethalamounts.com/magazine-index/2021/7/22/how-a-charles-manson-song-snuck-onto-a-beach-boys-album?format=amp

Wikipedia cites Jon Stebbins’ book Dennis Wilson: The Real Beach Boy for the Manson quote “Dennis Wilson was killed by my shadow because he took my music and changed the words from my soul.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennis_Wilson#CITEREFStebbins2000)

668) Dave Bixby — “666”

It sounds trite to call “666” haunting and apocalyptic, but here is a haunting and apocalyptic song by the mesmerizing Dave Bixby. Klemen Breznikar tells us that:

Dave’s definitive loner acid folk album, ‘Ode to Quetzalcoatl’, was recorded following a long period of time [he] spent in what he calls “the void”. A dark, depressive episode after a prolonged period of taking LSD almost daily. Dave came out of the void and turned to God, a journey and transformation ‘Ode to Quetzalcoatl’ documents. . . . Dave’s lived a vivid and fascinating life, beginning with his leadership within a Michigan-based Christian cult only known as “The Group”. Always a loner and an adventurer, Dave left the group after being sent to various corners of the country to launch new chapters, built a cabin and lived off the land.

https://www.psychedelicbabymag.com/2011/11/dave-bixby-interview-about-ode-to.html

Ron Hart adds that:

For collectors of the downer/loner folk movement of the late ’60s . . . the solo debut from Michigan garage rocker-turned-born-again Xian Dave Bixby . . . go[es] for upwards of $2,000 on eBay. . . . Recorded after he spent a year playing solo and experimenting with LSD, Bixby laid down this album in a living room with the bare bones of amenities. . . . Bixby relies on the strength of his deeply faithful lyrics rooted in the Book of Revelations and the artist’s own personal drug-fueled Armageddon to carry his songs through the night.

https://www.popmatters.com/110072-dave-bixby-ode-to-quetzalcoatl-guerssen-harbinger-second-coming-guer-2496072674.html

And François Couture:

[Ode]. . . was the work of a man in search of himself. . . . a brutally honest downer-folk album[. Then,] Bixby met and joined Don DeGraaf’s religious group. A charismatic Christian guru, DeGraaf quickly harnessed Bixby’s talent and got him to write and perform uplifting, utopian songs about finding the light and understanding yourself — which was what Bixby had written before, although this time the lyrics have lost their erstwhile aspect in favor of a more didactic style. [W]hereas Ode . . . simply chronicled a personal path to inner realization, Second Coming [see #531] is more about collective salvation, communal bonding, and proselytism.

https://www.allmusic.com/album/second-coming-mw0000819487

Bixby himself recollects that:

Winter of 1968 I was not doing so well. Too many acid trips . . . . I quietly freaked out. I was in hell with no way to communicate it to anyone. Some months later my lead guitar buddy Brian MacInness introduced me to Don DeGraff I ended up in a prayer circle. . . . That night I did my own praying, fell asleep and a new spirit was born in me. . . . I saw people’s pain and fear, it was just like mine. I knew what to say to give comfort. Songs began to flood in to me, writing them down I sang them everywhere DeGraff had the first Group meeting at his house with about ten to twelve people and the numbers grew every week eventually needing a bigger building; then we out grew that building. I performed songs every Tuesday night at group meetings. These meetings grew to 300 people. I was asked many times to record an album. I selected twelve songs out of thirty I had written. Each song supported the next song in theme. The Quetzalcoatl story of a Christ like man walking the America’s captivated my imagination becoming the title for the LP. . . . In the studio it seemed a little lonely. ‘Ode to Quetzalcoatl’ is a lonely journey so it all worked well. . . . This album is a concept. Each song is a chapter in a book. The theme throughout is one of stepping out in faith and walking through the darkness into the light. . . . Apocalypse. [Asked in what state of mind he was when he recorded it, Bixby said] I felt new, humbled and grateful. When I prayed I got answers and direction. I was moving forward with out doubt. I was going through a metamorphosis with out words to describe my experience. I captured some of it in song.

https://www.psychedelicbabymag.com/2011/11/dave-bixby-interview-about-ode-to.html

Here, Bixby is live in Copenhagen in 2018:

In this 2016 concert, Bixby offers some fascinating reflections on his life and where the album came from:

Here’s a great cover by the Danish band Sonic Dawn:

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The Spike Drivers — “Blue Law Sunday”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 11, 2022

THE GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD

665) The Spike Drivers — “Blue Law Sunday”

Does anyone remember blue laws? Well, Chick-fil-A closes on Sunday, doesn’t it? Blue law Sundays were not quite immortalized by this folk psych song by the Spike Drivers. As Jason Ankeny says, “[m]id-sixties Detroit psych-popsters the Spikedrivers were fronted by Ted Lucas, previously known to local audiences as a leading light of the Motor City folk music scene.” (https://www.allmusic.com/artist/spike-drivers-mn0003463526) This “Hendrix-gone-folky” number (ANKH, https://savagesaints.blogspot.com/2011/08/spike-drivers-60s-folkrocking.html) went unreleased, though the song came out as a B-side a year or two later as done by Lucas’ new band the Misty Wizards (in a version that Acid Revolver calls “a personal favourite psychedelic raver”, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExZHlzKPEQk).

Jason Ankeny also tells us that:

[T]he Spikedrivers debuted in 1966 with the single “High Time;” originally recorded for the Om label, it was soon snapped up for national distribution by Warner/Reprise, but despite limited success on the East Coast and across the Midwest the record failed to chart. When their 1967 follow-up “Strange Mysterious Sounds” [see #530] met the same grim fate the Spikedrivers disbanded . . .

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/spike-drivers-mn0003463526

Ted Lucas’ son talks of his father’s battles with mental illness:

Throughout his career Lucas struggled with mental illness and erratic behavior that weighed heaviest on his family until his death in 1992. . . . Lucas’ son, Tony, [talks] about his father’s legacy. “When people ask me about my dad, it’s weird, because when I was growing up most of my time was avoiding talking about my dad,” Tony says. “It always included some kind of insanity, right. Some kind of craziness, some kind of nuttiness. And when I talk about my dad now, I almost brag about him. You know, it’s such a different way of thinking about somebody.”

https://wdet.org/2018/12/20/remembering-ted-lucas-first-and-only-solo-album/

“Blue Law Sunday” is at 15:51:

Here are the Misty Wizards:

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The Outsiders — “Daddy Died on Saturday”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 10, 2022

THE GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD

664) The Outsiders — “Daddy Died on Saturday”

From the legendary Dutch rockers’ (see #615) last album, CQ, which is, as Richard Groothuizen says, the product of “a passionate band at the height of their creative powers.” (liner notes to CD reissue). As to today’s song, Richard Mason describes “Daddy Died On Saturday” as boasting “a slick chord progression over which [Wally] Tax wryly relates the tale of a young man whose prospective father-in-law refuses to give his blessing to his daughter’s proposed union with such a lowlife . . . so they poison him.” (https://www.furious.com/perfect/outsiders.html) Compare that to Dutch superstars the Golden Earrings, who simply ask daddy to buy them a girl! (see #163)

That young man isn’t that the only one to consider resorting to violence. Mason states that “The Outsiders were one of the all-time greats of rock music and anyone who says different had better be outside in the car park in 10 minutes. I’ll be waiting.”!!! (https://www.furious.com/perfect/outsiders.html)

Jason writes that:

C.Q. was to be the Outsiders last album (their 3rd LP), an attempt to reach the group’s original core audience amidst a troubling commerical downfall. Not only is this one of the best “international” psych albums but it’s as good as anything by the early Pink Floyd, psychedelic era Pretty Things or Love. Its closest reference point is probably the Pretty Things superb S.F. Sorrow – there are no soft, wimpy moments on either of these records, just pure intensity and garage punk muscle. . . . C.Q.’s strength is in it’s consistency and diversity. No two songs sound alike yet every experiment is well thought out and successful. The group’s hallmark start-stop punk rhythms are firmly in place on many of C.Q.‘s tracks but by 1968 the Outsiders had grown considerably, incorporating more folk-rock and psych sounds into their repertoire. . . . C.Q. is one of the immortal 60s albums.

http://therisingstorm.net/the-outsiders-cq/

Mark Deming tells us:

The Amsterdam-based combo were one of the most popular homegrown bands in the Netherlands from 1965 to 1967, and have since become a favorite among historians of the beat music era; Richie Unterberger wrote that the Outsiders “could issue a serious claim for consideration as the finest rock band of the ’60s to hail from a non-English-speaking nation[.]”. The Outsiders were formed in 1964 by Wally Tax (vocals and rhythm guitar), Ronald Splinter (lead guitar), Appie Rammers (bass), and Lendert “Buzz” Busch (drums); the band embraced an eclectic style that made room for R&B, folk-rock, pop, and beat influences, as well as psychedelic accents as the decade wore on. . . . Named for an amateur radio term meaning “Is anyone listening?,” CQ was an ambitious set that combined the band’s beat music influences with outré psychedelia and avant-garde sounds that were far ahead of the curve for the era. However, Polydor failed to promote the album properly . . . and the Outsiders disbanded in 1969.

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/the-outsiders-mn0001620705/biography

Richard Mason again:

[O]ne of the great popular music recordings of our time, and almost certainly the most unjustly overlooked. . . . This was an extraordinary, incomparable group who’ve remained unduly neglected for too long. . . . Their following was as committed and wild as their music and stage act, with the result that the band and their fans were banned from several Dutch venues. . . . [T]hey had supported (and, according to Tax, blew off stage) The Rolling Stones . . . . CQ . . . [is] a staggering achievement. . . . What the group were not to know at the time was that Polydor already had the Golden Earrings, Holland’s most successful group, on its books and were determined to concentrate their promotional efforts on them. They conspicuously failed to get behind the Outsiders to the extent that only something in the region of 500 copies of CQ were released at the time and subsequently the album died a grisly commercial death. But unless you’ve heard this record you have no real idea of the magnitude of the crime. . . .

https://www.furious.com/perfect/outsiders.html

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Edwards Hand — “Friday Hill”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 9, 2022

THE GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD

663) Edwards Hand — “Friday Hill”

A delicate, gentle, wistful George Martin-produced baroque/folk/psych pop jewel. Who says producing the White Album doesn’t leave time for any fun? And, just to set the record straight, Johnny Depp was not in this band! It was not Edward Scissorhands. The band members were Rod Edwards and Roger Hand. Get it?! (see #151)

Forced Exposure tells us that:

Rod Edwards and Roger Hand formed this breezy, psychedelic pop outfit after briefly recording as The Picadilly Line. Sadly, this album never made it to a British release as their record label folded, which subsequently took their EMI deal and UK distributor contract away at precisely the wrong time. This is therefore a genuine lost UK ’60s gem that received glowing reviews upon its release in the U.S. . . . Recorded in late ’68, with Geoff Emerick and George Martin during a break in the sporadic White Album sessions, you can hear the benefits from Martin and Emerick’s vast experience, technical skills and orchestral arrangements. There is plenty of swinging London vibes and whimsical vocals here . . . . The Beatles connection is obviously strong, and much of this material is reminiscent of late ’60, early ’70s Paul McCartney as well as Donovan — with its chirpy, evocative lyrics, harmonies and warm arrangements — but there is also a late Small Faces/Kinks vibe in their lyrical descriptions of old London Town.

https://www.forcedexposure.com/Catalog/edwards-hand-edwards-hand-cd/FLASH.005CD.html

Freak Emporium adds:

[The album is a] beautiful whimsical record of lush harmony pop rock with progressive/psych tinges. The music can perhaps be compared to the more orchestrated moments of Kaleidoscope [see #154, 336, 552] and Fairfield Parlour and was produced by George Martin during time off from working on the White album. George contributed some stunning string arrangements . . . . An undiscovered treasure of an album. 

https://web.archive.org/web/20070927024719/http://www.freakemporium.com/site/artist/Edwards%20Hand/artistpage.html

And Marios:

[The album has] an English cosy warmth and familiarity that breathes the fresh air of an earlier,  innocent and more carefree musical age.  Sweeping pastoral string arrangements perfectly counterbalance a pop sensibility adding a certain air of mystery and romanticism. . . . [a] blend of pop orchestration and melancholy harmony . . . . 

http://rockasteria.blogspot.com/2014/11/the-edwards-hand-edwards-hand-1968-uk.html

Richie Unterberger is a bit more skeptical:

[T]he harmonies, melodies, and orchestrations bear some similarity to those heard on the very most pop-oriented of the Beatles’ productions, though in truth there’s a stronger resemblance to the ornate pop-psychedelia of the late-’60s Bee Gees. . . . It’s more something of a combination of Beatles/Bee Gees-lite with poppier, soaring, sometimes fruity orchestral arrangements — most likely Martin’s strongest contribution to the record — and more of a middle of the road/sunshine pop/toytown psychedelic influence . . . . Certainly some of the lyrics make one blanch a bit on the printed page, with their fey references to picture books, kings and queens, bringing flowers in the morning, walking down London’s Charing Cross Road, magic cars, and the like. . . . It has reasonably catchy though not stunning melodies, good duo vocal harmonies, and an ambience that captures something of the most innocuous side of the Swinging London/flower power era.

https://www.allmusic.com/album/edwards-hand-mw0000836925

Marios gives us some background:

In 1968 CBS abandoned the idea of a follow up album for the Picadilly Line and looked instead for commercial success through singles. When the singles also failed to hit the charts CBS started to lose interest in the band . . . . American manager Lennie Poncher . . . offered them a US management deal [and] secured a record contract with CRT records, a new operation set up by the tape manufacturing conglomerate. . . . [T]hrough the force of his personality [he] secured the services of George Martin to produce Rod and Roger’s new album. . . . [T]hey were to be the first group produced by George after the Beatles. . . . [A]s musical director George worked closely with the duo planning, pruning, orchestrating, recording and mixing the material. . . . [T]hey also attracted the cream of the UK session musicians. . . . The reviews were excellent and a buzz was in the air but GRT had moved too soon too fast and they lacked the depth of experience of a major label. They did not have the promotion, the organisation or quite simply the men hitting the radio stations. . . .[A]lthough Edwards Hand’s album garnered critical acclaim in the USA, the GRT label folded almost immediately after release of the album taking the band’s first steps at a career with it.

http://rockasteria.blogspot.com/2014/11/the-edwards-hand-edwards-hand-1968-uk.html

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The playlist includes all the “greatest songs of the 1960’s that no one has ever heard” that are available on Spotify. The playlist will expand each time I feature an available song.

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The Millennium — “To Claudia on Thursday”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 8, 2022

https://www.discogs.com/master/85913-The-Millennium-Begin/image/SW1hZ2U6NDY2MzI2MA==

THE GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD

662) The Millennium — “To Claudia on Thursday”

Sunshine pop went supernova with the Millennium (see #397, 506, 586), a 60’s sunshine supergroup that created Begin, the greatest sunshine pop album ever recorded. Begin cost more to make than any other album from ’68 other than The Beatles (the White Album)— and no one buys it (at least until era of CD reissues). As Richie Unterberger writes, it was “at once too unabashedly commercial for underground FM radio and too weird for the AM dial.” (https://www.allmusic.com/artist/the-millennium-mn0000814312) For more on the Millennium and Curt Boettcher, see #396.

“Claudia” is an utterly beguiling love song, expressing the songwriter’s love for the self-same girl, and advocating that she just live in the moment and not “give a thought to anything in the world but you and me.” As Matthew Greenwald writes:

A delicious slice of near-perfect mid-’60s pop, “To Claudia on Thursday” was inspired by producer Curt Boettcher’s wife, Claudia. Overflowing with some amazing counterpoint harmonies, the song’s melody is pop-based, and includes a great folk-inspired core, especially on Joey Stec’s flowing acoustic rhythm guitar. Like many of the Begin album songs, there is a certain psychedelic spirit to the whole affair, yet this song has dated extremely well.

https://www.allmusic.com/song/to-claudia-on-thursday-mt0034798980

Co-writer Stec says that the song “was a nice thought on a nice day, a song to make Curt’s pregnant wife feel better”. (liner notes to The Millennium Magic Time: The Millennium/Ballroom Recordings)

And DJ D-Mac adds that “Riding over the baroque instrumental arrangement are rich vocal harmonies delivering the kind of polished pop melody that could only be born of veteran songwriting craftsmanship. Simply stunning yet inexplicably obscure.” (http://www.djdmac.com/blog/song-day-millennium-claudia-thursday/)

I think that gives me a great hashtag for my blog — #simplystunningyetinexplicablyobscure. Thanks, DJ D-Mac!!!

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The Royal Guardsmen — “Wednesday”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 7, 2022

THE GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD

661) The Royal Guardsmen — “Wednesday”

Such a groovy Wednesday — not! This Byrdsy ’67 A-side and track off The Return of the Red Baron (with the title “Any Wednesday”) about trying to forget an unfaithful girl is no “Snoopy Vs. the Red Baron”. The song only reached #98, with bassist Bill Balogh lamenting that it “didn’t do anything . . . . [because n]o one seemed to want to hear The Royal Guardsmen do anything other than Snoopy. The guy who wrote [it] was a staff writer they had writing for us.” (https://www.crazedfanboy.com/spotlight/guardsmen.html). Curse you, Red Baron!

As to the RG, William Ruhlmann writes that:

The Royal Guardsmen from Ocala, FL . . . enjoyed their brief reign of pop fame in 1966-1968 by recording a series of songs taking off from the Peanuts cartoon character Snoopy and his fantasy about aerial dog fighting with German World War I flying ace Baron Von Richthofen. The million-selling “Snoopy Vs. the Red Baron” was the first and most successful of these novelty records in the fall of 1966, and its follow-up, “The Return of the Red Baron,” also made the Top 40. “Snoopy’s Christmas” topped the seasonal charts at the end of 1967. After a few non-Snoopy singles were less successful, the Guardsmen released “Snoopy for President” in the summer of 1968, but the fad was over. The group scored a final Top 40 hit with its two-year-old, reissued debut single, “Baby Let’s Wait,” in the winter of 1968-1969. The original group split in 1969 . . . .

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/the-royal-guardsmen-mn0000490805/biography

Classic Bands adds that:

In the mid-to-late ’60s, Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip was at its peak of popularity. . . . The unexpected focal point of the strip was Charlie Brown’s beagle Snoopy, who evolved into less of a pet than a voice of conscience. One of the recurring themes of the Snoopy strips was his fantasy exploits as a World War I flying ace trying to defeat Baron Von Richthofen, aka The Red Baron. His doghouse doubled as a Sopwith Camel biplane. . . .

By January 1967, [“Snoopy vs. the Red Barron”] had peaked at #2 . . . selling over three million copies worldwide. . . . Trying to be taken more seriously, The Guardsmen issued a series of non-Snoopy singles, all of which flopped. “Airplane Song (My Airplane)” stalled at #46 in the Summer of ’67, followed by “Wednesday”, which only made it to #98 during a one week chart run that September. . . .

http://www.classicbands.com/royalguardsmen.html

Oh, and as organist Billy Taylor recalls, “[w]hen we were kids . . . all you wanted was a hot shower every now and then, a hamburger, and to get laid. That’s all you were thinking about on the bus.” (https://www.tampabay.com/things-to-do/music/Royal-Guardsmen-return-Snoopy-in-tow-50-years-after-Florida-s-first-pop-hit_167682029/)

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The playlist includes all the “greatest songs of the 1960’s that no one has ever heard” that are available on Spotify. The playlist will expand each time I feature an available song.

All new subscribers will receive a Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock magnet. New subscribers who sign up for a year will also receive a Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock t-shirt or baseball cap. See pictures on the Pay to Play page.

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The Mellow Yellow — “Tuesday”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 6, 2022

THE GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD

660) The Mellow Yellow — “Tuesday”

Not released until it appeared on the grand Come Join My Orchestra: The British Baroque Pop Sound 1967-1973 comp, this song of longing for a girl named Tuesday feels like sleeping in Egyptian cotton sheets. It is that luxurious. Come on, it only has 68 views on YouTube. Be a friend to Tuesday!!!

The Come Join My Orchestra liner notes tell us:

Who the Mellow Yellow were is anyone’s guess, although they appparently come from the Hertfordshire town as of Hatfield — also home to Donovan [get it?!] . . . . [Tuesday is a] perfectly commercial harmony pop effort[] with an agreeable Byrds/Beau Brummels influence . . . . [a] breezy summer pop-charmer . . . .

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Please consider helping to support my website/blog by contributing $6 a month for access to the Off the Charts Spotify Playlist. Using a term familiar to denizens of Capitol Hill, you pay to play! (“relating to or denoting an unethical or illicit arrangement in which payment is made by those who want certain privileges or advantages in such arenas as business, politics, sports, and entertainment” — dictionary.com).

The playlist includes all the “greatest songs of the 1960’s that no one has ever heard” that are available on Spotify. The playlist will expand each time I feature an available song.

All new subscribers will receive a Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock magnet. New subscribers who sign up for a year will also receive a Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock t-shirt or baseball cap. See pictures on the Pay to Play page.

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Original Caste — “Mr. Monday”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 5, 2022

THE GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD

659) Original Caste — “Mr. Monday”

I don’t like Mondays, but Mr. Monday would disagree. From Calgary comes this soaring pop nastygram to go-getters. It was a huge hit in Medicine Hat . . . and San Antonio. Go figure.

Ray McGinnis:

In 1966 Bruce Innes met a singing trio in Calgary called the North Country Singers: Dixie Lee Stone, Bliss Mackie and Graham Bruce. . . . By 1967 Innes had joined them . . . . In 1968 the group . . . moved to Los Angeles, and changed their name to the Original Caste.*. . . From the[ir] album came a single titled “One Tin Soldier”. . . . [which] sold well in Canada** . . . . On [its] strength . . . the Original Caste began to tour extensively. . . . [The] followup single . . . “Mr. Monday”. . . . [was] co-written by . . . Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter. . . . [whose] biggest success was producing “Rhinestone Cowboy” for Glen Campbell . . . . [I]n the song, Mr. Monday can’t spare a dime or the time. . . . But he has his eye of the prize: a pot of gold. . . . [It] peaked at #1 in Kingston (ON), #2 in Medicine Hat (AB), #3 in Vancouver (BC), Edmonton (AB) and Toronto, #4 in Calgary (AB), #5 in Pointe Claire (PQ), #6 in Victoria (BC) and Stevens Point (WI), #9 in Sydney (NS), #10 in Hamilton (ON) and #18 in San Antonio (TX). . . .

https://vancouversignaturesounds.com/hits/mr-monday-by-the-original-caste/

Bill Dahl notes that “although it didn’t chart stateside, ‘Mr. Monday’ was an even bigger seller north of the border . . . than “One Tin Soldier,” peaking at #4 [with “One Tin Soldier reaching #6].” (liner notes to the One Tin Soldier CD reissue)

* Bruce Innes: “Someone at Dot records : . . . presented us with three or four different names. It’s hard to imagine that it seemed the least stupid now, but that did seem the least stupid at the time.” (liner notes to the One Tin Soldier CD reissue)

** Bill Dahl notes that the Caste “saw an inferior cover inserted into the soundtrack of the ’71 movie smash Billy Jack. . . . [Bruce Innes recalls that “w]e were pretty good friends with Tom Laughlin . . . . [W]hen he was cutting Billy Jack together, he’d just play our album. But somehow our management team and he couldn’t get it figured out, so he ended up just hiring another producer and getting that band Coven . . . and recut it.” (liner notes to the One Tin Soldier CD reissue)

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Leviathan (The Mike Stuart Span) — “Through the Looking Glass”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 4, 2022

THE GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD

658) Leviathan (The Mike Stuart Span) — “Through the Looking Glass”

Glorious late-60’s UK heavy psych from the Mike Stuart Span (see #225, 268) for John Peel, done even better a year later by the same band with a name change ordered by its new label. And then the label president wouldn’t even release the song (or album). Talk about being sunk by a big white whale. Well, call me Ishmael!

Steve Elliott opines that “a holdover from their Mike Stuart Span days, ‘Through the Looking Glass’ was re-recorded . . . to excellent effect using stinging, driving guitar with the full-throttle sonic force of the band.” (https://m.facebook.com/mssleviathan/posts/review-24leviathan-leviathan-the-legendary-lost-elektra-album-2016by-steve-ellio/1348349631897901/?locale=zh_TW&_rdr)

David Wells (as always) plumbs the songs’ depths:

Largely . . . the intended album comprised ramped-up re-workings of late -period Span material like “Through the Looking Glass”, a song that the band had premiered more than a year earlier during their John Peel session. Stuart Hobday remembers the inspiration for the song’s opening lines extremely well. “We were driving down to the West Country after a gig in Southampton the night before. It was about nine o’clock in the morning, very misty and autumnal. We were driving past this area of forest, and this phrase came to me . . . ‘Shades of autumn in the morning mist’. I wrote it down somewhere and later built it into a song.”

(liner notes to Leviathan : The Legendary Lost Album)

As to Leviathan, Richie Unterberger says:

Although inaugurated in December 1968, Leviathan evolved out of UK, Brighton-based pop unit, the Mike Stuart Span. . . . Signed to Elektra Records, the renamed quartet’s first two singles were issued as a package in April 1969. Dubbed ‘The Four Faces Of Leviathan’, each song deliberately showed contrasting musical styles, but this ambitious idea failed to generate the anticipated enthusiasm.

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/leviathan-mn0002071342

And Ian Canty:

Luckily a deal with US label Elektra, home of the Doors and Love amongst others, came out of the blue on the proviso that the group’s name be changed to the more 1969 sounding Leviathan. Though not that enamoured with the new moniker (and the decision on this came right from the top, from none other than Jac Holzman, Elektra president), the band generally welcomed this unexpected upswing in fortune. [The album] is a beaut. Though looked upon as a change from the “Psychedelic” Mike Stuart Span to a more “Progressive” sound, it’s not a startling alteration of style. Leviathan do occasionally fall back on the kind of “Blues” jamming that tended to rule in Blighty at the time – but for the most part inventive, catchy Heavy Psych/late period Freakbeat is the order of the day.

http://rockasteria.blogspot.com/2017/01/leviathan-legendary-lost-elektra-album.html

But then, and I think I’m going to blubber, per Steve Elliott:

[T]heir lone album was held back from release at the last minute by Elektra president Jac Holzman, who supposedly wasn’t happy with some of the songs and wanted them to go back into the studio to record more. At that critical point, with their finances in dire straits and their morale destroyed by this action after years of trying to make it, Leviathan broke up. . . .

https://m.facebook.com/mssleviathan/posts/review-24leviathan-leviathan-the-legendary-lost-elektra-album-2016by-steve-ellio/1348349631897901/?locale=zh_TW&_rdr

Here is Leviathan:

Here is the Mike Stuart Span’s version on the BBC:

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Evie Sands — “Crazy Annie”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 3, 2022

THE GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD

657) Evie Sands — “Crazy Annie”

“Crazy Annie”, beautiful, soulful and full of personality, is “Midnight Cowboy in a 3 minute song.” (Bill, https://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/evie-sands-i-cant-let-go-what-a-hollies-ripoff.324039/page-2) Yes, that Midnight Cowboy, the iconic X-rated Dustin Hoffman/John Voight flick. As Alfiehitchie summarizes:

Texas greenhorn Joe Buck arrives in New York City for the first time. Preening himself as a real “hustler”, he finds that he is the one getting “hustled” until he teams up with down-and-out but resilient outcast Ratso Rizzo. The initial “country cousin meets city cousin” relationship deepens. In their efforts to bilk a hostile world rebuffing them at every turn, this unlikely pair progress from partners in shady business to comrades. Each has found his first real friend.

https://m.imdb.com/title/tt0064665/

Anyway, allan0318 says:

“Inspired” by the motion picture Midnight Cowboy, this is the song that SHOULD have made Evie Sands a star. Weird, strange tale of Crazy Annie (played by actress Jennifer Salt) and Joe (the Jon Voight character.) The song was written by Chip [“Wild Thing”] Taylor, whose real name is James Voight and who is actually Jon Voight’s brother. Wouldn’t you have loved to hear this in the movie? Another great sound from Muscle Shoals.

https://www.45cat.com/record/nc758838us

Yes, it should have made Evie a star. But, then again, it’s not her only song that should have made her a star!

Londonlee does a deep dive on the song:

[T]he same year [Midnight Cowboy] came out [Chip Taylor] produced the album “Any Way That You Want Me” for . . . Evie Sands which includes a song he wrote inspired by the film called “Crazy Annie.” The song is about Joe Buck’s hometown girlfriend Annie who only appears in the film in his daydreams and nightmares, including a particularly harrowing one where the two of them are gang-raped by local thugs and she gets carted off to a mental institution. It was a long while before I figured out exactly what happened in that scene . . . but it was all done in a trippy, hallucinatory style which was very late 60s . . . . It’s a beautiful song written from Annie’s point of view . . . using her few lines of dialogue in the movie as lyrics and rescues her from being a mere phantom in Joe’s memory and turns her into a real person who wasn’t crazy and is still in love with him. I can’t think of another example of someone writing a song about a minor character in a movie . . . .

https://www.londonlee.com/2008/06/youre-best-joe.html

Aquarian Drunkard says of the song that “suddenly, the mournfulness gives way to a big, transcendent chorus, a whole novel’s-worth of poignancy in Sands’ recitation of the deadpan lyric: ‘Crazy Annie was a good time/To a boy named Joe/Crazy Annie wasn’t crazy/No, no, no, no.'” (https://aquariumdrunkard.com/2016/02/22/evie-sands-any-way-that-you-want-me/)

The whole album is full of “glorious sunny pop soul” (londonlee) and Aquarian Drunkard calls it “one of the most sublime and strikingly gorgeous albums of the period. . . . a post-Dusty in Memphis, post-Bobbie Gentry work of art, brimming with all the Sing-Songwriter Soul that Laura Nyro could strive for. (https://aquariumdrunkard.com/2016/02/22/evie-sands-any-way-that-you-want-me/)

As to Evie, Garwood Pickjon notes that “[b]eing somewhere between the soulful deliveries of the latter-day Dusty Springfield, and the melodic eclecticism of Carole King, with a touch of rootsy Americana, it’s not hard to see why Dusty herself, cites Evie Sands as her favourite female singer.” (https://popdiggers.com/evie-sands-anyway-that-you-want-me/)

Jason Ankeny tells us of Evie’s misadventures in the music industry:

Singer Evie Sands endured one of the more remarkable hard luck tales in pop music lore . . . . The Brooklyn-born Sands’ husky, soulful voice first attracted the attention of Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller’s Blue Cat label in 1965, and upon signing with the company she entered the studio with the songwriting/production team of Chip Taylor and Al Gorgoni . . . to record her debut single, “Take Me for a Little While.” Prior to the record’s release, a test pressing was smuggled to executives at Chess Records, where Chicago soul singer Jackie Ross immediately cut her own version of the song . . . Chess’ marketing muscle assured that Ross’ cover began receiving the lion’s share of radio airplay . . . . The confusion and subsequent litigation severely hobbled Sands’ fledgling career, and her follow-up, 1966’s superb “I Can’t Let Go,” was lost in the mire; a year later, the song became a major international hit for the Hollies. Moving to the Cameo label, in 1967 Sands resurfaced with the Taylor -penned “Angel of the Morning”; despite heavy early airplay, within weeks of the single’s release Cameo went bankrupt, allowing Merilee Rush’s recording of the song to top the pop charts a few months later. In 1969 Sands finally notched a hit of her own with “Any Way That You Want Me,” also issuing an LP of the same name.

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/evie-sands-mn0000154215/biography

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The Leaves — “Too Many People”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 2, 2022

THE GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD

656) The Leaves — “Too Many People”

Hey Joe, this “bluesy and funky slow drag number” (Woody Anders, https://www.imdb.com/name/nm2022233/bio) was the Leaves’ first A-side (’65). And it is not about Yoko Ono!

Richie Unterberger says:

[It] was a substantial hit in the Los Angeles area in 1965, though it didn’t make a national dent. . . . Perhaps it may sound naïve in its catch-all protest against society telling you what to do and think and how to conform. But there’s an engaging, almost uplifting rebelliousness to its garage pop-blues swagger . . . . in tune with the mid-1965 zeitgeist of young people starting to buck against the establishment. . . . [and] a good example of protest folk-rock-influenced garage rock.

https://www.allmusic.com/song/too-many-people-mt0000329020

As to the Leaves, Unterberger notes that:

One of the first L.A. folk-rock groups to spring up in the wake of the Byrds in the mid-’60s, the Leaves are most remembered for recording the first . . . rock version[] of “Hey Joe,” which reached the Top 40 . . . in 1966. None of their other releases approached this success . . . . [T]hey . . . disbanded after a disappointing follow-up . . . .

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/the-leaves-mn0000091159

Bruce Eder adds that the band’s “music roughly paralleled that of the Byrds, but with some twists: though their music was also labeled as ‘folk-rock,’ the[y] were more obviously beholden to the Rolling Stones and the Beatles for some of their music, and generated a harder, somewhat heavier sound.” (https://www.allmusic.com/artist/bill-rinehart-mn0000076363)

“Too Many People” was co-written by Leaf Bill Rinehart, who also co-wrote yesterday’s “Elevator Operator”. Bruce Eder gives us the skinny on this unsung L.A. rock hero:

Guitarist/bassist/producer Bill Rinehart is a figure who seems to inhabit the background of a lot of history of Los Angeles bands of the mid- to late ’60s — he crops up across and adjacent to the stories of Emitt Rhodes, the Leaves, the Byrds . . . yet he never ascended to stardom in his own right. . . . He co-authored . . . “Too Many People[]” . . . and he was all over the resulting Hey Joe album, though the version of the latter song that was a hit for the group was recorded following his exit in 1966. . . . He spent a good chunk of 1967 connected to . . . the Gene Clark Group, put together to accompany . . . Clark in his solo performances, and the Merry-Go-Round [see #50, 156], formed by Emitt Rhodes . . . . The Clark group didn’t last too long, though some of their work was preserved on his debut solo album . . . . [B]y the time it came out, Rinehart was part of the Merry-Go-Round . . . . which was otherwise comprised of semi-professional musicians all, like Rhodes, in their mid-teens. He’d been brought in to shore up their instrumental sound, and was present on the singles “Live” and “You’re a Very Lovely Woman.” . . . [H]owever . . . the very attributes that got him hired also forced his exit . . . the age difference . . . . At 20, he was already a veteran with three years of playing professionally behind him . . . . He also made his first foray into producing that same year, when he helmed the Sonny & Cher’s single “A Beautiful Story” . . . .

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/bill-rinehart-mn0000076363

Here they are live:

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Gene Clark — “Elevator Operator”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — December 1, 2022

THE GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD

655) Gene Clark — “Elevator Operator”

The first “solo” album by the former Big Byrd contained this lovely “garage-rock ditty” that is “pure groove, jangle, and boogie” (Uncut, https://www.uncut.co.uk/reviews/gene-clark-with-the-gosdin-brothers-9923/), “features blatant drug double entendres and trippy harmonies” (Aphoristic, https://albumreviews.blog/reviews/1960s-reviews/gene-clark/) and “Revolver-era Beatles influence” (https://www.nodepression.com/album-reviews/gene-clark-with-the-gosdin-brothers-self-titled/).

The song’s “about a fickle woman who ‘could make you feel/that you were up to stay’ but then just as quickly ‘she took you down all the way’, was a clear standout on [the album].” (Michael Panontin, http://www.canuckistanmusic.com/index.php?maid=684) I love, love, love it, but Matthew Greenwald tells us that Clark hated it! —

A slightly nasty little rock song, “Elevator Operator” was one of Gene Clark’s least favorite songs from his solo debut album . . . . So much was his disdain for it that when the album was re-mixed and re-released in the early ’70s, he successfully lobbied Columbia to drop it from the album. While Clark certainly had a point here, the song does indeed have a certain period charm as a slightly psychedelic pop-rocker.

https://www.allmusic.com/song/elevator-operator-mt0006122315

As to Clark, Mark Deming tells us that:

[He] will always be best-known for his short stint as lead singer for the Byrds from 1964 to 1966 . . . . [He] helped invent country-rock with 1968’s Gene Clark with the Gosdin Brothers album [from which today’s song is taken], then teamed with Doug Dillard in the late ’60s to make two records that served as a blueprint for Americana. . . . Clark’s clear and true vocals, his poetic turns of phrase, and his skill at weaving melancholy melodies never wavered. . . . [L]ong after his passing in 1991, has remained influential to each new generation of jangle pop artists . . . .

Clark . . . [was in] the New Christy Minstrels, a well-scrubbed folk-pop ensemble . . . . However, [he] longed to perform his own songs and didn’t care for life on the road; after hearing the Beatles for the first time, Clark decided he wanted to form a rock band and he quit . . . and moved to Los Angeles. There, he met . . . [Roger] McGuinn . . . . Clark quickly became the Byrds’ dominant songwriter, penning most of their best-known originals . . . . [But] the combination of [his] dislike of traveling (including a fear of flying) and resentment that his songwriting income made him the best-paid member of the group led to tensions . . . and in 1966 Clark opted to leave . . . . [I]n 1967 he released his first solo set, Gene Clark with the Gosdin Brothers, a pioneering fusion of country and rock.

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/gene-clark-mn0000194036

No Depression adds that:

[Clark] infused the [Byrds] with much of its soul and vision, establishing himself as a pivotal folk-rock innovator . . . . Overwhelmed by demands of fame and tired of clashing with the contentious Crosby, Clark left the band in 1966; Byrds manager Jim Dickson landed him the Columbia contract that spawned this album. Recorded with the Byrds’ rhythm section of Chris Hillman and Michael Clarke, plus A-list Los Angeles studio musicians Glen Campbell and Leon Russell, Gene Clark With The Gosdin Brothers . . . [was] a glorious brew of ’60s folk-rock, proto-country-rock and complex, Beatlesque pop . . . .

https://www.nodepression.com/album-reviews/gene-clark-with-the-gosdin-brothers-self-titled/

Alex Stimmel concludes that:

The album contains a number of fine pop-oriented tunes and stellar folk-rock/country-rock numbers . . . a year before the Byrds’ Sweatheart of the Rodeo . . . . [It] failed to make much of an impact, perhaps due to its being released in the same week as the Byrds’ Younger Than Yesterday . . . . [The album] stands as the one of the best, if not the best, example of how powerful a singer, writer, and bandleader he was.

https://www.allmusic.com/album/gene-clark-with-the-gosdin-brothers-mw0000309530

Here is an alternate take:

Here is a cool version by Canada’s Tomorrows’ Keepsake:

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The playlist includes all the “greatest songs of the 1960’s that no one has ever heard” that are available on Spotify. The playlist will expand each time I feature an available song.

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Los Ovnis (The UFOs) — “Te Doy Tu Lugar”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 30, 2022

THE GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD

654) Los Ovnis — “Te Doy Tu Lugar”/ (“I Give You Your Place”)

Raunchy ’68 album track from the first completely original Mexican rock album. Hectorvadair1 says that “[i]t’s a superb album of psych fuzz music, sung in Spanish, from a great Mexican band” (https://rateyourmusic.com/release/album/los-ovnis/hippies/) and Spanish Pop Lyrics says “it’s arguably the most filthy and authentic sounding garage rock ever sung in Spanish.” (https://spanishpoplyrics.wordpress.com/2015/02/01/cuando-era-nino-by-los-ovnis/)

Light in the Attic Records says:

When we are talking about really rare and great albums from Mexico . . . Los Ovnis-Hippies is perhaps the second rarest one right after Kaleidoscope. . . . The 1968 Summer Of Love and the political protest of the young rebel culture created the desire to produce a stronger album with own songs, heavier garage sounds and counter-culture lyrics. This album became something the Mexican society in 1968 was not ready for. It was too idealistic and too psychedelic to become popular and the original label released it with no promotion at all. That’s why this album became so good and so rare. Los Ovnis are 5 musicians from Mexico City. Strong garage songs, great Spanish vocals, amazing guitars, organ and rough sounds. Like a musical punch right in the face of the Mexican middle-class society. No more nice guys.

https://lightintheattic.net/releases/1218-hippies

Gustavo Zamora gives us the history of the band:

In 1961 . . . singer and composer Armando Vázquez formed the “Teddy Bears” . . . .  In 1965, they changed their name to Los Ovnis . . . . In later LPs a fundamental element was present, [guitarist] Ernesto de Jesús de León Rodríguez . . . . [who] remembers . . .

“I was going to secondary school and I was about twelve years old . . . when rock and roll began to attract my attention. My greatest dream was to be able to play the guitar . . . .  I was already organizing my group called the “Flashes”, but we didn’t last long because they wanted to continue playing the waves of the Venturosos and I was fascinated by the “Liverpool Sound”, that was around 1963 . . . . I discovered that if I didn’t play the guitar I would die of sadness. That was when . . . I became part of the UFOs. . . .  We toured the interior of the country; I remember playing in football stadiums full of fans. . . . [W]e played daily, it necessarily had to evolve; there was work for all rock and roll players and there were girls more easily, the youth movement in general was very good. With the UFOs I participated in the recording of an original album that was around 1968, and although the album was good, it was not accepted because the public still did not like the original songs very much. Besides, inexplicably, the UFOs never gave the definitive growth spurt, despite being a very good group; also, since they were older than me, we could never fully understand each other. . . . [D]ue to many internal problems the group disintegrated. . . . In those years the hippie movement was emerging in San Francisco and from there it spread to the whole world. We fully identify with the movement and its ideals of peace, justice and love. . . . That is why we decided to record a rock album with original songs, which would reflect the mentality of the Mexican youth of those years and remain as a message for the new generations of young lovers of rock and roll”. 

https://estroncio90-typepad-com.translate.goog/blog/2009/08/cuando-era-ni%C3%B1o-rese%C3%B1a-de-los-ovnis.html?_x_tr_sl=es&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en&_x_tr_pto=sc

Armando Vázquez recalls (by way of an internet translation):

When Discos Peers signed us as Los Ovnis in 1965 . . . now what we wanted was to make original music and not versions in Spanish, but the label just wanted us to continue making songs like ‘ Enrique VIII’ or ‘ Little Help from Mama’  who was from The Rolling Stones.  We gave them everything they wanted, because we even released three albums in less than a year, which were Los Ovnis, Somos Amantes and Napoleón XIV.  It wasn’t until I told the label that we were going to release an album with original songs with or without them, and that’s how Hippies came out. Even though they made us cover them, I only accepted ‘Light My Fire’ by The Doors.  So, look, it took eight years for us to finally get to the sound we wanted. . . . The best moment for the band was with Hippies , of course, it’s a record that I’m very proud of . . . .  However, when that record came out in 1968, the massacre of the students also occurred, and the record company told us that they were not going to put us on the radio or anything, because the President had vetoed anything young, anything rebellious.  That demotivated me a lot, that and the depressing atmosphere that was felt were the reasons that led me to leave the band and better finish my degree.

https://www.indierocks.mx/musica/entrevistas/entrevista-con-los-ovnis/

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Earth Island — “Ashes, Ashes, All Fall Down”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 29, 2022

THE GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD

653) Earth Island — “Ashes, Ashes, All Fall Down”

Another helping of stellar sunshine pop from Earth Island’s sole album (see #448). Ecologically-aware, but from when sunshine was still a good thing! The album is a “Sunshine Psychedelic gem”. (https://psychedelic-rocknroll.blogspot.com/2009/02/earth-island-we-must-survive.html)

By all accounts, Curt Boettcher (see #397, 506, 586) must have been sunlighting. Dr. Schluss says:

We Must Surivive . . . . seems to date a little past the expiry date of the genre, but the sounds are definitely the real deal and recall the better moments of Curt Boettcher’s and/or Gary Usher’s love fest freak outs. . . . I can’t help but note the strong environmental awareness aspect that crops up here the very same year as the first Earth Day (I think). . . . Forsaking straight up lead vocals, most of the songs rely on a weave of harmonies that compare favorably with just about anyone else. . . . Earth Island manages that tinge of melancholy that really takes the music to a higher level. 

http://psychedelicobscurities.blogspot.com/2008/07/earth-island-1970-we-must-survive.html

Superbillie1 calls the album “[v]ery good Psych-lite with tinges of Pop and prog. [The] music [is[ on the same wavelength as The Millennium; light ‘airy’ sort of super-produced pop with (often) positive messages. For a few tracks I could’ve sworn the lead singer was Curt Boettcher . . . .” (http://poprunners.blogspot.com/2019/02/psychedelic-pop-earth-island-we-must.html)

And, finally, Adamus67:

Originally issued in June 1970 . . . at a time when rock music was beginning to embrace ecological themes, [the Earth Island’s] sole album was produced by Kim Fowley [see #89, 449]. Touching on rock, psychedelia and sunshine pop, it boasts fine vocal harmonies throughout . . . clearly bring to mind the best moments of creative collaboration such classics as Curt Boettcher psychedelia . . . and Gary Usher. 

(http://rockasteria.blogspot.com/2013/10/earth-island-we-must-survive-1970.html?m=1)

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Howard Tate — “Stop”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 28, 2022

THE GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD

652) Howard Tate — “Stop

Soul great Howard Tate’s (see #259, 261) ‘68 not-quite hit (#76, #15 R&B) is a delightful romp. With the Jimi Hendrix seal of approval!

Richie Unterberger tells us that:

Howard Tate had some minor success with the Verve label in the late ’60s. The singer brought a lot of blues and gospel to his phrasing [and Jerry Ragovoy brought] the Northeast soul production [and] also wrote much of Tate’s material. Howard made the R&B Top 20 three times in the late ’60s (with “Ain’t Nobody Home,” “Stop,” and “Look at Granny Run Run”). However, he’s most famous to rock audiences as the original performer of “Get It While You Can,” which became one of Janis Joplin’s signature tunes. . . . Tate sang with the Gainers, a North Philadelphia doo wop group that also included future soul star Garnet Mimms. . . . Ragovoy was urged to check out Tate by [one] of . . . Mimms’ backup singers. He recorded about ten singles with Tate between 1966 and 1969 . . . . Although an enduring figure in the soul genre, Tate’s music has received its greatest exposure via cover versions: Jimi Hendrix and Hugh Masekela did “Stop[]” . . . .

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/howard-tate-mn0000280445/biography

Joel Rose says that “Ragovoy told me . . . . ‘The potential of [Tate’s] range was extraordinary. . . . I thought that Howard was maybe the only artist that I heard who could execute what I had in my mind as a writer.'” (https://www.wunc.org/2011-12-05/howard-tate-soul-singer-dies-at-72)

Rose also talks of the tragedy and triumph of Tate’s later years:

Tate walked away from the music business in the 1970s and got a job selling insurance. Tragedy struck his family . . . when his 13-year-old daughter died in a house fire. Tate’s marriage fell apart, and he turned to cocaine . . . . For about a decade, Tate lived on the streets of Camden, New Jersey . . . . [I]n 1994, Tate checked himself into a rehab clinic . . . . was born again. . . . [and] started working as a preacher. After 2003, Tate enjoyed a second career, recording a handful of albums and playing to appreciative crowds around the world . . . .

https://www.wunc.org/2011-12-05/howard-tate-soul-singer-dies-at-72

Here, Tate sings “Stop” live in 2008:

Here is Jimi:

Buddy Miles, the drummer for Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys, talks about “Stop”:

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Gandalf — “Me About You”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 27, 2022

https://rateyourmusic.com/release/album/gandalf/gandalf/

THE GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD

651) Gandalf — “Me About You”

A dreamy, phantasmagorical, and totally psyched-out version of “Me About You” (a demo offered to them by Gary Bonner and Alan Gordon of the Magicians), which was later a failed single for the Turtles (reaching #105 in ’70). For Gandalf’s history, see #458.

As to Gandalf’s lone album, Emilie Friedlander suggests that:

[W]hat they left behind is probably one of the most visionary cover albums in the history of pop. . . . “visionary” in the sense of re-investment, as though these songs — songs we’ve already heard a hundred times before — had suddenly become re-possessed by the ghosts of their true authors. . . . Gandalf is one of those albums that has an almost synesthetic effect on its listeners, filling every room which it’s played with a kind of heavy, perfumed fog. Peter Sando’s wind-kissed, reverb-dripping tenor is perhaps most responsible for this effect. . . . Gandalf is one sexy record. Fuzz guitar, Hammond B3, electric sitar, vibraphone, and chunky, equally reverb-saturated bass ground Sando’s voice in a kind of clipped, baroque accompaniment, voluptuous in its restraint. . . .

http://rockasteria.blogspot.com/2014/12/gandalf-gandalf-1969-us-superb-psych.html?m=1

Here are the Turtles:

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The playlist includes all the “greatest songs of the 1960’s that no one has ever heard” that are available on Spotify. The playlist will expand each time I feature an available song.

All new subscribers will receive a Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock magnet. New subscribers who sign up for a year will also receive a Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock t-shirt or baseball cap. See pictures on the Pay to Play page.

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The Redcoats: “Words of Wisdom”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 26, 2022

https://www.discogs.com/release/10731472-The-Redcoats-Meet-The-Redcoats/image/SW1hZ2U6Mjk5NDYyOTY=

THE GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD

650) The Redcoats — “Words of Wisdom”

Wonderful contemplative Beatlesque song by a NJ garage band that wanted to write wonderful Beatlesque songs. Richie Unterberger says that it “fall[s] squarely into the Beatles’ 1967 mode of bouncy, mid-tempo keyboard-dominated tunes and optimistic, cosmic-tinged lyrics.”(https://www.allmusic.com/album/meet-the-redcoats-finally-mw0000587837) While the song wasn’t publicly released until 2001, and it sounds like it was sung by John (Lennon, that is), I still cling to the belief that it inspired Paul to write “Let It Be”!

As to the Redcoats, Chris Bishop tells us that:

John Sprit decided to form a band in imitation of the Beatles, based around his songwriting. With . . . John on drums and his friend Mike Burke on lead guitar, they spotted Zach and Randy Bocelle of Absecon, NJ at an audition, and brought them in to fill the ‘roles’ of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, respectively, on rhythm guitar, bass and lead vocals. After intensive rehearsals in John Sprit’s family home in Wildwood, NJ, the Redcoats signed with Laurie for a 45 in the style of Herman’s Hermits, “The Dum Dum Song” / “Love Unreturned”, which did fairly well on a local level. It was released in October, 1965.

https://garagehangover.com/statesiders/

Unterberger adds that:

[They] were an extremely Beatlesque band that formed in Wildwood, NJ, in 1964. Just one single . . . was released on a small New York label. However, those two tracks and ten other songs were issued on Meet the Redcoats! Finally [in 2001]. Comprised wholly of original material, the material is pretty fair pseudo-Beatles in both their Merseybeat and Magical Mystery Tour phases, not to mention their Revolver and Beatles for Sale ones, too.

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/redcoats-mn0001777865

In ‘66, the band (by then going by the Sidekicks) had a #55 hit with “Suspicions”.

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Please consider helping to support my website/blog by contributing $6 a month for access to the Off the Charts Spotify Playlist. Using a term familiar to denizens of Capitol Hill, you pay to play! (“relating to or denoting an unethical or illicit arrangement in which payment is made by those who want certain privileges or advantages in such arenas as business, politics, sports, and entertainment” — dictionary.com).

The playlist includes all the “greatest songs of the 1960’s that no one has ever heard” that are available on Spotify. The playlist will expand each time I feature an available song.

All new subscribers will receive a Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock magnet. New subscribers who sign up for a year will also receive a Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock t-shirt or baseball cap. See pictures on the Pay to Play page.

When subscribing, please send me an e-mail (GMFtma1@gmail.com) or a comment on this site letting me know an e-mail address/phone number/Facebook address, etc. to which I can send instructions on accessing the playlist and a physical address to which I can sent a magnet/t-shirt/baseball cap. If choosing a t-shirt, please let me know the gender and size you prefer.

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