Turquoise — “Woodstock”, Pink Floyd — “Summer ‘68”, Jacqueline Taieb — “7h du Matin”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — August 11, 2021

37) Turquoise, “Woodstock”

The band came from the Kinks’s neighborhood of Muswell Hill and the Who’s Keith Moon and John Entwistle loved them, but to no avail. This single had nothing to do with the Woodstock Festival — it was issued in late ’68. But it did include a killer Dylan impersonation.

38) Pink Floyd, “Summer ‘68”

’70 album Atom Heart Mother was named after a woman with an atomic pacemaker. Paul Matt’s writes that:

Summer ’68” was written by Rick Wright, reminiscing about the band’s time on tour in America. Wrights sings of emptiness following an encounter with a fan. “In the summer of ’68, there were groupies everywhere,” Wright said in Barry Miles’ Pink Floyd: The Early Years. “They’d come and look after you like a personal maid, do your washing and sleep with you and leave you with a dose of the clap.” You get the picture. The sound has West Coast vocal elements, as well as a return of the brass section, creating a huge sound at times.


39) Jacqueline Taieb, “7h du Matin”

’67 single by wonderful French ye-ye singer. Schoolgirl wakes up on Monday morning . . .

The Pozo-Seco Singers — “Time”, Tintern Abbey — “Vacuum Cleaner”, France Gall — “Laisse Tomber les Filles”: Brace for the Obscure (60’s rock)! — August 10, 2021

34) The Pozo-Seco Singers, “Time”

You know the phrase “achingly beautiful”? It perfectly describes this April 1966 #47 “hit” by the Corpus Christi pop/folk group.

35) Tintern Abbey, “Vacuum Cleaner”

The B-side to the December ’67 A-side titled “Bee Side.” Is that clear? “In any event, A + B were “arguably the finest one-off UK psychedelic 45 of all.” (Vernon Joynson, The Tapestry of Delights Revisited).

36) France Gall, “Laisse Tomber les Filles”

A big star in France, the standout “ye-ye” girl (derived from the Beatles’s “yeah, yeah, yeah” refrain) sings a “brilliant rocker” that is “easily as good as any pop single produced in the U.S. or Great Britain at the time.” (Thom Jurek, https://www.allmusic.com/artist/france-gall-mn0000799466/biography).

The Ferris Wheel — “Can’t Break the Habit”, The Fleur De Lys — “Mud in Your Eye”, The Birds — “You’re on My Mind”: Brace for the Obscure (60’s rock)! — August 8, 2021

31) The Ferris Wheel, “Can’t Break the Habit”

Per Jim Dunn, the psych-tinged soul band was “one of England’s great lost musical treasures of the mid- to late ’60s — immensely popular among club audiences [but] never able to translate their ability to win over crowds into chart success . . . .” (https://www.allmusic.com/artist/the-ferris-wheel-mn0000763177) This ’67 single deserved so much better.

32) The Fleur De Lys, “Mud in Your Eye”

Nuggets II calls this ’66 single “milestone U.K. freakbeat.” Yup.

33) The Birds, “You’re on My Mind”

Blame the Byrds for their clipped wings, and see Ron Wood (writer of this ’64 single) soar with the Faces and the Stones.

Paul McCartney — “Love In the Open Air”, John Lennon — “Child of Nature”, The Idle Race — “Days of Broken Arrows”: Brace for the Obscure (60’s rock)! — August 7, 2021

28) Paul McCartney, “Love In the Open Air”

The lovely theme song for The Family Way, a ’66 UK comedy-drama about newlyweds. Paul and George (Martin) wrote the film’s score with time on their hands after the Beatles stopped touring and John went off to film How I Won the War.  

29) John Lennon, “Child of Nature”

Of course it sounds familiar — think “Jealous Guy” on the Imagine album, but John actually wrote the music on the Beatles’s trek to India.

30) The Idle Race, “Days of Broken Arrows”

This May ’69 single flopped. Jeff Lynne went on to dominate the 70’s.

The Lollipops — “Naked When You Come”, The Lemon Fog — “Summer”, The King Biscuit Entertainers — “Priscilla Brown”: Brace for the Obscure (60’s rock)! — August 6, 2021

25) The Lollipops, “Naked When You Come”

Brooding ’66 single by a Danish band led by two teenage brothers. Get your mind out of the gutter.

26) The Lemon Fog, “Summer”

’68 pop-psych single by this Houston band who were really big in . . . Houston. In praise of . . . summer.

27) The King Biscuit Entertainers, “Priscilla Brown”

The B-side of one of three ’68 singles by this Pacific Northwest band. Wonderful pop-psych that sounds like it came straight outta England.

The 23rd Turnoff — “Michael Angelo”, Minnie Riperton — “Les Fleurs”, The Holy Mackerel — “Wildflowers”: Brace for the Obscure (60’s rock)! — August 5, 2021

22) The 23rd Turnoff, “Michael Angelo”

This was the B-side of the Liverpool band’s (named after an English highway exit to Liverpool) October ’67 single. One of the most gorgeous songs I have ever heard.

23) Minnie Riperton, “Les Fleurs”

The song is from her first solo album, before she became famous in the 70’s and died tragically at 31. Jason Ankeny calls the album “chamber soul” and the song as “embracing both intimacy and majesty to haunting effect.” (https://www.allmusic.com/album/come-to-my-garden-mw0000220490) Yup.

24) The Holy Mackerel, “Wildflowers”

The group was notable for being led by 70’s uber-presence Paul Williams, but this song was written by former Jefferson Airplane bassist Bob Harvey (who left the band before the associated album was completed).

Nick Garrie — “Deeper Tones of Blue”, Tom Northcott — “Sunny Goodge Street”, Gil-Scott Heron — “Whitey on the Moon”: Brace for the Obscure (60’s rock)! — August 4, 2021

19) Nick Garrie, “Deeper Tones of Blue”

20) Tom Northcott, “Sunny Goodge Street”

Northcott’s cover of Donovan’s song reached #20 on the Canadian charts.

Donovan’s version:

21) Gil-Scott Heron, “Whitey on the Moon”

A new black poet indeed. Is this song satire or straight on? Well, Gil-Scott was born on April Fool’s Day.

The Aerovons — “World of You”, Jotta Herre, “Penina” — Lee Mallory — “That’s the Way It’s Gonna Be”: Brace for the Obscure (60’s rock)! — August 3, 2021

16) The Aerovons, “World of You”

A young band from St. Louis writes a wonderful and haunting song, gets signed by EMI and gets to record the song (and an entire album’s worth of material) in England at the Abbey Road studios . . . the single is released to little attention and the album remains unreleased for decades.

17) Jotta Herre, “Penina”

You can’t make this stuff up: Late in 1968, a Portuguese band is playing at the Penina hotel in Portugal, where they met a drunken Paul McCartney. He ends up getting up and playing with them, and offers them a song — “Penina” — which he had written on the spot. The song was never released as as single in the U.S.

18) Lee Mallory, “That’s the Way It’s Gonna Be”

Sunshine pop legend Lee Mallory (of the Millenium) releases a song by folkies Phil Ochs and Bob Gibson. His version, unrecognizable as a folk song but a sizzling pop creation, makes it all the way to . . . #86 (but #2 in Seattle and #1 in Holland).

Here is the Ochs’s version:

Pink Floyd — “Paintbox”, The Carrie Nations (Lynn Carey) — “In the Long Run”, Chris Britton — “Fly with Me”: Brace for the Obscure (60’s rock)! — July 31, 2021

13) Pink Floyd, “Paintbox”

This was the glorious B-side of the November ’67 “Apples and Oranges” single, written not by Syd Barrett but by Richard Wright.

14) The Carrie Nations (Lynn Carey), “In the Long Run”

Surprisingly great song from Roger Ebert and Russ Meyer’s camp classic Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, “performed” on film by the Carrie Nations, actually sung by Lynn Carey.

15) Chris Britton, “Fly with Me”

From the self-proclaimed ’70 “ego trip” solo album by the Troggs’s guitarist.

Merrell Fankhauser and H.M.S. Bounty — “Girl (I’m Waiting for You)”, Dana Gillespie — “You Just Gotta Know My Mind”, Los Mad’s — “I’ve Got that Feeling”: Brace for the Obscure (60;s rock)! — July 30, 2021

10) Merrell Fankhauser and H.M.S. Bounty “Girl (I’m Waiting for You)”

Of the West Coast pop-psych album from which I drew this song, Fankhauser himself says that it is “one of the rare lost psychedelic gems of the late 60’s.” Presumptuous, but I agree!

11) Dana Gillespie, “You Just Gotta Know My Mind”

Dana Gillespie, later to become a prolific blues singer, was discovered by Donovan. He wrote this smoking song and it was produced by Jimmy Page.

12) Los Mad’s, “I’ve Got that Feeling”

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards saw this Peruvian band perform at a party on the Lima beach of Ancon, which got them invited to England. They recorded demos that were finally released decades later — this song was written by Ray Davies and appeared on a few early Kinks albums. The Mad’s give the song true feeling, and outdo the original.

Here are the Kinks:

Richard Barnes — “Take to the Mountains”, Jackson Frank — “Blues Run the Game”, Davy Jones — “You’ve Got a Habit of Leaving”: Brace for the Obscure (60;s rock)! — July 29, 2021

7) Richard Barnes, “Take to the Mountains”

It did hit #35 in the UK in May ’70.

8) Jackson Frank, “Blues Run the Game”

Bruce Eder calls Frank’s 1965 folk-rock album, from which I picked this song, “a lost classic, daringly complex and honest”. (https://www.allmusic.com/album/jackson-c-frank-mw0000084294) Yup. 

9) Davy Jones, “You’ve Got a Habit of Leaving”

No introduction necessary. Davy Jones, not Davy Jones the Monkee, but Davey Jones the David Bowie. His third single, from August ’65, yes 1965, with the Lower Third.

Focal Point — “Miss Sinclair”, Factory — “Path Through the Forest”, The Honeybus — “I Can’t Let Maggie Go”: Brace for the Obscure (60’s rock)! — July 28, 2021

4) Focal Point, “Miss Sinclair”

Brian Epstein picked their name . . . John Lennon loved them . . . but they only released one single (and this song wasn’t on it). Apple lost interest . . . what a shame.

5) Factory, “Path Through the Forest”

The Nuggets liner notes proclaim this October ’68 single to be “as memorable as it is obscure” and creating a “magical, otherworldly mood.” Yup, yup.

6) The Honeybus, “I Can’t Let Maggie Go”

“Maggie,” written by Pete Dello, made it to #8 in the UK charts in March of ’68. But Pete didn’t want to be a rock star and quit the band! Honeybus nevertheless created more wonderful music, but without the success.

Jan Panter — “Stella in Lights”, Billy Nicholls — “Would You Believe”, Nick Garrie — “Wheel of Fortune”: Brace for the Obscure (60’s rock)! — July 26, 2021

1) Jan Panter, “Stella in Lights”

Bruce Eder says that Jan “was part of the ubiquitous legions of girl singers who poured into London, and whose recorded work streamed out of the British record industry across the early to mid-’60s.” (https://www.allmusic.com/artist/jan-panter-mn0000177791/biography) This was the B-side of an April 1969 single. As Marlon Brando once said, “STELLAAAAAAAA!!!”

2) Billy Nicholls, “Would You Believe”

Billy Nicholls’s Would You Believe was one of the two great lost albums of the 1960s (sorry, “Smile”).  Vernon Joynson says in The Tapestry of Delights Revisited: The Comprehensive Guide to British Music of the Beat, R&B, Psychedelic and Progressive Eras 1963-1976 that the album was Andrew Loog “Oldham’s attempt to concoct a British answer to the Beach Boy’s Pet Sounds.” The Immediate label cancelled the album’s release because of financial problems and “boxes of never-issued copies are said to have ended up as ballast for ships.”  So sad. Billy later became the Who’s music director.

3) Nick Garrie, “Wheel of Fortune”

Nick Garrie’s The Nightmare of J.B. Stanislas was the other great lost album of the 60’s.  If Nick’s French record company’s owner hadn’t committed suicide on the eve of Stanislas’s release, who knows what might have been. Stunning song — I was transfixed the first time I heard it and I have been a huge fan of Nick’s music ever since. I’ve had the pleasure of hanging out with him in Gstaad.

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