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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

BEATFOR70 - The Dentists

Some People Are on the Pitch (They Think It's All Over It Is Now). Those words adorn the first few seconds, Kenneth Wolstenhome’s stirring commentary on the England Word Cup victory in 1966, uttered as Geoff Hurst whacked his third and England’s fourth goal. Then The Dentists take over....

The Dentists formed in their native Medway, a small town in rural Kent, in 1983; the original lineup comprised Michael Murphy singing, Robert Collins guitars, bassist Mark Matthews, and drummer Ian Smith. A smart and friendly band that embodies the best aspects of the Anglo-jangle-pop genre, while maintaining a jittery-sometimes downright loud-rock edge that keeps their playful tunes from straying too far into the land of the twee.

The album sounding like they time-traveled in from 1966 or so, picked up a couple of tips from the Smiths, and were let loose in the studio with Joe Meek behind the board. It is an assured and exciting record informed by the sounds of the '60s garage, folk, and psychedelic scenes (the raw sound and pounding beats, jangling 12- and six-string guitars, whimsical lyrics, and fuzzy edges, respectively), but thoroughly modern too (the Medway-inspired raw guitar sound -The Buff Medways, The Milkshakes, The Prisoners-, the at times fey and melancholic vocal stylings of Michael Murphy, the almost punk attack that the whole record has). I’m Not The Devil, epic stuff with Mamas And papas-style melodyand impeccable harmonies. The up-tempo songs ("Flowers Around Me," " "I Had an Excellent Dream," "Tangerine," "Tony Bastable v John Noakes") sound like the Byrds if they had formed in the wake of the punk explosion of the '70s, hooky and exciting with the rough edges left on and the guitars bubbling and slashing all around.

Indeed, place Some People up against the debuts of any '80s guitar pop band and the match would end up knotted at least, the opponents trounced in most cases. Against the best album of any '80s guitar pop band even, because this is the best album the Dentists made. The blend of inspired songcraft performance and sound (and the fact that not too many people heard it) make the record a lost guitar pop classic.

Now, Rev-Ola presents the album and their first single -Strawberries Are Growing In My Garden (And It's Wintertime) - on CD, remastered and expanded.

Some People Are on the Pitch (They Think It's All Over It Is Now) [lp Spruck Records 1985]

Prod..: Allan Crockford & The Dentists


Bob were formed in London in 1986 by Richard Blackborow –b. 21 March 1966- (Guitar, Synthesizers, Vocals), Simom Armstrong – b. 12 February 1966 - (Guitar, Vocals), Jem Morris (bass) and a drum machine. Bob were always destined to become an archetypal "indie" pop band. Gary Connors replaced the drum machine only to make way for Dean Leggett, ex Jamie Wednesday (soon to become Carter USM ). With solid support from influential BBC disc jockey John Peel and a healthy selection of earnest, old-fashioned guitar-based tunes, Bob ploughed an individualistic furrow around the outskirts of the music business, surviving another line-up alteration when Morris was replaced by the bassist from the Caretaker Race , Stephen Hersom. When Bob finally came round to making an album after five years, the record's commercial potential was undermined by the collapse of the Rough Trade Records distribution system, so Swag Sack is a compilation of previously released tracks released as eps for Hot Records and Sombrero Records.

Peel Sessions:

Swag Sack [lp Somrero Records uk 1987] : -

BEATFOR67 - March Singles Weekender I

The Yorks – Figure And A Face [7” Little Hero Records 1980] Three from New York . Guitars a la The Records, great pop song. All powerpop ingredients : James Colbert (voice, guitars), Bob Wire (drums, voice), Kevin Joy (Bass).

The Bozos – Weekend Girl [7” Other Records 1978]. This tune is quite pleasant, the harmonies are superb, and also in the instrumental break, contrasting moods of light and melancholic shade between the verses and the bridges. An excellent song released privately in Other Records in 1978. The Bozos : Ted Lemming (guitars, voice), Stan (guitars, voice), Roger Brod (acoustic guitars, voice), Glen Lamberton (bass, voice), Chris Mcauley (drums).


BEATFOR67 - Yorks
BEATFOR59 - New Toys
BEATFOR42 - Stumblebunny

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

BEATFOR69 - March Singles Weekender II

Jack Lee – Hanging On The Telephone [7" single Disclexia Records 1982]
Song originally performed by The Nerves, but popularized by Blondie, who put it as the lead-off track on their 1978 breakthrough album, Parallel Lines. The original is so obscure that many are unaware that Blondie is not the original artist, but it was written by Jack Lee and first performed by Lee's short-lived West Coast power pop trio The Nerves, who also placed it as the lead-off track on their 1976 EP, the band's only release.
...”A few years later, in the hopes of parlaying that big score into a solid songwriting career, Lee released a musical résumé of his best work, including four Nerves-era numbers. (Those early tunes are, for the most part, better than the later efforts showcased here.) Case, Collins, the Rubber City Rebels (who had recorded a great cover of his "Paper Dolls") and others provide rocking instrumental and vocal support, but Lee never again reached the bigtime. (Although Paul Young did throw Lee a few dollars in publishing money two years later by turning "Come Back and Stay" into an international hit.) But don't wait up for Vol. 2.” Ira Robbins –Trouser Press -

Brian Copsey & The Commotions - Love's Made A Fool Of You [7" single Chrysalis 1981]
Another lost gemm. Brian released two singles for Chrysalis, the timeless “Boys In Love” (will be posted), and this “Love’s Made A Fool Of You”, with a Rockpile style mixing driving guitars, traditional rock and roll, pop and country licks fitted easily into the post-punk new wave at the beginnig of the eighties.
As you can read in his site : ...” Pretty soon after that a guy called Dave Courts who makes most of Keith Richards jewellery, introduced me to Marianne Faithfull, and I played guitar with her for a while. I must have developed a taste for working with women, because when the punk thing took off, I let Hazel O Connor cut off all my hair, and I backed her for a year or so. This was all great fun, but eventually I felt it was time to do something with my own songs,so I managed to blag a month in a residential studio in France with what was basically Sniff and the Tears backing me , and a great engineer called Steve Lipson. The resulting album’s worth of material brought me a recording contract with Chrysalis. It was at this point that things went astray for a while. In my naivity, I thought that I had earned the right to have fun making records, but the label I had signed to was a serious, no prisoners taken, commercial outlet who were used to releasing hit records with career minded people.... Anyway we spent a year or so at cross purposes, releasing a couple of singles that were well received in Europe, and got good reviews in the British music press, but on top of an unofficial BBC ban on any future recordings, I refused to go touring in America, and from that point on it’s not so much that
I was dropped, as we just stopped talking to each other ..permanently “

Jo Allen & The Shapes - Cryin' Over You [7" single 415 Records 1980]
Alan Powell is a drummer from Manchester, England who was mainly active during the 1970s. His first notable appearances were with Chicken Shack, appearing on the 1974 live album Goodbye, and Vinegar Joe. Following his friendship with Robert Palmer from Vinegar Joe co-writing Gotta Get a Grip on You, Part 2 (from 1976's Some People Can Do What They Like), The Silver Gun (from 1983's Pride) and Life in Detail (from the soundtrack to 1990's Pretty Woman).
During 1974 he joined Hawkwind as a second drummer, recording two albums; in 1977 he formed the short lived touring band Kicks; also in 1978 he formed Tanz Der Youth with The Damned leader Brian James, released the great single "I'm Sorry, I'm Sorry"/"Delay", recorded a Peel Session, toured with Black Sabbath and appeared at Turner's Bohemian Love-In event. A really musician globe-trotter.
At the end of the 1970's he emigrated to San Francisco and fronted his own new wave Jo Allen and the Shapes band, releasing the 1980 single "Cryin' Over You"/"Lowlife".

Richard X Heyman - Vacation [7" single Flying Records 1980]
Multi-talented, and sadly overlooked craftsmen of the '90s, New York power pop genius Heyman does it all — vocals, Rickenbacker guitars, keyboards, drums (his initial instrument), etc. This is his first sparkling single, with two great songs.
“Richard X. Heyman recorded his very first release at the House of Music Studio in New Jersey in the winter of 1980. Richard played guitar, and sang all the vocals, along with one of his heroes, Dino Dannelli (of Rascals fame) on drums, and there was a bass player, whose name eludes memory. The song was produced by Eric Thorngren, who had been in the band Bulldog with Dino and fellow ex-Rascal Gene Cornish.
The two songs were part of a group of demos Richard did with Dino. They recorded five songs together, and Richard and his manager Richard Velinsky pressed up the single of "Vacation" and "Takin' My Chances" just "for the hell of it". These demos were songs from the repertoire of Richard's group The Rage, based in Washington, D.C. in the late '70s.
The single was reviewed in Billboard as a "Pick Hit" and received airplay on WNEW in New York City, along with other rock stations around the country.”

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

BEATFOR60 - February Singles Weekender III

Part One

1. Midway Still - Better Than Before [ 7” Roughneck 1992]
2. The Hormones -Don't Let Them Get You Down [7” V2 Records 1998]
3. Symposium - Farewell To Twilight [7” Infectious Records 1997]
4. Northern Uproar – From A Window [Cds Heavenly Records 1996]
5. Ned’s Atomic Dustbin – Happy [Cds Furtive Recs. 1991]
6. Adorable – Homeboy [12” ep Creation 1992]
7. Bracket – Huge Balloon [Cds Caroline Recs. 1994]
8. Rain – Lemonstone Desire [7” Columbia 1991]
9. Whiteout – No Time [Cds Silverstone 1994]

Part Two

1. The Chesterfields - Down By The Wising Pool [cds Vinyl Japan 1994]
2. The Divine Comedy – Europop [Cds Setanta Records 1991]
3. Sportique – If You Ever Change Your Mind [7” WIAIWYA 2000]
4. The Verve – On Your Own [7” Hut Recordings 1995]
5. The Candyskins – She Blew Me Away [7” Long Beach Records 1991]
6. BMX Bandits – That Summer Feeling [Cds Creation 1995]
7. Straw – The Aeroplane Song [7” Warner 1998]
8. Pastel Collision - Wherever You Go, Take Me With You [Cds Siesta Records 1996]
9. Five Thirty – You [7” East West 1990]

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Thursday, February 1, 2007

BEATFOR59 - New Toys

After the demise of Aunt Helen, Alan & Kevin K (Rocky Starr & Kevin Rat, respectively) were in search of a new project, something more outrageous than their previous band...enter Doug Tyler. Doug (aka Mick) had played with the two K brothers back in 1977 with the short lived punk group Grim Reaper. Mick was in his own band (Space Junk) but wanted to get back with Kevin & Alan, so in the Summer of 1979, the most outrageous and influential punk band out of Buffalo, New York was formed. Bringing the bass-master of mayhem (Joel Slazyk who played a fretless bass) with him, they set out to conquer Lake Erie!!
Gig after gig followed along with the momentum, packing clubs in Buffalo, Toronto, Albany, Fredonia and Rochester. It wasn't long after they opened up for Pat Benatar at Stage One that local concert promoter Eddie Tice approached them about being their manager. During 1980/early '81 The Toys opened up for such acts as Split Enz, The Romantics, The Tourists (later known as The Eurythmics), Squeeze and Bauhaus. But by Spring of 1981 the boys were no longer interested in being big fish in a little pond, so they parted from their manager on friendly terms, and set out on the challenge of gaining a following in Boston, Cleveland, Detroit and New York City.
By late '81/early '82 the punk scene was nearly dead, and many of the era's bands along with it. With their following waning they needed to affect a change or they too would be just another forgotten band from the "punk era" -- so the band reinvented itself. The out-of-control antics and sounds of Rocky, Kevin, Meat and Mick matured and adapted to the oncoming "power-pop" era.
Having changed their name, now New Toys, and their sound, they decided to move to the Big Apple. Joel passed on the relocation (his last gig being July 30, 1982) and in stepped Peter Cain of Modern Men (former band mate of Doug's from the "early" days). By December the band relocated to the New York City Borough Of Staten Island, eventually becoming friends with artists like Dirty Looks, Johnny Thunders, Cheetah Chrome and Iggy Pop, and were playing regularly at clubs like CBGBs, Gildersleeve's, the Peppermint Lounge and Zappa's.
With the sudden death of Dirty Looks' manager, who was going to help the band by booking them as the opening act for Dirty Looks, they found themselves struggling to gain a larger audience and find steady gigs. In the fall of 1983 Doug Tyler left the band and returned to Buffalo to join up with Joel to form the band The Layers. Kevin, Alan & Pete continued on as a three piece until early 1984. In July of that year the three would rename the band the Lone Cowboys and perform new material.

Rocky Starr (Alan K): Guitar, Vocals
Kevin Starr (Kevin K) : Drums, Vocals
Mick Tyler (Doug Tyler): Guitar, Vocals
Meat Cleaver (Joel Slazyk) : Bass, B. Vocals
Patrick Barnes : Producer, Harmonica & Piano

New Toys – Say It [LP Mark Records 1982]

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BEATFOR58 - David Westlake

The Servants formed in London in 1985, and were based around the carefully crafted song writing of David Westlake. Phil King, who went on to join 4AD band Lush, played bass in the band. The first two Servants singles, 'She's Always Hiding' and 'The Sun, A Small Star', attracted good reviews, and both made the independent singles chart.
Westlake made a record for Creation before putting together a new Servants line-up with future Auteurs and Black Box Recorder man, Luke Haines.
Creation Records asked Westlake to make a record. But there still was not a full band. Westlake and Haines recorded some songs with the Triffids' rhythm section. Creation put out the songs later in 1987 as Westlake.

Westlake [LP Creation 1987]:

David Westlake - vocals & guitar; Luke Haines - guitar & piano; Martyn Casey - bass; Alsy MacDonald - drums
Producers : Paul Gadd and Steve Nunn

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Newcastle’s band formed by : Alan Fish (Guitars), Colin Roberts (Bass), Bob Smeaton (Vocals), Bryan Younger (Guitars), and John Miller/George Waters (Drums), released three singles – Nervous Breakdown (1979) , Finished With The Fashions (1980), The City Beat (1981), and one LP –In The Zero Hour (1981)-, all of them brought out In Vallium Records.
In The Zero Hour is a first-class power pop album of its era, blended traditional pop with alternative rock sensibilities and sounds. The singer was heavily influenced by Bruce Springsteen's
Bob Smeatonn become a film director and worked as assistant director on a number of television productions including Jools Holland in Memphis, the award-winning Nigel Kennedy’s Four Seasons, and Famous for 15 Minutes, the idea for which he also conceived. He was series director and writer for the Grammy-winning Beatles Anthology television series and received his second Grammy as director for the documentary Jimi Hendrix - Band of Gypsys. Since then, he has made documentaries on The Who, Pink Floyd, The Band, Lou Reed, Elton John, Queen, Nirvana and others.
WHITE HEAT - ... In The Zero Hour [lp 1980 Vallium Records]
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BEATFOR65 - The Kontroversy

The Kontroversy was a 60s style Rock ‘n’ Roll band formed around composer and singer Kevin Sanders. In 1984 released an ep with five songs from that Kansas City's great pop label owned and run by Tom Sorrells, Titan Records. This seven inches is a mixture of pop, surf and rock and roll, great guitars, and great tunes.
Previously Sanders fronted with Dennis Pash The Leopards. They were simply a lost treasure, a exact replica of the 1960s primetime Kinks. Released on their own Moon label, a pair of singles and the "Kansas City Slickers" lp (1977).

Kevin Sanders : Vocals, Guitars
Fred Prellberg: Bass, Vocals
Ken Carey : Guitars, Vocals
Tim Sanders : Drums, Vocals

Producer : Kevin Sanders

The Kontroversy – “This Then Is...” [ep 7” Titan Records 1984].
1. You’re So Wonderful
2. (I’m Just) One Of The Boys
3. I’ll Get Back My ’57 Chevy
4. Mighty Mighty Man
5. I Go Ape

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BEATFOR62 - The Laughing Dogs

Born out of the New York underground music scene of the late '70s, the Laughing Dogs were a band looking for a good time. With a cache of snappy pop songs chiefly written by main men Ronnie Carle (vocals/bass) and James Leonard (vocals/guitar), the band's sound was elegantly arranged with the help of keyboardist/guitarist/vocalist Carter Catchcart, and fueled by the powerhouse drumming of Moe Potts. None of the members were new to the music scene, so each brought plenty of creative ideas and strong musicianship. By borrowing from the past, the Dogs created a timeless sound that was as exciting as the explosive punk scene, but was also completely different. This was power pop with a raw edge, yet very commercial. If Billy Joel's Glass Houses album was recorded by a band with 'street cred', then that band would have been the Laughing Dogs. "Get 'Im Outta Town" and "Reason For Love" should have been huge radio hits worldwide, both filled with catchy hooks, bubbly harmonies, and real joyous energy... A gem of an album just waiting for you to discover it. Allmusic

Moe Potts (Drums) – Ronny Carle (Bass, Vocals, Harmonica) – Carter Cathcart (Keyborads, Guitars, Vocals) – James Leonard (Guitars, Vocals)

The Laughing Dogs \ “The Laughing Dogs” [lp Columbia 1979] Producer : Bruce Botnick

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BEATFOR63 - The Reactions

The Reactions were a terrific Cleveland band who made the fantastic single for St. Valentine Records “Tomorrow’s Time Today” and this mini lp for Homestead Records. Almost unnoticed, Dave Swanson joined up the 60’s garage band New Salem Witch Hunters, playing bass in Death of Samantha and drums in Cobra Verde. Then joined with the bass guitarist Brian McCafferty and formed the garage-rock-folk band Rainy Day Saints that brought up last year “Diamond Star Highway”, the band's sophomore release, which overflows with masterful, British Invasion-inspired guitar rock.

Cracked Marbles presents six spirited powerful songs, brandishing heavy guitars, and an unabashed fetish for British Invasion pop. Nice if you like the Replacements, Magnolias etc.

The Reactions – “Cracked Marbles” [Mnlp Homestead Records 1986] :

1. Cracked Marbles
2. I Want You
3. Flowers & Tears
4. Don’t You Care
5. Tell Me
6. Don’t Look Back

Prod.: The Reactions & Chris Burgess

Dave Swanson : Drums, Guitars, Keyborads
Chuck Wagner : Vocals, Guitars
Brian P. McCafferty : Bass, Vocals

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