Friday, September 7, 2012

The Rhodes Kids - "Runaway"

Runaway b/w Runaway (Instrumental) (GRC 1975 - US issue)

Houston's Rhodes Kids were another one of those schmaltzy, 1970s family show bands.  They made the Osmonds seem like tough guys.  With several TV appearances and Las Vegas bookings, one can consider them fairly successful.  The fascinating thing about them is their record label.  GRC was run by Michael Thevis, the mobbed-up "Scarface of Porn," who likely used the label to launder money from his porn/peepshow empire.  Thevis' criminal career is an interesting read, and I encourage you to google him.

The A-side of this Del Shannon classic can be heard here.  I don't know about you, but I don't care to hear 8 people singing the same melody at once.  Luckily, the flip side is a cool, glittery instrumental version.

Further reading

2010 Houston Press article on the Rhodes Kids

Good overview on Michael Thevis

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Giuda comes to NYC! The Vanilla Gorilla manages to weasel his way onto the bill...

Hello all.  I know I've been rather absent from this blog lately.  I have many new records to post soon.  Right now, I just want to shamelessly plug what's going to be one helluva gig this Friday.  Sophie Thunder and myself will be spinning 45s in between those pesky bands.  Come for the bands, stay for the DJs!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Harpo - "Baby Boomerang"

Baby Boomerang b/w Happy Birthday (EMI 1974 - German issue)

Many of you are already familiar with Harpo's biggest hit "Moviestar." Nearly all of his hits had that same bittersweet feel. Those are fine but, if you dig a bit deeper, you can find some real gems. Baby Boomerang is also on Harpo's first album, Leo the Leopard, which is worth having for the unlikely rocker "Help me Mama (I'm in love with a Llama), and a couple other great tracks.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ariel Silber - "Movie Instead"

Movie Instead B/W When It's Time (AZ 1971 - Israeli issue)

It's been a while since the last post, so here's some top quality to make up for the poor quantity.

If you're living in Israel, the name Ariel Zilber is probably nothing new to you. On this and a couple other early released, he spells his surname as Silber. From what I gather, he's been one of the most prominent Israeli singer-songwriters for 40 years. There's plenty of information available on him if you read Hebrew. I don't, so I won't pretend to know much about him. (Ok, here's a google translation of a Hebrew blog) You tube has a fair amount of his clips, from the 70's, on to current stuff. I haven't had any luck finding any other tracks with this raw, almost proto-Belgian punk sound. The flip, also on the Hebrew blog, is mildly interesting; kind of like Steely Dan, meets a Pilot album track, meets Wings.

The single came out in France as well, with a black and white pic sleeve. He also did a couple other singles in the early 70's, but I haven't heard 'em.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bunter - "Long Live the Queen"

Long Live the Queen b/w Jumping Jesus (Kuckuck 1973 - German issue)

What the hell is this?! The songwriting credit simply lists "Bunter." The only other name is producer Adrian Millar, who worked with The Rats/David Kubinec, and the Babys. I'd try to track him down, had he not died a few years ago.

Each side sounds like it's sung by a different person. "Long Live the Queen" sounds almost exactly like a lost Chicory Tip track; synthesizers, handclaps, and spot-on vocals.

The lesser of the two tracks, "Jumping Jesus," probably deserves to be here in it's own right. A mildly-blasphemous pop-psych-glam number, the handclaps aside, it doesn't bear any resemblance to the title cut. Check out the layered guitar solo!

Long Live the Queen

Jumping Jesus

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Salix Alba - "Sweet Time"

Oh Mama b/w Sweet Time (Bellaphon 1973 - German Issue)

Oh Mama sounds like a half-hearted take on "Just a Gigolo," but about getting stoned, rather than getting laid. *Yawn* Flip it over and, what's this.... here's a nice piece of glittery pop! There's a pinch of prog thrown in the mix but, thankfully, the song stays upbeat and catchy.

Salix Alba - Oh Mama

Aside from being Belgian, I'm not sure what their deal is. On the cover of their '73 LP (pictured above), two guys are costumed up as though they could be members of Chicory Tip or Lemming. I haven't heard it, but I have a hunch it's not going to sound as cool as it looks. Three of the four Salix Alba tracks I've heard have had that same awful Louis Prima sound. I'll hold out for a cheap copy.

Somehow, this track got a US release too, on STAX! This time it's an erroneously pluralized "Sweet Times." The A-side is "I Can't Resist," a different boring tune and, as I said before, not unlike that "Oh Mama" nonsense.

Keyboardist Marc Herouet was previously in Wallace Collection, a late-60's, early-70's Belgian orchestral pop group who had a fair amount of success in Europe. Recommended for fans of The Move.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Mabel - "I am a Hot Dog"

Mabel can get a bit silly at times, and this is no exception. This one has plenty of redeeming qualities; brilliant, cheap-sounding keyboards, goofy lyrics about picking up women, and those RIDICULOUS fake dog sounds! It's pure campy fun.

For such a prolific band, I find it incredibly difficult to get any substantial info on Mabel. These Danes released their first of many (twelve?) singles in 1975, released a good five or so albums, and moved to Spain, before ultimately morphing into Studs around '81. They were pretty big with the teenybopper crowd, as the singer was young prettyboy Mike Tramp, better known for fronting 80's hairballs White Lion. Mabel had a lot of filler, but still many worthwhile tracks.

Spanish sleeve