Monday, December 7, 2009

Cardinal Point - "Keep on Dancing"

Cardinal Point - Keep on Dancing b/w Show me the Way (Phillips 1973 - Dutch issue)

This is one of those songs that I throw on every time I have a DJ gig, thinking that the crowd (and I use that word loosely) will go apeshit for it. So far, nobody has seemed to care but me. I guess that's what happens when one self-indulgently plays glam records to a top-40 audience.

Formed in Sicily in 1964 as I Punti Cardinali, their early releases were Italian versions of "Little Green Bag," "Something in the Air," and The Cats' "Lea." A few years later, they shipped off to Holland, anglicized their name, and started singing in English. This amazingly catchy tune builds nicely, and with a key change thrown in for good measure! Written by Hans Van Hemert and Piet Souer, both of whom worked with Mouth & MacNeal and Luv'. It's worth a mention that their organist was blind. He'll be the one wearing sunglasses in every band photo.

B-side starts out as a steel drum-driven island jam, but kicks into gear about 45 seconds in. Pretty solid record, overall.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Equals - "Beautiful Clown"

The Equals - Beautiful Clown b/w Daily Love (President 1977 - UK issue)

The last great Equals 45? At any rate, I think this is their last single with Eddy Grant involvement. It's hard to say, as I can't seem to find a comprehensive discography. The track was written by Grant and is a MONSTER, as good as anything they've ever done. I wish I knew what this one is about or, for that matter, what a "musical snitch" is.

The B-side was written by guitarist Derv Gordon and holds up pretty well too. Daily Love sounds like a mix of "Build me up Buttercup" and "Baby Love." I wouldn't be surprised if those were direct influences on this one, as The Equals were shameless riff thieves!
Both Sides produced by Eddy Grant

Ah, what the hell, here's the B-side too!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Kenny & The Carparks - "Top Speed"

Kenny and the Car Parks - Top Speed b/w Never Felt Bad (Sonet 1980 - UK issue)

Been searching for info on these guys a while now. It turns out this was written by Bilbo Baggins' guitarist Brian Spence. Mark over at SpenceMusic tells me these studio-only recordings featured Spence on guitar and bass, Bilbo Baggins' singer Colin Chisholm on drums, and Brian's brother Kenny on lead vocals. The band also included, in some capacity, other Spence brother Stuart, Jeremy Walker, and Derek Thomson.

I've seen French, Swedish, and Yugoslavian releases, all in different pic sleeves. Rumor is, it was released in several other countries as well. Both sides are great, mid-tempo power pop. Pick up this excellent 2-sider on the cheap, while you still can!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Beano - 1974 Italian magazine article

Click to enlarge

Are there any Italian-speakers out there that can translate this for me? I'm not sure what magazine this came out of, but it was rather small. (A6 format, I believe) Given the vehicles in the pix, it looks like the photoshoot was also in Italy. This article is probably just a fluff-piece, though hopefully, a translation will reveal something useful.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Beano - "Remember"

Beano - We Don't Wanna be the One b/w Remember (What we did on Holiday) (DERAM 1975 - German Issue)

Beano consisted of Freddie Phillips (lead vocals, guitar), Ken Smith (guitars), John Birch (bass) and Ray Johnson (drums).

I haven't been able to find much information on Beano. It seems that, for much of the seventies, Beano worked the clubs in Northern England as some sort of music and comedy act. They broke up around 1980, but released 5??? singles and a 1979 LP

A bit of Google wizardry shows that 3 out of 4 members, along with Richard Tallent on drums, entered a song, "Don't Throw Your Love Away," in the 1980 Eurovision contest under the new name Scramble. Scramble claimed to have been formed in Liverpool in 1969, which likely refers to Beano's origin.

Both sides were written by Freddie Phillips and produced by Nick Tauber. (Thin Lizzy, Slaughter & The Dogs, Toyah) This is the superior B-side, sounding somewhat like a continuation (*ahem*, rewrite) of their "Little Cinderella." It putts-along rather nicely.


Monday, August 31, 2009

Smyle - "Crazy Lazy Little Miss Daisy"

Smyle - Crazy Lazy Little Miss Daisy b/w There's no Reason to Cry (Polydor 1974 - French issue)

Perhaps Smyle's most overlooked single, this one happens to be my favorite! A perfect blend of Beatle-esque melody and rousing glam rock. This Jaap Eggermont-produced tune starts out with a nice early-moog riff, leading into a tasty compressed guitar lick, and has big danceability factor overall. Written by singer Bas Muys and one J. Gimmik, who appears to also have co-written well-known (to nerds like me, anyway) tracks by Catapult and Long Tall Ernie & The Shakers. Everything I've seen with the J. Gimmik writing credit happens to be produced by Jaap Eggermont, coincidence? The B-side is decent, like an early-70's John Lennon album cut.

For more info on Smyle check out NEDERGLAM . I'm sure I can't say it any better than Mark Boon himself!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Willie and the Walkers - "Poor Janie"

Willie & The Walkers - Alone in my Room b/w Poor Janie (United Artists 1967 - US issue)

Recorded May 1967 and released November of that same year, this b-side to Canadian #1 hit "Alone in my Room" has huge double-tracked drums and some real stanky electric piano stabs that make this track a stormer!

This is the band's third and final single as "Willie and the Walkers", though they did reunite in '72 as "The Walkers" for one more. The a-side is mid-tempo Verdelle Smith cover, sounding like a second-rate Zombies. For me, the Willie McCalder-written b-side is the real gem. Recorded by former Buddy Holly manager/producer Norman Petty in Clovis, New Mexico. This one was also comped on "Get Ready to fly," a collection of '60s Petty-produced tracks.