Categories
1960s 45 rpm 7" Pop R&B Soul Soundtracks

Better than the house red

I have always found the term “house band” vaguely disparaging, as if a recording studio has a house band in the same way an Italian bistro offers the “house red”: unlabelled and, at best, unremarkable. Sometimes, undrinkable. There may well be the odd house band out there that is like that – a bunch of […]

Categories
12" 1960s 1980s 33 rpm LP Pop Rock

Straight into overdrive

There are not many gears in the musical sub-genre of Surf Guitar. It is straight into overdrive, every time. There are no Surf Guitar tracks called “Moonlight Gently Touches Lapping Waters”.  But it is a musical form which has no pretence, and at its best it is fun, exciting music. I have never learned to […]

Categories
1960s 45 rpm 7" Pop

Girl from Tiger Bay

No one planned Tiger Bay. It just happened. In the 19th century, the Welsh port of Cardiff started trading with the world, and some of the world decided to stay. And some of these stayers were not white people. They coalesced into a dockside slum, Tiger Bay. It was a poor community, but also a […]

Categories
1960s 45 rpm 7" EP Pop Soul

Rascals in knickerbockers

Four young men, looking moody and  wearing knickerbockers and short ties. The cover picture on this EP is strange. What is this? Little Lord Fauntleroy Does Motown? I had not heard of the Young Rascals, the gents in the strange gear. But they were genuine stars in the late 1960s, with five US number 1 […]

Categories
1960s 45 rpm 7" Classical

HAL on Earth

Good afternoon, Gentlemen. I am a HAL 9000 computer. I became operational at the H.A.L. plant in Urbana, Illinois on the 12th of January 1992. My instructor was Mr. Langley and he taught me to sing a song. If you’d like to hear it, I can sing it for you. Sci-fi fans will recognise the […]

Categories
1960s 45 rpm 7" Pop R&B

Give Peace a chance

On the fringes of the R&B and soul scene of the 1950s were hundreds, maybe thousands, of talented singers and musicians who inhabited the land of Neverquite. It is often hard to chart their careers. They would shift from group to group, perform under different names, a minor hit here, an under-appreciated release there. Such […]

Categories
1960s 45 rpm 7" Country Gospel Pop

Cross-over Man

Cross-over. It was a buzz term in music marketing, back in the 80s. Like many things from that decade it was applied cynically. Industry executives were worried that Micheal Jackson would not make them quite enough money because, well, he was black, n’ all.  So they hired Eddie van Halen, with impeccable redneck street-cred, to […]

Categories
12" 1960s 33 rpm LP Pop

The Fifth Beatle

If, like me, you grew up listening to the Beatles you may have wondered about the strange-sounding “piano-or-is-it-a-harpsichord” solo on the song “In My Life,” on the Rubber Soul album. It goes like this: This was the work of the “Fifth Beatle,” George Martin, so called because of his work playing, producing and arranging many […]

Categories
1960s 45 rpm 7" Comedy Pop

Karen Cooper Fairgate MacKenzie

I am not a TV soap kinda guy. Nothing against the soapies – they give work to lots of actors and entertainment to millions of people, and are mostly harmless. Give me Neighbours over the latest vile reality-TV blood sport any day. Anyway, not being a watcher of soaps, I had not heard of Michele […]

Categories
1960s 45 rpm 7" Pop

‘Greater commercial success expected …’

There is an entire continent of Planet Vinyl called Neverquite. This is where we find the recordings of those honest toilers in the vineyard of song who “never quite” made it big. There is sadness here, but less than you might expect. There are those who were crushed along with their dreams, and whose ghosts […]