Author Topic: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music  (Read 14490 times)

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

  • a hopeless vanity... a stupefyingly futile conceit
Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #30 on: August 17, 2020, 12:46:16 PM »
Anything That's Part of You by Elvis Presley.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovbvnXsj5lI

Just over two minutes of gorgeous desolation, a heartbroken break-up song par excellence (the King eventually resolves to take his own life, which feels like a bit of an overreaction - she's not worth it, E) with some wonderfully delicate countrified piano-playing from the great Floyd Cramer. It was the B-side of the considerably more cheerful Good Luck Charm.

Brundle-Fly

  • *Jooolie Andreeeews!! Thhhrrrrp!!!!*
Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #31 on: August 17, 2020, 03:28:29 PM »
Tiki - Martin Denny/ Si Zentner taken from the Exotica Suite album on Liberty Records.1962



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jF28Wz-z3NY

Let's pour some cocktails and add a little exotica into the mix?  I discovered Martin Denny during the 1990s Easy Listening/ lounge scene. Still the best music to hear in stereo. Now, who's in charge of the barbecue here?

Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #32 on: August 17, 2020, 04:31:04 PM »
I first heard Esquivel back then too! And apparently this came out in 1962. The trumpets!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWRd9KPD-IM

The compilation this was on in the nineties cost me a relative fortune at the time.

Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #33 on: August 17, 2020, 08:15:33 PM »
Beloved of film soundtracks. That section from 0:26-0:45 is transcendental.

---

Linda Steele's pop career begun and ended with 1962's single Come on let me try, backed by I don't want to be loved. Supported by doo-wop group The Del Rios, it's hard to see how she didn't make an impact, as across a combined five minutes both the a and b-sides demonstrate a superb character and versatility. Real pop history's loss is alternative pop history's gain, at least.



Come on let me try has her growling through the chorus, against a track where i just wish the guitar would calm the fuck down a bit. It's a spiky and sassy foreshadow of The Ronette's Be my baby; but truth be told it's an aperitif before the rich, winding, vocal exhibition which is I don't want to be loved - a waltzing, meandering ballad where Steele effortlessly plays with the melody like it's an insect she's letting run over her fingers, in one hand and then the other, in total unthinking control. For their part the Del Rios don't go for any show-stopping harmonising, it's restrained and sparing which lets us revel in Steele's performance. That this ends up in a thread like this means someone, somewhere, in an office, really fucked up along the way.

Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #34 on: August 18, 2020, 09:27:15 PM »
Ok, great start! Let's move onto 1963

I'll kick us off with the most famous band in history but with, what they call theses days, a very deep cut.

the beatles - there's a place

Relatively unheralded, this is one of my favourites of the early Beatles output.

Recorded in February 1963 and released on their debut album just one month later, it's a great example of those dual vocal Lennon-McCartney songs where their harmonies are pitched high and low to great effect.

https://youtu.be/vTsbYbN8VVI

daf

  • some weirdo taking the piss
Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #35 on: August 18, 2020, 09:41:21 PM »
Juliet says, "Hey, it's Romeo, you nearly gave me a heart attack"
He's underneath the window, she's singing, "Hey, la, my boyfriend's back . . .


The Angels - My Boyfriend's Back



Got to #50 in the UK in October 1963.

Quote
The group originated in New Jersey as The Starlets which consisted of sisters, Barbara "Bibs" and Phyllis "Jiggs" Allbut, Bernadette Carroll, and Lynda Malzone. When Lynda Malzone left, Linda Jansen became the new lead singer.

Jansen left the group in late 1962 to go solo and was replaced by Peggy Santiglia, formerly of The Delicates. Santiglia had sung jingles for WINS Radio, appeared on Broadway, and had songwriting experience. In 1963, the trio signed to Mercury Records' subsidiary label Smash Records and began working with the Feldman-Goldstein-Gottehrer songwriting team, who wrote "My Boyfriend's Back". The Angels' performance was originally intended as a demo for The Shirelles' consideration, but the music publishers chose instead to release it as it stood. The song was a major hit, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100. "My Boyfriend's Back" sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2020, 09:54:54 PM by daf »

gib

  • still within the realms of safety
Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #36 on: August 18, 2020, 09:57:30 PM »
that's so catchy, daf. Amazed it didn't do better.

non capisco

  • A ridiculous boy on a makeshift vehicle
Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #37 on: August 18, 2020, 09:58:56 PM »
Egyptian Shumba - The Tammys

Catchy as hell girl group song that stands out from the pack due to the eccentric choice of having a lot of full throated screaming noises throughout. Shimmy shimmy shimmy shy-aye mis-e-dis to you too, madam.

Here it is again in mono. Never been able to decide whether or not I prefer it to the stereo or not.

daf

  • some weirdo taking the piss
Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #38 on: August 18, 2020, 11:09:05 PM »
If you see a faded sign by the side of the road that says
Fifteen miles to the . . .


Jimmy Gilmer & The Fireballs - Sugar Shack



Got to #45 in the UK in November 1963.

Quote
The Fireballs were formed in Raton, New Mexico, in 1957, and got their start as an instrumental group. The original line-up consisted of George Tomsco (lead guitar), Chuck Tharp (vocals), Stan Lark (bass), Eric Budd (drums), and Dan Trammell (rhythm guitar). They recorded at Norman Petty's studio in Clovis, New Mexico. According to group founders Tomsco and Lark, they took their name from Jerry Lee Lewis's "Great Balls of Fire".

Billed as Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs, the group reached number one on the Billboard chart with "Sugar Shack", which remained at that position for five weeks in 1963.

Norman Petty had been Buddy Holly's main recording producer, and after Holly's death, obtained the rights to Holly's early rehearsal and home demo recordings. From May 1962 until August 1968, Petty had the Fireballs overdub the Holly material, making them the band he never knew he had, though the band had met Holly at Petty's studio in 1957. The overdubs were originally released on four albums of "new" Holly material throughout the 1960s

Neomod

  • I'll never make that mistake again
Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #39 on: August 18, 2020, 11:18:21 PM »
Serge Gainsbourg Chez Les Ye Ye



Still in his jazz/chanson phaze in 63, this ode to his Ye Ye Lolita came out the same year as La Javanaise but is much cooler than the better known track. More Rive Gauche than Champs Elysées[1]. Serge would only trouble the British charts with one song (which would get to number one) 6 years later with his heavy breathing paramour Jane Birkin. Still, even today he's probably one of France's most influential renaissance men.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KV4MfJKdxTk
 1. That would be Joe Dassin, again in 69

Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #40 on: August 19, 2020, 12:08:29 AM »
Juliet says, "Hey, it's Romeo, you nearly gave me a heart attack"
He's underneath the window, she's singing, "Hey, la, my boyfriend's back . . .


The Angels - My Boyfriend's Back



Got to #50 in the UK in October 1963.

Martha Reeves and The Vandellas did this too. Did it do better here?

daf

  • some weirdo taking the piss
Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #41 on: August 19, 2020, 12:15:16 AM »
No mention of it on their UK charts page - as according to 45cat it wasn't released as a single in the UK.

Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #42 on: August 19, 2020, 12:23:53 AM »
Thanks. I probably know it from my big soul fan mate, Chiffons did it too but not as well.

Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #43 on: August 19, 2020, 05:25:06 AM »
Delia Derbyshire - Dr Who Theme

This is an utterly remarkable work that is decades ahead of its time, created using only oscillators and tape manipulation, it's a prescient marvel and, despite many updates, this original version has yet to be surpassed for the pure eeriness that suits the show so well.

Created by the wonderful Delia Derbyshire, working as part of the, none more hauntologically named, BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

https://youtu.be/75V4ClJZME4

daf

  • some weirdo taking the piss
Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #44 on: August 19, 2020, 09:43:24 AM »
Del Shannon - Little Town Flirt



Reached #12 in the US, and #4 the UK charts in January 1963.

Quote
Shannon was born Charles Weedon Westover on 30 December 1934, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He learned to play the ukulele and guitar and listened to country-and-western music by artists such as Hank Williams, Hank Snow, and Lefty Frizzell.

In July 1960, Westover signed to Bigtop Records who suggested Westover use a new name. "Shannon" from Mark Shannon - a local wrestler, and "Del" from the Cadillac Coupe de Ville.

Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #45 on: August 19, 2020, 09:50:55 AM »
Screaming Lord Sutch and The Savages - Jack The Ripper/Don't You Just Know It


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rlFie2B9xE

Jack The Ripper was a Joe Meek-produced flop single for the artist formerly known as David Edward Sutch - funnily enough, no radio station would touch it at the time.

However the real star turn here is the flipside, a heavy as fuck for 1963 version of Huey "Piano" Smith's 1958 R&B classic "Don't You Just Know It", absolute banger. Possibly the first UK single to employ the use of a fuzzbox guitar solo.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3Lk1sVhYsg

Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #46 on: August 19, 2020, 11:19:57 AM »
Ginny Arnell - Dumb Head
https://youtu.be/EJKkxJqEaYc

As Egyptian Shumba demonstrates this was the year girl groups went gonzo! This would be otherwise an unremarkable but still very good example of the genre were it not for the curiously self-loathing lyrics; the sudden descent of a load of kazoos towards the end and the strangely arrhythmic way she vocalises "do do do dah do da do do". There was also a Joe Meek produced version of this by someone else which was less strange and it's not often you'll say that.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

  • a hopeless vanity... a stupefyingly futile conceit
Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #47 on: August 19, 2020, 12:00:33 PM »
The Lonely Surfer by Jack Nitzsche, the shadowy Zelig of pop. A great arranger, producer and musician, he worked with 'em all, but this was the only time he troubled the charts under his own steam (it reached #39 on the Billboard hit parade). Surf instrumentals were ten a penny around this time, but Nitzsche and the Wrecking Crew shot theirs in CinemaScope. It's BIG.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1o_5z6-OIPY

Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #48 on: August 19, 2020, 12:24:14 PM »
What a great track that is! There's so much oddness in the early 60s that was just yet to be codified into anything specific: the twin screamers Jay Hawkins and Lord Sutch predate and equal the heaviness of anything to follow for a long time and you've got men in their mid 30s writing songs to be sung by teenage girls who sound like they've already had two failed marriages.

Peggy March - My Teenage Castle (is Tumblin' Down)
https://youtu.be/5i2WJ9Pz1gU

I could've gone with the obvious choice I Will Follow Him but given the remit have side stepped a little to go for this. It's just heartbreaking and shows you how non linear the timescale of great pop is: this could've come out 10 years earlier, Hope Sandoval could've put it out 30 years later or Lana Del Rey could've released it last week. The only thing that really dates it to this period rather than later is the presence of the absurdly basso profundo backing vocals.

buzby

  • Member
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Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #49 on: August 19, 2020, 12:29:50 PM »
Lesley Gore - You Don't Own Me

Released in December 1963, it was Gore's second biggest hit (after It's My Party), peaking at #2 on the Billboard chart for 3 weeks, kept off the top spot by I Want To Hold Your Hand. It was also her last top 10 single in the US. Unlike her earlier hits and most other female pop songs of the era , lyrically it is very much a proto-feminist anthem. It was released in the UK but didn't chart, like most of her post-'It's My Party' singles

It was written by Philadelphia-based songwriters John Madara and David White. They were were sick of all the songs being written for female singers mooning about boys. It was also influenced by Madara's observations of how his black friends were treated by the racist Philadelphia police officers, who would regularly apply a bit of 'good, honest coppering' to him and his teenage friends whether they had done anything or not (the difference being he would get truncheoned on the back of his legs, whereas they got it across the back or chest). Gore, who was 17 at the time, chose to sing the song as she too was getting fed up with the genre of 'boy songs' girl groups and singers were churning out:
Quote from: Lesley Gore
At the time, I know I chose it because I liked the strength in the lyric. But for me, it was not a song about being a woman. It was a song about being a person and what was involved with that. Of course, it got picked up as an anthem for women, which makes me very proud.

It was produced in New York by Quncy Jones, with a lush arrangement by the German arranger/composer/conductor Claus Obermann (who arranged a lot of Gore's tracks) and was also pumping out arrangements for Solomon Burke, Ben E. King, The Drifters, Connie Francis, Mel Torme and many more at the time.

Gore carried on recording and putting out albums sporadically for the rest of the 1970s (alongside her careers as an actress and songwriter with her younger brother Michael Gore - they wrote Out Here On My Own for the Fame soundtrack) and in 2005 recorded her first album of new material in 36 years, Ever Since. She rerecorded You Don't Own Me for the album, of which she said "Without the loud backing track, I could wring more meaning from the lyric"

The song had much more cultural impact over in the US than here due to it not being a UK hit. However, in 2015 (the same year that Gore passed away) the Australian singer Grace was picked up by Sony/Columbia. Quincy Jones heard some of her demos and he suggested she have a go at a cover of the song (with the additon of a now ubiquitous rap section by the talentless G-Eazy, which seems to basically misunderstand the entire meaning of the song). This version was picked up by House Of Fraser for their Christmas ad campaign and got to #4 in the UK charts.

Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #50 on: August 19, 2020, 01:35:02 PM »

Irma Thomas- Ruler of My Heart

Sultry!!!
Failed to chart in USA as far as I can tell, not sure if it was released in the UK. The B-side 'Hittin on Nothin' is a banging stripped down rocker.
This was blatanly ripped off the same year by Otis Redding who changed the title to 'pain in my heart' and thought nobody would notice- Nice try! His version was covered later by the Rolling Stones.


daf

  • some weirdo taking the piss
Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #51 on: August 19, 2020, 04:15:24 PM »
Don't Sing Harry . . .

Randy and The Rainbows - Denise



Later revived by Blondie, of course, but here's the original.

Quote
The group was formed in 1962 in a neighborhood of Queens, and featured two pairs of siblings, along with a mysterious fifth member. The Safuto brothers, Dominick and Frank, had previously sung in the group The Dialtones. They recorded with the producers of The Tokens, releasing the single "Denise" in 1963. The name "Randy and the Rainbows" was chosen by the owners of Laurie Records after the group recorded "Denise". The group had previously been called "Junior & the Counts" and "The Encores".

While it was a Top 10 smash in the US, this completely stiffed when released in the UK in August 1963.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2020, 04:29:34 PM by daf »

Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #52 on: August 19, 2020, 06:54:28 PM »
The Lonely Sea - The Beach Boys

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bi0qPIkQuLY


Brundle-Fly

  • *Jooolie Andreeeews!! Thhhrrrrp!!!!*
Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #53 on: August 19, 2020, 08:48:08 PM »
The Bird On The Second Floor - Bernard Cribbins.  Released on Parlophone 1963



Sorry to bring another cheeky, chirpy mockney novelty single to the party but come on, it's Cribbo! 

Did George Martin produce this? I know he produced Bernard's Right Said Fred single in 1962.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUWq8JURKRQ

.

Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #54 on: August 19, 2020, 08:56:39 PM »
this thread is dynamite, i tells ya

Brundle-Fly

  • *Jooolie Andreeeews!! Thhhrrrrp!!!!*
Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #55 on: August 19, 2020, 09:04:45 PM »
this thread is dynamite, i tells ya

it is, isn't it?   CaB at its best.

daf

  • some weirdo taking the piss
Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #56 on: August 19, 2020, 09:08:16 PM »
Did George Martin produce this? I know he produced Bernard's Right Said Fred single in 1962.

As was standard practice at this time, no producer is listed on the label, but it does say "With Accompaniment directed by Johnnie Spence"

Quote
Spence's credits at this time included such work as the Bernard Cribbins single "Right Said Fred". In 1960, George Martin decided to use Johnnie Spence, who had just been signed to Parlophone as a musical director, for the upcoming session with his new recording-act Terry Parsons, aka Matt Monro. George Martin threw everything at this session, including a 23-piece orchestra for a big sound. Two tape machines were running at the same time: one in stereo and one in mono, doubling the cost of tape.

His 1962 album 'A Combination Of Cribbins' has the credit "Directed by Johnnie Spence / Supervised by George Martin" - which is most likely the set up here.

Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #57 on: August 19, 2020, 09:36:49 PM »
In 1963 Tammi Terrell was still Tammy Montgomery, prior to her celebrated duets with Marvin Gaye. Amongst her early releases, on James Brown's Try Me label, was I cried, penned by Brown and later covered - twice, in a manner of speaking - by Brown himself. I say twice, because one of those "covers" was It's a man's man's man's world, where Brown would recycle the chord structure and underlying instrumentation in a different key.



This isn't the Tammi Terrell we hear anywhere else. The icy production renders her distant and haunting, singing to us from the other side of a pane of glass. Those chords, overwrought on It's a man's man's man's world, are naked, accompanied only during the middle eight by classical spiritual melismas and a reluctant flute solo. It's hard to see how this was thought marketable for a teenage singer - charting at number 99 in the US, it evidently wasn't - but as others have mentioned, we seem to be at a point where with either emerging technology or new currents of popular music, caution was being thrown to the wind. The result here brings to mind some of the more detached experimental productions of Gloria Ann Taylor a decade later. It's doubly jarring when you hear it run into the conventional short and snappy b-side, If you don't think.

Terrell's short life, laced with trauma that this record feels like it wants to scratch at, was one of relentless productivity. It's tempting to wonder about the direction she would have taken as she matured and the 1970s set in.

Brundle-Fly

  • *Jooolie Andreeeews!! Thhhrrrrp!!!!*
Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #58 on: August 19, 2020, 09:37:36 PM »
Ah right, that makes sense. Thanks Daf.

daf

  • some weirdo taking the piss
Re: An Alternative History of "Pop" Music
« Reply #59 on: August 19, 2020, 11:13:54 PM »
Thank you Boiled Potato! . . .

Matt Lucas - I'm Movin' On

 

Reached #56 in the US, wasn't even released in the UK!

Quote
Born on 19 July 1935 in Memphis, Tennessee, Lucas grew up in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. At Mark Twain School he played maracas in The Mark Twain Rhythm Band and soon drums became his passion.

At age 14 he got into serious trouble when he took a cement mixer truck to run away from home. He was declared a juvenile delinquent and sentenced to a term in the Missouri Reformatory in Boonville, Missouri.

In July 1956, while playing a gig at the El Morocco Club in Gideon, Missouri, he met a local singer by the name of Narvel Felts who had started to build himself a reputation as an Elvis type rocker.

In late 1962 he recorded "I'm Movin' On" in the Sonic Sound Studios in Memphis, at the end of a Narvel Felts session. The deejays loved it; the only problem was they liked the B-side "My Heavenly Angel". In an effort to kill the record a "It's Different – It's A Hit – I'm Movin' On by Matt Lucas" stamp was applied to the sleeves and sometimes the record itself. The reaction was swift and devastating "The record is too wild and crazy and we don't want to play this n**ger music on our white radio station".

Eventually he visited WDIA radio, the top black radio station in Memphis at the time, where he played the record for Rufus Thomas who really liked it and added it to the stations playlist. The airplay on the black stations forced white stations like WHBQ WHBQ to add the song to their playlist too.

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