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An Alternative History of "Pop" Music

Started by jamiefairlie, August 15, 2020, 09:27:00 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


Velvet Crest - Na-Na-Song

Released in 1970 - did not chart

Quote'By Popular Demand' formed in September 1966 in Mineral City, Ohio by 18-year old lead guitarist Terry St. George and 17-year-old bassist Dave Bartos. They were joined by 28-year-old guitarist Joel Gordon and drummer Jeff Kerekes from nearby Magnolia, Ohio. Their first big break came in October 1966, when they beat out eight other bands to win the Cuyahoga Falls News Association Battle of the Bands contest.

They recorded their first single, "You Might Need Me", in March, 1968. The studio engineer introduced them to Carl Maduri who agreed to produce the group. Maduri changed the band's name to the Velvet Crest, dressed them in matching brown Edwardian velvet suits, and signed them to manager, Nick Boldi, a music industry veteran who had previously worked with Pat Boone. A record deal was secured with Harbour Records in New York, and the single "Look Homeward Angel" was released on January 27, 1969. The single eventually peaked at #93 on the national charts.

The band's contract was sold to Liberty Records in Los Angeles, and they returned to Cleveland in late-1969 to record the follow up single "Lookin' Through The Eyes Of Love". Liberty flew the band out to Los Angeles for several months to promote the record. The song didn't match the success of their previous single, and following a falling out with Boldi and Glasser the band were dropped from the label.


Nick Boldi owned the rights to the name Velvet Crest and decided to continue the band with different members. He brought back original drummer Jeff Kerekes along with new musicians Bob Baird, Bobby Coleman, and Eric Oswalt. Under Boldi's direction, they recorded two singles, the Bubblegum pop-influenced "Na-Na-Song" and Beatles cover "Things We Said Today". Both singles found local success but failed to chart nationally. By 1971, the band had dissolved for good.


Don't - Doris. Released on Odeon in 1970

If you like Lulu in her funkier moments and jazz pop generally, then check out this gal's album, Did You Give The World Some Love, Baby?
This was Doris' jazz album though it contains more than a hint of Joni Mitchell, Led Zepellin and the like. Backed by her husband Lukas Lindholm on bass she was able to lay down some seriously funky bass lines on tracks like Don't and Beatmaker. On You Never Come Closer*, an experimental track that was way ahead of its time, Janne Carlssonunleashes a fearsome sound on drums helped by Bernot Egerladh on organ.


Fuck it, I'm tossing in this gem as well as a Saturday treat.

*On You Never Come Closer


Bill Oddie - On Ilkla Moor Baht'At

Released in January 1970 - did not chart

QuoteDandelion Records was a British record label started in 1969 by John Peel as a way to get the music he liked onto record. Peel was a "sort of artistic director" with no financial involvement, allowing him to play Dandelion artists on his BBC show, while business matters were handled by his manager and long-time friend Clive Selwood and Selwood's wife, Shurley. Both the label and its sister publishing company, Biscuit, were named after Peel's hamsters.

John Peel : "The half-witted, idealistic notion behind Dandelion and our other violent, capitalist enterprise, Biscuit Music, is that any profits, if such there be, should go to the artists, not to Clive nor myself. We want to record people whose songs and poems we like and whom we like as people. At the moment this means Bridget St. John, Beau, (Beau Who?), Principal Edwards Magic Theatre and the Occasional Word Ensemble. If people like their records, and I honestly can't think of any reason why they shouldn't, then we'll be able to record a host of other people you've probably never heard of either."

Frustrated at established record companies' reluctance to issue records by Tyrannosaurus Rex and other artists he favoured, Peel first put forward the idea of a record label of his own in his column in the International Times in January 1968 :

John Peel : "If I had enough money (pause for forlorn laughter) I would initiate Dandelion Records firmly dedicated to never making a profit and our first release would be "Tyrannosaurus Rex Particularly Alive At Festive Peel Acres (a 4 LP set). Following this we'd have "The Tyrannosaurus Rex Song Book Over Rivendell" and records by Sam Gopal, Mabel Greer's Toyshop, Adrian Henri, Andy Roberts, squadrons of poets and other deserving people. I would be disappointed if you didn't buy my records but I would be happy that I myself had such nice things to listen to."

One of the artists on the label was Bill Oddie - member of TV Funny-men The Goodies - who recorded the traditional ballad 'On Ilkla Moor Baht'at' in the style of Joe Cocker's soulful cover of 'With A Little Help From My Friends' - with the assistance of some of Cocker's 'Grease Band' who played on the original record.


Clive Selwood : "One of the label's most collectable singles is Bill Oddie's On Ilkley Moor Baht'at. I think I was behind that. It was another one of our jokes that nobody got. He's a clever boy is Bill Oddie, but people thought it was a serious record, as the lyrics went unnoticed, so it disappeared without trace. I mentioned it to John, who said he was up for it, and we managed to get most of The Grease Band, Jim Capaldi and Sue and Sally who were on the original Joe Cocker Reprise band release, and it was great. John and his producer John Walters produced it. It was a one off, and quite expensive to record, as it featured all of those amazing players. But, again, no regrets. It was worth doing and still gives us a smile."


Othello - The Johnny Scott Quintet. Released on Fontana in 1970

Evocative jazz piece that perfectly encapsulates a chilly October evening drawing in.

Scott was born in Bishopston, Bristol, England. His father, a musician in the Bristol Police Band, gave him his first music lessons. At the age of 14, he enrolled in the British Army (in the Royal Artillery Band, Woolwich) as a Boy Musician in order to continue his musical studies of the clarinet, harp and saxophone.

Later, Scott toured with some of the best-known British bands of the era. He was hired by EMI to arrange and conduct some of its most popular artists and, during this time, worked with Beatles producer George Martin (playing flute in the band's 1965 recording "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away"). Scott also recorded such artists as Tom Jones, Cilla Black, and The Hollies. As a musician, he played with The Julian Bream Consort, John Dankworth, Cleo Laine, Yehudi Menuhin, Nelson Riddle and Ravi Shankar.

Credited as Johnny Scott, and playing flute, he led a jazz quintet, quartet and trio during the 1960s. He played for Henry Mancini and was principal saxophonist in John Barry's soundtrack to the James Bond film Goldfinger (1964)



Errol Sober - What Do You Say To A Naked Lady

Released in May 1970 - peaked at #106 in the US.

Yes, that's the actual record - the promos were pressed on piss coloured gold vinyl!!


Pink Floyd - Crumbling Land


Unusual track, sounds more like latter day Byrds or even CSNY. It's from the soundtrack to Zabriskie Point, a film released in March 1970..


Quote from: jamiefairlie on October 10, 2020, 07:30:10 PM
Zabriskie Point

Practically a whole "lost album" from the sessions is included on the 'Early Years' set!


Fotheringay  - Nothing More


The band Sandy Denny formed after leaving Fairport Convention when she hooked up with former members of Eclection. This is the opening track of their self-titled and only contemporaneous album. Precious little forage exists of Sandy Denny performing live so this is precious and very powerful.


Quote from: jamiefairlie on October 09, 2020, 10:20:34 PM
Agincourt - All My Life


Another incarnation of the John Ferdinando, Peter Howell songwriting team. This is from Fly Away, their only album under this name.

Might be more obvious but I love the first track on that album. It's bugged me ever since I first heard it what the ending sounds like, but I think it may be The Castle by Love.

Agincourt - When I Awoke


and it's always a pleasure to hear Blossom Dearie


Linda Hoyle with Affinity - United States Of Mind

Released as the B-side of "Eli's Comin'' in October 1970  - did not chart

QuoteGrown in a petri dish in the science department of the University of Sussex in Brighton by science students Lynton Naiff (keyboards), Grant Serpell (drums), and Nick Nicholas (double bass), The US Jazz Trio, played at University events and local gigs. When Serpell graduated a year later he was replaced by Mo Foster on drums.

After university Naiff and Serpell, along with members gathered from other university bands, formed the pop group Ice - who we previously heard from back in this thread with Whisper Her Name (Maria Laine). After finding little chart success as Ice, they auditioned for a new singer - finally plumping for English teacher Linda Hoyle, and changed their name to Affinity - as a tribute and salute to Oscar Peterson's 1961 LP of the same name.

Affinity played their first London show at the Revolution Club in Bruton Place in Mayfair, West End on 5 October 1968. Ronnie Scott heard a recording of one of their gigs that had been broadcast on the BBC, and subsequently agreed to manage them, and gave them regular bookings at his world-famous jazz club.

They released an eponymously titled album on the Vertigo label in 1970, and recorded the theme for a Shredded Wheat commercial series.

Linda Hoyle left the band in 1971 and worked with Karl Jenkins on a solo album, 'Pieces of Me'. Only 300 copies of the album were pressed, becoming one of Vertigo's rarest albums. Hoyle emigrated to Canada in 1972, where she continued to sing.


I Will Be Absorbed - Egg. Released on Deram in 1970.

Go to work on an Egg. I bet Stereolab liked this.

The founder members of Egg were Dave Stewart who played organ, Mont Campbell on bass and vocals, and drummer Clive Brooks.[1] The band was formed of former members of Uriel, the other member of which was guitarist Steve Hillage.[1] After Hillage left Uriel in August 1968, the other three continued as a trio. Having signed a deal with the Middle Earth club's management branch, they were advised to change their name to Egg, allegedly because Uriel "sounded too much like 'urinal'".



Roy Harper - Another Day


An  English folk rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, this is from his fourth album,  Flat Baroque and Berserk. This track was covered in 1983 by This Mortal Coil, featuring the vocals of the Cocteau Twin's Elizabeth Fraser, on the album It'll End in Tears,


Quote from: jobotic on October 10, 2020, 09:48:11 PM
Might be more obvious but I love the first track on that album. It's bugged me ever since I first heard it what the ending sounds like, but I think it may be The Castle by Love.

Agincourt - When I Awoke


and it's always a pleasure to hear Blossom Dearie

Yes, great track.


Quote from: Brundle-Fly on October 10, 2020, 10:13:36 PM

Go to work on an Egg. I bet Stereolab liked this.

Have you heard Tim Gane's album Turn On?

Can't wait for some more Egg next year!


Richard Twice - If I Knew You Were the One


Taken from their eponymous debut album, their only release. The band was made up, naturally, of two Richards, Atkins & Manning, based in LA.


Quote from: jobotic on October 10, 2020, 10:31:58 PM
Have you heard Tim Gane's album Turn On?

Yes, I've got it. I've not listened to Turn On in years. 

*rummages through old CDs


Tir Na Nog - Our Love


From their self-titled debut album. Tír na nÓg are an Irish folk band formed in Dublin, Ireland, in 1969 by Leo O'Kelly and Sonny Condell.


The Barron Knights - Awake

Released in May 1970 as the B-side of "Traces" - did not chart

QuoteThe Barron Knights originally formed in 1959 in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, as the Knights of the Round Table. They spent a couple of years touring and playing in English dance halls before making their way to Hamburg, Germany.

In 1963, at the invitation of Brian Epstein, they were one of the support acts on The Beatles' Christmas shows at the Finsbury Park Astoria in London, and later became one of the few acts to tour with both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

They first came to fame in 1964 with the number "Call Up the Groups" that parodied a number of the leading pop groups of the time including the Searchers, Freddie and the Dreamers, the Dave Clark Five, the Bachelors, the Rolling Stones, and the Beatles.

In 1967, the group released the single "Lazy Fat People", a satirical song written by Pete Townshend of The Who.


The Free Design - Ronda Go 'Round


Another slice of sunshine pop from the Free Design. This is from their sixth album, Sing For Very Important People

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

Kathy McCord - Candle Waxing

Some more acid folk...


Kathy McCord was an American singer and musician. Candle Waxing is from her debut album, one of only two released during her lifetime. After failing to achieve any significant success, she eventually retired from the music world in 1987.


Trader Horne - Here Comes The Rain


Trader Horne consisted of former Them keyboard player and vocalist Jackie McAuley and former Fairport Convention lead vocalist Judy Dyble. They releasing only one LP, Morning Way, and two singles, this being the second. The band was named after John Peel's nanny, Florence Horne, nicknamed "Trader" by Peel and his siblings.


Ballad of Ballard Berkley

Bobby Sherman - Hey, Mister Sun


Pure 'hat on the side of me head' bubblegum euphoria, Hey, Mister Sun invents the Polyphonic Spree 30 years before the fact.

QuoteBobby Sherman is an American singer, actor and occasional songwriter who became a teen idol in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He retreated from show business in the 1970s for a career as a paramedic and a sheriff's officer.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

Gerry Monroe - Sally


Everybody!! This was an actual hit, admittedly, but, well, it's all but forgotten today. So I thought I'd sneak it in.

QuoteGerry Monroe was an English pop singer and former coal miner, who enjoyed brief popularity in the early 1970s after winning Opportunity Knocks. He was spotted on the show by top pop songwriter Les Reed, who signed him to a long-term deal with Chapter One Records. He had a high and distinctive falsetto voice, and managed to notch up a few chart hits for the label, including Sally, a song first made popular by Gracie Fields in the 1930s.

Monroe also recorded a tribute to Bobby Charlton in 1973, following the footballer's retirement, called Goodbye Bobby Boy. Which is nice.


The Lollipops - Goody Goody Gum Drops

Released in Denmark in February 1970

QuoteThe Lollipops formed in Denmark in 1960 by brothers Torben Lundgreen and Jørgen Lundgreen and their cousin Poul Petersen aged 10, 9 and 12 respectively. The group won a talent competition in the Ping Club and in 1963, released their first record, 'Lollipop Lips', which became a big hit in Sweden.

The Lundgreen brothers played guitar and sang and were the core of the group, and when Petersen left it in 1966, he was replaced on drums by Henrik Lund.

'Goody Goody Gum Drops' was originally released as a single by The 1910 Fruit Gum Company, reaching #37 in the US charts in 1969.


Magician In The Mountain - Sunforest. Released in Jan 1970 on Decca.

Very underrated shortlived psyche folk act, The album has so much variety and showed a lot of promise but alas no. 'Away to the mountains with ya', said the great British public.

Sunforest was an English psychedelic folk music trio. It was formed in 1968 by Terry Tucker, Erika Eigen and Freya Hogue. They recorded only one album, Sound of Sunforest. They are best known for their instrumental musical piece "Overture to the Sun" and their song "Lighthouse Keeper", which were featured on the soundtrack to A Clockwork Orange



Keith Colley - Sugaree (Sugar Every Day And Night Girl)

Released in March 1970 -  did not chart

QuoteJarrell Keith Colley was born in Spokane, Washington. While attending the University of Washington, Colley recorded a version of Dion's 1959 hit "A Teenager in Love" at a local radio station. Jerry Dennon, owner of Jerden Records, heard Colley's version of the song and signed him to the label. Colley's contract was converted to Era Records, and Colley cut three singles for Era before signing with Unical Records.

Colley began songwriting, and in the early '60s he cut countless demos of his songs, backed by some of L.A.'s finest session musicians, which resulted in his songs being recorded by an impressive list of artists, including The Newbeats, the Knickerbockers, The Sandpipers, The Knockers, The Knackers, Jackie DeShannon, Jocky DeWilson, The Delicious Piecrusts, The New Christy Minstrels, The Old Crusty Minstrels, Gene Vincent, and jazz great Chet Baker.


Tell The World We're Not In - The Peddlers. Released on DJM in 1970

We've covered The Peddlers some pages back when we were still in the early sixties. Here the Peds return with a song featured in the horror film, Goodbye Gemini of the same year. Roy's organ sound is so metallic and electric sounding, you can almost see sparks fly off his fingers.

Check out the styles!    TRIVIA: Drummer Trevor Morais went on to join Quantum Jump (of The Lone Ranger single fame) and was the drummer in Bjork's touring band. Homogenic was recorded in his studio.



Peggy March - Die Entdeckung Des Jahrhunderts

Released as the opening track on her 1970 album "Mein Lied Für Peggy"

QuoteMargaret Annemarie Battavio was born into an Italian American family in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. She was discovered at age 13 singing at her cousin's wedding and was introduced to record producers Hugo & Luigi. They gave her the nickname Little Peggy March because she was only 4 foot 10 inches tall, she was only 13, and her birthday was in March.

Her single "I Will Follow Him" soared to number one on the United States charts. She recorded the song in early January 1963 when she was only 14, and became the youngest female artist with a number one hit, aged 15, in late April 1963. March's success came with financial trouble. She was a minor and the "Coogan Law" prevented her parents from managing her money. The responsibility was placed on her manager, Russell Smith, and it was discovered in 1966 that he had squandered the fortune, leaving her with $500.

As with many American artists, March's career in her native United States was derailed in part by the British Invasion, but she began having a strong presence in the Europe. She won the Deutscher Schlager Contest in 1965 and her song "Mit 17 hat man noch Träume" ["With 17 Hats, man, that's Traumatic!"] reached #2 in the German Singles Chart.


She moved to Germany in 1969, and she tried her luck in representing Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1969, only to be placed second in the national final with the song "Hey! Das ist Musik für mich" ["Hey! That's Music for Mick"]. March made another Eurovision attempt in 1975, when she performed the Ralph Siegel composition "Alles geht vorüber" ["Did you get the rubbers?"] in the German national contest. Again, she was placed second.


Vashti Bunyan - Glow Worms


Another from Just Another Diamond Day. After this she'd enter a 35 year recording and performing limbo before returning in 2005 with the fabulous Lookaftering,