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An Alternative History of "Pop" Music

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

Previous topic - Next topic

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

Harry Nilsson - Love Story

I don't think we've had any Nilsson in this thread so far? Apologies if I'm wrong.


This is from one of my favourite albums: Nilsson sings Newman. And that's what it is, Nilsson singing a bunch of songs by the, at that time, barely known Randy Newman. The latter plays piano throughout. Nilsson sings, produces, arranges and multi-tracks like only he could. It's a wonderful LP.


Heron - Lord And Master


Another lovely track from their debut album


Toast And Marmalade For Tea - Tin Tin.  Released on Polydor in 1970.

As you can see, produced by Maurice Gibb. Yeah, his dabs are all over this. The Thompson Twins had no involvement though. DYSWIDT? etc

Tin Tin was a pop-rock band formed in 1969 by Steve Kipner and Steve Groves. The group disbanded in 1973. The line-up comprised Steve Kipner (vocals, keyboards, percussion), Steve Groves (vocals, guitar, percussion), John Vallins (bass, guitar, vocals) and Geoff Bridgford (drums).



Looking in this thread at many of the band photos of dashing young men with their chiseled faces, lustrous hair, stylish fashions and a look in their eye to suggest they're going to change everything, (man!) has rather depressed me this morning. Now, they're all either dead and buried or gnarled, wizened old men in slacks. Some are embittered because it never quite happened, some have regret because it did happen but at a terrible cost. I tend to forget the intervening decades; the internet and nostalgia does that.

You just hope most of them are alive, happy with their lot and maybe still pick up a guitar or drumstick. To me, to actually have even a single record pressed of my own music would be my life's crowning glory.  I hear getting married to someone you love and having kids comes a close second.

Carry on...


Howard Walker featuring The Bombthrowers – Love Will Find A Way

Released in February 1970 - did not chart

Quote from: youtube commentGlyn Morrow : "Used to know Howard, in the late `60s/70s, we were best mates for a while. We even made a demo-disc together, my song one side & two of his on the other. Talented guy who died drunk & destitute on the streets of King`s Cross. Good to hear this - he would`ve been amazed (though he despised new technology!) RIP, mate."


Steam - What I'm Saying Is True

Released in March 1970 - did not chart

QuoteSteam were an American band, best known for the 1969 number one single, "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye". The song was written and recorded by studio musicians Gary DeCarlo, Dale Frashuer, and producer/writer Paul Leka at Mercury Records studios in New York City.

Frashuer and DeCarlo were members of a vocal group called The Glenwoods from Bridgeport, Connecticut, for which Leka played the piano. The duo separated but kept in touch. Leka became a songwriter with Circle Five Productions and in 1967, he wrote and produced The Lemon Pipers' "Green Tambourine" and other Pipers songs with Shelley Pinz.

In 1969 DeCarlo released the single "Sweet Laura Lee", with "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" on the flip side - which became a hit when Radio DJ's started playing it rather than the A-side. "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" reached number one in the United States for two weeks in December 1969.

Paul Leka : "I said we should put a chorus to it to make it longer, I started writing while I was sitting at the piano going 'na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na'... Everything was 'na na' when you didn't have a lyric."


The single was attributed to the band "Steam" although at the time there was actually no band with that name. The group that is seen on the album cover was put together to tour, and had nothing to do with the recording.


Aagh. STEAM is an anagram of MATES and they really look like a good bunch of mates.


Quote from: Brundle-Fly on October 13, 2020, 08:56:05 AM
Looking in this thread at many of the band photos of dashing young men with their chiseled faces, lustrous hair, stylish fashions and a look in their eye to suggest they're going to change everything, (man!) has rather depressed me this morning. Now, they're all either dead and buried or gnarled, wizened old men in slacks. Some are embittered because it never quite happened, some have regret because it did happen but at a terrible cost. I tend to forget the intervening decades; the internet and nostalgia does that.

You just hope most of them are alive, happy with their lot and maybe still pick up a guitar or drumstick. To me, to actually have even a single record pressed of my own music would be my life's crowning glory.  I hear getting married to someone you love and having kids comes a close second.

Carry on...

Yes, I get the same lingering melancholy too. In some ways it's similar to the hauntology idea of memories of times that are just out of focus, just a faint felt sense.


Pearls Before Swine - Rocket Man


Final one from The Use of Ashes.


Herbin' - Tony Hatch & The Satin Brass  Released on Astor in 1970.

I was once asked if I had to have my own theme tune whenever I walked into a room it would be Herbin'.  The vibe would be hard to live up to though.

Tony Hatch, along with Barry, Grainer, Hazlehurst, Holloway, Johnson and Gray is one of the UK TV theme tune titans (and TV talent show judge who made Simon Cowell seem like a pussycat with a broken back)




Medicine Head - Oh My Heart to Peace


Second from their debut New Bottles, Old Medicine album.


Focus - Anonymus

Closing track on side 1 from their debut album 'Focus Plays Focus' released in 1970

QuoteFocus formed in mid-1969 by keyboardist, vocalist, and flautist Thijs van Leer, who recruited bass guitarist Martijn Dresden and drummer Hans Cleuver after he met them at sessions for the Jazz and Poetry radio program in Hilversum, Netherlands. The three went on to start a new three-piece band initially known as Thijs van Leer and the Rebaptised.

In November 1969, during rehearsals, they were joined by guitarist Jan Akkerman of the rock band Brainbox. Van Leer later recalled the first try out session: "Jan came in and we jammed for hours, and it was really kicking". They then settled on the name Focus for the new band; Akkerman later said, "Focus is a Latin word that is the same in many languages. It means concentration, which is the meaning of what Focus does".

The group were chosen to play as part of the pit band for the Dutch production of the nudey rock musical Hair produced by Welsh actor Victor Spinetti. The show, launched in December 1969, involved six nightly performances a week and gave them space to rehearse in the afternoons for free and store their equipment. After Hair ended its run in June 1970, Focus declined an offer to tour the musical across the Netherlands for a year and a half and become a full time band.

In 1970, Focus reached contact with Hubert Terheggen, director of Radio-Tele-Music Belgium-Holland, a music publishing division of Radio Luxembourg, through connections with Dresden's father. Terheggen enjoyed their music and booked studio time for them to record their first album, which took place in January 1970 at Sound Techniques in Chelsea, London during time off from Hair. The result was 'Focus Plays Focus', better known as its international release title 'In and Out of Focus', with Terheggen credited as producer and Jerry Boys the engineer. A mix of pop-oriented songs and instrumentals were recorded for the album; van Leer felt the vocals suffered as a result of singing English lyrics with a foreign accent, which inspired the group to become stronger instrumentally.


Fairfield Parlour - Monkey


one last one from FP, from their album, From Home To Home.


Wicked Lady - Run The Night

Bit of a cheat this one as there's no clear date for when this song was recorded - it's from a compilation of material recorded between 1968-72. It was too much of a banger to be overlooked though - just check out the guitarist going apeshit with the wah pedal during the extended solo, lovely stuff!

Hard to find any info on this band, not even a photo. I believe they were originally a trio formed in 1968, splitting in 1970 and then reforming some time later with a different line-up.

Quote from: http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/artist/wicked-ladyGuitarist Martin Weaver had been in a covers band with an attractive female vocalist before the manager considered him an unsuitable guitarist and fired him. The bass player, Bob Jeffries and drummer, "Mad" Dick Smith walked out with him and together they formed Wicked Lady. This was in 1968. They started working as a live band playing in small venues. They were loud and Weaver claims that their audiences initially hated them though they eventually built up a small group of partially deaf followers.

Wicked Lady never got a record deal and never pursued one. They always considered themselves a live band and this can be heard on the music here. The recordings were made in 1969, '70, and '72 and on a four track recorder. Weaver claims the recordings were made to help the band remember the songs. Several of the songs stretch over 7 minutes but this is not a reflection of progressive exploration but rather extended guitar solos.

Not to be confused with a different all female Wicked Lady who were apparently formed in 1974 and were big in The Netherlands.


Genesis - Let Us Now Make Love

Performed for a BBC session in February 1970

QuoteGenesis turned professional in autumn 1969, and began to rehearse intensely and play live shows. After several months of touring they secured a recording contract with Charisma Records, and entered Trident Studios in London in July 1970 to record Trespass. John Anthony joined them as their producer and engineer, and the songs were recorded on 16-track tape. Recording took up most of the month, trying various ideas and rearranging songs, to the extent that Charisma thought they had taken up residence in the studio.

Tony Banks : "We had played live quite a bit and every song on the album had been performed on stage. We had a selection of at least twice as many songs as appeared on the album, and the versions changed rapidly."

The group's songwriting during this period often originated in pairs, with Phillips and Rutherford, and Banks and Gabriel, developing songs separately and presenting them to the group for further development. The band drew from Gabriel's soul influences, along with classical, pop and folk music, and made regular use of Phillips and Rutherford's twelve-string guitar playing. Gabriel was particularly fond of the combined twelve-string guitars and thought they gave the group a more unique and innovative sound.

Peter Gabriel : "We were, in Genesis, trying to incorporate acoustic and electronic music in the course of the same number. At that time, there were a number of groups trying to get pieces to change moods in that way. I listen back now to it and some of it makes me cringe, and some of it we could have done a lot better, but I knew certain things were going in the right direction. But, at the time, we were all learning."

Despite describing the recording sessions as "pleasant" and not considerably difficult, Anthony Phillips had become uncomfortable with the band's musical direction, and was unhappy about the number of gigs, which took away time to write complex material. He also thought there were too many songwriters in the group and it was difficult to get ideas across. Shortly afterwards, matters came to a head and he quit the group.

Tony Banks claims "Let Us Now Make Love", one of Phillips's songs, was not recorded for the album because the group thought it had the potential of a single, but following the guitarist's sudden departure following the album's completion, it was never recorded in the studio. The only recording of it is from a 'Nightride' session recorded for BBC Radio 1.


Jade - Amongst Anenomes


Second track from their Fly On Strangewings debut.


Vashti Bunyan - Swallow Song


Another beautiful vignette from Just Another Diamond Day. I could include the entire album but that's enough for now.


Quote from: Phil_A on October 13, 2020, 10:32:50 PM
Wicked Lady - Run The Night
the all female Wicked Lady who were big in The Netherlands.

ah the famous line from "Carry On.... Stick It In A Dyke", 1973.


Carousel - The Jaggerz. Released on  Karma Sutra in 1970.

Another 'life is like some sort of fairground attraction' lyric metaphor.  The band's name derives from the Pittsburgh English slang term, "jagger bush," meaning a thorny bush. Other band names suggested were The Lennonz, The Gilmourz and The Bygravez. Google image The Jaggerz and see how many images they went through.

The Jaggerz are an American rock band from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They came to national attention with their single "The Rapper" which was released on the Kama Sutra label. "The Rapper" was No. 1 in the Record World Charts and No. 2 in the Billboard Hot 100 in March 1970.[1] Having sold over one million copies, the recording received a gold record awarded by the R.I.A.A.



Buggy - The Roly Pole Coaster

Released in February 1970 - did not chart

QuoteDanny Beckerman was an English pianist, songwriter and producer. While working as a staff songwriter at Morgan Music, formed the group Fortes Mentum, in 1966, as a way of getting his music heard.

Originally Danny didn't want to be part of the band, wanting only to be the band's songwriter, but as they all got on well together the other guys persuaded him to join the group. After a falling out with band vocalist, Frank Bennett, he exited the band and returned to songwriting.


Necromonicon - Les Baxter. Released on AIP in 1970.

As we approach the witching season, sit back, and enjoy this creepy instrumental. It starts like a trip hop version of The Residents.

Les Baxter was an American composer and conductor (born March 14, 1922, Mexia, Texas - died January 15, 1996, Newport Beach, California). Les wrote over 150 film soundtracks and was one of the kings of the exotica genre.



Ralf Heniger - The World's Over

Released as the B-side to the single "Ein Mann und eine Frau".

QuoteLater included on the 'Popshopping 2' compilation album of music from German adverts - which gives a release date of 1970.


I have no idea what product they were selling - might even be some music from a film. The text on the label translates as "For all the diversity of this beautiful, rich life"

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

Bob Brown - Winds of Change


Nothing about the drab cheesecloth name of this hippie singer-songwriter or the cliched title of this song inspires much confidence at first glance, but he's another one of those fragile cosmic folk artists who deserved more attention. As it turned out, he received none. A recurring theme in this thread.*

Bob, who sounds a bit like Neil Young and Donovan, was a protege of Richie Havens, who produced both of his albums. Winds of Change is from his debut, The Wall I Built Myself.

* I wholeheartedly agree with Brundle's post about the pathos of these forgotten acts. The older I get, the more I think about it. I hope the Bob Browns of this world are happy, where e'er they may be.


Scott Walker - Little Things (That Keep Us Together)

Released in December 1970 on his sixth solo album 'Til the Band Comes In' - did not chart

QuoteScott Walker wrote the songs for the album quickly while on a working holiday in Greece in September 1970. The album - a loose concept album about the inhabitants of a tenement - was recorded late that same year between September and November 1970 with Walker's usual Philips studio team consisting of producer Johnny Franz, engineer Peter J. Olliff and Wally Stott and Peter Knight directing the musical arrangements.

After the critical and commercial failure of Walker's previous album, Walker made several compromises with his manager and record company in an effort to restore his career momentum. The most apparent commercial decision was the singer's return to his stage name having chosen to be credited under his birth name, Scott Engel for the first time on his previous album Scott 4.

The album was split between the opening ten original compositions and five interpretations of middle-of-the-road standards and pop songs. Walker also took the unusual step of sharing his writing credits with his new manager Ady Semel. Walker summarised the collaboration with Semel: "He acts as my censor, vetting all my lyrics and striking out the words likely to harm old ladies". Walker also brought in Esther Ofarim, another singer managed by Semel, as a guest vocalist on "Long About Now".

Three singles were released from the album : "Til the Band Comes In" in the Netherlands; "Jean the Machine" and "Thanks For Chicago Mr. James" were each released in Japan. No singles were released in the UK.


Phoenix City - Symarip - Released on Trojan in 1970.

Why did the NF have to ruin all the fun? The thinking skanking man's skinhead music of choice.  This band was covered earlier in the thread when they used to be The Pyramids



Pink Floyd - Give Birth To a Smile

Released in November 1970 as the closing track on the LP 'Music from The Body' - did not chart

Quote'Music from The Body' is the soundtrack album to Roy Battersby's 1970 documentary film 'The Body', about human biology, narrated by Vanessa Redgrave and Frank Finlay. The music was composed in collaboration between Pink Floyd member Roger Waters and Ron Geesin, the same year they worked together on Atom Heart Mother and employs biomusic, including sounds made by the human body (slaps, breathing, laughing, whispering, farting, etc.), in addition to more traditional guitar, piano and stringed instruments.

Ron Geesin : ""The Body" film producer, Tony Garrett, asked John Peel, who he should get to do the music, who was good (or different) at writing and playing film music, and he said Ron Geesin. I then asked Roger to do the songs. On the film, we worked completely separately, he in London, and me at Notting Hill. This was all done in early 1970. Music From the Body, the soundtrack from the film, was made for Harvest in late Autumn 1970. All of my stuff was made in my studio at 208 Ladbroke Grove, London W10. Roger's songs were re-recorded at Island Studios, Basing St. just nearby. We produced each other. Several pieces were remade for the album, and some were completely new, and not in the film. "

The album's final track, "Give Birth to a Smile", features all four members of Pink Floyd, plus Geesin on piano, although Dave Gilmour, Nick Mason and Rick Wright are uncredited.


Linda Perhacs - Parallelograms


Title track from her Parallelograms album.



Quote from: daf on October 14, 2020, 09:14:33 PM
Pink Floyd - Give Birth To a Smile

Released in November 1970 as the closing track on the LP 'Music from The Body' - did not chart



Yeah, apologies to Geesin, (and the mystery lady warbler), but as all of Pink Floyd were playing on that track I thought I'd bend reality a bit - just a bit of fun.