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An Alternative History of "Pop" Music

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

Previous topic - Next topic


A bumper multi-track selection from Agincourt - Fly Away

Though I May Be Dreaming


Kind sir


Joy In The Finding



Quote from: daf on October 14, 2020, 07:07:09 PM
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

Love a bit o Scott, but damn I hate that awful pic. It's supposed to be what his lady sees while he's practicing the "sheet arts", right?

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

Wow, that's closer to DSOTM than anything else they did round 1970.


I think Philips is my least favourite label - the logo looks like some sort of industrial paint conglomerate.


Confucius - Brandenburg Concerto (That's What It Was)

Released in january 1970 - did not chart

QuoteThe Hideaways formed in 1963 by Ozzie Yue (guitar, vocals), John Shell (bass guitar) and John Donaldson (drums); Frankie Connor joined three months later, followed by Judd Lander on harmonica. The Hideaways hold the official world record for over 300 Cavern performances in both old and new venues.

In 1970, under the name of 'Confucius', they released their only single "The Brandenburg Concerto".

John Shell, American by birth, died in the Vietnam War aged twenty. Judd Lander later played with Paul McCartney's Wings, provided harmonica for Culture Club's number 1 hit "Karma Chameleon" and became head of music for Warner Brothers UK - the spawny get!


Ok, we'll be moving onto 1971 later on, so get you last 1970s in soon.


Kitsch moog stuff gets a bit irritating but I love this almost as much as the original. Could lose the guitar though.

Claude Denjean - Lay Lady Lay


Norman Greenbaum - Canned Ham


Zany Norm decided to follow up his international number one single Spirit in the Sky with a song which asked when he could expect to receive a gift of some tinned meat. Or maybe it's some kind of sexual euphemism?

Number 46 in the US singles chart - his last charting single. Did not chart in the UK.


It is funny to take things at face value. Like James Brown was looking at a Victoria Sponge and some fancy éclairs when he sang For Goodness Sakes Look At Those Cakes.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

Bobby Bare - How I Got to Memphis


An anguished twilight country tune written by the great Tom T. Hall and beautifully sung by Br'er Bare. Real tears in my beer stuff, this. I swear he chokes up in the final verse.

QuoteTom T. Hall is an American country music songwriter, singer, instrumentalist, novelist, and short story writer. He has written 12 #1 hit country songs, with 26 more that reached the Top 10, including the # 1 international pop crossover smash Harper Valley PTA. He is included in Rolling Stone's list of 100 Greatest Songwriters. He became known to fans as "The Storyteller".

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

Quote from: famethrowa on October 14, 2020, 11:23:54 PM
Love a bit o Scott, but damn I hate that awful pic. It's supposed to be what his lady sees while he's practicing the "sheet arts", right?

I like that photo, he looks like a (naked) man who's just been pleasantly surprised by a birthday gathering in his living room.

The B-side of the Four Tops hypnotic, beautiful single Still Waters (Love) was Levi Stubb's monologue over a slower, more reflective version of the A-side:

The Four Tops: Still Waters (Peace):

The baritone or bass soliloquy starts becoming something of a core staple of psychedelic soul records at this time- see for example George Clinton's unsettling prayer on Funkadelic's Eulogy and Light:


Serge Gainsbourg was also keeping his hand in with poetry-reciting:
Serge Gainsbourg- Cannabis

Sorry for posting her only famous song! But this one feels like the masterpiece of real outsider.

Judee Sill- Jesus was a Crossmaker


Pat And Penny - Here We Come

Released in July 1970 in Germany, and in October 1970 in the UK - did not chart.

No idea who those two on the record cover are - but the voices on the record were provided by session singers "Sue & Sunny".

QuoteSisters Yvonne Wheatman ('Sue') and Heather Wheatman ('Sunny') were born in Madras, India, they made their recording debut together in 1963 under the name The Myrtelles, with their cover version of Lesley Gore's "Just Let Me Cry". The single was not successful. The girls then released two singles under the name of Sue and Sunshine before settling on the name Sue and Sunny.

In 1966, when Sunny was still only 15, the two turned professional doing the cabaret circuit. After three years they decided that their audiences were too old for them, and went to Germany to play the airbase circuit, where, despite releasing two German singles, they still felt out of place and returned to London.

Sunny : "Sue and I found ourselves recording on our own and we had a couple of singles put out. But nothing really happened for us".


Whilst in London they were asked to do a session as backing singers for Lesley Duncan. The session went well and suddenly the duo found themselves in demand, recording with, amongst many others, Dusty Springfield, Elton John, Peter Wyngarde, Dave Bowie and Joe Cocker. It was the Cocker sessions, and in particular "With a Little Help from My Friends", where Sunny sang with Madeline Bell and Rosetta Hightower, that propelled the girls into the limelight.


Bridget St John - Yep

B-Side of 1970 single "If You've Got Money", written by Kevin Ayers & Daevid Allen.


St John grew up in a musical household where her mother and sisters were all accomplished pianists.[6] She took piano lessons at her mother's behest, but she didn't get along with her teacher and quit when she was 11. After studying the viola for two years and then the trumpet for two years, St John bought a guitar with 20 pounds her grandmother gave her shortly before she finished high school.[2][6] Her first performances were at Sheffield University in 1964–5, and her very first "proper gig" was at a pub in Rotherham. In 1967 St John spent 3 months in Aix-en-Provence as part of her French studies. During this period she met American singer-songwriter Robin Frederick.[6

When it was time to return to England, St John travelled back to London with Robin Frederick. It was through Frederick that St John met John Martyn when he was living in Richmond. He was instrumental in getting St John's music out to a larger audience.[6] In 1968 a mutual poet friend of theirs, Pete Roche, put St John in touch with John Peel for his "Nightride" radio show.[2][6] St John's first recording sessions for Peel were recorded by Al Stewart in 1968 on Stewart's ReVox.[6] The four songs she recorded were released on John Peel Presents Top Gear, Peel's 1969 compilation of BBC demos. The four songs were: "The River" (written by Martyn), "Song To Keep You Company" (written by St John), "Night In The City" (written by Joni Mitchell), and "Lazarus" (traditional).[citation needed]

Peel and Clive Selwood formed Dandelion initially to release St John's music. St John's 1969 debut album for Dandelion, Ask Me No Questions, was produced by Peel and recorded in nine to ten hours.[7][2][6] "Curl Your Toes" and "Ask Me No Questions" featured Martyn on second guitar. Richie Unterberger reviewing for Allmusic called the album "music for wandering through meadows on overcast days", while admitting that the songs are not as good as those of the musically similar Nick Drake.[8]

In 1970, St John recorded a vocal duet with Kevin Ayers on "The Oyster and the Flying Fish" for his Shooting at the Moon release.[2] Her second album, Songs for the Gentle Man, was produced by Ron Geesin and released in 1971. This album was a significant step up from her debut, and contained string arrangements mostly by Geesin himself, particularly striking on the opening track "A Day A Way" and "Seagull- Sunday." Her third album Thank You For..., released in 1972, was even more ambitious and used more musicians with a folk-rock sound. The album was her last album for John Peel's Dandelion label, however, which folded due to its artists' lack of commercial success. St John's adventurous fourth album Jumble Queen, released through Chrysalis Records in 1974, garnered critical praise in Spare Rib.[9][/quotel]

A fashion and sound crossroads on this performance by L.A.'s Spirit on Beat Club:
Spirit: 1984

You've got a proto-punk in biker leathers singing, you've got a hippy doing the backing vocals, you've got a full-on "Man Who Sold The World" style androgyne on bass, and a skinhead on the drums!

This track by Nico has a (I think deliberately) confusing atmosphere- the little fanfarey synth that pops up every now and again seems to be mocking the majestic and solemn vocals and turning the generally European-folk-song atmosphere into something a bit more synthetic
Nico- All That is My Own


There can be only one winner.

In the Blue Corner, Parliament's "Little Ol' Country Boy"

In the Red Corner, Sly and the Family Stone's "Spaced Cowboy"

Hang on, didn't we already have a bit of yodelling earlier in the year?


Burning Bridges - The Mike Curb Congregation  Released on MGM in 1970.

Bit of a rule bender this as it was a hit down under and No 1 in South Africa but didn't make much impact anywhere else. This film made an impact on me though as a kid. A real boys movie. And check out the drum break at the top. Must've been sampled.



Pipp - Otaki

Released in May 1970 - reached #15 in New Zealand

QuoteThe Fourmyula were formed in New Zealand. The group initially consisted of Wayne Mason (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Martin Hope (guitar and vocals), Ali Richardson (bass and vocals), and Chris Parry (drums), who founded Fiction Records in 1978. They were joined in 1968 by Carl Evensen as lead vocalist.

Their first release, "Come With Me" made it to number 2 in August 1968. They released fourteen singles (ten of which reached the New Zealand Top 20) and five albums and won the New Zealand Entertainers of the Year award in 1970.


In 1970, while working in Britain, they changed their name to Pipp as there was a band called 'New Formula' working in the UK at the same time. 'Otaki' was released in the UK, Europe and United States under the name Pipp, but came out under the name Fourmyula in New Zealand, where it was their last top 20 entry.


The Paper Dolls - Remember December

Released in November 1970 - did not chart

QuoteThe Paper Dolls were a late 1960s British female vocal trio from Northampton, comprising lead vocalist Susie 'Tiger' Mathis, Pauline 'Spyder' Bennett and Sue 'Copper' Marshall. They were one of the few British girl groups of the late sixties.

Signed to the delicious Pye Records, Paper Dolls had one solitary success : "Something Here in My Heart (Keeps A Tellin' Me No)", their debut single written by Tony Macaulay and John Macleod, reached Number 11 in the UK Singles Chart in 1968. The Paper Dolls released one album, 'Paper Dolls House' in 1968.


Their greatest disappointment came when their producers arranged for them to record another Macaulay co-composition "Build Me Up Buttercup" later that year. Due to a misunderstanding, they never turned up for the session, and instead the song was given to The Foundations, whose version became a hit single.

In 1970, they signed to RCA, but after two singles : a cover of The Angels' "My Boyfriend's Back" and "Remember December" (featuring backing vocals by Brian Connolly – later of Sweet), the trio split up. Mathis went on to be a vocal coach for the St Winifred's School Choir.


Sentries Charge - Hugo Montenegro. Released on RCA in 1970 (according to Discogs)

Let's do another lighthearted military movie OST again before we march into 1971. Hugo Montenegro was covered earlier in this thread with the  Moog Vibrations entry, This is a great fuzzy, funky, brassy number that struts and swaggers like a dirty old tomcat.



Alrighty, welcome one and all to 1971

Fresh Maggots - And When She Laughs


A duo from Nuneaton, they released just a single, self titled, album and one single before splitting.


I'll just slip this one in for 1970 as i'm a couple of pages behind due to being busy but am catching up while at work.

The Lumpen - Free Bobby now

The Lumpen were members of the Black Panther party who penned this campaigning funk number in defence of Bobby Seale. Their work was endorsed as a function of the party, but the movement got preoccupied with all sorts of matters non-funk so Free Bobby now turned out to be their only single.

Some interesting background here.


Bruce Langhorne - Ending


From the soundtrack to the Peter Fonda Western The Hired Hand, which is a great film, slow and sun-dappled.

Langhorne was a folk musician who appeared on quite a few Dylan songs and apparently was the titular Mr Tambourine Man.

I bought this when it came out on Blast First!


Come Ride, Come Ride- Emitt Rhodes

And I'm gonna sneak this questionable 1970/ 1969 one in, only because we lost Emmit this July.



Principal Edwards Magic Theatre - Weirdsong Of Breaking Through At Last


From their second album, The Asmoto Running Band, this is their second appearance in our list, the first was from their debut back in 1969. They would split in December of this year.


There's too much of it going around . . .

Lulu - Everybody's Got The Clap


Released in April 1971 - did not chart

QuoteLulu's controversial single "Everybody's Got The Clap" was written and produced by her husband Maurice Gibb and her brother Billy Lawrie. It was recorded at Nova Sound Studios in London, the musicians included John Bonham of Led Zeppelin on drums, and Jack Bruce on bass.

Despite it's taboo-busting lyrics, it was given considerable TV air time, including a performance on Top of the Pops where Lulu was accompanied by Gibb, Bruce, Bonham and the dance troupe Hot Crumpet, but the track failed to reach the official UK singles top 50.


Tir Na Nog - Dance Of Years


From their eponymous debut album. This is their second appearance in the list.