“D” Men – So Little Time / Every Minute Of Every Day
Absolutely one of my favorites. It’s got that cool “Beatles ’65” vibe to it (or “Beatles For Sale” depending on which side of the Atlantic you’re from) with nice chiming guitars and that moody feel that I love so well. The B side is a great uptempo invasion styled tune.
Sundowners – A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues / Come On In
This is a cool version from 1964 by a pretty obscure British group. I actually like this better than The Beatles’ version. Sounds kind of like an aggressive Freddy & The Dreamers.
Hedgehoppers Anonymous – Are You Afraid Of Love
The seldom heard flip side of “It’s Good News Week” which was a hit in the UK in 1965.
Ascots – Monkey See, Monkey Do / You Can’t Do That
Garagey blue eyed soul group from Rhode Island. Top side is a great one with gruff vocals, and the flip is a slow version of The Beatles’ song. I think it’s a rather cool take on it.
Bay Ridge – Without You / I Will Wait
From Brooklyn, NY comes this ace two sider. These guys sound a lot like The Vagrants, and is typical of bands from this area. Real soul influenced.
Children – This Sporting Life
Not the same as the legendary Texas band, but reportedly from the Pacific NW. No matter. This cover of Ian Whitcomb’s classic, is shredded by the singer who loses his vocal chords by the end. Neat “I Feel Fine” riff in the middle too.
Clique – Splash 1 / Stay By Me
Great Austin, TX outfit who reportedly evolved from The Lavender Hour. You can’t go wrong with a 13th Floor Elevators cover, and the do a nice dreamy job on it. They later became bigger when they released the hit “Sugar On Sunday” in 1969, and also did “Superman”, which was covered by R.E.M.
Fountain Of Youth – Hard Woman / Thing Of The Past
Whew. One of the crudest 60’s punk records ever. When I first heard this on Pebbles back in ’84, I thought that the “skip” on the album was from the copy they were using. Wrong. The actual master was messed up, as evidenced on this original copy. Stinging fuzz, pounding drums, and the singer sounds like he’s from the deep south. A true classic. I had to put the flip on here too. It’s not great. It’s actually a slow teen ballad, but it’s never heard, and it also has the same crude production as the A side.
Magic Mushrooms – It’s A Happening / Never Mo re
Another classic. They had two other 45s on two other labels, and shouldn’t be confused with the “I’m Gone” guys who were a different band.
Other Half – Mr. Pharmacist / I’ve Come So Far
Here’s another heavy hitter. Lead guitarist Randy Holden replaced Leigh Stephens in Blue Cheer.
Shadows Of Knight – I’m Gonna Make You Mine / I’ll Make You Sorry
Perhaps their best, and most aggressive record. One of the all time great punkers.
Underdogs – Love’s Gone Bad / Mo Jo Hanna
The Underdogs were one of Michigan’s best bands. “Friday At The Hideout” is a their most famous. They do hold the distinction of being the first white group to be signed by Motown Records, and released this soulful two sider their V.I.P. Records subsidiary.
Merrie Motor Co. – Season Of The Witch
Here’s another one from Michigan, Lansing to be specific. Great, riveting cover of a Donovan tune.
Giant Sunflower – February Sunshine
February Sunshine???? We ain’t gettin’ much of it up here in New York, but I figured if I put this ultra happy, sunshiny, poppy tune here, it might cheer me up.
Caramel Covered Popcorn – Suzie Q / Looking For A Place
Real cool, heavy psyche version of Dale Hawkins’ hit. I don’t know where the hell these guys got the idea for this arrangement, but it’s pretty freakin’ cool. Hot fuzz guitar solo too! The flip shows a mellower, moodier side of the band. I like moody.
Sonics (Featuring Jim Brady) – Love Itis
Not exactly the same group of guys at this stage that gave us The Witch and Psycho. Jerry Roslie was gone by this time, and Jim Brady had taken over lead vocal duties. Actually, this is great late 60’s heavy psyche.
Rationals – Handbags And Gladrags
One of the most popular groups in Michigan, this was the last 45 released by them. They had evolved from an R&B based garage band into a great heavy psyche group. This is a cover of a Chris Farlowe hit, which was also done by Rod Stewart in 1970.