Louis (Blues Boy) Jones – Come On Home
Rod Argent & Chris White – She Loves The Way They Love Her
The Pretty Things – You’ll Never Do It Baby
The Illusion – Did You See Her Eyes
Tom Clark and The High Action Boys – I’ll Run Circles
Bebel Gilberto – No Return
The Kinks – Nothing Lasts Forever
Rain Parade – You Are My Friend
The Swordsmen – Seems I’m Never Tired Loving You
The Beach Boys – In The Back Of My Mind
We start with a raver this week, with Come On Home by Louis (Blues Boy) Jones. It’s on the Sabra label but I first came to it on the first volume of the fantastic vinyl series called Stompin’ – collect them all!
She Loves The Way They Love Her is a demo by Rod Argent and Chris White, and the vocal is unmistakable as Rod Argent. From the fascinating Into The Afterlife CD on Big Beat.
The Illusion from Long Island, NY scored a #32 hit in 1969 with Did You See Her Eyes. Fun fact – I don’t own the single so I recreated the single edit from the LP album track. If you want to hear the drum solo check out all 7 minutes here.
RADIO RPB WORLD PREMIERE!
Tom Clark and The High Action Boys give us a taste of their upcoming LP. It’s one of Tom’s catchiest-ever choruses and while Tom is well known for his “blisters and smoke” guitar solos, Tom’s pal Marshall Crenshaw hits the guitar solo here. GREAT STUFF. Make sure to check out Tom’s Treehouse at 2A in NYC every Sunday night.
I wanted to follow up with The Kinks themselves, and chose to go deep into their catalog, to Preservation Act 2. Derided and poo-pood by many, I’m here to say I’m a big fan of Preservation and there are many gems waiting to be discovered, like this one. Ray Davies and Maryanne Price share the vocals on Nothing Lasts Forever. It moves me!
Rain Parade were at the forefront of LA’s early-80s Paisley Underground, but their records stand up well today. Honestly they stood out as superior way back then too. You Are My Friend from Explosions In The Glass Palace is tops.
And for my big finish, I head straight to the last track on The Beach Boys Today LP from 1965. The mix is weird, the lyrics are weird, the arrangement is lush and Dennis Wilson‘s’ vocal is impassioned, but still kind of weird. I’ve never been able to wrap my head around why I love it so much, but I do. And so I share.
Jazz Gillum – I Want You By My Side
Lee Dorsey & Betty Harris – Love Lots Of Lovin’
Nick Lowe- I’ve Changed My Wild Mind
Del Shannon – Sister Isabelle
Buddy & Julie Miller – Keep Your Distance
Glenda Collins – Something I’ve Got To Tell You
Tuff Darts – Rats
Tom Robinson Band – Man You Never Saw
The Rezillos – It Gets Me
The Escorts – Night Time
This week’s set starts off with a harmonica driven number by Jazz Gillum from Indianola, Mississippi. Despite its vintage, I Want You By My Side has the kind of rollicking feel that I’d more expect from a record one or two decades past its 1936 origin. Originally on the great Bluebird record label, this copy comes a Yazoo compilation.
I had the great joy of spending a few days in New Orleans recently, and I made sure to load up my portable music player with loads of songs local to that great city. Allen Toussaint wrote, produced and released this great number, Love Lots of Loving on his Sansu label. Lee Dorsey and Betty Harris treat it more as a shared song than a duet (I’m working on what that really means) and always a treat to hear Toussaint on those backup vocals.
I hear a little bit of publicity machine wind-up that Nick Lowe is coming back to rockin’ with a new rockabilly single in June 1018. Fact is that Nick Lowe never really left his rockin’ side, and I submit as evidence one side of this fun rockabilly single he released in 2011. Fun fact – he released this as a 7” 45rpm and gave marketing execs a curious task by also releasing the single as a 10” 78rpm disc. Even recent Robert Johnson 10” collectors reissues ran at 45rpm, so hat’s off to Nick Lowe, the purist!
Next, an absurdly catchy number about unrequited nun-love, performed by the great Del Shannon and co-written with Brian Hyland, best known for his huge hits with Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, and the sentimental end-of-summer lament, Sealed With A Kiss. I first encountered the oddball catchiness that is Sister Isabelle on an early Del Shannon CD compilation, but was happily surprised years later when I found that Teenage Fanclub felt the same affection for the song and performed the song at a BBC session with Frank Black.
Richard Thompson’s songwriting and performing career is long and intimidating. It was already long and intimidating to me in 1991 when he released his acclaimed Rumor and Sigh LP, but after dancing around his justifiably most famous LP’s with Linda Thompson, I dove deep into his catalog, and suggest to you that it is a worthy endeavor. Musical and lyrical rewards at every turn, and despite RT’s dour reputation, his wonderful sense of humor is a constant. Oops, I don’t play Richard Thompson this week, but I do play Buddy and Julie Miller’s cover of Rumor and Sigh’s Keep Your Distance. They treat it like a classic Richard & Linda duet and their performance takes a great song to even greater heights.
Glenda Collins was part of Joe Meek’s stable of stars, but I’m not so sure you could call her a star, at least if your barometer of success is making the pop charts. Every single one of her singles on Decca, HMV and Pye was a commercial flop, but that means little me at Radio RPB HQ. This flop is notable for its all around excellence – great melody, arrangement, production and vocal delivery. What could have gone wrong? Well, let’s face it – the lyric is , uh, unusual. Glenda confesses and apologizes for indiscretions “every time you go. What makes me do it, I don’t know.” Yow. Ouch. Not sure that the average 1966 lovelorn teeny was ready for that kind of trauma.
New York’s Tuff Darts amp things up with this b-side to their lone 1978 single. It also appears as the opener to their self-titled LP, but you’re listening to the 45 in case you’re checking.
Man You Never Saw from Tom Robinson Band appeals to me for its sharp guitar breaks and paranoid lyrics!They’re best known for 2-4-6-8 Motorway, but their first LP Power In The Darkness (as well as the followup TRB 2) sound particularly good to me these days. Strong songs performed and arranged with lots of clever (but gimmick-free) touches, and Robinson’s lyrics were always ahead of their time.
The Rezillos 1978 Sire LP is tops and on the off chance that you don’t own a copy, please step away from this blog and make a purchase. Can’t Stand The Rezillos is just too good, too perfect. It hard to choose from its track list, so I made a conscious decision to choose It Gets Me, perhaps a lesser known track from this (did I mention) consistently fantastic LP.
And to shut things down on this episode we turn to the UK with The Escorts, and the b-side to their last single, Night Time. I’m a big fan of this record, and while I can understand why it didn’t hit the 1966 charts, it remains a favorite for me. I first encountered this song covered by Escorts über-fan Elvis Costello.That’s why I always the b-sides and credits!
That’s why I only operate at Night Time – listen in again next week!
SET LIST Leola & Lovejoys – He Ain’t No Angel
The Furors – Hey Joni
Rhythm Heritage – Treat A Dog (The Way You Treated Me)
Robert Gordon- Treat A Dog (The Way You Treated Me)
Chris Spedding – Hey Miss Betty
The Easybeats – See Saw
The Syndicats – Crawdaddy Simone
Wreckless Eric – They Don’t Mean No Harm
Pete Galub – Waiting
Chris Montez – One Note Samba
Is it a hit record if it hits #100 on the top 100? Certainly! The Ad-Libs (of Boy From New York City fame) had the hit, but I prefer this version Leola and The Lovejoys. Leola sings it with just the right amount of snarl, so you know she’s no angel either.
New Haven’s The Furors were way ahead of the curve on the guitar/drum duo thing, performing and self-releasing their own very unique records since the early ‘80s. By my count The Furors have released at least three versions of Hey Joni, but this is my favorite from their 1982 Little Numbers EP. I still haven’t found an affordable copy of my favorite Furors 45, A Thing For Blondes, but when I finally get a copy I’ll share, I promise.
Rhythm Heritage is a blanket name for the production team of Steve Barri and Michael Omartian. They scored huge success with TV themes (Baretta, Starsky & Hutch) but this track appeared as the b-side of their huge hit, Theme From S.W.A.T. I should have played a little more without talking all over it. It’s essentially a fully produced track that replaces the lead vocal with a lead Moog synth. Good song, vocal versions by Bobby “Blue” Bland, Johnny Rivers and even Cher. My favorite version is by Robert Gordon from his Live at The lone Star LP. Why is it my favorite? No doubt, it’s because of the guitar parts played by Chris Spedding and as I mention in the set, watch out for Spedding’s solo. In my excitement, I neglected to mention the rhythm section here – Tony Garnier on bass, and Anton Fig on drums.
Chris Spedding has a long and storied history as one of Britain’s most popular session guitarists and his stock rose in late 70s when he emerged as a presence during punk’s early prominence, thanks to production association with The Sex Pistols and a collaboration with The Vibrators. Hey Miss Betty is the b-side to Get Outa My Pagoda, his 1977 single on the RAK label. The same track was later included on Spedding’s Guitar Graffiti LP, with audience applause and sound effects added to give the impression of a live recording. I wouldn’t do that to you.
Australia’s Easybeats chime in next with See Saw from their 1968 LP Vigil. The Australian version of the LP featured a unique mixes and running order, and was recently reissued for Record Store Day. I normally stay far away from Record Stay Day releases but this one was too much fun to pass up. Kudos to Sal Maida (check out his weekly radio show Spin Cycle on Little Water Radio) for turning me on to this release.
Producer Joe Meek reportedly let the Syndicats alone to do their thing on Crawdaddy Simone, but Meek’s knob twiddling is apparent in the instrumental sections of this completely unhinged recording. Can the band get any louder? Yes? Can the recording get any louder? Can we get louder than that? Yes, we can.
Wreckless Eric once wrote a tribute song to Joe Meek, but They Don’t Mean No Harm comes from his brand new (as of this writing) LP entitled Destruction Time and Demolition. Eric Goulden came on the Stiff Records scene in 1978 and has never stopped making interesting records. That he’s still releasing records 40 years after starting is impressive, but I wouldn’t care if the records weren’t good. And they’re great.
Pete Galub is an NYC based performer and songwriter. He’s a frequent collaborator and guest musician on some of the best NYC artists, but his 2013 release caught my ears and never let go. The songs are often catchy, but Pete is not afraid to get noisy, complex and weird. I’d say it’s a neat trick, but it’s not a trick. It’s a great ear, great songs and performance.
Dan Hicks – The Innocent Bystander
Buddy Miles – I Still Love you Anyway
Carole King – Eventually
Emitt Rhodes – Isn’t It So
John Cale – Paris 1919
Rodd Keith – How Can A Man Overcome His Heartbroken Pain
Candy Butchers – Come On Girl
I talk about keeping it down-low this week, a little more introspective, a short stray from my usual taste for the more upbeat.
The Innocent Bystander is an early version of Dan Hicks’ Moody Richard (The Innocent Bystander) and I found it on Early Muses, a Big Beat Records compilation of Hicks demos. His records are unclassifiable and I’ve only recently come round to them. He died in 2016 so I’ll have to be content with exploring his considerable back catalog.
Stories is best known for their hit Brother Louie, but here’s a more gentle number off the same LP.
Buddy Miles made a splash with The Electric flag and Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsies, but I Still Love you Anyway is an album track from his 1970 solo LP, Them Changes. There are plenty of other good tracks on the LP (including a fine cover of Neil Young’s Down By The River) but the backup vocal parts on this track warranted a share.
Before she took over the record charts with the Tapestry album in 1971 Carole King released a great album called Writer. This is one of my favorites of that record for lots of reasons, but one of those reasons lis the crazy mix. There’s a point where the organ swells to the point of almost taking over the entire track. I love that.
Emitt Rhodes released a slew of terrific albums in the early 70s then disappeared. He came back a couple of years ago with a great record that fits right into his older solo work. Isn’t it So has been kicking around for a few years now (there’s an early version on one of the “listen Listen” compilations) but this version from Omnivore’s 2016 release Rainbow Ends is fully realized. I’m glad he nailed it.
I saw John Cale in performance at BAM a few months ago, it was a career retrospective and he did not perform this the title track from Paris 1919. It was a stunning show for its musical diversity but it made no attempt to please the audience with anything well known or hit-like. Philistine-me, I enjoyed the show but wanted to hear this one. So I play it here.
Rodd Keith‘s How Can a Man OVercome His Heartbroken Pain is one of the better known Song-Poems, if that can be a true statement. To their credit and good taste, I’ve read that it has occasionally entered into Yo La Tengo’s repertoire but I think it would be hard to perform this number without being a little cheeky. The original recording feels dead serious and emotion. I believe it, and I love it.
Candy Butchers’ lack of mainstream success is a music industry botch but I’ll get into that on a future episode. This track comes from a collection of Candy Butchers demos released in 2006, a CD titled Makin’ Up Time. This was the stunner track for me – strings, horns and a gutsy guitar sound, all apparently played live to tape. Frontman Mike Viola continues to make new music in all sorts of interesting directions
Cub Koda & The Points – Welcome To My Job
Nolan Strong and The Diablos – It’s Because Of You
The Breakaways – That Boy Of Mine
Louie Prima & Keely Smith – Mashuga
Roy Orbison – I Like Love
The Delmonas – He Tells Me He Loves Me
Brinsley Schwarz – Give Me Back My Love
Andy Partridge – Sonic Boom
Gary Lewis And The Playboys – Count Me In
The Judy’s – The Moo Song
The Spampinato Brothers – Love Came To Me
Radio RPB #005 – my favorite mix of songs yet.
Cub Koda and The Points lay it on the line with what must have been the perfect opener to any live set. Welcome To My Job draws a line between the band and the audience, and Cub lets the audience know that they’ve got responsibilities to keep (“I hate playing for an oil painting”). Cub Koda is best known for Smokin’ In the Boys Room with Brownsville Station, but his solo output in the 1980s and beyond is full of great surprises, just like this this one.
I’ve been listening to lots of Nolan Strong and The Diablos lately. Most of the Fortune Records catalog is way out of print and tough to come by, but I’ve recently found some compilation issues from the early ’70’s and it’s a treat to these songs and Nolan Strong’s unique voice. I pulled this one from the Fortune of Hits Vol. 2 LP
The Breakaways were best known as a trio of backup singers and you’ve heard them on big hits by Petula Clark, Dusty Springfield and dozens of other British pop hits. They also released a few singles on their own and That Boy Of Mine was their first. It’s pleasant, not especially deep, but has some nice touch that keep me coming back. About a minute into the track they delay delivery of the word “of” in the line “He’s the only one I’m dreaming…. of” and I just eat that stuff right up.
Louie Prima and Keely Smith are legendary performers, but not necessarily based on this oddball 1959 novelty. I can’t agree with their transliteration of “Mashuga” (I’d go with “meshuga”) but I can’t resist a lyric like “I’m mashuga for my baby, and my sugar is crazy for me.”
Before Roy Orbison came into his true self with truly monumental recordings for Monument Records, he was part of the Sun Records stable of legends. He didn’t write I Like Love ( that would be Jack Clement), but his vocal delivery could with the Sun sound make this one of my Orbison favorites.
The Del Monas were hooked in to the Medway scene formed by Britain’s The Milkshakes in the early ‘80s. They pursued and captured a great raw take on the 60s’s girl group sound,
And yep, the backing band is The Milkshakes.
Brinsley Schwarz are best known as pub rock icons, but by the end of their career they started edging toward a poppier sound, probably attributable to the sensibilities of band members Ian Gomm and Nick Lowe. Nick wrote this one, and it’s taken from a collection of BBC performances.
XTC‘s Andy Partridge seems to record precise demos for all of his songs. Recent reissues of XTC LP’s contain mountains of demo recordings that reveal how well planned and organized Partridge can be. I don’t think Sonic Boom was ever re-recorded beyond this demo, but thankfully it was released on one of Partridge’s Fuzzy Warbles demo compilations. I sought it out after I first heard the song performed by the Incredible Casuals when it was posted as a live Youtube clip.
The Judy’s hail from from Pearland, Texas (I mistakenly named them as an Austin band in the show) and The Moo Song is taken directly from The Moo Album. It’s become a family singalong favorite. The words are easy but you’ll need one or two tries for the melody.
Count Me In by Gary Lewis and the Playboys is a bonafide, regular hit record and I’ll never grow sick of it.
The Spampinato Brothers can do no wrong for me. Bronx bonafides, NRBQ bonafides, and this track, the closer from most recent release Smiles. It’s as beautiful and perfect as anything Joey Spampinato sang during his years in NRBQ and there’s no song that should follow it, at least on any radio show of mine.
Please consider a donation to Joey’s GoFundMe campaign for cancer treatment.
You’ll hear it in my voice. I got a little TOO excited about the records I chose for you this week. My excitement is understandable, because these records are all worthy of a platter party, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.
We start off with a killer, an early take of Larry Williams’ Bad Boy. They smoothed out the edges a bit for the final version, but this version is W-I-L-D and it’s taken straight off the LP Unreleased Larry Williams.
Some friends were discussing under-rated LP’s this week and I nominated The Kinks Kontroversy. The World Keeps Going Round is a highlight from that must-have 1965 LP.
300 Pounds Of Hongry (written by Tony Joe White) is a bouncy cut from Carlene Carter’s Blue Nun LP. Carlene saw enormous (and deserved) mainstream success in the ’90s, but she first got my attention with Blue Nun and Musical Shapes, a duo of LPs featuring the extended Rockpile family.
Lene Lovich is a name that you don’t hear much these days but she figured big in my New Wave adventures. Her debut album Stateless was full of great songs, but the New Toy single from a few years later remains my favorite.
Norm Burns sings one of my all-time favorite song-poem tracks. I know the song title doesn’t make any sense, but a lyric like “Baby, Set Your Date On Time” should be allowed to defy standard syntax.
Spring was an early 70’s project of Diane Rovell and Marilyn WIlson (née. Marilyn Rovell). Marilyn’s husband Brian produced and I’m pretty sure we can hear him singing along toward the end of the song.
Little Eva – Makin’ With The Magilla (Dimension)
Gunbunnies – My Favorite Waste Of Time (Max Recordings)
Lane Steinberg – You’re Not Connected To the Internet (Bandcamp <https://goo.gl/u99fm1>)
Charlie Chesterman – Ona Stacka Bibles (Slow River Records)
The Beatles – Eight Days A Week (Capitol)
Cilla Black – I’ve Been Wrong Before (Capitol)
The Good Life Ltd – You’re All I Need To Get By (Jester)
Dr. Feelgood – Hi-Rise (United Artists Records)
Geechie Smith And His Orchestra – And I Wants To Thank Ya (Capitol Americana)