Thursday, 31 August 2017

Psychedelic Garage Pop: The Kitchen Cinq - Everything But 1967 (2012 O-Music) Flac & mp3@320


The Kitchen Cinq undoubtedly have one of the best “bad pun” names in rock ’n’ roll. A five piece garage/pop band from Texas, their name plays off the French word for five “cinq,” which of course is pronounced approximately the same as “sink.” The title of their only LP takes it a step further, but is really a misnomer as the album is hardly eclectic, offering instead straight-ahead ’60s pop similar to the Beau Brummels and the New Colony Six (there’s that number thing again!).


The story of the Kitchen Cinq begins in the early ’60s in Amarillo, Texas, when Mark Creamer asked Jim Parker to replace a recently departed rhythm guitarist in his band, The Illusions. Shortly thereafter, a single was recorded and released by Dot Records, featuring Parker’s “Brenda” as the A-side. In search of a more memorable name and one more in line with group’s regional sense of humor, the Illusions became the Y’Alls. Another single, a cover of the Beatles’ “Run for Your Life” was released in 1966 on Ruff, shortly before the band relocated to Los Angeles and began  work with legendary producer/songwriter Lee Hazelwood. Once signed to LHI (Lee Hazelwood Industries), Hazelwood and then girlfriend and record producer Suzi Jane Hokom insisted the band change their name once more, hopefully to something a little hipper. Thus, the Kitchen Cinq. The personnel for all three groups, however, remained the same: Creamer and Parker on guitar and vocals, Dale Gardner on bass, Dallas Smith on guitar and Johnny Stark on drums.

Though Hazelwood was certainly involved, it was Hokom who actually produced the Kitchen Cinq for LHI (as she would, just a few weeks later, produce Safe at Home for The International Submarine Band). The sessions for Everything But . . . were held at Gold Star Studios and featured some of the famed Wrecking Crew (including Glen Campbell, Hal Blaine and Carol Kaye).  And right down the hall, the Buffalo Springfield were working on sessions for their second album.

As noted above, Everything But . . . is straight-ahead ’60s pop. The opening track, “You’ll Be Sorry Someday,” is a raga rock song with a nearly single note melody and several dramatic pauses between “you’ll be sorry” and “someday.” One of the highlights of the record is the fuzz-guitar rave-up “Determination,” which sounds like a cross between the famous Monkees Kellogg’s jingle and very early Merseybeat (fuzz guitar notwithstanding). “Please Come Back to Me” is a solid pop song matching an upbeat verse with a more reflective chorus in a style similar to San Francisco’s Beau Brummels. “Young Boy” is a bluesy folk rock song with very traditional folk harmonies.


“If You Think” is reminiscent of the Lewis and Clark Expedition and, while catchy, seems incomplete with a bridge that sounds, frankly, out of place. The closing track, “Need All the Help I Can Get” is Hazelwood’s contribution and bears his trademark spooky pop sound. The album is rounded out by covers of Neil Diamond’s “Solitary Man,” Buffy Ste. Marie’s “Codine,” Gene Pitney’s “Last Chance to Turn Around,” the Beau Brummel’s “Still in Love with You Baby,” and the Hollies’ “I Can’t Let Go.” All credible; none really essential.

LHI released three singles from Everything But . . .: “You’ll Be Sorry Someday” backed with “Determination” and “If You Think” and “Still in Love with You Baby” both backed with the non-album track, “(Ellen’s Fancies) Ride the Wind.” All three singles had limited regional success, but neither charted nationally. Three additional singles followed (one on LHI and two on Decca) and that was it for the Kitchen Cinq. Creamer, Parker and Stark then formed the much heavier band, Armegeddon., who released a single LP on Jimmy Bowen’s Amos label. Parker and Stark then went on to play on Them’s self-titled 1970 album and the follow-up In Reality. In the second half of the ’70s, Parker shifted to country music, most notably writing two big hits for John Anderson.(popgeekheaven.com)

                                                                       FLAC & mp3@320

This is a very fine psych pop album. It's a contribution by Mark, a very friendly guy from the Boston area. Thanks for that Mark.
Enjoy
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Keith West's Moonrider - Moonrider 1975 (2011 RPM Records) Flac & mp3@320



Singer/songwriter Keith West is most known for his work in the fine cult 1960s British psychedelic band Tomorrow, as well as for the big U.K. hit single he scored as a solo artist while in the group, "Excerpt from a Teenage Opera." He did continue to record for quite a while after Tomorrow broke up, however, both as a solo artist and, in the mid-'70s, as part of Moonrider. He was the main songwriter on Moonrider's self-titled album, though it also had some material by ex-Family/Animals guitarist John Weider; the group also included bassist Bruce Thomas, who would soon join Elvis Costello's backup band, the Attractions.


Despite the relative wealth of well-known names for such an obscure group, however, Moonrider's album is somewhat unexpectedly ordinary mid-'70s mainstream rock. Although West and Weider were in notable psychedelic/progressive rock acts, the feel is surprisingly American-influenced; indeed, on "Having Someone," America (without the "n") influenced so much of it that the track recalls America (the band).


It's a bit of a jolt to hear a British group bearing such prominent traces of mid-'70s California country rock and soft rock, with some similarities to the Eagles and Crosby, Stills & Nash in both the songs and harmonies. The songs are pleasant and jovial spins on these styles, but lack bite and originality, occasionally toughening things up mildly with bluesy or funky licks. [There's no faulting the packaging on the 2011 CD reissue on RPM, however, which adds lengthy historical liner notes with plenty of quotes from West.


It also has five bonus tracks, including a previously unreleased West demo of a song that didn't make the album, "Baby Blue," and both sides of two solo singles West did for Deram in 1973 and 1974, the A-sides of which ("Riding for a Fall" and "Havin' Someone") would be re-recorded on the Moonrider album. The B-side of the 1973 single, "Days About to Rain," is notable as one of the most dead-on early-'70s Neil Young soundalikes ever cut.]



This is no bad album but i was a little perplexed at the time i listened the first time to the album. Very american country rock/pop influenced. However give it a try if you haven't heard it.

Have fun
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Canterbury Fair - Canterbury Fair 1967 - 1969 (1999 Sundazed) Flac & mp3@320







The Canterbury Fair was a band from Fresno California that recorded between 1967 to 1969. The band, led by John and Philip Hollingsworth, skillfully employed keyboards and a fuzz bass to create a monstrous epic sound of swirling tapestries of mind-bending music that was way ahead of its time. Canterbury Fair created a sound the was reminiscent of the Doors but contained elements of the Left Banke and Love.

The unique thing about this band is that no one played guitar in the band, the entire sound was based around the organ as the lead instrument together with drums bass and vocals. This collection of 10 songs includes the A-side of the ultra-rare single, "Song On A May Morning" originally released on the small local Koala label as well as the group's never-before-heard full-length album that was recorded but never released and one live track recorded during the band's hey day.


The CD package contains in depth information on the band together with rare photographs and reproductions of concert posters. Another long lost legendary band finally resurrected for all to hear.(allmusic.com)


As i listened the first time to the band i thought tey are a british band. Maybe because of the name. Until today this collection of songs impressed me very much and the band was way ahead of its time. Without a doubt.



Enjoy it!
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R'n'B, Mod, Pop, Psychedelic Sound! The Stormsville Shakers - One And One Is The Complete Recordings 1965-67 (2015 RPM Records) Flac & mp3@320


These guys were the classic blue-eyed soul club band, fitting in the same bill as others that made the circuit in the mid sixties. Think of the first singles of the Alan Bown Set, Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers or Zoot Money's Big Roll Band, although they may not sound as tight and professional as their most well known cousins.



The material released by the Stormsville Shakers is a mixed bag: blue-eyed soul, mersey beat, pop with horns Los Bravos' style, the dull track oriented to the charts, a ghostly ballad in French and even a couple of R&B/freakbeat/soul stompers (Gettin' Ready & Number One) that sound really amazing and totally caught my ear.




When they changed their name and became "Circus", the band went a bit more pop in the same vein as The Love Affair. Surprisingly, here the best material are the unreleased tracks, which sound more psych and innovative following the path opened by The Who and others, with good guitars, interesting song-writing and some unexpected sounds (a flute!). These last tracks could perfectly fit in a Rubble-style popsike comp.




If you are a fan of the Brit club blue-eyed soul sound of '65 & '66, this album is a recommended purchase. But if you are looking for something outstanding and memorable, then you may keep looking somewhere else. The Stormsville Shakers were a good band, but they didn't record any piece of musical history. BTW, the sound quality is rather good, but don't expect a sublime listening experience: it seems as if the original masters were lost or not in the best shape.(amazon customer review)



This is a fine pop collection with recordings of the Stormsville Shakers, Phillip Goodhand-Tait, and the renamed Stormsville Shakers then called ''Circus'' in '67. I love this sound and the compilation have a lot of ear candy.




Enjoy
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Ringo Starr - Stop And Smell The Roses 1981 (1994 Right Stuff Records) Flac & mp3@320


The idea, back in 1980, was to resurrect Ringo Starr's recording career by the same method that it had been launched with the Ringo album in 1973 -- by having his fellow Beatles and other well-known friends help out. John Lennon was working on a song called "Nobody Told Me," and George Harrison had one ready to go.


Then Lennon was murdered in December. His Ringo song languished (his own version would be released in 1984), while Harrison took his tune back and rewrote the lyrics for what became his own hit, "All Those Years Ago." Then Ringo's label, Portrait, lacked enthusiasm for the album, and he moved on to Boardwalk. Finally released as Boardwalk 33246, Stop and Smell the Roses was Ringo's strongest and most effervescent album since Goodnight Vienna, containing two good songs by Paul McCartney and one by George Harrison -- "Wrack My Brain," which became Ringo's final Top 40 hit -- along with music by Harry Nilsson, Ron Wood, and Stephen Stills.


Long out of print, Stop and Smell the Roses reappeared on Capitol's The Right Stuff reissue label on September 6, 1994, with six bonus tracks, reflecting the changes made in the album from its original, unreleased version, that increased the album's length by nearly 70 percent and demonstrated that the later song selection was better.(allmusic.com)

Ringo Starr started with this album very strong in the eighties and it is im my opinion an album with a lot songs who stands the test of time. Very very good!

 Enjoy
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VA - Fuzz, Flaykes & Shakes Vol.6 - Come On In To My World (2002 Bacchus Archives) Flac &mp3@320


The music on this sixth volume of Fuzz, Flaykes & Shakes is mostly very fine, but the names of the groups also stand out: Thackeray Rocke, Randy & the Rest, Those Guys, A Group Called Eve, West Minister, the Tasmanians, King James & the Royal Jesters, the Bucket City Distortion Racket...bands knew how to get attention in those days with their names. The catchy, fuzzed-out punk of "Bawling" by Phoenix, AZ-spawned Thackeray Rocke makes a suitable opening, but it's eclipsed by the punchier "Confusion," the work of the Birmingham, AL-based Randy & the Rest. Cleveland's A Group Called Eve was probably too languidly folk-rock oriented for their own good, in a city that spawned the Outsiders and the Choir, but "Within a World of You" should have done better than the obscurity in earned. Omaha, NE -- or the corner that West Minister resided in -- must have been in a time warp, because the fuzz-driven "Bright Lights, Windy City" seems three years out of date for a 1970 release (which makes it perfect for this collection). The best song on this set, however, has to be "Feathered Fish" by the Sons of Adam, some of whose members also went on to longer and more lucrative careers than almost anyone else who worked on any of these sides. But a lot of the rest could easily have fared well on radio, and on the national charts -- "The Night Is Almost Gone" by the Delicate Balance has lots of drama and some great hooks; "I Lied" by the Bucket City Distortion Racket isn't far behind; and "The Children Have Your Tongue," from This Generation, whose female lead singer provides a welcome contrast with everything else here. Some of the rest, such as "The Life of a Day" by the Bridge, and "Come in into My World" by the Endd -- which is rescued in its second half -- seem like self-indulgent mood pieces, more appropriate as B-sides than A-sides. And some of it is too generic, such as the Insects' "Then You Came My Way," which manages to sound like a lot of other folk/rock-based garage rock of the period. But mostly what's here is highly worth hearing, more than once, and the annotation is amazingly thorough, given the lack of information about a lot of the people behind this music. And as usual with this series, the sound quality is excellent.

A very fine sixth vol. of the series and i think you will like it.

Have fun
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Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Psychedelic Pop by The See See - Once, Forever And Again (2014 Dell'Orso Records) Flac & mp3@320


The third studio album from the dreamy English psych pop outfit, the Dellorso-issued Once, Forever and Again arrives just months after the See See's 2014 U.S. introduction compilation, Days Nights & Late Morning Lights. Preceded by a pair of infectious singles, "Featherman" and "The Rain & the Snow" (both of which appear here), the 13-track set of new originals neatly draws from '60s psych rock and '70s power pop, invoking names like the Byrds, Syd Barrett, Badfinger, and Big Star.(allmusic.com)

Very nice psych pop sounds from The See See.
Hope you like it
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Psychedelic Pop: The Smoking Trees - The Archer And The Bull 2016 (Burger Records) Flac & mp3@320


The Smoking Trees' 2014 album, TST, was a near-brilliant psychedelic pop trip that matched vintage sounds with spaced-out vocals and 12 very catchy songs. Concocted in a cotton-candy dream by Sir Psych and L.A. AL, the sessions for the album proved productive enough to spawn another album. Though L.A. AL bailed before it could be completed, Sir Psych polished up songs that didn't make the final cut for TST and The Archer and the Bull was born. Many times when a second album is built from leftovers, it really sounds like it. The songs are weaker, the ideas are flimsy, and it's very clear why the songs didn't make the grade. That's not really the case here at all. The songs on TST may be a little sharper and there are a few moments here that sound a little bit filler-ish, but Sir Psych's talents as a producer, vocalist, and creator are so strong that his castoffs are other people's gold. The lo-fi sound here isn't polished much, but the layers of gently strummed guitars, punchy basslines, echoing keys, and rich vocal harmonies fit together so perfectly, and the sounds he gets are so good, the songs could have been forgettable and it would still be worth a listen or two on a lost summer weekend. They aren't, though -- tracks like the harpsichord-heavy "High Horse," the insistent jangle popper "My Last Catastrophe," and the shimmering Beach-Boys-at-the-bottom-of-a-pool-sounding "Summer Sun" all stick like glue. They and a couple others, especially the dreamlike "Leslie Echo's," could have made it on TST and not brought the quality level down at all. Even the tunes that feel like throwaways have their charms. In the wrong hands "She's Got a Kazoo" could have been silly; in Sir Psych's magic fingers it comes off like a lost Tomorrow song. He truly is a craftsman and if he's not exactly a visionary, he is someone with a clear vision and the wherewithal to make the Smoking Trees' psych-pop dreams a very enjoyable reality.(allmusic.com)



I second that, the 2015 album TST is a brilliant up to date pop psychedelic album. In my ears this guys understood to develope the sixties popsike into 2015. And it sounds absolutely effortless. It's hard to make an album after TST. And honestly, this is not as strong as the predecessor. Nevertheless it is by far stronger as the most bands try to do and it sounds effortless again. I highly recommend it, because it is a great psychedelic pop album. And nearly as strong as their 2015 work. Unfortunately i don't have TST in lossless otherwise i would posted both. Maybe someone of you folks have it and would be so kind to contribute it here :-)

Enjoy
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Psychedelic Rock From Boston: The Freeborne - Peak Impressions 1967 (bonus tracks) (2007 Second Harvest) Flac &mp@320


This obscure late-'60s band was typical of many young Boston groups of the era in their eclectic blend of psychedelic influences, with a sound heavy on electric keyboards and wailing guitar. They were also typical, it must be said, in how their eclecticism nonetheless sounded pedestrian due to their relatively undistinguished original material and their ambitious mishmash of ingredients. Their sole album, 1967's Peak Impression, was heavy on minor melodies and haunting harmonies, and a little unusual for the time in its wide array of instruments (all played by the band), including cello, recorder, harpsichord, and trumpet in addition to the standard guitars, keyboard, bass, and drum.


The record was reissued on CD by Distortions more than 30 years later. The Freeborne's lead guitarist, Bob Margolin, went on to make a bigger mark in blues and rock playing with Muddy Waters and Johnny Winter.(R Unterberger, allmusic)

Very impressive and idiosyncratic album by the Bostton band The Freeborne. This album works with all  that's useful to create a psychedelic mood. And here it works very well. But this no psychedelic pop, this is rock. It's a shame they don't used the original cover artwork. This is really no creative front & back cover.


Enjoy
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VA - Fuzz, Flaykes & Shakes Vol.5 - Keep Right On Living (2001 Bacchus Archives)



The fifth volume of this 1960s garage-psychedelic compilation series is above-average when judged against the other installments, with a slightly better standard of material, although it's usually in the same generic '60s punk mold. As such generic workouts go, though, the Continentals' "Sick and Tired" is tastier than usual, if only for the supremely confident vocal. Other items that are enjoyable, though not brilliant, include the Noblemen's "She Still Thinks I Love Her" with its full harmonies, organ-driven arrangement, and nice double-time break; the Insects' "Girl That Sits There," with another good organ part, and welcome pop harmony influence; and the Creatures' "Letter of Love," which bears traces of the sort of minor-key melodies Ray Davies used on many early Kinks songs. The cut most deserving of the "killer" adjective is "Baby Show the World" by the Sons of Adam, one of the best obscure Los Angeles psych-punk bands. While this, the B-side of their third single, was done after guitarist Randy Holden (the Other Half, Blue Cheer) and drummer Michael Stuart (Love) departed, it still has some fine distorted sustain/feedback-laden guitar and raw, tense psychedelic dynamics.(R. Unterberger, allmusic.com)


Hello Folks, what more can i tell you as this is the fifth volume and hoping you have the same fun
with the series like me. :-)

Enjoy
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NederPop/Rock: Q65 - Revolution 1966 - 1967 (with bonus tracks released by Decca sometimes after 1999)



This album found Q 65 at their peak, and this reissue adds six strong bonus tracks to the original 12, including their first two singles, "You're the Victor" and "The Life I Live." Q 65 were among only a handful of non-English speaking bands of the mid-'60s whose talent rivaled second-tier groups such as the Pretty Things in the search for a rock-oriented update of Chicago blues. What set them apart, and what makes Revolution very reminiscent of Back Door Men by the Shadows of Knight, is the broad range of music performed above and beyond the basic R&B. The band played acoustic as well as hard psych numbers along with the standards, and experimented with harmonium and other instruments to make Revolution more interesting than the average garage release. Despite the eclecticism, their blues interpretations work best, from the nice take of "Spoonful" to the groundbreaking 13-minute cover of "Bring It on Home," the real missing link between the rave-ups of the Yardbirds and the post-Cream jam bands of the late-'60s. Not every move is successful, as a few numbers are derivative, and vocalist William Bieler's language barrier sounds clumsy at times. Like many great bands of that era, Q 65 peaked in 1966-1967, and then fell into disarray after Bieler was drafted, never again reaching the heights of Revolution. Start with this, or the harder-to-find Complete Collection (1966-1969), for a surprisingly consistent set of songs by a group you may have assumed to have only been one-hit wonders. (allmusic.com)




The band was at their climax in 1966/67 definitely. This album is a very strong effort and the bonus tracks (all single releases from '66 & '67) are on the same level. If this band had come from the UK they had reached way more success as they have reached under this conditions back then. Also they worked later with a wider range of styles for their songs. Certainly they were in '66/67 one of the strongest dutch pop and rock bands in the so called Benelux states (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg) and Germany.
I will post later this week a nearly complete compilation of their work.
Enjoy it
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Axiom 3rd Flac part is up!!!

Sorry Folks for the inconvenience. I think i was too tired to do a good job.
The missing third Flac part is up now.

Frank

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Australian finest Pop Rock: Axiom - The Axiom Archive 1969 - 1971 (2004 Raven Records) Flac & mp3@320


Quite simply, Axiom was an Australian supergroup whose time was far too short-lived, due to a number of personal circumstances and career mishaps. The band was fronted by future Little River Band lead singer Glenn Shorrock, whose early roots and development of a distinctive vocal style are prominently on display here in full throttle, along with a band whose sound could easily appeal to fans of Traffic, Blind Faith, and the Faces. Much of this stuff has remained out of print or hard to find since the advent of the compact disc, so Raven had the good sense to compile nearly their entire released legacy onto one disc. Their debut album, Fool's Gold, the follow-up, If Only, and a scattering of B-sides provide not only a thorough and definitive look at a band whose fame never fully came to fruition, but an excellent resource for fans of this style to discover yet another one of Australia's long-lost rock gems.(allmusic.com)


This guys released two very nice pop albums around the change of the centuries '69/'70 and if you haven't heard of this band now is the time.

Have fun
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Nederpop/Rock By The Bintangs - The Golden Years Of Dutch Pop Music (2016 Universal) Flac & mp3


The Bintangs (after the Bahasa Indonesia word for "star") were established in 1961 as an indorock band, performing covers at live venues in Beverwijk. The original lineup was Frank and Arti Kraaijeveld on bass and guitar, respectively (both performed vocals), Meine Fernhout on guitar, and Jimmy Jansen on drums. Frank, in a 1985 interview, mentioned how impressed he was when he first saw the Tielman Brothers play, and soon the band began mixing in R&B influences, in part inspired by The Rolling Stones and in part to differentiate their sound from that of the many bands playing in the vein of The Shadows.Blues on the Ceiling. Their greatest hits, "Ridin' on the L & N" and "Travelling in the U.S.A., were released in 1969 and 1970, respectively. By this time, the band had a steel guitar player as well, Rob van Donselaar. An album, Travelling in the U.S.A., was released in 1970 by Phonogram, and while another single from that album, "He Didn't Wanna Go Home", did not do as well as expected (though it did chart in the Netherlands), album sales were reported to be strong. In a 1970 interview with De Telegraaf the band characterized itself as "playing from the heart" and announced another single, "Lion Tamer".


In 1965 they recorded their first single, on Muziek Express, Willie Dixon's "You Can't Judge a Book by Looking at the Cover" (another song that was made famous by Bo Diddley and was also written by him, "I'm a Man", was the B-side), with Henk van Besu on drums, Jan Wijte on rhythm guitar, and Will Nimitsz on vocals and mouth harp.





A loyal fanbase had, by the mid-sixties, risked life and limb to paint the band's name on a gas holder in Beverwijk. By 1969 they had opened for The Rolling Stones and The Kinks and released several further singles (three with Muziek Express). In 1969 they signed with Phonogram Records, with whom they released their first album.

By 1969 Arti was not as active with the band, and in 1972 he and Frank created their own short-lived band, the Circus Kraaijeveld, which lasted "for a single and a half", according to Arti in a 1977 interview. Though Fernhout and Jansen continued the Bintangs, in 1973 they released only one recording, the album Hey Dupes. Genuine Bull, and guitarist Jaap (Japie) Castricum joined. Regarding Genuine Bull, producer Steve Verocca was quoted as saying that, after 20 years as a producer, he "heard ... a new approach to rock & roll" during the sessions. (excerpt from Wikipedia)

The album's title song was released as a single, with little success. By this time the band had two saxophone players; it consisted of Rob Kruisman on tenor saxophone and vocals; Aad Hooft on drums; Rob van Donselaar on guitar, steel guitar, and vocals; Rob ten Bokum on guitar; Ronald Krom on bass; and Charles van der Steeg on tenor saxophone.

Manager Henk Penseel mused that commercial success eluded the band since their old hits were still well-known but that their old "Rolling Stones sound" was gone, and audiences had not grown familiar with the new direction the band had taken. In 1974 Frank returned, without Arti. Three other men joined the band: singer Gus Pleines, guitarist Jack van Schie, and drummer Harry Schierbeek. The following year they released another album, Genuine Bull, and guitarist Jaap (Japie) Castricum joined. Regarding Genuine Bull, producer Steve Verocca was quoted as saying that, after 20 years as a producer, he "heard ... a new approach to rock & roll" during the sessions.


The Bintangs playing a wide range of rock and blues sounds. I love more the songs if they veer away from the straight blues and bluesrock. And here are a lot of different arranged songs the band offer on this double disc. Thanks Bert for contributing this album!
Attention: The links expire on  the 2nd of September

Enjoy
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If you like what you hear you can buy the disc here

'60s Pop Sound From Sweden: Hep Stars - It's Been A Long Long Time 1968 (2013 RPM Records) Flac & mp3


The chances are that, had ABBA never come along making Benny Andersson (and his three partners in the group) into an international pop/rock star, no one outside of Sweden would ever have heard of the Hep Stars. They were the hottest rock band of the mid-to late '60s in Sweden, however, considered by some to be that country's answer to the Beatles. The Hep Stars also charted 20 singles in their own country and had hits in the Netherlands, as well as building a following in Germany -- and their CDs are exported around the world as a result of the ABBA connection. It also turns out that they were a pretty good band, too.
Andersson's interest in the keyboard manifested itself at age six, when he got his first accordion, and he began playing with his father and grandfather. At 10, he got his first piano and started lessons, but these didn't continue, and he basically became a self-taught musician.
He was playing in a band in 1964 when he chanced to be heard by Svenne Hedlund, a member of the Hep Stars, who had been formed in 1963 and already recorded one single, but had also just lost their organist, Hasse Ostlund. Anderson joined the band in October of 1964 -- the lineup also featured Janne Frisk on guitar and vocals, Hedlund on lead vocals, Lelle Hegland on bass, and Christer Pettersson on drums. Soon after Andersson joined, the Hep Stars recorded four songs: Geoff Goddard's "Tribute to Buddy Holly," which had been a hit in England for Mike Berry in the early '60s; the Premiers' then-current hit "Farmer John," and "Cadillac" (not the Bo Diddley song), that helped transform their careers.
By the middle of 1965, after getting a break on Swedish television, "Tribute to Buddy Holly," "Farmer John," and "Cadillac" had each topped the Swedish radio charts. "Cadillac," "Farmer John," and a cover of Shel Talmy's "Bald Headed Woman" also reached number one on the sales charts, while "Tribute to Buddy Holly" got to number five, all in less than a year.
"Cadillac" was a good representative of the group's sound during this period, a piece of lusty, bluesy garage rock. dominated by an agonized lead vocal, somewhere between Gene Vincent at his most quiet and menacing and David Aguilar of the Chocolate Watchband doing his best anguished teen emoting, and some very prominent organ riffs by Andersson. The group sounded sort of like a Swedish Paul Revere & the Raiders with a little more lyricism than that comparison implies.
Their version of "Farmer John" was a pale imitation of the Premiers' original, but it satisfied home-grown audiences. "Bald Headed Woman" was convincingly bluesy and threatening, and "Tribute to Buddy Holly" was a less dramatic rendition of the song than Mike Berry's version. They had a decent if slightly smooth garage band style, Andersson's organ and Frisk's guitar paired up very nicely on the breaks on numbers like "Should I," while Andersson's electric harpsichord was the dominant instrument on the folk-like "Young and Beautiful."

Their initial string of hits resulted in the release of two LPs in 1965, We and Our Cadillac, and The Hep Stars on Stage. Additionally, Benny Andersson began writing songs that year -- up to that point, the band had done nothing but covers of songs by American and British composers (they did rocking versions of "What'd I Say" and other rock & roll standards on stage), but "No Response," Andersson's debut as a songwriter, made it to number two on the charts. A year later, his "Sunny Girl" got to number one, and his "Wedding," released that same year, also topped the charts. For the next three years, his originals would compete with outside material for space on the A-sides of single releases by the band.

The group scored 20 hits in the Swedish Top Ten thru the summer of 1969, among them nine songs that topped the charts. They also released five more albums: The Hep Stars (1966), Jul Med Hep Stars (Christmas with the Hep Stars) (1967), Songs We Sang (1968), and Hep Stars Pa Svenska (1969). As those titles indicate, as the '60s progressed, the band began cutting their songs more and more often in Swedish, including covers of modern folk songs such as Ian Tyson's "Four Strong Winds" (done as "Mot Okant Land"). Shortly after hitting number one with "Wedding" in May of 1966, the Hep Stars were invited to a party by another popular Swedish group, the Hootenanny Singers. It was there that Andersson first met Bjorn Ulvaeus, who was a member of the other group. They began writing songs together later that year, with "It Isn't Easy to Say" -- that song, along with the Ulvaeus composition "No Time," showed up on the Hep Stars' self-titled third album, issued in December of that same year. At that time, their popularity was such that the album's sales broke all records, making it the first album by a Swedish band to reach the Top 20 album and singles charts.
Their string of hits continued with a Swedish version of "Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream," "Don't" (a cover of the Elvis Presley song), and Andersson's "Consolation." Everything seemed to be going extraordinarily well for the Hep Stars, but that all changed in 1967 when the band made a mistake astonishingly similar to one that the Beatles made that same year -- they decided to make a movie; additionally, the movie was to be financed by the band, and it had no script, which sounds a lot like The Magical Mystery Tour.
In contrast to the Beatles, who were earning enough money from record sales that they could've made two or three Magical Mystery Tours and not been seriously hurt, however, the Hep Stars were stricken financially by the project, which was never completed.
The one bright spot in the entire debacle was the song "Malaika," which they found while shooting in Africa, and which reached number one.
The group kept working, oblivious to the hole they'd put themselves in until they were hit with a bill for back taxes that drove them into bankruptcy. They soldiered on, the members working off their debts, and in the summer of 1968, there was a lineup change when Svenne Hedlund's fiancee Charlotte "Lotta" Walker joined as lead singer. The hits kept coming, though from 1968 onward the Hep Stars were no longer recording much rock music, preferring a softer MOR and folk-based style.
It was this change that led to the group's split. Andersson and Svenne and Lotta Hedlund wanted to keep moving in an MOR direction, while the rest of the band preferred going back into the rock 'n roll music with which they'd started out. Andersson, Hedlund, and Walker exited the line-up following the band's 1969 summer tour. The seeds that would spawn ABBA were already planted by that time -- Andersson met Anni-Frid Lyngstad during the Hep Stars' final weeks of performing, and their engagement, and his involvement with her music as producer of her new single (co-written by Andersson and Ulvaeus), followed soon after the Hep Stars split.
In more recent years, the Hep Stars have appeared as a reunited band (sans Andersson), and have made a serious effort at recording as well as performing in Sweden, where their music is still remembered by older audiences from the '60s. ABBA's success has seen to their reissue on CD, as well as to the international availability of their music.



Nothing more to say. Nice pop songs here and naturally fab four inspired.
Enjoy it
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