Friday, October 31, 2014

Record #0592: Mutant Rock / The Hills Have Eyes – THE MᴲTᴲORS

WXYZ ABCD 5 (original) UK, Aug. 1982
Words & Music bySide A – P. Paul Fenech; Side B – Fenech
Musicians: P. Paul Fenech (guitar, vocals), Woody (drums), Russell Jones (vocals), Mick White (bass)
Recording sessions: London (?), UK, 1982
Highest chart positions:  unknown

Here's my post for Halloween ...

Here are The Meteors, the true pioneers of psychobilly with their third single, I think. I also think these were the only songs released by this particular line-up. Fenech pretty much is the Meteors - other members come and go. :)

Russell Jones is credited for vocals, but it's clearly Fenech who is singing the lead on both sides. Maybe Jones delivers the frequency modulated vocals in the chorus of the flip. :)

List price:  Not listed. These go for 10-12 EUR in ebay

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Record #0591: Honey Love / Warm Your Heart – THE DRIFTERS FEATURING CLYDE McPHATTER

Atlantic 45-1029 (original) USA, May 1954
Words & Music bySide AClyde McPhatter, Gerald (Jerry) Wexler; Side BTom Dowd, Nugetre (Ahmet Ertegün), Wexler
Musicians: Clyde McPhatter (lead tenor vocals), Bill Pinkney (bass vocals), Andrew "Bubba" Thrasher (baritone), Gerhart "Gay" Thrasher (tenor), Jimmy Oliver (guitar), Sam Taylor (sax on side B), Harry Van Walls (piano on side B), Mickey Baker (guitar on side B), others unknown
Recording sessions: Atlantic Studios, New York, NY, Side A - Feb. 4, 1954; Side B - Nov. 12, 1953
Highest chart positions:  US #21, US R&B #1

This was The (first) Drifters' second US R&B #1 and their first US Top 40 entry.

Honey Love became a classic in R&B / doo-wop and it has since been covered by quite a many groups.

List price:  Very Good+ is $25, Near Mint is $50

Monday, October 27, 2014

Record #0590: Thirty Days (To Come Back Home) / Together (We Will Always Be) – CHUCK BERRY AND HIS COMBO

Chess 1610 (original) USA, Oct. 1955
Words & Music bySide AChuck Berry; Side B – Berry
Musicians: Chuck Berry (vocals, lead guitar), Johnnie Johnson (piano), Willie Dixon (bass), Jasper Thomas (drums), Jerome Green (maracas)
Recording sessions: Chess Studio, Chicago, IL, Sep. 1955
Highest chart positions:  US R&B #2

Here's Berry's second single featuring an uptempo rockabilly track on the A-side and a mellow slow number on the flip. Reportedly Berry wrote "Thirty Days" as a tribute to Hank Williams' music.

Jerome Green is more famous for playing maracas on Bo Diddley's records. Bo even wrote a song about him ("Bring It To Jerome").

List price:  Very Good+ is $25, Near Mint is $50

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Record #0589: You Never Can Tell / Brenda Lee – CHUCK BERRY

Chess 1906 (original) USA, Aug. 1964
Words & Music bySide AChuck Berry; Side B – Berry
Musicians: Chuck Berry (lead vocals and lead guitar), Side A - Willie Dixon (bass), Odie Payne (drums), Johnnie Johnson (piano), James Robinson (sax), others unknown; Side B - Willie Dixon (bass), Odie Payne (drums), Lafayette Leake (piano), James Robinson (sax) and an unknown chorus
Recording sessions: Produced by Leonard Chess and Philip Chess at Chess Studio, Chicago, IL, Side A - Jan. 14, 1964; Side B - Feb. 25, 1964
Highest chart positions:  US #14, UK #23

After doing some 20 months in prison, Berry was released in October 1963. He returned with a bang; loads of new Berry originals were released soon after. The songs also did very well in the charts; much better than the ones he had released before his prison time.

"You Never Can Tell" was recorded in the same session as Berry's single "Nadine (Is It You)" / "O Rangutang", which I have already posted in this blog before.

"Pulp Fiction", a 1994 movie, has a scene where "You Never Can Tell" is played while Vincent Vega (John Travolta) and Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) dance in a Twist contest. That would have actually been a good time for Berry to re-release the single, but he didn't.

List price:  Very Good+ is $10, Near Mint is $20

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Record #0588: The Lovebug Itch / A Prison Without Walls – EDDY ARNOLD

RCA 48-0382 (original, 1st pressing) USA, Sep. 1950
Words & Music bySide A – Jenny Lou Carson, Roy Botkin; Side B – Steve Nelson, Jack Rollins
Musicians: Eddy Arnold (vocals), Side A - Chet Atkins (lead guitar), Loren Otis "Jack" Shook (guitar), James "Guy" Willis (guitar), Roy Wiggins (steel guitar), Chuck Wright (upright bass), Anita Kerr (organ), Vic Willis (piano), Skeeter Willis (fiddle); Side B - Danny Perri (guitar), Roy Wiggins (steel guitar), L.Braun ( upright bass), Vic Lewis (piano), Skeeter Willis (fiddle), Buck Lambert (fiddle)
Recording sessions: Produced by Steve Sholes, Side A - at Brown Radio Productions, Nashville, TN, Aug. 20, 1950; Side B - at RCA Victor Studio 1, New York, NY, Apr. 26, 1950
Highest chart positions:  Side A - US Country #2; Side B - US Country #10

In his career, Eddy Arnold had 91 songs in US Country Top 10! Here are two of those.

"Frosty the Snowman" is probably the most famous song written by Nelson and Rollins.

A bit worn silver print on a green label is pretty hard to capture in a photo ...

List price:  Very Good+ is $25, Near Mint is $50. Second pressing was made on black vinyl; those are half the price of the first pressing.

Record #0587: Baby Talk / Jeanette, Get Your Hair Done – JAN & DEAN

Doré 522 (original) USA, Jun. 1959
Words & Music bySide A – Melvin Schwartz; Side BJan Berry, Dean Torrence, Donald Altfeld
Musicians: Dean Torrence (lead vocals on side A, backing vocals on side B), Jan Berry (backing vocals on side A, lead vocals on side B), Plas Johnson (tenor sax), others unknown ... probably few members of the Wrecking Crew
Recording sessions: Produced by Lou Adler and Herb Alpert; recorded partially in Jan Berry's garage, Bel Air, Los Angeles, CA, and partially at Radio Recorders (?), Hollywood, CA, 1959
Highest chart positions:  US #10, US R&B #28

Here's the first single release of the duo, four years before they joined the Surf Craze with "Surf City". Berry had already released three singles "Jennie Lee" (US #8, US R&B #4), "Gas Money" (US #81) and "I Love Linda" with Arnie Ginsburg as "Jan & Arnie" before this single. Very early pressings of Doré 522 were incorrectly credited for Jan & Arnie. If you happen to own such a copy, it's a keeper ($600 for a NM).

List price:  Very Good+ is $15, Near Mint is $30

Record #0586: Twist and Shout / Boys – THE BEATLES

Parlophone 45-DPY 654 (original) Finland, summer 1963
Words & Music bySide APhil Medley, Bert Berns; Side BLuther Dixon, Wes Farrell
Musicians: John Lennon (lead vocals on side A, backing vocals on side B, rhythm guitar), Ringo Starr (lead vocals on side B, backing vocals on side A, drums), Paul McCartney (bass, backing vocals), George Harrison (lead guitar, backing vocals)
Recording sessions: Produced by George Martin at EMI Studios (Abbey Road), London, UK, Feb. 11, 1963
Highest chart positions:  Finland #1 (Nov. 1963, Iskelmä Magazine's chart), US #2, not released as a single in the UK,

This was The Beatles' first chart entry in Finland - and what a way to do it.

Both tracks were included in the group's debut album "Please Please Me". Both tracks were also recorded in single takes; no multitrack gimmicks or anything; just playing it live in the studio. For the A-side there was also a practical reason for it. John had a cold during the sessions and his voice was simply gone after this shouter. They did do another take on it as well, but he had nothing left. Ringo delivered his first lead vocals in The Beatles on the flip.

As a single of The Beatles, this release is a bit peculiar as both sides are cover songs. Side A originally recorded by The Top Notes and side B by The Shirelles correspondingly.

The US release (Tollie 9001) had "There's a Place" on the flip-side.

List price:  Finnish release ... no price lists. A fairly rare piece, though.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Record #0585: How Do You Do It? / Away From You – GERRY AND THE PACEMAKERS

Columbia DB 4987 (original) UK, Mar. 1, 1963
Words & Music bySide AMitch Murray; Side BGerry Marsden, John Chadwick
Musicians: Gerry Marsden (lead vocals, guitars), Freddie Marsden (drums), John "Les" Chadwick (bass), Les Maguire (piano)
Recording sessions: Produced by George Martin at EMI Studios (Abbey Road), London, UK, Jan. 22, 1963 (2.30pm - 5.30pm)
Highest chart positions:  US #9, UK #1, Australia #3

Here's the debut single of Gerry and the Pacemakers.

This was also their debut in the States. Wikipedia claims that the US release came out on July 5, 1964. That is false information. Laurie Records released this (Laurie 3162) already in April 1963. Then later, when the British Invasion had started, they released "How Do You Do It?" again (Laurie 3261) in July 1964, this time with "You'll Never Walk Alone" as the flip. This re-release was the one that climbed the US charts and that's probably the reason why there is incorrect info about the first US release date of the song.

The Beatles also considered (read: pushed by Brian Epstein) to release "How Do You Do It?", but insisted releasing "Please Please Me" instead. After that Epstein offered the song for Gerry and his group.

List price:  not listed in Goldmine's catalog

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Record #0584: What In the World's Come Over You / Baby, Baby – JACK SCOTT

Top Rank RA-2028 (original) USA, Dec. 1959
Words & Music bySide A – Jack Scott; Side B – Scott
Musicians: Jack Scott (lead vocals, guitar), The Chantones (backing vocals), and an orchestra arranged by Bill Sanford
Recording sessions: Produced by Sonny Lester at Bell Sound Studio, New York, NY, Nov. 25, 1959
Highest chart positions:  US #5, US R&B #7, UK #11

Jack Scott moved from Carlton label to Top Rank in 1959 and this single was recorded in his first session for the latter.
It seems he made a good move as both this and his next single "Burning Bridges" / "Oh, Little One" reached US Top 10.
Unfortunately those were his last singles to do so.

List price:  Very Good+ is $15, Near Mint is $30

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Record #0583: School's Out / Eighteen – ALICE COOPER

Warner Bros. 8607 (original) USA, Jun. 1978
Words & Music bySide A – Alice Cooper, Michael Bruce, Glen Buxton, Dennis Dunaway, Neal Smith; Side B – Cooper, Bruce, Buxton, Dunaway, Smith
Musicians: Alice Cooper (lead vocals), Side A - Steve Hunter (guitar), Dick Wagner (guitar, vocals), Prakash John (bass), Fred Mandel (keyboards), Whitey Glan (drums); Side B - Glen Buxton (lead guitar), Michael Bruce (rhythm guitar, vocals), Dennis Dunaway (bass, vocals), Bob Ezrin (keyboards), Reggie Vincent (guitar and vocals on side A), Neal Smith (drums)
Recording sessions: Produced by Bob Ezrin, Side A - live at The Aladdin Hotel, Las Vegas, NV, Aug. 19 or 20, 1977; Side B - at RCA Mid-American Recording Center, Chicaco, IL, 1970
Highest chart positions:  This release didn't hit Top 100 in national charts

The original single version of "School's Out" was released by Alice Cooper in May 1972 (with "Gutter Cat" as the flip). Here the A-side is from  Here the A-side is from Cooper's 1977 live album "The Alice Cooper Show". (I couldn't find that in Youtube, so I put the 1972 album version for a sample.)

The flip was originally released as a single by Cooper in 1970. The flipside of that single was "Body". That single was Cooper's first US Top 40 hit.

List price:  Very Good+ is $4, Near Mint is $8

Friday, October 17, 2014

Record #0582: They're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haa! / !aaaH-aH ,yawA eM ekaT oT gnimoC er'yehT – NAPOLEON XIV / VIX NOELOPAN

Warner Bros. 5831 (original) USA, Jul. 1966
Words & Music bySide A – N. Bonaparte (Jerry Samuels); Side B – etrapanoB .N
Musicians: Jerry Samuels (vocals, snare drum, tambourine, variable-frequency oscillator, sound effects)
Recording sessions: Associated Recording Studios, New York, NY, 1966
Highest chart positions:  US #3, UK #4   (yes, it did!)

This is one of the wackiest and weirdest novelty pieces ever recorded.

Jerry Samuels,  a recording engineer and songwriter, was the man behind the name "Napoleon XIV", a one-hit-wonder.  As a songwriter he also had a hit with a "real" song, as he wrote "The Shelter of Your Arms" (US #17, US AC #6, US R&B #3) for Sammy Davis Jr. in 1963.

List price:  Very Good+ is $6, Near Mint is $12

Record #0581: Pik-pik-pikku tyttönen / Sun tahdon tähtiin johtaa (My Special Angel) – LASSE LIEMOLA

Columbia 45-MY 55 (original) Finland, Sep. 1959
Words & Music bySide ALaLa (La Forrest Cope); Side B – Jimmy Duncan, Orvokki Itä (Reino Helismaa & Toivo Kärki)
Musicians: Lasse Liemola (vocals) and Pentti Lasanen Orchestra
Recording sessions: Helsinki (?), Finland, 1959
Highest chart positions:  Unknown - probably didn't hit the Finnish charts as this is one of Liemola's lesser known singles.

Liemola is one of the early pioneers of rock'n'roll in Finland. His peak success was in the late 50's and early 60's. His 1959 LP "Anna pois" is still the 16th most sold album in Finland. Both of these songs appeared on that album.

List price:  Not listed. These sell for 10-15 EUR in the web.

Record #0580: Bop With Beaver Jeans / Twenty Flight Rock – TEDDY & THE TIGERS

Beavers BB 001 (original) Finland, Mar. 21, 1978
Words & Music bySide A – Johnny Flight (Kari Heimonen); Side BNed Fairchild, Eddie Cochran
Musicians: Aikka "Teddy Guitar" Hakala (vocals, guitars), Antti-Pekka "AP" Niemi (bass), Pauli "Pale" Martikainen (drums)
Recording sessions: Produced by Kari Heimonen at Microwox Studios, Lahti, Finland, Feb. 12, 1978
Highest chart positions:  unknown  (probably none)

Teddy & The Tigers was the leading band in the Finnish rockabilly revival boom in the late 70's and early 80's.  I think they had better moments than the A-side of this record.

This record was distributed as a freebie to advertise Finnish "Beavers" brand of jeans.

List price
:  Not listed - with a picture sleeve this would be about 15 EUR in the web.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Record #0579: Rock-a-Bye Your Baby With a Dixie Melody / Operation Heartbreak – ARETHA FRANKLIN

Columbia 4-42157 (original) USA, Sep. 1, 1961
Words & Music bySide A – Jean Schwartz, Joe Young, Sam M. Lewis; Side BAl Kasha, Alan Thomas, Curtis Williams
Musicians: Aretha Franklin (lead vocals, piano), possibly with the Ray Bryant Combo
Recording sessions: Produced by Al Kasha at Columbia Recording Studios, New York, NY, Aug. 16, 1961
Highest chart positions:  Side A - US #37; Side B- US R&B #6

Franklin had already had two US R&B Top 10 hits by this time, but this was her first US Top 40 entry with an international distribution (I couldn't find international chart info for this, though).

Though just 19 years old, Franklin delivers like a pro with a voice that would be topping the charts six years later.

List price:  Very Good+ is $6, Near Mint is $12

Record #0578: The Train Kept a-Rollin' / Honey Hush – THE JOHNNY BURNETTE TRIO

Coral 9-61719 (original) USA, Oct. 1956
Words & Music bySide ATiny Bradshaw, Louis Mann, Howie Kay; Side BLou Willie Turner
Musicians: Johnny Burnette (vocals), Dorsey Burnette (upright bass), Paul Burlison (guitar), Grady Martin (lead guitar), Farris Coursey (drums on side A), Buddy Harman (drums on side B)
Recording sessions: Produced by Henry Jerome at Bradley Film & Recording Studio, Nashville, TN, Side A - Jul. 2; Side B - Jul. 3, 1956
Highest chart positions:  Didn't hit any national charts

Here's one of my all-time favorites and a milestone in rock music history.

This is (arguably) the first hard rock record ever made. Packed with such an energy and distortion guitars, the record was years ahead of its time. This made Elvis look like a pop singer. Actually, the same day when this Trio was recording "The Train Kept a-Rolling" in Nashville, Elvis was recording "Don't Be Cruel" in New York City (well, ok he did "Hound Dog" in that session, too).

Though distortion guitar sounds had already been recorded by some blues artists before, this was definitely the first time they appeared in rock music.

It's a pity that apparently Coral didn't quite know how to promote the Burnette Trio's records. The group was in high demand for tours, made TV appearances and had some local hits, but nationally they flopped in records sales.

The flip was actually written by Big Joe Turner, though it was credited for his wife.

Johnny didn't get his breakthrough until he went into manstream pop in 1960 with his hit single "Dreamin'" (US #11, UK #5). The same year Dorsey got his first hit with "Tall Oak Tree"  (US #23).

List price:  This is quite rare and in high demand.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Record #0577: (Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You've Been Gone / Ain't No Way – ARETHA FRANKLIN

Atlantic 45-2486 (original) USA, Feb. 9, 1968
Words & Music bySide AAretha Franklin, Ted White; Side BCarolyn Franklin
Musicians: Aretha Franklin (lead vocals, piano on side B),Side A - Jimmy Johnson (guitar), Bobby Womack (guitar), Spooner Oldham (electric piano), Tommy Cogbill (bass), Roger Hawkins (drums), Melvin Lastie, Joe Newman, Bernie Glow (trumpets), Tony Studd (bass trombone), King Curtis, Seldon Powell, Frank Wess (tenor saxophones), Haywood Henry (baritone saxophone) The Sweet Inspirations, Carolyn & Erma Franklin (background vocals);
Side B - Warren Smith (vibraharp), Tommy Cogbill (bass), Roger Hawkins (drums), Melvin Lastie, Joe Newman, Bernie Glow (trumpets), Tony Studd (bass trombone), King Curtis and Seldon Powell (tenor saxophones), Frank Wess (tenor saxophone and flute), Haywood Henry (baritone saxophone), Carolyn Franklin and The Sweet Inspirations (background vocals), Cissy Houston (vocal obbligato)
Recording sessions: Produced by Jerry Wexler at Atlantic Studios, New York, NY, Side A - Dec. 16 & 17; Side B - Dec. 19 & 20, 1967
Highest chart positions:  Side A - US #5, US R&B #1; Side B - US #16, US R&B #9

Here's a suberb piece of 60's soul / R&B by the Queen of Soul.

Both of these tracks appeared on Franklin's highly acclaimed 1968 album "Lady Soul", which also included hits  "Chain of Fools" and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman".

Backing vocals were provided by Aretha's elder sister Erma and younger sister Carolyn and by the Sweet Inspirations, which was led by Cissy Houston, who is the mother of the late Whitney Houston.

List price:  Very Good+ is $5, Near Mint is $10

Record #0576: Be True To Yourself / A Letter From Betty – BOBBY VEE

Liberty 55581 (original) USA, Jun 22, 1963
Words & Music bySide AHal David, Burt Bacharach; Side B – Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein, Richard Gottehrer
Musicians: Bobby Vee (lead vocals), The Johnny Mann Singers (backing vocals) and an orchestra (likely included many members of "The Wrecking Crew") conducted by Ernie Freeman
Recording sessions: Produced by Snuff Garrett at United Studios (?), Los Angeles, CA, 1963
Highest chart positions:  Side A - US #34, US AC #14; Side B - US #85

About 6 months before the release of this single, Bobby Vee got one of his biggest hits "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes". Sounds a bit like the label was riding on the same formula here - this time with a David & Bacharach song.

Around the time Vee was also recording with The Ventures and released an album "Bobby Vee Meets the Ventures" in June 1963. It's a shame they didn't release any of those tracks as a single instead of this one ...

Jerry Lee Lewis once said "Thank God for the Beatles. They god rid of all the Bobbys; swept them aside like wheat before the chaff." :)  At the time of this single, that was just around the corner in the States.

List price:  Very Good+ is $5, Near Mint is $10

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Record #0575: What's New Pussycat? / Once Upon a Time – TOM JONES

Parrot 45 PAR 9765V (original, 1st pressing) USA, Jun. 5, 1965
Words & Music bySide AHal David, Burt Bacharach; Side BGordon Mills
Musicians: Tom Jones (lead vocals) and an orchestra conducted by Charles Blackwell (side A), unknown instrumentation on side B
Recording sessions: Produced by Peter Sullivan, Side A - at Cine Tele Sound Studio, London, UK; Side B - at Decca Studios (?), London, UK, 1965
Highest chart positions:  US #3, UK #11

The A-side was the theme song in a 1965 movie "What's New Pussycat?" starring Peter Sellers, Peter O'Toole and Romy Schneider. It also appeared on Jones' 1965 album with the same title.

Initially, upon hearing a demo of the song, Jones was not at all impressed about "What's New Pussycat?" and described it as "Humpty Dumpty" music. His manager, Gordon Mills persuaded him to take the job and sing the song.

The flip of this US release was the A-side of a UK single released already in April 1965 (Decca F 12121, UK charts #32). It was included on Jones' debut album "Along Came Jones" (UK title) / "It's Not Unusual" (US title)

List price:  Very Good+ is $5, Near Mint is $10

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Record #0574: Would You Believe It (I Have a Cold) / Genevieve – HUEY SMITH AND HIS CLOWNS

Ace 562 (original) USA, May 25, 1959
Words & Music bySide A – Huey Smith; Side B – Smith
Musicians: Huey "Piano" Smith (piano), Bobby Marchan (lead vocals), Alvin "Red" Tyler (baritone sax), Frank Fields (bass), Charles "Hungry" Williams (drums), The Clowns (backing vocals), others unknown
Recording sessions: Produced by Johnny Vincent at Cosimo Recording Studio, New Orleans, LA, May 1959
Highest chart positions:  Didn't hit Top 100 in any national charts

Huey Smith played piano on many other artist's records, but scored only two hits for his own group. Those two were "Rocking Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu" in 1957 (US R&B #5) and "Don't Ya Just Know It" in 1958 (US #9, US R&B #4).

In 1959 he wrote and recorded one of his biggest hit songs, "Sea Cruise", but the record label erased his vocals from the track and over-dubbed it with Frankie Ford's vocals. The song went US #14 and US R&B 11 and it was afterwards covered by artists/groups such as The Hondells, Ace Cannon, Johnny Rivers, Billy Crash Craddock and Dion.

List price:  Very Good+ is $10, Near Mint is $20

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Record #0573: In the Wee Small Hours part 3 (EP) – FRANK SINATRA

A1 “Deep In a Dream”,  A2 “Mood Indigo”, B1 “Glad To Be Unhappy”, B2 “Ill Wind

Capitol EAP 3-581 (original) USA, Apr. 1955
Words & Music by:  A1 - Jimmy Van Heusen, Eddie DeLange; A2 - Duke Ellington, Irving Mills, Barney Bigard; B1 - Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart; B2 - Harold Arlen, Ted Koehler
Musicians: Frank Sinatra (lead vocals) with Nelson Riddle's orchestra, including: George Van Eps (7-string guitar), Bill Miller (piano), Bill Stephens (bass), Lou Singer (drums), and strings & horns
Recording sessions: Produced by Voyle Gilmore at KHJ Studios, Hollywood, CA, A1 - Feb. 24; A2 & B2 - Feb. 16; B1 - Feb. 8, 1955
Highest chart positions:  The charting of this EP is unknown. The album LP peaked at US Album #2

"In the Wee Small Hours" was Frank Sinatra's 9th studio album. It was released as an LP and as a set of four EPs, this being part 3 of the latter.

Sinatra really hit the jackpot, when he signed with Capitol. His first 7 albums went to US Top 10. Then he had one miss ("only" US Album #18) and then the next 6 were in the Top 10 again.

List price:  Very Good+ is $10, Near Mint is $20. I think I have the sleeve for this, too. I'll add a photo later.