Sunday, May 08, 2016

Record #0632: The Grim Ripper (EP) – THE NIGHTMARES

A1 “White Room”,  A2 “I'm Linked”, B1 “The Grim Ripper”, B2 “Jumpin' Jack Flash”
Crazy Love Records CLEP 001 (original) Germany, 1993
Words & Music by:  A1 - Jack Bruce, Pete Brown; A2 - Timo J. Saikko; B1 - Saikko; B2 - Mick Jagger, Keith Richards
Musicians: Psycho Tim (vocals, upright bass in A1, B1 & B2, rhythm guitar, lead guitar in B2), Fast Eddie (drums), Mad Matt (lead guitar in A1, A2 & B1)
Recording sessions: Produced by Pete Boy and the Nightmares at Akaan MR Studio, Viiala, Finland, on May 29, June 20. and Oct. 2. & 3, 1993
Highest chart positions:  none

This is the first record released by Finnish psychobilly pioneers, the Nightmares (formed in June 1983). Took them 10 years to make a record and in that time they seemed to look into other genres as well. Covers versions of Cream and Rolling Stones originals points to this direction.

The Nightmares' first published recording was "Renny the Radioactive Reindeer", which was released on Jungle Noise's (another German indie label) "Wreckin' Around the Christmas Tree" compilation in 1991.

Their YouTube channel says the band will be return in 2016.

List price:  In a Finnish Price List this is 5 EUR

Friday, February 26, 2016

Record #0631: Brown Eyed Girl / Goodbye Baby (Baby Goodbye) – VAN MORRISON

Bang 545 (original) USA, May 1967
Words & Music bySide A – Van Morrison; Side BBert Berns, Wes Farrell
Musicians: Van Morrison (lead vocals), Eric Gale (guitar), Al Gorgoni (guitar), Hugh McCracken (guitar), Russ Savakus (bass), Paul Griffin (keyboards), Gary Chester (drums), The Sweet Inspirations (backing vocals)
Recording sessions: Produced by Bert Berns at A&R Studios, New York, NY, Mar. 28, 1967
Highest chart positions:  US #10

Here's one of the classic tracks in rock music.

Morrison's former band, "Them", split in mid-1966 after their contract with Decca ended. He was looking for a record company for his solo career when Bert Berns (the owner of Bang) contacted him. Morrison flew to New York for recording sessions and this single was the first release out of the recordings.

"Brown Eyed Girl" is #109 on "Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Songs".

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

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Record #0630: Some Kind-a Earthquake / First Love, First Tears – DUANE EDDY AND THE REBELS

Jamie 1130 (original) USA, Sep. 1959
Music bySide ADuane Eddy, Lee Hazlewood; Side B – Eddy, Hazlewood
Musicians: Duane Eddy (lead guitar),Vivian "Corki" Casey (guitar), Donnie Owens (guitar), Tyler Wheeler (bass guitar), Alvin Simmons (upright bass), Michael Bermani (drums), Al Casey (piano), Plas Johnson (sax on side A), unknown strings and choir on side B
Recording sessions: Produced by Lee Hazlewood and Lester Still at Audio Recorders, Phoenix, AZ, Mar. 19. (Side A) and Mar. 16. (Side B); Plas Johnson's sax overdubbed to side A at United Recorders, Hollywood, CA, Aug. 27, 1959
Highest chart positions:  Side A - US #37, UK #12; Side B - US #59

Both tracks were also included on Eddy's 1960 album "$1,000,000.00 Worth of Twang" , which reached #18 on UK Albums chart.

With the length of just 1 minute and 17 seconds, "Some Kinda Earthquake" is the shortest song that has ever reached Billboard's Top 40.

List price:  Very Good+ is $10, Near Mint is $20; stereo pressings are $25 and $50 correspondingly.

Record #0629: Bill Bailey, Won't You Please Come Home / Hummin' the Blues Over You – BRENDA LEE

Decca 9-30806 (original) USA, Dec. 1958
Words & Music bySide AHughie Cannon; Side B – Larry Harrison, Luvada Harrison
Musicians: Brenda Lee (lead vocals), Hank Garland (guitar), Harold Bradley (electric bass),
Bob Moore (upright bass), Floyd Cramer (piano), Boots Randolph (sax), Doug Kirkham (drums),
The Anita Kerr Singers (vocal chorus)
Recording sessions: Produced by Owen Bradley at Bradley Film & Recording Studio, Nashville, TN, Oct. 19, 1958
Highest chart positions:  Didn't chart in top 100

Brenda Lee had had two singles ("One Step at a Time" and "Dynamite") in the US charts by this time, but those were only moderately successful. Her stardom was kicked off when her single "Sweet Nothin's" (written by Ronnie Self) was released in September 1959. That climbed to #4 in both US and UK charts.

Four other songs recorded in this session were "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree", "Papa Noel", "Let's Jump the Broomstick" and "Heading Home".

This was Boots Randolph's first of many sessions with Brenda Lee.

The title song was first published by Hughie Cannon in 1902 and it was a #1 hit for Artur Collins the same year. It's a fairly old song, I'd say.

List price:  Very Good+ is $12.50, Near Mint is $25

Friday, February 19, 2016

Record #0628: Honky Tonk Women / You Can't Always Get What You Want – THE ROLLING STONES

London 45-910 (original) USA, Jul. 11, 1969
Words & Music bySide A – Mick Jagger, Keith Richards; Side B – Jagger, Richards
Musicians: Mick Jagger (lead vocals, acoustic guitar on side B), Keith Richards (lead guitar, rhythm guitar on side A, acoustic guitar on side B, background vocals), Bill Wyman (bass), Charlie Watts (drums on side A), Mick Taylor (2nd lead guitar on side A), Ian Stewart (piano on side A), Bud Beadle (sax on side A), Steve Gregory (sax on side A), Doris Troy (background vocals), Nanette Workman (background vocals), Reparata and the Delrons (background vocals on side A), Madeline Bell (background vocals on side B) Jimmy Miller (cowbell on side A, drums on side B), London Bach Choir (choir on side B), Al Kooper (keyboards and french horn on side B), Rocky Dijon (congas, maracas & tambourine on side B)
Recording sessions: Produced by Jimmy Miller at Olympic Studios, London, UK; Side A - May 30. - Jun. 5, 1969; Side B - Mar. 15, 1969
Highest chart positions:  Side A - US #1, UK #1; Side B - US #42 (in 1973)

Brian Jones departed from the Rolling Stones just 3 days after the recording sessions of "Honky Tonk Women" and he depared from this world the day before this single was first released in the UK. As a guitar player, Jones was replaced by Mick Taylor, who auditioned for the job on May 14, 1969.

Jagger and Richards were inspired by Hank Williams' "Honky Tonk Blues", when writing the title song.

List price:  Very Good+ is $7.50, Near Mint is $15

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Record #0627: There! I've Said It Again / The Girl With the Bow In Her Hair – BOBBY VINTON

Epic 5-9638 (original) USA, Nov. 3, 1963
Words & Music bySide ARedd Evans, David Mann; Side B – Bobby Vinton
Musicians: Bobby Vinton (lead vocals), orchestra & chorus conducted by Stan Applebaum (side A) and Robert Mersey (side B)
Recording sessions: Produced by Bob Morgan in New York, NY (?), 1963
Highest chart positions:  US #1, US AC #1, UK #34, New Zealand #1, Canada #5

This was the "last US #1 single of the pre-Beatles era", ie. this is the one that was pushed down from the pole position by the Beatles' first US #1 entry "I Want To Hold Your Hand" (on Feb. 1, 1964).

This was Vinton's third US #1 hit and he had one more with "Mr. Lonely" (1964).

I think I also have the picture sleeve for this.

List price:  Very Good+ is $6, Near Mint is $12; Picture Sleeve is $7.50 and $15 correspondingly.

Record #0626: Baby, Baby Don't Cry / Your Mother's Only Daughter – SMOKEY ROBINSON AND THE MIRACLES

Tamla T-54178 (original) USA, Dec. 12, 1968
Words & Music bySide AAl Cleveland, Terry Johnson, Smokey Robinson; Side B – Robinson, Cleveland
Musicians: Smokey Robinson (lead vocals), Claudette Rogers-Robinson (backing vocals), Bobby Rogers (backing vocals), Warren "Pete" Moore (backing vocals), Ronald White (backing vocals), Merv Tarplin (lead guitar), the Funk Brothers (all other instruments)
Recording sessions: Hitsville USA, Detroit, MI, 1968; Side A produced by Smokey Robinson, Warren Moore, Terry Johnson; Side B produced by Robinson & Cleveland
Highest chart positions:  US #8, US R&B #3

At the time when this was recorded, the Miracles had internal disagreements, mainly about the finance. Robinson had already decided to leave the group and was only waiting for a good timing for it. Due to the success of this single and the 1970 mega success "The Tears of a Clown" (#1 in US, US R&B and UK), Robinson decided to stay a bit longer and didn't leave the group until 1972.

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

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Record #0625: See Saw / My Song – ARETHA FRANKLIN

Atlantic 2574X (original) Canada, 1968
Words & Music bySide ASteve Cropper, Don Covay; Side B – David Mattis, John Alexander
Musicians: Aretha Franklin (lead vocals, piano), Spooner Oldham (electric piano on side A, organ on side B), Jimmy Johnson (guitar on side A), Tommy Cogbill (guitar on side A), Jerry Jemmott (bass), Roger Hawkins (drums), Charlie Chalmers (tenor sax), Andrew Love (tenor sax), Willie Bridges (baritone sax), Floyd Newman (baritone sax), Wayne Jackson (trumpet), the Sweet Inspirations (backing vocals on side A)
Recording sessions: Produced by Jerry Wexler at Atlantic Studios, New York, NY; side A - Apr. 16; side B - Apr. 15, 1968
Highest chart positions:  Side A - US #14, US R&B #9; Side B - US #31, US R&B #10

"See Saw" is a cover of Don Covay's original 1965 release. Covay is (also) famous for having young guitarist named James Hendrix playing on one of his recording sessions ("Mercy, Mercy", 1964). That's today's Jimi link. :)

"My Song" was originally on Johnny Ace's debut single in 1952 (US R&B #1).

"See Saw" also appeared on Franklin's 1968 album "Aretha Now" (US Album #3, US R&B Album #1). The flip was only released on the single.

List price:  Canadian pressing, unknown list price

Friday, February 12, 2016

Record #0624: Stop the Music / It's Love That Really Counts (In the Long Run) – THE SHIRELLES

Scepter 1237 (original) USA, Aug. 1962
Words & Music bySide AVan McCoy, Willie Denson; Side BHal David, Burt Bacharach
Musicians: Shirley Owens (vocals), Addie Harris (vocals), Doris Coley (vocals), Beverly Lee (vocals) and an unknown orchestra
Recording sessions: New York, NY, 1962; Side A produced by Van McCoy, Side B by Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller
Highest chart positions:  Side A - US #36; Side B - US #102

Another Shirelles 7" with a bit of a dispute on what's the A-side of the single. The label marking clearly shows that "Stop the Music" was originally intended as the flip. This time I chose to go against it.

Bacharach had recorded a demo of "It's Love That Really Counts" with (then unknown) Dionne Warwick on vocals. Scepter founder heard the demo and said:"I hate the song, but who's the girl?" Soon after, Warwick was signed to Scepter and the song was given to the Shirelles as the flip side of their next single.

Perhaps the best known cover version of "It's Love That Really Counts" was recorded by the Merseybeats for their debut single in 1963 (UK #24).

List price:  Very Good+ is $7.50, Near Mint is $15

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Record #0623: What a Sweet Thing That Was / A Thing of the Past – THE SHIRELLES

Scepter 1220 (original) USA, Jun. 1961
Words & Music bySide ACarole King, Gerry Goffin; Side B – Bob Brass, Irwin Levine
Musicians: Shirley Owens (vocals), Addie Harris (vocals), Doris Coley (vocals), Beverly Lee (vocals) and an unknown orchestra
Recording sessions: Produced by Luther Dixon in New York, NY, 1961
Highest chart positions:  Side A - US #54; Side B - US #41, US R&B #26

Catalogs and other entries indicate "A Thing of the Past" as the A side, but the original label clearly shows it was the B side. Looks like the radio DJs liked the flip better and played it more.

When releasing this, the Shirelles were in between two big hits; "Mama Said" (Apr. 1961) and "Baby It's You" (Dec. 1961).

Irvin Levine co-wrote the song "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree" in the early 70's.

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

Record #0622: Lonely Blue Boy / Star Spangled Heaven – CONWAY TWITTY

MGM 12857 (original, 2nd pressing) USA, Dec. 1959

Words & Music by:  Side ABen Weisman, Fred Wise; Side B – Conway Twitty
Musicians: Conway Twitty (lead vocals), Al Bruno (guitar), Ray Edenton (guitar), Grady Martin (guitar), Harold Bradley (bass guitar), Lightnin Chance (upright bass), Jack Nance (drums), Floyd Cramer (piano), vocal chorus and others unknown

Recording sessions: Produced by Jim Vienneau at Bradley Film and Recording Studio, Nashville, TN; Side A - Nov.11; Side B - Nov.10, 1959

Highest chart positions:  US #6, US R&B #27

The A side is a cover of Elvis' "Danny" (in movie "King Creole"). This was Twitty's last Top 10 entry in Billboart Hot 100 chart. His next Top 10 entry in general was "Next In Line", which topped US Country chart in 1968.

List price:  Very Good+ is $10, Near Mint is $20. First pressings (yellow label) are $15 and $30 correspondingly.

I'll Be Back

Had other priorities for some 14 months. Will return to this blog shortly.