I subscribe to the newsletter of The Rocking Vicar, a very amusing weekly in which contributors reminisce Englishly about their misspent youths in the rock-and-roll trenches. The latest issue features a post from Will Birch, the genius behind late-Seventies power-poppers The Records (peace be upon them), about a device he'd bought at the now-defunct Tower Records in LA, that allowed him to slice open shrinkwrapped LPs -- a minuscule boon, perhaps, but we welcome anything that eases life's tribulations.
Highly recommended stuff.
Another poster contributed the UK Top Ten list of albums from the day he was born, October 8, 1966, and suggests that it may very well rank as the Best-Ever Album Chart:
- Soundtrack: Sound of Music
- Beatles: Revolver
- Walker Brothers: Portrait
- Beach Boys: Pet Sounds
- Spencer Davis Group: Autumn 66
- Various: Stars Charity Fantasia -- Save the Children Fund
- John Mayall/Eric Clapton: Bluesbreakers
- Herb Alpert: Going Places
- Kinks: Well Respected Kinks
- Bob Dylan: Blonde on Blonde
So what were they putting in the water? (Wait, I think I know the answer to that...)
As for Your Humble and Obedient, I find myself still under the spell of the Nuggets II succubus*, still unable to shake the Sixties FreakBeat obsession that's been gibbering squeakily in my ear for all these months. First I feel constrained to try a cover of an obscure Swedish band's attempt at Early-Beatle-iciousness, and now this: "I See the Rain," by The Marmalade.
I was utterly gobsmacked to find out that a pop combo I'd ridiculed a few months ago as having the worst band name in the history of the world actually became The Marmalade in the mid-Sixties. Next you'll be telling me Andy Summers played in Dantalion's Chariot or something.
I think the thing that fascinates me most about the Nuggets II collection is that it proudly touts itself as hit-free. Probably the best-known track in it is Status Quo's "Pictures of Matchstick Men"; otherwise, as far as I know, none of these marvelous curiosities ever cracked a Top Ten in an English-speaking country. I remain convinced that there's as much to be learned from a period's mediocrities as from its giants.
Jimi Hendrix named "I See the Rain" his favorite single from 1967, and I imagine you'll be able to tell why once you've heard it:
Ladles and genitalmen, I give you... "I See the Rain," by The Neddie Jingo Experience, featuring Noel Redding!
*Succubus? But I barely knowubus!