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Old Melodies ...

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Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas - The EP Collection

 The CDs in See for Miles' The EP Collection series are odd hybrids that don't often quite function as either greatest-hits collections (though they usually have quite a few hits) or rarities anthologies (since they include too many hits). Billy J. Kramer's entry into the series is no exception. All 25 of the tracks were used on EP releases from the mid-'60s, and they do include all half-dozen of his major chart hits, as well as his Lennon-McCartney B-side covers of "I'll Be on My Way" and "I'll Call Your Name." However, the other songs miss some of his better other tracks of the period, especially "Pride (Is Such a Little Word)," a pretty good Merseybeat rocker from his first LP. As for the non-hits on the disc, they include some passable Merseybeat ("I Know," co-written by George Martin and Merseyside rock compere Bob Wooler, and "They Remind Me of You"), but also too many dull oldies covers. As for rarities, there are a few hard to obtain elsewhere, though since they're way in the minority on the track list, you should be a committed Kramer/Merseybeat fan before shelling out the full price for the CD. "Take My Hand" (used primarily as a 1966 B-side) isn't too easy to come by, although it's not a very good effort, with a folk-pop-orchestrated feel. The live tracks from early 1965's Billy J. Plays the States are better, both because these aren't too easy to find, and as they have some fairly hot playing, especially on "Irresistible You." And finally, there are four instrumental tracks from the 1963 U.K. EP by Kramer's backup band the Dakotas that have no contributions from Billy J., but are decent Shadows-style performances. Yet despite the inclusion of all the hits and good value as a 25-track single disc, if you want just one Kramer collection, you're still far better off with The Best of Billy J. Kramer & the Dakotas.

Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas - The EP Collection

The Dakotas - Meet The Dakotas


The Dakotas' four-track 1963 EP Meet the Dakotas combined the A-sides and B-sides of their first two singles, "The Cruel Sea"/"The Millionaire" and "Magic Carpet"/"Humdinger." All of the tracks (unlike the Merseybeat ones they cut as the backup group to Billy J. Kramer) show them to be a very accomplished instrumental group in the style of the Shadows, with perhaps some Ventures influence, too. Easily the best of the four is the taut and eerie "The Cruel Sea," which made number 18 on the British charts, though American listeners might be more familiar with it via the Ventures' cover version. Though The Dakotas did release five singles in the U.K., they never put out an album, making this rare EP, oddly, the lengthiest Dakotas release. The four tracks, fortunately, were all included on the Billy J. Kramer compilation The EP Collection, which otherwise features material from Billy J. Kramer & the Dakotas that appeared on mid-'60s EPs.

Dave Davies - Hidden Treasures

Dave Davies - Hidden Treasures

The CD contains what are believed to be the genuine original stereo mixes of the twelve proposed album songs – three of these unissued in any form until this release – with some alternative versions in mono, plus the other Dave songs that did see the light of day as solo singles, as components ofSomething Else By The Kinks or as B-sides of later Kinks 45s: twenty-seven cuts in all. Despite their piecemeal production over two years, the proposed album tracks exhibit commendable homogeneity and the quality is consistently high with respect both to composition and to performance, offering a set of well-crafted pop-rock songs, many with country-rock overtones. Setting them apart from the Kinks’ oeuvre are Dave’s distinctive proto-punk vocals and his frequent use of modest time signature changes and modulations to add further musical interest, whilst the lyrics are in the form of acerbic interpersonal dialogues and wry observations on love, eschewing his brother’s wistful nostalgia. The best of the bunch are the inexplicably-unsuccessful second single “Susannah’s Still Alive” with its great piano riff and homespun harmonica, the Byrdsy jangle of “Mindless Child Of Motherhood”, the twelve-string-driven, string-laden “Lincoln County” with its good-time Lovin’ Spoonful vibe and the lyrically-contentious “Creeping Jean” which recalls Beggars Banquet-era Stones. Despite these comparisons the twelve tracks are distinctly Dave and would indeed have made a fine late Sixties album. The extras naturally include the peerless non-album single “Death Of A Clown”.
The music is solid despite the convoluted circumstances of its genesis, which was lengthy and full of hiccups and about-turns as admirably explained in the fine booklet essay by Russell Smith that accompanies the CD. In 1966 the Kinks’ management proposed a parallel solo career for Brother Dave, on the basis that his good looks and immaculate dress sense might attract a separate teenybopper audience and perhaps lead to films. The man himself was initially resistant to individual promotion, but the other band members were fully amenable and every Dave-credited track was actually a proper Kinks recording, with Dave taking the writer credits and handling the lead vocals but all three other members contributing fully and Ray generally arranging and producing. The initial “Clown” single was a massive 1967 hit and the solo album was immediately proposed, but for some reason from that point on the band’s management and their record labels seemed to lose interest, possibly because of the campaign to rescind the Kinks’ touring ban in the States, possibly because of the success of their increasingly Anglocentric albums there in contrast to their steady decline at home where they were by then widely regarded as a somewhat dated singles band. Specific sessions to cut Dave’s songs were nonetheless held sporadically over the next two years and the twelve-track tape was finally delivered to the Kinks’ US label Warner-Reprise in the fall of ‘69, only to be shelved immediately without either a title or a final running order. Forty-two years on, we finally have it as near as dammit, and Kinks fans and lovers of good Sixties music will agree that it’s been worth the wait.



Gwiazdy polskiego big beatu - Dzikusy

Powstał w na przełomie 1963/1964 roku. Liderem zespołu był Wiktor Stroiński, a oprócz niego w grupie występowali Krzysztof Dłutowski, który przeszedł później do zespołu „KLAN” oraz Tadeusz Woźniak. Podobnie jak w przypadku Chochołów również The Shadows byli dla nich wzorem nr 1. Zadebiutowały na słynnej „Giełdzie piosenki u Ewy”, gdzie w połowie lat 60-tych rodziło się wiele muzycznych talentów, które potem występowały na festiwalu opolskim. Był więc występ na II festiwalu, był kryzys spowodowany licznymi zmianami personalnymi, poczym reaktywowanie się Dzikusów.

Od lewej: 

Bohdan Gorbaczyński, Tadeusz Woźniak (Daniel Dan), Wiktor Stroiński i Robert Świercz.
Amatorski zespół instrumentalny utworzony w 1963 r. w Warszawie w składzie: Jan Głowacki g., Jan Goethel g., lider, Adam Górka dr., Wiktor Stroiński bg. Debiutował w klubach studenckich stolicy. W latach 19641967 działał jako zespół wokalno-instrumentalny. W 1964 r. tworzyli go: Zbigniew Bieliński dr., Zbigniew Jaryczewski g., Wiktor Stroiński g., voc., lider, Robert Świercz bg., w 1965 r.: Zbigniew Bieliński dr. (wkrótce zastąpił go Andrzej Kowalski), Krzysztof Dłutowski org., Bogdan Gorbaczyński g., Wiktor Stroiński g., voc., lider, Robert Świercz bg. W 1966 r. dołączył do niego wokalista Tadeusz Woźniak, z którym zespół wziął udział w Wiosennym Festiwalu Muzyki Nastolatków i w Telewizyjnej Giełdzie Piosenki. Występował na koncertach w kraju z własnym repertuarem, towarzyszył także na estradzie Joannie Rawik i bułgarskiemu piosenkarzowi Emilowi Dymitrowowi. Dokonał nagrań dla archiwum Polskiego Radia oraz na małe płyty Veritonu, Muzy i Pronitu[1].

Zespół wokalno-instrumentalny Dzikusy powstał w Warszawie na przełomie 1963 i 1964 r. Zespół tworzyli: Jan Goethel - gitara, lider; Jan Głowacki - gitara; Wiktor Stroiński - gitara basowa; Adam Górka - perkusja.
  Początkowo formacja grała do tańca w klubach młodzieżowych stolicy. Wzorem dla grupy byli The Shadows, z przeboju których (The Savage) zaczerpnięto nazwę zespołu. Dzikusy zabebiutowały wiosną 1964 r. na V "Giełdzie u Ewy", cyklicznej imprezie muzycznej organizowanej w Warszawie. Szerszej publiczności zespół przedstawił się na jednym z koncertów II KFPP w Opolu. Zastąpienie na czas festiwalowego występu J. Goethla i A. Górki muzykami z konkurencyjnych Chochołów spowodowało kryzys, zakończony rozwiązaniem zespołu w sierpniu 1964 r.
  Nie zrażony tym faktem W. Stroiński, tym razem jako gitarzysta i wokalista, jeszcze w 1964 r. zorganizował grupę na nowo. W jej skład wchodzili: W. Stroiński - gitara, śpiew; Zbigniew Jaryczewski - gitara; Robert Świercz - gitara basowa i Zbigniew Bieliński - perkusja.
  W 1965 r. grupa przeszła kolejną reorganizację. Najpierw Z. Jaryczewskiego zastąpił Bogdan Gorbaczyński, zaś w grudniu dołączyli Krzysztof Dłutowski - organy, pianino i Andrzej Kowalski - perkusja. Zespół zainteresował się teraz rhythm and bluesem spod znaku The Rolling Stones, The Animals i The Kinks.
  Najlepszy okres w karierze Dzikusów datował się od chwili przyjścia do grupy Tadeusza Woźniaka, występującego pod pseudonimem Daniel Dan. Już z nim w lutym i czerwcu 1966 r. Dzikusy przeszły pomyślnie eliminacje oraz warszawski półfinał Wiosennego Festiwalu Muzyki Nastolatków. Grupa dokonała także nagrań dla Programu III PR (Kiedy mówisz coś; Na dobre i złe; Stale to samo; Piastelsi) i Młodzieżowego Studia "Rytm" (piosenki do wierszy J. Tuwima). Później Dzikusy akomapaniowali Joannie Rawik oraz wystąpili w Telewizyjnej Giełdzie Piosenki, prezentując utwór "Magdalena".
  Ówczesny repertuar grupy tworzyły kompozycje W. Stroińskiego do tekstów R. Świercza, Marka Gaszyńskiego i Krzysztofa Dzikowskiego, śpiewane przez T. Woźniaka i W. Stroińskiego. W czasie koncertów dominowały jednak nadal utwory brytyjskich zespołó rockowych i standardy rhythm and bluesowe.
  W 1966 r. Dzikusy otrzymały wyróżnienie w Wiosennym Festiwalu Muzyki Nastolatków. Przez niemal cały okres wakacji 1966 r. formacja występowała w "non stopowych" imprezach na Wybrzeżu, m. in. w Jastarni i Sopocie, gdzie grała do tańca obok Czerwonych Gitar. Wreszcie znalazła sięw warszawskiej hali "Gwardii" razem z Niebiesko-Czarnymi i grupą Phantoms.
  Pod koniec wakacji grupa przestała istnieć, na skutek rozbieżności co do repertuaru i stylu zespołu. Pierwszy po lipcowych występach w sopockim "Non Stopie" odszedł, zainteresowany balladą T. Woźniak, a w sierpniu K. Dłutowski. Choć Dzikusy oficjalnie zakończyły działalność, reaktywowały się pod koniec roku na nagranie płyty dla Polskich Nagrań i koncerty.
  W. Stroiński latem 1967 r. występował w zespole R. Poznakowskiego, a w latach 70-tych współtworzyłzespół Sezam m. in. z Romanem Pawelcem - gitara basowa i Janem Goethlem - gitara.

EP V-286  Veriton (04.1964)
Ye-ye-ye / Świat dla ciebie / Bij komara Big Beat / Błękitne wspomnienie
Skład: J. Goethel - gitara; J. Głowacki - gitara, śpiew; W. Stroiński - gitara basowa; A. Górka - perkusja
EP V-287 Veriton (04.1964)
Hopa-Hop / Seulement cette nuit / Notre signale / Lidia
Skład: J. Goethel - gitara; J. Głowacki - gitara, śpiew; W. Stroiński - gitara basowa; A. Górka - perkusja i E. Dymitrow - śpiew
EP N-0428 Muza (07.1966)
Balladowe lilie
Skład: W. Stroiński - gitara; R. Świercz - gitara basowa; K. Dłutowski - organy; A. Kowalski - perkusja i Joanna Rawik - śpiew
EP N-0463 Pronit (01.1967)
Kiedy mówisz coś / Niefortunny podrywacz / Letnie wspomnienia / Na dobre i złe
Skład: D. Dan - śpiew; W. Stroiński - gitara; R. Świercz - gitara basowa; K. Dłutowski - organy; A. Kowalski - perkusja 
Nie będę z tobą dłużej; El Paso; Szkodnik; Pratchaniec; Napełnia żagle wiatr; Święci; Ta dziewczyna kogoś przypomina mi
Piastelsi [Piast Kołodziej] (voc. zespół); Dawno wysłany list (voc. zespół); Stale to samo (voc. W. Stroiński); Magdalena; Letnie wspomnienia (voc. D. Dan); Na dobre i złe (voc. D. Dan)

Źródło: "Encyklopedia Polskiej Muzyki Rockowej - 
ROCN 'N' ROLL 1959-1973" - autorzy: Jan Kawecki, Janusz Sadłowski, 
Marek Ćwikła, Wojciech Zając

Dion - Born To Be With You (1975)

Dion - Born To Be With You (1975)

Dion had gone four years without a hit when he was paired with producer Phil Spector in 1974, for an album that all concerned were convinced would relaunch both men's careers. Spector himself was especially bullish about the project, returning to his old stomping grounds at Gold Star Studios and recalling engineer Stan Ross to the mixing desk for the first time since they recorded the Paris Sisters together in 1962. He then assembled an enormous band of backing musicians -- no fewer than 40 players lined up to accompany Dion, including a dozen guitarists, seven percussionists, and five pianists. The result was not, however, the sonic extravaganza that most people were expecting. Rather, where the Wall of Sound had exploded with joy, Born to Be With You seemed almost to close in on itself, a darkly introspective album that took its lead, in many ways, from the 1970 Dion hit single that was dropped in among the Spector productions, "Your Own Backyard." Lit throughout by the reflections of a middle-aged man acknowledging his prime was behind him, Born to Be With You comprised six new recordings, including a positively funereal rendering of "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands," a dramatic retread of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil's "Make the Woman Love Me," and a dour Spector/Dion collaboration, "Good Lovin' Man." And the darkness didn't lift once. Dion's management was horrified, and tried hard to have the album revamped. Spector, however, maintained total control over the proceedings and, tired of the sniping, canceled plans for an American release -- Born to Be With You would ultimately appear in the U.K. only, in 1975. Dion, too, was unhappy -- "I don't think we ever really finished that," he complained in 2003. It shocked him mightily, then, to discover that names as far apart as Andrew Loog Oldham, Bobby Gillespie, Jason Pierce, and Pete Townshend have pronounced Born to Be With You one of the finest albums ever made. And they were correct.

Dion - Born To Be With You (1975)

Don &The Goodtimes - Big big knights

Don &The Goodtimes - Big big knights

Don &the Goodtimes 
Portland, Oregon 
1964 - 1968 

Don &The Goodtimes - Big big knights

Dave Child ~ Bass 
Charlie Coe ~ Guitar 
Jack Ely ~ Vocals 
Don Gallucci ~ Keyboards 
Jeff Hawks ~ Vocals 
Bob Holden ~ Drums 
Don McKinney ~ Saxophone, Vocals 
Joey Newmann ~ Guitar 
Pierre Ouellette ~ Guitar 
Ron Overman ~ Bass 
Jim Valley ~ Guitar 

The very first Don and The Goodtimes included Don Gallucci, Don McKinney, Bob Holden, Dave Childs, Pete Ouellet and me, Jack Ely formerly of The Kingsmen, as vocalist.

Don & the Goodtimes were a Pacific Northwest group formed in 1965 by Don Gallucci (keyboards) and Bobby Holden (drums), veterans of the band scene in Portland and the surrounding area. They cut records for Scepter Records' Wand label and for the Jerden label, and had some local success with the latter. The group didn't find a national audience, however, until Dick Clark chose them as the house band on his 1967 ABC afternoon program Where the Action Is. They made the move to Los Angeles and a contract with Epic Records followed that year, along with a single and an album. Their debut single, "I Could Be So Good to You," only got to number 56 nationally, although it did better in several key markets, ascending to number 15 in Los Angeles and reaching the Top 40 in New York, indicating that its impact was far greater on the two coasts than in the middle of the country. The group lasted for another year, issuing three more singles that didn't do nearly as well. Holden and bassist-singer Ron "Buzz" Overman quit in 1968, and Gallucci and the other members, Jeff Hawks (lead vocals) and Joey Newman (guitar), organized a new group called Touch, with Bruce Hauser (bass, vocals) and John Bordonaro (drums, vocals), a psychedelic band that got one self-titled LP out in 1969 before breaking up.

Don &The Goodtimes - Big big knights

The Dave Clark Five - You Got What It Takes (1967)

The Dave Clark Five - You Got What It Takes (1967)

Leading off with their last big U.S. hit, "You've Got What It Takes" (a cover of an early-'60s soul hit by Marv Johnson), this 1967 LP might not have been a particularly strong album; you wouldn't say that, in fact, about any individual Dave Clark Five album, as good as their hits were. But it did mark an improvement over their previous album, Five by Five, and was less formulaic, if hardly bold or startling. It was something of an indictment of the group's failure to advance much creatively that one of the best tracks, the jittery good-time rocker "Thinking of You Baby," had actually been a moderate U.K. hit in 1964, though somehow it had eluded U.S. release until it found its way onto this long-player three years later. "Lovin' So Good" has something of the British Invasion catchiness that came more effortlessly to the band when they made their first US splash, with a bit more West Coast pop influence in the vocal harmonies. "Doctor Rhythm," the B-side of "You've Got What It Takes," is the toughest original, with a pile-driving riff and cocky Mike Smith vocal that makes up for the relatively slight song at the core. Elsewhere the songs are on the yet slighter side before a couple departures from the usual approach close the album: a brassy cover of "Blueberry Hill" where Smith's quite passionate singing outclasses the slow arrangement, and "Tabatha Twichit," which plugs into the passing fancy for nursery rhyme-type numbers in the 1967 British pop scene.

LP Album Epic LN 24312 

1. You Got What It Takes
2. I've Got To Have A Reason
3. You Don't Play Me Around
4. Thinking Of You, Baby
5. Lovin' So Good
6. Doctor Rhythm
7. Play With Me
8. Let Me Be
9. Blueberry Hill
10. Tabatha Twitchit

Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas - The EP Collection The Dakotas - Meet The DakotasDave Davies - Hidden TreasuresGwiazdy polskiego big beatu - DzikusyDion - Born To Be With You (1975)Don &The Goodtimes - Big big knightsThe Dave Clark Five - You Got What It Takes (1967)

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