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The Hollies ‎– Radio Fun

The Hollies ‎– Radio Fun

While the Hollies didn't break through in the U.S. with the same force as the Beatles or the Who, they were still one of the strongest groups of the British Invasion, and their prolific output and constant evolution were as bold as even the most shape-shifting of their peers. Radio Fun is a testament to the Hollies' ever-changing face as well as their strength as a live entity, collecting a dizzying 32 tracks recorded between 1964 and 1971 for various BBC programs such as Top of the Pops, Saturday Club, and Top Gear. The collection captures the band in its prime, roving from early R&B and Merseybeat-style rave-ups to Everly Brothers-inspired pop harmonies to more rambling rock material as the '60s wore on. Radio Fun isn't presented in chronological order, so the disc begins with the band's light-hearted beat romper "Here I Go Again" from 1964 and jumps ahead four years with the considerably more groovy and psychedelic pop of "Jennifer Eccles." The collection also spans three lineup changes for the group, seeing both bassist Eric Haydock and founding member Graham Nash cycle out of the band over the album's course, the loss of the latter altering the band's sound greatly. With the exception of "Bus Stop," many of the Hollies' greatest hits are absent from these sessions. Their blue-eyed renditions of soul classics like "That's How Strong My Love Is" and Sam Cooke's rowdy "Shake" highlight the band's R&B roots, and lesser-known tunes like "The Games We Play" and "Wishyouawish" show the group experimenting with brass arrangements and increasingly complex harmonies. In classic BBC style, a lot of the songs start abruptly, the introductions probably being yapped over by a DJ on the original recordings. The sessions are raw, mostly mono affairs, which works both for and against the overall flow of Radio Fun. It's great to hear the bright harmonies and direct, unproduced performances of the band at its tightest and most hungry. After a while, however, even the most devoted fans might have to take a step away from the collection's incredibly extensive amassment of sounds, which can become monotonous when taken in one sitting. When examined bit by bit, the collection has countless examples of the Hollies' brilliance, with the more obscure later material and most revved-up earliest R&B covers offering a candid picture of a hard-working band having fun in a long-stretching heyday.

The Hollies ‎– Radio Fun (2012)

The Hollies ‎– Radio Fun

The Roulettes ‎– Russ, Bob, Pete & Mod

The Roulettes ‎– Russ, Bob, Pete & Mod


An underrated British quartet made up of John Rogan (bass), Russ Ballard (lead guitar), Peter Thorpe (rhythm guitar), and Bob Henrit (drums), the Roulettes featured future Argent alumnus Russ Ballard on lead guitar. They were originally formed as a backing band for vocalist Adam Faith, who enjoyed a massively successful light rock & roll career in the early '60s in England. Beginning in 1963 with the start of the rock & roll explosion coming out of Liverpool, the group was somewhat reorganized, and their and Faith's work together became much more assertive; the result was Faith's last big hit "The First Time" in August of 1963.

The group began recording on their own for EMI in late 1963 and revealed themselves as an above-average group, fully competitive on a musical level with acts like the Searchers and the Hollies. Their records, though fewer in number, display many of the same virtues found on the better-known work of the Beatles and the Searchers, including soaring harmonies behind strong lead vocals, crisp guitar playing, and a good ear for memorable hooks. Ballard and Henrit also appeared on "Concrete and Clay," a major hit for the acoustic rock outfit Unit Four Plus Two, but the Roulettes' own records stubbornly failed to make the charts. By 1965, they'd split with Adam Faith, but the concentration on their own careers didn't change the inexplicably lackluster performance of their records.

The group soldiered on through 1967 without any chart success, playing shows on the European continent, where any good British rock band could still earn a decent living. Finally, Ballard and Henrit joined Unit Four Plus Two, while Thorpe and Rogan left the music business. Following the breakup of Unit Four Plus Two in 1968, Ballard and Henrit hooked up with Rod Argent and Chris White, late of the Zombies, and formed Argent, a quartet that, for a brief time in the early '70s, enjoyed some of the chart success that had eluded the Roulettes throughout their history.

The Roulettes ‎– Russ, Bob, Pete & Mod








The Countdown 5 – “Complete Recordings 1965-1969”

The Countdown 5 – “Complete Recordings 1965-1969”

The Countdown 5 – “Complete Recordings 1965-1969”




Members of the Galveston Bay, Texas’ rock scene of the middle to late 1960’s, The Countdown 5 were part owners of the renowned Houston recording studio Andrus Productions, where producer Walter Andrus recorded many bands, including the 13th Floor Elevators and Fever Tree. While the group never got the big break to record an LP, they did manage to release several singles on a variety of labels, and while none hit big in the US, years later the group did learn that one of their singles had actually topped the charts in Germany for a short period of time. Finally, nearly fifty years after the band called it quits, their entire recorded legacy has been compiled on a two CD collection by Gear Fab Records, and quite a treat it is.

The band consisted of Mack Hayes who possessed a wide, versatile vocal range and was quite comfortable fronting the band, while the rhythm section of bassist/vocalist Tommy Murphy and drummer Tommy Williams was indeed formidable, always solidly holding down the band’s bottom end sound, Left handed John Balzer was one of the most talented, versatile and innovative guitarists of the day as well as being a fine singer in his own right and Steve Long’s keyboards gave the band their special style of 1960’s Texas rock, while he also contributed saxophone to the group’s sound. The Countdown 5’s recorded repertoire was mostly original material, with Hayes and Balzer being especially prolific writers, mixed with tasty covers of tunes written by the likes of The Isley Brothers and Johnny Otis. 

The Countdown 5 – Complete Recordings 1965-1969 (Gear Fab Records, 2018)

Disc one of the set opens with a series of rhythm and blues numbers, beginning with the saxophone led “Bamboo Hut,” a Balzer composition taking its title from the Galveston Beach club that the band often played. This was the Countdown 5’s debut single backed by a faithful cover of The Isley Brothers r & b standard “Shout,” highlighted by the band’s call and response vocals. “Do What You Do Well” was the a-side of their second single, with Long’s keyboards and the group’s vocal harmonies on display. These songs also contained the group’s Texas rock foundation reminiscent of Buddy Holly and The Bobby Fuller Four. Without question one of the collection’s highlights is the hard rocking “Uncle Kirby (From Brazil)” with its heavily echoed vocals from Hayes reminiscent of The Beatles and Balzer’s fuzzed out guitar filling the air. The tune contains a ‘George of The Jungle” chant giving it a danceable quality. Balzer also contributes a couple of hot solos to the track which unbeknownst to the band at the time found its way into European discos in the 1970’s and was a hit in London and Paris among other places. The versatility of The Countdown 5 is apparent throughout. Their cover of Johnny Otis’ “Willie And The Hand Jive” has a Bo Diddley feel while remaining rather loyal to the original. By contrast “We Are All One” features delicate, melodic vocal harmonies and harpsichord while “Shaka Shaka Na Na” is a dance number with its title becoming a repeated chant, yet Balzer’s fuzz guitar and a driving beat driven by Williams’ drums gives it lots of energy. Like “Uncle Kirby (From Brazil)” the song found its way into European discos and in fact topped the German Billboard charts for a period of time in 1968, a fact not discovered by the band until long after the fact. In “Money Man” the band exhibits Eastern influences, its gentle guitar intro emanating a raga feel. The songs repeated chorus of “Don’t Try To Impress Me” is accentuated by Balzer’s lead guitar slashing in and out, and the tune features not only another hot solo by Balzer but also a tasty organ interlude by Long. Two tracks from disc one come from compilation appearances, namely, “Candy” and “Sweet Talk” both feature Balzer’s guitar, snarling lead on the former, and hot dashes of stinging fuzz on the power pop latter. Also included on disc one are stereo versions of four of the single sides, with the bouncing beat, organ led “Time To Spare” and the previously mentioned “Uncle Kirby (From Brazil)” and “Money Man” in particular standing out. The track is rounded out by the acetate of “Something On Her Mind” a mid tempo keyboard driven tune spotlighting the band’s vocal harmonies.

The second disc of the set features eighteen unreleased tracks recorded at Walter Andrus Studio and two radio spots for a New Year’s Eve show. The first track, the interestingly titled “Don’t Buy Meat From The Milkman” sounds like Crosby, Stills and Nash, well before their existence, with its gorgeous vocal harmonies, tasty guitar and delicate keyboards added for texture. “Big Big Man” is folk rock melody with banjo and keyboards complementing luscious vocals. “Unfair To Me” is a snappy rocker featuring numerous tempo changes and the group’s ever present vocal harmonies. “Good Woman” is a mid-tempo song with a fuzz intro by Balzer and Farfisa organ by Long leading up to a fuzz filled solo that plays the song out. “I Gotta Keep What I Take” shows more Eastern influence with its insistent guitar riff, another fine lead guitar line, more Farfisa and a restrained guitar solo. Long’s harpsichord, Balzer’s understated guitar and vocal harmonies give “So Pass Me By” a Beatlesque feel. Just as quickly the band switches gears to the upbeat rocker “What Can You Do When You’re Down” with Balzer’s lead guitar pushing the beat as he throws the tempo into overdrive. The tune’s tempo slows, but only long enough for Balzer to fire it up, his lead guitar stabbing to and fro. The group’s mellower side shows through on “When I’m Gone Away” a ballad with handclaps and percussion taking charge. “Legs” is a real head shaker, and a nice dance tune, complete with an a capella section, yet filled with pumping Farfisa organ and fuzz guitar. “Sallazar” spotlights Balzer’s acoustic guitar and more Crosby, Stills and Nash style vocal harmonies. Despite its title “Stone Fire Garden” has a gentle acoustic intro which gives way to delicate vocal harmonies with horns added for accent. “One Way Traffic” brings Joe South to mind, as its vocals harmonies accompany pounding drums and driving guitar with a twist of organ added for good measure. The disc closes with three gentle numbers, “These Few Things” with its delicate vocals and “I Gotta Leave You” with swirling organ, gentle rolling guitar and sensitive lead vocals, set the stage for the final song, a cover of the theme from the musical “Hair” another melodic tune with horns added for accentuation. The set closes with two radio spots for a New Year’s Eve gig by The Countdown 5, indicative of the group’s versatility and a most fitting end to the complete works of a sadly overlooked and underappreciated works of this talented, versatile Galveston Beach quintet.

“Complete Recordings 1965-1969” comes in a double slimline jewel case and is accompanied by an 8 page full color booklet containing a forward by Gear Fab owner Roger Maglio, an essay by Mack Hayes, wonderful photos of the band and artwork from the band’s singles released on the Toucan, Pic, Cinema, Hansa, Cobblestone, Polar, Saint Martin and Audiodisc labels, and other band memorabilia. This collection will be of interest to garage bands, especially the Texas variety, as well of fans of mid to late 1960’s rock in general and comes most highly recommended. 

– Kevin Rathert 
(https://www.psychedelicbabymag.com/2018/08/the-countdown-5-complete-recordings.html)

https://www.countdown5.houstoncomputershop.com/#


The Countdown 5 – “Complete Recordings 1965-1969”

VA - Hipshaker (A Groovy Blend Of 6T's R&B,Soul And Beat)

VA - Hipshaker (A Groovy Blend  Of 6T's R&B,Soul And Beat)

This groovy little collection was put together by Dave Clark and Simon Licourinos who were involved in running 60s themed nights called "Hipshaker", based in Portsmouth on the south coast of England. The music is aimed very much at the "Mod"/"Scooterist" crowd and listening to this collection is a bit like being transported back to 1966 with music by British Beat Bands rubbing shoulders with US Soul and R&B with the occasional hint of Jazz and Psychedelia.

VA - Hipshaker /A Groovy Blend  Of 6T's R&B,Soul And Beat (2000)

VA - Hipshaker (A Groovy Blend  Of 6T's R&B,Soul And Beat)

VA - Hipshaker (A Groovy Blend  Of 6T's R&B,Soul And Beat)

VA - Beat mit Tempo

VA - Beat mit Tempo



VA - Beat mit Tempo

VA - Beat mit Tempo


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"Аbove fifty years ago, the Federal Republic of Germany experienced the dawning of a new age – without historians even noticing it. For the second time within two decades the country was jolted from its Schlager beatitude. While the 1950s brought American Rock 'n' Roll, it now was British beat music: in 1964 the Beatles escaped from the Star-Club, Hamburg's rock enclave, to play on the world stage.
Attentive record company executives from Germany took notice of this and it led to Tempo Records, a small label founded during the 1930s with a long history of German language releases, making a 180 degree turn. The two CDs 'Beat mit Tempo' are documents of a short lasting musical era, unique evidence of a change in taste. Bear Family has excavated the Tempo masters, a collection of cover versions of popular songs of the Beat Revolution, originally released in quick succession. Initially, the Munich-based record label had released a wide range of highly commercial music, from traditional German folk music to Schlager songs. Now they began adding English language songs to their repertoire, a major step for a label focussing on vocalists like Fred Bertelmann. Bertelmann, Peggy Brown, Rainer Bertram, Teddy Parker, and many others also recorded for Tempo under various pseudonyms.

Most of the musicians copying beat music for the Munich company remained nameless, working under pseudonyms. Although the Blue Cats, the Venture Five, the Gamblers, the High Tops, or the Four Kings bore English names, they most likely had never been to England or America. In most cases you could easily detect their German accent. It may well be, though, that one or another Englishman played in the Beat Kings. At least we know something about Jimmy Field's bio: the singer, real name Claus Herwig, later changed his name from Jimmy Fields to Teddy Parker (see also Bear Family CD 'Nachtexpress nach St. Tropez', BCD 15965). While studying law he won an amateur vocal contest and signed a contract with TEMPO RECORDS. He received his stage name, Teddy Parker, from Telefunken in 1962, a pseudonym he's using until today.

It is interesting to learn that the man behind the Tempo productions, Christian Bruhn, later became one of the leading managers in Germany's Schlager scene. Under his pseudonym, Teddy Todd, Bruhn worked as a bandleader for TEMPO. In 1957, he started his career at Tempo as an assistant recording engineer. Later he became a music producer. And he also wrote several songs. Apart from that, songs originally recorded by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Spencer Davis Group, and actually almost everything popular during the mid-sixties, was covered in Munich – even American hit records were sold under the 'Beat' moniker at Tempo. The results, although not of consistent quality, deserve to be heard."
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VA - Beat mit Tempo

VA - Beat mit Tempo


Thanks Jancy !


Herman's Hermits & Peter Noone -Into Something Good( The Mickie Most Years 1964-1972)

Herman's Hermits & Peter Noone -Into Something Good( The Mickie Most Years 1964-1972)


While Herman's Hermits will undoubtedly never get the critical respect afforded other British Invasion groups like the Beatles, the Who, the Rolling Stones, or the Kinks, as a group they weren't as silly as most people remember them. OK, maybe they were -- certainly when on camera -- but they and their producer Mickie Most had the good sense to pick solid songs to cover (the Goffin & King nugget "I'm into Something Good," "Silhouettes," originally done by the Rays, and Sam Cooke's great "Wonderful World"), which allowed them to sustain a hit-making career long past the end of chart action for such rival pop-oriented British Invasion acts as Gerry & the Pacemakers and Billy J. Kramer. This four-disc set covers the Hermits' years with Most (1964 to 1972) about as well as one could in terms of content, representing everything the group did with him, including a brace of rarities, unreleased tracks, and sides that singer Peter Noone recorded with Most as a solo artist on the producer's RAK label. For most Hermits fans, it will seem like too much of a good thing, as all of the group's hits have reappeared numerous times in compilations too ubiquitous to list -- but they would be making a terrible mistake to pass up this set. Indeed, if anything, this quadruple-disc set is too much of a great thing, if such a thing is possible (though with one important flaw). And that makes it well worth saving up for.

One has to say at the outset that anyone who seriously loves the familiar hits will find a huge amount to enjoy and then some in the surrounding LP and EP tracks that comprise most of this set. As one quickly discovers, the Hermits work was an embarrassment of pop/rock riches second only to the Beatles in consistency, if not ambition. One of the secrets behind the Hermits' extraordinary sales success under Most's musical direction was that they never challenged their listenership too much, even on most of their albums; they understood their audience and never outran its expectations. In that regard, anyone who loves the group's hits can feel confident that they'll end up playing this set to death, and get to know a lot more than those hits; and they'll even find revelations such as the Blaze album. Indeed, from the middle of disc two onward, those who only know the group's 1964-1966 AM radio hits may be delighted with the more advanced sounds that start issuing forth, in the form of more ambitious songs, lyrics, and arrangements, all of it still eminently accessible but just a little more demanding of both the group and the listener -- but still fun listening, if that's all the latter desired. Disc four contains most of the rarities and the last of the group's work, plus the Noone solo releases, and it's as enjoyable as the first disc, just more suited to the late '60s and early '70s -- the suite-like "Lady Barbara," for example, shows how this group might well have competed in the era of psychedelic and progressive pop/rock, if only they could have lured that audience. And the sound is fine as well, although some people have criticized the lack of stereo versions of various songs. Mickie Most was a firm believer in mono as the definitive format for a pop single; stereo mixes may have existed on many of the songs, but they were done for expediency's sake -- the mono masters were the ones that counted.

Much more of a problem is the threadbare annotation, which makes this set a study in unnecessary frustration. Just because the music is unassuming pop/rock doesn't mean that a lot of work didn't go into making it, or that this isn't worth discussing or analyzing -- and one wonders how any release as thorough as this one is musically could also be treated so superficially? Yes, one recognizes that Peter Noone was, for recording purposes, the entire show, so far as their producer Mickie Most was concerned; the other group members barely (if at all) played on their singles, and likely not on the album tracks either; and, in fairness, annotator Spencer Leigh does mention Keith Hopwood, Derek Leckenby, Karl Green, and Barry Whitwam (i.e., the "Hermits") once in his essay. He never directly addresses the matter of the session musicians who played on their records (which, itself, would be an entertaining subject today) -- Noone brings up the matter of Jimmy Page making a revelatory contribution to "Silhouettes," and that's as far as it goes. Otherwise, there is no real account of the craftsmanship that went into the records, or the efforts at advancing their sound that took place within the group, on the Blaze album and various related matters; or even of Noone's thoughts on the movies in which they appeared, the soundtracks of which are represented here. Additionally, Hopwood and Leckenby (and, to a lesser degree, Green) were composers in their own right, and all had songs recorded by the group; and at one point Barry Whitwam was the sole active member of the group as a performing unit. All of the survivors might well have thoughts and memories to share, especially given that -- as those who saw them in concert can attest -- these guys could and did play and sing really well live, and threw everything into it. This set is a keeper, and it is a wonder, in terms of the listening, but it could have been a lot more, like the ultimate resource on the group's work. That would have been a sign of respect for the music, and perhaps also have begun a process of getting this group the respect it deserves.

Herman's Hermits & Peter Noone -Into Something Good( The Mickie Most Years 1964-1972)

Herman's Hermits & Peter Noone -Into Something Good( The Mickie Most Years 1964-1972)

Herman's Hermits & Peter Noone -Into Something Good( The Mickie Most Years 1964-1972)

Herman's Hermits & Peter Noone -Into Something Good( The Mickie Most Years 1964-1972)




Mickie Most & His Playboys - Mickie Most & His Playboys/Best Of Mickie Most...

Mickie Most & His Playboys - Mickie Most & His Playboys/Best Of Mickie Most...

Mickie Most was born Michael Hayes in Aldershot, England, but then moved with his family to North London. As a teenager Most became entranced with the British rock & roll scene and formed the Most Brothers, in which he covered American R&B numbers. 

In 1959 he emigrated to South Africa for two years and fronted the rock focused Mickie Most and His Playboys, a group that again covered U.S. hits of the era. While in South Africa the band managed to record and release three albums and a number of EPs and singles. Most became a star and was taught the recording business. The band managed to score 11 consecutive number ones on the South African charts and rated considerable attention on the international music market and when Most returned to England in 1963 where his reputation earned him a place that would eventually make him one of the mid 60's most in demand record producers, producing hits for such bands as, The Animals, Herman's Hermits, Jeff Beck and many more. The Best Of Mickie Most and His Playboys is the first ever compilation of those South African recordings and the only release so far that covers Mosts' pre-production career. This disc contains 30 tracks recorded between 1959-1963 but released between 1962-1964. Mainly straight cover versions of rock and roll hits of the era ,there are a few tracks included in this set that were either written by Most or given special Mickie Most arrangements that varied considerably from the original version. Most handled all of the vocal work, production and guitar on these recordings but the Playboys were mainly studio musician and many of the recordings feature a very young Jimmy Page on guitar. As with many of the Rock- In- Beat releases the sound quality is spectacular but liner notes and booklet content is very basic. ~ Keith Pettipas, 


Mickie Most & His Playboys - Mickie Most & His Playboys/Best Of Mickie Most...



Mickie Most - Mickie Most  LP 91962

Mickie Most & His Playboys - Mickie Most & His Playboys/Best Of Mickie Most...

Mickie Most & His Playboys - Mickie Most & His Playboys/Best Of Mickie Most...



In addition to forming his own label in the '70s, RAK, British producer Mickie Most is credited with the discovery of the Animals and the Nashville Teens, while his production credits include Donovan, Lulu and Jeff Beck.

Born Michael Hayes in Aldershot, Most moved with his family to North London and, as a teenager, became entranced by the burgeoning British rock & roll scene. He became friends with Terry Dene and Wee Willie Harris and formed a band, the Most Brothers, along with Alex Murray (who later produced the Moody Blues). Yet, success eluded Most, and in 1959 he married a South African woman and emigrated there. While in South Africa Most had success as the frontman of a rock group who covered U.S. hits. Though this sort of arrangement would never make Most an international star, it did walk him through the process of recording, and he amassed 11 consecutive number ones on the South African charts.

Sunshine Superman [US] Returning to Britain in 1962, Most found himself in the middle of an R&B revolution and, looking for a group to produce, discovered the Animals in a Newcastle club. He had them record "Baby, Let Me Take You Home" and "House of the Rising Sun," the latter becoming a worldwide smash that catapulted the group to stardom and Most to credibility. He produced "I'm Into Something Good" for Herman's Hermits and "Tobacco Road" for the Nashville Teens and, in 1966, Most produced Donovan's widely acclaimed Sunshine Superman album. After producing Jeff Beck in the late '60s, Most decided to form his own label, RAK, in 1969. Though its roster never held any critically acclaimed acts, the RAK label was quite successful at releasing chart hits. Staff writers Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman made acts such as Suzi Quatro and Mud successful for a short time. In the '70s Most worked with the English funk group Hot Chocolate, helping them score their only two Top Ten hits. Most's profile lessened considerably in the '80s. He sold his RAK label and concentrated on managing the publishing catalog he had amassed from the numerous productions he helmed over the years. 



The Hunters - The Complete Hunters

The Hunters - The Complete Hunters



The Hunters was the first group which brought Akkerman success outside Amsterdam. His virtuoso guitar lick in their hit single, "Russian spy and I" brought him instant recognition all over Holland. At about this time, aged 18, he recorded his first album, "Talent for sale". This album mainly consists of covers of famous R&B and rock'n'roll hits such as "What'd I say", "Green Onions" and "Mercy Mercy".


Formed 1965, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands

Disbanded 1968

Members

Jan Akkerman (guitar), Paul Hubert (guitar, vocals), Sidney Wachtel (drums), Ron Bijtelaar (bass, 1966-68)

Related Artists Breakaway, Dimitri, Ginger Ale, Johnny & His Cellar Rockers, The Marquees, De Maskers 

The Hunters - The Complete Hunters

The Hunters - The Complete Hunters

The Hollies ‎– Radio FunThe Roulettes ‎– Russ, Bob, Pete & ModThe Countdown 5 – “Complete Recordings 1965-1969”VA - Hipshaker (A Groovy Blend  Of 6T's R&B,Soul And Beat) VA - Beat mit TempoFirebeats Inc - Funny Things (1964-66) VA - The Belgian Beat Blast Vol.1Herman's Hermits & Peter Noone -Into Something Good( The Mickie Most Years 1964-1972)Mickie Most & His Playboys - Mickie Most & His Playboys/Best Of Mickie Most...The Hunters - The Complete Hunters

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