People ! — I Love You (1968) & Both Sides Of People (1969)
Best remembered for their 1968 hit single "I Love You," the San Jose, California-based rock band People! was also an early vehicle for singer,
guitarist, and songwriter Larry Norman, who would later become a pivotal figure in Christian rock. People! was formed in 1965 by guitarist Geoff Levin; the initial lineup also featured bassist Robb Levin, keyboard player Albert Ribisi, drummer John Riolo, and singer and guitarist David Anderson. When he formed the group, Geoff Levin was a student at San Jose State University and giving guitar lessons in his spare time; one of his students was Mike Hunter, a disc jockey and program director at a popular local radio station, KLIV-AM, and Geoff persuaded Mike to become the group's manager. After Hunter came aboard, Anderson left the group and two singer-guitarists joined, Larry Norman and Gene Mason, with the intention of giving the band a more dynamic appearance on-stage; the band also added drummer Denny Fridkin after Riolo left to focus on his education. Combining elements of pop, folk-rock, and psychedelia, People! earned a loyal following on the California rock scene, headlining at a variety of venues and opening for the Who, the Doors, the Dave Clark Five, and Paul Revere & the Raiders. In 1967, People! scored a deal with Capitol Records; their debut single, "Organ Grinder" b/w "Riding High," attracted little interest, but the follow-up, a cover of the Zombies' "I Love You" with "Somebody Tell Me My Name" on the flipside, slowly became a hit in the United States, rising to number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the spring of 1968, and a major chart success in Japan, Australia, Israel, and Italy. In response to the single's success, People! began work on an album, but just as the I Love You album was being released, Norman, who sang lead on the hit, left the group; Norman would later claim that Capitol made changes to the album without his permission (this has been dismissed by many people close to the group) and that the core members of the band had joined the Church of Scientology and were pressuring him to follow their lead (several members of the band did embrace Scientology, and are still involved with the church). Despite Norman's absence, People! continued, recording a second album for Capitol, Both Sides of People, in 1969, and in 1970, the group signed with Paramount Records for a third LP, There Are People and There Are People. A number of musicians drifted in and out of the band following their departure from Capitol, and in 1971, People! broke up. In 1974, Larry Norman and Gene Mason staged a People! reunion as a benefit for the Israeli Fund, though they were the only original members of the group to take part; the performance was later released as a live album by Norman's label Solid Rock Records, as was a 2006 People! performance in Oregon featuring Norman, Mason, and Denny Fridkin. In the fall of 2007, People! were inducted into the San Jose Rock Hall of Fame, and for the occasion, Norman, Mason, Fridkin, Ribisi, Riolo, Geoff Levin, and Robb Levin reunited for a short concert. It was one of Norman's final public performances; he died four months later.
I Love You (1968)
The title track's cover of Zombies member Chris White's fabulous song "I Love You" went Top 15 in the spring and summer of 1968. The anomaly that drifts in from seemingly out of nowhere, this causes one to wonder why bands who have success with someone else's music do not try reinventing other tunes. As Tommy James' composition "Tighter Tighter" for Alive 'N Kickin', Stan Vincent's "O-o-h Child" for the Stairsteps, and producer Paul Leka's visionary "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye for Steam identified those bands, all three acts failed to follow up their radio play majesty with another magical arrangement of a great tune. In the case of Alive 'N Kickin', it's a poor album of filler to round out a sublime 45 RPM. People needed to craft an album of songs as beautifully arranged and performed as the title track here, and they failed to do so. Thirteen minutes and 25 seconds of "The Epic" is all that is on side two, and it is a major-league rip-off. At least Iron Butterfly made their signature song, "In a Gadda Da Vida," interesting by dragging it across most of an LP side, and an extended "I Love You" would have made this album a classic. Instead, there are competent but boring exercises like "1,000 Years B.C.," "Crying Shoes," the born-again-tinged "What We Need Is a Lot More Jesus and a Lot Less Rock & Roll," and "Nothing Can Stop the Elephants." Nothing can help this album, actually, except for the marvelous hit single. It's not as bad as the Alive 'N Kickin' disc, but it isn't as good as an album by Gary Lewis with no hit singles, like his New Directions disc, for example. And what does that say? The hit single is so perfect, so stunning, they really should have spread it across both sides of this Capitol record.
Both Sides Of People (1969)
The Four Tops – Main Street People (1973)
Formed in 1953, in Detroit as The Four Aims.
Made their recording debut in 1956.
The four founding members remained together for over four decades, until 1997 without a single change in personnel.
In the 60's they were the main male vocal group for the songwriting and production team of Holland-Dozier-Holland. After Holland-Dozier-Holland left Motown in 1967, the Four Tops were assigned to a number of producers, primarily Frank Wilson. When Motown left Detroit in 1972 to move to Los Angeles, California, the Tops stayed in Detroit and moved over to ABC Records, where they continued to have charting singles into the late-1970s. Since the 1980s, the Four Tops have recorded for, at various times, Motown, Casablanca Records and Arista.
Inducted into Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 (Performer).
Sometimes credited as "The Four Tops"
Group Therapy - People Get Ready (1968)
This New York-based psychedelic blues rock quintet featured Ray Kennedy (vocals), Art Del Gudico (guitar), Jerry Guida (organ), Tommy Burns (drums) and Michael Lamont (drums). The band’s debut album largely comprised of contemporary hits, notably ‘Hey Joe’, ‘Morning Dew’ and ‘Come See About Me’. An unknown quantity when they supported Moby Grape on a brief UK tour in 1968, Group Therapy impressed audiences with their exciting, soul-based stage act. The album, retitled You’re In Need Of...Group Therapy was belatedly issued in the wake of this interest, but although their version of ‘River Deep - Mountain High’ garnered interest when issued as a single, the set failed to emulate its corresponding in-concert intensity. The band split up without achieving their potential, although Kennedy later secured success as a singer and songwriter.
VA - Listen People - The Graham Gouldman Songbook 1964-2005 (2017)
Already established among the most successful songwriters Britain had ever produced, Graham Gouldman launched his solo career in 1966 after two successive band projects, the Whirlwinds and the Mockingbirds, met nothing but failure.
The Yardbirds, the Hollies, Herman's Hermits, Wayne Fontana, Jeff Beck, Cher, the Shindigs, Jeff Beck, the Shadows, and PJ Proby were among the high-profile acts who recorded Gouldman material. He had turned his hand to production, handling a single for Little Frankie, while the quality of his work was such that when the Downliners Sect came to release his "The Cost of Living" as a single, they didn't even record it themselves. They just rushed out Gouldman's original demo.
Gouldman's own solo career debuted in February 1966 with "Stop or I'll Be Gone"; he was also working with Friday Browne, a Manchester singer who was to be involved in several Gouldman projects, as well as having a later single, "Ask Any Woman," produced by him. In November 1966, she joined Gouldman, former Country Gentleman Peter Cowap, Phil Dermys, Clem Cattini, and future Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones in the High Society, an ad hoc combination whose sole single, "People Pass By," remains a forgotten classic.
Graham Gouldman Thing This same team then became the Manchester Mob and recorded March 1967's "Bony Maroni at the Hop" before Gouldman, Jones, Eddie Kramer, and Peter Noone began work on what became the songwriter's first solo album, The Graham Gouldman Thing. Largely comprising Gouldman's own versions of the songs he had written for others, the album (which would be released in America only) was prefaced with a new single, "No Milk Today" (a U.K. hit for Herman's Hermits). It flopped. A British 45, "Upstairs Downstairs," followed unsuccessful suit, and by the time the album itself was issued, Gouldman had abandoned his solo plans to join the Mindbenders for their final single, "Uncle Joe the Ice Cream Man," and tour. The group then broke up and Gouldman and Mindbenders guitarist Eric Stewart immediately set to work building Strawberry Studios in the Manchester suburb of Stockport.
Gouldman also returned to his maverick wanderings, cutting a bizarre instrumental version of Noel Harrison's "The Windmills of Your Mind" as the Graham Gouldman Orchestra and issuing a minor psych masterpiece under the pseudonym Garden Odyssey. He also recorded some material for the short-lived Marmalade label, including one song, "The Late Mr. Late," which appeared on a label sampler together with a reunion with ex-Mockingbirds drummer Kevin Godley, "To Fly Away." (Godley's own project, Frabjoy & the Runcible Spoon, was also signed to Marmalade.)
That label collapsed in early 1969, at which point Gouldman relocated to New York to become a contract songwriter at Kasenatz/Katz's songwriting factory -- many of his compositions were then recorded at Strawberry, while Godley and Crème also got in on the action, composing (and recording) Crazy Elephant's hit "There Ain't No Umbopo." Gouldman, meanwhile, penned two Ohio Express hits, "Sausalito" and "Tampa Florida," together with Freddie and the Dreamers' French hit "Susan's Tuba" and "Fighter Squadron"'s "When He Comes."
Over the next two years, Strawberry proved remarkably productive. Albums by Ramases and Neil Sedaka, singles by comedian John Paul Joans (no relation to the bassist), sundry English soccer teams and comedy acts, and even a freak hit for the studio musicians themselves, Hotlegs "Neanderthal Man." Gouldman, however, would cut just one more solo single during this period, teaming with producer Eric Woolfson (later a member of the Alan Parsons Project) to record "Growing Older."
Pleasant Dreams10cc consumed Gouldman's attention for the next seven years. He returned to solo action in 1979 during a layoff enforced while Eric Stewart recovered from injuries sustained in a serious motor accident. Sunburn, the soundtrack to a new Farrah Fawcett movie, became Gouldman's first ever solo hit single, reaching number 45 in Britain. The following year, Gouldman recorded a second soundtrack, Animalympics, to accompany an amusing sporting cartoon film. He also produced the Ramones' Pleasant Dreams album, before 10cc relaunched; following the group's final demise in 1982, Gouldman then launched a new band project, the Wax union with Andrew Gold.
And Another Thing A pair of 10cc reunions followed during the early '90s, while Gouldman also launched a songwriting partnership with Kirsty MacColl, tragically curtailed, of course, by her death in 2000. He returned to action that same year with And Another Thing, his second full solo album and, like the Graham Gouldman Thing, an opportunity to both try out some new songs and revisit some old -- "You Stole My Love," "Heartful of Soul," and 10cc's "Ready to Go Home" were among the highlights.
Wildwood – Plastic People (1966-1971 )
"Don't be fooled by the name -- with a moniker like WILDWOOD, you might expect pastoral lite-rock from some self-absorbed hippies.
Instead, this hard rocking quartet of the same name parlayed some of the toughest, most malevolent late 60s sounds heard on tape, and their spectacular legacy is celebrated upon the deluxe 2 CD anthology Plastic People.
WILDWOOD hailed from the tough blue-collar environs of Stockton in California's Central Valley -- and they walked it like they talked it. In the late 60s Bay Area mellow milieu, WILDWOOD was the exception -- dark and vaguely sinister in both look and style, they melded the f**k you attitude of the garage era with a soulful R&B streak and some enviable hard rock chops.
Nevertheless, the outfit ruled the region between the years of 1968 and 1972, promoting their own shows and recording a slew of original material at the old Fantasy warehouse in San Francisco.
Two sought-after 45s -- 'Plastic People' and 'Free Ride' -- were all that escaped of WILDWOOD for public consumption at the time, but Frantic has gathered up the rest of the sessions to present the rest of their outstanding, power-packed repertoire.
Featuring the soulful vocals of bass player Frank Colli, the WILDWOOD sound is reminiscent of acts as varied as The Doors, Music Machine and Steppenwolf, but with a powerful, unique backbone that is very much their own.
Joined by organist Mark Ross, guitarist John Turner, and drummer Tim Mora, Colli was a legitimate bad-ass whose expressive personality delivers WILDWOOD in a class of their own.
In addition to the all the surviving masters by the group, we also include the legendary two-sided early 1967 single by precursor combo The Mal-Ts, and a brace of ear-opening demos and studio sessions by the band's iconoclastic lyricist, Chalker -- rumored at one time to have personal knowledge of the Zodiac Killer!
Independent to the end, WILDWOOD did their own thing, and their story is a good one, detailed in an extensive liner note by Grammy-nominated 60s expert Alec Palao.
The usual deluxe booklet is loaded with eye-popping visuals in the inimitable Frantic Records manner. Any fan of late 60s psychedelic hard rock will want a copy of Plastic People -- and they won't be disappointed." ~ Nelwizard
Trogg People - Troggs Rarities
Tom Jones - Memories Don't Leave Like People Do
Memories Don't Leave Like People Do teams Tom Jones with veteran Motown composer and producer Johnny Bristol, an inspired pairing that yields Jones' most impassioned performances in quite some time. H.B. Barnum and Wade Marcus split arranging duties, and the session's string-sweetened funk formula immediately brings to mind Bristol's concurrent solo efforts for MGM, an approach that proves ideally matched to Jones' potently soulful vocals -- rarely if ever would he match the grittiness of "Lusty Lady" or the emotional intensity of "The Pain of Love." [Memories Don't Leave Like People Do was reissued on CD in 2009 on a Vocalion two-fer also featuring 1974 predecessor Somethin' 'Bout You Baby I Like.]
The Pretty People - The Pretty People (1969)
The Pretty People were a Southern Californian pop group that consisted of Milo Peerpont (lead vocalist), Denny Gore (conductor-piano-vocal and musical director), Pat Britt (flute -saxophone-musical arranger), Judy Morss (vocalist), Lynseed Lavender (vocalist), Manzo Hill (saxophone-vocalist), and Steve Venem (vocalist).
The Paupers – Magic People (1967)
In 1967 the great band from the North released their debut record. The Paupers, along with the Guess Who, were one of the first Canadian bands to capitalize on the British Invasion. They started releasing singles in 1965 with a lineup consisting of Denny Gerrard (Bass), Skip Prokop (Drums), Bill Marion (Guitars) and Chuck Beal (Guitars). Prokop and Marion handled all the songwriting chores on their first clutch of singles.