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Like Weird ! (1961 - 1964 singles) - The Centuries (aka Tommy Falcone & The Centuries)

Like Weird ! (1961 - 1964 singles) - The Centuries (aka Tommy Falcone & The Centuries)

The Centuries [N.Y.C.]  »  aka Tommy Falcone & The Centuries & aka The Shoestring   

"The common link is Tommy Falcone (producer, composer and guitar player).
The Tommy Falcone & The Centuries single will, based on the cat#, be circa 1960.
The group name was then shortened to The Centuries.
Some years later The Centuries single "Jack 23" (released on Cleopatra Records) was reissued on 20th Century Fox as by The Shoestring and renamed "Shoop-De-Hoop-Twine" (publishing credit on 20th Century Fox re-issue to Cleopatra Pub Co)."

"From a basement in New Jersey, Tommy Falcone remade  himself into a "Phil Spector"... From 1962 to 1970, he founded and ran Cleopatra Records, discovered and mentored young Garden State talent, wrote songs and produced wild studio effects, and quit his day job to promote it all himself. Trained as an accordionist, Falcone had a whirlwind imagination and an omnivorous approach to genre, expressed through acts like the Centuries, the Tabbys, Johnny Silvio, the Inmates, Bernadette Carroll, the Hallmarks, Vickie & the Van Dykes, the Shandillons, Eugene Viscione, the Shoestring, and more. Cleopatra became a time-capsule of every 1960s pop style imaginable—garage rock, psychedelia, surf, girl groups, soul, novelties, exotica, even a crooner—a kaleidoscope of sound in search of the ever-elusive hit record"

"Tommy Falcone was active in New York City throughout the sixties, foremost as a music arranger and producer. Well, active is maybe an overstatement since only a handful of recordings surfaced. On the other hand, some of those, like Like Weird, are unearthly remarkable. Like Weird did not stir much commercial commotion when it was released in the summer of 1961 and it did not get much help from Billboard either that listed it as with “moderate sales potential”.

Other projects that occupied Tommy Falcone included diverse and experimental recordings as The Shoestring’s Candy Andy (bubblegum pop about a child molester), The Cracker Rapper’s first recording (doo wop), Polynesian Paradise as The Centuries (check out the B-side instrumental, Outer Limits), New Jersey garage band The Inmates and the spaced out single Heavenly with Bernadette Carroll.

For some reason, but not very surprising, Tommy Falcone’s musical career did not take off. He seems to have made a part of his living as a teacher at Red Bank School of Music. Just before he died by a heart attack back stage aged only 40 years (circa 1968), he was reported to stack records at a record store. An occupation as good as anyone."

The Centuries

Like Weird ! (1961 - 1964 singles) - The Centuries (aka Tommy Falcone & The Centuries)

The most resonant room in the Newark Public Library in 1958 was the locker room where Gary Swangin practiced his singing. Swangin, a high school student who worked part time at the checkout desk, would often sneak away during breaks to hone his technique and work on an original song, “The Promise of Love”—until he got caught. 

When coworker Salvatore Girgenti heard it echoing off the tile and steel, he was so taken that he suggested they play together. With Girgenti on rhythm guitar, they recruited the D’Amato brothers, Charles, who played drums standing up, and Peter on lead guitar. 

D’Amato’s neighbor Francis Corragio brought virtuosity to their nascent band, at first playing an amplified upright bass. Corragio had started playing at eleven years old, and by the time of the Centuries he was taking lessons from members of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and New York Philharmonic. 

The library would prove crucial in another way. Swangin checked people’s books and bags as they exited the building, bringing him into contact with a wide range of folks—including Cleopatra Records’ Tommy Falcone. 

By 1960, Swangin’s education at Rutgers University was taking priority and his musical ambitions were expanding.He went on to Columbia University and performed in the Greenwich Village folk scene with a far-ahead-of-its-time fusion of modern lyricism with African rhythms. 

With Swangin gone, the band took a sharp turn into new waters rough with surf—losing lyrics but compensating with invention and melody. The Centuries transformed into an instrumental rock group inspired by the space race and Polynesia, becoming Falcone’s very own version of the Ventures with whom to explore the then-burgeoning sounds of surf rock and exotica. 

The Centuries has been played on NTS in shows including The Numero Group, featured first on 26 July 2018. Songs played include Like Weird and Beach Umbrella World. 

Founded in 2003 as an archival record label by Tom Lunt, Rob Sevier, and Ken Shipley, Numero has evolved into a multi-format media company, devoted to dragging brilliant recordings, films, and photography out of unwarranted obscurity. 

"We’re on a dirty, labor-intensive mission... and it’s urgent as all hell. Time kills off precious bits of passed-over sound, story, and ephemera every day, just as fast as we can haul this sprawling archive of under-heard recordings—along with the musicians, writers, and entrepreneurs who created them—out of exile."

Like Weird ! - 1961 - 1964 singles

Like Weird ! (1961 - 1964 singles) - The Centuries (aka Tommy Falcone & The Centuries)

Kings Verses - "Grail" - The Lost Album (1966)

Kings Verses -

Kings Verses -

Very worth never issued before album by a good 60's  band. Sound excellent, and , much rare to be pointed out : 2 tracks live from 1966 !! (Kyno Batle of the bands)Most compositions are great : "Lights", "Balad of lad Polo" (wich is not really a ballad in fact !), "A million faces", "Mind rewind" with its superb farfiza... tend to prove that the Fresno (calif.) King verses should have been serious concurents to bands like Love if their album went released.
One of my favorite album in the (my) 60's garage/punks lp collection.

Bass – Bill Kufis
Drums – Bob Melchor
Engineer [Original Recordings] – Bob Melchor
Guitar, Keyboards – Lloyd Bell
Guitar, Lead Vocals – Jim Baker (5)
Lacquer Cut By, Mastered By – RJ*
Liner Notes – Jud Cost
Written-By – Kings Verses
All tracks recorded 1966.

The first  tracks are unreleased studio recordings.
14 and 15 were recorded live at KYNO Battle Of The Bands - '66.
music emporium  October 20, 2017 :
Very worth never issued before album by a good 60's garage band. Sound excellent, and , much rare to be pointed out : 2 tracks live from 1966 !! (Kyno Batle of the bands)
> Most compositions are great : "Lights", "Balad of lad Polo" (wich is not really a ballad in fact !), "A million faces", "Mind rewind" with its superb farfiza... tend to prove that the Fresno (calif.) King verses should have been serious concurents to bands like Love if their album went released.
One of my favorite album in the (my) 60's garage lp collection.
Reup :

The Association - Renaissance (1966)

The Association -  Renaissance (1966)

The Association - 1967 

Renaissance was a difficult album for the Association to record. Coming in the wake of a serious hit album (And Then...Along Comes the Association) and two huge hit singles ("Along Comes Mary," "Cherish") and at a time when the group was experiencing more bookings than its members had ever dreamed possible, Renaissance was rushed out under pressure from the band's label. Alas, Renaissance bore little resemblance to its predecessor. For starters, the Association had lost the services of producer Curt Boettcher, who was the architect of the earlier album's extraordinary sound. Additionally, Renaissance was comprised entirely of original material, much of which had been written while the group was touring. These songs were competent and showed some flashes of inspiration but, apart from "Come to Me," nothing here offered anything even remotely as catchy as either of the band's two previous singles. With Association rhythm guitarist Jim Yester's brother Jerry Yester producing, Renaissance has a more stripped-down, conventional folk-rock feel. Apart from lead guitarist Gary Alexander and wind player Terry Kirkman, none of the other members played on this album, but Alexander is a delight, mixing melodic folk-rock picking and strumming, throwing in a few high-energy licks on one or two numbers, and even using a koto for the album's single, "Pandora's Golden Heebie Jeebies." The latter, despite having a grotesque title when following up a single like "Cherish," is a prize piece of pop psychedelia, all gorgeous harmonies and spaced-out sensibilities backed by a bracing beat. Renaissance wasn't a bad album, but was a more routine, predictable recording than its predecessor and, without a hit single to help push sales, it never reached audiences in remotely the same numbers.

The Association -  Renaissance (1966)

The Association -  Renaissance (1966)

The Collins Kids - The Rockin'est

The Collins Kids - The Rockin'est

By the time Lawrence (b. 1944) and Lawrencine Collins (b. 1942) were 11 and 13, respectively, they were already tearing it up on country package shows, recording for Columbia Records, and performing on national TV almost weekly. Older sister Lorrie held up the cowgirl fringe-rustling-against-nylons teenage sensuality department; kid brother Larry was a bundle of hyperkinetic energy, bopping all over the place while laying down exciting, twangy guitar breaks learned firsthand from the King of the Doublenecked Mosrite, Joe Maphis. As time went on, the Collins' recordings veered from mawkish brother/sister country-style duets to white-hot rockabilly, and they were just reaching their peak when Lorrie eloped, effectively breaking up the act. Revered by rockabilly collectors the world over, their filmed television appearances and recordings are testimony to the fact that the Collins Kids weren't just "good for their age," they were just plain good, period.

The Collins Kids - The Rockin'est

October Country - October Country (1968)

October Country -  October Country (1968)

October Country was a six-piece, Los Angeles-based harmony pop group. They are probably best-remembered for their association with producer/composer/songwriter Michael Lloyd. Lloyd was already an accomplished songwriter by age 13, signing a publishing deal with L.A. producer Kim Fowley, who later introduced him to entertainment mogul Mike Curb. Fowley hoped that Curb would use some of Lloyd's songs in the "teensploitation" films he was producing at the time. Instead, Curb gave Lloyd the opportunity to produce a handful of groups for his Tower imprint and its Sidewalk subsidiary, including one of Lloyd's own groups, the Laughing Wind. Lloyd was 15 when his first single produced by Fowley was issued in 1966 (a few years later this same group -- which featured Stan Ayeroff on guitar and Steve Baim on drums -- released several "songbook" albums, including the Cream Songbook, although they were credited to "the Rubber Band" at the time). Meanwhile, Lloyd's profile in the L.A. music community was in ascendance and brought him new opportunities. He was soon offered the chance to produce a We Five-ish folk-rock group, led by a pair of singing siblings: Caryle De Franca (real name Carol De Franca) and her brother Joe. The group had already performed on the Sunset Strip scene, where they backed groups like the Rivingtonsand the Coasters. They assembled at Columbia Records and, under Lloyd's supervision, recorded the Lloyd-penned "October Country." (After they left the studio, however, Lloyd overdubbed himself playing on many of the instruments, replacing their poorer performances). The group adopted the name October Country thereafter, and signed with Epic Records, which released that first single in late 1967. By the spring of 1968, the group's second single, "My Girlfriend Is a Witch," was released, followed a few months later by a third single, "Cowboys and Indians." A self-titled LP was released that same year, but the group's records failed to catch on outside of the L.A. area. Curb was nonetheless impressed with what he heard and gave Lloyd free reign of his Hollywood Boulevard Studios for the next six months, where he and two other musicians composed, performed, and recorded an entire album of similar Laurel Canyon-esque psych-folk for his Sidewalk Productions, this time releasing the material under the name the Smoke, a band featuring Lloyd and the other members of the studio group previously known as the Rubber Band. Meanwhile, in 1969, Curb and Lloyd produced bubblegum rock for a cartoon program called Cattanooga Cats, which featured a pop-punk version of "My Girlfriend Is a Witch," reputedly with Rupert Holmes (of "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)" fame) on lead vocals.

October Country -  October Country (1968)

October Country's self-titled album -- long out-of-print -- is today revered and highly prized by collectors who have managed to find a copy. It certainly deserves to be reissued on CD. Other soft rock and sunshine pop/soft rock obscurities -- including those by the Millennium, Sagittarius, and Eternity's Children, to name just a few -- are just now becoming available again on CD, so why not October Country? This 1968 album is one of the better examples of songwriter/producer/musician Michael Lloyd's overall influence and impact on the West Coast-based genre. Lloyd -- who was certainly influenced by important albums like the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds, and various psych-pop sounds of the Brit-pop invasion, even harmony vocal groups like the Bee Gees -- always seemed to find interesting ways to incorporate various sophisticated instrumentation (organ, horns, harpsichord, and string arrangements) into his productions. During this particular group's first recording sessions, Lloyd began transforming this We Five-ish folk-rock group into a formidable group (he also played the various instruments himself -- because the group wasn't that proficient on their own). There are numerous highlights here, including the title track (later recorded by the Smoke, the U.S. band who was another Lloyd "Sidewalk" production), "Cowboys and Indians," and "My Girlfriend Is a Witch."

Suzi Quatro / My Heart and Soul (I Need You Home for Christmas) 2020

Suzi Quatro / My Heart and Soul (I Need You Home for Christmas) 2020

4 December Suzi Quatro — known in music history as the first “breakout” female bass player to become a bona fide “rock star” with a string of international hits in the 1970s — released a powerful new holiday song, “My Heart and Soul (I need You Home for Christmas).”

Explained Suzi Quatro of the song’s process in a statement:

“So, lockdown had just begun. My son was in the studio working on ideas every day for our next album, a perfect opportunity as neither of us was ‘on the road’. I was sitting on the patio, relaxing, and heard this absolutely beautiful track coming out of the open studio door. It was a bass line, with a sparse guitar chord, and drums. It was immediate for me. I ran into the studio (mask on of course), and told my son to set up a microphone, and without thinking, without writing anything down, I sang the first 4 lines of the song exactly as they ended up. That`s when you know you have a great song … and we do. Merry Xmas everyone!

1 My Heart and Soul (I Need You Home for Christmas) Radio Edit
2 My Heart and Soul (I Need You Home for Christmas) Full Version


The Pleasure Seekers - What A Way To Die (1964-1968)

The Detroit garage band the Pleasure Seekers originally comprised sisters Suzi, Patti, and Arlene Quatro, the daughters of jazz musician Art Quatro. The group started while the siblings were all still in their teens. They quickly transcended novelty status by writing their own material and playing their own instruments, and made their debut in 1966 with the local hit "Never Thought You'd Leave Me," released on the Hideout label (the recording arm of the local teen club where Suzi reportedly worked as a counter clerk). A year later they jumped to Mercury for "Light of Love." Eldest sister Arlene soon exited the Pleasure Seekers to begin a family -- among her children was actress Sherilyn Fenn, best known for her work in the TV cult series Twin Peaks -- and was replaced by another Quatro sister, Nancy. Throughout the remainder of the decade the band toured relentlessly, even appearing at a USO showcase at the peak of the Vietnam War, but mainstream success continued to elude them. Around 1969, the Pleasure Seekers rechristened themselves Cradle, a move which also heralded a harder-edged sound; by the early '70s, however, the trio disbanded, with Suzi going on to fame as a solo performer (as well as co-starring on the hit sitcom Happy Days as the legendary Leather Tuscadero) while Patti joined the California band Fanny. In 2016, Sundazed released a collection of their classic recordings, What a Way to Die.

Label:Sundazed Music 

Released: 2016

What A Way To Die (1964-1968):
Bass Vocals – Suzi Quatro (tracks: 2,7,9,10,11,12)
Drums – Darline Arnone, Nan Ball (tracks: 3,6), Nancy Rogers
Guitar – Pami Benford
Guitar, Vocals – Patti Quatro (tracks: 2,7,9,11,12)
Keyboards – Diane Baker (tracks: 3,6)
Keyboards, Vocals – Arlene Quatro (tracks: 2,11,12)
Percussion – Nancy Quatro (tracks: 11)
Vocals – Marylou Ball (tracks: 3,6)

Years before Rolling Stone ran their first think piece about "Women in Rock," the Go-Go's had their first practice, or Fanny had to explain for the first time that they really played their own instruments, the Pleasure Seekers were a combo out of Detroit who proved the gals could rock just as hard as the guys. Led by future glam rock icon Suzi Quatro on bass and her sister Patti Quatro on lead guitar (with fellow siblings Arlene Quatro and Nancy Quatro joining the lineup at different times), the Pleasure Seekers were a tough, versatile band with chops, personality, and attitude to spare. The Pleasure Seekers never scored a hit record, and while they toured relentlessly, their novelty as an all-female rock band was a blessing and a curse, attracting an audience that often didn't take them seriously. But the sides they left behind leave no question that they had the goods, and What a Way to Die is a thoroughly enjoyable 11-song collection that preserves the Pleasure Seekers' finest moments. The title track has long been a favorite among garage rock collectors, and it's one of the wildest and funniest sides of the era, in which a young woman compares her boyfriend to a bottle of beer -- and finds the boyfriend a lot less satisfying. While there are other garage-centric tracks like "Never Thought You'd Leave Me" and "Gotta Get Away," the Pleasure Seekers also cut some potent blue-eyed soul, especially "Good Kind of Hurt" and "Locked in Your Love." And the latter-day live recordings on side two saw they were evolving into a smart, heavier outfit that fit right in at the Grande Ballroom, Detroit's home venue for the MC5, SRC, and the Stooges. While What a Way to Die only runs 38 minutes, it does include all the material the band released in its lifetime, along with some potent outtakes and live material, and the liner notes from Mike and Anja Stax tell the band's story in concise but well-detailed fashion. You don't have to be a garage rock junkie or obsessed with female-fronted bands to dig this collection -- just about anyone who goes for '60s-era rock & roll should find something here to like.

The Jesters - Cadillac Men (The Sun Masters) - 1966

The Jesters - Cadillac Men (The Sun Masters) - 1966

It might come as a surprise that a full-length CD credited to the mid-'60s Memphis band the Jesters even exists, since their total released output while they were active was limited to just one single. Ace researcher Alec Palao has done his usual impeccable job of digging through the vaults, however, to come up with this 18-track retrospective, featuring both sides of their 1966 Sun single "Cadillac Man"/"My Babe"; four tracks that came out on a 1989 various-artists box set compilation; seven previously unreleased cuts, including an alternate version of "Cadillac Man"; a Sun recording on which the Jesters backed Jimmy Day; and four tracks by the Escapades, the band singer Tommy Minga fronted after leaving the Jesters in late 1965. Though "Cadillac Man" is interesting as a kind of mid-'50s Chuck Berry sound-alike item, the band's truer personality seems to come through in the recordings not released at the time. In those, they sound a little like a crazed '60s garage band (if that's not a redundant description) that owes far more to '50s rock & roll, rockabilly, and R&B than the usual such group -- not as if they've digested those influences primarily via British Invasion bands, but more like they've studied the original '50s performers themselves. Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry might be the most audible of those influences, but certainly you can hear some Carl Perkins (whose "Boppin' the Blues" they cover), as well as some raw frat rock and Chicago blues. To be honest, the songwriting is more OK than brilliant, and the musicianship a little unpolished even by garage band standards, but it certainly makes for an interesting deviation from the usual garage rock excavation. The Escapades' tracks are almost slick by comparison and far more in the standard garage-pop mold (complete with sullen lyrics and swirling organ), but they're hardly gratuitous inclusions, as "I Tell No Lies" is well above average for that style; in fact, it's the best song on the compilation.

The Jesters - Cadillac Men (The Sun Masters) - 1966

The Basement Wall & The New Breed - The Incredible Sound Of the Basement Wall /Want Ad Reader

The Basement Wall & The New Breed - The Incredible Sound Of the Basement Wall /Want Ad Reader

The Basement Wall

The Basement Wall & The New Breed - The Incredible Sound Of the Basement Wall /Want Ad Reader

Baton Rouge, LA-based garage band the Basement Wall were formed in 1963 by singer/bassist Terry Bourdier, guitarist Richard Lipscomb, and drummer Barrie Edgar. Drawing inspiration from the British Invasion, the group started its career playing Beatles and Rolling Stones covers. With the subsequent addition of lead vocalist and guitarist George Ratzlaff, the Basement Wall graduated from local frat gigs to nightclub dates as far away as Los Angeles, along the way becoming the highest-paid cover band in the southern U.S., according to the Louisiana Entertainment Association.

In due time, the Basement Wall also began writing original material, in 1968 signing to the Senate label to issue their lone official single, "Never Existed," a keyboard-driven regional smash similar in spirit to Texas punk, no doubt an outgrowth of the band's myriad Lone Star State gigs. Additional recordings were made but remained unreleased until the Cicadelic label compiled The Incredible Sound of the Basement Wall in 1985.

In 1968 Bourdier got married and retired from the road. Despite adding bassist Duke Bardwell, who later toured with Elvis Presley, the Basement Wall soon dissolved. Ratzlaff later resurfaced in the blues-rock outfit Potliquor, recording three LPs for Janus and scoring a Hot 100 hit with the single "Cheer." In mid-June of 2005, the original Basement Wall lineup reunited for the first time in close to four decades, gigging in honor of the band's induction into the Louisiana Entertainment Hall of Fame.

The Incredible Sound Of the Basement Wall  (1985)

The Basement Wall & The New Breed - The Incredible Sound Of the Basement Wall /Want Ad Reader

The Basement Wall hailed from Louisiana and was formed in 1966. The band recorded one album in 1966 for a small regional U.S. label , that despite limited distribution, won over a large following across the nation. The band combined the sounds of the Beatles, the Zombies, and the Association to form a unique psychedelic pop sound that was becoming popular with the underground music fans. The New Breed hailed from California and despite the surf movement of the area, decided to explore a psychedelic and garage sound. The band recorded a number of singles for various labels before recording an album entitled Want Ad Reader. The album contained and was named after the band's biggest hit, the title track. With no label support for the album it was never released and the New Breed evolved into Glad and recorded one album for ABC records before breaking up in 1969. Bandmembers went on to become part of such notable '70s acts as Redwing ,Poco, and the Eagles. This single-CD release compiles all of the two band's recorded output including rare singles and the unreleased album.

 The New Breed

The Basement Wall & The New Breed - The Incredible Sound Of the Basement Wall /Want Ad Reader

The New Breed were formed in 1965 in Sacramento by a group of musicians who had played in earlier high school bands. The line-up of the group was Tim Schmit, Ron Floegel, Tom Phillips, and George Hullin. The group recorded their first single in 1965. This was successful regionally. They then recorded material for an album which was not released. Three further singles were released over the next year and a half. In 1968 the group signed to a new label and changed their name to Glad. 
  Green Eyed Woman / I'm In Love (1965, Diplomacy 22) 
  Leave Me Be / I've Been Wrong Before (1966, Mercury 72556) 
  Want Ad Reader / One More For The Good Guys (1966, World United 001) 
  Fine With Me / The Sound Of The Music (1967, World United 003)

Want Ad Reader (1985)

The Basement Wall & The New Breed - The Incredible Sound Of the Basement Wall /Want Ad Reader

 The Incredible Sound Of the Basement Wall /Want Ad Reader (1993)

The Basement Wall & The New Breed - The Incredible Sound Of the Basement Wall /Want Ad Reader

Thanks once again,Dave...

The New Breed - Wants You (1965-1968)

The New Breed - Wants You (1965-1968)

From Sacramento, CA, the New Breed recorded a few British Invasion-influenced pop-garage singles in the mid-'60s that did well in their hometown and a few other pockets of Northern California, but went unheard elsewhere. One of the many decent but somewhat colorless bands of their type, they at least had good taste in material, recording a version of the obscure Lennon-McCartney song "I'm In Love" (which had been a British hit for the Fourmost), and covering Randy Newman's "I've Been Wrong Before" when the singer/songwriter was all but unknown. The stomping "Green Eyed Woman," a Sacramento hit, was their best original song. The group pursued a more psychedelic direction after 1966, and changed their name to Glad for an album on ABC in the late '60s. In the 1970s, they turned into Redwing, who recorded a few LPs for Fantasy. If the New Breed are mentioned at all in history books, it's because bassist Tim Schmit joined Poco in 1970, and then the Eagles in 1977.

The New Breed - Wants You (1965-1968)

The New Breed Wants You! contains 24 tracks from 1965-68, including all their 45 sides, unreleased material from aborted single and album projects, and several cuts by the combos latterday incarnation Glad.

Like Weird ! (1961 - 1964 singles) - The Centuries (aka Tommy Falcone & The Centuries)The Association -  Renaissance (1966)The Collins Kids - The Rockin'estOctober Country -  October Country (1968)VA - The Golden Age Of American Rock 'n' RollSuzi Quatro / My Heart and Soul (I Need You Home for Christmas) 2020The Jesters - Cadillac Men (The Sun Masters) - 1966The Basement Wall & The New Breed - The Incredible Sound Of the Basement Wall /Want Ad ReaderThe New Breed - Wants You (1965-1968)

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