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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




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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. 
Releases: 
  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.


The Hardtimes - Blew Mind (1968)

The Hardtimes - Blew Mind (1968)


Hardtimes were a '60s rock band that were dubbed punk rock after the phrase came to be acknowledged. The U.K. release of BLEW MIND is the album's first compact disc pressing. This Rev-Ola catalog item includes the original 1968 World Pacific LP album, the group's final recordings under The New Phoenix, and some singles that were not included on the the original vinyl pressing of the album. 22 tracks total. One of the members was later in Steppenwolf.



San Diego's the Hard Times were a solid garage folk-rock outfit led by two gifted songwriters, Rudy Romero and Bill Richardson, but the band unfortunately never seemed to establish its own identity, drifting between folk-rock, sunshine pop, and a light psychedelia during its short history, breaking up almost immediately after releasing one album, 1967's Blew Mind, which is included here in its entirety along with a handful of non-album 45 releases, making this essentially the group's complete recorded output. There's a lot to like, certainly, from lovely covers of Bob Lind's "Come to Your Window" and Al Kooper's "Sad Sad Sunshine" (which is presented in both the album and single versions) to the spooky, atmospheric "Blew Mind," a Richardson original, and Romero's "Give to Me Your Love" (which was actually recorded under the group name New Phoenix and was produced by Mama Cass Elliot). There's also a lot to scratch one's head about, as well, like the odd, overly baroque version of "Candy Man" which opens this collection, a production approach that is also repeated on Hard Times' ill-advised cover of Donovan's "Colours." One can't help but wonder what might have happened if Romero and Richardson had been allowed to develop the band further on a second album, but that was not to be. When all is said and done, the Hard Times remain an intriguing footnote in the era between mid-'60s folk-rock and the emerging flower power scene of 1967 and 1968. ~ Steve Leggett

Mid Sixties pop/punk band from Los Angeles. They were regulars on Dick Clark's famed TV Show 'Where The Action Is'. The group included Larry Byrom (Steppenwolf), & Paul Wheatbread ( Gary Puckett And The Union Gap) 1st time on CD, this has 10 rare bonus tracks. The entire 1968 World Pacific label album, non-LP singles and the group's last two recordings as the New Phoenix that were produced by Mama Cass Elliot.

Personnel: Nick Robbins, Joe Foster (synthesizer).

Liner Note Author: Steve Stanley.


First time on CD for 1968 album from San Diego act who were regulars on Dick Clark's 'Where The Action Is' with The Robbs & Paul Revere & The Raiders. Includes the entire World Pacific album, non-LP singles, & their last two recordings (as the New Phoenix which were produced by Mama Cass Elliot). Features 22 tracks including 10 bonus tracks, 'You're Bound To Cry', 'There'll Be A Time', 'That's All I'll Do', 'Come To Your Window', 'They Said No', 'Sad Sad Sunshine' (Mono 45), 'Fortune Teller' (Mono 45), 'Goodbye' (Mono 45), 'Give To Me Your Love' (The New Phoenix) & 'Thanks' (The New Phoenix). 

The Hardtimes - Blew Mind (1968)


San Diego's the Hard Times were a solid garage folk-rock outfit led by two gifted songwriters, Rudy Romero and Bill Richardson, but the band unfortunately never seemed to establish its own identity, drifting between folk-rock, sunshine pop, and a light psychedelia during its short history, breaking up almost immediately after releasing one album, 1967's Blew Mind, which is included here in its entirety along with a handful of non-album 45 releases, making this essentially the group's complete recorded output. There's a lot to like, certainly, from lovely covers of Bob Lind's "Come to Your Window" and Al Kooper's "Sad Sad Sunshine" (which is presented in both the album and single versions) to the spooky, atmospheric "Blew Mind," a Richardson original, and Romero's "Give to Me Your Love" (which was actually recorded under the group name New Phoenix and was produced by Mama Cass Elliot). There's also a lot to scratch one's head about, as well, like the odd, overly baroque version of "Candy Man" which opens this collection, a production approach that is also repeated on Hard Times' ill-advised cover of Donovan's "Colours." One can't help but wonder what might have happened if Romero and Richardson had been allowed to develop the band further on a second album, but that was not to be. When all is said and done, the Hard Times remain an intriguing footnote in the era between mid-'60s folk-rock and the emerging flower power scene of 1967 and 1968. ~ Steve Leggett, Rovi



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”

Jan & Dean - Filet Of Soul 1966

Jan & Dean - Filet Of Soul 1966


Review by Bruce Eder
Filet of Soul is a good example of a successful "fake" -- oh, it's real enough as a Jan & Dean album, and the recordings here are all the real article and enjoyable, even if most of them are hardly representative of the duo at its best. Mostly the album works because it slots into the parody element that always played a role in the duo's presentation -- though Jan & Dean were meticulous in their productions, and Jan Berry a very serious personality in terms of his work, there was always a strong component of laughter in their music, and they never took themselves (or rock & roll) too seriously. And it's entirely possible that, had events worked out differently, the Beatles' Rubber Soul album (itself a parody title) might have inspired the pair to devise an "answer" record. But Filet of Soul was actually the creation of Liberty Records, in the wake of Jan Berry's disastrous April 1966 car accident, to keep some Jan & Dean product out there and sell it while the notoriously fickle teen audience still remembered who they were. By scouring the unused portions of the concert tape that had yielded the pair's live Command Performance album, plus a few studio tracks that had already been heard on other albums, a coherent Jan & Dean album was devised, complete with three John Lennon/Paul McCartney songs. None of the latter, most especially the utterly improbable "Norwegian Wood," are exactly groundbreaking, nor is the album a landmark of any kind, but like almost every other record that Jan & Dean ever issued, it is lots of fun (though the "fun" is stretched just about to the breaking point with their rendition of "Everybody Loves a Clown," which is saved for last, for obvious reasons). With a live audience ambience behind their deliberately adenoidal harmonies on "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away," you know that this is no more a serious effort to "interpret" the song than, say, the Beach Boys' version from Beach Boys' Party! (recorded the previous year with Dean Torrence on hand). Jan & Dean are obviously more straight-faced on "Let's Hang On," "Honolulu Lulu," and "1-2-3," and the 1964-vintage "Dead Man's Curve," with its elaborate production, stands apart from everything else here, showcasing the offhanded nature of most of the material on this album. 


Jan & Dean - Filet Of Soul 1966



October 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)The Hardtimes - Blew Mind (1968)The Countdown 5 – “Complete Recordings 1965-1969”Jan & Dean - Filet Of Soul 1966

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