Friday, November 28, 2008

Fools On The Hill 8: Love Songs in the Night - Last gasps of the golden pop era (Pop Greats from the 70's)

This is yet another compilation of "Pop" music with a twist. It all started on the pop 45 newsgroup when the compiler of the "Fading Yellow" series introduced us to this strain of music. As such it is not really a genre in itself, but more the last work of artists who started in the mid-60's and issued albums until 1974. Of course, their type of music was by then very unfashionable… the public was getting into progressive and heavy Rock music.
So Beatlesque pop ditties were not what was expected. As a consequence, most of these albums are difficult to find and expensive if you go for the original pressing. You'll find lots of private pressing due to label's frilosity about this type of music. Some artists like Billy Nicholls and Emitt Rhodes have now rightly achieved worldwide cult status, while others comitted the unthinkable (Rick Price went on to play with ELO). This is also the very start of the Power Pop bands, as demonstrated by The Raspberries. To sum it up: this is 60's influences pop played with a 70's sound, the last moments of brilliance for a certain breed of songwriters, before getting drowned out by Prog's flutes, Black Sabbath's clones and ultimately Punk.

Download this comp and start talking to flowers…

Track Listing:

1● Bob Siller ●Drive Inns (1968)
2●Rick Price ●Talking to the flowers (1971)
3● Michael Brown ●Love songs in the night(1972)
4● Eyes ●Probate me baby (1977, private press.)
5● Charlie Bleak ●Let me in (1976)
6● Matthew Ellis ●Avalon (1972)
7●Richard Twice ●The finest poet (1970)
8● Philamore Lincoln ●The north wind blew south (1970)
9● News ●Loser (1974, private press.)
10 ● Billy Nicholls ●White Lightning (1974)
11 ● Pilot ●Lucky for some (1974)
12 ● Sheridan &Price ●Beautiful Sally (1970)
13 ● Emitt Rhodes ●Love will stone you (1971)
14 ● Vaughan Thomas●One more time around (1972)
15 ● Stories ●Kathleen (1972)
16 ● The Toms ●You Must Have Crossed My Mind (1979)
17 ● The Raspberries ●I wanna be with you (1972)
18 ● Dialogue ●On every shore (1972, private press.)
19 ● Don Agrati ●Love, come my way(1973) 

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Fools On The Hill: A few questions and a poll

Next update (Volume 8) this coming Friday!
Sorry for the delay, I need to have a good chat with the Comp Master, the great Sylvain FuzzyMental, as I am unsure of what to say about Volume 8. This is tentatively titled "Love Songs In The Night", a late sixties pop collection… certainly interesting but not my usual aural food. I'd like to write a little meaningful paper on that one, as it's chock-full with rare songs. Volume 9 will be something a lot more funny… should be an ear opener for some. We're also thinking of posting some of the LP from which the songs of the previous volumes were lifted.
What would you prefer?
1) We post the LPs straight after the compilation they're featured on?
2) We post the LPs at the end of the FOTH series (this will take at least another month)

I'm leaning towards 1), simply because some of you obviously enjoy our selections… and it gives us a bit of time to craft more comps.
I'm also bugging Sylvain to put his headphones on and start churning out more volumes… your comments are a great help and incentive. I am at the present deep in New Orleans Funk and Mariachi music… lodsa discoveries coming soon!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Fools On The Hill 7: Sons of the Golden Dawn - 19 neo-garage psych greats from the mid-80's/early 90's NEW FILE!

New file uploaded now! We could have called it "New Psych Explorers from the 80's" or something similar… Psych being the important word here. We have another volume devoted to the harder/merseybeat/garage revival bands. Talking about revival, this is maybe what seperates the bands on this volume from the revivalists of the same period: Originality. I got sick of listening to punk rehash of every Nuggets/Pebbles songs out there. While fun while they were doing it (specially live), most of the revivalists sounds a bit "passé" now. The psych bands on this volume have certainly covered some classic psych stuff, but most of their LPs boast a lot of original songs. Their sound, although based in the classic 60's, also attempts to move forward and still prevents them from becoming aural postcards of a by-gone era.

The other interesting point is that bands from all over the world got into the act. You'll find US, English, French and Spanish bands. Included is also my fave: the Vietnam Veterans. Hope this comp will give you new incentive to score some of their albums the next time you visit your neighbourhood Vinyl Dealer.

We're building tomorrow with the comps of today.
OOps, it appears that the previous zip file was corrupted. You will have to dowmload it again. I've just reupped a new file that is fine. Sorry!

Track Listing:

1●The Leopards ●Recess
2●Los Negativos ●¿Quien Aplasto A La Mariposa?
3●The Last James ●Better put some light in there
4●No Strange ●Sailing out
5●The Hairy Fairies ●Mary Jane leaves
6●Head & the Hares ●Why must you fade away
7●The Mystreated ●Sometimes
8●The Wylde Mammoths ●Gone away
9●The Clockwatchers ●This could be love
10 ●The Vietnam Veterans ●With the dreams of today
11 ●Running Stream ●She’s my queen
12 ●The Things ●It’s not that way
13 ●The United States of Existence ●Volunteer fireman
14 ●The Cornflake Zoo ●Rainy day
15 ●Tyrnaround ●Suicidal flowers
16 ●The Chesterfield Kings ●Satisfaction guaranteed
17 ●The Satelliters ●She got all the cards
18 ●The Monsters ●And then you cry
19 ●The Last ●She don’t know why I’m here

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fools On The Hill 5: Sunny Sunday Smiles - 19 worldwide pop, soft pop and harmony pop greats from the mid-60's

Psych-Pop, Folk Pop, Harmony Pop and just plain Pop! What's wrong with pop? Most aficionados of sixties music shun the genre, but it is an essential link between the rougher early music and the next decade. You will notice that most of these songs are from 1967 onwards. As much as the Byrds' jangly sound triggered an (r)evolution, the Beach Boys' new sound direction paved the way for many of the bands featured here. "Brian Wilson's IS a genius" slowly entered many aspiring songwriter's mind. How right they were! Emphasis is now on orchestration, arrangement and production of the songs. This is no longer Garage music but studio music what with orchestras and exotic instruments no longer playable by young teenager musicians. The vocals are often layered, the production techniques refined, the lyrics more complex. This is "Baby I love you" with a introspective tweak. Notice how the song's title also become longer and longer? The "Concept Album" is not far away. As a matter of fact, most of these bands produced a full LP, not just a flash-in-the-pan 45. The essence of Pop music also lies in the urge of bands to reach the top of the charts, usually with the help a good producer. They wanted to be taken seriously and that alone explains the care devoted to the music. While most of the albums sunk without trace, the bands certainly tried hard because they were aware that this was their one only chance at success.
If the Beach Boys did it while mutating from the campfire "Barbara Ann" to "Pet Sounds", why couldn't a unknown band or artist have success doing it their own way?

While most of them never reached such heights, there are some real diamonds in the rough here. This compilation covers the whole range of this style: from quasi-easy listening to little pop-psych masterpieces, there's even some near bubblegum in here. My personal fave goes to Smoke's "Cowboys and Indians", from their Kim Fowley produced LP. This will be the subject of a future post, as we recorded/remastered many of the albums these songs were lifted from. They used to be fairly hard to find (usually in the 1$ bin), but this has changed a lot in the last 5 years thanks to renewed interest from collectors.

Get your sunny Sunday smile here!

Track Listing:

1●The Sundowners ●Always you (USA, 1968)
2●Mark Eric ●Move with the dawn (USA, 1969)
3●Brian Hyland ●On the east side (USA, 1970)
4●Thomas & Richard Frost ●Gotta find a new place to stay (USA, 1969)
5●Bread ●Look at me (USA, 1969)
6●The Deep Six ●What would you wish from the golden fish (USA, 1966)
7●Chris & Peter Allen ●My silent symphony (USA, 1968)
8●The Jackpots ●King of the world (Sweden, 1968)
9●Colours ●Lovin’ (USA, 1968)
10 ●Springfield Riffle ●I loved her (USA, 196?)
11 ●The Suggar Shoppe ●Baby baby (Canada, 1968)
12 ●The Gordian Knot ●The world keeps spinning (USA, 1968)
13 ●Eternity’s children ●Mrs. Bluebird (USA, 1968)
14 ●De Megas ●The running Mr. So & So (Holland, 1968)
15 ●The Motions ●Memories of fair haired Mary (Holland, 1967)
16 ●The Robbs ●Race with the wind (USA, 1967)
17 ●Fun & Games ●Sadie (USA, 1969)
18 ●Gary Lewis ●Jill (USA, 1967)
19 ●The Smoke ●Cowboys & indians (USA, 1968)
bonus track:
20 ●Brian Wilson ●Surf’s up (demo) (USA, 1967)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fools On The Hill 6: Red fuzz with purple flashes - 24 worlwide wild freakbeat masterpieces from the mid-60's

We've skipped volume number 5 to give you a little dash of much-needed fuzz, as #5 was about soft pop. We thought better to keep you wide awake. So what is Freakbeat?
Freakbeat was essentially the bridge between the beat groups and psychedelia. It was an adventure, albeit a brief one. Its influence, certainly among musicians, was widespread, although it's only in retrospect that it's been seen as any kind of movement. Usually made by rare British blues and garage rock artists, bands that sounded a bit like the Rolling Stones, Yardbirds, or the Bluesbreakers, but occasionally some of the tougher Merseybeat bands fit this category, too. It was often primitive (indeed, one of the bands was called the Primitives), with a foundation in blues and R&B, but it was a vital cog in moving music forward. Elements of the freakbeat sound include strong direct drum beats, loud and frenzied guitar riffs, and extreme effects such as: fuzztone, flanging, distortion and compression or phasing on the vocal or drum tracks. Think proto-psychdelia, or how to aim for the charts while stretching the envelope a bit further.
Early albums by The Who and The Kinks supplied the blueprints, but The Yardbirds were really the detonators for freakbeat bands that followed, such as The Creation, The Sorrows and The Move. Of course, there were many, many more freakbeat bands than the ones mentioned above. Most of them lasted for one, perhaps two singles, offering three minutes of pure abandon before returning to their regular lives. A fair number of them are commemorated today on compilations, even if they made no impact at the time.
Admittedly, we often use this term as a UK-only music, but it does stretch to some Commonwealth countries and Northern Europe who were looking up to Britain for inspiration.
The term "freakbeat", incidentally, was coined in the 1980s by Phil Smee of the Bam Caruso reissue label, a man of serious good taste.

Your life won't be like it was before get the fuzz 'ere
Tell us about it in the comments section.

Track Listing:

1●The Creation ●Makin’ time (UK, 1966)
2●The Clique ●You’ve been unfair (UK, 1965)
3●Shel Naylor ●One fine day (UK, 1964)
4●The Master’s apprentices ●War or hands of time (twisted bootleg version) (Australia, 1966)
5●Rupert’s people ●Dream in my mind (UK. 1967)
6●Edwin Rumbold ●Come back (?)
7●Thane Russal ●Security (UK, 1966)
8●The Animals ●Outcast (UK, 1966)
9●The D-Coys ●Bad Times (Australia, 1966)
10 ●The Bluestars ●Social end product (New Zealand, 1966)
11 ●The Allusions ●Gypsy woman (Australia, 1966)
12 ●Thor’s Hammer ●My life (Iceland, 1966)
13 ●Mickey Finn ●Garden of my mind (UK, 1967)
14 ●The Chasers ●Inspiration (UK, 1966)
15 ●The Master’s apprentices ●Undecided (Australia, 1967)
16 ●Thor’s Hammer ●Better days (Iceland, 1966)
17 ●Q65 ●From above (Holland, 1966)
18 ●The Master’s apprentices ●Burried and dead (Australia, 1967)
19 ●The Eyes ●Man with money (UK, 1966)
20 ●The Creation ●How does it feel to feel (UK, 1968)
21 ●Rick & Sandy ●Lost my girl (UK, 1965)
22 ●The Moondogs ●Tryin’ to make you see (Denmark, 1967)
23 ●Cool Stove ●Big Sensation (Germany, 1967)
24 ●The Creation ●If I stay too long (UK, 1968)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Fools On The Hill 4: Goddesses in the sky with Diamonds - 19 psych pop, psych and acid folk female gems from the mid-60's and early 70's

Well, it's all in the title. Although I never was a huge fan of female singers in the 60's, I just can't stand Grace Slick anymore, this selection was quite an ear-opener for me. It's got a very gently psyched vibe and I sure discovered that some artists that I usually find too hippy for my taste, like Saffron, could put out some very interesting (if sometimes unwittingly funny) songs.
Once again these comps are not centered around a region or label but rather themes. Some of these songs are pretty hard to find, mainly because the focus of collectors is squarely into the hardcore Garage and Psych. There's probably still a wealth of material of this genre waiting to be discovered. The overall mood of these songs allow them to blend seamlessly into the next. Even über-gloomy chanteuse Nico fits strangely nicely in there, which I think exposes the underlying trend most of the female singers were following the world over. This is why you'll find a bonus track at the end by Mazzy Star, it fits so well that I didn't even notice it the first I listened. There's a gap of 20 years between them and the youngest performer on this comp… it's as if nothing had changed.
This is not a comp for you punkers out there, more something to listen at dawn or dusk.

Don't forget that vision is a lonely word and grab this compilation.

Oh, don't forget to tell us in the comments how (or if) you liked it!
Next post will jump numbers again to have a more energized compilation following this one.

Track Listing:
1●Claudine Longet ●God only knows (USA, 1972)
2●Margo Guryan ●Come to me softly (USA, 1968)
3●Saffron ●All your ambitions (?, 196?)
4●These Trails ●Hello Lou (Hawaï, 1973)
5●The Third Estate ●Useless things (USA, 1976)
6●Music Emporium ●Gentle thursday (USA, 1969)
7●Bridget St. John ●I like to be with you in the sun (UK, 1969)
8●Karen Beth ●Something to believe in (USA, 1969)
9●Judee Sill ●The kiss (USA, 1973)
10 ●Saffron ●Vision is a lonely word (?, 196?)
11 ●Linda Perhacs ●Parallelograms (USA, 1970)
12 ●Claudine Longet ●Long long time (USA, 1971)
13 ●Paige Claire●Sunny day (USA, 1970)
14 ●Bridget St. John ●Song for the laird of Connaught Hall pt.2
15 ●The Deep Six ●Unlock the door (USA, 1966)
16 ●Fairport Convention ●Book song (UK, 1969)
17 ●Serpent Power ●Gently, gently (USA, 1967)
18 ●Nico ●These days (USA, 1966)
19 ●Margo Guryan ●California shake (USA, 1968)
Bonus track:
20 ● Mazzy Star ● All your sisters (USA, 1996)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Thanks and additions to the posts.

By popular demand, I've added tracklisting for each of the Fools on the Hill volume. I didn't want to do that initially, as some of songs and artists are quite well known. Normally, if you use iTunes, you will retrieve (upon importation) all the info in the ID3 tags. Same goes for the formats: .m4a is MPEG-4 audio and is supported by iTunes. Most of the volumes are in MP3, which is not as good quality-wise. I will eventually post all the next volumes in MP3. BTW, it is possible to convert m4a into mp3 using SoundConverter for example. We just have a small problem: Volume 3 has gone missing. It was the Mersey Beat volume. We will locate another copy, but it will take some time. So next post will jump straight to Volume 4.
I have to give credit where it's due: the compiler is Sylvain, not me. He has a far more extensive knowledge of 60's music (not to mention good taste) than me.
Thanks for the comments!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fools On The Hill 2: Autumn Songbook - 23 moody punk-folk greats from the mid-60s

This set is centered on the "moody garage" or folk-punk styles. The success of the Byrds gave a whole lot of new ideas to teeenagers Statewide. The band mixed the British Invasion sound with elements of contemporary folk and pop music. McGuinn's jangling, highly melodic guitar playing (using a 12-string, heavily compressed Rickenbacker for its extremely bright tone) was immediately influential. That gimmick can be heard on the opening track as well as "I'd rather you leave me" by the choirs (#9) and "Why must you fade away" by Dennis & His Times (#22). This is strictly a US only style, England was still in the midst of Beatlemania. Apart from the Rickenbacker sound, the other defining aspect is that the general mood is well… gloomy at best. Visions of devastated world, lost love and broken hearts are central to the songs. As hairs grew longer, the level musicianship also bettered, in keeping the pace with the Beatles and the Byrds. It is much more difficult to play a 12-string guitar than to quickly bash 3-chord punkers on a cheapo plywood plucker. As a consequence, the arrangements and the songwriting are also much more refined. You can even whistle to some of these songs! No screamers here, but some of Garage's most enduring songs.

Get them here.

Track Listing:
1●The Squires ●Going all the way
2●The Paradox ●There’s a flower shop
3●The Illusions ●Wait till the summer
4●The Shaynes ●From my window
5●The Escapades ●I tell no lies
6●Kreeg ●How can I
7●Kenny & The Kasuals ●I’m gonna make it
8●The Gants ●I wonder
9●The Choir ●I’d rather you leave me
10 ●The One Way Street ●Tears in my eyes
11 ●The Dovers ●What I am gonna do
12 ●The Choir ●It’s cold outside
13 ●The Psychopaths ●See their girls
14 ●The Band of Wynand ●Day time nite time
15 ●Eddie Cunningham & The Lone Rangers ●Girl don’t change your mind
16 ●The Weads ●Don’t call my name
17 ●Burgundy Blues ●Get you back
18 ●The Fantastic Deejays ●Fight Fire
19 ●The Stoics ●Enough of what I need
20 ●The Index ●Paradise beach
21 ●Dennis & his Times ●Why must you fade away
22 ●The Excentrics ●What can I do what can I say
23 ●New Chains III ●The end

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Fools On The Hill - Volume 1 – My Tailor Is Rich – 19 necessary beat winners from the swinging 60's french-o-phonic countries

At last! Here it is - the first volume of our encyclopedia of 60's music that matters. Never blogged before! Why? Because originally this series was hand made on CD in a limited edition of 15… Yessir, each one of them numbered by hand by the one and only Sylvain FuzzyMental! You don't know what "Garage" Music means? Are you getting lost between the fine line that separates early 60's British R&B and Freakbeat? What's the difference between 66 psych and 67 psych? What the F is Popsyke? and Acid-Folk, for Chrissake?

Fools on the Hill was intended as an introduction (for the unwary) to the magical mystical and fuzzy world of 60's lost gems and musical subgenres. Originally intended for a US audience, this series of comps grew (after much heated debates) into probably the finest starter for the 60's music lover. Over 20 volumes long, and still growing, it attempts to cover all the aspects of this fabulous musical decade. Love the music? Track down some of the artists featured… We'll even post some of their LPs and EPs.

My Tailor Is Rich gathers most of France (and Belgium and Canada's) finest combos, playing songs in french. You will find household names (for us, at least) such as Jacques Dutronc and Serge Gainsbourg… but also little-known artists such as Alex Fontaine and Eric Ghardin. This online comp differs slightly from the CD version: some duplicate songs by better known individuals have been replaced by more interesting and lesser-known songs. This is the francophonic take on Garage… fuzz and snot abounds. There is a lot of controversy about this take on "french" music. The truth is that during that period there was no pirate radio… most teenagers were in fact listening to "Yé-Yé" which is a tamed, radio-friendly version of the UK and US sound. Pretty sanitized. What we're showcasing here is the the punkier sound, which didn't get played very often.
The other defining factor is that these songs, more than often, were recorded by studio sharks on a mission to lay out a beat with the "today's sound". As a result, the compositions and the arrangements are of unusual quality, while relying heavily on sound gimmicks (reverb, backwards tracks, sitar and fuzz).
What also sets the French-o-phonic artists apart is their distance from the subject of their songs– 2nd or 3rd degree of humor is prevalent on most tracks. While the US punks were embedded in their subjects, the French-o-phonics usually lay a good layer of humor and irony over their songs. Unbearable for some guardians of the french temple, but all the more fun for us. Oh, and you gotta love the sleaziness of some tracks… only in France…

Bouge ton cul and download cette compilation!

P.S Ladies and Germs, leave comments… it's the fuel of blogs… knowing that you reach people out there.

Track Listing:
1● Jacques Dutronc ●Le responsable (France, 1969)
2●Les Problèmes ●Je ne vois rien (France, 1966)
3● Serge Gainsbourg●Qui est " in " qui est " out " (France, 1966)
4● Christine Pilzer ●Ah Hem Ho Hu Err (France, 1967)
5● Delphine ●La fermeture éclair (Belgium, 1967)
6● Sullivan ●Hashish Faction (France, 1966)
7●Les Papyvores ●Le papyvore (France, 1967)
8● Laura Ulmer ●Amoureux d’une affiche (Canada, 1967)
9● Le Bain Didonc ●4 cheveux dans le vent (France, 1966)
10 ● Les 5 Gentlemen ●Si tu reviens chez moi (France, 1966)
11 ● Alex Fontaine ●Tu n’es pas sincère (Canada, 1966)
12 ● Les Problèmes ●Dodécaphonie (France, 1966)
*13 ● Jacques Dutronc ●Je suis content (France, 1967)
13 ● Eric Ghardin ●Amour Limite Zéro (France, 1967)
14 ● Normand Frechette et les Hou-Lops ●J’étudie mon grec (Canada, 1967)
15 ● Les Misérables ●Une lettre (Canada, 1967)
*16 ● Serge Gainsbourg●Initials B.B (France, 1967)
16 ● Messieurs Richard de Bordeaux et Daniel Beretta●La drogue (France, 1967)
17 ● Ariane ●Tu voudrais que j’oublie (France, 1967)
18 ● Elsa Leroy ●Mieux vaut tard que jamais (France, 1966)
*19 ● Jacques Dutronc ●Hippie Hippie Hourrah (France, 1967)
19 ● Philippe Nicaud ●Cuisses nues bottes de cuir (France, 1967)

* Tracks that were on the original CD and replaced by new ones.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Demon Fuzz - Afreaka !

Well, here is the last Afro-something post. Next posts will be our own "Fools on the hill" encyclopedia for the new garage lover. But for now, this is the classic long lost British psychedelic funk album by Demon Fuzz. It is amongst the most bootlegged and sampled bands from the early 70s British underground.
In a just world, Demon Fuzz would have been very successful. Sadly, however, the only real success they enjoyed is the fact that many club DJs now use their samples frequently. Although the band played most of the British underground festivals in the early seventies, Demon Fuzz were simply too way-out to make a significant impact on the college crowd and as a result they broke up after 18 months on the scene. Released in 1970 the band’s only album, the extraordinary Afreaka!, demonstrates their excellence in playing psychedelic soul, dub-heavy funk, progressive rock, Afro-jazz and black acid rock.
They have a Santana mixed with the J.B.s mixed a little with Booker T and the MGS with lots and lots of Jazz sensibilities style that keeps you hooked; and the way the pace of the songs keep changing is also influential. However,putting the music aside; the lyrics are atrocious and are very unintentionally hilarious for example in the song 'Hymn to Mother Earth', which is an ode to our lovely planet, they say stuff like 'Im gonna make you mine!' and 'of all the planets you are the best' which is what you might expect from a 12 year old who has just smoked a blunt…
Freak out and get it here.