Friday, August 12, 2011

Vinyl Obscurities - 4

Continuing my occasional series featuring obscure 45s from the 1960s, here are seven that I've picked up at car boot sales over the years - all of them from British or Swedish artists.
1. The Frays - Keep Me Covered/ Walk On. Released on Decca F12153 in 1965. Mint value: £150.
Keep Me Covered was officially the B side of this single (the A side being the Brownie McGhee blues song) but became a much sought after track and is considered a classic 60s mod/freakbeat R and B number. The band is reputed to have included Mike Patto and he is credited as co-writer of Keep Me Covered, but I haven't been able to substantiate this. Patto was a member of the Bo Street Runners and was later involved with Timebox, the eponymous Patto and Spooky Tooth.

2. The Snobs - Buckle Shoe Stomp/ Stand And Deliver. Released on Decca F11867 in 1964. Mint value: £20.
This one-off single by the Snobs is a lively 60s beat number recorded live at Medmenham Abbey, home of the infamous 18th century Hellfire Club. The Croydon-based group dressed up in period costume and were a popular live act, but despite massive popularity in Scandinavia and a trip to the US shortly after the Beatles landed this remained their only UK 45 release.

3. The Shanes - I Don't Want Your Love/ New Orleans. Released on Columbia DB7601 in 1965. Mint value: £70.
The Shanes were one of Sweden's top groups of the 60s, with around a dozen 45s released in their own country, but only one in the UK. Named after the Alan Ladd movie of the 50s, their early records were Western styled instrumentals, but this Steffen Berggren composed song is typical 60s style R and B.

4. The Tages - Crazy 'Bout My Baby/ In My Dreams. Released on Columbia DB8019 in 1966. Mint value: £15.

This was the first of five 45s released in the UK by this popular Beatles-styled Swedish band, which had a big following in their own country. They released no fewer than five LPs, including an early psychedelic LP called Extra Extra and another, Studio, which was recorded at Abbey Road.
5. The Escorts - From Head To Toe/ Night Time. Released on Columbia DB8061 in 1966. Mint value: £35.

Nowadays a band called the Escorts would either consist of sexy girls or ageing petrolheads, but in the 60s the Escorts were, apparently, voted the ninth most popular band in Liverpool. This was their sixth UK release and the band did a reasonable job on this Smokey Robinson song. Paul McCartney played tambourine by all accounts. After various personnel changes the band split up in 1967.

6. Faron's Flamingos - Do You Love Me/ See If She Cares. Released on Oriole CB 1834 in 1963. Mint value: £25.

This version of the Contours song was the first Motown cover to be released in the UK. But poor promotion meant that success for this popular Liverpool band passed them by, with chart success eventually going to Brian Poole and the Tremeloes' note for note cover of the cover. Faron -dubbed the 'Panda footed prince of prance' by Cavern DJ Bob Wooler - eventually joined the Big Three when the band split up in late 1963. Check out the B side, which is classic Mersey pop.
7. Jackie Lynton - I Believe/ The Girl In The Wood. Released on Piccadilly 7N 35107 in 1963. Mint value: £7.

A few weeks ago I saw the Jackie Lynton band playing at a Surrey pub, and a few days later I came across this 45 - one of a dozen or so singles released by Jackie during the 60s. It's an upbeat version of the song made famous by Frankie Laine in the early 50s.


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