Monday, January 09, 2012

Vinyl Obscurities - 7

A successful morning at the car boot sale yesterday with quite a few rare or unusual singles turning up - all in excellent condition. Here are some of them.
1. Dion - Be Careful Of Stones That You Throw/ I Can't Believe (That You Don't Love Me Any More). Released 1963 on CBS AAG161. Mint value - £10.
Dion is one of my all time favourite singers. I loved pretty well everything he did both with the Belmonts and solo when he recorded for Laurie. After he moved labels to US Columbia he continued to make some great records, including Ruby Baby, This Little Girl, Donna The Prima Donna and Drip Drop. But this was probably the worst record that Dion ever made. It's a mawkish country number with spoken sections about a girl with a bad reputation who saves the child of a gossiping neighbour from a car crash. Ugh!
2. Mary Wells - You Beat Me To The Punch/ Old Love (Let's Try It Again). Released 1962 on Oriole American CBA 1762. Mint value: £70.

The early Tamla Motown 45s were issued on a variety of UK labels - first London, then Fontana and thirdly the independent Oriole label. In all, 19 Motown singles came out on Oriole - all of them highly collectable - and this Mary Wells classic was the first - one of four of Mary's 45s on the label. It was her first UK release, her first US R and B number 1 and a Grammy Award nomination to boot. 3. Keith West - On A Saturday/ The Kid Was a Killer. Released 1968 on Parlophone R 5713. Mint value - £65.

Keith West was best known as the singer on Excerpt From 'A Teenage Opera' (Grocer Jack), which was a number two hit, but this later psychedelic follow up failed to make it, despite being produced by Mark Wirtz and including backing from guitarist Steve Howe, bassist Ronnie Wood and drummer Aynsley Dunbar.

4. Circus - Do You Dream/ House Of Wood. Released 1968 on Parlophone R5672. Mint value - £45.

The short-lived psychedelic band Circus evolved out of Phillip Goodhand-Tait's Guildford-based Stormsville Shakers, who made their name in the mid sixties in the clubs of London, including the Flamingo and Marquee, and as backing band for Larry Williams (on two LPs) and Memphis Slim. Phillip went on to have great success as a songwriter for Love Affair and a solo artist with the DJM and Chrysalis labels. This Mike-D'Abo produced single was the second and last to come out under the Circus name.

5. Svensk - Dream Magazine/ Getting Old. Released 1967 on Page One POF036. Mint value - £25.

Not a Swedish band as the name suggests, Svensk actually comprised two good looking lads from Bournemouth - Roger Hopkins (a fashion photographer) and Jason Paul (a model). The story goes that they played this organ heavy record to Roger's friend Roy Orbison, who put them in touch with Page One founder Larry Page, who's been described as the Simon Cowell of his day. Despite a big marketing campaign the record failed to become a hit and after one further single the duo split up.


At 11:29 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Checked these out on youtube and loved them, psychedelia is very much my thing! Didnt realise Keith West was a prominent name in UK psychedelia. I do like 'Grocer Jack' which is hardly psychedelic, but one of several 'epic' OTT pop/novelty ballads from the late 60s and probably the best of them (also thinking of Eloise (Barry Ryan), McArthur Park (Richard Harris) and the gut-wrenching 'Honey' by Bobby Goldsboro!) Thanks for introducing these rarities to me! Daniel.


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