Friday, 18 August 2017
Psychedelic Pop Garage Folk Rock: The Blue Things - Let The Blue Things Blow Your Mind (1964-1967) 2007 Cicadelic Records Flac & mp3@320
Let the Blue Things Blow Your Mind is easily the biggest single-release Blue Things collection ever (or likely to be) compiled. The two-disc set contains no less than 65 tracks spread across two-and-a-half hours, including 16 unreleased cuts and three radio ads (for the Blue Things, not by the Blue Things). Since this does have everything from their sole album and all of their non-LP A-sides and B-sides, one hesitates to point out some relatively minor problems, especially since the LP and 45s comprise some of the finest obscure mid-'60s American folk-rock and early psychedelia.
Still, those flaws are the kind of things completists might want to know about. First, the unreleased versions of the outtakes "Desert Wind" and "Waiting for Changes" are distinctly inferior to the previously issued versions of these songs (which are not included on this anthology), missing some backup vocals in each case. While it's good for collectors to have the 45 version of "I Must Be Doing Something Wrong," with an oboe (missing from the LP version) that's alternately effective and irritating, ultimately it's not as good as the oboe-less one. The mix of "Now's the Time," a jangly folk-rock highlight of the group's LP, sounds oddly flat and unbalanced.
And while all the previously unreleased material is a boon for Blue Things fans, much of it's devoted to relatively slightly different versions of songs that have already seen the light of day elsewhere, either on official mid-'60s Blue Things releases or reissues that dug up some unissued stuff. The previously unheard tracks do include a good straight-out rock & roll number from a 1964 session ("Punkin' Doodle") and a nice version of "I Can't Have Yesterday" with a significantly different folk-rock arrangement than the official LP rendition, but the hit covers from a December 1966 session are fairly uninteresting.
And finally, though the 24-page booklet offers lengthy liner notes and lots of photos, it somehow fails to include songwriting credits anywhere. Do all these picky complaints mean you should avoid this release? Of course not; there's lots of fine music here that will appeal to both the general folk-rock/psychedelic/garage fan and the Blue Things devotee. Val Stecklein shines as one of the era's finest overlooked singers and songwriters throughout most of the program, and many listeners looking for something that crosses the Byrds, Beau Brummels, and early Beatles will be pleased and excited if they haven't yet come across the group.
Still, the general fan's better off trying to find the 2001 CD reissue of their sole LP (on Rewind, with non-LP bonus tracks from mid-'60s singles). Additionally, the completist should also know for all this two-CD set's generous length, it doesn't quite have everything, a few outtakes remaining available only on some earlier Blue Things LP and CD collections on the Cicadelic label.(allmusic.com)
Highly recommend. Great band from the mid sixties and in my opinion on the same level in songwriting and performance (on the recordings, never saw them live, lol) like some of the top bands in this genre at the time then. Completely overlooked.
Flac p1 & Flac p2 & Flac p3 - mp3 part 1 mp3 part 2
At Request: Barry Ryan - Singing The Songs Of Paul Ryan 1968 - 1969 (2005 Rev-Ola Records) Flac & mp3@320
Barry Ryan was an odd figure on the late-'60s British pop landscape. He had a huge U.K. hit with "Eloise" in 1968, which went to number two on the charts, though he had no commercial success in the U.S. and was unable to land another big single in his native land. He did no original material, yet his songs were about as close to originals as they could get, written as they were by his identical twin brother, Paul Ryan (with whom he'd had some hits as part of a duo in 1965 and 1966).
While his kind of orchestrated pop had similarities to what was being issued at the time by the Bee Gees and Scott Walker, it wasn't as heavy or hip, relatively speaking, as the work of either of those acts. This CD couldn't be a more definitive compilation of his late-'60s output, including the 1968 album Barry Ryan Sings Paul Ryan (which contains "Eloise"), the 1969 album Barry Ryan, historical liner notes, rare period photos and graphics, and two bonus tracks ("Look to the Right, Look to the Left" and "Oh for the Love of Me") only issued in Brazil.
Not as dark and literate as Walker or as immediately pop-friendly as the Bee Gees, it does bear some casual similarities in the marriage of pop songs with orchestration, which to some might verge on the bombastic and bloated. Some of the songs (such as "Eloise") had an epic, quasi-operatic feel, though without leading toward profound revelations or fitting together to create something like an actual opera. In his lighter moments, Beach Boys and (more faintly) Beatles influences in the melodies and harmonies make this approachable for fans of U.S. sunshine pop, though the arrangements have a distinctly British cast in their tendency toward grandiose ballads.
Ryan's vocal delivery, both when he's daintily crooning and winding himself up into mild histrionics, seems like it could just possibly have influenced Freddie Mercury a bit. Ryan's work could be an acquired taste for curious listeners in the U.S. in particular, as many '60s pop/rock fans could find it simultaneously interesting and irritating in different degrees, though his greater success in the U.K. and some parts of Europe (especially Germany and the Benelux markets) might make him more accessible to fans in those regions.(R.Unterberger, allmusic.com)
Barry Ryan were a brilliant singer. But i think after the time when his brother passed away it was as well the end of the popstar Barry Ryan. His true obsession was the photography. Later he was a very successful photography artist.
SB1 Flac p1 & Flac p2 & Flac p3 mp3 p1 mp3 p2
Second Part: Various Artists - Garage Beat '66 Vol.2 ''Chicks Are For Kids'' (2006 Sundazed Records) Flac & mp3@320
The second volume in Sundazed's Garage Beat '66 series follows much the same format as its predecessor: 20 garage rockers from all over America, though generally from the rawer end of the spectrum rather than the poppier side.
There's a slightly higher concentration of names that'll be at least somewhat known to some of the less specialized listeners, though, including the Guess Who (their 1966 single "Believe Me"), the Remains, the Barbarians (with their crude Merseybeat-influenced debut 45, "Hey Little Bird," which was their best recording), the Litter, the Five Americans (with their 1964 single "I'm Feeling O.K."), We the People, the Spiders (who evolved into Alice Cooper), the Ugly Ducklings (with a previously unreleased version of "I'm a Man"), and the Sonics.
That alone is enough to make it a better than average '60s garage compilation, and the sound quality (mastered, unusually for a garage anthology, from original sources) and detailed track-by-track annotation by Ugly Things publisher Mike Stax are other bonuses. As for the rarer, less-anthologized items here, some of these tend toward the more run-of-the-mill garage rock of the era, though the Bold's lewd "Gotta Get Some" (which recalls Paul Revere & the Raiders' toughest moments) and the weird ringing guitar of the Go-Betweens' "Have You for My Own" are ear-catching.
The Jynx's 1965 cover of Them's "Little Girl" isn't nearly as exciting as the original, but does possess historical interest for featuring future Big Star member Chris Bell on lead guitar.(R. Unterberger, allmusic.com)
Hello Folks, i start the day with the second part of the great ''Garage Beat '66'' series by Sundazed records. It is by the way one of my favourite Garage series because here are nearly all bands from the US and to hear how they worked out their garage style with the new influences of the british invasion is a big fun. Hope you will have the same fun with the music Sundazed present in great sound quality here in this series.
SB1 Flac p1 & Flac p2 mp3@320