Monday, 5 June 2023

The Mystery Trend - Johnny Was A Good Boy

The Mystery Trend - Johnny Was A Good Boy (1967)
Another hook laden slice of perfect driving psych-rock that didn't become a top ten smash. How can this be? It's undoubtably one of the great singles of the 60s.

Was the subject matter too disturbing. I mean:

"So now they put him away, they say he's not a normal man
You never can tell, but well they say he may do it again"

Whatever he did it can't have been good. But Johnny was a good boy wasn't he?

"Animals all loved him
And he had a way with kids"

It's all terribly upsetting and mysterious. I'm gonna go with, not a crime against a person, but maybe he set the local sports stadium on fire because he doesn't like footy. I can't help but think it was something much much worse though like the most most transgressive abhorrent crime possible. Oh dear Johnny what did you do?

*Imagine if all the San Fran psych/Matrix groups were this good? 

Anyway they became just another one and done group which has probably made them way more legendary than if they had released a full LP or three.

Sunday, 4 June 2023

The Squires - Going All the Way

The Squires - Going All The Way (1966)
My other favourite 60s tune of right now (and many previous nows). I know I've probably posted it before but it deserves it. This did appear on the first Pebbles comp so it's been a cult favourite for a long time,

Going All The Way is a supreme paean to fearless youthful exuberance delivered with er... youthful exuberance. 

For their one and only 7" single The Squires were signed to ATCO Records so how this didn't become a global number one smash is a fucking mystery. Number one in our hearts though. 

It doesn't get better than this. Crank up this up to eleven!

Saturday, 3 June 2023

The Plagues - I've Been Through It Before

The Plagues - I've Been Through It Before (1966)
My current favourite 60s tune (of the last 25 years). Teen fuzz and scuzz. The best.

The Plagues had it going on here alright. All the elements perfectly coalesce. Those drums are just electric and the array of fuzz oh my. The astounding synergetic tight-loose-ness of it all. The doom-y teen aguish and petulance of the lyrics delivered in such a sullen tone. The insidious melody, the bass, the pace, the synchronous backing's all in the right place, flawlessly. 


I wanna fall out of love just to feel this song even more.

This turned up on that early 80s bootleg series The Chosen Few and later in 1998 on a volume of Teenage Shutdown

You gotta love that a high school group from mid-Michigan made this immortal tune of love gone sour. 

"You expected me to 
believe, every word you said 
but now those words are dead"

How fucking cool were these kids?

As far as 60s guitar driven doomed pop goes it doesn't get better than this. If you don't believe me, play this three times in a row and tell me I'm wrong.

Friday, 2 June 2023

Savages - The World Ain't Round It's Square

Savages - The World Ain't Round It's Square (1966)
Troglodytes with electricity. 

Frightening, raw, exhilarating. 

Peak get your kicks 1966!

Savages were the choice 60s Bermuda band. Who lives in Bermuda? Is that a thing? I thought Bermuda was an uninhabited archipelago of ocean volcanos where hurricanes took planes out of the sky. But Bermuda shorts though...(?) 

The weird thing is that this tune, which is considered by some as one of the greatest 60s garage rock songs, was only the b-side to their second single You're On My Mind which was a Bee Gees style ballad. Huh.

Wednesday, 31 May 2023

Starfires - I Never Loved Her

Starfires - I Never Loved Her (1965)
That throbbing sinister bass is very the best. This one's all about the atmosphere: A restrained yet menacing vibe. You gotta love the contrast of the snarly lead vocals of the verses compared with the ominous sweetness of the backing vocals of the melodious chorus. A dark minimalist tune that's all about those tambourine hits for me. I mean you just never know when that tambourine is gonna be hit again. 

Dirty Wurds - Why

Top shelf unhinged neanderthal garage punk fun from the mid 60s. 

Pebbles Vol. 5... need I say more?

It's all about the haunting, funny and slightly deranged "Why?" backing vocals refrain innit. That tiny bit of melody is so intrinsically 60s, I'm sure you couldn't replicate it if you tried. 

Tuesday, 30 May 2023

First Crow To The Moon - The Sun Light Up The Shadows Of Your Mind

What a great tune. A driving organ led psych-surf gem. Love the psychotropic flashes of reverb in the chorus, like King Tubby popped into the control booth momentarily.

Apropos of nothing. I just hadn't heard this tune since it last turned up on a cd compilation I Feel Like Acid in the 00s. Originally heard this in the 90s because it was on a Rhino 60s garage comp though.

Anyway wouldn't it have been cool to be in a group that did just one forgotten but ace garage-psych single, only to be rediscovered 15 years later via teen-psych-punk bootleg compilations? 

*Some Aussie 80s garage-psych band ripped this tune off I'm sure. I just can't put my finger on it though which is driving me mental.

Thursday, 25 May 2023

Rufus & Chaka Khan - Ain't Nobody

Rufus & Chaka Khan - Ain't Nobody (1983)
Since the 80s ended I've thought this is the greatest R&B number of that decade. Thirty something years later, while I no longer have absolute lists in my head, it sounds about right. I mean top 5 anyway along with the previous four tunes posted and Billie Jean. There was a story that if the record company didn't release this as a single songwriter David Wolinski was going to give it to Michael Jackson who was recording Thriller (1982) at the time. Wolinski had been in a couple of groups previous to joining Rufus including 60s garage punks Shadows Of Knight who famously appeared on Nuggets (1972).

Saturday, 20 May 2023

The S.O.S. Band - Just Be Good To Me

The S.O.S. Band - Just Be Good To Me (1983)
I feel like this was beamed down from another planet or at least a space station back when I was a kid in the 80s. To me it still is futuristic. This song gets better every time I hear it and it's been being heard for quite a while now. The incredibly atmospheric opening minute still sends chills down my spine. The synth bass drops and it's spectacular. Just Be Good To Me is definitely cinematic in all the 80s futuristic gloriousness and on screen dystopianism but adding a human soul presaging the likes of Neneh Cherry and Massive Attack. Also is there a running water sound or... there's definitely an ambient track running throughout. 

Just Be Good To Me is the only other tune that I could think of that had a similar vibe to the previous post's Don't Stop The Music with regard to that wonderful driving synthetic bass sound and in the last post's comments section Simon Reynolds agrees. I'm trying to come up with other examples. 

I know and love this tune from back in the days of school, footy and blue light discos and regional radio so it was a hit here in Australia. A quick check on the American R&B charts reveals it only got to number two. Sorry to disappoint. Maybe I'm not the chart whisperer I thought I was.  

It's funny when you read that an immortal anthemic tune such as this only got to number 17 on the strayan charts back in '83 because it seems a bit wrong. The influence of Just Be Good To Me has been far and wide with very high profile covers, rewrites, samples, mash ups and an appearance on Grand Theft Auto's The Vibe 98.8 as well as still being an actual perennial dance floor banger. So it has managed to stay in the public consciousness for the last 40 years whereas say Dionne Warwick's number one for two weeks in 1983 is totally forgotten, just try to name it.

The la la la la la-la luh though...las never sounded so good.

Friday, 19 May 2023

Yarbrough & Peoples - Don't Stop the Music

Don't Stop The Music (1980)
That sound that is the hook is soo good. I assume it's some kind of synth but I dunno it could be anything, maybe some kind of bass key-tar. Whatever it is I love it and why wasn't it used one thousand more times in the 80s? When the funky maestros hit upon something novel like that in the studio, it must have been hard to contain themselves because they would know immediately that it was gonna slay on the dance floor. Don't Stop The Music's not just about that hook-y new bass sound either, it's all the funky R&B goodness moving into the post-disco boogie era. All the elements coming together: Supreme synth action atop a to die for groove along with the swirling funky riffs, a conga break and even a chipmunk bit. Irresistible!

*This harbinger for the rest of the decade is another delightful platter that hit the top spot on the R&B chart in the USA. All these R&B number ones! It's all a coincidence. Every time I'm about to post a monster jam and quickly look up the chart history it turns out to be an ultimate smash hit. I should just get a hold of an R&B chart book documenting the late 70s and early 80s and actually go through all the chartbusters. But nah that would be a bit arbitrary and staid. I'll just keep up the random gold and see what happens.

Never stop the music...

...boogie with me all night.