With this short little rock´n´roll song I´d like to celebrate the birth of my “new” blog! Just saw this hanging on the wall of a antique bookstore in my neighborhood last week and took it home for a measly 2 euros and fifty cents.
By coincidence it exemplifies the sort of copyright friendly material I was writing about in #2 of the blog ethics. The cardboard record was issued by a defunct “record company” and recorded by anonymous artists. There is no mention of copyright anywhere on the card either and it is definitely more than fifty years old, because it runs on 78 rpm, a format discontinued in most western countries by 1960.
The perfect birthday song for rockin´and rollin´teenagers! And old geezers too…
“Hep-Heppy Birthday to you!”
“Hep-Heppy Birthday to you!”
You ain´t no square! And I know that!
Let down your hair! You´re the coolest cat!
Push back the chairs! Get yer carpet rolled!
Just ROCK!. . . . . And you´ll never grow old!
Last week I also purchased this British cheapo/department store EP at the charity shop. When I bought it, it didn´t have a sleeve. Luckily, later when we played our new acquisitions, the missing Top Six company sleeve was on one of the 45´s that my friend had bought at the same place. Generously he let me have.
There are six cover-versions of 1965 British hit songs played by unnamed bands on this EP: “The Price Of Love” by the Everly Brothers, “I´s Just A Little Bit Too Late” by Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders, “Colours” by Donovan, “I`m Alive” by The Hollies, “She´s About A Mover” by The Sir Douglas Quintet and “Crying In The Chapel”, that Elvis took to number one on the British charts in 1965 where it stayed for two weeks.
A mixed bag of records this week: Polish beat, British beat, the (German) king of the slop, communist propaganda, private weirdness and some of the usual Berlin-related music. Most of them I found in the last two weeks. I have a whole box of old records that are still waiting to be posted but fresh finds always seem a little more interesting.
As you noticed I finally found out how to install the little audio player that WordPress offers. It only took me three years to learn how to use a simple HTML shortcode. Still I´m quite proud of myself for that because I learned it without the help of others. All by myself! I also now use Dropbox for file sharing because it seems that my other hosts will soon run out of bandwidth again this month. But Dropbox works just the same as the others.
This is probably the best song this week, the Chancellors from Manchester on the Swiss Elite Special label. I found it last week in a local thrift store for one Euro. It looks pretty beat-up and there´s a little hiss in the first ten seconds but besides that it plays pretty good. The drum-intro on My Girl copies the Rivieras California Sun but its a whole different song.
A great fast-paced rocker!
I found the Tunnel Users 45 a couple of years ago in a Berlin second-hand record store and couldn´t listen to it in the store, but bought it anyway because of the nice graphics, somewhere between the B 52´s and the Revillos.
Dance? is about a girl who takes the initiative because the boys are too shy to dance.
Sun Arise Dub is a sort of sped-up dub-style cover version of Rolf Harris´British #2 hit song from 1962 Sun Arise but with some added 1982 background noise.
The Tunnel Users were from Liverpool and I found the only information about them on a Welsh music site:
Tunnel Users - band (1981-83) feat; Colin Pennington (gtr,voc) (later of Decemberists, Hell Fire Sermons, James), Phil Butcher (voc), Clint Gannicliffe (keys), Gary Rowlandson (drms) (died 2006), Paul Maloney (bass), Geraldine French (voc), Jeff Hill (keys). Played Larks in The Park Festival 1981 and noted for their live performances rather than recorded work. Rel ‘Ideas’ tape (Mar81) on a label(?) was run by Garry Gannicliffe and based at Gladville Road, Mossley Hill, L’Pool, L17, and 7″ Dance on Ex-Jukey Recs (Jul82).
I have posted budget records before, mostly focusing on the German variety: Tip, Tempo, Rondo, Okay. This here record came out on the legendary British budget label Embassy owned by the Woolworth chain store and exclusively sold through stores at half the price of major label releases. Apparently there are quite a number of collectors already occupied with assembling Embassy releases as can be seen on this Embassy label tribute website.
Isn´t that a beautiful sleeve!? The label operated from 1954 to 1965 producing mostly double-a-side singles with cover versions of hit songs. Just like the musicians that worked for other European budget labels, these musicians were professionals. Considering that they had to record these songs in a very short time, it´s amazing that their versions, like this instrumental originally recorded by the Shadows, turned out to be so good.
I found this 45 at the flea-market last Saturday. My girlfriend and some friends were standing behind me and my girlfriend said: ” Are you buying records again? You bought 200 records in the US last month!! You´ve got flea-market-Verbot!!!”
Well, it was only 50 cents so I got it anyway from the old lady that sold it. I didn´t know what it was either but Fingers Lee sounded pretty close to Freddy “Fingers” Lee, the famous British Rockabilly pianist. Later at home a quick Internet check confirmed my assumption. And when the needle hit the record I was floored! PURE FUZZED-OUT BRITISH FREAKBEAT!!!
Freddy Fingers Lee was a regular on the British Rockabilly Scene in the 70´s and played with Crazy Cavan and the Rhythm Rockers. Because he only had one eye he always wore a eye-patch and his trademark cowboy hat. He cut many records and toured Europe extensively.
In the early 60´s he played with Screaming Lord Sutch and the Savages and later moved to Hamburg where he played in the house-bands at the Top Ten and the Star Club. His own band, The Upper Hand included bassist Ian Patterson (Ian Hunter) and Pete Phillips on drums. Ian Hunter later joined Mott The Hoople.
Here´s a video of a legendary Freddy Fingers Lee performance doing “Lights Out”. Watch how he takes the axe and destroys the piano while all the British Teddy Boys cheer him on!!!
The Midnight Run appeared on Volume 9 of the Incredible Sound Show Stories compilation LP series that came out in the 90´s .
Oh yeah, it´s WIIIIIIIIIIIIIIILD!!!!!!!
The Nix-Nomads from Ipswich attracted a devoted mod following and released only this single.
She´ll be sweeter than you is a stomping Rhythm & Blues influenced British Beat number while You´re nobody ´til somebody loves you , a Ray Charles cover, is slower but equally heavy.
She´ll be sweeter than you has been featured on the British R&B and the British Freakbeat comps.
This is from the soundtrack of the film Girl On A Motorcycle written by Les Reed starring Marianne Faithfull and Alain Delon. The Girl On The Motorcycle starts with a roaring engine and then goes into some weird mix of Les Baxter Orchestra meets the funky organ.