Some Velvet Morning: Here’s a collection of songs that, to me, have a glacial sprinkling of winterly stardust. Psychedelic folk songs. Rare alternative sixties classics. This is the 2am to 4am playlist on Radio Merseysippi. If you only listen to one of these tracks make it Some Velvet Morning; what a completely odd hit pop single. Do they write them like this anymore?


Frank Sinatra – It Was A Very Good Year – download link has expired
BUY

“But now the days grow short
I’m in the autumn of the year
And now I think of my life as vintage wine
…from fine old kegs
…from the brim to the dregs
And it poured sweet and clear
It was a very good year”

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Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood – Some Velvet Morning – download link has expired BUY
Recorded late 1967 the single made it to number 26 in the US chart in February the following year. Primal Scream covered this with Kate Moss taking on the Nancy role. Pure other worldly brilliance. A true psychedelic pop song, from an era where the creative talisman/men turned off their minds, relaxed and floated down stream before joining the circus to make the most overrated album of all time* (actually I take that back: Radiohead must have earned that honour by now).
* The Beatles rare unheard / unreleased sessions. Future blog topic? No Sgt Pepper tracks I promise.
Anyway, back to Some Velvet Morning, have a look at the promotional movie on YouTube HERE.

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Gene Clark – Echoes – download link has expiredBUY

Gene Clark was a supremely talented singer songwriter, rising to prominence with The Byrds in the mid-sixties. Echoes is the lead track from his 1967 debut solo album ‘Gene Clark with the Gosdin Brothers’. The song occupies the same melodious half life as Some Velvet Morning, and serves as an introduction for the uninitiated into the work of one of the sixties’ less celebrated pop geniuses.

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Velvet Underground – Sunday Morning – download link has expiredBUY
One hundred times more beautiful than I ever imagined the Velvet Underground would sound.

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Evie Sands – Any Way That You Want Me – download link has expiredBUY
This and her other recordings of the late 60s were critically acclaimed at the time but Evie seemed cursed by bad luck and never had the hits her talent deserved (for more information have a read of this HERE ). Dusty Springfield was quoted as saying Evie was her favourite female singer, high praise indeed. There are a few great versions of this song in circulation but this is the best.

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Dusty Springfield – I Can’t Wait Until I See My Baby’s Face – download link has expired BUY
Forget the winter chill, bring on the summer! From Dusty Springfield’s third album ‘Where Am I Going?’ and another 1967 vintage classic. The instrumental break will be familiar to Saint Etienne fans as it was sampled heavily for the track Nothing Can Stop Us.

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Kenny Rankin – Peaceful – download link has expiredBUY
One of the greatest songs by a moustachioed man ever, over to Kenny… “When someone tells you a song changed their life, or inspired them to look at things in a slightly different way, well, you can’t ask for a better reward than that.”

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Paul Parrish – English Sparrow – download link has expiredBUY
Another stunningly moustachioed singer. Unearthed by B-Music (that reminds me, must blog about Jean-Claude Vannier at some point) and their rather fine Finders Keepers compilation. Kind of an ‘Ode To Billy Joe’ feel about this rare little number.

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Dionne Warwick – Walk On By – download link has expiredBUY
Fine arrangement of a fine song. Released in 1964 and part of a run of singles that includes Anyone Who Had A Heart, Trains And Boats and Planes, I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself, I Say A Little Prayer and Do You Know The Way To San Jose you couldn’t say Dionne Warwick lacked quality material. Well, until her 80s / 90s comeback.

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John Martyn and Beverley Martyn – Auntie Aviator – download link has expiredBUY
Auntie Aviator
Sooner than much later, we’ll be there
Flying high above the clouds
Take a look and I’ll be everywhere.

Zoom, zoom, zoom, zoom
I’ll never let you down
Zoom, zoom, zoom, zoom
We’ll never touch the ground
And if we don’t want to
We won’t come down.

Said I was a dreamer
That all I ever did was sit and stare
Take me out to no-man’s land
If you want to, I can take you there.

Zoom, zoom, zoom, zoom
I’ll never let you down
Zoom, zoom, zoom, zoom
We’ll never touch the ground
She’s a good shipShe will fly.

Now you’re flying with me
We can take it easy for a while
Cruising far above the clouds
All I want to do is see you smile.

Zoom, zoom, zoom, zoom
I’ll never let you down
Zoom, zoom, zoom, zoom
We’ll never touch the ground
And if we don’t want to
We won’t come down.

And if we don’t want to
We won’t come down
And if we don’t want to
We won’t come down
And if we don’t want to
We won’t come down.

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Simon Dupree and The Big Sound – Kites – download link has expiredBUY
Melancholy piece of 1967 pop psychedelia from a band that briefly featured Dudley Moore and later Reginald Dwight on piano / keyboards. Don’t hold that against them.

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Wendy and Bonnie- By the Sea – download link has expiredBUY

By The Sea was released by sisters Wendy 17 and Bonnie 13 and can be found on the Genesis, their only album and alternative psych folk classic from 1969. You might have heard this track sampled by Super Furry Animals at the beginning of their Phantom Power album.

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Nancy Sinatra – Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)- download link has expiredBUY
I was five and he was six
We rode on horses made of sticks
He wore black and I wore white
He would always win the fight

Bang bang, he shot me down
Bang bang, I hit the ground
Bang bang, that awful sound
Bang bang, my baby shot me down.

Seasons came and changed the time
When I grew up, I called him mine
He would always laugh and say
“Remember when we used to play?”

Bang bang, I shot you down
Bang bang, you hit the ground
Bang bang, that awful sound
Bang bang, I used to shoot you down.

Music played, and people sang
Just for me, the church bells rang.

Now he’s gone, I don’t know why
And till this day, sometimes I cry
He didn’t even say goodbye
He didn’t take the time to lie.

Bang bang, he shot me down
Bang bang, I hit the ground
Bang bang, that awful sound
Bang bang, my baby shot me down…

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Nancy Priddy – You’ve Come This Way Before – download link has expiredBUY
Another psych folk classic, this time from 1968.

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Nancy Holloway – Sand and Rain – download link has expiredBUY
Here you go, the show stopper. Nancy Holloway was born in the US but became a star in France in the sixties importing soul hits and singing them in the native tongue. Epic. Must do this again sometime.

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These songs are posted here to get people into great music – the idea being, they hear the tune they go and buy everything by the artist. Links are included where possible to sites that sell albums containing the noted tracks. If for legal reasons you would like any of the links taken down leave a comment / email me.
The files are only available for a limited time so don’t link directly to them.

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Some rare stuff by The La’s. Where do you start? Lee Mavers is sitting on a goldmine of amazing tracks (18 to 27 of them). But for now here are some odds and sods from various sessions…

This one’s called Rebound. It’s taken from ‘The Crescent rehearsal’, slyly recorded in the mid 90s. A studio version of this would be ace, eh? DOWNLOAD

From ‘the Kitchen sessions’ in the late 80s comes Our Time. DOWNLOAD

By way of contrast comes a rocking version of late 80s / early 90s live set closer Swashbuckler. DOWNLOAD

Next up is a version of Callin’ All dating from April 1986. That’s a long time ago. This is my favourite version of the song, proper spooky. DOWNLOAD

Finally, from the unreleased John Leckie session is Come In Come Out, late 80s. DOWNLOAD

Next time… I Am The Key, Raindance, Human Race, Was It Something I Said, etc?

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Shack – I Know You Well. YouTube Link

I KNOW YOU WELL
(Ghetto)
Released July 1990
7″ I Know You Well/Feel No Way (GTG11)

IKYW

Shack – Comedy (HMS Fable demo) DOWNLOAD

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Shacknet: Shack / Michael Head website. LINK

Here’s some real dance music. Some of the greatest songs and grooves, ever! Soul, Mod, Northern Soul, Funk, Psychedelic, R&B, rockandfuckinroll!

Carol Kaye – Bass Catch (the link has expired)

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The Human Beinz – Nobody But Me (the link has expired)

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Timebox – Beggin’ (the link has expired)

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Georgie Fame – Somebody Stole My Thunder (the link has expired)

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R Dean Taylor- There’s A Ghost In My House (the link has expired)

RDT

The Spencer Davis Group – I’m a Man (the link has expired)

SDG

Brian Auger – Julie Driscoll – Trinity – Indian Rope Man (the link has expired)

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Frankie Valli – The Night (the link has expired)

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Al Wilson – The Snake (the link has expired)
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George Baker Selection – Little Green Bag (the link has expired)

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Dusty Springfield – Son Of A Preacher Man (the link has expired)
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Aretha Franklin – Rock Steady (the link has expired)

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Mr Bloe – Grooving With Mr. Bloe (the link has expired)
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The Capitols – We Got A Thing That’s In The Groove (the link has expired)
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Lee Dorsey – Working In A Coal Mine (the link has expired)

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Booker T & The MGs – Green Onions (the link has expired)

BTMG

The Stairs – Down My Street (from unreleased 2nd album, 1993-ish) DOWNLOAD

The Isrites – Baby Come On Home (live 1996-ish, this recording is pretty poor but gives you the feel of the band) DOWNLOAD

The Big Kids – I’m Bored (the best rock song to ever come out of Liverpool? 1999-ish) DOWNLOAD

 

The Stairs? You can find biographies and interviews online.

The Isrites were Edgar’s band after The Stairs, before The Big Kids. Never mind the best unsigned band from Liverpool, they were just about the best band from Liverpool. Grooves like The Meters – vocals a cross between Otis and Iggy. Amazing.

Edgar ‘Jones’ Jones is now doing music for The Viper Label and they’ve released some cracking recordings from various stages of Edgar’s ‘career’ . Give it a listen.

I’d love to hear any Isrites demos / live recordings that are out there – plus The Big Kids stuff and unreleased Stairs. Anybody help me out?

Also, if you want me to post more Edgar rarities let me know.

The Meters

January 2, 2007

YouTube Link here.

The Meters – Look-Ka Py Py, Jungle Man – (live 1974)

The Meters

YouTube Link

Live on a UK TV show called Night Network, around 1989 (?).

The La's