Friday, 31 March 2017

Gary Puckett & The Union Gap - 1969 - Lady Willpower

Lady Willpower/Daylight Stranger/Over You/If The Day Would Come

Gary Puckett & The Union Gap (initially credited as The Union Gap featuring Gary Puckett) was an American pop rock group active in the late 1960s. Their biggest hits were "Woman, Woman"; "Over You"; "Young Girl"; and "Lady Willpower." It was formed by Gary Puckett, Gary 'Mutha' Withem, Dwight Bement, Kerry Chater, and Paul Wheatbread, who eventually named it The Union Gap. It featured costumes that were based on the Union Army uniforms worn during the American Civil War. They were noticed by Jerry Fuller, who gave them a recording contract with Columbia Records. The group eventually grew unhappy with doing material written and produced by other people, leading them to stop working with Fuller. The band eventually disbanded and Puckett went on to do both solo work and collaborations.

"Lady Willpower" is a song written by Jerry Fuller and recorded by Gary Puckett & The Union Gap for their 1968 album, Incredible. It is sung from the point of view of a man who is frustrated that the woman he is seeing will not agree to have sex with him. He promises, if she complies, to "shower [her] heart with tenderness," but it is also implicit that the relationship will end ("It's now or never") if she does not. The song hit #1 on the Cash Box Top 100 and #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1968. It also reached #5 on the UK Singles Chart during the year. The single was awarded a million-selling Gold disc from the RIAA. It ranked among Cash Box magazine's Top 100 singles of 1968, where it hit the #1 position the week ending August 3, 1968. The song was the #34 song on the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles in 1968


"Over You" is a hit song written by Jerry Fuller and recorded by Gary Puckett & The Union Gap for their 1968 album, Incredible. The song reached #3 on the Adult Contemporary chart. It peaked at #5 in Cash Box as well as #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in late 1968. This cut was the group's fourth consecutive million-selling Gold-certified single produced and written by Jerry Fuller. It received a Gold disc from the RIAA in December 1968. The song was an international success, reaching #3 in Canada, #6 in Australia, and #17 in New Zealand. It ranked #41 on the US Cashbox chart Top 100 Hits of 1968.

Billy J. Kramer - 1964 - Little Children FLAC

Little Children/They Remind Me Of You/Beautiful Dreamer/ I Call Your Name

One of the most popular Merseybeat singers, Billy J. Kramer (born Billy Ashton) was one of the most mild-mannered rockers of the entire British Invasion. He wasn't that noteworthy a singer, either, and more likely than not would have never been heard outside of northern England if he hadn't been fortunate enough to become a client of Beatles manager Brian Epstein. Even more crucially, he was gifted with several Lennon-McCartney songs in 1963 and 1964, several of which the Beatles never ended up recording. That gave him his entrance into the charts on both sides of the Atlantic, but Kramer couldn't sustain his success after the supply of Lennon-McCartney tunes dried up. Significant? No. Enjoyable? Yes. Even tossing aside the considerable value of hearing otherwise unavailable Lennon-McCartney compositions, his best singles were enjoyably wimpy, melodic pop/rock, offering a guilty pleasure comparable to taking a break from Faulkner and diving into some superhero comics.

 It's been reported that George Martin was reluctant to produce Kramer because of the latter's vocal deficiencies, making sure to hide the cracks in his upper register with loud piano notes in Billy's cover of "Do You Want to Know a Secret." No matter -- the song made it to number two in the U.K. in mid-1963, followed by another Lennon-McCartney effort, "Bad to Me." "I'll Keep You Satisfied" and "From a Window" were other gifts from the Beatles camp that gave Kramer solid hits; one Beatles reject, "I'll Be on My Way," was even relegated to a B-side (the Beatles' own BBC version was finally released in 1994). All these tunes, it should be noted, represented Lennon-McCartney at their lightest and most facile, which to a large degree explains why they didn't record the numbers for their own releases, deeming them more suitable for Kramer's fairly bland approach.

Billy J. actually landed his biggest hit, the corny pop ballad "Little Children," without assistance from his benefactors; the single also broke him, briefly, as a star in the United States, where it and its flip side ("Bad to Me") both made the Top Ten. He appeared in the legendary 1964 The T.A.M.I. Show rockumentary film, and the Dakotas recorded some instrumental rock on their own, getting a Top 20 British hit with the Ventures-ish "The Cruel Sea." Early British guitar hero Mick Green, formerly with Johnny Kidd & the Pirates, was even a Dakota briefly. But after 1965's cover of Bacharach-David's "Trains and Boats and Planes," the hits ceased, as the Beatles and Epstein's attention was lost. Kramer continued recording throughout the '60s, even briefly venturing into hard psychedelic-tinged rock, without much success, and subsequently toured often on the oldies circuit.

"Little Children" is a song written by J. Leslie McFarland and Mort Shuman. It was recorded by Billy J. Kramer & the Dakotas, and reached number one in the UK Singles Chart in March 1964, and No. 7 in the US Hot 100 singles chart later the same year. The B-side of "Little Children" in the U.S., "Bad to Me" (which had previously been an A-side in the UK which made No. 1 there in August 1963) peaked at No. 9 on the US charts simultaneously to the success of "Little Children" there.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

P.J. Proby - 1965 - The Hit Sound Of P.J. Proby FLAC

Somewhere/I Apologise/ Together/Hold Me

 P.J. Proby (born James Marcus Smith, November 6, 1938) is an American singer, songwriter, and actor. He has also portrayed Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison in musical theater productions. The stage name P.J. Proby was suggested by a friend, Sharon Sheeley, who had a boyfriend of that name at high school.

Proby recorded the singles "Hold Me", "Somewhere" and "Maria". In 2008, he turned 70 and EMI released the Best of the EMI Years 1961–1972. He still writes and records on his own independent record label, Select Records, and performs in the UK in Sixties concerts.

 Proby was born in Houston, Texas, United States, and educated at San Marcos Military Academy, Culver Naval Academy and Western Military Academy. After graduation he moved to California to become a film actor and recording artist. Given the stage name Jett Powers by Hollywood agents Gabey, Lutz, Heller and Loeb, he took acting and singing lessons and played small roles in films. Two singles, "Go, Girl, Go" and "Loud Perfume" appeared on an independent label. Proby was brought by Sharon Sheeley to audition at Liberty Records in 1961 and he recorded a number of unsuccessful singles. In 1962 he began writing songs and recording demos for artists such as Elvis Presley and Bobby Vee.
Success in Britain

Proby travelled to London after being introduced to Jack Good by Sheeley and Jackie DeShannon. He appeared on The Beatles' television special in 1964. Under Good, Proby had UK top 20 hits in 1964 and 1965 including "Hold Me" (UK No.3), "Together" (UK No.8, featuring guitarists Big Jim Sullivan and Jimmy Page), "Somewhere" (UK No.6) and "Maria" (UK No.8); the latter two songs were both lifted from the musical West Side Story. He also recorded the Lennon–McCartney composition "That Means a Lot", a song The Beatles attempted to record before giving it away.

Proby's UK career lost momentum after controversial live concert appearances including two trouser-splitting incidents at shows in Croydon and Luton in January 1965 that scandalized the British press and public and led to bans on Proby appearances by the ABC theatre chain, its TV namesake and BBC TV.  Minor hits in 1966 were followed by flops, and in March 1968 "It's Your Day Today" gave Proby his last UK chart entry for nearly 30 years.[citation needed]
Back in the U.S.

In 1967 Proby scored his only Billboard Hot 100 Top 30 hit with "Niki Hoeky". In September 1968, he recorded Three Week Hero, released in 1969. A collection of country-style ballads mixed with blues, it used The New Yardbirds, later to become Led Zeppelin, as backing band. The album was produced by Steve Rowland.

Cilla Black - 1969 - Step Inside Love FLAC

Step Inside Love/Words/Aquarius/Surround Yourself With Sorrow

"Step Inside Love" is a song written by Paul McCartney (credited as "Lennon–McCartney") for Cilla Black in 1967 as a theme for her TV series Cilla, which first aired on 30 January 1968.

In late 1967 McCartney was approached to write the theme by Cilla and her series producer Michael Hurll. He recorded the original demo version at his London home, accompanying himself on guitar, which consisted of just one verse and the chorus.

Black's recording of this song was used as the theme during the early weeks of the show, until it was decided that the song needed an additional verse, so McCartney came to the BBC Theatre and wrote it there. According to Hurll, the opening line of the second verse ("You look tired, love") came from McCartney's observation of Cilla looking tired from the long rehearsals for the TV show. McCartney then added a third verse and this version was recorded as a studio demo at Chappell Studios in London on 21 November 1967, with McCartney on guitar accompanying Cilla on vocals. This demo was the basis for the single, although where the McCartney demos were recorded in the key of D, the final arrangement of the single version was transposed up a fourth to G, to take advantage of Cilla's higher register.

The single version of the song (with Cilla singing live over the studio backing track) was premiered on 5 March 1968 edition of her show; the single was released on 8 March 1968, and reached number eight on the British charts in April 1968. The record also reached Number 15 in Ireland in the same month. The recording was also featured on Black's third solo studio album Sher-oo! 

Surround Yourself with Cilla is the title of Cilla Black's fourth solo studio album released on 23 May 1969 by Parlophone Records. It was Cilla's first album to only be recorded and released in stereo sound format, and her first to fail to make the UK charts.

The album title was inspired by the lead single "Surround Yourself with Sorrow" which had previously reached #3 on the UK Singles Chart. An Italian language version of this song "Quando Si Spezza Un Grande Amore", with Italian lyrics by Mogal, was also recorded for the Latin market, while a Swedish language version "Försök och sov på saken" 

"Medley: Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In (The Flesh Failures)" (commonly called "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In", "The Age of Aquarius" or "Let the Sunshine In") is a medley of two songs written for the 1967 musical Hair by James Rado & Gerome Ragni (lyrics), and Galt MacDermot (music) Cilla Black recorded the song for her 1969 studio album Surround Yourself with Cilla.

"Words" is a song by the Bee Gees, written by Barry, Robin & Maurice Gibb recorded by Cilla Black for her album Surround Yourself with Cilla

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Ro!!ing St0nes - 1967 - Ruby Tuesd@y

 Have You Seen Your Mother Baby, Standing In The Shadow/Paint It Black/Let's Spend the Night Together/Ruby Tuesday

The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in London in 1962. The original line-up consisted of Brian Jones (rhythm guitar, harmonica), Mick Jagger (lead vocals), Keith Richards (lead guitar, backing vocals), Ian Stewart (piano), Bill Wyman (bass), and Charlie Watts (drums). Stewart was removed from the official line-up in 1963 but continued as a touring member until his death in 1985. Jones left the band less than a month prior to his death in 1969, having already been replaced by Mick Taylor, who remained until 1974. After Taylor left the band, Ronnie Wood took his place in 1975 and has been on guitar in tandem with Richards ever since. Following Wyman's departure in 1993, Darryl Jones joined as their touring bassist. Other touring keyboardists for the band have been Nicky Hopkins (1967–82), Billy Preston (through the mid 1970s) and Chuck Leavell (1982-present). The band was first led by Jones, but after teaming as the band's songwriters, Jagger and Richards assumed leadership while Jones dealt with legal and personal troubles.

The Rolling Stones were at the forefront of the British Invasion of bands that became popular in the US in 1964. The band identified with the youthful and rebellious counterculture of the 1960s. They were instrumental in making blues a major part of rock and roll. After a short period of musical experimentation that peaked with the psychedelic album Their Satanic Majesties Request (1967), the group returned to its "bluesy" roots with Beggars Banquet (1968) which along with its follow-ups: Let It Bleed (1969), Sticky Fingers (1971) and Exile on Main St. (1972), is generally considered to be the band's best work and is seen as their "Golden Age". During this period, they were first introduced on stage as "The World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band". Musicologist Robert Palmer attributed the "remarkable endurance" of the Rolling Stones to being "rooted in traditional verities, in rhythm-and-blues and soul music", while "more ephemeral pop fashions have come and gone".

 The band continued to release commercially successful records in the 1970s and sold many albums, including Some Girls (1978) and Tattoo You (1981), which were their most popular albums worldwide. From 1983 to 1987, tensions between Jagger and Richards almost caused the band to split. However, they managed to patch up their friendship in 1987. They separated temporarily to work on solo projects and experienced a comeback with Steel Wheels (1989), which was followed by a large stadium and arena tour. Since the 1990s, new recorded material from the group has been increasingly less well-received and less frequent. Despite this, the Rolling Stones have continued to be a huge attraction on the live circuit, with stadium tours in the 1990s and 2000s. By 2007, the band had four of the top five highest-grossing concert tours of all time: Voodoo Lounge Tour (1994–95), Bridges to Babylon Tour (1997–98), Licks Tour (2002–03) and A Bigger Bang Tour (2005–07).

 The Rolling Stones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2004. Rolling Stone magazine ranked them fourth on the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time" list and their estimated album sales are above 250 million. They have released 30 studio albums, 18 live albums and numerous compilations. Let It Bleed (1969) was their first of five consecutive number one studio and live albums in the UK. Sticky Fingers (1971) was the first of eight consecutive number one studio albums in the US. In 2008, the band ranked 10th on the Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists chart. In 2012, the band celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Dave Clark Five - 1966 - Wild Weekend

Wild Weekend/When/Ol' Sol/New Kind Of Love

 The band started out as the Dave Clark Quintet in 1957, with Clark on drums, Dave Sanford on lead guitar, Chris Walls on bass, Don Vale on piano (and arranger). In 1958, Sanford was replaced by Rick Huxley and people were confused by the meaning of the word quintet, so the band renamed themselves the Dave Clark Five, with Stan Saxon on lead vocals, Huxley on rhythm guitar, Roger Smedley on piano and Johnny Johnson on lead guitar. Mick Ryan replaced Johnson in 1958 and Jim Spencer joined on saxophone, while Smedley left. Walls left in 1959 and Huxley became the bass player. Mike Smith joined on piano in 1960, and Lenny Davidson replaced Ryan in 1961. In 1962, the band changed its name to the Dave Clark Five when Saxon left. The group was Clark on drums, Huxley on bass, Smith on organ and lead vocals, and Davidson on lead guitar, adding Denny Payton on tenor and baritone saxophone, harmonica and guitar.

Originating in North London, the band was promoted as the vanguard of the "Tottenham Sound", a response to the Mersey Beat stable managed by Brian Epstein. Dave Clark, who formed the group, occasionally placed his drum kit at the front of the stage, with the guitarists and organ to his rear and sides, and struck business deals that allowed him to produce the band's recordings and gave him control of the master recordings. Songwriting credits went to Clark, Clark and Smith, Clark and Davidson and Clark and Payton.

The Dave Clark Five had 17 records in the Top 40 of the US Billboard chart and 12 Top 40 hits in their native UK between 1964 and 1967. Their song "Over and Over" went to number one in the US on the Billboard Hot 100 on Christmas Day 1965, despite less impressive sales in the UK (it peaked at number 45 on the UK Singles Chart), and they played to sell-out crowds on their tours of the U.S. The Dave Clark Five was the first British band of the British Invasion to tour the US, and they made 18 appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show – the most of any British Invasion group. 

 After the success of the Beatles' film A Hard Day's Night in 1964, the band released their own film, Catch Us If You Can (directed by John Boorman) in 1965. It also starred Barbara Ferris, and was released in the United States as Having a Wild Weekend. The short film Hits in Action highlighted a series of Dave Clark Five hits.

After their initial success, which included the film and a television special, the major hits dried up in the US after 1967's "You Got What It Takes", although the band had several substantial hits in the UK in the 1967–1970 period. Other than the songs "Inside and Out", "Maze of Love" and "Live in the Sky" (the latter actually quotes directly from the Beatles' "All You Need is Love"), the band did not follow the trend of psychedelic music.[6] The DC5 disbanded in 1970, having placed three singles on the UK chart that year, two of which reached the Top Ten. In 1970, Davidson, Huxley and Payton left and Alan Parker and Eric Ford joined on lead guitar and bass. This line-up, renamed "Dave Clark & Friends", lasted until 1973.

Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart - Goodbye Baby

Goodbye, Baby (I Don't Want To See You Cry)/ Love Every Day/Two For The Price Of One

Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, the duo whose instinctive marriage of folk-rock and pre-bubblegum teen pop created and defined the Monkees sound.

Boyce and Hart each started out as teenage rock’n’rollers in late 1950s Los Angeles and first met in 1960.  Some early compositions were  ‘Be My Guest’, written by Boyce for Fats Domino in 1959, and ‘Beverly Jean’, one of the handful of Boyce compositions recorded by Curtis Lee and ‘Too Many Teardrops’, an early Bobby Hart solo single.

By 1963 both had relocated to New York, where they began writing as a team. They made their big breakthrough the following year with ‘Come A Little Bit Closer’, a Top 3 hit for Jay & the Americans, which helped land the twosome a contract with leading music publishers Screen Gems.

They reached the peak of their success and creativity in 1966, writing for and producing the Monkees. By the end of 1966 the Monkees had recorded nearly 50 titles, 21 of them Boyce and Hart songs – quite an achievement considering they were in competition with Carole King, Gerry Goffin and the rest of the Screen Gems stable.

Apart from the duo’s joint compositions,  they were co-writers with other composers. ‘Never Again’ by the Royalettes and ‘Hurt So Bad’, as defined by Little Anthony & the Imperials, stem from Bobby Hart’s spell collaborating with Teddy Randazzo. ‘Action’ – the theme for TV’s Where The Action Is, by Paul Revere & the Raiders –  and ‘Tomorrow’s Gonna Be Another Day’ by Sir Raleigh & the Cupons represent Tommy Boyce’s brief partnership with Steve Venet. And Wes Farrell gets a look-in via three songs co-written with Boyce and Hart.

Come 1969 Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart were stars in their own right, with four hit singles and three albums to their name.