Mary De Loach (aka Mary DeLoatch, Marylin Scott or Marylyn Scott the Carolina Blues Girl) was from Norfolk, VA and started a career as a blues guitarist and vocalist in the late 1940's. By the early 50's her music had taken a gospel turn, and her raw guitar style, of course, draws parallels with Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
Apparently, this was the last record she ever cut, and the rest of her story after this point is unknown. Producer Louise Williams (wife of Arctic Records founder Jimmy Bishop) was known as the gospel radio queen of Philadelphia (note that the record's publisher namechecks this), and since the late '80's she's made a name for herself as a politician in Philadelphia. Perhaps Louise Williams was a fan who brought Mary north to Philadelphia to record? I read somewhere that this record deals with marital problems that Mary and her husband were having, and given the context of the lyrics that story makes sense.
Whatever the story, it's truly a wonder that a performance like this was captured by microphones; it's as if we're witnessing something almost TOO personal here. It was cut to wax in 1967, and I took the liberty of editing parts one and two into one piece (luckily, the fade out/ fade in's made the editing rather seamless).
(Guerssen is fast becoming the Best European reissue label for all things Psych', rare Beat and Freakbeat, occasional Garage-rock, lost Acid-Folk, Turkish Delights and the best in Cosmic Prog'... so even though this French cult Progressive album already saw a couple previous reissues, they've been deleted for some time, quite hard to find and none were as accomplished as this new one from this Spanish label; since I had something to do with the liners of that deluxe gatefold reissue on fine 180grm vinyl, I thought I might give it a plug on Bedazzled by reproducing my writing here... and hope it'll incite you to purchase that revaluated milestone of 70's French Underground rock : )
Everybody knows where now lies the Sahara desert, once was the garden of Eden. So it should come as no surprise that from Eden Rose comes Sandrose, one of the best French post-Psych Progressive bands, and simply one of the Best progressive Pop bands ever ...Brewed in and born from the ashes of Le Système Crapoutchik (and a host of other incestuous bands and backing bands, a real hard to track mish-mash of old Rock Twist and later Beat groups, as is usually the case on the French scene! ), it was the brainchild of French guitar wiz', Jean-Pierre Alarcen, the local genius of his time : the late sixties in France. Eden Rose started with three members out of Les Gardians (sic.) : Henri Garella on keyboards, Christian Clairefond on bass and Henry Castello on drums, who went on tour opening and backing YeYe idol Claude François in 1965 (... Les Gardians would also open the show and back other popular singers like Hervé Vilard and Michèle Torr). After the recording of four singles, the trio joined ranks with the orchestra backing popular MC of the time, Albert Raisner, on his cult Yeye TV program "Âge Tendre et Tête de Bois". While in Massilia, the southern French city they originated from, they'd play with dance orchestra Les Golden... until the Art Director of Katema records (a tiny label run by an appliances industrial who was a great music lover! ) advised them to change their name with the times. Drummer Henry Castello came up with the name : Eden Rose. When Eden Rose split after a criss-crossing tour of France ending at a club in the city of Oran (Algeria ) - following the recording of their cult album : "On the Way to Eden" (1970 on Katema, distr. Sonopresse ) which went nowhere - and drummer Henry Castello decided to join Jacques Dutronc's backing band on tour... remaining bassist Christian Clairefond and organist Henri Garella came in contact with another drummer, Michel Jullien, also from Massilia. Thru the Dutronc connection, they had already met notorious guitarist Jean Pierre Alarcen who also contributed in the recording of their LP. Alarcen when not backing Dutronc had previously recorded with Le Système Crapoutchick - the name of Dutronc's backing band sans Dutronc - two Eps, a single and an LP (« Aussi loin que je me souvienne »; 1969 on Flamophone ). With Jean-Pierre Alarcen in toe, they decided to hire a young girl singer of Polish origins by the name of Rose Podwojny (... a likely first name! ) and rename themselves : Sandrose. Flashback to 1966, Alarcen had cofounded les Mods with Alain Legovic (future huge M.O.R. singer of the mid 1970's and 1980's going by the name "Alain Chamfort", who was also a Claude François protegee... and was once part of Nicolas Nils' backing band Les Murators which famously covered the Seeds!,). Backing around the same time Jacques Dutronc along with Legovic, was Michel Palay and Gérard Kawczinsky (whose unpronouncable Polish name gave way to "Krapoutchick" and "Crapou" which sobriquet Dutronc liked to fool around with, and which of course gave the name to "Le Système Crapoutchick"... ) with whom Alarcen and Legovic would create Le Système. After the Eden Rose project failed, the members of that group, led by guitar virtuoso Jean-Pierre Alarcen opted for a new approach by adding a girl singer, following the mode of then current Progressive rock like Curved Air in the UK, Michaelangelo, Ill Wind, Ultimate Spinach, Fantasy and countless others in the States where the lead came from, Reign Ghost in Canada, Earth and Fire in Holland, Savage Rose in Denmark, and Circus 2000 in Italy... In fact they even sound like Circus 2000 on several songs ("Vision", "Summer is Yonder", "Underground Session" ) with Rose Podwojny's witchy quality in her voice and the dark features of the music itself!
Struck by the vocal timbre of Rose on a demo by singer-songwriter William Sheller (writer and arranger songs for French American transplants' pop band, "Les Irrésistibles", as well as several film soundtracks of note like "Erotissimo"... ), Alarcen brought her to the band. They started rehearsing and quickly built a repertoire made mostly of Alarcen's writings. Influenced by both Classical symphonic music and Rock like a million others at the time (after all, it was the zeitgeist of that era, breaking new boundaries! ), he tried to combine both styles in a number of new compositions which came out quite successfully on several tracks from Sandrose's album. On their sole release (save for a single made of tracks lifted from the album, also on Polydor in 1972 ... ), they play proto-progressive rock of the mellow, melancholic kind with lengthy instrumental passages made of Alarcen's sharp guitar bursts into a continuous float of mellotron. While Rose Podwojny's powerful and clear vocal chords translate a maturity and sensitivity far exceeding her young age and new experience in the field, to the point ot giving you chills and thrills on tracks like the aforementionned "Vision" and "Never Good At Saying Goodbye" (you'd never guess English was a second language! ). For Progressive ears, the instrumental passage of the 11 minute "Underground Session" is the "pièce de résistance" of the set, displaying one of the all time great intrumental Rock tracks, a sort of "Canterbury scene" Jazz, the likes of Canterbury bands Egg or Caravan especially . It may be seen as Alarcen's masterpiece. As for singin' in English on an otherwise purely out of the French scene project, he explained then: "The spirit of our music is closer to the Anglo-Saxon spirit, it is perfectly normal that we have the words in that language”.
Sandrose's album (released on Polydor in April 1972) took only one week to record, and it now stands as one of the most important Pop album to come out of France, a classic in the post-Psych Progressive rock department. Also, is now regarded as one of the best ten Progressive rock albums of all time. Alas, Sandrose would soon split after only one year and a few gigs performed in Paris, mostly at the legendary "Gibus" club (every major band of the 1970s and 1980's played there, from the MC5 to the Clash and everybody in between, like Dr. Feelgood, Brian Auger's Oblivion Express, the Troggs... you name it! ); reportedly because of personal and musical differences in the band... a sadly usual pattern in French bands who come off as inconsistent in the long run. After a stint in the musical "Hair", Jean-Pierre Alarcen went on to feature on another group venture : "Nova", before joining the ranks of French progressive Jazz band, Tartempion in 1973, at which date he became also the guitarist of 70's French anarchist singer François Béranger until 1978 ("Le Monde Bouge" (1974), "L’Alternative" (1975), "En Public" (1977) and "Participe Présent" (1978). In the meantime, he puts out his first solo album featuring members of Magma, Francis Lockwood and Jean-Paul Asseline. Two other solo albums follows, in 1979 and... 1998. He also does session work with people like Renaud, the most famous French libertarian singer-songwriter of modern times. Rose Podwojny was not yet 20 when she made her start in Sandrose... After the split, she takes on a first pseudonym : Rose Merryl and releases a few 45s without success in 1976 and 77. She then meets musician and composer Jean-Pierre Goussaud whom she falls in love and the couple decides to work together. Goussaud who had been collaborating with the biggest French and Francophonic Variety singers like Nicole Croisille, Dalida and later Fabienne Thibault and Céline Dion, becomes her official song composer as Rose once more changes her pseudo to "Rose Laurens" which she is now best known in France, after her first MOR success in 1979 that he wrote. He will go on authoring her two biggest hits: "Africa" an "Mamy Yoko" in 1982. (... Well, at least she has Sandrose to her Underground credit! ) The other members, Christian Clairefond, Henri Garella and Michel Jullien, all went on to do session work with French MOR stars Gilbert Bécaud, Sacha Distel, jazzman Michel Petrucciani, ex-Swingin' Mademoiselle queen France Gall, and Music Hall legend Joséphine Baker (! ). ... Sandrose is only but a footnote in all its members careers, but it stands now as an important, historic album in French Pop and one of Progressive rock's milestones, gaining on a Cult status all it's own.
And now that Guerssen records have made it available again, it's Time to dig up that Rose in the Sand!
The type of music performed by the likes of these so-called Krautrock bands is the type of thing that is designed for LP's; long improvisations and explortory jams simply aren't possible on a single!
HOWEVER, both bands made concessions to commerciality and released one (in the case of Neu!) and several (in the case of CAN).
The music of CAN was born out of group improvisation, but unlike many other musciains who attempt this sort of thing, CAN was rarely boring (especially up to around 1974). The group incorporated exotic rhythms that incorporated jazz, James Brown style funk, complex polyrhythms, and African tribal styles in equal measures.
CAN reached a remarkable peak during 1971-72 with the insanely stellar LP's Tago Mago and Ege Bamyasi; working with the mysterious vocalist Damo Suzuki, the group created music that was ethereal, psychedelic, nightmarish, and downright ass shaking, often during the same track.
"Vitamin C" and "I'm So Green" are both taken from 1972's Ege Bamyasi LP; "Vitamin C" sounds almost as if it's a band from Mars covering James Brown's "Give It Up Or Turn It Loose", and "I'm So Green" finds the group laying out 3 minutes of melodic grooviness that is almost Beatle-esque folk rock mated with those masterfully funky polyrthythms from drummer Jaki Leibezeit. Unlike so many other "progressive" bands, Can's rhythm section (Jaki and Holger Czukay on bass) could SWING like a mofo.
Dusseldorf based Neu! was formed in 1971 by recent Kraftwerk refugees Michael Rother (guitar) and Klaus Dinger (drums). The group recorded a debut LP that same year, which is a masterpiece of hypnotic sounds, and the birth of the steady beat known as Motorik. The tracks are long, and the transfixing music was the blueprint for the likes of Stereolab. Shortly after the LP was released, the group took their chances with releasing a single; "Super" takes the Motorik beat and adds some fabulous dynamic changes along the way, making for a single that may not have had hit potential, but could certainly work well in an open minded dance club today. "Neuschnee" is a lovely shorter version of the type of inner journeys found on the debut LP, and travels along in true Motorik style. When it came time to release their second album, though, the group found themselves short on material- both sides of this single were put onto the LP, and in a bizarre twist were also additional tracks, running slow at 33RPM, and blindlingly fast at 78RPM. The group found their stride again for their brilliant swan song LP, NEU! '75.
I feel very fortunate that I first learned of CAN through reviews in the late, great Musician Magazine back in 1990. All of the groups albums had been reissued on CD for the first time, and I was completely intrigued with hos the reviewer presented the music; specifically, saying that the music of Can could just as easily fit onto a hip hop record or a Sonic Youth album. Loving both, I took my next allowance (hey, I was 15!) and bought Ege Bamyasi and couldn't believe my ears! Shortly afterwords, I lucked into an OG copy of Future Days at my favorite flea market, and just as quickly as my limited budget allowed, picked up the groups entire catalog.
"Spoon" ended up being a fluke top ten hit in Germany, and it's pretty easy to understand why. The catchy intro once again combines exotic rhtyhms, a Velvet Underground style drone, then launches into a very poppy, melodic groove that's full of hooks and lyrics that make no sense literally but perfect sense musically. The non-LP flip side, Shikako Maru Ten" condenses some of CAN's longer wig-out tracks very nicely onto the single format. Amazing stuff indeed.
Hey all, I'm back! I spent the month of October wrapping up my Daily 45 site with a massive 'best of", and was just too wrapped up in that to write here. what used to be the Daily 45 is now the Occasional 45, but the URL has stayed the same.
One of the fun things about collecting 45's is hunting down rarities from bands that are far better known as album acts. Needless to say, these records were usually pressed in VERY limited quantities, and can be very difficult to find! When it comes to a seminal band such as The Stooges, lots of folks are looking for them; it took me a while to track down these discs!
I'll assume that most Bedazzled! readers know most of The Stooges story, so I'll keep the biographical info at a minimum here.
The Stooges debut LP was released in August 1969, and for the most part critics panned it, and it was a slow seller. Of course the primitive grooves found within snowballed over the years and through word of mouth and discovery from every other possible angle over the years, the band became far more famous after the fact. However, Elektra released "I Wanna Be Your Dog" as a 45, and it *did* bubble under the Hot 100 , clocking in at 106 in Billboard Magazine (so it did sell a bit and get some radio play in some markets). The 45 chops off the dramtic intro and launches right into Ron Ashton's classic riff, and the mono mix is VERy powerful stuff. If there's an "anthem" from the group, then it's undoubtedly "I Wanna Be Your Dog"; as I worked for the group for several years, I witnessed firsthand that no matter where in the world this song was performed, pure pandemonium ensued. It took a few years, but this song is a bona fide WORLDWIDE smash!
The French have been enamored of all things Iggy seemingly since the beginning of his career, and this amazingly cool French issue picture sleeve is lovely stuff indeed. The graphic design is spectacular, and it kinda shows that the French branch of Elektra Records "got" the group early on. It's all their; the Stooges (badass) logo, a nice little bio on the back, an alternate group photo from the shoot that yielded the first album cover, and a super cool font for the a-side, "1969". I have many French picture sleeves from the '60's in my collection, and many songs are labelled as "jerk". No, it's not an insult, but shows how popular it was to dance the jerk in France, and the mental picture of a French teenybopper dancing the jerk to her "1969" 45 is quite the mental picture, right? "1969" seems to be a fold down mono mix (stereo turned into "fake" mono), but "Real Cool Time sounds like a dedicated mono mix to my ears. Over course "1969" also became a smash hit when it was used in a widely seen commercial a few years back.
In a fateful move, Elektra records chief Jac Holzman enlisted Don Galluci to produce the Stooges second LP, the immortal Funhouse. Galluci was no stranger to primitive rock n roll, as he played keyboards for The Kingsmen, whose recording of richard Berry's "Louie Louie" was not only a stepping stone sound-wise that led to The Stooges blueprint, but also a track that was infamously covered by the group. Galluci stripped away the baffles and isolation of the studio and created an atmosphere that was more like a live gig. It's normal procedure to seperate instruments and vocals in the studio to get a "clean" sound, which in some cases neuters the (raw) power; Funhouse thumbs its nose to this technique and as a result is one of the greatest sounding, energetic, and downright most ass kicking LP's ever cut to wax. Too bad more rock n roll isn't cut this way. Whoever mastered the (dedicated mono mixes) of "Down On The Street" and "1970" (here re-titled "I Feel Alright (1970)") REALLY got it; this 45 is one of the most incredible sounding records I've ever heard. The volume and clarity are penetrating, and the low end is unbelievable. "Down On The Street" fades out at a snappy 3:10; perhaps I'm biased, but this song has always seemed to me to have hit potential that could have been achieved in 1970; it's catchy, has a driving Motown-like beat, and has lyrics that the kids could relate to. Unfortunately, the album and single tanked commercially, but of course today Funhouse is regarded as an undisputed masterpiece and highly influential. "1970" has no commercial potential whatsoever, but this pummeling, primitive, and downright sexually deviant groove is another one that whips modern day crowds into a frenzy.
The Stooges disintigrated not long after the release of Funhouse, in a haze of drug abuse and lack of commercial success. Before the band imploded, though, Iggy recruited a guitarist into the fold named James Williamson that had developed his own style of guitar playing that was akin to either a machine gun (for his rhythm work) or a razor blade against the strings for his blazing lead guitar work. for a brief period, both Ron Asheton and James Williamson played dual lead guitar for a short tour in 1971. This band was ill fated, but in 1972 (at the insistence of David Bowie), Iggy was on his way to england to be made into a star by Bowie's management team, and Iggy, who is on record as saying that no one understands his music as well as James williamson, insisted that the guitarist was part of the package. Pop-Williamson collaborated on the songs that made up the highly influential and ahead-of-its-time Raw Power LP, and left behind dozens of other songs in various stages of completion in their wake. After numerous auditions, it was decided that the Asheton brothers needed to be their as well, and Scott was back behind the drum kit, and Ron was now on bass. The Asheton brothers were a virtual bulldozer of a rhythm section, but unfortunately, the recording of Raw Power buries the rhythm section, but the fold-down mono mix on the 'Search & Destroy' 45 somehow brings bass and drums a little closer to the surface. Of course, "Search" has also gone on to hit status, and literally became the bluepring for bands such as The Damned, inspiring a whole musical revolution.
'I Got A Right" was one of the songs left behind in the wake of the Raw Power sessions, and the band had even played it at those '71 gigs before the (first) split. Just as punk rock was in its earliest stages of world domination, James Williamson dusted off the tapes and partnered with French fan Phillipe Mogane released this punk masterpiece as a white hot 45, creating a legendary epitaph for The Stooges. Of course the phoenix rose again....