First off, we have Blackpool, UK's Rockin' Vickers- a band made infamous for dressing up as priests (vicars) and also including none other than Hawkwind/ Motorhead 's Lemmy Kilmister (Ian Willis) on guitar. The group were no different musically than the dozens of other beat groups recording in the UK during the mid-60s. The a-side of their final single was this cool version of the Ray Davies/ Kinks klassic which was also kovered by Herman's Hermits and made into a big international hit. The Vickers version is far superior in my opinion, as it maintains the English whimsy but adds some grit.Hailing from Detroit suburb Oak Park, MI, The Shy Guys waxed a great version of the Gene Clark/ Byrds classic "I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better" in 1967, putting an emphasis on the folk side of folk rock, with predominant acoustic guitar replacing the jingle jangle twelve string electric. The group had an excellent drums who really hits it hard, and the group contributes some excellent backing vocals, and they cap the song off nicely with a coda of their own making. The lead singer is no Gene Clark, but he does a very passable job nonetheless.
I would have reckoned that Los Angeles' "E" Types learned the Lennon/ McCartney composition from Cilla Black's recording. Not so, apparently: one of the members of The 'E" Types posted the song on his youtube page and mentioned that a member of the group read music well, spotted the Lennon-McCartney song in sheet music form and arranged a very nice version of it from there in 1966. This was several years before anyone outside of the Beatles inner circle had heard the Beatles own recording, from their ill-fated Decca Records audtion (January 1, 1962). Not only in their name, the group certainly wore their anglophilia in their sound as well, as this recording could easily pass for a British export.
I'm a massive fan of Simon & Garfunkel, and feel that the group simply does not get enough mention when the massive artists of the '60's get discussed. One of the most interesting songs in the S&G stable is "Cloudy", a gorgeous, melancholy song dripping with Paul Simon's songwriting skills. The Guild Late Gauge (itself a perfect name for a sunshine pop ensemble, is a reference to Guild guitar strings) is a mysterious group that was known to feature Paul Simon's brother Eddie. This seems to be their only release; a pity, as they have a really great sound here. This was probably recorded in 1967.
Finally, and most obscure of all, is this Tim Buckley cover from the unknown ensemble (probably a studio group) called Common Market. This probably rates as the first ever Tim Buckley cover (1967) and the arrangement is excellent, and showcases the budding songwriting talent of Buckley in an almost baroque style. Elektra was also banking on this to be a hit single from the writer himself, as they also released Buckley's version as a single in 1966; the song is also found on his first album.
Until next time!