Peoria, Illinois garage-band : The Shags had the illustrious honor to sing the jingle of "Meet Me at Bergner's" chain-fashion store displaying cool "mod" threads of the day... Awesomely rare footage sadly lacking sound!
No matter how we open our minds and ears, trying out new horizons and sounds, we always end up in the Garage womb... and what can be more garagey that an Unknown acetate? ;-) (Check out the cool organ zounds!...) :
The Prunes were one of the rare original US Garage-bands to successfully tour in Europe during their prime, back in '67 ; all the fans or most, now would've heard their fantastic Live in Stockholm remastered since in HD but, let it be said that their best, more memorable shows were made on French TV where exclusive footage were to be found... like this legendary appearance on the foremost French Pop, Avant-garde TV program of the day : Bim, Dam, Dom (sounding a bit like : "Biff! Bang! Pow!" ) et en couleurs, s'il vous plait!
Dutch Pop-Psych/Freakbeat combo performs slow Psych version of "Brand New Cadillac" while wearing diving outfits, flanked by hot babes also wearing wet-suits, while rear-projected fish sorta make it look like they're underwater.
Hip,Hip, Hooray! This track from their fourth album "Mixed Bag" was the Troggs' take on the wake of the post-Psychedelic, Bubble-gum sound, a Mixed-Bag of sound indeed, while still retaining that unmistakable Trogg cavalcade of rhythm...
So, it's only fitting that French Pop-Yéyé singer Claude François, himself a Bubble-gum star of sorts by the time this came out (he covered the 1910 Frutgum Company's "Simon Says" in the French adapation called: "Jack a dit"...) should introduce the Troggs on his French TV show.
Not to be confused with the more famous American Garage-rock band : "The Cryan' Shames" (who hit it big with "Sugar and Spice" and "It Could Be We're in Love", etc.), these were the Liverpool 'Freakbeat' band that turned down the management of Brian Epstein, had a minor hit with "Please Stay" (b/w "What's New Pussycat?") and their third single "Come On Back" as Paul and Ritchie and The Crying Shames produced by Joe Meek late in '66 (which is something of a Freakbeat classic now!).
Duo co-Singer Paul Crane went on of course to sing lead in ex. Walker Brothers, Gary Walker's Rain who had a modicum of success in Japan releasing an album there in '68, now regarded as a Classic Freakbeat Mod Psych album...
Here, following their minor success with "Please Stay" that was also launched in France, they were invited to play on the April 4th programme of Music Hall de France who had all the greats back then (like the Who, Yardbirds and Spencer Davis Group...); they give a rousing Organ-ized version of the recent then Them group classic :
Some of the best nights of my life DJ'ing have been in Spain; there is an enthusiasm for the music that is unlike anywhere else. In addition to loving soul and beat of the 60's, the Spaniards produced some great sides on their own.
The first selection is not technically from a Spanish group, but they were living there when it was cut so I can't resist sharing it.
Darwin Teoria (not to be confused with Charles) were a Dutch group
relocated to Spain who cut at least two singles, of which THIS is the
one. Immediately we are hit with an overload of fuzzed out wah wah
guitar and some Hammond organ that takes us on a wild ride whether it's
the dance floor, living room or behind the wheel. Almost silly, nursery
rhyme like verses make way for the anthemic chant of the chorus; my
friend Brian (aka DJ Midnight Cowbwoy, and that is not a misspelling)
played this song TWICE at Mod Chicago and when he played it again at
around 3 AM Saturday night/ Sunday morning it was a call to arms that
hypnotized and brainwashed me that I MUST HAVE THIS RECORD, while those
of us still awake were tearing up the dance floor to this massive sound.
Luckily I was able to score one of my own rather quickly. It's been
stuck in my head ever since.
Los Bravos (The Brave) were the one Spanish group that served up an international hit; the excellent "Black Is Black' from 1966. In addition to that classic, this group from Madrid (with a German lead singer) released some other great singles within their career that ran from 1965 til 1974. In addition to English language singles, the group released several in Espanol. "La Moto" followed hot on the heels of "Black Is Black" in '66, and it's a fun record with a very dramatic vocal melody and great fuzz guitar. Their follow up English language single "Going Nowhere" is heard on Nuggets II and was a very minor U.S hit in late '66.
Tragically, organist and founding member Manuel Fernandez took his own life in 1967 after the auto accident death of his wife. The group had one more minor US hit in '67 with "Bring A Little Lovin'"; a song originally recorded by Australia's Easybeats. The group became the stars of two Spanish films during this time, and this track was the theme song to the film ¡Dame un poco de amooor, itself a celluloid vehicle for the group.It's a rocking number driven along by some driving bass guitar, excellent, steady drumming and super vocals.
Bring A Little Lovin' Los Brincos (The Jumps) are often referred to as 'The Spanish Beatles", and the group certainly shows a melodic prowess on this excellent double sider which was produced in London by Larry Page (Kinks, The Who).
"You Know" is an obvious attempt to cross over into the English speaking market, and the sound of the song is very much in the Beatles' Revolver vein; progressively psychedelic pop music that is very well written and performed (capped off with an amazing fuzzed out guitar solo). Almost better yet is "Nadie Te Quiere Ya", the flip side. It's dark, moody, and magnificent! The title translates to "Nobody Wants You Now", and the mood of the song captures a bitter relationship send off extremely well.