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Spectropop - Digest Number 1039

               SPECTROPOP - Spectacular! Retro! Pop!

There are 2 messages in this issue.

Topics in this digest:

      1. Re: The Majority / Majority One
           From: Mark 
      2. Soft rock radio; What Am I Gonna Do; Bassett Hand; more
           From: Country Paul 

Message: 1 Date: Wed, 01 Oct 2003 06:34:13 -0000 From: Mark Subject: Re: The Majority / Majority One I haven't really heard much of their music. Are they as good as Consortium? Also, I take it the Majority One recordings only came out in Europe and not in the UK. Any idea what label they were on? Are their records hard to come by? -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 2 Date: Wed, 01 Oct 2003 01:30:08 -0400 From: Country Paul Subject: Soft rock radio; What Am I Gonna Do; Bassett Hand; more Keith D'Arcy: > I think it's really strange that "soft rock," once a term of > derision for watered down, studio group "lite" versions of late > 60's pop music, is now a very carefully examined and collected > genre of music. I'm as guilty as anyone in this regard (or more > so). I'm jumping ahead in time a bit, but "Soft rock" where I was in the 70's - in Hartford, CT - had quite a definable sound; it was whatever a station called WWYZ played. They avoided most hit singles and overplayed tracks, although occasionally played one, but concentrated on the more beautiful tracks of more progressive artists known and unknown. There was no personality in the on-air presentation, only in the music. The station, known as "YZ" and "Natural 92" (a gawdawful handle) in its prime, soared all the way to a 9 share (huge in Connecticut at the time) for its conventionally undefinable yet immediately recognizable sound. Peaking in the early and mid-70's, they would play (for example) lesser-known album tracks from Carole King, Simon & Garfunkel and CSN(&Y), softer Beatles album cuts (i.e., "Things We Said Today"), the singer-songwriters (James Taylor, etc.) and some classic pop songs in the softer genre that hadn't been burnt out by the oldies outlets. (I remember the Association on the station, and the Mamas & Papas "Look Through My Window.") But they also flavored it with lesser-known artists like Shawn Phillips and Lenny LeBlanc (check out "Ain't It Funny" on Big Tree if you can find it - gorgeous). It was a background music station that played foreground music, and could be enjoyed either way. The point of the above: "soft rock" was softer music done by artists with progressive rock "creds," and pop music that crossed over into album rock. "Lite rock," the bane of a real music lover's existence, was the contents of "the jukebox from hell." (Rather than rile anyone with my opinions of those contents, I'll keep them to myself.) What we're discussing here... well, like porn and the US Supreme Court, "we know it when we hear it!" As a follow-up, ultimately, the station lost the program director in whose head the elements of the station sound resided. (He pre-programmed all the music, 24/7.) I applied for the job, and he endorsed me, but I lost it to an in-house guy who didn't quite "get it." (The general manager told me years later that their consultant at the time was afraid of me because I knew more than he did!) The station gradually diluted to become an awful version of lite-rock, slid into the ratings basement, and was successfully reborn as "new country" in 1988 - which is another story for another list. Keith again: > How many hipsters were rockin' Free Design records out the > open windows of frat houses back in the day? Would the world > have been a better place if they had been? I wasn't a frat guy, but I was blowin' bones (long time ago - the statute of limitations is long since up) to the Monkees' "Porpoise Song," Sandy Salisbury's still-spectacular "Come Softly To Me" and Tommy Roe'S "It's Now Winter's Day," among others. It certainly smoothed out the hard-rock crunch. And from tyhe other side, JB writes: > anyone ever heard the great punk single by The Rotters called "Sit On My > Face Stevie Nicks"? Opens with the "Rhiannon" guitar lick then busts loose. > One of punk's greatest hits IMHO. Sure have - one of those moments that makes punk great. Alfie Noakes: > Is "What am I Gonna Do With You" the same as the Lesley Gore track of > the same name? If so, it's one of my all-time favourite recordings, > and the Lesley Gore version could have sat happily on the forthcoming > "Phil's Spectre" compilation on Ace. In my head I can hear Lesley Gore doing it; I only know it by Skeeter Davis, and my favorite version by the Chiffons. Ken Silverwood: > Does anyone know what the term BASSETT HAND means on Bang Records labels? Expanding on Tom Taber and Phil Milstein's notes, "Bassett Hand" (if the name was real, he would have shot his parents!) was usually credited as an arranger. There's also a 45 on Josie (c. 1964-65) credited to "him": "In Detroit," a slightly jazzy instrumental with a couple of girls inserting a "baby, baby" after the bridge a la "Where Did Our Love Go"; b/w "Youm," a driving pop-rock track with what sounds like girl group vocals mixed way down and the lead wiped off. They're chanting "Mine, mine, yes he's mine" in the only lyrics I can distinguish - that and the syllable "youm," hence the title. With no melody line, it was obviously a B-side intended to stay buried, but it's the more interesting of the two IMO. Based on the above, anyone have a clue as to what that B-side might originally be? Quick stuff: Artie Wayne, thank you for the Venet brothers explanation. Nik I of course knew about, Steve I only knew of, the relationship I didn't. Nothing like having a first-person resource on our side! Stephane Rebeschini: > "Ray, Goodman & Brown" (?) ...were a lite-rock/soul act who had some hits I can't/won't remember. (Fans, don't get angry at me - we all have our own taste!) Mark asks about The Majority - I have "Pretty Little Girl" on either London or a subsidiary or distributed label. Very intricate and very good; I'd love to know more. Al Pavlow: are you the same Big Al from the great little record store of the same name in Providence, RI? Country Paul -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------

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