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Spectropop V#0145

  • From: The Spectropop Group
  • Date: 09/12/98

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       Volume #0145                    September 13, 1998   
          Project 3 Records have achieved Total Sound!      
    Subject:     Re: PJ Proby/Len Barry
    Sent:        09/11/98 9:09 am
    Received:    09/12/98 12:36 am
    From:        Marc Wielage,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    Jack Madani <> said on the Spectropop List:
    >Len's "1-2-3" is a personal favorite in the
    >category of "songs that WOGL only seems to play in the 'lost hit'
    >slot." Years ago I found a scratchy vinyl
    >copy of the "1-2-3" lp, and discovered an unintentionally hilarious
    >attempt at a follow-up hit, called "I-O-U." You know how the melody
    >moves UP on the numbers "one two three?" Well guess what the genius
    >songwriter has Len do on the letters "eye oh ewe."
    I dunno about "I-O-U," but I do know that Barry tried a sequel 
    called "4-5-6" a few years later. Here's my notes on Barry's 1965 
    #2 hit:
    "Leonard Borisoff's all-time biggest hit, released under his stage
    name "Len Barry," the title track from his 1965 album. His only Top
    25 hit, apart from several hits with his previous group, The 
    Dovells. One of the few non-Motown hits written by the songwriting
    team of Holland-Dozier-Holland (along with Len and two other 
    writers). Covered as minor singles by Jane Morgan nine months 
    later, and by Ramsey Lewis in 1967. Several years after his 
    original hit, Barry tried a sequel, "4, 05 , 06 (Now I Am Alone)," 
    which appeared on the Amy Records label, but it failed to chart. 
    Songwriting credits in dispute: sometimes attributed only to 
    Holland-Dozier-Holland. No relation to Gloria Estefan's 1988 Top 5
    -= Marc Wielage      |   "The computerized authority     =-
    -= MusicTrax, Ltd.   |       on rock, pop, & soul."      =-
    -= Chatsworth, CA    |         =-
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Free Design Review
    Sent:        09/11/98 2:08 pm
    Received:    09/12/98 12:36 am
    From:        David Bash, BashXXXX@XXXom
    To:          Spectropop List,
    Hi Everyone,
    I wanted to post a recent review I did of the new Free Design 
    compilation. Hopefully it will be of some interest to people on 
    this list. I think they were a group that have been criminally 
    ignored for many years, and I believe that several of you would 
    love this disc.
    Without further adieu:
    The Free Design
    Kites Are Fun: The Best Of The Free Design
    Varese Sarabande Records
    What, you were expecting maybe Nirvana? The title says it all: 
    Kites Are Fun is a bright, breezy joy of a compilation which pays 
    tribute to an unjustly forgotten group who released 6 albums in 
    the late 60s/early 70s on Enoch Light's label, Project 3. The Free
    Design had felt that going with a small label would help them get 
    more attention, but unfortunately Project 3 didn't have the 
    credibility in the pop music world to bring the group to the 
    spotlight. This is indeed a shame, because they were an extremely 
    talented family combo whose sound can be described as a lighter, 
    jazzier Fifth Dimension or Spanky and Our Gang, and perhaps more 
    than any other group they were able to construct songs that could 
    appeal equally to adults and children. Kites Are Fun culls the 
    cream of the group's 6 albums, starting with the title track, 
    which pretty much embodies everything the Free Design is about; 
    up tempo, dizzying vocal arrangements, free flowing instrumental 
    lines, and a generous helping of wind instruments and strings. 
    Other tracks in a similar vein are "Bubbles," which offers some 
    anomalous stinging guitar, "Felt So Good,", the childlike "Kije's 
    Ouija," and "Now Is The Time". The group could tone it down a bit 
    as well, as tracks like the beautiful "Felt So Good" and "My 
    Brother Woody" could calm even the most hyperactive child, and "My
    Very Own Angel" and "A Man And A Woman" would make wonderful 
    lullabies. Perhaps the best of the lot is "2002-A Hit Song", which
    could be thought of as a "Tighten Up" for the Wonder Bread set.
    The liner notes by Elliot Kendall include an interview with Free 
    Design leader Chris Dedrick, and offer insight into the evolution 
    of this fine group. If you like this compilation, which genre fans
    surely will, you can also find Japanese reissues of all 6 Free 
    Design albums.
    Varese Sarabande Records
    11846 Ventura Blvd., Suite 130
    Studio City, CA 91604
    Spectropop Rules!!!!!
    Take Care,
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Jeff & Ellie and Neil Diamond 
    Sent:        09/12/98 4:22 am
    Received:    09/12/98 8:00 am
    From:        Jamie LePage,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    Jack Madani, wrote:
    >I like Jeff Barry's production style...the lively, sparse 
    >folky style that he applied to Neil Diamond, the Monkees...
    >Examples that come to mind would be:
    >Neil Diamond: Cherry Cherry; You Got To Me; Thank The Lord For The
    >Nighttime - Monkees: A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You; I'm A 
    >I suppose it's no coincidence that those Monkee songs I mention 
    >were also written by Diamond.
    Neil Diamond and the Monkees are part of that one short moment 
    when the Brill writers wrote for the emerging rock artists. Goffin
    & King's Porpoise Song, Going Back and Road To Nowhere are other 
    I am curious when in the Brill story Diamond came on the scene. 
    According to the liner notes in the PolyGram Jeff/Ellie CD, Barry 
    introduced Diamond to the Monkees. That seems strange for a few 
    reasons. Wasn't Diamond an Aldon/Screen Gems writer before the TV 
    show was conceived? Did he have any notable covers before the Bang
    records? It would seem to me Diamond wrote for the Monkees through 
    the "suggestion" of the Kirschner people, not because Diamond and 
    the Monkees became friends after Jeff Barry introduced them. I 
    wish someone could put these events in a time frame, because Barry
    as a writer was not part of the Aldon/Screen Gems family, and I 
    wonder if Diamond didn't already have the songs placed when Barry 
    came on the scene. In the same connection, since Barry was outside
    the Screen Gems family, how did he get the Monkees productions? 
    Also, did Bert Berns sign Diamond? Who engineered that deal? Jeff 
    & Ellie?
    >From Jeff & Ellie to Neil to Monkees. There must be some great 
    behind-the-scenes stories there. The fictional film Grace of my 
    Heart depicted the Brill people moving out west just around I 
    would guess 1966. We know what happened after the whole Lou Adler/
    Carol King thing exploded, but I find that brief moment in time 
    between the GG era and the singer/songwriter era to be fascinating. 
    Whenever the Monkees come up for discussion, inevitably there is
    the "they didn't even play their own instruments" debate which 
    most fans of Wrecking Crew and Brill couldn't care less about. I 
    would much rather hear about how the Brill writers were contracted
    to work with them, and how the surrounding events of the scene were 
    influenced by the westward movement of the New York based Brill 
    people. It seems to me to have been an exciting time for music, 
    and it was arguably the last gasp for tin pan alley entrepreneurs
    and the Brill Building writers.
    Grace of My Heart
    I'm struggling here. Can anyone shed some more light on this
    fascinating era?
    P.S. I was lucky enough to get a copy of the Jeff & Ellie promo CD
    PolyGram Music did recently. Many of the original 60's tracks on 
    the CD are well known; a few 90's bands on there too. Some don't 
    work. Others do, like the Honeydogs track "It's So Strange" - 
    exactly in the early Diamond style Jack writes of. When I first 
    heard it, I was shocked. It has the folky Diamond feel, but it 
    also has the 3 minute hook filled Brill structure. btw, it was 
    written by Greenwich/Barry/Diamond and never previously recorded. 
    It's like hearing a Monkees song that never was.
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Re: Len Barry --IOU
    Sent:        09/11/98 6:59 am
    Received:    09/11/98 8:00 am
    From:        james fisher,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    Jack Madani - In fact I do know that follow up to 123! Pretty sorry
    attempt indeed. It always reminded me a bit of Del Shannon's follow
    up records--poor copies of good tunes.(And I like Del a lot, he just
    should have skipped every other song.) 123 is a fave of mine from 
    day one but sadly a local oldies station used it recently to 
    promote a long-running contest --"winning is as easy as..." and 
    I'm now suffering from a bad case of Len Barry Burnout. This too 
    shall pass.
    Len gets a mention in Ian Whitcomb's book "Rock Odyssey" as they 
    were roomies while on one of Dick Clarks Caravan tours in '65--it 
    seems that Len borrowed 15 bucks off him ( I guess Dick didn't pay
    all that well) so perhaps the origins of IOU lie somewhere in there
    ...try and get hold of Whitcomb's book, it's a great read, very 
    funny and just about anyone who figured in pop music from '57 to 
    '66 is in there.
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Dionne, Bacharach et al
    Sent:        09/11/98 8:05 am
    Received:    09/12/98 12:36 am
    From:        james fisher,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    All this talk of the above, and others, drove my refreshed soul out
    to a local thrift shop to scour their record piles (" all records 
    25 cents") in search of discarded gems. Mitch Miller and the Gang
    seemed to have cornered the Unwanted LP's market, with Andy Williams
    and Perry Como neck and neck in the Most Abandoned Single Artists 
    category. Boy, those guys were dumped in droves...I would have 
    needed a wheel-barrow just to haul Andy's Christmas Albums out. 
    Interestingly enough the single most tossed away LP was Herb 
    Alpert's "Whipped cream and other Delights" can this be?? On
    the grounds of its cover alone it's a keeper. Anyway, while I 
    failed to unearth any true nuggets (at least by my uncertain 
    knowledge of the real rarities) I did come home with a copy of Tom
    Clay's album "What the world needs now" (MOWEST MW103 L) so at 
    least a Burt B. tune has been has saved (In fact TWO Burt tunes 
    as "This guy's in love with you" are also given the inimitable Tom 
    Treatment on this LP). "What's Goin' On" and "MacArthur Park" are 
    taken out for a trot as well--the results are best left to the 
    imagination. Anyone who just has to have this classic outing to 
    complete their collection should get in touch with me, I'll trade 
    you for a compilation CD.
    I'm so inspired by my new found hobby that I'll be stopping at 
    garage sales this weekend so if there's some hard-to-find vinyl 
    you want then let me know and I'll keep an eye peeled for it. Jim.
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------

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