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Spectropop V#0381

  • From: The Spectropop Group
  • Date: 02/01/00

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       Volume #0381                        February 1, 2000   
          "taking a leap and experimenting with a sound"      
    Subject:     David Bash's list
    Received:    02/01/00 12:54 am
    From:        Kingsley Abbott
    To:          Spectropop!
    It was very interesting to read David's list of 
    unavailable albums. Quite a few on the list have been 
    mentioned in conversation with Joe Foster of Revola, so 
    all is not lost! Revola's future is a little under 
    question with the shrink down at Creation following Alan 
    Mcgee's departure. However, Joe thinks that things will 
    keep going - In other words, the eclectic release pattern 
    that we have come to love from Revola should continue. I 
    personally dread the thought that all future music will be
    accessed through the internet. OK, some, most even, but 
    like with real ale, decent bread, and any other aspect of 
    our lives that we have grown to love and value, there 
    should always be room for specialist 'real' releases! 
    Campaign for Real Records anyone?? CRR! Any further 
    thoughts Joe??
    Of David's list, the CDs I personally would most like to 
    see, in order I guess, are 5th Dimension's first two 
    albums as a twofer, The Critters "Touch 'n' Go (with one 
    or two from their last album maybe), the Tommy Roe one, 
    Elephant Candy and maybe The Robbs (although I'm biased on
    this one as it contains a version of "Violets of Dawn" 
    which Fairport used to do in the early days). As a slight 
    PS to the last little bit, I still have some stock left of
    my book "Fairportfolio" abot the 1967/9 era of a great 
    English Band! Anyone interested, just mail me directly.
    Also, my thanks to Carol for her very kind words - fair 
    made me toes twinkle!
    Kingsley Abbott
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     ***Misty Mirage***
    Received:    02/01/00 12:55 am
    From:        Jamie LePage
    To:          Spectropop!
    BIG, BIG news for Curt Boettcher fans (you know who you 
    On March 25, Dreamsville Records (Japan) will release a 
    new compilation of previously unreleased Curt Boettcher 
    recordings called Misty Mirage. This is not a boot. It's a 
    legitimate release of recordings made by Boettcher up to 
    around the time of Sagittarius' Blue Marble album. 
    Musicians performing on the album include Lee Mallory, 
    Sandy Salisbury, Ron Edgar, Jerry Scheff, Ben Benay and 
    Mike Melvoin. All recordings are produced or co-produced 
    by Boettcher and engineered by Keith Olsen.
    I just heard a little bit of this album, and what I heard 
    is sure to please every Sagittarius/Millennium fan. There 
    are some magical moments. The first track, Tumbling 
    Tumbleweeds, is absolutely brilliant. A dreamy, 
    kaleidoscopic take on Sons of the Pioneers' 1934 hit song,
    featuring swirling layers of Curt's trademark high tone 
    vocal chorus work.
    The CD will have 18 tracks, featuring Curt's never before 
    released versions of I Just Want To Be Your Friend and The
    Know It All (Millennium), You Know I've Found a Way and 
    Another Time (Sagittarius), Misty Mirage and Astral Cowboy
    (Michele) and That's the Way It's Gonna Be (Lee Mallory). 
    The only two tracks on the CD that have been previously 
    released are Share With Me and Sometimes, both sides of an
    obscure Boettcher 45 on Together (co-produced with Gary 
    Usher). The CD is rounded out with a couple of Levi's 
    commercials and studio session outtakes. I understand Dawn
    Eden is writing the liners for this too.
    Less than two months away. I can't wait.
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     My name is Spot
    Received:    02/01/00 12:55 am
    From:        Nat Kone
    To:          Spectropop!
    I don't see anyone on this list talking about their 
    "recent finds" like on the other list I'm on so I won't 
    tell the story of how I'm getting all these records I've 
    been picking up in the last week or so...
    But I have been filling in a lot of holes and making a lot
    of discoveries. And today's featured discovery is the 
    A bit of soft pop, a bit of Beach Boyesque "surf." The 
    record's called "Andrea" and supposedly that was a "hit." 
    The guy who sold it to me said the hit was "I live for the
    And they're both good songs. But the one that kills me is 
    "A little dog and his boy", the opening verse of which is:
    "My name is Spot
    I am a dog
    My master is Billy
    He collects frogs"
    Yes, the song is sung by a dog and it's an ode to lost 
    youth, I guess. Spot looks toward the future when he and 
    Billy will no longer run along the beach together. And the
    chorus of "Me and Billy / Just he and me / Although he's 
    got lots of friends / He doesn't forget me" will break the
    coldest of hearts.
    I just cracked a sealed copy of The Gainsborough Gallery, 
    whoever they are (no connection to Serge, unfortunately.) 
    So far they don't sound too soft poppy but they might be 
    silly enough to love.
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     ...and speaking of Cake...
    Received:    02/01/00 12:54 am
    From:        John Frank
    To:          Spectropop!
    Nat Kone wrote:
    >Speaking of recently found records, what can you tell me 
    >about this apparent girl trio on Decca, called "The Cake"?
    I've always clearly heard Cher's voice in their classic, 
    "Baby That's Me"? Is it? Or did one of the group merely 
    sound like her? (I've been wondering this for years and 
    would really like to know if my suspicion is true.)
    Factoids leading me to believe it *could have been* Cher 
    is that Charlie Green and Brian Stone managed both Cake 
    and Sonny & Cher; also both acts' first albums were 
    recorded at the same studios. (This is just from memory --
    I no longer have The Cake album to compare.)
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Various
    Received:    02/01/00 12:55 am
    From:        Joseph Scott
    To:          Spectropop!
    Hi all,
    Stewart, my understanding is that Dave Hassinger was the 
    Electric Prunes' producer and main guy, and at the point 
    we're talking about he brought in Axelrod as arranger; 
    session musicians including Howard Roberts, Carol Kaye, 
    and Earl Palmer played on Release Of An Oath, '68, and 
    there continued to be a bunch of young guys who toured as 
    the Prunes and sang on the records, a la Beach Boys etc. 
    etc. etc.
    Nat, I didn't say that either.
    Lindsay, Leon Russell expert Steve Todoroff has written 
    that "Russell handpick[ed] the songs as well as the studio
    musicians to back [Gary Lewis]." 
    Joseph Scott
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Re: gary Lewis
    Received:    02/01/00 12:54 am
    From:        claudia
    To:          Spectropop!
    > musicians lead me to admit to my weakness for the recorded
    > works of Gary Lewis and the Playboys. (Anyone else...
    Absolutely love them.
    To this day...I play their music and sing along every time.
    Their songs were just had to sing along. I
    remember the day I first was able to buy their stuff on 
    cd...I was thrilled.
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Gary Lewis
    Received:    02/01/00 3:38 am
    From:        David Ponak
    To:          Spectropop!
    Hey, no guilt is necessary when mentioning one's affection
    for the output of Gary Lewis and The Playboys. These are 
    great records, regardless of the vocal abilities or Mr. 
    Lewis himself. In fact, "Jill" and "Girls In Love" qualify
    as soft-pop classics in my book.
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Gary Lewis...  Carol Kaye!
    Received:    02/01/00 12:55 am
    From:        Lindsay Martin
    To:          Spectropop!
    After mentioning Gary Lewis and studio musicians and Carol
    Kaye in my last posting, I thought to check Carol's site 
    and, sure enough, there it is: "This Diamond Ring, Just My
    Style etc. - Gary Lewis and Playboys".
    I should've guessed! Is it too late for a New Year's 
    resolution, namely, "Check Carol's site before I send 
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Patti Page rocks
    Received:    02/01/00 12:55 am
    From:        Frank Youngwerth
    To:          Spectropop!
    Another notable Gary Lewis credit would be Al Kooper, who 
    co-wrote "This Diamond Ring" as sure as he played organ on
    Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone." I like plenty by Gary Lewis
    & the Playboys--"New in Town" is a great overlooked track. 
    Somebody's playing some amazing bass on that one.
    I finally got around to playing a 1966 Columbia 45 I'd 
    picked up recently by Patti Page. I thought "Till You Come
    Back to Me" must have been the Stevie Wonder song Aretha 
    spun into gold, but I was wrong. Still, it's a fine 4 
    Seasons-ish stomper (the drum fills and quarter-note 
    triplets give away Hal Blaine's presence, and the 
    hard-picked bass sound like Carol), with the "Old Cape Cod" 
    gal coming through at times like Karen Carpenter. This 
    is a pretty hip Ernie Freeman production for its time.
    I think the very existence of Spectropop says plenty about
    the validity of a lot of once-dismissed-as-pathetically-
    square-or-wimpy music. However, I don't care for Andy 
    Williams' "God Only Knows"--give me "Can't Stand Losing 
    You," "Music to Watch Girls By," or "Happy Heart." Guess I 
    just like my Andy with a beat. 
    Frank Youngwerth
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     don't shoot the messenger
    Received:    02/01/00 12:55 am
    From:        Nat Kone
    To:          Spectropop!
    >From:        Carol Kaye
    >..I know this must hurt your perceived images of
    >our business.
    >Yes, Hal Blaine, myself others did some of those....don't 
    >blame the "messenger"....the public will have a lot of 
    >heartbreak out there when they "find out." It took 2-3 
    >years for the Beach Boys fans to accept that studio 
    >musicians did their favorite hits.
    I can't speak for the Beach Boys fans but I don't get the 
    idea that we're all having our bubbles burst. When I was a
    kid, just starting to buy records, for the most part I 
    didn't know what the groups looked like, what their names 
    were, who played what.
    I guess in some cases, like the Animals and the Stones, I 
    probably assumed it was the band playing on the records 
    but obviously - if I thought about it, which I didn't - I 
    knew that Simon and Garfunkel or Petula Clark or Tom Jones
    had a bunch of musicians whose names I didn't know, playing
    on theirs.
    And when I first started to hear about the studio 
    musicians who played on all the Motown hits for instance, 
    I remember thinking that was cool. Jamie Jamerson (is that
    his name?) was a bit of a star to me and my friends, just 
    like Teenie Hodges and his brothers became "stars" when we
    started to listen to Al Green and other Hi records.
    And at some point we started to hear about songwriters and
    the Brill Building and how many of our favorite songs were 
    written by Goffin and King or Mann and Weil. And knowing 
    about Phil Spector didn't ruin my image of pop music 
    I suppose if we'd found out that EVERYTHING we liked was 
    written, sung and played by a bunch of people we didn't 
    know, that might have affected us. But far from having our
    bubble burst, I remember a certain pleasure in finding out 
    little facts about studio musicians and the process in 
    Now I have to admit that a lot of this is a blur. I was a 
    bit older when I knew of Leon Russell and Mac Rebenack as 
    "solo" artists and started to find out about all the 
    records they had played on. They were stars to me at that 
    point so it wasn't simply a case of celebrating a studio 
    But I remember that when I started to hear about how 
    records were actually made, even if there might have been 
    some disappointment, at the same time there was an 
    excitement at having "secret knowledge" revealed.
    I think for a lot of us this started around Dylan's 
    records, especially Highway 61 and Blonde on Blonde. And a
    lot of that had to do with the fact that Mike Bloomfield 
    and Al Kooper were stars in their own right with us. But 
    we loved those stories about how Al ended up playing organ, 
    even though he came with the intention of playing guitar.
    It didn't make me love Dylan or that record any less, to 
    find out that the organ sound was an unplanned "accident".
    The Monkees were also part of the story. I remember 
    hearing that Mike Nesmith and Peter Tork were "real" 
    musicians and I'm sure I was pulling for them to win the 
    right to play on their own records. Certainly it was more 
    "romantic" to think about the members of the band rather 
    than the studio musicians. But knowing the Monkees were 
    the "prefab four" or that they didn't play on their 
    records, didn't stop us from loving "Pleasant Valley 
    I can't deny that knowing the real story and the 
    indispensable role of studio musicians changes the 
    romantic view of sixties pop but ultimately I don't think 
    it changes much. I suspect I still hold onto a few 
    romantic notions and maybe there's a bubble or two I 
    wouldn't want burst.
    But I loved "Green Tambourine" and I still do and the real
    story of how it came about is no less interesting than the 
    image I supposedly held when I first heard it. At the 
    heart of it, there's still one person or a group of people
    taking a leap and experimenting with a sound.
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------

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