April 26, 1969: Booker T. & The M.G.s, The Ronettes, Glen Campbell, 5th Dimension, Crazy Elephant

BOOKER T. & THE M.G.s: Time Is Tight; Hang ‘Em High (Stax 119).
From the soundtrack of the Booker T. Jones scored up-coming ”Uptight” flick, and a fast riser Stateside, this walloping, galloping -pounder is a gas dancer in spite of sounding like a backing track for “I Can’t Turn You Loose“. In the current climate it could be a smash here. Flipside (from their Iast L.P., never a single before) was a U.S. Pop hit, and is the movie theme read in semi-funky manner. CHART POSSIBILITY.

THE RONETTES: You Came, You Saw, You Conquered; I Can Hear Music (A&M AMS 748).
Sounding straight out of 1963 (“worry” pronounced “wowwy” even!), Veronica Spector and the girls come storming back with another brand new Phil Spector production. If the era of “Be My Baby” and “Do I Love You?” was an unforgettable slice of your past, you will go into ecstasies over this, as nothing much has changed (who’s complaining?!) – the pace is a bit faster and the noise a bit fuller, that’s all. The coupling naturally has especial interest at the moment, as it’s the original version of Beach Boys’ click, and makes a timely re-release that could have sold well on its own. CHART PROBABILITY

GLEN CAMPBELL Galveston; Every Time I Itch I Wind Up Scratchin’ You (Ember EMB S 263).
“Phoenix”, “Wichita”, now “Galveston” (the port for Houston, Texas) – where next, Jim Webb? This lacks the easy charm of “Lineman”, having a more aggressive beat and approach, but it retains the same guitar tone, the strings’ sound, and much of the lilt of its predecessor – without its romance. Radio 1’s playing it fit to bust, so it must happen . . . but not as big as the former hit, methinks. More easy-on-the-ear sounds on flip, co-penned by Glen with Jeremy Slate. CHART CERTAINTY. 

5TH DIMENSION: Medley: – Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In (The Flesh Failures); Don’tcha Hear Me Callin’ To Ya (Liberty LBF 15193).
As everyone by now must realise, this is a melding of two of the big songs from “Hair” – and it’s number 1 in America into the bargain. Radio 1 has been playing it a lot, so it may even be the Dimensions’ first British hit. Doctor Soul’s confession: this, and especially the flip, are their first things since “Up, Up And Away” that I’ve actually liked. Two nice happy sides (the Latin-ish flip’s almost funky, even) – sock it to us, F.D.! CHART POSSIBILITY.

CRAZY ELEPHANT: Gimme, Gimme, Good Lovin’; Dark Part Of My Mind (Major Minor MM 609).
This U.S. hit is the original of the home-grown Don Fardon version that you may have heard on Radio 1. Right in the tradition of all Kasenetz-Katz’s other Bubble Gum smashes, this is as strong and as blatantly obvious as the best of them, and could even be this Spring’s “Simon Says”, since “Indian Giver” failed here. Jimi Hendrix-influenced flip is O.K. * * * * * *

NAZZ: Hello It’s Me; Crowded (SGC 219002).
This gently delicate, wistfully pretty, but powerfully harmonised slowie was out here last year as the flip of Nazz’s less good “Open My Eyes”. Since then, it’s done well in its own right for the boys in America, and is now coupled with another pleasant slowie. “Hello” needs to he heard over and over before it grabs one, but once grabbed a lot of people should love it. Hear this. * * * * *

TOMMY JAMES & THE SHONDELLS: Sweet Cherry Wine; Breakaway (Roulette RO 506).
In a Rascally “Heaven” waltz-beat bag, the Shondells sound quite Jolly as they go on about “Sweet Cherry Wine”, with more than an after-taste of that great “Crimson & Clover” quaver effect at times. Written and very clearly produced themselves, it’s a commendable effort, but it’s their 15th hit and chasing that last Chart-topper. Both sides from their attempt at an Underground-slanted U.S. LP. * * * * *

MERRILL MOORE: Sweet Mama Tree Top Tall; Little Green Apples (B&C CB-100).
The folks at Action (this, their new label) hope that vintage piano-pounding rocker Merrill Moore is hot, and their own John E. Abbey has recorded a brand new album by him – here’s wishing them luck! There’s some great boogie-woogie playing on this catchy song, which is helped along by a rousing jazz violin. The flip is the better side – sung straight with nice steel guitar and steady shuffle beat, this is much better for dancing than Roger Miller’s. * * * *

SLIM WHITMAN: My Happiness; Rose Marie (Liberty LBF 15198).
Wow! Mid-50’s Cowboy music! Lots of people will remember Slim Whitman (and “My Happiness” by Connie Francis), so that this could be a real left-field hit. Roy Orbison (whose “Southbound Jericho Parkway” reviewed last week should have had six stars) was obviously influenced by Slim’s old smash, “Rose Marie”. * * * *

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