CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL: Travelin’ Band; Who’ll Stop The Rain (Liberty LBF 15310).
I know that people go quacking on about C.C.R. being an old-style Rock ‘n’ Roll group, but even so I was completely unprepared for this record – “Travelin’ Band” is an unabashedly straight copy of Little Richard! As such, they have done it very cleverly, considering their restrictive instrumental line-up – the drumming especially is really good. Great fun, and sure to get the kids jiving in the aisles (yes folks, the Rock Revival IS here!). Jangling ‘significant’ flip.
LOU CHRISTIE: Love Is Over; Generation (Buddah 201081).
Yes folks the Rock Revival is REALLY here, as, to a jittery fast backing, Lou Sacco reverts to his “Lightnin’ Strikes” sound! On current form, a CHART CERT.
OLIVER: Jean; The Arrangement (Crewe CRW 1).
First offering here on Bob Crewe’s own logo (a sickly green label) is the U.S. smash version of the “Miss Jean Brodie” theme. This was William Oliver Swofford’s follow-up to “Good Morning Starshine”, and despite the time-gap between them it should do well since he sings the much-plugged Rod McKuen slowie perfectly pleasantly. Slightly “Middle Eastern” flip.
FRATERNITY OF MAN: Don’t Bogart Me; Wispy Paisley Skies (Stateside SS 2166).
Along with Steppenwolf’s “Pusher“, this brilliant bit of cod-Country music is one of the most note-worthy and popular songs in “Easy Rider”. Presumably the BBC will be hip to the great drug-digging lyrics, but even without radio plays it must sell well. Git along home, little dogies – yi hah! Perky flip.
STEVIE WONDER: Never Had A Dream Come True; Somebody Knows, Somebody Cares (Tamla Motown TMG 731).
Obviously another smash for Stevie, ultra-commercial hum-along bits and all. Now – expand your minds a mite, and dig the Mothers of Invention “Burnt Weeny Sandwich” album; not only does it have two great “oldies-but-goodies” that are more “for real” than anything on “Ruben & The Jets”, but also there is some superb blues fiddle by Sugar Cane Harris (of Don & Dewey fame)! Dig?
THE DELFONICS: Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time); Down Is Up, Up Is Down (Bell BLL 1099).
Although both this and Eddie Holman’s “(Hey There) Lonely Girl” are huge hits in America, they will mean precisely nothing here. This is slow sweet wailing Soul Vocal Group music, fit only for SOUL GROUP FREAKS such as myself, Pete Wingfield, Tommy Barclay, Trevor Churchill, and a handful of others. BEAUTIFUL, I can’t stop playing it, and Oi’ll give it foive.*****!
THE ARTISTICS: I’m Gonna Miss You; Hope We Have (MCA MU 1117).
Re-release of lovely 1966 Soul Vocal Group material – great rhythmic things happening on top, and a more direct big beat on the flip (which might have made a more commercial plug-side). A very good smooth yet ballsy S.V.G., they started out singing Marvin Gaye songs on OKeh in 1964.
THE WATTS 103RD STREET RHYTHM BAND: Love Land; Sorry Charlie (Warner Bros. WB 7365).
As the Band are one of the best tricky rhythm exponents about, it’s a shame that this (from their latest album) is a somewhat ordinary semi slowie. Well sung and played, and (often the case these days) in stereo without label mention. Instrumental flip, from their “Together” album.
CROW: Evil Woman, Don’t Play Your Games With Me; Gonna Leave A Mark (Stateside SS 2159).
This noisily unsubtle aggressive “heavy” beater, recently a big U.S. hit, seems to have been held back while an inferior British cover was given a chance. The real thing has one of those catchy, punchy rhythm patterns, some jazzy brass, and lots of effort. Not bad.
BUDDY HOLLY: Rave On; Umm Oh Yeah (MCA MU 1116).
Only two years since this was last re-released (with the more commercial coupling of “Peggy Sue”) during the first Rock Revival, “Umm Oh Yeah” is a nice slowie.
JERRY NAYLOR: But For Love; Angeline (CBS S 4882).
The one-time Cricket on a Cashman-Pistilli-West slowie that sounds Glen Campbell-ish: good, if you like that sort of thing. Buzz (“Baby Sittin’ Boogie”) Clifford-penned flip, with Beatles tinges.