May 16, 1970: Elvis Presley, The Beach Boys, The Jackson 5, Four Tops, The Tokens

ELVIS PRESLEY: Kentucky Rain; My Little Friend (RCA 1949).
Now here’s an Elvis newie that I actually don’t mind! The tempo-changing sIowie’s arrangement maintains interest, and E.A.P. sounds in good voice – obviously a huge hit. Fine flip, too. Hey, these ARE all right!

THE BEACH BOYS: Cottonfields; Nearest Faraway Place (Capitol CL 15640).
Typical.

THE JACKSON 5: A.B.C.; The Young Folks (Tamla Motown TMG 738).
Better than “I Want You Back” (though the flip is no match for “Who’s Lovin’ You“).

FOUR TOPS: It’s All In The Game; Love Is The Answer (Tamla Motown TMG 736).
The Tommy Edwards oldie, a beautiful slow sure smash. (Fine for S.G.F.s even!).

THE TOKENS: Don’t Worry Baby; Some People Sleep (Buddah 2011 011).
Beach Buggies’ oldie done up in the Tokens’ high-flying harmony – rather good. Unexpected knife-twist at the atmospheric slow lullaby flip‘s end.

MELANIE with the Edwin Hawkins Singers: Lay Down (Candles In The Rain) (Buddah 2011 013).
Our Miss Safka squawks away over the more substantial wailing of the Ed Hawkins lot on a comes-and-goes plopping-beat slowie. The combination has got her heavy air-way, while “Beautiful People” is still what people should hear.

CHICAGO: Make Me Smile; Colour My World (CBS S 4919).
Low on excitement, high on trendy musical competence. Incredibly bad flip.

THE IDES OF MARCH: Vehicle; Lead Me Home, Gently (Warner Bros. WB 7378).
Another of those post-BS & T big brassy aggregations – right up top Stateside, their unison blowing is direct enough to cause a stir here too.

THREE DOG NIGHT: It’s For You; Feelin’ Alright (Stateside SS 8041).
Great unusual A-side, about which I raved in February ’69 when it was only a flip – do hear it this time. The new flip (Traffic’s song) is now, however, my new rave!

THE VILLAGE SOUL CHOIR: The Cat Walk; The Country Walk (Direction 58-4969).
Oh, oh, ow! Regardless of where you find this review placed on the page, take it from me that “Cat Walk” is my pick of the week, month, and (almost) year! Slow screaming mind-searing Soul at its best.

MIRIAM MAKEBA: Pata Pata; The Ballad Of The Sad Young Men (Reprise RS 20606).
’67 R & B hit, popular here with dancers ever since and could even happen now.

THE FRIENDS OF DISTINCTION: Love Or Let Me Be Lonely; This Generation (RCA 1952).
A favourite group, yet I find this perky U.S. smash a disappointment after their superlative “Goin’ In Circles“. Great singing on flip. (Their LP is going cheap in many shops – get it.)

ARETHA FRANKLIN: Let It Be; My Song (Atlantic 2091-008).
You know the song, you know the singer. At least it’s slow.

LENNY WELCH: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do; Get Mommy To Come Back Home (Major Minor MM 700).
Lovely smooth lush version by the sophisticated R & Ber.

CISSY HOUSTON: He/I Believe; I’ll Be There (Major Minor MM 700).
The ex-Drinkard/Sweet Inspiration mixes it with an inspirational double-header. Better flip.

BEN E. KING: Goodbye My Old Girl; I Can’t Take It Like A Man (Crewe CRW 2).
No! (but so horribly Pop it’ll probably be a smash). He does a Jerry Butler on the flip.

THELMA HOUSTON: I Just Wanna Be Me; Crying In the Sunshine (Stateside SS 8044).
Like brown shoes, Thelma’s the right colour but she don’t make it – though this is her best effort yet.

THE 5TH DIMENSION: Puppet Man; A Love Like Ours (Bell BLL 1108).
Trendy whining guitar and a staccato mid-tempo trifle. Nicer harmony flip.

DOROTHY MORRISON: Rain; John The Rabbit (Elektra 2101-001).
Insignificant phoney surface excitement.

SONNY CHARLES: It Takes A Little Longer; Welfare Man (A & M AMS 787).
Joe South-like Pop.

THE DOORS: You Make Me Real; The Spy (Elektra 2101004).
Jim sounds like Reg Presley/Ray Davies on this angry beater. Subtler slow flip.

SMITH: Take A Look Around; Mojalesky Ridge (Stateside SS 8042).
Nice rumbling slow beater, it builds well.

TOM PAXTON: Forest Lawn; Jimmy Newman (Elektra 2101002).
Bright ditty about Evelyn Waugh’s “Loved One” cemetery. So this is what Tom Paxton sounds like . . . doubtless he’s big in bed-sit land.

TIM BUCKLEY: Happy Time; So Lonely (Straight S 4799).
Pretty new sleeve and label design, and a good bouncy folksy slowie.

NEIL DIAMOND: Soolaimon (African Trilogy II); And The Grass Won’t Pay No Mind (Uni UN 522).
Maddeningly familiar tune – sort of typical Neil gone Afro/Gospel (“Wimoweh”-ish).

VINCENT BELL: Airport Love Theme; Marilyn’s Theme (MCA MU 1125).
Bell plays the all-star movie theme just like Ferrante & Teicher’s “Midnight Cowboy” – I love ’em both!

TONY BENNETT: Little Green Apples; Something (CBS S 4958).
If you can stand the song yet again, this is a good punchy fast version – the band is a gas, especially on its different treatment of the Beatle flip (the U.S. hit side).

JOHNNY MATHIS: Odds And Ends; For All We Know (CBS S 4968).
Mr. “Juke Box Jury” breathily does one of Dionne Warwick’s recent B & D specials.

TOMPALL & THE GLASER BROTHERS: All That Keeps Ya Goin’; Theme From “…Tick…Tick…Tick…” (MGM 1495).
Pleasant bouncy Country-ish “easy listening”. The “tick” movie is the first with an all-Country score.

BOBBI MARTIN: For The Love Of Him; I Fall To Pieces (UA UP 35103).
Big U.S. hit beat ballad (Bobbi being a chick) – merely ordinary.

THEO BIKEL: I Love My Dog; The Great Mandella (Reprise RS 23446).
Aggressive Cat Stevens oldie, forcefully attacked.

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