August 29, 1970: Boffalongo, Faith Hope & Charity, Bobby (Boris) Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jim Reeves

BOFFALONGO: Dancing In The Moonlight (United Artists UP 35144).
Oh, I love it! I hope that those of you who, as regular readers, reckon that our tastes are similar will love it too. Bear in mind that my favourite disc of 1969 was Tommy James & the Shondells’ Crystal Blue Persuasion, and rush out to hear this similar in spirit, glorious, joyful little beater. PLEASE, Radio 1, plug this original version.

FAITH, HOPE & CHARITY: So Much Love; Let’s Try It Over (Crewe CRW 3).
An all-happening happy hollering female group Friends Of Distinction-like R&B beater that I personally have been waiting to hear for some time. No disappointment, as these chicks can sing, and I mean REALLY sing! Kinda energetic, it’s Pop enough to catch on here too, having been big both R&B and Pop Stateside. Fabulous powerful slow Soul flip, not to be missed. Van McCoy & Joe Cobb co-penned/produced.

BOBBY (BORIS) PICKETT AND THE CRYPT-KICKERS: Monster Mash; Monster’s Mash Party (London HLU 10320).
Well, speak of the …! I mentioned this classic 1962 U.S. smash first indirectly and then, just the other week, directly in my reviews of the music from “MASH” (saying latterly that it was a revived hit in America), and – here it is! Those too young or too thick to remember (it wasn’t actually ever very big here) will probably wonder what I’m on about when they hear it, but hopefully there are enough nostalgicats in the land who missed it first time round to make it a hit now. One of my very favourite records … a revealing insight, yeah?! (Early-60s freaks will note the subtle label alterations). Whatever happened to the Transylvania Twist? Continue reading “August 29, 1970: Boffalongo, Faith Hope & Charity, Bobby (Boris) Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jim Reeves”

August 22, 1970: Melanie, Blinky & Edwin Starr, Poco, Tony Joe White, B. B. King

MELANIE: What Have They Done To My Song Ma; Ruby Tuesday (Buddah 2011-038).
What indeed? You may have heard the British cover by the New Seekers of Melanie Safka’s marvellous (and, in this case, particularly pertinent) little song – now you can go out and get the original, yet for some unintelligible reason as officially only the B-side of this release. Madness. “Ruby Tuesday” is a dull dirge, whereas “Song Ma” is a natural “easy-listening” smash if ever there was one – subdued but ultra-bouncy oompah beat, catchy chorus, pretty voice, and even a bit in French. Especially as the not dissimilar Joni Mitchell is so big right now, why the hell isn’t this the plug side?

BLINKY & EDWIN STARR: Oh How Happy; Oo Baby Baby (Tamla Motown TMG 748).
Written by Edwin in his Ric-Tic days, this was originally a US hit some four years ago by a white soul group called the Shades Of Blue (on Impact, one of the labels in the Detroit-based Golden World/Ric-Tic group that, together with Edwin, was taken over by Motown). Anyway, the story continues – last winter, in its present form as an exuberant, joyful beater of a duet, this new version was all set for release here (I even had my review copy) when it was suddenly scrapped, and a solo Starr side, “Time,” came out instead (so that he could plug it on a visit). Just as they have done by not promoting the Originals’ “Baby I’m For Real,” Motown goofed. “Time” looked great on “Top Of The Pops” but it wasn’t a hit. This will be.

POCO: You Better Think Twice; Anyway Bye Bye (CBS S 5141).
A spirited happy rocker, with good thumping bass, plus an involuted slow flip, from the Jim Messina/Richie Furay group. Now I wonder why they harmonize so much like Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young?! Rather keen on these. Continue reading “August 22, 1970: Melanie, Blinky & Edwin Starr, Poco, Tony Joe White, B. B. King”

August 1, 1970: Buchanan Brothers, Supremes, Bob Dylan, Jimmy McGriff, Lou Donaldson

BUCHANAN BROTHERS: Rosianna (Penny Farthing PEN 725).
By merely turning into a bright percussive little beater, this latest Cashman-Pistilli-West opus doesn’t quite live up to its earlier promise of acappella bass clucking. Still, good enough.

THE SUPREMES: Everybody’s Got The Right To Love; But I Love You More (Tamla Motown TMG 747).
Nicely un-frantic jog-trotting gentle beater, quite a change from the old format, with wistful vocals, electric sitar touches, handclapping – really, more in the spirit of early Motown. “Say ‘Yeah!” Mary Wells would have sung this, then. Mmmm, lovely. Intricate good slow flip, too. Viva Jean Terrell.

BOB DYLAN: Wigwam; Copper Kettle (The Pale Moonlight) (CBS S 5122).
Great music to smooch by, and bound to be covered by Bert Kaempfert, Ray Conniff, etc. (None of the above is meant sarcastically, either.) Dead slow flip, about illicit liquor distilling. Continue reading “August 1, 1970: Buchanan Brothers, Supremes, Bob Dylan, Jimmy McGriff, Lou Donaldson”