(Fontana TF873 1967)
Residing on the flip of Top3 hit Zabadak!, this stunning heavy psychedelic number would be reaching a value in the high hundreds if it had been released by a no-name outfit. Quintessentially the perfect underground sound for 1967, complete with distorted vocals and muted church bells, this opiated opus proves that the Wiltshire nice boys could get freaky with the best of them.
(NEMS 56-3500 1968)
This Lincolnshire based outfit were touted as the next big thing in 1968 but after two promising hits (#4 and #33) the inevitable break-ups and unsettled new line-ups resulted in the end before it hardly begun.
Their biggest hit was a fairly safe cover of the Little Anthony & The Imperials soul classic ‘Yesterday Has Gone’. However, guitarist Wyndham George was given free reign on the Bside and the result was a delightful ‘Stepping Stone’ influenced freakbeat anthem.
(Philips CF1356 1964)
Here’s an unhinged beauty that has flown under the radar for a long time.
Believed to be the work of session musicians, the first of a brace of fine singles evokes the wonderfully warped style of The Syndicats on laughing gas.
Tribal Brit R&B doesn’t get any better than this.
(RAK RAK139 1972)
Into the early 70s to explore the forgotten side of Hot Chocolate’s 6th single (and 4th hit!). To be fair, ‘Go Go Girl’ does sound as though it was recorded a few years earlier. In recent times this track has been tagged as freakrock.
Despite being at Top30 hit, this is one of the harder HotChoc 45s to find i.e. only one charity shop in ten will have it. A little extra searching could lead you to securing an Irish copy in way nicer Columbia livery.
(Parlophone R5905 1971)
Hollies in proto-glam heavy rock shocker? Yep.
This Allan Clarke penned hard riffing groover is pretty much true to the tag to my ears. This closely missed out on a Top20 finish but who remembers it now?
Euro copies are plentiful too, if a picture sleeve tickles your fancy.
(Beacon BEA116 1968)
This Nottingham based act tended to record suspect soul covers and cod facsimiles at an alarming rate. Coupled with a banal reworking of Andy Kim’s ‘How’d We Ever Get This Way’ is a spellbinding uptempo popsike number that out-moves The Move in every possible way. Sons And Lovers still play the cabaret and corporate circuits to this day!
(RSO 2090185 1976)
A clutch of great tunes from this Godspellian, including some via the monicker of his real middle name Oscar, this 1971 track received a surprising reissue as the Bside to the turgid ‘Reggae Like It Used To Be’ 5 years later.
Again, a sound to be tagged as freakrock in recent years. Rumoured to be the secret father of footballer Jimmy Bullard, Peterborian Nicholas denies the accusation, citing them to be just good friends.
(Immediate IMS107 1976)
An instrumental version of Donovan’s ‘Hey Gyp (Dig The Slowness)’. This track originally appeared on the Deram label ten years earlier as the backing track to The Truth’s version.
How it managed to appear on the flip to a Crispian St Peters hit on a post-insolvent NEMS licensed Immediate reissue in May 1976 is anyones guess….
(CBS 4582 1969)
For many a year I assumed the best thing about The Tremeloes were their girlfriends so it’s always nice to find a good tune or two tucked away on their Bsides.
‘Instant Whip’ rates as one of the best budget beat buys of the feature.
Almost 5 minutes worth of groovy far-out instrumental jams. I still prefer their girlfriends, mind….
(Sticky STY102 1977)
This demented ditty is hard to pigeon-hole… not punk, not glam, not rock, not garage…
An upfront vibe akin to The Stooges but slipping in diverse Small Faces styled harmonies and choruses along the way gives it an earlier feeling to the actual year of recording.