Sunday, 31 August 2014

Natty Wright - You Move Me (1974)

Here's one of my 50p car boot finds that is probably quite rare but will never be valuable because of its lack of appeal to anyone other than the obscurest of obscure, pop geek!

I can't find any information on Natty Wright but 45cat lists him as having just the single solo release on Pye records in 1974. The A side "La Di Da" is a bit of a stinker, as cheesy as the title suggests and while it's even worse than Ringo's 1999 single of the same name, it's still not as bad as "She" by Charles Aznavour which was topping the UK singles chart at the time of it's release. The song was written by Des Parton who would pen the number one hit single "Sad Sweet Dreamer" for Sweet Sensation later on in the same year.

"You Move Me" is the more interesting side. Written by husband/wife song writing team Tony Hatch and Jackie Trent, it is a simple tune that starts off with some very bendy synthesizer sounds and acoustic guitar before kicking into a full on McCartney-esque, piano pop anthem. The UK top forty was in such bad shape in 1974 that I reckon had this been the A-side, our Natty might have had a minor hit on his hands.

If anyone has any information to add to this blog entry, please get in touch. Believe it or not, there are people out there that are interested in hearing the full story!

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Bite It Deep Volume 21

It's been a long time...

Bite It Deep Mix Vol.21 by Bite It Deep on Mixcloud

Swinging Blue Jeans - Keep Me Warm ('Til the Sun Shines)
Junior's Eyes - Mr. Golden Trumpet Player
Stormy Petrel - Hello Hello Hello
Raw - Love's Made A Fool Of You
Myke Jackson - I Am A Mockingbird
The Cowsills - If You Can't Have It Knock It
Jeremiah - I Saw Your Picture In The Paper
The Joint Effort - Mary On A Go-Round
Peter Sarstedt - Sayonara
The Arbors - I Can't Quit Her - For Emily Wherever I May Find Her
Trevor Gordon - Wounded Soldiers
Paul Ryan - Natural Gas
Thomas Edisun’s Electric Light Bulb Band - Concord World
Ted Mulry - Chicago
Mother Nature - Clear Blue Sky
Hurricane Smith - The Writer Sings His Songs

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Trevor Gordon - Alphabet (1970)

Trevor Gordon Grunnill aka Trevor Gordon emigrated from Blackpool, UK to Sydney, Australia in the 1950s. By the early 60s Gordon found himself a job as a kids television presenter which led him to meet and befriend Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb. Gordon contributed some lead guitar on the Bee Gees first album "The Bee Gees Sing 14 Barry Gibb Songs". In return Barry Gibb penned a number of songs for Gordon which would wind up being released as a string of singles for the Leedon record label.

In 1967, Gordon joined the Gibb brothers in returning to the UK, pairing up with his cousin Graham Bonnet to form The Marbles. Using his Bee Gees connections, the Marbles secured a record contract with Australian impresario, Robert Stigwood. Their first single "Only One Woman" b/w "By The Light Of Burning Candle", with both sides written by the prolific Gibb trio was released on Polydor records in 1967 and reach the number 5 position in the UK singles chart. Two more Gibb penned singles and an LP for Polydor followed but neither would chart. The Marbles decided to call it a day with Gordon and Bonnett going their separate musical ways.

Trevor Gordon returned in 1970 with a solo long player for Polydor. "Alphabet" was composed and arranged by solely by Gordon with production by Denis Comper. The album is a good example of UK songwriter, soft orchestrated pop of the early seventies, reminiscent of late sixties post-Nash, Hollies, charming and well produced with easy on the ear vocals. Out of the eleven songs, there are no stinkers or ones that I'd skip, but neither are there any that instantly grab your attention or resemble a hit record. My personal highlights are the opening track "The Goodbye Story", the very Mike Batt-esque "You Won't Believe It" and the far superior reworking of the Marbles "Elizabeth Johnson". I wouldn't recommend spending too much of your hard earned cash on this LP but it is worth a couple of quid at least and collectors of this genre (and the Fading Yellow heads) will hear something they like on it.

Following "Alphabet", Gordon quit performing and became a high school music teacher. Sadly, Trevor Gordon was found dead in his London flat in 2013 by school friend Peter Foldy.

Monday, 11 August 2014

The Californians - Congratulations (1968)

Fans of British psychedelia will know The Californians thanks to many appearances on compilations such as Rubble, Fading Yellow, The British Psychedelic Trip and many more. Between the years of 1967 and 1969 the band put out eight singles on four different labels (CBS, Decca, Fontana and Chapter One) with the focus on Four Seasons/Beach Boys inspired harmony pop. Sadly, there is no album.

Like the similarly minded Harmony Grass, The Californians don't quite reach the heights of their influences but it would be unfair to compare them. You don't get a lot of sun and surf in Wolverhampton! The band's legacy is a string of ace singles, some bona fide psych, some popsike and the rest pure pop with no real duffers to mention.

The Californians
(photo courtesy
One song that really stands out among the Californians discography is their version of Cliff Richard's Eurovision Song Contest classic, "Congratulations", which was written specifically for the event by songwriters Bill Martin and Phil Coulter who had penned the winning entry the previous year with "Puppet On A String" for Sandie Shaw. Both versions were released on the same day (22nd March 1968), but the Californians much superior, Hollies-esque version was over shadowed (pun intended) by Cliff's Eurovision success which saw it top the UK chart as well as many other countries around the world. George Harrison was clearly a fan of the song having lifted the melody for "It's Johnny's Birthday" on his All Things Must Pass album.

According to the Brumbeat website the band line up at this time was Peter Abberley (bass/vocals), Mick Brooks (guitar), Robert Trevis (drums/vocals), Adrian Ingram (guitar) and Geoff Parks (vocals). The single was produced by Irving Martin (Finders Keepers, Lord Sutch, Sight and Sound) and arranged by Des Champ (Vanity Fare, Chicory Tip).

Some psych heads may sneer, but the proper pop people will dig this...