Teen Beat Treasures

Blue-sertNot unlike the London / Parrot / Coliseum advertinsert from last April, this London / Parrot / Deram insert features, once again, Them, the Stones, and The Zombies under the “teen beat” umbrella, but this time around sporting a seasonably fashioned blue trim. My SO mentioned the other night how I hadn’t done an insert post in a while. Truth be told, I’m desperately running low on inserts, so… off to the local brick and mortar I go for another blaze orange hunt for early Kinks, late Hardin, and vibrant record inserts. Happy Friday, kids!

From London With Love

London InsertLondon Recordings, with all her lofty divisions, offered a red, white and blue window into the mid-60s English Assault, and was home to some pretty significant acts producing some pretty extraordinary cuts. Their mainstay, and supplier of the label’s flowing honey, were, as you’ve probably guessed, the Rolling Stones, but what I didn’t recognize until earlier today was how many other British Invasion favorites, or in this case Teen Beat favorites, also strolled under the London Recordings umbrella. Unit 4+2, the Moody Blues, the Zombies, and Them all saw early offerings on London, or one of her sisters, and in such a short amount of time, helped propel this label into the upper, heavily coveted realms of rock n’ roll history.

The Personality Sound of the Sixties!

Sound of the SixtiesAccording to Liberty Records Inc. (Los Angeles 28, California), Martin Denny’s Exotic Percussion, Around the World With the Chipmunks, Bud and Travis in Concert, and 60 Years of Music America Hates Best are definitively, the personality sounds of the 1960s.

Forget about The Kinks, 13th Floor Elevators, Tim Hardin, Silver Apples, The Monks, Them, The Zombies, and the man in black… and for that matter, forget about the entire UK Encroachment (that’s what it’s called, right?), because Johnny Burnette, The Fleetwoods, and Bobby Vee are decade-defining personalities that history has proved to be as monumental as the title of this record label.

Liberty Records, like a symbolic statue of freedom, knew personality when they heard it. And thank goodness, because I don’t know what I’d do without ­all the tree-hugging, acid-dropping, tie-dyed skirt wearing, marvelous wonders provided by Bob Wills and Tommy Duncan.

Draw the Shades and Hide the Cats, Because the British are Coming

British SterlingArguably the best 30 track compilation featuring the monstrously influential British Invasion ever to be pressed to wax, this 1981 collaboration between Warner Special Products and Lake Shore Music marries the pinnacle of head-spinning talent that the Queen of England’s own had to offer… up to and including the 1961 single, My Bonnie, featuring Tony Sheridan and The Beat Brothers. The Beat Brothers, as you know, would eventually change their name to The Beatles… the band name this track is credited to on this compilation.

I’m not going to bore you with the A-1 list of exceptional talent highlighted here (The Hollies, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Unit 4+2, Donovan, Manfred Mann, The Zombies, Them, Chad & Jeremy, The Beatles, The Spencer Davis Group…), but I will (briefly) mention that someone off Discogs offered to buy my copy of British Sterling, which I appropriately, and respectfully declined. One of these days I’m going to gather enough motivation to digitize this double LP, but until that (dreadfully long and labor intensive) day, two flips for 30 tracks suits me just fine.

My BonnieAlthough I don’t consider A Whiter Shade of Pale by Procol Harum a pivotal part of the British Invasion, there is something striking about the 1-2 punch of Procol’s Shade followed by Tell Her No by The Zombies. Somebody knew what the hell he or she was doing when they made this compilation. To whomever that is… (raises Sun Records coffee mug) I salute you!

Numbs My Brain

Van the ManI imagine 1967 to be slightly different from 2013. For one thing, there were no gummy worms in 1967. That fact alone is enough to relieve any current day woe. But (starting a sentence with “but” is bad for your skin), with both feet firmly planted in the unbreakable reality that is 2013, it’s fun to send the head out into the clouds of 1967 as if it were a balloon disappearing into infinity. 2013’s 1967 is exactly what this gloomy Los Angeles morning needs, so with all of this gibberish in mind, I humbly present 1967’s Blowin’ Your Mind!

Van Morrison. Two words strong enough for a complete sentence. Like a phoenix, Van “The Man” Morrison rose to infinite stardom during the British Invasion with his band, Them. Remember Gloria? G. L. O. R. I. A. Gloria! That was Them, but to be specific, it was Van Morrison.  Releasing only two albums with Them, 1965’s Them and 1966’s Them Again respectfully, “The Man” was convinced to travel to America (well, New York city) for his solo debut.

Brown Eyed Girl

Blowin’ Your Mind! was not a success, which is strikingly difficult to imagine, considering it brought us Brown Eyed Girl. We all know and love that song so I won’t fill your eyeholes with my blather about it. What I will blather about, with unrelenting and shameless gusto is the 9+ minute masterpiece, T.B. Sheets. Arriving immediately before the bridge (the end of side 1), T.B. Sheets is a bass heavy blues jam that acts as a vehicle for “The Man” to stretch his unquestionable musical talents and knock over any and everything in its glorious wake (Gloria!). It’s difficult to comprehend “The Man” was only 22 when he recorded this song… 22!  There isn’t a word that befittingly describes the immensity of this song. Confoundedly-epic doesn’t even come close.

I implore you to seek out 1967’s Blowin’ Your Mind! and its majestic beauty, T.B. Sheets. I’m not joking. You’re going to want to make love to this song.

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