The Betterdays vs The Clique [UK 60’s Freakbeat/R&B]

Betterdays Howlin-1 Betterdays Howlin-2 R-1819703-1307177628Already have posted this stuff on my old site but now it’s back by popular demand! These two elpees were issued in ’95/’96 by Dig The Fuzz records. Both groups cut only couple of 7”s back in ’64/’65 and shared the stages with acts as Pretty Things, Downliners Sect, The Action, Poets, Bo Street Runners… So you now what to expect: Wyld UK R&B/Beat!!! Sound optimization by Mr.Eliminator. Dig The Fuzz!!!

VISIONS OF THE PAST vol.1-4 [German & UK 60’s Freakbeat/Psych]

Early 90’s comp. series of mostly German & UK 60’s & early 70’s garage, freakbeat, mod & psych.

Volumes 1 & 4 are focused on obscure German Psych/Freakbeat with couple of trax from Belgium & Netherlands. Featuring in vol.1 – Dom, Ooze, Sub, Klan, United Five, Petards Rackers, Untouchables… vol.4 –  The Safaris, The Desperates, Mersey Kings, Dischas, Phantom Brothers, The Sad Sack Set, The Ricketts, Vanguards, Kenny, The Freed, The Jailbirds, The Chosen Few, The Subjects… Pretty RARE & GREAT stuff!

Volumes 2 & 3 consist of mostly cool UK Mod/Freakbeat/Psych, among obscures featuring some well known 60’s undergrond acts as Big Boy Pete, Mickey Finn, Accent, Arthur Brown, The End, Sharon Tandy & Fleur De Lys… Dig!!!

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LOOKING BACK [60’s Mod/Freakbeat]

305b0-lookingback80mod1fAsk many listeners to define mod rock, and they’ll refer to bands like the Who, the Creation, and numerous others from the U.K. that merged guitar-driven pop/rock with edgy elements like distortion and outrage that anticipated aspects of psychedelia. Some of that’s on this 3-CD compilation, but in truth, the mod scene also encompassed soul, R&B-rock, reggae, jazzy R&B-pop-go-go music, and other bits and pieces. All of those styles are reflected on this ambitious anthology, which deliberately emphasizes the more obscure mid- to-late-’60s records falling under this umbrella. There are a few big names (though none as big as, say, the Who or Small Faces) here, and some fairly well-known second-line British Invasion bands (the Mojos, the Sorrows, John’s Children, the post-Stevie Winwood Spencer Davis Group). But most of these acts had limited or no commercial success, and you’d be hard-pressed to find many collectors who already had most of this in their collections, even though some of these cuts have come out on specialist reissues. As a trawl through off-the-beaten path material from or related to the mod/freakbeat scene (the U.K. version, with a few Australian tracks thrown in), it’s well packaged, with detailed liner notes and a few previously unissued cuts.At the same time, this doesn’t make for one of the better overall mod compilations, either as a starter anthology or for specialists dedicated to digging deeper. The selections are representative of points among the mod spectrum, yet for the most part rather average in quality, explaining to some degree why they have seldom or never been anthologized. It’s also true that the standouts tend to be some of the cuts that have already done the rounds to deserved acclaim for years, like the Syndicats’ tremendous rave-up “Crawdaddy Simone,” and the early sides by John’s Children (who, for all the derision directed at their supposed marginal talents, had a better eye for catchy songs than most of the competition here). 

ce4ec-lookingback80mod3A few rarities by big names aren’t as exciting as you might hope, like the two early R&B-oriented Arthur Brown songs (credited to the Arthur Brown Set) from a French movie soundtrack, or the tracks from late in the Sorrows’ career. Is that too harsh? Probably, considering the compilers deliberately set out to provide stuff that would be relatively or wholly unfamiliar, and certainly succeeded in doing so. Depending on your taste, you’ll probably find at least a few tracks that are nuggets in quality as well as rarity, strong contenders being the Quiet Five’s nervous Merseybeat (“Tomorrow I’ll Be Gone”); the Others’ cover of Bo Diddley’s “Oh Yeah!” (which could have been an inspiration for the Shadows of Knight’s version); soulman J.J. Jackson’s “Come See Me” (which he co-wrote and was more famously recorded as a Pretty Things single); the Alan Brown Set’s “Jou de Massacre (The Killing Game),” another refugee from a French soundtrack (which zanily alternates between jazzy freakbeat and rather smooth soul balladeering); and Ray Singer’s weirdly brooding “What’s Done Has Been Done,” which merges mod with Tom Jones and spy movie music. And it seems like almost everywhere you turn, there are obscure appearances by artists who became famous in other contexts, like Steve Howe in the In Crowd; T.S. McPhee in John Lee’s Groundhogs; Lemmy in the Rockin’ Vickers; Bon Scott in the Valentines (on a cover of Soft Machine’s “Love Makes Sweet Music”), and future Deep Purple members Roger Glover and Ian Gillan in Episode Six. [Richie Unterberger] 

Looking Back 80 Mod2a

MOD OVERDOSE in three acts. Dig!!!  Disc1/Disc2/Disc3

BO STREET RUNNERS + SOUL AGENTS – I just want… [1964 – 1966]

The Bo Street Runners were a mid-60s British R&B/Beat band who issued a string of now-collectable 45s and a privately-pressed £100-rated EP on R.G. Jones’ Oak label.
The band’s place in the history books was secured by the future careers of drummer Mick Fleetwood and second vocalist Mike Patto.
You could heard Soul Agents, Bo St.Runners & Chicago Line [Shimmy Shimmy Ko Ko Bop/Jump Back ’66 7″] as they landed on cool comps like Electric Sugarcube Flashbacks, Rubble, Maximum R ‘n’ B… Now, this here is complete collection of EP’s & singles by these real fine UK Garage/R&B/Mod groups. If you dig stuff like Downliners Sect, Pretty Things or The Artwoods , this is just fer you.
…And I Do Just What I Want, Dig!!!

WIMPLE WINCH – Atmospheres [1965-68]

British Freakbeat/Pop/Psych group famous for their ’66/’67 tunes Save My Soul, Atmospheres and Rumble On Mersey Square South that were included in numerous comps as Chocolate Soup for Diabetics, Rubble, Maximum Freakbeat, Nuggets II… This unofficial Surfadelic collection includes pre Wimple Winch ’65 beat band The Four Just Men. Save Your Soul, Dig!

THE STORY OF OAK RECORDS [Freakbeat/Psych 1964-68]

RG Jones’ Recording Studio in Morden, Surrey would probably qualify as a historic landmark today, if it hadn’t been long ago demolished by the local council. The Rolling Stones and The Yardbirds laid down their earliest demo recordings there, in 1962 and ’63 respectively, and over the course of the ensuing decade Jones had a steady stream of clients, mostly young unknowns who left the premises with a handful of acetate demos made on the studio’s in-house disc-cutter. The studio’s own Oak label went a step further, issuing limited run vinyl pressings (usually just 99 copies, to avoid Purchase Tax) which were manufactured at Pye’s nearby pressing plant. These records have become some of the most sought-after `60s artifacts, not only for their scarcity but because they contain some of the deadliest R&B and freakbeat ever made, as The Story of Oak Records amply demonstrates.
2LP vinyl issue appeared on Tenth Planet in 1994 but is now out of print. This CD version is a somewhat curtailed version of that set, omitting several of the weaker tracks and making some key substitutions, including the addition of several killers not on the vinyl edition
Getting to those first, The Four Degrees provide a raving version of “Too Much Monkey Business”, modeled after The Yardbirds, but with more teen energy and some bangin’ Jerry Lee-style piano work; I love how the harmony vocal drowns out the lead on the chorus. Also new here, The Exiles'”Love In the Making” is an excellent charging beat number and The Phoenix’s “You Are The Moon And The Stars And The Sun” is an upbeat pop-psych winner. However, the pick of the new bunch are The Gremlins, who give some freakbeat aggro to the Spencer Davis Group’s “High Time Baby” with slashing amped-up guitar and an aggressive vocal from future Fleur de Lys member Chris (later Tim) Andrews.
These Solskjaer-style `super subs’ enhance an already stellar line-up that includes R&Beat gems by the likes of The Bo Street Runners and The Betterdays, freakbeat essentials by The Kingpins and The Game, and superb psychedelia by Amber and Mike Stuart Span, and not to forget the delectably mysterioso Velvet Frogs. 
[Mike Stax]
”Overview of the small but feverishly collected Oak custom label. This 23 track anthology includes all the Oak legends – The Game, The Kingpins, The Betterdays, The Mike Stuart Span, The Four Leaved Clovers, The Thyrds, The A-Jaes, Sons Of Man etc etc, as well as more recent discoveries. Full blown freakbeat/R&B/psychedelia spanning the years 1964-68.”



Feedback, fuzz, distortion, and mayhem — that’s what the cover of this 21-song compilation of mid-late-’60s British sides promises, and it delivers and then some. There’s barely a word of information about any of the 21 acts included here, which range from relatively familiar names such as the Mark Four (“I’m Leaving”), the Mascots (“I Want to Live”), Wimple Winch (“Save My Soul”), Thor’s Hammer (“I Don’t Care”), and the Syndicats (“Crawdaddy Simone”) to bands such as the Elois (“I’m a Man”) and the Truth (“Hey Gyp [Dig the Slowness]”), about which precious little is known, and the release itself is a CD-R, which doesn’t exactly stand as a recommendation. But the music is astonishing as well as astonishingly good — all of it loud, mod-influenced, soul-based rock built on over-amplified guitars and drumming from the Keith Moon school of reckless abandon, slashing, pounding, and crunching their way through two or three minutes of mayhem masquerading as music — actually, most of it is surprisingly successful musically, though hardly any of these acts lingered commercially for more than five minutes. Interspersed with the British acts are a handful of European groups that had ties to British labels, including the Mascots and Thor’s Hammer (who sound a lot like the ’60s American outfit the Litter), but it all flows together nicely, and despite the lack of annotation, there are some neat poster re-creations of the era, and the sound quality is amazingly good, with no obvious deficiencies despite the obscurity of the material and the obvious fact that this isn’t an official release. [Bruce Eder]


Catching R&B as it morphed into psychedelia, but with an angry, frantic edge, freakbeat has become one of the most avidly collected genres in all of pop. This legendary compilation – unavailable for over a decade – gathers 21 of the genre’s finest examples. Britain is amply represented by legends such as Wimple Winch, the Mark Four and the Syndicats, alongside furious contributions from Iceland (Thor’s Hammer), Australia (the Missing Links, the Elois), Germany (the Ricketts), Sweden (the Lee Kings) and Holland (the Motions), proving that freakbeat was a truly International phenomenon.

You’re pretty familiar with some of these stuff from elsewhere [and from this blog as well] but then again it’ a…

!!! RAW ‘N’ WYLD 60’s BEAT !!!


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THE CREATION – How Does It Feel To Feel + THE MARK FOUR [1964-1968]

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THE CREATION were one of the best and the most important UK Mod groups from 60’s. Produced by legendary Shel Talmy [The Who, The Kinks] their sound was similar to those of The Who but with their own brand of Pop/Psych kink. Their debut ’67 album ‘We Are Paintermen’ was only released in Germany, Holland and Scandinavia. Pete Townshend was so impressed with the innovate guitar style of guitar slinger Eddie Phillips he asked him to join the Who as a second guitarist. You can hear his violin bow solo on Painter Man before Jimmy Page did the same. Edsel records comp.”How Does It Feel To Feel” is the best collection of Creation recordings from ’66-’68. THE MARK FOUR, pre-Creation group is presented here with Eva records ’80 collection of singles ’64-’66. A MUST for Mods all over the world. Biff Bang Pow!