Archive for the ‘The Amen Corner’ Category

Judas Jump

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Listen: This Feelin’ We Feel / Judas Jump
This

No new info here: I’m an Andy Bown freak.

The Herd really were his band from what I can assess, having been a member before and after Peter Frampton. Not that I don’t love the Andy Bown / Peter Frampton period. PARADISE LOST is a class album, always overlooked even by the band themselves.

When it comes to an Andy Bown backing vocal, I can spot it a mile away. So after that first listen to ‘This Feeling We Feel’, I was in.

Scored the US promo above when relieving a Dewitt, NY Shopping Town Mall clothing store of a big box full with 45′s, meant for a tie-in promotion with WNDR, the local Top 40. If you bought an item, you got a 45. That box was beaming with stuff I needed, unlike their racks. A long store clerk negotiation that required me going home, on my bike, collecting a few dozen cast off singles acquired from various sources, and returning to do a one-for-one trade was well worth it.

Even though I had mail ordered for the UK pressing which arrived a week or so later, this Andrew S. Bown production hit the turntable first, and stayed, eventually switched out for Thunderclap Newman’s ‘Accident’.

Above: Jukebox Tab signed Adrian Williams

God bless Jackie Hyde at Sony in the UK. She one day thought to mention that Adrian Williams, down the other side of the building, was the singer of Judas Jump. I almost blacked out, tearing across the courtyard to do a face to face.

I don’t think anyone had ever asked him anything about Judas Jump his whole life. He was more shocked at my interest than I was with his employment at Sony. We’d spoken a lot on the phone, but never did I think he was one in the same.

What an embarrassing surprise for me, not knowing Allan Jones was a member of The Amen Corner prior to Judas Jump. I deserved the one upping that transpired. Great chap, Adrian Williams.

Bob Brady & The Con Chords

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

Listen: More, More, More Of Your Love / Bob Brady & The Con Chords
More, More, More Of Your Love / Bob Brady & The Con Chords

Not only did Bob Brady sound like Smokey Robinson, but for this 1967 single, he and the band, or maybe their label Chariot, decided to cover one of his songs. Like many Motown knock offs and/or non hits, it’s picked up a Northern Soul following. Great single, and not too expensive having just done a quick eBay search.

No idea when or where this one entered my life, but it wasn’t at the time. Randomly pulling a box of around 300 singles out of storage earlier today, yet another treasure trove got unearthed. Seriously, why I have absolutely no recollection of this box or it’s history is fascinating.

Bob Brady & The Con Chords were a white act from Baltimore, and the intro and verses of ‘More, More, More Of Your Love’ sound so much like The Amen Corner’s ‘Bend Me, Shape Me’, I’m wondering who was zooming who. I’ve played this so many times this morning, my entire family literally fled to safer ground.

More on the band and their history courtesy Funky 16 Corners.

Bernie & The Buzz Band

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Listen: Don’t Knock It / Bernie & The Buzz Band
Don't Knock It / Bernie & The Buzz Band

It’s easy to understand the addiction to Deram Records that so many collectors have, when you have it yourself that is.

The brown and white retail label design is as equally weak knee inducing as it’s turquoise and white promotional label sister. The craziest titles command the craziest money on the rare records circuit, usually without rhyme or reason beyond being on Deram. To be fair, much of the label’s obscure stuff is pretty consistent, as in, always expensive.

Take Bernie & The Buzz Band for example. Little is known about them. Noel Walker, label house producer of sorts, ended up with that chore. Based on his then current and successful releases with The Amen Corner, the pairing makes sense.

Nice quick in, quick out, four hour session at the Decca Studios I’m guessing. A very mono mix, a coincidentally similar to Andy Fairweather Low lead vocal, soul horns and soul bv’s interpret a lesser known Isaac Hayes / David Porter tune. There you have it, a £40 collectible.

Darrell Banks

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

DarrellBanksOpenDoorUS,  Darrell Banks, Stateside, Revilot, Northern Soul

DarrellBanksOpenUKA, Darrell Banks, Stateside, Revilot, Northern Soul

Listen: Open The Door To Your Heart / Darrell Banks
Open The Door To Your Heart / Darrell Banks

All the Northern Soul hits from this period, around ’66, sound like baby versions of The Supremes ‘Nothing But Heartaches’. Not that there’s a problem with that idea, you couldn’t find a better parent. Must be that xylophone bit, gives it a signature sound every time.

It’s easy to fall in love with the era as relived through the obscure club music of it’s day. Every time you hear a classic that should’ve been, you want more, a great example of why Northern is so addicting. This one’s of particularly good value for the money, given the record’s a true double sider.

DarrellBanksOurLoveUS, Darrell Banks, Stateside, Revilot, Northern Soul

DarrellBanksPocketUKB, Darrell Banks, Stateside, Revilot, Northern Soul

Listen: Our Love (Is In The Pocket) / Darrell Banks
Our Love (Is In The Pocket) / Darrell Banks

This was actually the original US A side. I first knew ‘Our Love (Is In The Pocket)’ as one of the best tracks from ROUND by The Amen Corner, who were England’s version of Wayne Cochran and The C.C. Riders I guess one could proclaim. Their version indeed did go out as a single in Holland. But little did I know at the time, Darrell Banks had slam dunked this right here at home, in fact, just a town or two away, in Buffalo.

Twice As Much

Sunday, November 14th, 2010


Listen: Step Out Of Line / Twice As Much TwiceAsMuchStep.mp3

Just as there was never any question in my mind who conquerd the decades old Beatles vs. Rolling Stones challenge, so too did that boil over and apply to their respective managers. Brain Epstein vs. Andrew Loog Oldham.

Opinions don’t matter. The facts are the facts.

Brain Epstein’s roster: The Beatles, Gerry & The Pacemakers, Billy J Kramer & The Dakotas, Cilla Black and The Remo Four.

Andrew Loog Oldham’s roster: The Rolling Stones, Marianne Faithfull, The Poets, The Mighty Avengers, Vashti and Twice As Much.

Then there was ALO’s Immediate Records roster: The Small Faces, The Nice, The Amen Corner, The Outer Limits, P.P. Arnold, Chris Farlowe and again, The Poets and Twice As Much.

Okay…..I will stop now and show some mercy.

Focusing on the clear champion had me thinking today about Twice As Much. In a constant quest to emmulate Phil Spector’s production style, ALO applied many attempts to the squeaky clean Twice As Much. Possibly going a touch too far by giving them a very California ’67 sound, a year earlier in ’66 funny enough.

On this second single, David Skinner and Andrew Rose were allowed to write both sides, unlike their first and much of their other records, which conveniently slotted in Jagger/Richards and Marriott/Lane songs.


Listen: Simplified / Twice As Much TwiceAsMuchSimplified.mp3

It’s this B side which is their real gem, maybe their best ever. Pretty dependable at picking hits, I’m not sure how Andrew fumbled hiding ‘Simplified’ on a flip side.

I recall my pal Denny getting a copy of this in late summer of that year, and we both played in relentlessly for weeks.

The Amen Corner

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

amencornerginuka, the amen corner, deram, decca, andy fairweather low

amencornerginusa, the amen corner, andy fairweather low, deram, decca, immediate, roy wood

Listen: Gin House Blues / The Amen Corner AmenGin.mp3

amencornerworlduka, the amen corner, andy fairweather low, deram, decca, immediate, roy wood

amencornerworldusa, the amen corner, andy fairweather low, deram, decca, immediate, roy wood

Listen: The World Of Broken Hearts / The Amen Corner AmenWorld.mp3

amencornerhighuka, the amen corner, andy fairweather low, deram, decca, immediate, roy wood

amencornerhighusa, the amen corner, andy fairweather low, deram, decca, immediate, roy wood

Listen: High In The Sky / The Amen Corner AmenHigh.mp3

It’s interesting that despite today’s technology, and all the immediacy of it, things in 1967 were happening pretty fast too. ‘Gin House Blues’, released on July 21 (according to the above hand written test pressing) actually charted 6 days later on July 26, peaking at #12. Almost as unlikely a mainstream hit, it’s followup, ‘The World Of Broken Hearts’ spent six weeks in the UK Top 50, reaching #24. Singer Andy Fairweather Low’s strangled delivery didn’t initially appear to have mass appeal, but subsequent singles, like the near US hit ‘High In The Sky’ proved otherwise. Indeed, The Amen Corner took Roy Wood’s (should-have-been-a-single for his band The Move) ‘Hello Suzie’, to a UK #1 in ’69, the band having left Deram for Immediate by then. Their album only (except in Holland) version of The Soul Survivors’ hit, ‘Expressway To Your Heart’, apparently became a much played track in the Northern Soul clubs.

For the record, let me share some factual information: all promotional A labels from UK Decca and it’s subsidiaries (Deram, London, etc), up until mid-’69, were shipped in white sleeves. As tempted as you may be to put a company stock bag on them – it’s just not correct. Hence, any of the records I post in white sleeves are there for authenticity. The UK promo of ‘The World Of Broken Hearts’ pictured above is the ’69 reissue, by then being shipped in the Deram company sleeve. Oh, in the US, Deram promo singles shipped in Deram sleeves by the label’s second release (The Move ‘Night Of Fear’). Only the very first US Deram promo 7″ (Beverley ‘Happy New Year’) came in a plain brown sleeve. What can I say, I am completely obsessed with having my records in their correct covers.