Listen: Twentyfourth Hour / The Action Twenty Fourth Hour.mp3
It took a long while to hear The Action. Started reading about them around the time The Move debuted, mid ’66. They seemed to be from the same club scene, both were being touted for strong live shows and regulars at The Marquee. Like The Move, they had a great name and some great photos were about. I was desperate to hear ‘I’ll Keep Holding On’, which charted on the Melody Maker Top 50 during April of that year. But nothing was being released in the US. Then one Friday in May ’67, when I dropped by WMCR to blag some 45′s, there they were in my stack. This had been an agonizingly long wait. Now I was over excited. Couldn’t get home fast enough.
To be honest, I was a little disappointed, this didn’t have that edge I expected. Something seemed missing from their attack. Years later I realized the downfall: George Martin. He produced all their singles. Clean, jangly, immaculately recorded, well crafted, probably did them all wearing that fucking suit and tie. Self celebrated for his work with The Beatles, but in my opinion, George Martin also single handedly tanked The Action’s career. There was no dirt. This guy just didn’t get down. Wouldn’t be surprised if he never even saw them live.
With all his Beatles clout, you’d thought he’d have gotten US Capitol to release more than one single. Nope.
Or pushed Parlophone to release an album. Nope.
The Action only ever had one 7″ here in the US and no LP in the UK.
I actually grew to love ‘Twentyfourth Hour’, their RnB authenticity and a great Reg King vocal won through his pasty white production. If only Denny Cordell had produced.