Archive for the ‘Laurie Records’ Category

The Rats

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

Listen: Spoonful / The Rats

Ever been curious about a seminal guitarist’s humble beginnings? Well, most folks look towards The Rats version of ‘Spoonful’ as being the one to expose Mick Ronson’s rudimentary start.

Wrong. He joined the band post, but no doubt played this live. Instead, Frank Ince held down the lead guitar fort back in Fall ’64 when this was recorded, and surprisingly released in the US via Laurie Records.

Why surprisingly? Because for such a local, initially independent pressing of a mere 200 copies, the master found it’s way onto a US label’s release schedule prior to an expected English one. This was new territory. Possible explanation being at the height of British Invasion, every label’s marching orders were to acquire whatever they could find, anything, doesn’t matter, as long as it’s English. Being a small independent, Laurie clearly waited in line for the majors to pass, just as Vee Jay had patiently done when US Capitol turned their nose at UK sister company’s signing: The Beatles.

So for fun, here you go. The Rats first single, ‘Spoonful’. In no way a contender against The Cream’s version from ’68, but still a primitive attempt to compete with Hull hometown superstars, The Hullaballoss. For that, anyone gets an out of jail free card.

Hoagy Lands

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Listen: Baby Come On Home / Hoagy Lands
Baby Come On Home / Hoagy Lands

Anything associated with Bert Berns gets my radar sky high. A master of New York RnB productions, I grabbed this in a stack somewhere along life’s journey years ago. The not often used black and white, as opposed to red and white, Atlantic promo label giving this obscure single from ’64 even more of an odd one out feel.

There was no way ‘Baby Come Back Home’ was going to disappoint despite the rather un-soulful sound of an artist named Hoagy Lands. Gladly, that first instinct, triggered by the Bert Berns namecheck, was right. The record is a gem.

Through the years I’ve picked up his other titles on Laurie and ABC, yet always found it baffling that, for such an obvious musical fit, ‘Baby Come On Home’, with Cissy Houston, Dee Dee Warwick and Judy Clay on backups, became his only Atlantic release.

The Chiffons

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

Listen: Nobody Knows What’s Goin’ On (In My Mind But Me) / The Chiffons
Listen: Nobody Knows What's Goin' On (In My Mind But Me) / The Chiffons

’67 is generally credited as the year of psychedelia, but easily ’66 was when the arrangements that became quite specific to the sound started, as with ‘Nobody Knows What’s Goin’ On (In My Mind But Me)’. Often, this record gets included on psychedelic/girl group lists.

The Chiffions had bigger hits, but I do remember this, along with The Dixie Cups ‘Iko Iko’ and The Shangri-Las ‘Past, Present And Future’ initially grabbing my ear as being very different and dark, not only for the time but for each of their respective outputs.

Considered by some to be their best single. Agreed.