Archive for the ‘Blue Mink’ Category

Al Kooper

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

Listen: The Monkey Time / Al Kooper
The Monkey Time / Al Kooper

It’s safe to say Al Kooper is a soul fan from way back. Look into his early history of obscure singles. They’re as vital as the well known triumphs, most of which wouldn’t exist without him.

For instance, had he not helped Bob Dylan over his difficulty with ‘Like A Rolling Stone’, well who knows what might have happened, or more likely not.

The effortless version goes to prove the occasional unsung plaudits don’t come his way often enough. I can’t imagine it’s easy, or more accurately, possible to fake this one.

For the record, it’s basically Blue Mink’s rhythm section here, and both Claudia Lennear and Linda Lewis doing those female bv’s.

Albert Hammond

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Listen: The Free Electric Band / Albert Hammond AlbertHammondFreeElectric.mp3

Ok, so Albert Hammond made his real mark as a songwriter, credits including The Hollies, Aswad, Blue Mink, The Fortunes, Tina Turner at best. Many of his biggest earners were of the more gack inducing mainstream nuisance types. Songs you could neither stand nor avoid during their reign.

That’s ok, there’s room for everybody I suppose. And given his one international hit, ‘The Free Electric Band’, all is pretty much forgiven.

I think I may actually recall every song I heard on UK radio in ’73. I was that focused on it. Couldn’t get enough. Radio 1 was my non stop soundtrack. Back then, pop music would end at midnight on the BBC or it would have been 24/7.

There were a handful of singles that peaked in the mid teens, like Junior Campbell’s ‘Sweet Illusion’, and this was one (#19) as well. Even better. A nice slow grinder of a climb insured a load of airplay.

Early moog sounds always caught the UK’s ear. Maybe that’s why this worked over there instead of his US smash ‘It Never Rains in Southern California’.


Friday, January 29th, 2010

Randy / Blue Mink

Listen: Randy / Blue Mink 07 Randy.mp3

She made good pop records with Blue Mink in the late 60′s/early 70′s as one of their two lead singers (songwriter Roger Cook was the other). Anyone into the happening music of the day would turn their nose to them, preferring prog or glam; writing off mainstream radio music as with every generation. Their ‘By The Devil I Was Tempted’ is a great period piece and sounds fine still.

‘Randy’ was a summer ’73 UK smash, it was always on the radio, and I vividly remember it blaring out of the market stalls on Wardour and Rupert Street while trolling for records.

Picture Me Gone / Madeline Bell

Listen: Picture Me Gone / Madeline Bell 01 Picture Me Gone.mp3

Before, during and after the Blue Mink run, Madeline Bell continually released her own solo stuff which soul nuts seem to appreciate, although most of those singles were heavily A&R’d with attempts at pop/RnB crossover. A cult artist she was not being tailored into. In the end, that’s what she became. Partially due to her lack of any chart hits, (‘I’m Gonna Make You Love Me’ was a Top 40 success here in the US), for being a backup voice on many a Dusty Springfield record (and Dusty on hers); but mainly for ‘Picture Me Gone’ which became a Northern Soul collectable. A few others recorded it, but her’s became the official version. It was actually relegated to the B side of ‘I’m Gonna Make You Love Me’ in America. Most US shops have no idea it’s valuable, therefore plan to find it for $1 or so. I did that just the other day at Academy here in New York, and this one probably brings the number of copies within 1000 feet of me to ten.