Archive for the ‘Jim Webb’ Category

Rings & Things

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

Strange Things Are Happening / Rings & Things

Listen: Strange Things Are Happening / Rings & Things RingsAndThings.mp3

Guess what…just like the vast 99%++++ majority of this earth’s living mankind, I do not know anything about Rings & Things. I have checked high and low. Despite a virtual cross between The Brotherhood Of Man and The 5th Dimension, it has not detoured their only ever release, ‘Strange Things Are Happening’ from graduating into the psychedelic singles collectable A list. Quite deservedly so. This is a British band, that much we know – and yet they coined the US west coast Jim Webb/John Phillips sound meticulously. I picked it up on a UK trip ages and ages ago – for under a dollar. Great investment – not that it’s value really matters, I’d never sell it. Get to my place within 24 hours of me croaking though – Corinne promises she’s curbing all these ‘fucking’ records as soon as I’m cold.

The 5th Dimension

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

Go Where You Wanna Go / The 5th Dimension

Listen: Go Where You Wanna Go / The 5th Dimension 5thDimensionGoWhere.mp3

Another Day, Another Heartache / The 5th Dimension

Listen: Another Day, Another Heartache / The 5th Dimension 5thDimensionAnother.mp3

The California Folk Rock mafia, a description I have totally made up, probably did exist around ’65-ish. In my fantasy world, it included PF Sloan, John Phillips – all of The Mamas & The Papas I suppose, Dunhill Records, Jim Webb, Steve Barri, probably even Sonny Bono in a certain way. They were the big cheeses, writing, producing, releasing the hits. The Grass Roots certainly benefited. And so did The 5th Dimension. They were literally M & P soundalikes. This is way before they went all schmaltzy upon their switch to Bell Records. Prior, and including these first two singles, they recorded for Johnny Rivers vanity imprint: Soul City Records, a division of Johnny’s label Liberty. He had gads of hits, and for whatever reason, he got to set up Soul City. Great. Worked for me. I loved all those initial 5th Dimension singles. Even the huge hits that hinted at blandness to come (‘Up – Up And Away’ particularly) have aged just fine.

Rivers produced these two psychedelic tinged classics (John Phillips wrote the first), and probably had a lot to do with their output. Great choice of tapping into Laura Nyro’s catalog – not one but three times for single A sides.

Their west coast, carefree, vague LSD, pre -Tate/La Bianca murders, LA pop marked, in hindsight, the ending of an era.