Posts Tagged ‘George Martin’

Annette & The Afterbeats

Monday, May 13th, 2013

AnnetteTaulPaul, Annette Funicello, Annette & The Afterbeats, Disney

Listen: Tall Paul / Annette & The Afterbeats

Who were The Afterbeats? I’ve never been able to find out.

Being 1959, I’m guessing studio musicians the lot. But it’s nice to think that maybe soon-to-be members of The Standells or some such band, that five or so years later would try posing as teenagers during the crossover from Surf to English Invasion, were actually the players.

Annette was my first crush, probably like every other little kid who watched THE MICKEY MOUSE CLUB. Her singles are some of my earliest memories of owning records, once I graduated from those 5″ yellow shellac nursery rhyme jobs. It wasn’t long before I’d move on to Phyllis McGuire, I can now see where it was all heading. Meanwhile, ‘Taul Paul’ had to have driven my parents mad. Who knows how many millions of times I played it.

Not a singer with any power or confidence, it was Disney staff producer Tutti Camarata who coaxed her into recording stardom, according to Annette herself. Having worked with Billie Holiday, among others, his greatest innovation may have been the creation of what became ‘The Annette Sound’. His solution to the limitations of her teenage voice was to record her vocals twice, the second time with large amounts of echo thrown in; a technique apparently so successful that others like Connie Francis, Shelley Fabares and even The Beatles began to borrow it.

Correct, George Martin did not invent the wheel. More importantly, he destroyed The Action with his shit production. See my post on that one.

Tell me, do you ever, ever hear Annette on oldies radio, bar Sirius?

AnnetteFirstNamePS, Annette Funicello, Annette & The Afterbeats, Disney

Listen: First Name Initial / Annette & The Afterbeats

Predating the surf craze that seems to have musically started around ’61/’62 by about two years, you can definitely detect ‘First Name Intital’ moving into that direction. Sounding undeniably RnR 50′s style, it still reaked of sock hops and malted shakes, but in a good way.

Billy Preston

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

billyprestongotusps, billy preston, apple, george harrison, doris troy, beatles, sue records, capitol, sunny, bobby hebb

Listen: All That I’ve Got (I’m Gonna Give It To You) / Billy Preston

1968. The Beatles starting Apple Records, and even better, turning into A&R guys who immediately proceeded to over spend on their friends. Thankfully they kept George Martin well clear of their roster.

Seems it was primarily George Harrison who got in there signing, writing, playing, producing. His works with Jackie Lomax, Doris Troy, and Billy Preston all proved to be good ones.

Maybe it was the Abbey Road studios, where I’m guessing they were all recorded. Not sure, but something gave every one of those records a roomy, live sound. A decidedly American Delaney & Bonnie & Friends communal feel identified this particular single. Like my previous Billy Preston post, his releases were a touch classy, oddly polished and unpolished alike, and kinda too good for mainstream consumption. What else is new?


Monday, August 30th, 2010

Listen: 13 Questions / Seatrain Seatrain13.mp3

Despite my preference for the British bands from the 60′s and 70′s, there’d many times be an American group as part of those three band live lineups so prevalent at the time. Like there were always three at The Fillmore. Three bands were kind of a given.

No recollection which bill Seatrain were part of, ’13 Questions’ was current at the time and I remember liking the set.

Besides, I did fancy the look of the Capitol label around this time: those lime green with purple/black logo albums, then the circular orange and red with graphically matching blue/yellow bullseye 7″ label/sleeve combos. Plus, Capitol used a lot of recycled vinyl, whereby they’d grind up and melt down returns and defectives with the label still affixed, hence ‘Capitol surface noise’ as we all coined it. Example: did you EVER hear a Quicksilver Messenger Service album without it during the quiet patches? There you go. The proof.

I must admit, it made all those records by Joy Of Cooking, The Band and yes, Seatrain sound a touch desirable to one person at least. I liked Capitol’s particular sound of crackle.

Listen: I’m Willin’ / Seatrain SeatrainWillin.mp3

Seems ’13 Questions’ had a fair share of airplay on the FM stations in it’s day. I know I heard it on occasion, as was the case with their version of Lowell George’s ‘I’m Willin”. Despite Seatrain’s general lack of lyrical ability, seems they were not alone. Lowell Geroge, on this particualr song at least, is clearly no poet. I mean, are these words supposed to be funny?

Still, I’d acquired a taste for violin in rock, when well done as in the case of Family, it can make one quite open minded. Then I saw The Flock support John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, and Jerry Goodman was setting the place ablaze. Really good stuff. Likewise with Seatrain. Richard Greene was a much more subtle but classy violinist. His playing was never overdone.

Live, they were pretty raw. In the studio though, with George Martin producing, no doubt wearing his signature shirt, tie and suit coat, they were sadly cleaned, polished and de-souled. He did have a knack for white washing things in the booth. See my post on The Action.

Got home that night after seeing the band and played both ’13 Questions’ and ‘I’m Willin” a good half dozen times each, until I could stand the ‘Capitol surface noise’ no longer.

The Andrew Oldham Orchestra

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

AndrewLoog365, Jukebox Tab, , Decca, The Rolling Stones, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts, The Andrew Oldham Orchestra

Listen: 365 Rolling Stones / The Andrew Oldham Orchestra AndrewLoog365.mp3

In ’64, Andrew Loog Oldham clearly ruled the roost at Decca Records. And why not? He managed their biggest act, The Rolling Stones. So if and when he felt like making a record, smartly the powers that be (Sir Edward Lewis I assume) turned on the green light. Despite their popularity, it was still a time when he could march his band members into the studio to do the instrumental backings for his sonic fetishes.


Listen: Oh, I Do Like To See Me On The ‘B’ Side / The Andrew Oldham Orchestra AndrewLoogBSide.mp3

Occasionally, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts, along with Ian Stewart, were allowed to stretch into muiscal territory that was more their natural habitiat than the commercial Andrew Oldham Orchestra A sides. ‘Oh, I Do Like To See Myself On The ‘B’ Side’ being the most prime example. And, how uncommonly generous too was Sir Andrew, the boys even got writer’s credit and hopefully publishing – although despite The Rolling Stones growing popularity at the time, and name checks in the song titles, none of his singles sold squat – so not sure that pub money amounted to more than a few teas and English fry ups. Not so bad I must admit. I do love a trad breakfast fry up, vegetarian that is, in some unrenovated, chilly, damp, not been changed since the 60′s cafe – usually out of gentrified Central London I’m sad to say.

AndrewLoogJukeboxTab, Jukebox Tab, , Decca, The Rolling Stones, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts, The Andrew Oldham Orchestra

Above: Jukebox Tab signed by Andrew Loog Oldham

And how nice of Andrew Oldham, manager of truly the world’s greatest rock and roll band ever to generously fill in a jukebox tab for my collection when approached by dear friend Lindsay Hutton on my behalf. Thank you Lindsay. That great rock and roll band, just to be clear, were not the ones that quit after five or so years, their silly vaudeville music being continually decimated production wise by that stiff, suit and tied George Martin, who also destroyed The Action’s career with his souless ‘talent’. Yes, I’m referring to the overrated Beatles. Quitters, thankfully.

AndrewLoog5RollingStones, Jukebox Tab, , Decca, The Rolling Stones, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts, The Andrew Oldham Orchestra

Listen: There Are But Five Rolling Stones / The Andrew Oldham Orchestra AndrewLoog5Rolling.mp3

Very nice Joe Meek production nick here. Some say this represents Andrew’s constant attempt to replicate Phil Spector’s sound, but no this is unquestionaably Joe Meek territory. As stated above in similar vocabulary, anyone who claims it’s not The Rolling Stones, or various members, playing on these is just stupid. Compare the guitar solo on the outro of ‘There Are But Five Rolling Stones’ with the middle break on the band’s version of ‘It’s All Over Now’. Only question being is it Keith or Brian?

Listen: Da Doo Ron Ron / The Andrew Oldham Orchestra & Chorus AndrewLoogDoRon.mp3

And before heads got too big, can you guess who Andrew wheeled in to vocal ‘Da Doo Ron Ron’ for his UK Decca album 16 HIP HITS by The Andrew Oldham Orchestra & Chorus? If this doesn’t bring you back to Denmark Street, chills up the spin included, nothing will.