Date: Tue, 8 Apr 2003 22:16:37 EDT
From: andy
Subject: No Subject

sorry guys - this was getting so wordy that I stopped, but . . . for what
it's worth

a little tardy, so no fruit cup for me, but here's some thoughts on the why
of my 60's mix.

well, first I should say that most of these tracks are so embedded in my head
from my teenage years that I have no idea if they're good, bad, or nothing
much. I have no objectivity . . . all that 'soundtrack of my life' stuff. I
had so much to choose from that I decided to limit myself to UK music from a
2 or 3 year period by chart-oriented bands (for the most part). I also wanted
to pick some music by bands who went on to be dinosaurs but began as perky
indies before the term existed.

track by track:
friends of mine - the zombies; love the singer’s voice (colin blunstone who
went on to a brief solo career). this album wasn’t a huge hit, but now ends
up on hundreds of ‘best of’ lists. The typo in the title is because the
painter who made the cover misspelt ‘odyssey’. rod argent was the keyboard
player (later of the eponymous ‘argent’). I like when the middle break comes
and the piano goes oompah oompah and someone sings heh on the 3 1/2 beat. and
the ‘aah’ at the end is too cute and very 60’s I think (other cases of
tacked on speech snippets to come)

paper sun - traffic; Steve Winwood when he was ‘little Steve Winwood’ fresh
out of ‘the Spencer Davis group’ formed the ur-brit-hippie band traffic.
they headed off to a country cottage, smoked dope and recorded ‘mr. fantasy’
- a fine album with a beautiful cover (one of the first by hipgnosis, THE
album design company for progressive uk bands in the 60’s). I like the bluesy
‘too much sun will burn’ and how it only makes one appearance. Also like the
understated sitar (recently introduced to western ears by george harrison).
it’s a nice rich arrangement. not sure what ‘paper sun’ means but it feels
good. like the reverb on the voicet at the end of the song, and the ‘that’s
the one’ from the engineer.

happy jack - the who; odd, like a nursery rhyme. it’s so plain and simple and
gets slightly out of control in the center. it’s hard to remember how
dangerous the who were and then how innovative townshend was. note the “i saw
ya’ at the end . . . my. my - i detect a running theme.

fire brigade - the move; birmingham’s finest and the first 45 i ever bought
(i think) beginning with a fire engine, mm - 20 years before sampling,
remember. love the duane eddy twang guitar, the lame-o tambourine, the piano
glissando before the second verse, the wee-ooh siren backing vocals in the
second chorus. the move were prosecuted for obscenity after they mailed out
postcards advertising their previous single (flowers in the rain - it WAS the
60’s after all) which cut and pasted the head of the then prime minister onto
a naked body. such innocent times.

jackie - scott walker; talk of innocent - this record was banned by the BBC
for using the word ‘bum’ and ‘bordello’. i remember my mom being outraged
at a frank zappa track called ‘mr. green genes’ in 1968 in england ‘gene’
was a dirty word. scott walker was an american who came to england with ‘the
walker brothers’ (all unrelated actuaaly) and made a huge hit as a teen idol,
then he split and recorded four great albums of torchy over-orchestrated
songs including many (like this one) by jaques brel. i like this because it’s
so campy and i love his voice and he was cute, american, moody, exotic . .
mmm.

don’t sleep in the subway - petula clark; this is the real thing . . . good
honest british pop stealing wholesale from american production. the specter
of phil spector until we hit the chorus which lifts the arrangement from the
beach boys ‘good vibrations’. lovely. plenty of tambourine - easily my
favorite instrument. i also love the lyric - why would he sleep in the
subway? is she dating a bum? can’t he afford a motel. or is he just being
melodramatic to punish her? written by jackie trent and tony hatch eho wrote
plenty more for ‘our pet’ as well as ‘joanna’ for scott walker and the
theme to ‘crossroads’ a long running british soap. aren’t you just loving
all this nostalgic detail i’m shoving at you? too bad - I can’t stop myself.

I can’t reach you - the who; from ‘the who sell out’ an early concept album
full of groundwork for ‘tommy’ the first god-help-us rock opera, but it was
something at the time. ‘see, feel or hear from you’in this song may be what
led to the tommy ‘see me, feel me, touch me, kick me in the pants’ motif.
this is a pretty song from when they were still a pop group, I like
townshend’s voice - vulnerable, I believe.

it’s raining today - scott walker; I wanted to put two tracks on by most
people just to give an overview of artists you might not have heard much
from, so this one written by scott himself. I really love the string
arrangement - makes the whole thing obstinately drizzly, plus those delicious
cheesy chimes - mmm mmm, to say nothing of his warbling croon and the
continental angst of his existential dilemma, woah nelly.

first girl I loved - the incredible string band; scottish hippies (one of
their vocalists/girlfriends was called simply ‘licorice’ - ahem). they have
interesting song structures - lines wander off and uncurl somewhere you don’t
expect. this wasn’t a chart thing, but part of the beginning of so-called
‘underground music’ which led into ‘progressive rock’. this is such a sweet
sad song and I like the double bass (Danny Thompson, the only folk bassist in
England, it seems . . . he played with Nick Drake, John Martyn, Pentangle,
and hundreds more). ‘you’ve turned into a grownup female stranger’ - I like
that. It’s a little cute, but those were the times.

a rose for emily - the zombies; just cuz I needed a second zombies track, and
I wanted to slow the mix down. based on some character from some william
faulkner novel, apparently. kind of beatle-y, I think.

green is the colour - pink floyd; from the soundtrack to ‘more’ and a great
moody album. this too is pretty, and I like the badly played recorders and
squeaky organ, very summery.

bus stop - the hollies; great pop song, from shortly before Graham Nash left
moved to LA and formed Crosby Stills and Nash, the first international
supergroup, as we were told weekly. I like the squeaky squeaky voices and the
old-fashioned ‘some day my name and hers are going to be the same’ . . . . .
what . . . Graham? it hasn’t a sad sort of sound for such an ostensibly happy
song, and the fadeout is way too quick and clumsy.