Wednesday, 9 May 2018

"Planet Mod: Brit Soul, R&B & Freakbeat From The SHEL TALMY Vaults" by SHEL TALMY [Various Artists] (April 2018 Ace/Big Beat CD Compilation - Nick Robbins Remasters) - A Review by Mark Barry...





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"...Going Out Tonight..."

Tempted by the fruits of the Various Artists CD compilation "Making Time: A Shel Talmy Production" released a year earlier by Ace/Big Beat Records in April 2017 (see my review) - I lunged slippers-first in my New Breed duds at this April 2018 Big Beat follow-up CD. This time Ace focus 24-Tracks on Shel Talmy's Production credits for the hugely collectable but short-lived British label 'Planet Records' (almost all tracks are from 1966 to be specific).

All the right names and slants are here - compiled by ALEC PALAO with his usual plethora of fantastically detailed liner notes (cool period photos and memorabilia etc) - Nick Robbins mastering, mega rarities making their digital debut and a whopping 15 of the 24-track haul 'Previously Unreleased'. And as you see from the wildly eclectic artist-list provided below by yours truly - there's a world of cool 60ts music to get through and much to discuss. So once more my mod-dancing pasty-faced groovalicious Banditos unto the Daddy Longlegs and Gamma Goochie (if you catch my drift)...

UK released Friday, 27 April 2018 - "Planet Mod: Brit Soul, R&B And Freakbeat From The SHEL TALMY Vaults" by VARIOUS ARTISTS on Ace/Big Beat CDWIKD 336 (Barcode 029667085120) is a 24-Track Mono CD Compilation that plays out as follows (60:11 minutes):

1. Daddy Longlegs (Alternate Version) - THE UNTAMED (first issued on the 2000 CD compilation "The Best Of Planet Records: A Shel Talmy Production" on RPM Records RPM 215)
2. Unto Us (Demo Version) - THE NEW BREED (2018, Previously Unreleased)
3. Searching - THE SOUL BROTHERS (2018, Previously Unreleased)
4. Mai Lee - JOHN LEE HOOKER (May 1966 UK 7" single on Planet Records PLF 114, A-side)
5. Call Me Girl - THE THOUGHTS (2018, Previously Unreleased)
6. Take My Tip (Alternate Take) - KENNY MILLER (2018, Previously Unreleased)
7. I'll Never Fall In Love Again - JOHN LEE'S GROUNDHOGS (January 1966 UK 7" single on Planet Records PLF 104, A-side)
8. Don't Let It Be - THE TRIBE (2018, Previously Unreleased)
9. Why Do You Stand In My Way - THE PROS & CONS (2018, Previously Unreleased)
10. Have You Ever Had The Blues (Alternate Take) - RAY GATES (2018, Previously Unreleased)
11. I'm Leaving - THE UNTAMED (2018, Previously Unreleased)
12. Too Much Of A Woman - THE CORDUROYS (December 1966 UK 7" single on Planet Records PLF 122, B-side of "Tick Tock")
13. Goodbye Girl - THE PREACHERS (2018, Previously Unreleased)
14. The Skip (Alternative Version) - GOLDIE & THE GINGERBREADS (2018, Previously Unreleased)
15. Pretty Girl - THE THOUGHTS (2018, Previously Unreleased)
16. Stone Crazy - SCREAMIN' JAY HAWKINS (First issued on the January 2017 CD compilation "The Planet Sessions" on Ace Records CDCHD 1493)
17. Over You Baby - JOHN LEE'S GROUNDHOGS (January 1966 UK 7" single on Planet Records PLF 104, B-side of "I'll Never Fall In Love Again")
18. Life's Too Good To Waste - TONY CHRISTIE AND THE TRACKERS (1966 UK 7" single on CBS Records 202097, A-side, A Barbara Ruskin song)
19. The Gamma Goochie - THE TRIBE (February 1966 UK 7" single on Planet Records PLF 108, A-side)
20. Broken Truth - A WILD UNCERTAINTY (October 1966 UK 7" single on Planet Records PLF 120, B-side of "A Man With Money")
21. Mary Ann - THE PROS & CONS (2018, Previously Unreleased)
22. Think - THE TOTAL (2018, Previously Unreleased)
23. I'm Going Out Tonight - THE UNTAMED (First appeared on the 2001 CD compilation "Gimme Gimme" on RPM Records RPM 223)
24. Goodbye So Long - THE SOUL BROTHERS (2018, Previously Unreleased)
All tracks are in MONO
Fifteen tracks are PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED - they are Tracks 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22 and 24
JOHN LEE'S GROUNDHOGS featured TONY McPHEE on Guitar, PETE CRUICKSHANK on Bass and KEN PUSTELNIK on Drums
Who would become 60ts and 70ts Blues-Rock band THE GROUNDHOGS

The 20-page booklet is a typically splendiferous affair - pictured are uber rare release-sheets for The Tribe's single "The Gamma Goochie" (4 Feb 1966), John Lee's Groundhogs and their version of "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" (21 Jan 1966), an I.B.C Studios Acetate for The Pros & Cons unreleased "Mary Ann", a gorgeous colour picture sleeve from Germany on Hit-Ton Records for John Lee Hooker's "Mai Lee", Planet Records publicity calling cards for The Thought, A Wild Uncertainty and The Untamed, an outtake photo of Screamin' Jay Hawkins with his wife Ginny, a snap of the mighty Hook with his guitar backstage at The Twisted Wheel in 1964, and a mastertape from a November 1966 session.

Paulo is the kind of geezer who has way too much knowledge but thankfully his enthusiasm and love for this music never abates. Who else would know that Danny Alexander joined Liverpool's 'The Thought' for their European Tour in 1967 and is this fellow Scouser who sings lead on "Call Me Girl" and a roaring version of The Easybeats "Pretty Girl" - both tracks unreleased (slated as the follow-up to the hugely collectable "All Night Stand" single).

NICK ROBBINS has mastered the compilation and considering the vintage - it's a bang-up Mono job. Most of these cuts are dripping with that hard-hitting Kinks garage sound – groovers and boppers – and some like the unreleased "Searching" by The Soul Brothers would have been hit-record material in 1966. OK – this CD doesn’t contain those mythical darlings of Mod – The Creation – and not everything on here (strictly speaking) has Talmy’s involvement (they admit this). But as Paulo’s notes point out – his fingers and choices are all over every cut. Frankly though – when I’m grooving to the fabulous bopper-cool Alternate Take of "Take My Tip" (dig those brass jabs) by Kenny Miller or the Hammond sexy Boogaloo instrumental "The Skip" by Goldie & The Gingerbreads (another Previously Unreleased Alternate) – I don’t care about strict rules – this stuff is wickedly good.

Tony McPhee and Groundhogs fans now get both the A&B-sides of their second UK 45 on Planet PLF 104 from January 1966 – a £100-plus R&B rarity that often sells for way more (if you can find a copy). The Pros & Cons get two unreleased poppers - "Why Do You Stand In My Way" and "Mary Ann" – the first being a rather weedy Beatles copy with the second being better. Far better is "Have You Ever Had The Blues" – Ray Gates wrapping his Chris Farlowe/Jackie Wilson vocals around a great cover of a Lloyd Price song. The Untamed catch the Southbound train on "I'm Leaving" whilst getting piano-rowdy on the dancer "I'm Going Out Tonight" – our hero telling his baby that he’s going to have a drink or two and call up some girls he knows (that’ll show lad for sure). I can't get over how good the unreleased Soul Brothers finisher is - "Goodbye So Long" - a 'hey hey hey' shuffle that will have Mod dancers wishing it was on a 45 they could hunt down and salivate over.

"...You're Too Much Of A Woman! Hey Now! Oh Lord!" - The Corduroys tell us earnestly on "Too Much Of A Woman" - testifying their groovy passion. 

A rather fantastic little compilation in my books - well done to all involved...

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Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

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