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Various - Thirteen Roses Singing In a Male World! (LP)€20,00
Thirteen Roses singing in a male world. Far from interpreting this sentence in any politic or vindictive way, but don’t dissmiss those ways at all, this LP aims to highlight the power of female singers in Twentieth Century’s recordings industry, just to pay tribute on those women who, in many cases, broken rules and led the way for next generations.
Some of these roses were big and beautiful, and changed their colours whenever they wanted, some others flowered briefly buy left behind amazing frangances that can still be appreciated.
A small garden of just thirteen roses, singing louder and fighting harder to win a chance to be heard.
Hats off to those women, don’t mind if they’re gone, the future belongs to them.
Various - Girls With Guitars Know Why! (LP)€29,00
A collection of guitar-wielding all-girl bands, drop-dead female frat rock, garage girls and axe-centric she-pop. 14 hot nuggets, each one hand-picked with vinyl lovers in mind. Pressed on 180g transparent violet vinyl in heavy-duty sleeve, with an inner bag sporting a 4,000-word track commentary and rare photos.
It’s guitars a go-go on this compilation of storming female garage rock from the 60s. There’s She’s thundering ‘Piece Of You’, which remained unreleased until 1999; the Chicks’ take on ‘The Rebel Kind’, penned by the mighty Lee Hazlewood; Sandy Edmonds’ fuzzed-up cover of the Pretty Things’ ‘Come See Me’; the Wrongh Black Bag’s electric ‘I Don’t Know Why’, and ‘Love Seems So Hard To Find’ by Debbie Williams & the Unwritten Law, which shows young Debbie had talent and confidence way beyond her years. More stunning she-pop comes from the Rums & Coke’s feisty performance of the Dave Clark Five’s ‘Glad All Over’’; ‘Nothing Can Go Wrong’ by the Bea’s; and ‘Quite A Reputation’ by the Chymes, supported here by the Turtles. Joe Meek fans will especially enjoy Glenda Collins’ ‘Thou Shalt Not Steal’, which features Ritchie Blackmore tearing up a storm on guitar.
If that wasn’t enough, there are gritty groovers by Goldie & the Gingerbreads with their take on the Kinks’ ‘Look For Me Baby’ souped-up as an organ-driven dancer, and the Debutantes’ slinking version of ‘We Gotta Get Out Of This Place’. “Chicks can’t play”, the young Ted Nugent once told Jan of the Debutantes, but they and the other guitar-toting girl bands here show just how empty a statement that was. The Belles appear with their only disc, ‘Melvin’ – a gender-swapped version of Them’s ‘Gloria’ – an original copy of which would set you back $500, and the snarling ‘Boy, What’ll You Do Then’ by Denise is another big bucks rarity. The magical trip that is ‘Stardust Come Back’ by Girls Take Over closes the album in a tribute to the recently departed Cindy Wilhelmi, the band’s songwriter and guitarist. So, go on, grab a copy. You’ll be Glad All Over.
HANNAH VETTESE (Ace Records)
Various - She’s All Right With Me! Girl Group Sounds USA 1961-1968 (LP)€27,50
For those who prefer to own their music on vinyl, here is an eclectic and gorgeously packaged selection of American girl group artefacts from the 60s. The album opens with Whirlwind by producer Gary Paxton protégées the Rev-Lons, the trio’s final recording but also their best, and closes with He’s All Right With Me by the Mirettes (the Ikettes incognito). Other highlights include the Supremes-style Cupid’s Got A Hold On Me by the Belles; the Sweethearts recording of Beauty Is Just Skin Deep, a song originally intended for the Ikettes; and Summertime Is Surfin’ Time by the Surf Bunnies three more terrific instances of the West Coast girl group sound. But not all the tracks here emanate from that part of the USA viz Mr Everything by New York-based Little Eva Harris and little-heard examples from the Pets, Tren-Teens and Lovettes, all from New Jersey. Felice Taylor here with her unissued-at-the-time Sing Me A Love Song graces the eye-popping jacket, which houses a colourful inner sleeve featuring a 3,000-word track commentary and an array of illustrations. Compilation and notes by Mick Patrick.
Shirelles - Baby It`s You (180 g, Colored) (LP)
• Limited edition high definition 180 g vinyl LP.
• One of the finest of the first wave of black female pop harmony groups, who influenced the Ronettes and the Motown girl groups – their songs were even covered by the Beatles. The Shirelles projected a girl next-door image and their songs about young love and it’s travails appealed to a wide fan base.
Charmaines - I Idolize You! Fraternity Recordings 1960-1964 (LP)€29,00
A brief appearance on Billboard’s Bubbling Under chart belies the fact that the Charmaines were Cincinnati’s leading 1960s girl group. Formed by Marian ”Gigi” Jackson, Dee Watkins and Irene Vinegar, the group was awarded a contract with Fraternity Records for winning a talent show.
Gigi’s sister Jerri sang on many of the group’s records but was too young to perform in nightclubs. When Dee left to get married, Jerri joined as a full-time member. The Charmaines called it a day in the early 70s but several of their records remained popular with dancers on the UK’s Northern Soul scene. That popularity received a boost in the mid-2000s when their great version of Ike & Tina Turner’s ’I Idolize You’ was made available for the first time, immediately finding favour with DJs and club-goers.
During their career the Charmaines had singles on six different labels, but they never did have an album released. We rectify that situation here with this stylishly packaged vinyl-only 14-track collection of their finest Fraternity recordings. Along with ’I Idolize You’, highlights include ’What Kind Of Girl (Do You Think I Am)’, ’On The Wagon’ (as covered by the Ronettes), their rip-roaring version of ’Rockin’ Pneumonia’ and three terrific examples of their work as backing singers for label-mates Lonnie Mack and Carl Edmondson.
Various - Marylebone Beat Girls 1964-1967 (LP)€29,00
This follow-up to Ace’s recent Love Hit Me! Decca Beat Girls and Scratch My Back! Pye Beat Girls releases comprises superior 60s she-pop from the EMI group of record labels Parlophone, Columbia and HMV headquartered in Marylebone in the heart of London’s West End.
The collection is available in 12-track LP and 24-track CD formats.
Various - Bellissima! More 1960s She-Pop From Italy (LP)€27,50
Comprising soaring big beat ballads, the occasional guitar-driven nugget and other feminine pop gems of the stylish Italian variety, this much-anticipated follow-up to “Ciao Bella!” (one of Ace Records’ best sellers of 2015) offers further proof that there is musical life beyond the shores of English-speaking countries.
“Bellissima! More 1960s She-Pop From Italy” comprises an equal mix of superstars and obscure artists, performing songs of both Italian and overseas origin. Living legend Mina sings ‘Cartoline’, one of several numbers custom-composed by maestro Bruno Canfora to show off her fantastic vocal technique, and her arch rival Milva delivers the stomping ‘Tamburino, Ciao…’, another top-tier Italian original, while highlights of the selections by lesser-known vocalists include ‘È Proprio Inutile’ by Meri Marabini and ‘Il Beat… Cos’è?’ by La Ragazza 77, groovy covers of the Hollies’ ‘You Know He Did’ and Sonny & Cher’s ‘The Beat Goes On’ respectively.
The collection is available in 24-track CD and 14-track vinyl formats. The CD version comes with a picture-packed 24-page booklet, while the 180g white vinyl LP is packaged in a heavy-duty sleeve with an illustrated inner bag – each featuring a detailed track commentary by compiler Mick Patrick.
Springfield Dusty - There’s a Big Wheel: the Early Years 1958-1962 (180 gram) (LP)€20,00
One of the finest pop-soul vocalists ever, Dusty Springfield was blessed with a powerful, smoky voice that ran the emotional gamut from cool sophistication to simmering passion. Over the course of a long, episodic career, she tackled pop, soul, traditional folk, Memphis R&B, and country.
This quintessential collector’s edition contains 18 remastered studio tracks from her early years, consisting of a variety of the recordings she made with The Lana Sisters and the folk-oriented trio, The Springfields, between 1958 and 1962. Although Dusty Springfield eventually went on to greater commercial success in the mid- and late ‘60s, all of these wonderful songs form the building blocks of her musical legacy.
DUSTY SPRINGFIELD, vocals, with:
THE SPRINGFIELDS, featuring Tom Springfield, Tim Feild & Mick Hurst (vocals and guitar).
THE LANA SISTERS, featuring Riss Chantelle & Lynne Abrams (vocals).
Recorded in England, between 1958 and 1962.
Various - Beat Girls Espanol: 1960s She-Pop From Spain (LP)€30,00
Limited 180gm white vinyl LP pressing.
Housed in sleeve with an inner bag featuring liner notes and copious color illustrations. UK collection. Having already put out collections spotlighting the girl singers of 1960s Japan, France, Italy and Sweden, we now turn our attention to sunny Spain. The influence of hit records from the USA and the UK in the early ’60s had resulted in a musical style the French called yé-yé. Spain also adopted the term to describe this new type of beat-oriented pop, while maintaining it’s own musical identity via sexy rhythms and an underlying current of drama and flamenco, as evidenced in this predominantly up-tempo all-female compilation. The aptly named Hispavox was considered the most important Spanish record label, mainly because they had a talented team of producers, arrangers and studio musicians who between them created the Torrelaguna sound. Furthermore, they had Karina, who was known as the queen of Spanish yé-yé with her angelic looks and voice. Zafiro entered the market with a series of girl singers, including the dynamic Marisol, a child actress turned pop singer who spent much of the 60s on the silver screen. The Belter label also recorded many young female singers, among them screen siren Soledad Miranda, star of several horror films, and Sonia, who recorded a girlish rendition of the Rolling Stones’ ’Get Off Of My Cloud’. Other noteworthy artists include Novola Records’ Massiel, who differed from her peers by writing many of her own songs and, after winning the Eurovision Song Contest, became a national icon.
All these and more feature on this winning compilation of the choicest female artists active in 1960s Spain.
Various - Girls With Guitars Take Over! (LP)€30,00
A deluxe vinyl-only collection of guitar-toting all-girl bands, drop-dead female frat rock and axe-centric she-pop. Pressed on 180g mandarin-coloured vinyl in heavy-duty sleeve, with a swanky inner bag sporting a fact-filled 3500-word note and many rare photos. The eye-grabbing front cover features a great shot of Girls Take Over (sisters Cindy, Rinie and Wendy Wilhelmi and their pal Geri Gibson), who open the show with their fabulously raw and pounding version of Hi Heel Sneakers, recorded in some guy s attic in Milwaukee circa 1969. Other highlights include the jangly He’s Not There Anymore by the teenage Chymes from the suburbs of Los Angeles, Little Latin Lupe Lu by genre favourites the Debutantes of Detroit, and Karen Verros much-prized freakbeat bauble You Just Gotta Know My Mind . Compilation and notes by garage girl nuts Mick Patrick and Matt Meek.
Various - Girls Want The Boys! Swedish Beat Girls 1966-1970 (LP)€29,00
The Ace catalogue has traditionally focused on American music. But their compilers have never shied from venturing worldwide in their quest for good sounds, as evident from their popular collections spotlighting the female vocalists of 1960s Japan, France and Italy (not forgetting the UK). Now it’s the turn of Sweden. This smörgåsbord of Swedish she-pop opens with early solo sides by the lead singers of the nation’s greatest pop music export, ABBA: Agnetha Fältskog with Ge Dej Till Tåls (a highlight of her second album) and Anni-Frid Lyngstad with Så Synd Du Måste Gå (a song popularised by Françoise Hardy as Comment Te Dire Adieu). Other featured well-known names include national treasure Lill-Babs with her cover of Dusty Springfield’s Little By Little and chart star Mona Wessman with a version of Music To Watch Girls By. But it wasn t all cover versions in mid-60s Sweden. Dig, for example, Eleanor Bodel’s title track, Don’t by cult favourite Doris (who also appears as lead vocalist of the group Plums), au pair duo Bella & Me’s groovy Help Me Break This Habit and Britt Bergström’s Ivy League-penned You Really Have Started Something. Cherry-picked tracks by the Plommons and cover stars MAK Les Soeurs illustrate the country also produced its fair share of all-girl groups.
Available in 24-track CD and 12-track LP formats. This LP version is pressed on snow white 180g vinyl in heavy duty sleeve, with inner bag featuring a 4,000-word track commentary and a plethora of superb photos. Bumper CD booklet contains a 5,000-word track commentary and extra photos. Compiled by Mick Patrick.
Crystals - Twist Uptown (180g) + 2 bonus tracks (LP)€20,00
• Limited edition high-definition 180 g vinyl LP. Includes free MP3 download
• Sweet but streetwise vocal magic from The Crystals on their Phil Specter produced debut LP. In 1962 practically every other pop album had “twist” in the title, but there’s only one song here which directly refers to the dance craze
• Original LP plus 2 bonus tracks, including the dubiously titled “He Hit Me (And It Felt like a Kiss)” – they don’t write them like that any more!!
Jones Jeanette - Dreams All Come True (LP)€29,00
The complete recordings of this enigmatic San Francisco singer. Pressed on 180g white vinyl in heavy duty sleeve, with rare photos on inner bag.
Jeanette Jones is an enigma. Hers is a full-blooded voice overflowing with unbridled emotion. The passion leaps from the grooves. On record, Jeanette mostly sang for the Lord. But she made a handful of attempts at a mainstream career: lost gems that demonstrate a singer fully in control. There was a lone single released in 1969, while other, originally unissued, tracks have featured on various BGP and Kent compilations over the years. Now that Ace owns the Golden State Recorders catalogue, it makes sense to bring all the Jeanette Jones masters together to showcase the talent of this fine and soulful singer. Jeanette, however, remains a mysterious figure, with few clues as to who she was, where she came from, or where she might have ended up.
Leo Kulka, owner and operator of premier San Francisco facility Golden State Recorders, first came across Jeanette when she was a featured vocalist with the local Voices Of Victory gospel choir. Formed in 1962 by Cora Wilson, the choir was 60 singers strong and boasted its own bus, useful for attending gospel conventions throughout the West Coast. In November 1965, Wilson used Golden State’s custom record service to press up a limited number of LPs for distribution at performances. Always on the lookout for talent, Kulka not only attempted to get the choir’s recordings released on a bigger label, but also made a note of Jeanette’s remarkable voice, and resolved to sign her.
Like many in the gospel world, Jeanette initially resisted Kulka’s entreaties to sing secular material, but by late 1967 she had changed her mind. A Palo Alto-based banker, Jay Barrett, was now her manager. Fancying himself a songwriter, Barrett worked out a deal where he co-financed a demo on Jeanette, if his tunes were those that got recorded. With her under contract to Golden State, Kulka readily agreed, and hired a large ensemble for the session in February 1968. Barrett’s material was mostly in a dated pop mode, but the accompanying background singers, who included local soul notable Ramona King and her brother Cleo, added some much-needed R&B polish to the proceedings. Even though Jeanette turned in solid performances on tunes such as ‘Jealous Moon’ and ‘Quittin’ The Blues’, everything remained in the can, as Kulka failed to stimulate any interest in the sides.
His next move was to consult with his associate Larry Goldberg, a Los Angeles-based indie producer whose speciality was selling acts to labels and pocketing the “front” for himself. Goldberg provided Golden State with several backing tracks he had cut, and Jeanette overdubbed vocals onto three selections in October 1968. The result was a trio of powerful pop-soul gems in ‘Break Someone Else’s Heart’, the H.B. Barnum-arranged ‘Cut Loose’ and a cover of Ruby Winters’ recent ‘I Want Action’. However, the material was shopped with no success.
Jeanette was still fronting the Voices Of Victory, and the choir returned to Golden State in the spring of 1969 to make further recordings. Hanging around for the sessions was itinerant R&B singer/songwriter Wally Cox who, at Kulka’s prompting, devised a more appropriate showcase for Jeanette’s talents in the shape of ‘Darling, I’m Standing By You’, a bold, brassy waltz with the singer testifying for all she was worth. Cox wrote and arranged two further items, taped in March 1969: the frantic groove of ‘I’m Glad I Got Over You’ and a mid-tempo ballad in a more contemporary vein, ‘The Thought Of You’.
Leo Kulka was excited enough by these new tunes to issue ‘Darling…’ and ‘The Thought Of You’ on his Golden Soul label. The idea was to garner enough airplay on gospel and R&B stations to get the record picked up by a label with national distribution, in much the same fashion as the recent Bay Area smash ‘Oh Happy Day’. The single didn’t sell out of its 1000 copy pressing, but Kulka used it to pitch Jeanette to bigger outfits, including Motown and Atlantic. Over a year later, venerable Los Angeles operation Kent/Modern made a deal to release some of Kulka’s R&B recordings, including Jeanette’s disc. This second issue came out on Kent; correspondence in the Golden State Recorders files indicates a frustrated Kulka was unable to get Modern to seriously work the record, and thus it died.
Jeanette was doing session work, and made a contribution to Mike Bloomfield’s surreptitious Mill Valley Bunch project. She also became the voice of a Swiss Colony Wine radio campaign aimed at the black market, while her striking looks garnered some modelling assignments. Yet, she does not appear to have been driven to pursue a singing career. Her final documented Golden State session came via Bloomfield cohort Barry Goldberg, for whom she sang on a publishing demo in 1974. The pulsing funk of ‘You’d Be Good For Me’ and the heartworn ballad ‘What Have You Got To Gain By Losing Me’ indicate this artist of tremendous promise was being left to languish.
After that, the trail runs cold. When discussing Jeanette, Leo Kulka often lamented that he had been unable to make her more successful. But he remained proud of the recordings he had a hand in, and this album shows exactly why.
Various - Love Hit Me! Decca Beat Girls 1963-1970 (LP)€27,50
For British girl-pop, 1960s Decca is a goldmine. The label had its A&R hounds sniffing into every nook and cranny of the British Isles, signing up Midlands schoolgirls (the Orchids), London folk club denizens (Dana Gillespie, Beverley), former child actresses (Adrienne Poster, Sandra Barry), Liverpudlian girl groups (the Vernons Girls, the Satin Bells), soulful northerners (Elkie Brooks, Truly Smith) and Scots (Lulu, Barry St John), well-connected Chelsea girls (Louise Cordet, Twinkle, Marianne Faithfull), Merseybeat wannabes (Beryl Marsden), talent show winners (Billie Davis, Babbity Blue, Jean Martin) and even transient Americans (Goldie & the Gingerbreads). Decca s female roster was largely placed in the skilled hands of producers, arrangers and writers such as Mike Leander, Andrew Loog Oldham, Shel Talmy, Charles Blackwell and Tony Meehan, who sourced a steady supply of homemade and American soul, folk-rock, beat and pop. This gorgeously packaged collection, compiled by Mick Patrick, is available in 24-track CD and 12-track vinyl album formats, each with notes by Sheila Burgel. The LP version comes with a fully illustrated inner sleeve and is pressed on 180g yellow vinyl.