Thursday, 28 March 2019

The R & B Scene


This is another in this truly impressive series of Decca/Deram released tracks from the mid-sixties. This time it deals with the "r&b"/upbeat blues rock scene. While there are crossover with "The Blues Scene", the material on here is pretty much all fast-paced, energetic rocking blues. Rhythm and blues, in fact. It only covers stuff that was released on Deram/Decca, so there is no Who, Yardbirds, Animals, Rolling Stones or Them but, among the lesser-known names, there are a few famous ones too. It goes without saying on this series that the remastered sound is 100% brilliant.


1. You're On My Mind - The Birds
2. Anytime At All - The Fairies
3. Boom Boom - Blues By Five
4. Gotta Be A Reason - Cops And Robbers
5. Don't Gimme No Lip Child - Dave Berry
6. I'll Come Running Over - Lulu
7. Long Tall Shorty - The Graham Bond Organisation
8. Keep Me Covered - The Frays
9. Louie Louie Go Home - Davie Jones with The King Bees
10. Crawling Up A Hill - John Mayall's Blues Breakers
11. Hey Little Girl - The Chasers
12. Oh Mom (Teach Me How To Uncle Willie) - Zoot Money's Big Band
13. Can't Let Her Go - Hipster Image
14. Blue Beat - The Beazers
15. Cross My Heart - The Exotics
16. Good Morning Little Schoolgirl - Rod Stewart
17. I Got My Mojo Working - Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated
18. King Lonely The Blue - The Emeralds
19. You Gotta Keep Her Under Hand - The Big Three
20. Babe I'm Gonna Leave You - The Plebs
21. Can I Get A Witness - Steve Aldo
22. Talkin' 'Bout You - The Redcaps
23. See That My Grave Is Kept Clean - Paul's Disciples
24. You Don't Love Me - The Birds            

Ronnie Wood's first band, The Birds, start the album with the early Beatles meets the blues of "You're On My Mind". The Fairies' "Anytime At All" is a Rolling Stones-ish, harmonica-driven upbeat piece of blues rock. The much-covered "Boom Boom" is given a solid, bassy cover by Blues By Five. "Gotta Be A Reason" is a brooding blues from Cops And Robbers that has an Animals-esque organ backing on its chorus. "Don't Gimme Me No Lip Child" by Dave Berry is a bit of a "Can I Get A Witness" groove. The latter track appears later on the album. The same beat backs the young Lulu's throaty take on "I'll Come Running Over".

The Graham Bond Organisation and The Frays both contribute energetic blues rockers, the latter very much in an early Rolling Stones mode. A unique rarity is "Louie Louie Go Home" by Davie Jones with The King Bees. This was the first release by none another that David Bowie. It is a slightly ska-influenced bluesy shuffler. John Mayall's "Crawling Up A Hill" is not as bluesy as much of his subsequent material. Zoot Money's track is as ebullient as you would expect.

As unusual rarity is the moody, jazzy, vaguely Doors-esque "Can't Let Her Go" by Hipster Image (I didn't realise the term "hipster" was around in the sixties). "Blue Beat" by The Beazers appropriates a slight ska beat, but it is largely bluesy. Recognise the voice? Sure you do - it's Chris Farlowe. "Cross My Heart" by The Exotics has a genuine ska beat I don't know anything about the group, but I'm not sure if they were Caribbean, or a UK imitation. Now for a couple of big hitters - first up is a youthful Rod Stewart covering "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl". It was his first ever single. Then it is bluesman Alexis Korner and the harmonica-drenched cover of "I Got My Mojo Working".

The remainder of the tracks don't see a lessening of the pace - all catchy, lively numbers. Steve Aldo's cover of Marvin Gaye's "Can I Get A Witness" is nothing ground-breaking, but it is still vibrant and enjoyable. The Birds are back with "You Don't Love Me" to close this invigorating collection. As with all of these excellent albums, it is highly recommended.


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