Tony Coulter back at you, with yet more recently found sounds -- plus a few of my favorite album covers.
And now: Jump! Jump! Jump!
Psychedellic Guitars: s/t (Custom, 1967)
Let's get things rolling with what is blatantly a studio cash-in exploitation album: This anonymous crew were such psychedelic arrivistes, they didn't even know how to spell "psychedelic"! The basic sound is clearly rooted in early '60s rock, but they really lay on the fuzz, which makes for good wholesome exploito fun. Indeed, "Take a Trip" features some of the most massively fuzzed-out bass I've ever heard.
Star maidens from the planet Purple:
The Jules Blattner Group: Call Me Man! (Buddah Records, 1971)
Jules Blattner was also rooted in the pre-psych era, and is still best known for his singles from the late '50s and early '60s. In the early '70s, however, he recorded two still very underappreciated albums that convincingly embraced then-new hard rock/psych sounds -- which he leavened with a thick helping of manly redneck heaviosity. (The other of these two albums is the harder-to-find Back on the Road Again, from 1972). Blattner also released an oddball concept album, The Mishtabula Maine Marching Band & Soil Salvation Society, in 1972, which was credited to "Seluj Renttalb" -- "Jules Blattner" backward!
Anyway, if you're fan of, say, Joseph's Stoned Age Man, the man named Jules might be the man for you.
Call them men -- or else:
The Bowen / Estigoy Company: Everything's Comin' Up Love (L.P.S., 1977)
Next up is an album from the Nashville duo of Marty Bowen and John Estigoy, who seemingly were largely purveyors of country-inflected middle-of-the-road loungy sounds -- not generally my cup of noise. That said, their cover of J. J. Cale's "Magnolia" achieves a high degree of lounge soulfulness, and sits just right with me.
Watching the faders fly:
Dave Lee Howard: Marie Antoinette (The Listen Label, 1980)
Washington state's Dave Lee Johnson was certainly willing to go shirtless for the sake of rock 'n' roll -- but did he go pantless as well? I can't answer that question, but can tell you that the track I've given you below, "Ramona," features some nice snakey guitar and appealing vocals. The lyrics seem to drift a bit, but the song gets extra points for throwing in fresh musical ideas during the fadeout.
Spilverk Þjóðanna: Sturla (STEF. Steinar, 1977)
We turn next to a very fine band from Iceland, who released six albums between 1975 and 1979, plus a comeback album in 1997. Sturla, their fourth album, is poppier than the other album of theirs I'm familiar with (Gotuskor, from 1976), but only in the sense of being lighter, simpler, and more direct -- it's very sensitively done, and not at all generically commercial. I've given you one cheerful track typical of the overall sound, and two slightly moodier ones that are probably my favorites.
Icelandic sun worshippers at the end of the world:
Seid Memić-Vajta / Balkan Express: Narode, Narode / Ratar (Jugoton, 1977)
From Iceland we move to the "former Yugoslavia" -- or, more specifically, to what is presently Bosnia-Herzegovina. Seid Memić-Vajta (a.k.a. "Vajta") was a member of the Bosnian prog hard rock band Teska Insutrija, but the gentle and lilting B-side I've given you finds him backed by the group Balkan Express. The 1977 single it's from was also the start of what would appear to be a highly successful solo career -- at least if number of releases is any indication.
Hair grows outside the box:
SAB: Crystallization (Vanity Records, 1978)
Let's finish up the audio portion of today's post with a really gorgeous number from an album by a Japanese individual known only as "SAB." Overall Crystallization is a little too "cosmic" for me, but I could listen to "Agate" all day long -- it's just perfect. Incidentally, the Tokyo-based label that released the LP was called Vanity -- but wasn't a vanity label!
The logo wakes:
And now it's time for the pictures: some eye-catching record jackets, plus one CD cover. I've played most of these albums on FMU in the past, as the station's handy-dandy playlist search will reveal. Perhaps you even heard me play one or two of them -- now you can see 'em too.
David Sheridan Spangler: Festival: A Rock Myth (no label, 1971)
Art: Donna Sylvester
Vintage Live: Bashin Bones (Vintage Live Records, 2007) CD
Art: Jack Bowman
Doug & Holly: I'm the One (Morning Star Music, 1978)
Art: Benita Casados
Shores of Evening: The Shore of Evening (Blood Records, 1985)
Art: Robert Ferreira
The Decibels: Hit Excerpts from the Rock Musical Godspell (Super Majestic, 197?)
Art: Herbert Norton Rogoff
Raquette Lake Girls Camp: Melodic Memories (Alma Mater Recording Company, 1973)
[detail from] St. Thomas More Parish: Godspell (Factory Records, 197?)
Art: Helene Canberg
Rock Ensemble: Chameleon '76 (MRS, 1976)
Art: Dean Widenmann
Sharkey and His Kings of Dixieland: Midnight on Bourbon Street (Capitol, 1952)
That's it for this post -- see you next time....