Thanks ROCK IT ! The "Louie Louie" saga is about as interesting as any song's journey through the rock & roll folk process. Its arrangement evolved several times via several cover versions between the time author Richard Berry did the first one in 1957 and the Kingsmen had a number two hit with it in 1963. Since then it's been covered innumerable times, of course.
This disc presents no less than 15 versions of the tune, as well as three pre-Berry songs that influenced the first "Louie Louie," four basic "Louie Louie" rewrites, and two "sequels" to "Louie Louie." That's 24 tracks in all, chronologically spanning Johnny Mercer's 1951 recording of "One for My Baby (And One More for the Road)" (a lyrical inspiration for the Berry composition) to Toots & the Maytals' 1972 reggae interpretation. The biggest coup in this rather extraordinary document is the first CD reissue of the original Richard Berry 1957 Flip recording, which had previously been license-proof. Of course, the Kingsmen's hit single is here as well, but the real treat is the variety of takes by other artists, some of them quite rare, most of them relatively little-heard. There are a half-dozen 1960s versions from the Northwest, including ones by Rockin' Robin Roberts & the Wailers (the act most responsible for reviving it into a more rock-oriented arrangement), the Kingsmen, Paul Revere & the Raiders (whose 1963 single competed head-to-head with the Kingsmen, but lost out nationally), and the Sonics. There are covers by 1960s stars the Beach Boys, Otis Redding, and the Kinks. There's the obscure mid-'60s garage version by the Swamp Rats and easy listening renditions by the Sandpipers and Sounds Orchestral. There are the sequels "Have Love Will Travel" by Richard Berry and "Louie Go Home" by Paul Revere & the Raiders. There's an attempt to revive "Louie Louie" by the lead vocalist on the Kingsmen's single, on Jack Ely & the Courtmen's "Louie Louie '66." There's even Rene Touzet's 1956 cha-cha "El Loco Cha Cha," which contains a riff that's very similar to the principal one of "Louie Louie." Does it get too be too much, these two dozen "Louie Louie"s or spinoffs thereof one after the other? Not really; there's a good amount of variety to the arrangements, some of the versions are really good, and it's historically fascinating. No doubt some major collectors might bewail the absence of an item or two, like the young David Bowie's cover of "Louie Go Home" (as lead singer of Davie Jones & the King Bees on the B-side of his 1964 debut single) or the Epics' wild 1965 garage soul takeoff "Louie Come Home." But this is an excellent and fun collection of the most important versions, and considerably superior to previous anthologies that have assembled multiple "Louie Louie" interpretations. It's also boosted by lengthy and fascinating (if eye-strainingly small) liner notes detailing each track and the song's evolution, augmented by interviews with some of the key figures on some of the most important recordings of the tune. ~ Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide
01 Louie, Louie Richard Berry, Pharoahs 2:15
02 El Loco Cha Cha Touzet, Rene & His Orchestra 3:01
Performed by: Touzet, Rene & His Orchestra,
03 One for My Baby (And One More for the Road) Johnny Mercer ... 3:09
Performed by: Johnny Mercer, Weston, Paul & His Orchestra
04 Havana Moon Chuck Berry 3:08
05 Louie, Louie Roberts, Rockin' Robin 2:55
06 Louie, Louie Little Bill, Adventurers ... 2:30
Performed by: Little Bill, Adventurers, Shalimars,
07 Louie, Louie Kingsmen 2:45
08 Louie, Louie Revere, Paul & the ... 2:43
Performed by: Revere, Paul & the Raiders
09 Louie, Louie Don & the Goodtimes 5:07
10 Louie, Louie Sonics 2:57
11 Louie, Louie Beach Boys 2:19
12 Louie, Louie Otis Redding 2:07
13 Louie, Louie Sandpipers 2:48
14 Louie, Louie Swamp Rats 3:23
15 Louie, Louie Travis Wammack 2:09
16 Louie, Louie Kinks 2:57
17 Louie, Louie Sounds Orchestral 4:03
18 Love That Louie Lee, Jack E., Squires 2:27
19 Louise Louise H.B. & The Checkmates 2:54
20 Long Green Kingsmen 2:40
21 Louie, Louie Jack Ely 2:41
22 Have Love, Will Travel Richard Berry, Pharoahs 2:56
23 Louie Go Home Paul Revere, Raiders 2:45
24 Louie Louie Toots, Maytals 5:44
Subtitled - The Louie Louie Files. An entertaining and fun trawl through the evolution of the ultimate three-chord rock 'n' roll anthem - Louie Louie. True, there have been 'Louie' compilations before but this is definitive - avoiding novelties and instead focusing on the history and influence of the song in the 1950s and 1960s. Artists include Richard Berry & The Pharoahs, Rene Touzet, Chuck Berry, The Kingsmen and more. 2002.
Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs were an Australian pop and rock group dating from the mid-sixties. The group enjoyed huge success in the mid-1960s, but split in 1967. They re-emerged in the early seventies to become one of the most popular Australian hard-rock bands of the period.
History Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs
The Aztecs were an Australian bandthat began life as the backup group to Billy Thorpe in 1964 but evolved into a blues-rock unit with Thorpe, Warren Morgan, and Gil Matthews among its members in the 1970s. ~ William Ruhlmann, All Music Guid
Vince Melouney [aka Vince Maloney] (lead guitar, vocals, 1963-65), Val Jones (rhythm guitar, 1963-64), John "Bluey" Watson (bass, 1963-65), Colin Baigent (drums, 1963-65), Billy Thorpe (vocals, guitar, 1964-76, 1977, 1993-95), Tony Barber (guitar, vocals, 1964-65), Col Risby (lead guitar, 1965-67), Mike Downes (rhythm guitar, vocals, 1965-67), Jimmy Taylor (piano, 1965-67), Teddy Toi (bass, 1965-67, 1973-75, 1976, 1977), Johnny Dick (drums, 1965-67, 1968, 1974), Tony Buchanan (saxophone, 1966-67), Mick Liber (guitar, 1968), Paul Wheeler (bass, 1968-73, 1993-95), Jimmy Thompson (drums, 1968-70), Lobby Loyde (guitar, 1968-70), Kevin Murphy (drums, 1970-71), Warren Morgan (piano, vocals, 1970-71, 1973-75, 1976, 1977, 1993-95), Gil Matthews (1971-76, 1977, 1993-95), Bruce Howard (keyboards, 1971-73), Derek Griffiths (lead guitar, 1975-76), John LeVine (keyboards, 1975-76), Billy Kristian (bass, 1975-76)
Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs albums: Poison Ivy and Introducing ... Johnny Noble (split album shared with Johnny Noble, Linda Lee/Festival, 1964), Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs (EMI/Parlophone, 1965), The Best of Billy Thorpe (EMI/Parlophone, 1965), Don't You Dig this Kind of Beat? (EMI/Parlophone, 1965), Great Hits (compilation, Calendar/Festival, 1971), Gold (compilation, Atlantic, 1975), It's All Happening (compilation, Albert/EMI, 1981), Live at Sunbury (reissue of Aztecs Live! At Sunbury, Ultimate, 1989), 20 Greatest Hits (CD reissue of It's All Happening, Sony, 1994), Lock Up Your Mothers (box set, Mushroom/Festival, 1994), The Best of and the Rest of Lock Up Your Mothers (compilation, Mushroom/Festival, 1994), The Very Best of Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs (Mushroom, 1999); Aztecs albums: The Hoax is Over (Festival/Infinity, 1971), Aztecs - Live (Havoc, 1971), Aztecs Live! At Sunbury (Havoc, 1972), More Arse than Class (Atlantic, 1974), Steaming at the Opera House (Atlantic, 1974); Thump'n Pig and Puff'n Billy album: Thump'n Pig and Puff'n Billy (Atlantic, 1973); Billy Thorpe albums: The Billy Thorpe Rock Classics (compilation, M7, 1974), Million Dollar Bill (Festival/ Infinity, 1975), Pick Me Up and Play Me Loud (Festival/Infinity, 1976), Children of the Sun (Festival/ Interfusion/Capricorn, 1979), 21st Century Man (Mushroom/Festival, 1980), Time Traveller (compilation, Blue Goose, 1980), Stimulation (Mushroom/ Festival, 1981), East of Eden's Gate (US only, CBS, 1982). Children of the Sun . . . Revisited (US only, CBS, 1987).
Originally a four-piece instrumental group who had put out one surfing instrumental, "Smoke & Stack", they formed in Sydney in 1963. With the advent of the Merseybeat sound, they added a lead singer, Billy Thorpe. His powerful voice and showmanship (which made him one of the most popular and respected rock performers in Australian music), completed the original line-up, which consisted of drummer Col Baigent, bassist John "Bluey" Watson and guitarists Valentine Jones and Vince Maloney (who later played with The Bee Gees).Valentine Jones left the band shortly after Billy Thorpe had joined and was later replaced by Tony Barber. MORE...
Billy Thorpe is one of the enigmas of Australian music, a man of many careers. It began in Brisbane when the young Thorpe was overheard by a television producer playing his guitar and singing at the back of his parents' Brisbane store. At the age of ten he was appearing regularly on Queensland television and appearing on the same stage as many of the top artists of the day. MORE...
01 - Poison Ivy
02 - Broken Things
03 - Blue Day
04 - You Don't Love Me
05 - Smoke And Stack
06 - Board Boogie
07 - Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah
08 - I'm A Hog For You Baby
09 - Jenny Jenny
10 - What'd I Say
11 - That I Love
12 - Over The Rainbow
13 - Mashed Potato
14 - Lonely City
Thorpe died from a heart attack in Sydney on 28 February 2007.
Billy was born in England on March 29th, 1946, and arrived in Australia with his family ten years later. When he was 12 years old, the family moved to Brisbane, where Billy attended Salisbury High School. This was the year he made his debut in show business, when he appeared in a show on a major television station in Brisbane. At school, Billy was interested in all forms of sport, and particularly in judo, leading him to form the first judo club in the school. Billy was still at school when he made his second very successful appearance on television, on the Russ Tyson TV show, "Anything Goes."
Shortly after he left school, Billy's singing carreer began in earnest, when he signed a contract with Channel 9, Brisbane. After a time, he left Brisbane for Sydney, and there his successful carreer continued, until eventually he was awarded the TV Logie for the Best Male Vocalist in 1964.
Billy Thorpe and his backing group, the Aztecs, were at this time to be seen frequently on all television networks throughout Australia, and also giving live concerts in all capital cities and major country towns. They were rated the most popular group in Australia, when they recorded four number one hits, consecutively. On of these hits was "Over the Rainbow," the first Australian record ever to appear on the American charts. More appearances on television followed, when Channel 7, Sydney, signed on Billy and his group, and Billy acted as star and compere of "It's All Happening," a one-hour pop show. In April, 1965, the four instrumentalists in the Aztecs were replaced when the original members left to make their own way in show business. This resulted in Tony Barber becoming a recording star and composer in his own right, and also in Vince Melouney going to England, where he became lead guitarist for the world-famous group, the Bee Gees. The new Aztecs were Colin Risby, lead guitar, Ted Toi, bass, John dick on drums, and Mike Downes, rhythm guitar. Billy Thorpe and his group, the Aztecs, have been presented with awards from television and radio companies throughout the nation, both for appearances on television, and for the success of their records. These awards, along with the support of the record buying public, show that Billy Thorpe has proved himself to be one of the most talented artists ever to appear on the Australian music scene.
Don't you Dig This Kind of Beat (reissued as: I Got A Woman)1966
The tracks on this album were selected from a cross-section of Billy's extensive repertoire, and whether you like fast, slow, rock, medium tempo, blues, jazz, or up tempo, there is something for you on this record
Dino, Desi & Billy's first album, 1965's I'm a Fool, features the singles "Not the Lovin' Kind" and "I'm a Fool" both of which climbed near the Top 20 in 1965 and represented the commercial high point for the Hollywood trio.
In the spirit of the mid-'60s, most of the rest of the album is made up of covers of hits of the day — "Like a Rolling Stone," "Chimes of Freedom," " (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" and "It Ain't Me Babe." Like their originals, these covers are competent and breezy featuring the lads' light and polite vocals and restrained musical backing from the cream of L.A.'s session players. Unlike their originals, you'll never need to hear any of these reverent and mostly irrelevant covers more than once, if that. The only fun to be had here is the aforementioned singles, both of which are groovy folk-rockers penned by Lee Hazlewood, the moody and almost punky "The Rebel Kind" and the bopping bubble-fuzz of "Boo-Hoo-Hoo (I Can Tell)." These tracks are good enough that you wish the rest of the record was written by Hazelwood and "Boo-Hoo-Hoo"'s author Joey Cooper. As it is, the album is mostly forgettable.
The concept of a Uruguayan band in the mold of the Hard Day's Night-era Beatles may seem absurd, but it did happen in the mid-'60s. What's more, the Shakers (sometimes billed as Los Shakers on their releases) were fairly successful in mimicking the jangle of the early Beatles sound, writing most of their material with a decent grasp of the British Invasion essentials of catchy tunes and enthusiastic harmonies. While the grammar is fairly broken and pidgin, soundwise the Shakers were actually superior to many of the bona fide Mersey groups; if you like the Beatles sound as heard on tracks like "I Should Have Known Better" or "I'll Be Back," you'll like this stuff. Popular in their native land, the Shakers were understandably unable to compete on an international scale, although their 1966 album, Break It All, was actually issued in the States. Today they enjoy respect from hardcore '60s collectors, and much of their material is available on reissues.
Despite reasonable availability of some of their material to international audiences on reissues, the details of the Shakers' career remained pretty mysterious until Alec Palao's detailed liner notes to their 2000 CD reissue Por Favor. The group was formed by brothers Hugo Fattoruso (lead guitar, keyboards) and Osvaldo Fattoruso (rhythm guitar), who as a team wrote most of their material. Like so many combos around the world, the specific motivation to form the group came from watching the Beatles' movie A Hard Day's Night. The band remained extremely influenced by the Beatles throughout their career and were in fact not too aware of or interested in the work of other British Invasion groups. Signed to a deal by EMI/Odeon in Argentina, they issued their first single, "Break It All," in 1965. The band became very big in both Uruguay and Argentina, and also toured in several other South American countries.
There was never a concerted effort on the band's part to invade the English-speaking market, and they never played in North America. However, a small New York label, Audio Fidelity, took the unusual step of issuing a Shakers album, Break It All, in the States in early 1966. This LP actually consists mostly of re-recordings (and good ones) of songs from their debut Uruguayan long-player, as well as songs that had appeared on singles. For this album Osvaldo Fattoruso ended up singing a bunch of tunes that his brother Hugo had sung, perhaps because Hugo's voice was in hoarse shape. So although this is the album that fans outside of South America are most likely to be familiar with, it actually doesn't contain the original versions from the Shakers' early repertoire, although most of those songs from the original (South American) Shakers debut LP are now included on Ace's Por Favor reissue. The Shakers continued to follow the Beatles' lead through 1968, introducing Revolver-like guitars and backwards effects, and then some Magical Mystery Tour-type psychedelia, as well as some occasional influence of their native South American rhythms and musical styles. While it's usually obvious where the inspiration is coming from, the level of writing, playing, and harmonies remained quite respectable through their third and final album, 1968's La Conferencia Secreta del Toto's Bar. The Shakers broke up toward the end of the 1960s, with the Fatturoso brothers recording an album for Odeon in 1969 before moving to the United States for a few years to work with Airto Moreira, and then forming the Latin rock group Opa. Drummer Caio Vila and bassist Pelin Capobianco, with a couple of Capobianco's brothers, recorded a 1971 album, and in 1981 the Fatturoso brothers did a reunion album with the Otroshakers.
No doubt this will stand as the most definitive single-disc compilation of Uruguay's Shakers (referred to as "the Shakers" on some releases and "Los Shakers" on others, including this one). There are 32 tracks, and 79 minutes, taken from all three of the LPs they issued in South America between 1965-1968, along with three cuts from 1966 singles, almost everything sung in English. It cements their well-deserved reputation as the top Beatlesque 1960s band from South America — as if any further proof were necessary — and indeed one of the most uncannily Beatlesque bands from anywhere, at any time. Does that mean that this is as good as, or nearly as good as, the Beatles themselves? No, but it's good fun all the same, even if much of the disc sounds like inverted, or at times barely altered, ideas from Beatles riffs and arrangements. They were at their best, perhaps, when mimicking the A Hard Day's Night-era Fab Four, as they did on their 1965 debut LP, Los Shakers, most of which is here. They did, however, evolve to some degree artistically, albeit rather in tandem with how the Beatles' own records changed in 1965-1967, adding some (but not much) native rhythmic styles and riffs here and there; putting Revolver-type vocals and meters into cuts like "Picking Up Troubles" and "Got Any Money?"; putting some down-beat, jazzy riffs into the fine "Too Late"; using freaky backwards guitar and drones in "I Hope You'll Like It," their most advanced cut; and adopting the march-beat, mid-tempo, and sunny harmonies of many 1967 Beatles tunes on numbers like "On a Tuesday I Watch Channel 36." This anthology is not, incidentally, the last word on the Shakers' output: there are no tracks from their U.S.-only 1966 LP, Break It All (which featured re-recordings of their early South American sides), and a handful of other numbers show up on the Brazilian EMI CD All the Best.
Dino, Desi & Billy's second album, 1966's Our Time's Coming, could have been titled "Our Time's Passed" since the trio had already reached their commercial peak. In fact the album contains no singles that even charted and almost all the songs are by-the-numbers covers of songs like "Get Off My Cloud," "Hang On Sloopy," "Yesterday" and "Fun, Fun, Fun." Songs that were pretty much perfect in their original incarnations; the group did nothing to improve them. They are certainly pleasant enough but that isn't that much of a selling point. The only original tracks on offer are the goofy throwaway "She's So Far Out, She's In," the instrumental "Desi's Drums" (which goes to show why Hal Blaine played on the rest of the record) and an interesting folk-rock tune "Everything I Do Is for You." That's not much to hang your hat on, and the record marks a precipitous drop in quality from the already somewhat low level of its predecessor. In fact a group without the connections that these guys had probably would have found themselves off their label and back playing record hops in their hometown.
A Hollywood trio that were barely into their teens when they hit the charts in 1965, Dino, Desi & Billy anticipated the bubblegum fad with records that usually featured none of their own contributions, except their characterless vocals. That may be phrasing matters too kindly. The best bubblegum is far more distinctive and catchy than the lowest-common-denominator L.A. session pop/rock that they recorded. But they knew the right people, as they say in the business, which made them stars for a brief time, although they never had an ounce of credibility.
This mid-'60s trio were kind of a cross between the Monkees and Gary Lewis in a few key respects. Like Gary Lewis, their very opportunities to record came about primarily because of their distinguished Hollywood fathers. In the case of these guys, however, the nepotism was rather extreme: Dino was Dino Martin, son of singer/comedian Dean Martin, and Desi was the son of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Along with classmate Billy Hinsche, they began playing for fun. They'd barely gotten their equipment together when they auditioned for Dean Martin's buddy, Frank Sinatra -- who just happened to record for and run Martin's label, Reprise. By the end of 1964, they'd released their first single for the label, although it was made clear to them that session musicians would handle the instruments.
Top producers and arrangers Lee Hazlewood, Billy Strange, and Jimmy Bowen would oversee the trio's recording dates over the next couple of years. "I'm a Fool" made the Top 20 in 1965; "Not the Lovin' Kind" got into the Top 30 a few months later. None of the group had reached the age of 15 yet, but there they were, playing to screaming crowds as a support act to a Beach Boys tour in 1965, and (for a few months) outselling Sinatra on his own label. This despite (or because of?) the fact that their music was innocuously bland in the extreme, making the Monkees (who also used a pool of L.A. session players) sound positively innovative and hard-nosed in comparison.
Dino, Desi & Billy never got into the Top 40 after 1965, but they recorded singles and albums for years to come (perhaps it would have caused tensions among their families if they hadn't). They were the recipients of compositions by top pop/rock songwriters like Lee Hazlewood, David Gates, Boyce & Hart, Clint Ballard, Jr., and Bonner & Gordon. But it seemed like these songsmiths took care not to give them anything too good, in the manner of Goffin-King's substandard leftovers for early-'60s teen idols.
Billy Hinsche's sister married Carl Wilson, which probably helped the band secure a Brian Wilson composition (which Hinsche helped finish off) for one of their final Reprise singles in 1970, "Lady Love." The group did start to get involved in their recording sessions, as players and composers, toward the end of the '60s. But the talent wasn't there, and in any case the results were much more pop than rock.
Perhaps it's being unduly touchy to come down on the band so hard; they had no aspirations towards anything but wholesome fun, apparently, and 98-percent of other kids their age would have taken advantage of the same connections given the same silver spoons. Keep in mind, though, that bands like Dino, Desi & Billy took away valuable air time and sales from much better groups that really needed it, in an era in which chart considerations were much more vital to ensure an ongoing career. And if you don't believe that, look at the nose dive experienced after the mid-'60s by the Kinks -- who, as it happened, were on Dino, Desi & Billy's U.S. label, and may have been competing for the same promotional budget.
01 - Since You Broke My Heart /
02 - We Know -- Reprise 0324 -- released 11-2-64
03 - I'm A Fool /
04 - So Many Ways -- Reprise 0367 -- 4-12-65
05 - Not The Lovin' Kind /
06 - Chimes Of Freedom -- Reprise 0401 -- 8-18-65
07 - Please Don't Fight It /
08 - The Rebel Kind -- Reprise 0426 -- 11-10-65
09 - Superman /
10 - I Can't Get Her Off My Mind -- Reprise 0444 -- 1-19-66
11 - Tie Me Down /
12 - It's Just The Way You Are -- Reprise 0462 -- 3-23-66
13 - Look Out Girls (Here We Come) /
14 - She's So Far She's In -- Reprise 0469 -- 5-20-66
15 - I Hope She's There Tonight /
16 - Josephine -- Reprise 0529 --10-12-66
17 - If You're Thinkin' What I'm Thinkin' /
18 - Pretty Flamingo -- Reprise 0544 -- 12-13-66
19 - Two in the Afternoon /
20 - Good Luck, Best Wishes to You -- Reprise 0579 -- 4-19-67
21 - Kitty Doyle /
22 - Without Hurtin' Some -- Reprise 0619 -- 8-2-67
For about 15 years, the excellent Edsel Records compilation Whiter Shades of R&B was seemingly the definitive Paramounts anthology, collecting as it did all 12 sides from their six singles, a French EP track, and three previously unissued cuts. It was supplanted, however, by this 28-track anthology in 1998, which includes all 16 songs from the Edsel album and more.
The most noteworthy additions are six more unissued mid-'60s tracks, five of which are more of the kind of R&B/rock/soul covers that occupied most of their repertoire, while the other is a stringless version of one of their singles, "Blue Ribbons." Those five other outtakes are about as good as their previously officially issued tracks, but point up the chief drawback that kept the Paramounts from making a commercial or artistic impact: an absence of original songs, though they were an above average group at interpreting American material. That difficulty would be solved with striking speed and creativity when the Paramounts evolved into Procol Harum, but you don't hear much of what's to come here, other than in Gary Brooker's soulful vocals and their adventurous stab at Charles Mingus' "Freedom." Closing the CD are six more previously unreleased tracks that, alas, aren't actually the Paramounts; instead they're from a 1970 Procol Harum session of oldies covers the group did for kicks, with a lineup similar to the Paramounts days (although Chris Copping and not Diz Derrick is on bass). Like many such sessions, they fall into the category of something that was probably fun for the bandmembers to get out of their system, but not all that exciting to listen to, though it's done with workmanlike enthusiasm. In any case, all six of the tracks, and seven others from the same session, were soon issued on the CD Ain't Nothin' to Get Excited About, where they were credited to the group pseudonym Liquorice John Death.
1. The Paramounts - Poison Ivy (2:08)
2. The Paramounts - I Feel Good All Over (2:11)
3. The Paramounts - Bad Blood (2:04)
4. The Paramounts - Chills And Fever (2:22)
5. The Paramounts - Little Bitty Pretty One (2:15)
6. The Paramounts - A Certain Girl (2:12)
7. The Paramounts - Stupidity (2:02)
8. The Paramounts - It Won't Be Long (2:03)
9. The Paramounts - Pride And Joy (2:15)
10. The Paramounts - Do I (2:04)
11. The Paramounts - I'm The One Who Loves You (2:09)
12. The Paramounts - Hey Little Girl (2:10)
13. The Paramounts - You've Got What I Want (1:57)
14. The Paramounts - Turn On Your Lovelight (2:22)
15. The Paramounts - Blue Ribbons (early mix - no strings) (2:23)
16. The Paramounts - Blue Ribbons (2:25)
17. The Paramounts - Cuttin' In (2:44)
18. The Paramounts - Baby I'm Yours (2:23)
19. The Paramounts - Don't Ya Like My Love (2:16)
20. The Paramounts - Draw Me Closer (1:57)
21. The Paramounts - You Never Had It So Good (2:53)
22. The Paramounts - Freedom (3:26)
23. The Paramounts - Kansas City (1970 session) (3:44)
24. The Paramounts - Breathless (1970 session) (3:04)
25. The Paramounts - Brand New Cadillac (1970 session) (1:40)
26. The Paramounts - Matchbox (1970 session) (2:33)
23 Track Complication From The Very Rare SA Beat Group With Great Inst. Trcks 1963-67
The rise of the Invaders can be traced directly to the South African tour in March 1961 of Cliff Richard and the Shadows. Richard and The Shadows were appearing at the Feather Market Hall in Port Elizabeth, a concert for which twenty-one year old John Henry Burke (born 23 March 1940) of Uitenhage had purchased a ticket. Johnny Burke rushed home after the show, tried a few chords on an old, battered guitar in front of a mirror and declared aloud, “I was born for show business and someday I’ll be famous like The Shadows!” Prophetic words indeed.
The Fourmost were originally known as the Blue Jays, then the Four Jays, and then the Four Mosts, before taking on the name under which they finally succeeded. Lead guitarist and singer Brian O'Hara (b. Liverpool, Mar. 12, 1942) and rhythm guitarist and singer Mike Millward (b. Bromborough, Cheshire, May 9, 1942) had a pleasing attack on their instruments and sang well enough, even harmonizing well, and with bassist/singer Billy Hatton (b. Liverpool, June 9, 1941) and drummer (and sometime singer) Dave Lovelady (b. Liverpool, Oct. 16, 1942), the Fourmost were one of the better combos working Liverpool in the early '60s. They could rock hard, with a crisp guitar sound and vocals that wailed convincingly, and Hatton's bass work had a nicely melodic sound -- the group lacked the distinctiveness of Gerry & the Pacemakers at their best, but were never as sappily sentimental as their major sub-Beatles Liverpool rivals could get, and had a livelier, leaner, and more refined sound than such competitors as the Swinging Blue Jeans.
The Fourmost's fortunes took a sharp turn upward in 1963 when they were given the nod by Brian Epstein and became a part of his stable of Liverpool-based acts. Their bookings improved and they were signed to EMI's Parlophone label, where they were recorded by George Martin. The band also got access to a pair of Lennon-McCartney originals ("Hello Little Girl," "I'm in Love") that got them noticed, and they peaked in April of 1964 with the single "A Little Lovin'," which got to number six in England. Unfortunately, none of the Fourmost were songwriters, and this left them at the mercy of outside inspiration and outside sources for songs, which quickly dried up as dozens of rival bands started covering the same material.
They also looked a bit stiff on-stage and on television, which was a problem as the bands around them got bolder in their presentations. Additionally, like a lot of early Liverpool acts, the Fourmost were oriented toward music careers that left room for cabaret-style humor, believing -- as had been the case before the Beatles -- that a band eventually branched out from straight-ahead rock & roll. Their music included a fair lacing of comedy tracks amid perfectly respectable covers of numbers like "The 'In' Crowd" and "Some Kind of Wonderful." Once the music around them began maturing in a different direction, into more advanced forms of rock & roll rather than toward pop, they found themselves on the outside looking in -- in 1965, while the Beatles were taking the first steps into the druggy ambience and the diverse folk and Indian sounds that would spice their second flourishing, and the Rolling Stones were shaking up the airwaves with "Satisfaction," the Fourmost were covering "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" (a great song, to be sure, but not exactly aiming high in ambition). With a few breaks and more focus, they might have been a somewhat more pop-oriented equivalent to the Action, but it wasn't to be.
The group never charted a single after the spring of 1964, despite an attempt in the summer of the 1966 to piggyback once more on the Beatles' work with a cover of "Here, There and Everywhere." The death of Mike Millward from leukemia in 1966 doomed the band's prospects, although Paul McCartney was still throwing some help their way as late as 1969. By then, they were fixtures on the cabaret circuit, and long since forgotten by most of the public.
1. The Fourmost - Hello Little Girl (1:52)
2. The Fourmost - Just In Case (2:42)
3. The Fourmost - I'm In Love (2:09)
4. The Fourmost - Respectable (2:06)
5. The Fourmost - I Love You Too (2:04)
6. The Fourmost - A Little Loving (2:10)
7. The Fourmost - Waitin' For You (2:24)
8. The Fourmost - How Can I Tell Her (2:28)
9. The Fourmost - You Got That Way (2:05)
10. The Fourmost - Baby I Need Your Lovin' (2:27)
11. The Fourmost - He Could Never (2:32)
12. The Fourmost - My How The Time Goes By (2:15)
13. The Fourmost - Girls, Girls, Girls (2:24)
14. The Fourmost - Why Do Fools Fall In Love (2:02)
15. The Fourmost - Till You Say You (3:02)
16. The Fourmost - Yakety Yak (2:32)
17. The Fourmost - My Block (2:42)
18. The Fourmost - So Fine (2:36)
19. The Fourmost - Some Kind Of Wonderful (2:34)
20. The Fourmost - Girl Can't Help It (2:27)
21. The Fourmost - I'm in Love (2:07)
22. The Fourmost - In Crowd (2:35)
23. The Fourmost - Baby Sittin' Boogie (2:23)
24. The Fourmost - Heebie Jeebies (2:00)
25. The Fourmost - Sure To Fall (In Love With You) (2:16)
26. The Fourmost - Everything In The Garden (2:08)
Four hundred TV appearances in five years! No, we are not talking about Elvis Presley, the Beatles, the Stones, Bob Dylan, Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, or Madonna. Of the almost 500 biographies in this book, the story of Con’s Combo is certainly the most unique. Now, being on TV is perhaps not so sensational. For example, it probably takes quite a while to count up the number of times the Beatles and Rolling Stones were on television. But that number likely doesn’t come close to the around 400 (!) times that Con’s Combo appeared on TV ЃEand this was during a time period of only five years!
Of course, many people will wonder why they’ve never even heard of this group. Well, we’re not talking here about Swedish or European TV. This is South American TV, in particular Argentinean TV. The members of Con’s Combo spent nine years in Argentina, with side trips to other South American countries. There are certainly not many music collectors who know that the group made a number of singles as well as three albums during their time in Argentina, but the group were pretty much superstars in that country ЃEone of our first and certainly least-known pop exports.
All of this was a long way from the group’s beginnings back in Katrineholm in the early 1960s. It was the Söderlund brothers who started the band, and eventually their cousin, Ingemar Söderlund, became a guest performer in the group. Though Ingemar had his own record contract, he was not really a pop or rock singer. However, before Ingemar joined Con’s Combo, they made an EP that Owe Monk had put on the Swedish charts as a member of the duo the Vagabonds called “Sommar i StockholmЃE(Summer in Stockholm). Some years later Conny Söderlund, Bo Gathu, and Owe Monk met two fellows from the South American group Lecuona Cuban Boys. They got together and did a tour in Finland. Osvaido Venini then suggested that they should travel to Argentina, where there were plenty of gigs, and Con’s Combo made the unique decision to move there. Although Venini himself left after only a year in Argentina, it turned out that there was plenty of work and record contracts there for Con’s Combo. During their busiest period, the group appeared three times a week on TV. The members even became good friends with the beatnik group the Shakers (who have achieved cult status among collectors of 1960s pop music with their album “Break It AllЃE from Uruguay. In 1968 Con’s Combo represented Sweden at a song festival that took place in Brazil. There were 34 countries taking part (Canada was represented by Paul Anka), and Con’s Combo won 10th place. Just like the Beatles, Con’s Combo even had their own guru to encourage the group (although he probably was more interested in just being a groupie).
Argentinean singles were played at 33 rpm, something unusual which could lead to misunderstandings. When Conny Söderlund appeared solo on a TV program from Los Angeles around 1969-70, he was to lip-sync one of the singles by Con’s Combo. A problem arose when someone set the record at 45 rpm. Just at that moment, punk music was invented. In the mid-1970s the members of the group moved back to Sweden, but they can certainly feel very pleased with their pioneering achievements.