Monday, 14 July 2014

LITTLE RICHARD - A LITTLE BIT OF SOMETHING (BEATS A WHOLE LOT OF NOTHING) - COLUMBIA DB 8240 (1967)


A breathtaking spanking mint copy of Richard's follow up to the classic I Don't Want To Discuss It.  He released that, this, Get Down With It and Poor Dog as singles in the UK within the space of 18 months and all flopped.  Criminal!  Not quite as good as Discuss It, but still a cracker, this Okeh dancer was a Twisted Wheel, Torch and Catacombs spin in the early days of the Northern Soul scene.

TONY SCOTT - WHAT AM I TO DO - ESCORT ES 805 (1969)


It amazes me that this record is still unknown in some quarters - if you heard it's instrumental you'd know it within seconds, because this is the vocal version of The Lquidator.  Well sort of.  In a chicken vs egg situation, this one came first, and to be honest, without Winston Wright's keyboard genius, it's fairly mundane stuff.  Not a great song, not a great vocal either.  It's only when Winston soups it up on Liquidator that it takes on an extra life.  I might try mixing this with Liquidator to see if it improves it!


OWEN GRAY WITH SONNY BRADSHAW QUINTET - COME ON BABY - CHEK 45/TD 101 (1962)


In the very early 60's, many Jamaican immigrants had settled in England and due to lack of records being supplied from home, they began to set up their own labels to release the music such as Planetone, Island, Blue Beat and so on.  Chek is a great example of one of these early labels.  No information on the label as to who distributed the label, no production credits either.  The Chek releases run to 105, but only three of those have been identified as yet so 103 and 104 may be unissued.  Of the three known issues, two are by Owen Gray and one by The Continentals.  Sonny Bradshaw, "the Dean of Jamaican music", was the producer of all of the singles.
Anyway, this Owen Gray record is one for all afficionados of Jamaican R & B, and it would even cross over to the Northern R & B scene if given a chance, it's still in the New Orleans tradition of Fats Domino and Smiley Lewis but with a much more pronounced 4/4 beat.  A cracker!  Pleasant Jackie Edwards style ballad on the flip.

THE VERSATILES - WORRIES A YARD - CRAB 5 (1969)


An absolute scorcher of a record from The Versatiles, follow up to the nearly but not quite so good Children Get Ready (which sounds just like The Maytals!)  This is the B side to the excellent Spread Your Bed and has always been one of the hardest and most sought after on the Crab label, mainly because it really is the archetypcal example of the fast early Reggae sound.  Produced by Eric Barnett (not Mrs. Barnett as it says on the label!) and originally issued on JA Deltone, it also, somewhat surprisingly maybe, got a release on the German Ariola label, and also on an incredibly scarce UK Big Shot issue (BI 520) which I've never seen.

Monday, 30 June 2014

DERRICK MORGAN - HOLD YOU JACK - ISLAND WI 3159 (1968)


This is the last but one release on the great red and white Island label (the last being Errol Dunkley's The Clamp Is On mentioned elsewhere on this blog) and Reggae had certainly arrived by the time that this one was issued circa November 1968.  The backing track, as I'm sure everyone will recognise, is most famous for it's use on Max Romeo's notorious 1969 smash Wet Dream but prior to that it had also been used on at least three cuts by Derrick Morgan (including the excellent I Love You) and went on to be versioned many times.  I'm not quite sure what this song is about and if Jack is a person or a 'thing', but you can't keep a good tune down and the Bunny Lee Allstars are brilliant on this track, utilising that reedy organ that can be heard on so many of Lee's productions from this period.

DON DRUMMOND - UNIVERSITY GOES SKA - ISLAND WI 242 (1965)


Another cracking instrumental from The Skatalites, credited to just Don Drummond but again partial credit should go to Baba Brooks, and also the guiro player who totally dominates this record.  I'm not a big fan of this scraped percussion instrument, especially when as in this case, it replaces the guy who usually does the vocal effects, but a very prominent bass drum drives the track along and Don is on top form with his fantastic soloing towards the end.
Nice and fairly obscure Ska duet by Derrick Morgan & Naomi on the flip side.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aya_VkiZW9M

DON DRUMMOND & DRUMBAGO - STAMPEDE - ISLAND WI 192 (1965)


From the Treasure Isle label comes this storming Ska instrumental, featuring chick-a-chick vocal gymnastics and a duel between trombone master Don Drummond and trumpet legend Baba Brooks.  This is of course The Skatalites, though many of their records were credited to whoever played the main solo.  I'm not sure if Drumbago did play on this record but the label credit should read Don Drummond & Baba Brooks.  1964 and 1965 saw The Skatalites at their prolific peak and practically everything they touched in 1965 was pure gold.  Some excellent low-fi Ska vocals on the B side from Justin Hinds & The Dominoes with Come Bail Me.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iSbmOHlgb0

ALVIN ROBINSON - FEVER - RED BIRD RB 10 010 (1965)


A nice and quite rare demo, but not that much demand for this good double sider from the New Orleans born singer.  Top side is a very laid back, smokey blues version of the Peggy Lee classic, while the gritty R & B dancer on the flip, Down Home Girl, was regarded by Leiber and Stoller to be the best record released on Red Bird.  Tell that to Evie Sands.  Down Home Girl certainly has some unforgettable lyrics including "I swear the clothes you wear, are made out of turnip greens, every time I kiss you girl, it takes like pork and beans".
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omnkh2OTtAk

SACHA DISTEL - TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY - HMV POP 1507 (1966)


No, I haven't taken leave of my senses, this is actually a really good and in fact note-for-note copy of the brilliant US Atlantic 45 by Gene Stridel.  In fact, if you didn't know who it was, I doubt you'd ever guess and it could have been a long-time cover up.  A big beat with full orchestral accompaniment by Johnny Scott and an angelic chorus of girlie backing singers...seriously, don't dismiss it until you've heard it - not that I know to a sound clip on the net anywhere.  As usual, my black label photo hasn't come out very well, that's a Not For Sale in house demo sticker at the top, and what looks like a piece of sticking plaster on the left.
(I found a sound clip on a website, copy for sale £15)

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

BIG YOUTH - ACE 90 - DOWN TOWN DT 492 (1972)


Down Town is best known as an outlet for UK production by Dandy (Livingstone) and he ruled the roost over this label until 1971 when most of his stuff started to come out on the J-Dan label, and Down Town became an outlet for various producers such as derrick Morgan, Lee Perry and Keith Hudson.  Dandy had long gone by the time this one came out in 1972, and so of course had Skinhead reggae.  Now it had a rootsy, slow, bass heavy feel and to tell you the truth, that was the end of the line for the majority of 'white' reggae lovers.  Not many could relate to Rastafari and suffering in Africa, at least unless they were partaking in the 'erb.  But..the DJ craze which had begun with U-Roy in 1970 was still in full flow and newer DJ's such as Big Youth and Prince Jazzbo were taking on the mantle.  

Here is Big Youth with the Ace 90 Skank, not sure what an Ace 90 is but it might be dedicated to a motorcycle as there's one in the studio at the time this was recorded, revving up all over the almost 20 second spoken intro.
Official A side is a slow reggae vocal by Keith Hudson entitled True True To My Heart.  Nice, but much of a muchness.




THE TECHNIQUES - GO FIND YOURSELF A FOOL - CAMEL CA 19 (1969)


That label took a bit of touching up I'm afraid, maybe the fact that it did look a little worse for wear was the reason I was able to pick it up so cheaply, but wow, this is my favourite Reggae buy this year so far I think.  I last had one of these around 1992 and to be honest I don't think I even played this side - the A side is Everywhere Everyone, a more typical Skinhead Reggae tune sounding like a George Murphy / Tennors production.  This side is sublime soulful Reggae, it's still a fast one, but it has a great lead vocals and lovely male harmony backings.  As my friend Jon says "a typical Pete Smith reggae record", I do know what he means (see The Tartans - Lonely Heartches for instance).  
The song may be better known via Winston Francis' later recut but I believe it's actually Winston singing lead vocals on this original version (The Techniques credit is incorrect, it's another Winston Riley produced group, The Shades) and in fact Winston recut it with Prince Fatty in 2012 as well.
Here's a link to the brilliant Shades version.  

EL PASSO - MASQUITO I - PUNCH PH 61 (1971)


Apologies if this one causes a little dej-vu.  It has been featured before, but not on this label.  Back in the peak years of Reggae, 1969 to 1972, the two biggest movers and shakers on the scene were Pama and Trojan.  Trojan eventually won out, but both companies output was huge and often they would find themselves trying to license the same record from Jamaican producers.  The producers got wise to this, and off they went to Neasden to see Trojan and sell them the exclusive rights to their latest hit.  After which, they'd get on the bus to Dalston where they would sell exactly the same product to Pama!  So this is why you often see the same record on two different labels, sometimes with the artists names changed; Pat Kelly on Gas is Little Boy Blue on Jackpot, Lester Sterling on Gas is Mr. Versatile on Jackpot, and so on.
Anyway, El Passo is Dennis Alcapone, the name coming from the sound system he used to DJ for in Jamaica.  I think this is the only record issued in the UK under that name, the rest being credited to Dennis Alcapone.  I think this is one of the top 10 dj records ever made, half of the work being already done by utilising The Techniques classic You Don't Care as a backing track (though it's actually Nora Dean's Barbwire version of The Techniques track), that rhythm being possibly the best in the history of Rocksteady.  Trojans release was via their Big Shot label, no idea why it wasn't released on Treasure Isle as it was under Trojan's ownership again by 1971, and the B side is the same on both releases, a DJ cut to Ken Parker's I Can't Hide, but it's a poor second to the great Mosquito 1 (or Masquito I as Pama would have it).
One more thing, that Punch label, I've said it before but it really is one of the greatest designs ever, just looking at it makes you want to hear what's in the grooves.

D. TONY LEE - RED GAL RING - UNITY UN 519 (1969)


I've lost count of how many copies I've had of this record, I keep buying it, selling it, buying it back again...based around the magical rhythm of Pat Kelly's "How Long Will It Take", both sides of this one are excellent workouts by the master tenor sax player Roland Alphonso, aided and abetted by D Tony Lee (Bunny Lee's brother).  Or should that be hindered by D Tony Lee.  Tony is not the greatest of the early DJ's and his somewhat stilted delivery sounds as if he's just reading off prepared notes of one liners like "From the East to the West, you've got to do your best".   Some sources credit these tracks to Jeff Barnes, another DJ with the same uninspiring vocals, but I don't think it's him.  So Red Gal Ring actually begins with a good intro, "Ah look who is back on a musical track, Mr. Megaton Roly Souly, right her at Red Gal Ring, where we all have got to swing".  Okay so it's not exactly Bob Dylan quality lyrics.  On the flip side, Peyton Place, you'll discover that "Peyton is a place, ideal for the human race", just ignore the vocals and listen to that beautiful Roland Al saxophone instead.
There are at least half a dozen tunes based on the How Long rhythm, one day I'll go through them all.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

DARRELL BANKS - OPEN THE DOOR TO YOUR HEART - LONDON HL 10070 (1966)


Ladies and Gentleman, you are looking at a piece of record collecting history, certainly the find of the century so far.  Darrell's modest US hit was released by London on a yellow demo copy, but before the record could actually be released, they were hit by an injunction from EMI Records whose Stateside label had the rights to the tracks.  So the demo was withdrawn (after maybe 300 copies got out) and the record came out two weeks later on Stateside.  Picked up by the fledgling Rare Soul scene almost immediately, both sides have deservedly gone on to be regarded as major classics of the genre.
So why is this particular record so special?  Well, it was found by someone I only know as NickW and posted up on Soul Source on sunday night.  Quality of the photograph was poor, and knowing that this didn't exist on a stock copy - not a single one discovered in 48 years - I was incredulous to say the least, and literally said I'd believe it when I see it.  Not long after, Nick posted up these high quality scans, as well as close ups of the run off groove matrixes, and I said there and then that it was kosher and was indeed the first ever Darrell Banks issue to be discovered.  I posted both sides up to Facebook, and within an hour it had, as some people might say, "gone viral".
It was found in the collection of a an ex-Decca employee.
Who knows, perhaps the day after he received this one, the order came through that the record was now not going to be released due to copyright problems, and all copies would have to be destroyed.
Poor NickW has more or less had to go into hiding to escape hordes of mad bidders offering to take it off his hands.  Nick appears to be a collector and he is contemplating keeping it.  Good for him.
In my opinion, this is the rarest record ever released in the UK.  People may refer to Sex Pistols GSTQ on A & M, but we know that a couple of dozen copies of that were given away to staff at the time.
This is - as yet - a one off.  A Northern Soul collector with the financial backing might pay up to £10,000 for this.  If I had the money I would easily pay £5000.  But if NickW does decide to sell it, he shouldn't underestimate the London label collectors out there - they don't like demos, they just want the stock copies, and here is that elusive, one-off stock copy.
If I was given the job of selling it - it would be going to Sotherbeys.  This is a slice of 7" vinyl history.
Now we know how Howard Carter must have felt when he entered that tomb back in 1922 and found it totally intact - this is UK label Northern Soul collecting's Tutankhamun moment.  Let's hope there's not a curse on it!

DARRELL BANKS - OUR LOVE - LONDON HL 10070 (1966)


        Please see Open The Door To Your Heart entry for details of this amazing discovery.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

SHARON SOUL - HOW CAN I GET TO YOU - STATESIDE SS 411 (1965)


A few years ago, well maybe 12 years ago, I was in touch with Sharon's son for some reason, I think he needed a recording of one of her records maybe, anyway the lady herself sent me a lovely signed photo of herself in her heyday and to be honest, I was actually quite surprised to discover that she was a white girl.  This brilliant Northern dancer was recorded for the Wild Deuce label which operated out of New York but had a heavy Detroit presence amongst it's staff.  There are a few copies of this around on Wild Deuce (two different label designs if I remember rightly) and Sharon also had two dancers on the Coral label, one of which, His Love Is Amazing, was bootlegged on the Out Of The Past label in 1973, but this is easily her best recording and boy oh boy, is this rare on a Stateside issue.
 I had one of these back in 1992 and it was the only copy I've ever had.  I got this one last weekend and it's the first copy I've had since that first one.  I once turned down a Stateside demo circa 1987 for £10 because I hadn't actually heard it at the time!  I'd rate this as being as rare as Hoagy Lands or Rufus Lumley, and I've had two and three copies of those since my first Sharon Soul.

SIR SCORCHER & THE BLACK EMERALDS - RECORD BREAKER - JANDISC JAN-003 (2013)


Now here's something you don't see everyday, a 2013 release amongst hundreds of 1960's releases!  This is just awesome and if you played it to me blind I would swear to you that it was cut for Studio One in 1968.  They have got the sound down to a tee.  Look, they even made it look like a UK 60's release - though it's origins are in the USA I believe.  Anyway, don't take my word for it, have a listen to it on the JanDisc website, where you can also hear a clip from both sides.  This is what they have to say about it...
“The Record Breaker from Kingston Jamaica…Sir Scorcher lead the musical way!” goes the spoken introduction to this ruthless cut.  A blistering skinhead reggae treat that takes Dennis ‘Scorcher’ Williams back to his days before his work as a singer and highlights his ‘talkover’ talents as a deejay.  Being a former member of the Jamaican vocal group The Scorchers, Williams is partly responsible for supplying producer Lloyd ‘Matador’ Daley with his first major hit record ‘UGLY MAN’ in 1968.  On the B-side is ‘HELL TO PAY’, a sterling piece of melodic reggae that showcases saxophonist Robby Spengler on a rhythm thats sure to put you in a jumping mood.  Top-notch musical backing on both sides of this disc supplied by Jandisc house band, The Black Emeralds. This one’s a scorcher!

THE PARAGONS - THE SAME SONG - TREASURE ISLE TI-7013 (1967)


Another in a string of faultless classics recorded by The Paragons for Duke Reid's Treasure Island label between 1966 and 1968, matched only maybe by The Techniques output from the same period as far as the vocal groups go.  John Holt's distinctive vocal over the usual perfect Tommy McCook backing, with harmonies (probably from) Tyrone Evans and Bob Andy.  Very cool sax and organ version of King Curtis' Soul Serenade on Side 2.

KEN BOOTHE - TRAIN IS COMING - ISLAND WI-3020 (1966)


I used to have this in my original Island collection but haven't had a copy for about 10 years now, incredibly I picked this up off Ebay for £9.50!  A cracking Coxsone Dodd production from 1966, and like so many Jamaican records, it has a 'train' theme (well it would do with that title, wouldn't it).  ken Boothe once again proving why he was and is one of the top rated JA vocalists of all time and continuing to make Joe Strummer look a c*nt for that heinous line in the astonishingly over-rated Clash track White Man In Hammersmith Palais; "Ken Boothe, UK pop reggae".  Really Joe?  I hope you apologised that before your tragically early passing.

ALTON ELLIS - BREAKING UP - LORD KOOS KOO 19 (1973)


The A side of this is Alton's majestic version of The Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose classic, Too Late To Turn Back Now - and what a version it is.  It was issued on UK Ackee with a version of the flip, so seeing this very rare Lord Koos issue I thought I'd buy it as the flip of this one was a version of Alton's 1968 gem Breaking Up, recorded for Treasure Isle and subsequently recut for Studio One.  Well this is a version I hadn't heard before, heavy on the bongos, and equally as good as the Coxsone version.  No credits on the label but I believe it was produced by Clive Chin (at Randys Studios?).  Anyway, although both sides fade out rather quickly, it's well worth picking up, and is unbeatable as a double sided gem.

Monday, 2 June 2014

BABA BROOKS - SHANK J SHECK - RIO R 61 (1965)


A foundation Ska instrumental from Baba Brooks, recorded for King Edwards in 1965 (though it sounds more like a '64 style track).  The riff of this one has been used on countless versions since including Jackie Mittoo's Earthquake from 1978 and there's also a famous cover by Bobby Ellis from 1977.  Tough to find on UK, even back in '65 they were getting titles wrong, this one appearing as Shank J Sheck instead of Shank I Sheck.  In case you were wondering - the title of the song was a reference to Chinese general Chaing Kai-Shek.  Many Ska instrumentals were named after famous people from past or present history, e.g. Christine Keeler, Lee Harvey Oswald, Lon Chaney etc.

DAVE BARKER (THE CHARMERS) - WHAT SHOULD I DO - ESCORT ERT 855 (1971)


Our friends at Pama once again try to confuse us by miscredting not only the artist, but the title too, but put the needle to the record and you'll hear the unmistakeable Soul-influenced vocals of the great dave Barker (aka Dave Collins, of Dave & Ansil Collins fame).  The Charmers - or Lloyd Charmers aka Lloyd Terrell - feature on the other side, One Woman.  Dave's recording here is a cover of a superb Manhattans number from 1965 entitled Follow Your Heart.  Short but sweet, it clocks in at just over 2 minutes but features a strong vocal and some lovely harmonies.  Check it out if you get chance.

Friday, 30 May 2014

THE MIRACLES - YOU REALLY GOT A HOLD ON ME - ORIOLE 45-CBA 1795 (1962)


Following a handful of releases on London and Fontana, Berry Gordy's fast-rising Motown label then handed over the reigns of it's UK distribution to the independent Oriole label, who despite plugging away with a series of promotional shows on Radio Luxemburg, still couldn't gain any chart entries for the fledgling label.  Of course, all UK Oriole/Motown releases are now collectors items and can demand very high prices.  Always a favourite of The Beatles, this was one of the records found on John Lennon's famous jukebox after his death.

DARROW FLETCHER - THE PAIN GETS A LITTLE DEEPER - LONDON HLU 10024 (1965)


Classic Northern Soul - or as it was known back in the 60's when this was first played - Old Soul or Deleted Soul.  Darrow cut this when he was just 14 years old, and didn't really make a bad record after that in his long career.  A hero on the Rare Soul scene.

KEN BOOTHE - MUSTANG SALLY - STUDIO ONE SO 2000 (1967)


First UK Studio One release under it's own logo, and this version of the Wilson Pickett classic suits Ken Boothe's vocals down to the ground.  I prefer this side to it's official A side, "Feel Good".

TOMMY McCOOK - ROCKET SHIP - ISLAND WI 232 (1964)


Tommy McCook leading The Skatalites on a sort of gimmicky but brilliant Ska instrumental, with suitable space age sound effects throughout.  Loved this since I first heard it on one of the tremendous "Intensified" albums in 1979-80, issued at the height of the Two Tone craze - if you ever see those, buy them without hesitation (and look out for the rare Dutch only double LP featuring both volumes)

GENE CHANDLER - I CAN TAKE CARE OF MYSELF - ACTION ACT 4551 (1969)


Issued just four numbers later than the Eddie Holman disc, but there's a change in label design to this rather dull black with green logo version.  But not to worry - the actual record is nothing short of spectacular - one of Van McCoy's greatest ever song, a joyous celebration of being freed from the chains of a loveless relationship, and guess what, when he was asked to perform this when first coming to the UK on a Northern Soul weekender package, Gene couldn't even remember recording it!  B side to the fairly insignificant "I Can Save It", this one is easily in the all time top 50 Northern Soul records ever made.

EDDIE HOLMAN - I SURRENDER - ACTION ACT 4547 (1969)


A brilliant Northern dancer which just about squeaked out on the B side of the more typical "I Love You" in 1969, on the very striking Action label.  Very hard to find on UK Action, much easier on US ABC, this one is another guaranteed floorpacker.  Look at that, it's beautiful isn't it!

DORIS TROY - I'LL DO ANYTHING (HE WANTS ME TO) - CAMEO PARKWAY C 101 (1966)


Now there may well be a stock copy of this record further down the page but excuse me while I go and have a lie down for a bit, because nothing quite excited an old UK collector like a white demo and this one certainly has got me a bit flustered, I have to say.  All time classic, from youth club to all nighter, this was issued another three times in the UK (on Toast, Mojo and Pye) and is still as popular today as it ever was.  Look out for the rare original demo version by Dee Dee Sharp too.

DENNIS ALCAPONE - POWER VERSION - ACKEE ACK 146 (1972)


Between 1970 and and 1973, the Reggae market was flooded with DJ records utilising original Studio One and Treasure Isle (amongst others) rhythms. Inspired at first by U-Roy, soon every man and his dog was at it - why even the great Alton Ellis had a go at one point, and of course there's Dandy's flawed attempts at DJ tunes as well; it's not just about getting the backing track right, the delivery has to hit the spot as well.  Anyway, here's one of my favourite DJ's from the early days with a version of The Clarendonians "You Can't Be Happy".  This one is fairly off the radar compared to things like "Mosquito One" and "Alcapone Guns Don't Bark" - still great though, and with a good early 60's Jamaican R&B tune from the Blues Blasters on the B side.

ALEX HARVEY - AGENT 00 SOUL - FONTANA TF 610 (1965)


An opportunist Soul cover by the great Alex Harvey but he would have to wait another three or four years before finally finding acclaim in the musical "Hair" and then success with his Sensational Alex Harvey Band.  File under 'could have been a lot better'.

CAROLYN CRAWFORD - WHEN SOMEONE'S GOOD TO YOU - STATESIDE SS 384 (1964)



Carolyn only released three singles for Motown as far as I know, fortunately for us they are all absolute classics, if anything, When Someone's Good To You is the weakest of the three (Forget About Me being the best closely followed by My Smile Is Just A Frown) but even so, it's still good enough to attain classic status and I can honestly say that in all my years of collecting British, this is the first time I've had this one in my hands.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

BETTYE SWANN - MAKE ME YOURS - CBS 2942 (1967)


One of the biggest Soul 45's of 1967, this midtempo floater from Money Records is a big favourite of the, ahem, older patrons of the Soul scene, doesn't do a lot for me as a record but I always love a CBS demo...

LITTLE RICHARD - I DON'T WANT TO DISCUSS IT - COLUMBIA DB 8263 (1967)


Little Richard has practically disowned the material that he cut with Larry Williams - what's not to like?  One great album and numerous powerhouse singles make his 1966/67 sides an essential part of the history of Northern Soul.  This is his best by a mile, also played via a version by The Instigations back in the Casino days, but Richard's version must have had them bouncing off the walls at the Torch.  
If you prefer your soul a little slower, check out the official A side to this one, Hurry Sundown, which contains an extraordinary vocal performance by the erstwhile rock'n'roller - deep soul?  You bet your life it is.  My God what a voice.  Both sides below.


PHIL PRATT with Lynn Tait's Band - REACH OUT - CALTONE 124 (1968)


B.K. Calnek (aka Ken Lack) didn't put out a massive amount of records but what he did put out is almost uniformly brilliant Rocksteady of the highest order.  Check out this gorgeous, fluid, soulful side from the erstwhile producer Phil Pratt, on a very rare UK issue.  Gorgeous.

EBONY KEYES - IF YOU KNEW - PICCADILLY 7N 35358 (1966)


Never quite got this one, sounds like second rate UK Pop Northern to me but the vocal is good and it gets people dancing so it can't be that bad.  One of a handful of Piccadilly 45's that this guy had before a name change to Lee Vanderbildt in the 70's.

MARVIN GAYE - PRIDE AND JOY - ORIOLE 45-CBA 1846 (1963)


Another early Motown classic which got lost in the UK despite Oriole's best efforts to promote it.  Note the A on the centre of the record - that's an Oriole demo and they are very few and far between.  Look out for an interesting recut of this by Marvin done as an advert for the Detroit Free Press and issued as a very limited edition 45, entitled The Teenbeat Song.

BIG JOE - SWEET MELODY - DIP 5027 (1975)


Now this is a real toughie, I can't tell you exactly how long this took me to get hold of but it included a good ten years of Ebay watching and even then I never saw it on there.  I got a Jamaican King Edward label copy but always wanted this UK DIP release.  Issued on the flipside of a Prince Glen (Trinity) cut, Hog In A Minty, Sweet Melody utilises a stunning Gaylads track as it's basis, entitled Looking For A Girl.  Big Joe tends to run out of steam half way through but it's still a cracker and anyone who listens to my podcasts will know this one, I've used it about eight times!

EARL VAN DYKE - ALL FOR YOU - REDIFFUSION ACETATE (1965)


Possibly one of the most bizarre and unique Motown records that you'll ever see, this is a reference disc from the TV show Ready Steady Go, cut onto a 10" acetate which plays at 78rpm!  It came from someone who worked on the RSG Motown Special in 1965, and All For You was used throughout the show as background music.  You'd have thought with all that providence that it would have fetched a lot, but when I Ebayed it, it just about made £40.  Someone got a complete one-off there.

THE SALVADORS - STICK BY ME BABY - WISE WORLD 301 (1967)


Well after selling my first ever copy of The Del Larks, what happens 2 weeks later?  I get an original Salvadors to sell.  As you can see, this green original is on vinyl and is nothing like the blue styrene pressing, but remember there's also a green label counterfeit which is very rare.  The original has a couple of 'dimples' in the vinyl.

THE RIGHTEOUS FLAMES - GIMME SOME SIGN GIRL - FAB 18 (1967)


Prince Buster song, Prince Buster production, and released on the Prince's own Olive Blossom label in Jamaica, this was the first of three PB produced singles for the Righteous Flames before they joined Cosxone Dodd in 1968.  Buster's Rocksteady output is absolutely top quality but there are very few compilations of it around, hence him being one of the lesser known producers of that particular genre.  This one's a classic.

THE HIPPY BOYS - WHO IS COMING TO DINNER - TROJAN TR-669 (1969)


A truly obscure Trojan release, tucked away on the B side of a miscredited Max Romeo vocal version of the standard Michael Row The Boat Ashore, this one is a proper Reggay Scorcher from start to finish, with a distinctive guitar riff and pulsating organ powering it along.  I bought this blind and it blew my socks off when I heard this side.  Sadly, I sold it 3 days later, but hey I have to pay for stuff and this is my job...sad though.  Must get this one back.
Produced by Bart San Filippo, a name I don't remember seeing before, he was only working in 1969, mainly with Anonymously Yours and Max Romeo, possibly a pseudonym.


CHRIS CLARK - LOVE'S GONE BAD - TAMLA MOTOWN TMG 591 (1966)


A rare green and white demo - but why did they change from red and white, these green ones do nothing for me I'm afraid.  Call me mad but...

THE MINSTRELS PEOPLE GET READY - STUDIO ONE SO 2036 (1967)


This is one of the most highly rated and expensive records on UK Studio One, I won't say how much I sold it for but it was the most I ever sold a reggae 45 for, I just find it strange that there are so many better records on this monster of a label that this one appears to be one of the most sought after.  Not that it's a bad record, it's a very good record, just not that good.


THE BLUES BUSTERS - PRETTY GIRLS - DOCTOR BIRD DB-1030 (1966)


A BAND OF ANGELS - INVITATION - PICCADILLY 7N 35292 (1966)


BARBARA LYNN - YOU LEFT THE WATER RUNNING - LONDON 10094 (1965)


JACKIE EDWARDS - I FEEL SO BAD - ISLAND WI-3006 (1966)