fredag 6 maj 2016

Re-upped: Pebbles Vol. 1

Pebbles Vol. 1

Mastercharge Records 1978, 500 pressed

BFD Records 1979, a looot more pressed

There seems to be some kind of confusion regarding the initial release of Pebbles Vol. 1.
Age of Madness says it was released in 1977, and on BFD.
And what the heck BFD Records is/was is another question which I won't go on about now.

The Pebbles album was originally released as an LP on Mastercharge Records in 1978 as a collaborative effort of several collectors in a limited edition of just 500 copies.

Y'all have this album, and I bet you have all the songs, maybe all the 45s and everything.
But you can't deny that it hasn't been properly revamped. And my humble attempt does not do it justice, atleast not the justice it deserves.

I would like a deluxe double album - no a box! - with all the original Mastercharge artwork, the BFD artwork, vintage reviews, interviews, pix of the bands and scans of the labels, maybe some photos tucked in with memorabilia, interviews with the old bands about what Pebbles ment to them, interviews with neo-garage bands about what Pebbles ment, interviews with old music journalists about what Pebbles ment to them, updated liners.. everything.

This album and its reverberations are still in effect today. It's the starting point of the butterfly effect that is the still healthy garage rock scene we see today.
Sure someone sooner or later woulda digged out those ol' 60s 45s but Pebbles did it first.
And they did it over and over again.

When I listened through the revamped album I couldn't help to be swept away again, with a smile on my face.
There might be better comps, but this was the one that stole my heart.

Says the Llama:
"The series that set the ball rolling back in the late 70's. Regardless of his later activities (which included ripping off hopeful young musicians) Greg Shaw deserves a lot of credit for his groundbreaking job to bring attention to local 60's records at a time when the music industry was on its knees in front of David Bowie and Elton John. Along with Lester Bangs and Lenny Kaye Shaw more or less created the concept of 60s punk, first via Bomp Magazine and then through the Pebbles, whose early volumes must've sold tens of thousands of copies by now. The original release of vol 1 (circa 1977) has a different sleeve and liners to the well-known reissue available today. No need to describe the music except to say that while side 1 has some of the greatest 45s ever made, a couple of choices on side 2 seem a bit questionable. As you may know, some tracks are pitched (most notably the Squires)."

Original liners:

Pebbles is a new series of collectors' albums, inspired by the brilliant Nuggets album, dedicated to bringing you the best of obscure '60s punk and esoteric rock. Volume One of the Pebbles series is concerned with classic punk recordings from some of the many local music scenes of the 1960's. Included are 16 classics that collectors have read about, and despaired of finding, for years. Borrowed from the collections of some of America's foremost authorities on '60s rock, these records are in many cases one-of-a-kind, and so obscure that few even remember who some of these groups were or where they originated from. However, again turning to our panel of experts, we have made every effort to find out as much as we could about the tracks included on this album.

Side One

1. "Action Woman" (The Litter) The Litter were one of the best groups to emerge from the active Minneapolis scene. Along with the Gestures, Castaways, T.C. Atlantic, The Trashmen, and hundreds more, the Litter were part of a scene that produced literally hundreds of records, only a handful of which ever got out of the Twin Cities. The Litter put out two albums on a local label before being signed to a national label, ABC. Their ABC-Probe album can still be found, but it doesn't begin to compare to the earlier stuff. "Action Woman" was a local hit, and is included here from their amazing first album, Distortions (1966).

2. "Who Do You Love" (The Preachers) This Bo Diddley classic received an amazingly raw treatment from The Preachers, evidently a Los Angeles band ca. 1965-66. Other records by this group have been found, although it's a common enough name that there is some doubt whether all are, in fact, by the same band who made this record.

3. "Dance Franny Dance" (The Floyd Dakil Combo) One of the most legendary Texas records of the '60s, this one was recorded "Live at the Pit, Dallas" and was somewhat of a regional hit, even receiving airplay in such unlikely places as San Francisco, where it made the KYA Top 60 for one week in 1966. The solid, chugging beat and clean, simple energy of this record have endeared it to all who were lucky enough to find it on the original Jet-Star label, or the (actually scarcer) nationally-released Guyden version - including the Flamin'Groovies, who at one time intended to record the song. Other Dakil records (including a fairly common one on Earth) fail to measure up.

4. "I'm In Pittsburgh, And It's Raining" (The Outcasts) Another little-known Texas band, most likely from San Antonio, recorded this blistering punk-rocker, which has been compared to the Pretty Things at their best, and also to Eddie & The Hot Rods, by certain people in Holland who put out an extremely rare bootleg pressing of it under the name The Kicks in 1977, aimed at the New Wave market! The original was on Askel 102.

5. "Going All The Way" (The Squires) This one is a real mystery. Only two collectors are known to have copies, and although the record appeared on a national label, nobody has ever been able to identify the group or their origin. The strangest thing is that this is the only known record by this group, although by their sound (both sides are well-produced, extremely good original songs. The "B" side, an amazing Byrds soundalike, will be on Volume Two of Pebbles) they should have recorded much more extensively. In any case, this record holds its own in intensity, energy, and composition with any of the best punk records of the '60s, and deserves far better than the total obscurity from which only this album is likely to rescue it.

6. "Going Away Baby" (The Grains Of Sand) The Grains Of Sand were a fairly well-known Los Angeles band around 1965-66 who recorded 3 or 4 excellent 45s, mostly in the folk-rock style. This is their punkiest outing, although the song was co-written and produced by Michael Lloyd (The B-side was published by "Fowley Whipped Dog Music"!). It appeared on the Genesis label.

7. "You Treat Me Bad" (The Ju-Jus, featuring Ray Hummel III) Another fabulous, obscure record, this one appeared on the Fenton label out of Grand Rapids, Michigan around 1966. This was an extremely prolific label, issuing more than 200 local records, though not all of them were punk-rock.

8. "1-2-5" (The Haunted) The Haunted were one of Montreal's premier punk bands, and this song was a sizable hit in Canada, and received a bit of airplay in America when released on Amy. In Canada, they were on the Trans-World label, which released albums by other punk bands, including The Rabble. The Haunted album is one of the hardest to come by relics of the '60s, but it includes nothing more powerful than this single. It did include versions of "A Message To Pretty" and "Out Of Time," but not the group*s other singles "I Can Only Give You Everything" and "Come On Home."

Side Two

1. "Like A Rolling Stone" (The Soup Greens) It's been said about the punk bands of the '60s that they could transform any song into "Louie Louie," and this record is certainly one of the more amusing proofs of that observation. The group, from somewhere in New York State, is not known to have made any other records.

2. "Crackin' Up" (The Wig) Yet another fine example of Texas punk, this record has the distinction of having been written by Rusty Weir, currently well known for several boring solo albums on major labels. But even the most boring hippies (Loggins & Messina, Delbert McClinton, etc) have been known to have valid punk roots, and such is the case here. Few '60s punk records are wilder than this 1966 single, released on the local Black Knight label in eastern Texas.

3. "Psychotic Reaction" (Positively 13 O'clock) Still in eastern Texas, we come upon this wild cover version of the Count Five hit, by an unknown band who never actually existed. According to Jimmy Rabbitt (L.A. disc jockey and sometime C&W recording artist), who produced this record with Robin Hood Brians (of Mouse & the Traps fame) at Brian's studio in Tyler, Texas, it was a studio record mad by members of Mouse & the Traps and other local bands. It was released in 1966 on the HBR label out of Los Angeles.

4. "The Trip" (Kim Fowley) Everyone knows who Kim Fowley is, but few have any ideas how many weird, demented records he was responsible for in some capacity between 1959 and 1970, let alone all that he's done since then. There could easily be a 3-album set of Fowley's best obscure singles, but for the present, none could be more representative than this song, released at the height of teenage freakout mania. Interestingly, Kim's version (on the Corby label, whose story is so confusing we won*t even get into it) was the inspiration for several covers, notably one by Godfrey, an LA disc jockey who got (not surprisingly) a lot of airplay with it in Southern California. It became a sort of cruisin' anthem in East LA, where variations were recorded by other bands like Thee Midnighters. Godfrey himself released it in 2 or 3 versions, with varying B-sides. They were all great, and fairly bizarre, but none better than Fowley's original.

5. "Spazz" (The Elastik Band) This song was destined for Volume Two of Nuggets, but seeing as how that album may never see the light of vinyl, we felt it worthy of inclusion here. Surely one of the most tasteless records ever made, it was (amazingly enough) released on a major label known for tasteful rhythm & blues, but failed to be a hit (can't imagine why...). The group, not to be confused with several others of the same or similar monicker, is believed to have been based in New York.

6. "Rich With Nothin" (The Split Ends) One of the best records to come out of Tampa, Florida's active local scene in the '60s, this is also one of the most impressive efforts to duplicate the style of Paul Revere & the Raiders. It stands out as a truly strong and delightfully arrogant suburban punk. Released on the minor CFP label, it's virtually impossible to find, even in Florida.

7. "Potato Chip" (The Shadows Of Knight) This song, together with the jocular spoken intro, was issued only on a 5-inch cardboard record, possibly tied-in to a potato chip promotion. The song itself is quite good, but was never released to the public.

8. "Beaver Patrol" (The Wilde Knights) Probably a Los Angeles band, the Wilde Knights were but one of countless groups who did off-color records within the punk idiom. References to "beavers", long hot-dogs, etc. characterized these records, which were usually sold by the groups themselves at gigs as "novelties." This is by far the best record of this type we've ever uncovered, and we put it at the end of this album because nothing could possible follow it...

Every effort has been made in the preparation of this album to achieve the highest possible quality, given that many if not all of the records included suffer from deficiencies in recording and pressing to begin with, and many had to be mastered from second-hand copies. In mastering, the tracks were run through an ADC-500 professional graphic equalizer and a noise-reduction unit.

We wish to thank all the fans and collectors who have been of assistance in compiling this series. Special thanks must go to Greg Shaw, Ken Barnes, Alan Betrock, Mike Saunders, and the pages of Bomp, Rock Marketplace, and the many other fine fanzines that have kept the spirit of punk rock alive...

Note: the small skip that occurs in "Action Woman" was present on the original record and could not be eliminated. Your copy of Pebbles is not defective..."

3 kommentarer:

  1. Thank you! Great classic music. Thanks for this whole Series.

  2. "There might be better comps, but this was the one that stole my heart." How true... I'll always remember the day - I was about 17 - when I walked home with this one, the volume 2 and the 1st Seeds' LP. A good friend of mine loaned them to me, and to put things simply, my life changed... Thanks for everything you wrote about that comp, that's really a good read !

  3. Thanks for this. I hope this is the original issue that has the song Crackin' Up by The Wig.