20 January 2010

Deram Dayze

Deram Dayze

Label: Decal
Year of Release: 1987

Deram Records, for the uninitiated, were essentially the progressive arm of Decca Records. So whilst EMI had Harvest, and Phonogram had Vertigo, our good friends at Decca saw the sixties out channelling their more esoteric releases on to an artier label.

At the risk of crass generalisation, Deram (named after Decca's Deramic Sound System) was actually a bit more scattershot in its approach than its rather more "heavy" rivals, and seemed quite content to stick out all manner of easy listening projects, folk rock ensembles, psychedelic pop and even little bits of bubblegum. Whether this was due to marketing related cluelessness or just the fact that the label was being handled by some very adventurous people is hard to say, but it does make it - for my money at least - the label to look out for in second hand store bins if you're hoping to pick up something interesting.

"Deram Dayze" was issued on vinyl by Decal records in the eighties to bring together some examples of the label's catalogue, and whilst it is primarily psychedelic pop in its focus, you can still gain an impression of the scope of the imprint. The very first ever Deram single "Happy New Year" by folk singer (and sometime girlfriend of Paul Simon) Beverley features here, for example, and is a sprightly little pop song which might have been a minor hit if the wind had been blowing in a particular direction on the week it was issued. The cod-Northern Soul of Neath's finest Eyes of Blue also features in "Supermarket Full of Cans", a track which occasionally gets played down retro discos to this day (and I do have a soft spot for it, despite the rather seventies Eurovision-styled "Hey!" it bows out on). Singer-songwriter and cult legend Bill Fay also features, as well as the rather more far-out popsike of Essex's Bulldog Breed. In short, it's a cornucopia of Deram-a-rarities, although as with all these compilations it does cover some familiar territory and some material you won't be bothered to listen to twice.

Now, if only I could overlook that grotesque sleeve. That is a rather messy scan of it you can see above, but trust me, even across twelve inches on the original sleeve the artist's names are barely legible...


1. Cat Stevens - Portobello Road (DERAM 102) - 1966
2. Warm Sounds - Nite Is A Coming (DERAM 174) - 1967
3. 23rd Turnoff - Michaelangelo (DERAM 150) - 1967
4. Bill Fay - Some Good Advice (DERAM 143) - 1967
5. Denny Laine - Catherine's Wheel (DERAM 171) - 1968
6. Friends - Mythological Sunday (DERAM 198) - 1968
7. Eyes of Blue - Supermarket Full of Cans (DERAM 114) - 1967
8. Denny Laine - Say You Don't Mind (DERAM 122) - 1968
9. The Pyramid - Summer of Last Year (DERAM 111) - 1967
10. The Societe - Bird Has Flown (DERAM 162) - 1967
11. Focal Point - Sycamore Sid (DERAM 186) - 1968
12. The Pyramid - Summer Evening (DERAM 111) - 1967
13. Warm Sounds - Doo Dah (DERAM 120) - 1967
14. Beverley - Happy New Year (DERAM 101) - 1966
15. The Societe - Breaking Down (DERAM 162) - 1967
16. The Human Instinct - Renaissance Fair (DERAM 177) - 1968
17. Neil McArthur (aka Colin Blunstone) - She's Not There (DERAM 225) - 1969
18. Bulldog Breed - Halo in my Hair (DERAM 270) - 1970


Niall said...

Many thanks for this compilation........we all have some of these artists material, but still very interesting to see it packaged as a sampler like this.......those were the Dayze........


The Confused said...

lol... yes, the cover design was absolutely awful. The photos are so tiny they might as well not had bothered which was a shame since a couple of those pics are rare.

Bought this back in 1990... got a fair amount of plays. Always hated that Bill Fay track and wondered what the fuss was all about surrounding him. Didn't hear "Screams In My Ears" until many years later and it is way superior. The Denny Laine tracks are amongst the highlights and though it plods a bit, "Mythological Sunday" remains a fave, especially here in it's original mono mix... the stereo mix heard elsewhere loses it's drama and mystery.

The Societe is one worth grabbing by Hollies fans being produced by Allan Clarke and it has a definite psychedelic Hollies vibe about it... shame the B'side doesn't seem to have appeared elsewhere and remains missing in action.

A decent compilation for it's time. I recall the sleeve notes stating that Procol Harum and The Move couldn't be featured due to licensing restrictions, but Deram weren't a bad little label at all and worthy of a double CD retrospective rounding up the gems both familiar and rare.

23 Daves said...

I should have singled out "Mythological Sunday" for praise, actually. It is a really impressive single which possibly could have done with a bit more ruthless editing.

You're also right, somebody does need to do a 2 CD compilation - or possibly even a box set - of Deram's output. I think there's possibly enough good material out there to warrant a full box, in truth.

Anonymous said...

SOme beautiful gems on here, thanks

Anonymous said...

hi, just wondering if you can repost this. I can't find it anywhere! thanks!!

23 Daves said...

I'm reluctant to, I'm afraid - almost all of the tracks here are commercially available in other places now, and I'd get into trouble.

Drop me a line and I might be able to point you in the direction of a copy.