5 March 2011

Double Feature - Baby Get Your Head Screwed On

Double Feature - Baby Get Your Head Screwed On

Label: Deram
Year of Release: 1967

Whilst the Madchester/ Baggy revolution of the late eighties and early nineties is widely regarded to be the moment where psychedelia, guitar pop, soul and dance collided, in truth such dabbling around with the audio palette was occurring long before the Stone Roses and Happy Mondays.  There are tons of examples of singles released throughout the late sixties alone which tried to tick as many genre boxes as possible.

Cat Stevens's track "Baby Get Your Head Screwed On", for example, is given a particularly soulful psychedelic rendition here (or should that be psychedelic soulful rendition?) complete with parping horns, proto-Electric Light Orchestra styled string solos, and a gritty, gnashing vocal.  Whilst there's very little doubt that the track is actually quite ahead of its time, it falls just short of being brilliant by dint of the fact that the tune gets rather repetitive once they've set out their stall within the first minute.  There are very few fuzzy, psychedelic records of this era which will tempt you on to the dancefloor in a similar way, however, and for that reason alone it deserves the share of attention it has since had from aficionados.

The flip "Come On Baby" has an insistent groove which isn't dis-similar to The Equals, but again ploughs a similar furrow and fails to progress as much as it perhaps could do across its full two-and-a-half minutes.

Double Feature were a duo consisting of Bill Hall and Brian Lane who hailed from Birmingham, and following the failure of this and the follow-up "Handbags and Gladrags" to make a commercial impression they seemed to fade from view.  If anyone knows what happened after that or if they're up to anything now, please do pass the information on.


Anonymous said...

Hello. I stumbled across this by accident, it's interesting stuff! Anyway, just to follow up on your point, Bill Hall is my uncle and he is still around Birmingham. He is doing well, owns a business and lives wih his family. As far as I know his music days are behind him, although nothing would surprise me!

23 Daves said...

Thanks for dropping by and letting me know! When you next speak to your Uncle, please do let him know that this is a track I play quite often when I'm DJ'ing in London, and it still seems to be quite well received.

Brian said...

There was a fellow named Brian Lane who was one of Yes' early managers, but I don't know if this is the same person or not.

Peter said...

Hi, I'm Bill Halls brother.
Brian's surname isn't Lane, it's Lake.

Both are well and a little embarrassed about how green they were in those days.

Lots of tales - sharing a mike with Hendrix, TV disaster...

23 Daves said...

TV disaster? If either you would like to tell this tale or they would, please do let me know. That sounds intriguing.

In terms of the singles they issued, I don't think they've anything to be ashamed of at all - both this and "Handbags and Gladrags" stand up really well to this day.