1 November 2014

The Explosive - (Who Planted Thorns) In Miss Alice's Garden/ I Get My Kicks From Living

Label: President
Year of Release: 1969

The Explosive were simply Decca group The Plague (of "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow" and "Looking For The Sun" fame) operating under another moniker. No line-up changes, no mess, no fuss, just a simple alteration of the band name, perhaps to shake off the curse of "psychedelic flop single" that might have clung to them at that point. They consisted of Ken Ali on vocals and guitar, Bill Dale on bass and vocals, Russ Harness on keyboards and John Truelove on drums. 

Signing to President, they fared a little bit better, but not so much that they ever managed a bona-fide hit single. However, a string of 45s emerged on that label of which this is probably the finest. The A-side is a slightly more bizarre version of Tom Northcott's cult US single, is widely available on iTunes and YouTube, and is therefore off-limits for the purposes of this blog - however, it's worth a spin just to hear the band go to town on the original track and, in my opinion, improve it with their splashes of wah-wah guitar, eccentric reggae-tinged rhythms and quirky vocals. Somewhere amidst the racket, the sound of the art school seventies is being created.

The flip "I Get My Kicks From Living" has clearly had less thrown into the blender, but is still an optimistic and carefree slice of sixties pop. 

The Explosive were finally dropped by President at the end of 1970, but they quickly signed to the tiny Plexium label and issued at least one more marvel, the fantastic and groovesome "Hey Presto, Magic Man", a track I've been after on seven inch for years now, but copies are astoundingly hard to come by. 


Anonymous said...

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Arthur Nibble said...

I take it you didn't like the single then!