25 January 2009

Garagelands Volumes One and Two

garagelands 1

garagelands 2

Label: Bam Caruso
Year of Release: 1999

Bam Caruso were well known for putting out lorryloads of compilation CDs focussing on obscure sixties pop and psychedelia, but the "Garagelands" duo of albums - which they might possibly have intended to turn into a fully fledged series, but I'm none too sure - were the rummest of them all. It was almost as if the people behind the label started off purely with the intention of releasing a lot of hard hitting, messy American garage rock, then ran out of records to choose from and began throwing on bits of soul and pop on there as well.

The liner notes are non-existent and so leave us none the wiser, but the scrappy nature of these albums is actually enormous fun if you're in the right frame of mind. Alongside The Cascades brilliant cover of Buffalo Springfield's "Flying On The Ground" sits The Stereo Shoestrings beserk garage version of The Pretty Things "Defecting Grey", retitled "On The South Road". Then there's The Epic Spleandor's superb take on The Smoke's "It Could Be Wonderful" which has the same clumsy soul about it as The Orange Juice would have two decades later, and Gene Vincent of all people screeching through "Bird Doggin". Questionable research rears its head on the same volume by the inclusion of The Polistyrene Jass Band's "Drano in Your Veins" - they were actually an experimental seventies punk outfit, and not a sixties one, but as it was on a white label and it sounds as if it completely belongs to the previous era, I suppose we can forgive all concerned.

Volume One is less diverse in its nature stylistically, but somehow less pleasing to my ears, although the psychedelic soul of The Sunliners "Land of Nod" is a curious and worthy inclusion, and early tracks involving Alice Cooper and Todd Rundgren (in The Spiders and The Nazz respectively) mean it focusses itself more on collector's curios, and less on high quality music.

Still though, both albums have returned to my stereo frequently over the last decade, and the fact that they were rushed out and then disappeared off record store shelves quite quickly would suggest that either there were copyright issues with one or two of the tracks, or else they were just a couple of limited edition runs which were never supposed to hang around forever. That means that you, the listener, have been missing out on a lot of great music for quite some time now, though, so please do at least download Volume Two below. You won't regret it.

Also, in case you were wondering, the Steve Davis singing "She Said Yeah" is definitely not the professional snooker player. I have frequently imagined it might be him, though, and that the accompanying promotional video would feature him singing down a snooker cue... but I'm sure you all have your own particular flights of fantasy which trouble you daily.

Volume One Tracklisting

1. The Leather Boy - On The Go
2. Corporate Image - Not Fade Away
3. The Third Booth - I Need Love
4. Jokers Wild - All I See Is You
5. The Wanted - Here To Stay
6. The Grim Reapers - Two Souls
7. The Plastic Blues Band - Gone
8. Gasoline Powered Clock - Forest Fire on Main Street (Run, Run, Run)
9. The Leather Boy - Soulin'
10. Peabody - Days of Rest
11. The Beckett Quintet - No Correspondence
12. The Spiders - Don't Blow Your Mind
13. The Peppermint Trolley Company - 9 o'Clock Business Man
14. The Gentrys - You Make Me Feel Good
15. Fountain of Youth - Don't Blame Me (For Trying)
16. The Nazz - Lay Down and Die, Goodbye
17. Mystery Track
18. The Sunliners - Land of Nod
19. Era of Sound - Girl in the Mini Skirt
20. The Wanted - Midnight Hour
21. The New Yorkers - Mr Kirby
22. The Cincinnati Music Co - Let's Do The Thing
23. The Household Sponge - Second Best
24. Vinnie Basile & The Staccatos - Gypsy Girl
25. The Shades - Ballot Bachs
26. The Household Sponge - Scars
27. The Onion Rings - She's Gonna Cry
28. The Grim Reepers - Joanne
29. The Wylde Maniacs - Why (Ain't Love Fair?)
30. 5 Americans - Don't Blame Me
31. The Shy Guys - We Gotta Go

Part one:

Part two:

Volume Two

1. Painted Faces - Anxious Colour
2. Velvet Illusions - Velvet Illusion
3. Painted Ship - Frustration
4. White Light - William
5. Stereo Shoestrings - On The South Road
6. Power - Children Ask
7. Polistyrene Jass Band - Circus Highlights
8. Polistyrene Jass Band - Drano In Your Veins
9. The New Life - Ha Lese (Le Di Khanna)
10. The Jefferson Handkerchief - I'm Allergic to Flowers
11. The Cascades - Flying on the Ground
12. C.A. Quintet - Doctor of Philosophy
13. The Barracuda - The Dance at St Francis
14. Cyrus Erie - Sparrow
15. Beacon Street Union - Four-O-Five
16. Iron Butterfly - Evil Temptation
17. The Accents - You Don't Love Me
18. Sid Herring and the Gants - Another Chance
19. Sid Herring and the Gants - Whats Your Name
20. Peter Fonda - November Nights
21. Randy Fuller - Temptation
22. The Epic Spleandor - It Could Be Wonderful
23. Steve Davis - She Said Yeah
24. Yellow Hand - Down To The Wire
25. Gene Vincent - Bird Doggin'
26. The Vita-Men - Frogs Legs
27. The Unclaimed - Memories Of Green Eyes
28. Noony Rickett - This is the Time

Part One:

Part Two:


The Wolfmen said...

Right up my back alley - would also recommend Jagged Time Lapse comps and Acid Dreams Epitaph for more of the same..

Anonymous said...

The Nazz appearing here are not the Todd Rundgren band, but yet another nascent Alice Cooper band - the link between the Spiders and ACG. "Lay Down And Die, Goodbye" would later appear on the second ACG album, Easy Action, in a considerably stranger version...

23 Daves said...

Thanks for clearing that up, Pyramidiac. The work of Alice Cooper really isn't one of my strong points, but it did occur to me that "Lay Down and Die, Goodbye" wasn't greatly representative of most of Todd's work...