16 May 2021

Flavor - Heart Teaser/ Yea I'm Hip

Screaming mod rave-up from America

Label: Columbia
Year of Release: 1968

In general, UK mod bands haven't been received as enthusiastically in the USA. The Small Faces were greeted with relative indifference stateside, as were The Who until Roger Daltrey's dippety-do hairstyle blossomed into a terrifying lion mane. Likewise, the mod revivals in the eighties and nineties seemed to matter little.

That's what makes this single such an unusual find. Flavor were no strangers to taking soul and R&B sounds and transposing them on to a hard beat style - their cover of "Dancing In The Street", featured on this very blog in 2013, proved they knew what they had to do. Unlike that effort, though, "Heart Teaser" pushes the needles into the red from the first moment, featuring euphoric vocals, honking organ lines, and a screeching, full throttle delivery. It's so close to the Small Faces and Spencer Davis Group in its delivery that it's almost possible to kid yourself it is them.

The flip is more subdued but is a sneering, knowing sideways look at the too-cool-for-school hip cats on the scene. It hardly touches the high octane noise of Side A, but makes this a superb double-sider.

Flavor were from Maryland and consisted of Danny Conway, Demetri Callas and Gary St. Clair, who went on to release a solo single called "Dr Rock and Roll" in 1972. Their records, in particular the foot stomping and hand clapping "Sally Had A Party", are starting to find its way into the record boxes of mod DJs in the know. They may not have made many waves in the UK at the time, but they're become an increasingly favoured bet.

Sadly Demetri Callas passed away in Las Vegas last year. 

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