THE DENNISONS - 'Walking The Dog'/'You Don't Know What Love Is' (Decca F.11880) April 1964
For every beat group that broke through nationally there were hundreds that didn't. The Dennisons, from Liverpool were one such combo that had the talent, the image but not the luck or push to go to the next level.
Maybe they should have picked the storming merseybeat of 'You Don't Know What Love Is' as the A-Side here instead of the Rufus Thomas cover 'Walking The Dog'...shame that the former was lost in action on the flip.
Ben E King wrote 'You Don't Know What Love Is' and the story goes that he gave the song to The Dennisons to record after being impressed by them during the gigs they shared.
The drummer became an actor and starred in a British soap opera called 'Emmerdale'
All members of The Dennisons have died. Now that's weird.
DAVIE JONES & THE KING BEES - 'Liza Jane'/'Louie, Louie Go Home' (Decca F 13807) Sept 1978
This is a re-issue of the first ever record that David Bowie appeared on with his group Davie Jones & the King Bees. The original 45 came out on Vocalion and was released in June 1964.
Original copies are valued in the current Record Collector price guide at £1600. The re-issue is obviously not as expensive but still hard to find and is valued at about £30.
'Liza Jane' is a decent R'N'B romp with some bite but did not sell very well leading to the group being swiftly dropped from the label. The flip 'Louie, Louie Go Home' is a cover of a Paul Revere & the Raiders tune.
THE COMMANCHES - 'Missed Your Lovin'/'Tomorrow' (Hickory Records 45-1264) February 1964
The Commanches released this record in Britain on Pye 7N 25609 in February 1964 and it somehow managed to get a release in America on Hickory.
By '64 The Beatles had conquered our old colony and Hickory Records must have been keen on some of that merseybeat action because they also released singles by The Overlanders.
The A-Side 'Tomorrow' is very much tepid merseybeat, the singer has a crooning style similar to Elvis. Quite boring stuff actually.
The best side is 'Missed Your Lovin' and was obviously lost on the flip. This is classy beat angst with a couple of killer lead quitar breaks....
The Commanches had previously backed singer Bobby Allen on a 1964 Fontana single titled 'Half As Much As You'/'So In Love With You' but stepped out on their own with this 45.
Curiously 'Missed Your Lovin' was written by Bobby Allen.
THE BOYS - 'It Ain't Fair'/'I Want You' (PYE 7N.15726) 1964
I recently bought this sought after record by The Boys, although I usually don't bother with records in only VG- condition I made an exception with this 45 for two reasons. The first one being that it's quite rare and secondly, soon after the release of this record The Boys changed their name to The Action and would eventually become the mod gods of London.
Both sides are neat 60s beat, the kind of sound that was dominating the charts in 1964. It was recorded then released a couple of months after The Boys returned from Hanover, Germany. They had been there playing a local club for six hours each night, six days a week for several months.
Once back in England they recorded two Reg King originals both produced by Kenny Lynch. The record came and went without any chart action but it did give them enough of a buzz to become the support band for The Who at The Marquee during 1965.
For a long time it was believed that Pete Watson, on guitar, did not perform on these recordings and joined the band when they became known as The Action, however it has been confirmed within the recent Action book "In The Lap Of The Mods" that he did partake in the sessions.....This means the line-up on this disc was:
Reg King (vocals)
Alan King (lead guitar)
Pete Watson (rhythm guitar)
Mike Evans (bass)
Roger Powell (drums)
DAVE BERRY - 'My Baby Left Me'/'Hoochie Coochie Man' (Decca F.11803) January 1964
The next Dave Berry release was this wonderful double sided power pack of R&B but after the difficulties his backing band The Cruisers had in the studio last time out, Producer Mike Smith decided to employ session men. So among the musicians used were a young Jimmy Page and Big Jim Sullivan.
'My Baby Left Me' is the song popularised by Elvis but here Dave Berry adds some of the English beat magic that was everywhere in Britain during 1964 to update the tune into a beat killer. Listen out for a steller guitar break from Page that leaves the listener wanting more.
The flip 'Hoochie Coochie Man' was also pretty good and it's a single well worth tracking down. Despite the obvious improvement on the debut 45 'Memphis Tennesse', this one fared less well in the charts reaching a disappointing #37.
DAVE BERRY - 'The Crying Game'/'Don't Gimme No Lip Child' (Decca F.11937) July 1964
The top side 'The Crying Game' was a huge hit for Dave Berry, reaching #5 in Britain. It's an introspective beat ballad written by Geoff Stephens, who managed Donovan at the time. Not a tune though for Berry to enthral the audience with his 'human sloth' moves.
'Don't Gimme No Lip Child' is a tough sounding R&B swinger with killer harmonica throughout which was contributed by Jimmy Page, as was the electrifying guitar. It's a shame Dave Berry didn't record more hard hitting beat instead of the orchestral ballads that would litter his catalogue in the years to follow.
DAVE BERRY - 'Dave Berry' EP (Decca DFE 8601) November 1964
It was a busy time for Dave Berry at the end of 1964 with a debut album and this first four song EP released during November. The latter had two exclusive tracks not on the album with readings of Jack Scott's 'Me-O-My-O' and Fats Dominoe's 'If You Need Me.'
'Me-O-My-O' is a bluesy outing with some wailing harp and is my favourite track from the EP. All songs are worthy though and Berry was certainly on top of his game during this period.
THE BEATLES - 'Long Tall Sally' EP (Parlophone GEP 8913) June 1964
Total greatness - The Beatles rockin' '64 style with cover versions of 'Long Tall Sally', 'Slow Down' and 'Matchbox' done in their 'merseybeat' style.
The other song on the EP is a John Lennon original..'I Call Your Name' was a song he gave to Billy J Kramer before The Beatles recorded it...
It says on the back cover...."A new release by John, Paul, George and Ringo is more than just a disc....it is a national event!"
Man, how good is Ringo's drumming in 'Slow Down'? Speshly at the end when he does this mad left-right-cymbal roll!!! GEEEZER@!!!!!!!!!
Genius EP! I don't say it lightly but their version of Sally I think stands up to Little Richard's. That second guitar solo break just explodes!
The Beatles were also a MUSIC machine! Yes, the early Stones and Pretties records were wilder per se, and anyone who knows me knows how much I love those records, but there's a power in the Beatles' music, they were SO GOOD!! Listen to their version of Money, John's lead vocal, but also Paul and George's backing vocals... it's just really powerful.
THE BEATLES - 'A Hard Day's Night' EP (Parlophone GEP 8920) November 1964
All four songs on the EP were selected from the full-length album that was released in July 1964 and they're split evenly between wistful ballads and driving rockers.
I'll pick out Paul McCartney's romantic ballad 'And I Love Her' as my particular favourite here . It was recorded at Abbey Road Studios, London over three days in February '64 then mixed in stereo and mono in June.
check out the footage from 'A Hard Day's Night'....ACE!
THE BEATLES - 'Can't Buy Me Love'/'You Can't Do That' (Parlophone R 5114) March 1964
Two sided 45 of merseybeat rockers released on The Beatles American label, Capitol Records.
'Can't Buy Me Love' was written by Paul McCartney and recorded during January 1964 at EMI Studio in Paris.
'You Can't Do That' was written by John Lennon and is seemingly about his jealousy towards a girl.
THE BEATLES - 'I Feel Fine'/'She's A Woman' (Parlophone R 5200) November 1964
'I Feel Fine' has one of the all time classic beat riffs and is possibly one of the first times feedback was recorded on vinyl.
THE BEATLES - 'A Hard Day's Night'/'Things We Said Today' (Parlophone R 5160) July 1964
NME review July 1964
Here it is, at last: the long awaited title song from The Beatles' film 'A Hard Day's Night'. I'm sure every NME reader already has a copy on order, so you don't need me to advise you to buy it.
But just go through the motions, let me tell you that it's a bouncy finger-snapper, with a pounding beat and catchy melody. The spotlight is on John, though Paul joins him in one or two passages, and there's an intricate guitar solo by George. Plus the group's usual distinctive, wistful feel.
***I dig the beat flip 'Things We Said Today' written by Paul McCartney during May 1964 while he and then girlfriend Jane Asher were on holiday in the Caribbean...****