Monday, 29 October 2007

Spin and twirl with The Rock Flowers!

"Spin My Record, Watch Me Twirl!"

(The dolls in their glory!)

This week is a combination of a few of my favourite things; things such as Girl Groups, Bubblegum, Lost Gems...and Debra Clinger! Wahey! Man, if I was a doll collector as well ^__^ Haha!

So yea, The Rock Flowers - whattatheyallabout? Well, in a long and indeed great tradition of toy and music markerting link-ups Mattel lauched a set of dolls to compete with the then popular Dawn dolls by rival firm Topper Corp. The Rock Flower then kinda melded their own niche, concentrating on a "hippy rocker" image together with a plastic single that came with each doll. They were produced en masse from about 1970/71 to 74 and were quite the popular girls on the block! The original trio that made up the Rock Flowers Heather, Lilac and Rosemary but were also later joined by Iris and a certain Doug! By 1974 the dream was over, and Mattel resorted to selling the remaing dolls minus record and shoes - funnny! Well I guess it complimented the hippy vibe!

Now as well as the singles that came with each doll, 2 LP's were released consecutively in '71 and '72 featuring the vocal talents of Rindy Dunn, Debra Clinger and Ardie Tillman. What was stange about these LP's is that bearing in mind their issuing as part of a marketing masterplan, the only reference to the dolls was the name of the group itself! Anyhow the Lp's and singles are a utter fantastic collection of bubblegum girl sounds, with a bit 'o a rockin' edge! Produced by the man behind the Partride Family (Mr. Wes Farrell) and written by Toni Wine, Ellie Greenwich (brill!) and Carol Bayer. So great that Jeff Barry wrote for The Archies, and Ellie for The Rock Flowers! The girls went on to tour with Tom Jones before splitting. I will probably feature more of the wonderful Debra Clinger and her sisters in the future, but for now enjoy!

The 2 seperate downloads below include the first self-titled LP and the second called Naturally as well as 4 more songs in addition! Which = 26 in total! Wahey!

Monday, 22 October 2007

Yutta Tutta with Vicky Baker!

Now for something peppy! Courtsey of one Vicky Baker, as she performs the Yutta Tutta. Vicky herself is an elusive character, but once you hear and her gang it'll be stuck in your head for weeks! Also included is the other side, I Am What I Am - Go Vicky!

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Tinkerbell's Magic Fairydust *

Hey! This week's feature is by the wonderful Tinkerbell's Fairydust, all the way from 1969. Perhaps one of the rarest albums of that decade, it never saw a full release, making it just only to the test pressing stage - hence the rarity value! ($$$$$) The band released their first single, Twenty Ten, in 1967 to unsuccessful sales on the UK Decca label. This was followed by another two, Lazy Days and Shelia's Back In Town, in the following couple of years, again to little success 'old blighty. However in Japan the story was quite different, with Lazy Days reaching number 2 in the charts, just shy of Hey Jude at numbero 1. Band members included: Stuart Attride (g, Key, vo), Dave Church, Barry Creasey, Steve Maher (g, vo), Chaz Wade (ds, vo), Ged Wade (b, vo).

The album itself is a mixture of Pop-Psych, Sunshine and harmony. Maybe not as far out as its contempoaries, it does manage to shine with a blend of covers and originals. They remind me a lot of The Montanas sometimes, which is of course, a very good thing!
Anyhow the following download is from the reissue/first issue from 1998. Enjoy!


Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Françoise Hardy - C'est N'est Pas Un Rêve

Hey! Just had to post this video of the ever-wonderful Ms Hardy and her cover of Don't come any closer by Samantha Jones. Or did Samantha cover Françoise? Who knows! Please check out the posters other videos as well - amazing, amazing stuff! (yes it does deserve more than one!)

Friday, 5 October 2007

Some advice from The Nu-Luvs

The Nu-Luvs were another girl group taken under the wing by maestro, Shadow Morton. Originally 'Dressed in Black' was recorded as a b-side for The Shangri-Las single 'He Cried.' Deciding that he could make it a hit with another group, he found a group called the Nu-Luvs, craftily changed the title of the song, keeping the backing track while just rerecording the vocals but unfortunately for him it was anything but. Another group called The Pussycats, under genius arranger Artie Butler, recorded the song as well, this time with a refigured and rejigged backing. The jury's out wheter Shadow had much involvement in that release, but considering that is also labelled a 'Phantom Product' it may have some of his touch. That went kinda nowhere as well! In my opinion nothing can beat the Shangri-La original, however out of the two covers The Nu-Luvs version has the upper crust! Mostly because The Pussycats cut out the so soft, so warm part - why??! I ask! Anyhow the reason for my posting is to let you hear the b-side of this great single, as you might allready have or have heard the a-side. 'Take My Advice' is one girls lament to another while she cries to herself in her room, much like the other side! I've also included the remastered version of So Soft, So Warm, as my copy is a bit crappy. Enjoy!