Shindig! #35 is soon to drop (Sept. 26), and I've contributed a few entries to the list of Beatles-influenced gems, but, naturally, a few of my fave-raves were already spoke for. Pick up the new issue soon-like, but in the meantime lemme tell you about a few choice selections whose virtues will be served by the pen of another, in my own words:
The Flame – S/T (Brother, 1970)
What combo better than sibling South Africans the Flame (Fataar Bros – Ricky, Steve and Edries; with Blondie Chaplin) could be the only non-Beach Boys group on their Brother Records imprint? Keepin’ it in the family, they were successful as the Flames in their native land before relocation to London where the keen ears of Carl Wilson—this LP’s producer—were pricked and ferried them back ‘cross the pond. Altering the name to avoid confusion with JB's boys stateside, they issued this consistent album of guitar-heavy, Revolver and forward harmonic delicacy with Harrison’esque licks and a bit of Stonesy swagger to little acclaim in 1970, beyond a singles chart blip from “See the Light” b/w “Got To Get Your Mind Made Up” (a one two-punch if there ever was one). Group members went on to play with the Boys proper, the Rutles, Byrds, Stones and the Band. The embers will keep smoldering till we see an official reissue and proper birth of their 2nd unreleased platter.
Rockin’ Horse – Yes It Is (Phillips, 1970)
The hydra-head strength of Jimmy Campbell (ex-Kirkbys, 23rd Turnoff & solo) and Billy Kinsley (ex-Merseybeats, Merseys; future Liverpool Express) was much more than that of proseful pretenders posing in the aftermath, having been weaned on the same fruits as the Beatles in their own time. Dialing back after rural sojourns and stylistic diversions, they wanted to create something inspired by their initial turn-ons and penned one of the most potent, soul-wrenching power pop records extant. Probing the pop planet (being pioneered by Badfinger and others at the time), they hit with a double-shot opener of “Biggest Gossip in Town” and “Oh Carol, I’m So Sad”—the former their A-side single release, and both comped as the maiden 45 voyage on Greg Shaw’s Voxx empire. The only thing that should be “lost” about this platter is the feelings it imbues with pathos-drenched tunes like “Stayed Out Late Last Night” and “Don’t You Ever Think I Cry”. This top of the pop canon album should be owned by all. Not only one of my favorite moments of Beatle'esque outstretching, but one of my favorite albums, and a real class package was produced/reissued by Sing Sing Records just a few years back, which you can knab here.
I've surely got more horses [NPI] in the race (may even have a few more additions forthcoming), but what are your faves?