Amoeblog

One album wonders: John's Children's Orgasm

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 3, 2014 10:20am | Post a Comment
 JOHN'S CHILDREN - ORGASM (recorded 1967, released 1971) 

John's Children - Orgasm

Today the band John's Children, when remembered at all, are best remembered for two things: one, for having briefly included within their ranks a pre-T. Rex Marc Bolan and two, for their calculatedly outrageousness and provocative live performances. Both overshadow the fact that they also made some quite enjoyable music, including a sole LP recorded before Bolan joined but released long after he'd left.


*****


The story of John's Children begins in 1965 in Great Bookham, where drummer Chris Townson, guitarist Geoff McClelland, harmonica-player Andy Ellison, and singer Louis Grooner played in a band called The Clockwork Onions. With changing times and line-ups came changing names and The Clockwork Onions became The Few. After the departure of keyboardist Chris Dawsett The Few became The Silence, who were Andy Ellison, Chris Townson, Geoff McClelland, and John Hewlett. The Silence were described by Yardbirds manager Simon Napier-Bell as “positively the worst group I'd ever seen” and not surprisingly he insisted on becoming their manager. 


Napier-Bell changed The Silence's name to John's Children. The band -- actually a group of session musicians -- recorded John's Children's first single, “The Love I Thought I'd Found” b/w “Strange Affair," which was released in 1966. The original title of the A-side was "Smashed Blocked" but a name change was necessitated at home because it was deemed offensive. Far from Surrey the single found a receptive audience (where it was released with its original name) in Florida and California -- two American states both known for their production and appreciation of weird, unpolished garage rock

Pseu Pseu Pseudio - Pseudonymous Musical One-Offs

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 28, 2013 10:49am | Post a Comment
In thinking about and working on a post covering one-album-wonders, I was reminded of a few single releases that were pseudonymously attributed to otherwise non-existent performers. Of course many musicians release music under stage names and a list of their releases would include the entire catalogs of  everyone from David Bowie, to Elton John, to Elvis Costello and 99% of dance artists and rappers

I'm talking about weird one-offs. So far I've only thought of two (updated since with contributions from readers) of these releases but I'm sure that there are quite a few for so help me out, please. Hopefully the more suggestions that are made, the more I can clarify what it is, exactly, that I'm talking about.

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I'm not including The Four Seasons because although they also recorded as The Wonder Who?, they weren't a one-off, having contemporaneously released four singles over three years. Similarly, although The Pretty Things also released music as The Electric Banana, it wasn't a one-off, as they did so across two decades.

Although Thin Lizzy formed in 1969, they were hardly overnight successes. In fact, their 1970 single, "The Farmer" b/w "I Need You" sold just 283 copies. In order to make some extra Irish pounds, they recorded an album of Deep Purple covers as Funky Junction for German businessman Leo Muller. It wasn't exactly a one-off though because the vocals were provided by Elmer Fudd's Benny White and not Thin Lizzy's Phil Lynott

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Album Picks: Porcelain Raft, Howler, Common

Posted by Billy Gil, January 24, 2012 12:01pm | Post a Comment
Hey y'all! Here are my album picks for January:

Porcelain RaftPorcelain Raft – Strange Weekend

 
Porcelain Raft, aka Italian-born Mauro Remiddi, makes the kind of wide-eyed romantic pop that borrows from various genres — lo-fi, soul, indie pop and shoegaze — but ends up in its own emotional territory due to Remiddi’s bedroom-recording aesthetics. “Drifting In and Out” appropriately sees its swooning electronics and new wave guitars come in and out of focus in what feels like falling asleep with the radio on. Strange Weekend works because its filled with tiny surprises, like the way Remiddi suddenly gets all glam in “Shapeless & Gone,” like an electro-twee Marc Bolan, or the psych-hop beats that pull back the marvelously affecting “Unless You Speak From Your Heart” from preciousness. It’s not the first time at the rodeo for Remiddi, a 37-year-old veteran of indie pop, previously in the band Sunny Day Sets Fire; perhaps that’s why he gets nearly everything right on his first solo full-length record.

HowlerHowler – America Give Up


What a pleasure Howler’s debut, America Give Up, is. Already this early into 2012, we have the year’s most irresistible album, 10 songs from a band weaned on the likes of The Jesus & Mary Chain and Guided By Voices. Much like their forebears in The Strokes (how’s that for making us all feel old), Howler has a way of distilling somewhat obvious and oversaturated influences into three-minute gems that get pretty much everything right. — dig the swaying romanticism of “Too Much Blood,” or the surf-gaze of “America,” or the snarky indie rock of “Back of Your Neck” (featuring the too-good lyrics “you think we’re Bonnie and Clyde, but both of them fuckin’ died”). If you can stop playing this on repeat, you’re stronger than we are.

CommonCommon – The Dreamer/The Believer


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Glam & Glitter Christmas

Posted by Eric Brightwell, December 24, 2008 10:15am | Post a Comment

 Marc Bolan Santa Claus

I'm not
sure what it is about Glam Rock and Christmas but I've always appreciated how many contributions to the Christmas song canon have big drums, fuzzy sax and '50s via the '70s Yuletide vibes.


My vote for the best Glam Rock Christmas song goes, hands down, to Slade with their never-tiresome-no-matter-how-many-times-you-hear-it classic, the misspelling free "Merry Xmas everybody."



 

Sadly, there's no proper footage of T. Rex's "Christmas bop" but you can just imagine Marc and Gloria Jones frolicking in the... snow.


 

No doubt eager to cash in on the success of Wizzard and Slade's Christmas successes, the less-inspired but still enjoyable Mud give us this Showaddywaddy-esque version of "Lonely this Christmas."

MARC BOLAN: ANNIVERSARY OF THE ORIGINAL GLAM ROCKER

Posted by Billyjam, September 30, 2007 10:31am | Post a Comment

Had he lived, musician Marc Bolan would have celebrated his 60th birthday today. The UK artist who fronted T-Rex (originally known as Tyrannosaurus Rex in their pre glam days) scoremarc boland a ton of hits including the brilliant "20th Century Boy" (see video above), collaborated with David Bowie (he played guitar with Bowie and also shared the same producer -- Tony Visconti), and was arguably responsible for glam rock (thanks to T-Rex's Visconti produced sound, coupled with his unique & smart fashion sensibility including an affinity for wearing boas & sporting glitter onstage -- long before any other artists did). Bolan tragically died in a car crash at age 29 on September 16th, 1977. He was just two weeks shy of his 30th birthday. Today in the UK several low-key events are planned by fans of the late great artist, and in New York a concert event has been scheduled to celebrate his 60th birthday anniversary and will be attended by Tony Visconti, Patti Smith, Robert Gordan, his son Rolan Bolan and others.

But even before I realized that today would have marked Bolan's 60th birthday, he had been on my mind a bit this past week. Every time I hear Devendra Banhart's voice I can't help but think of Marc Bolan who he is more than a little reminiscent of. And in the past week on the radio I've been hearing a lot of Devendra Banhart because his recommended new album Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon (XL Recordings) dropped. Pick it up at Amoeba Music and while you are there pick up a T-Rex release if you don't already own one or more. Meantime, for more background reading on Marc Bolan check out this website or his fan club website, or do a YouTube search for such videos as "Jeepster" or "Get it On (Bang a Gong)."