Sounds of the 60s: Garage Bands and Rock, Part 10
I considered changing the name of this series due to a couple of readers commenting that the bands I cover are not “Garage Bands”. Once again, I feel the need to explain that this truly is a generic term. It’s not a music genre nor does it necessarily mean that these bands practiced in an actual garage. It could have been a den, an out of the way building or most anywhere. It has nothing to do either with what socioeconomic group the members were from or what country. No band, other than ones that are made up by producers, just magically appear on stage somewhere without first having to form the band, practice their music and develop a sound. This is what this series is about so it can include any genre and practically any band. -Jack B. Stephens
Small Faces founded in 1965 hailed from London and began practicing in one of the band members public houses. They went on to perform in small clubs and finally received a signing from Decca Records.
Their first single “Whatcha Gonna Do About It” released in 1965 was a hit in London as were the next four singles including “All or Nothing” in 1966. However, because of a conflict with their manger, the band left Decca.
They signed with another label and released “Here Comes The Nice” in 1967 which was popular in England, but still did not bring international attention.
Their success came with their most famous release “Itchycoo Park” released that same year reaching number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 followed by their second US Chart success “Tin Soldier”. Surprisingly, the bland split up in 1969 because of a classic album “Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake” that was said to be a studio masterpiece that would be impossible to do on the road.
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Strawberry Alarm Clock
Strawberry Alarm Clock from Los Angeles formed in 1967. The group was actually formed by a combination of two other bands, Three Sixpence and Waterfyrd Traene.
The band’s first release in 1967 was “Incense and Peppermints” which reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in late November.
The short-lived band was known for several lineup changes. Their future releases had some minor success. “Tomorrow” was released in 1968 and reached number 23 on the US chart.
“Sit with the Guru” reached number 65 and “Barefoot in Baltimore” reached number 67 both in 1968 as well. These later releases were softer in sound and simply did not carry the appeal of “Incense and Peppermints”.
With more lineup changes, the band continued to lose popularity and “Good Morning Starshine” was their last release in 1969 reaching number 87. The band basically disbanded, but did have several reunions. However, they were never able to gain the appeal they once had.
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The Lemon Pipers
The Lemon Pipers formed by college friends in 1966 began in Oxford, Ohio. The members were interested in psychedelic rock; however, Buddah records later forced them towards the bubblegum genre. This created a conflict since the label would drop them if they refused.
Their first single “Turn Around and Take A Look” released in 1967 did not reach the Billboard Hot 100.
However, the second release “Green Tambourine” was a huge million selling hit reaching number 1 on the US Chart in 1968.
“Rice Is Nice” was released in 1968 and peaked at number 46 on the Billboard Hot 100.
“Jelly Jungle (of Orange Marmalade)” released the same year peaked at number 51. Controversy continued with the desires of the band wanting to have freedom in their music and what Buddah records wanted them to be. This finally resulted in the band dissolving in 1969.
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The Lovin’ Spoonful
The Lovin’ Spoonful was rooted in the folk music scene of Greenwich Village in the early 1960s. After some lineup changes, the group signed with Kama Sutra Records.
Their first release was in 1965 with “Do You Believe In Magic’’ written by founder John Sebastian. The song reached number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100.
A series of seven consecutive hits followed including “You Didn’t Have To Be So Nice reaching number 10, “Daydream” reaching number 2 and their most classic song of all “Summer In the City” reaching number 1 in 1966.
The following year the group began to face difficulties with personnel changes and a break up with their producer. “Six O’ Clock” was released in 1967 reaching number 18 on the Billboard Hot 100. The success became limited due to several reasons and they dissolved in early 1969.
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Although the bands we have covered this week include a wide variety of musical genres and other characteristics, one feature they all include are that they had to develop and practice their music regardless of how much success they later receive. This is precisely what I am mean when I use the term “garage band”. It typically takes a lot for a group of friends to form a band, acquire their equipment, practice their music and get into the rhythm of what type of music they will do. Sometimes when they do get signed to a label they may be obligated to play what that record company wants.
-Jack B. Stephens
Sources and Further Information:
Find Small Faces bio, music, credits, awards, & streaming links on AllMusic – British beat combo that delivered prime R&B, mod,…
The Small Faces ‘ career occurred in two distinct stages that saw a partial realignment in personnel and pronounced shift in style. They began as the Small Faces, a band of mod rockers who embraced soul and psychedelia in the Sixties.
After Small Faces disbanded, with Marriott leaving to form Humble Pie, the remaining three members were joined by Ronnie Wood as guitarist, and Rod Stewart as their lead vocalist, both from The Jeff Beck Group, and the new line-up was renamed Faces, except in North America, where this group’s first album (and only their first album) was credited to Small Faces.
Strawberry Alarm Clock is a psychedelic rock band formed in 1967 in Los Angeles best known for their 1967 hit single ” Incense and Peppermints”. Strawberry Alarm Clock, who have been also categorized as acid rock, psychedelic pop and sunshine pop, charted five songs, including two Top 40 hits.
Find Strawberry Alarm Clock bio, music, credits, awards, & streaming links on AllMusic – Psychedelic bubblegum band of the ’60s that…
The Strawberry Alarm Clock really shouldn’t be a band that people are talking about, much less writing about, in 2017. The psychedelic rock group formed in Los Angeles in 1967 and had a smash Billboard No. 1 hit that same year with the trippy “Incense and Peppermints,” and that was as good as it ever got.
Find The Lemon Pipers bio, music, credits, awards, & streaming links on AllMusic – Late ’60s Ohio-bred bubblegum popsters known for…
The Oxford, Ohio band The Lemon Pipers are best known for their 1967 bubblegum-pop hit single “Green Tambourine.” The band was signed to Buddah label, which was then run by the late record executive Neil Bogart. The band’s first single “Take A Look Around” didn’t chart, but their second one “Green Tambourine,” shot to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The Lemon Pipers comprised drummer William E. Albaugh (1948-1999), guitarist Bill Bartlett (born 1946, South Harrow, Middlesex, England), vocalist Dale “Ivan” Browne (born 1947), keyboardist Robert G. “Reg” Nave (born 1945), and bassist Steve Walmsley (born 1948, Cleveland, Ohio) who replaced the original bass guitarist Bob “Dude” Dudek.
Find The Lovin’ Spoonful bio, music, credits, awards, & streaming links on AllMusic – A well-loved New York City band of the ’60s that…
The Lovin’ Spoonful was one of the most successful pop/rock groups to have jug band and folk roots, and nearly half the songs on their first album were modernized versions of blues standards. Their popularity revived interest in the form, and many subsequent jug bands cite them as an inspiration.
The good-time sounds of the Lovin’ Spoonful made the quartet a fixture during the golden age of Top Forty radio. Over a period of two years in the mid-Sixties, the New York-based group charted a string of ten Top Forty hits, seven of which placed inside the Top Ten at a time when the competition included Motown, the Beatles and countless British Invasion bands.