Now The Sun Has Gone/Please Believe- The Beatmen (PYE)

I should say now that I’m not going list my purchases in chronological order, there’s no way I can remember! I’m just going to write about records at random.

This purchase has the longest and perhaps most interesting story. I’ve only just bought this single but it all started back in 1983 (scooby doo style wobble effect).

My mum used to listen to a 60’s nostalgia show on radio Nottingham on a sunday and , with the aid of our new fangled music center, record song onto a cassette. A few days later while listening to the tape I hear a moody, stomping, sax driven pop tune. “Who is this” I ask but she had no idea. The DJ was no help either as she’d followed that home taping tradition of pressing pause whenever the DJ raises his Mic fader. 

When I started collecting 60’s singles myself in the late 80’s and sometimes play the cassette to people hoping they could enlighten me but no one could.   But I wasn’t going to give in. Either side of the song on the cassette was “Barbara ann” by The Beach Boys and “Mirror Mirror” by Pinkertons assorted colours. So as the radio show usually concentrated on a top 20 run down from a certain week  I figured if I bought every top 20 single from Jan 1966 I’d get there in the end!         This long winded excercise introduced me to the delights of “Come Tomorrow” by Manfred Mann as well as unpleasant exposure to “Make The World Go Away” by Eddy Arnold.  But Still no joy at the end. 

Fast forward to around 2005, sorting through some cassettes and out falls the old mystery song and reminds me fo my failed quest. Except this time I have the internet.  So I transfered it to MP3 and uploaded and invited people via many message boards to give their expert opinion.  Many incorrect suggestions flooded in. “Sounds like Del Shannon” was a popular one. But eventually some kind soul put me out of my misery and informed that it was infact the BSIDE of a non charting single by Nottingham band , The Beatmen who released 2 singles for Pye in ’64 and ’65.  I was able to make sure as the band was at that time still going with not all the original members, but the present vocalist (Rob Duffy)* filled me in with all the details.  So then I began to hunt for it on ebay but ( maybe thanks to my internet name that tune competition) it became rather sought after.  The rare times one appeared on ebay I’d be out bid by increasingly inflated prices each time.   But all’s well that ends well, I finally got a copy last week for a bargain £3.99  

I still think the single would have been bigger had “Please Believe” been the A side, but that said, “Now The Sun Has Gone” is a beautiful hanting ballad.

Here are both sided of the elusive single.:

* Rob was the vocalist for another 1960’s recording band, The Nerve who released a few singles on Larry Page’s “PAGE ONE” label.

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The Tide Is High- Blondie (Chrysalis)

Do six year old boys have the hots for women?  It seems they do as I can distictly recall being in love with Debbie Harry in 1980.  So much so that I attempted to write to her armed only with the knowledge that Blondie bass player, Nigel Harrison lives on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles.  I assumed it wouldn’t matter that I didn’t know the number. Sunset Boulevard was probably like my little street, and the postman would be on first name terms with Nige. He’d give him my letter who would then take it along to the next Blondie recording session. Debbie Harry would be swept off her feet by the letter from her 6 year old fan and would fly to the UK to marry me.    Imagine how upset I was when it came back “RETURN TO SENDER!”

All that didn’t stop me nagging my Dad to buy me a copy of the latest Blondie 45, “The Tide Is High” when I saw it on the shelf in Woolworths in Arnold.  My Dad protested as he’d already got a friend to tape the album “Autoamerican” that it was taken from, surely that was enough.  But in the end he gave in.  And rightly so! For not only did you get the superb John Holt cover on the A side, it was paired with a non album B side “Susie and Jefferey” which I loved and still play today.

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Coming Up- Paul McCartney – Parlophone

An important one this. My first Beatle related disc. Didn’t actually buy this one. I was about to have my 6th birthday party. Rashelle across the road was invited and her mum asked what I’d like. “A record please!” I said.  When asked Which one, I requested either “Coming up” or “Don’t Bring Me Down” by ELO   The latter would be harder to come by having already dropped of the chart months ago.

So the highlight of my birthday party (apart from a  1st kiss from Claire Pavior) Is my Macca single which I’m pleased to find has 2 tracks on the B side. A live version of “Coming Up” where Paul (with wings on this side) seems to have changed the title to “Scumming Up”  Still I was impressed by the laser beam effects during the break!  The other  track, a cool reggae instrumental called “Lunch Box/odd Sox” A marvelous tune that I later found out was 5 years old by then having been recorded around 1975 during Venus and Mars sessions.  I still have my 6th birthday copy but many years later I bought another one so I could aquire the original picture sleeve .

Also worth noting of course is the original promo video featuring Paul as the whole band ( The Plastic Macs!)

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The Song Of The Diddymen – Ken Dodd – Music For Pleasure

So with extra money available from the Gary Numan bargain, my Mum convinced me that I should buy a record I hadn’t heard. “You’ll love this” she said.  So i take a look at the bright yellow label with a bunny rabbit jumping out of a hat sying “Surprise” and I’m sold.  It’s Ken Dodd and his diddymen who I’d not heard of (I’m 5 years old in 1979 remember)   If you’ve not heard it here it is  Ken Dodd was clearly inspired by David Seville’s varispeed antics with the chipmonks.  Nevertheless I loved it, although I think bragging about your 6 inch shillelagh in a kids record is a bit rude. Fnar Fnar.   “Doddy’s Diddy Party” on the flipside. “Everyone’s invited to Doddy’s Diddy doo, we’d all be diddy delighted if you be there too!”

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Are Friends Electric- Tubeway Army label-Beggars Banquet

At the age of 5 this synth soaked record caught my ear on top of the pops.  This would have to be my 3rd single. Only problem being that it would take along time to save up the £1.10 required for a current chart single on the 10 or 20p that Dad sometimes gave me.  Still , save for it I did. Only to find that by that time it was not to be found in our local woolworths due to it having gone off the chart.   I was so disappointed that my mum and dad took me off to hunt for it in a series of second hand junk shops in Hyson Green (Nottingham).  Hallelujah, not only did I find it, but it was a mere 20p! Which meant I could afford a second disc (see next entry)  Back to Tubeway Army , another great flipside in “We are so Fragile”  Maybe Mr Numan was trying to warn me of what was to come as many years later the record got a bit cracked which meant marrying up the uneven surface before playing. Not to worry , I now have a replacement copy, but I still keep my battered original with my 5 year old handwriting on the label. You did that then in case anybody stole your precious 45’s

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Pop Muzik -M label -MCA records

Rasputin was my 1st single , but this was the 1st record I bought myself.  60p of pocket money could secure a pop-ex record from Fred Hartley’s   If you’re unsure what a pop-ex record is, it’s a normal 45 except it’s had the centre punched out and been installed in a jukebox somewhere. When the song has dropped off the chart they used to pop these discs in a sleeve with 2 funky 70’s cartoon groovers on it along with the words “POP-EX” and sell them for 1/2 the price of a chart single.   I deliberated for some time over my 1st proper vinyl purchase. Do I get The futuristic sounds of “Pop Muzik” by M or the retro stylings of Showaddywaddy and their recent hit “Under The Moon Of Love” on Arista records.  I didn’t realise at the time that “Under the moon of love” was a cover of an early 60’s Curtis Lee record produced by a future hero of mine, Phil (Shoot em up) Spector.    Liking both of the songs at the time, I was swung in the end by the cool design of the MCA records label which looked like a rainbow shining through a dark sky.    After getting it home and playing the A side a good few times on the family music centre (remember them) I flipped it over to find an equally cool side of funky pop. “M Factor”  A Great track with such a kicking bass drum it caused our music centre stylus to jump on occaison. No problem, the solution  back then – blue tack a 1p coin to the top of the arm…….sorted!

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Rasputin- Boney M

Rasputin-BoneyM  label- Atlantic/Hansa

So I thought I’d start things off with the 1st record to enter my collection.  I didn’t buy it. I recall I was ill which meant lying on the sofa all day. My sister thought a slab of 45rpm europop might cheer up her 4 year old brother. And it did.  A Russian history lesson set to a 70’s disco beat. As dated as it now sounds you’ve got to admire Frank Farian’s production.  Whoever plays on this track are as tight as any Abba disc. Chic style strings, Balalaika’s, russian chanting  it’s got it all!     “Oh Those Russians”

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