Fading Yellow Vol. 4 takes us to the UK this time around and is similar in that regard to Vol. 1 in this series. Vol. 4 centers on UK sike-pop from 1967-1969 with the likes of Wayne Fontana, The Alan Bown set and Robbie Curtice while Vol. 5 (also reviewed this week) continues into the 1970s covering the years 1970-1973. Both are consistent between each other and since I don't know the UK pop-sike as well as I do the American, I found both of these volumes to be quite enjoyable and an extension of what I've heard from the Magpie and Zigzag compilations on RPM's Lipsmackin' 70s series.
The Piccadilly Line released an interesting sounding album called The Huge World of Emily Small which has that wonderful picturesque Brit pop which was so happening in the late 1960s. At The Third Stroke has a wonderful harpsichord tension with its Simon and Garfunkel styled vocals and the telephone lady sample at the end.
Charlote Rose by The Majority (who also recorded as The Majority and are featured on Vol 5 under that name) recorded this Bob Dylan inspired melody which has a great psych pop build-up throughout. I wasn't as crazy about their Wait By The Fire also featured here which is a bit too twee even for me.
The Girl Behind The Smile by The Playground is a lovely McCartneyesque b-side released in 1969. The lead vocalist sounds just like Paul as does the melody (with hints of The Kinks Waterloo Sunset at times). Note the Beach Boys' Our Prayer like introduction and outro too.
Monday Morning Rain by The Pipes Of Pan (not the Brian Jones group that recorded on the Brian Jones Presents The Pipes Of Pan At Joujouka) was written by Chip Taylor and produced by Larry Page (the two guys behind the Troggs' Wild Thing sucess). Monday Morning Rain has a lighter sound similar to Chip Taylor's Anyway That You Want Me, though it's a lot more sike-pop than that tune. It was released as a single with an instrumental version on the b-side.
The Candlelight work some harmony magic on Thats What I Want which was the Carter/Lewis song also covered by Tony Jackson (Tony's version was the b-side to Stage Door in 1965 and was a surprisingly creative record with fuzz guitar fuzz, thanks to Ian Buisel and is considered one of those proto-punk rockers from the mid 1960s), New Zealand's The Gremlin's (whose Coming Generation: The Complete Recordings 1965-1968 has been reissued on Rev-Ola), and The Marauders (from Stoke-On-Trent).
Henry Long by The Epics fits up there with Pink Floyd's Arnold Layne, thanks to the flasher theme though it sounds a bit more like Traffic. It's great to hear anything related to the awesome Tremeloes. This track was produced and written by Alan Blakely and Chip Hawkes from The Tremeloes - how sweet!
Finders Keepers featured future Deep Purple member Glenn Huges and their Light is a psych bit of fun.
It's interesting to note this version of Imagine by Martin Martin (actually from Canada) is a lot different that the much later Lennon penned tune. This one (not the Lennon song) has a similar theme, but is much more psych mantra inspired.
Robbie Curtice's The Soul Of Man is a sweet raving dancer that needs to be reissued in even better sound soon because this version is rather fuzzy but still damn sweet. His collaboration with Tom Payne called Gospel Lane isn't a bad way to end this compilation as it does, but I still love The Soul Of Man much better. That's ok because Gospel Lane is really a bonus since it is actually a demo home recording.
Shine A Little Light Into My Room by Jason Paul (previously of Svensk) has some cool slapping echoed rhythms and some chanted not so in tune vocals by Jason Paul that remind me of Billy Bragg.
Can't Get You Out Of My Mind was released along with The Californians version of Spanky and Our Gang's Sunday Will Never Be The Same and it's a breezy harmony pop gem. Put this one on the list of sunshine Californian pop that spread throughout the world thanks to the Mamas and Papas inspiration.
There are two Wayne Fontana tunes included but I found myself enjoying the second one much better than the first (his version of Graham Goudlman's The Impossible Years). In My World is a self-penned tune (written as Glyn Ellis) that I found much more psych pleasing.
If You Are There With Me by John Bromley is a hint of what's to come on the 70s Vol of Fading Yellow and one of my favorites from this volume. Combining a folk tinged edge and orchestration, John Bromley's own heartfelt lead vocal match theaching female background vocals. Many might find this a bit twee but I loved it. Les Fleur De Lys helped John Bromley out by backing him on his album.
For those Mott the Hoople fans out there, be sure to check out the obscure Dave Berry single And I Have Learned to Dream written by Ian Hunter (using his last name as well - Ian Hunter Patterson). Ian Hunter wrote this song, that was the b-side to Dave Berry's Bee Gees cover of Forever, back in 1967 when he worked as a staff writer for Francis, Day & Hunter.
David McNeil adds some edge near the end of the compilation with his psych masterwork Linda. This track combines soft Nick Drake vocals with a hard beat, fuzz guitar and swinging string arrangement.