Fading Yellow returns to the US (and Canada) for Volume 6 after visiting the UK for a couple of volumes (Fading Yellow Volume 4 Timeless UK Popsike & Other Delights and Fading Yellow Volume 5 - Gone Are The Days). Like the companion compilations, Volumes 2 and 3, Fading Yellow Volume 6 combines together some obscure 1960s sike-pop, and while this volume doesn't seem as consistent as the previous two, there's still plenty of obscure gems to keep us interested.
Things start out shaky with two tracks from Canada (The Five Shy's Try To Be Happy and The Unforscene's These Are The Words) which didn't do much for me.
It's not until the third track and Lynn Castle's pensive Rose Colored Corner where she gets help from Last Friday´s Fire that things get going. Lynn Castle was a songwriter who co-wrote (with Wayne Erwin) Teeny Tiny Gnome for The Monkees. This song as produced by Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart was left off of The Monkees' second album, 1967's More of The Monkees and was not issued until The Monkees' Missing Links Vol. 1 came out in the 80s. Rose Colored Corner was her own release in 1966 on the LHI Records label along with a tune called The Lady Barber, both produced by Lee Hazlewood. This single is a lost hazy gem of femme fuzzed sike-pop.
Tucked away on the b-side of a Buddah 45, the Nebraska band The Smoke Ring give us Waiting for Love to Come My Way. Portait of My Love, the a-side was featured on the Buddah compilation lp Dial-A-Hit, while the subdued magic of Waiting for Love to Come My Way has wallowed in obscurity.
Hank Shifter's Saturday Noontime was a Jeff Barry production for his Steed label. It was amongst a bevy of sides Jeff Barry worked on all released on Steed inspired by Neil Diamond's success along with the likes of The Rich Kids (with Danny Belline), Keepers Of The Light (featuring Alzo Fronte), and even the Alzo & Udine album. Saturday Noontime typifies that great sound Jeff Barry was evoking from his artists.
The Scene's Scenes From Another World was released on a BT Puppy single and has recently appeared on Rev-Ola's Night Time Music: The BT Puppy Story, as well as Hen's Teeth Vol. 3 Catherine on the Wheel Psychedelia Memories Vs. the Great Ramses in His Egyptian Temple of Mysteries. This track has a group out of Montreal working with The Tokens on a whirling sike-pop number that has definitely earned its compilation rights.
Friends Of The Family's Can't Get Home has a really fresh harmony pop sound with sweet harpsichord orchestration and a really unique fuzz sound and rhythm thanks to it being a Joe Renzetti production (arranger on Bobby Hebb's Sunny, Jay and The Techniques' Apple-Peaches-Pumpkin Pie, The Intruders' Cowboys to Girls, and with Spanky & Our Gang and Tiny Tim). Friends Of The Family featured Ted Mundy of The Enfields and Get Hip has reissued both Friends Of The Family and The Enfields' music.
Bob Dileo recorded some interesting records under his own name and as The Giant Jellybean Copout. Here we hear Bob Dileo's Band in Boston which has a Mark Eric / Fifth Dimension / Jan & Dean kind of groove to it that is fantastic.
Geoffrey Stevens's Grape Jelly Love has a great Harold Battiste arrangement and a sound that reminds me of Paul Parrish's Forests of My Mind - too bad it was relegated to a b-side (to Geoffrey Stevens' Do That Again, not included here). The tune was a York Pala Production (Brian Stone & Charles Greene), the same company Cher recorded 60 songs for, who also worked with arranger Harold Battiste. Harold Battiste had moved to LA from New Orleans where he became musical director for the Sonny & Cher Show later in the 1970s.
Mark Radice was featured on a previous Fading Yellow (Vol. 3), but here is his true masterpiece, Three Cheers (For The Sadman). Mark's father was Gene Radice, the recording engineer who worked with the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Lovin' Spoonful, the Cowsills, Mamas and Papas, The Tokens and Vanilla Fudge) and Mark eventually ended up joining Aerosmith in the 1970s. Three Cheers (For The Sadman) was recorded and released in 1967 on Decca Records along with 10,000 Year Old Blues (which featured Steven Tyler then wit the last name Tallerico - who was 20 years old at the time) when Mark was only 10 years old. Three Cheers (For The Sadman) is a twee beauty with an orchestrated Brian Wilson feel to it.
Other New Yorkers tunes have appeared on the Northwest Battle of the Bands compilations, but here we hear the wonderfully cheerful Land of Ur which isn't nearly as hard rocking as this future Hudson Brothers group probably would like to be remembered. In fact, it's almost like a lost Kinks' tune.
The Whether Bureau's Why Can't You And I was the a-side to a Laurie 45 from 1968 that was arranged by Al Gorgoni and has a dancing melody line that veers in and out of the harmonies and broken rhythms.
The Highly Successful Young Rupert White by the Chocolate Tunnel was a Gary Paxton production which was later used by Eternity's Children on their tune Rupert White by simply adding new vocals to this backing track. This kind of thing happened a lot in the 1960s (like for instance the two versions of Me About You by Gary Lewis and the version by original songwriter Garry Bonner which both had the same music but different vocals too).
The Sunshine Trolley's Cover Me Baby is an obscurity featuring David Gates from Bread, music by Fred Karlin, and lyrics by Randy Newman from an obscure late 60s movie called Cover Me Babe (aka Run Shadow Run). This 45 version of the theme song came out on the Trump label in 1970 and it definitely has that sweet soundtrack vibe.
The Don Meehan Project featured actor Don Meehan who gives us My Silent Symphony which has an urgent sound like it so easily could've been a hit like the best of The Peppermint Rainbow.
The song Don't Take The Night Away was released by Pleasure featuring Billy Elder and it has this echoey lead vocal which reminds me of British 60s pop and a lovely piano and orchestated backing.
The Rainy Daze release Fe Fi Fo Fum (aka Blood Of Oblivion) was a release
by the same group who released That Acapulco Gold (which later appeared on
their Uni LP). The Rainy Daze were signed by Phil Spector to a management
deal and Fe Fi Fo Fum sounds like it could've been a lost Monkees' track (and
it was not featured on the Uni LP).