This week in time for Halloween a brand new horror Rock ‘n’ Roll CD and a couple of compilations staying on the dark side of life. Switching style we have three Girl Group/Soul issues from Kent.
Well, it is not quite Halloween yet but it is close so why not grab this brand new CD from KoKo MoJo to get in the spirit. It avoids the usual Monster Mash cliché and gets the blood flowing with rockers like Mad Witch from Dave Garner, Ralph Neilson’s Scream and Hocus Pocus from The Raiders. But being a horror rocker collection there are a lot of spooky mid-tempo tunes like The Blues Echos’ Its Witchcraft, The Creep from Jay Brinkley and Clyde Scott – Gravedigger’s Rock and lastly a few atmospheric instros including The Crystals’ Vampire.
Rounding up this week, many popcorn tracks sound spooky and some on here like Jackie Jocko – Haunted Lover could well appear on the Hallowscream comp. It has the cool, downbeat style that is popcorn but adds a supernatural theme. Ollie Jones – Helpless is another popcorn track that could easily play at any Halloween party. This fine CD contains well-known numbers like Oscar Brown Jnr. – Humdrum Blues, Cozy Cole – Big Noise From Winnetka Part 1 and Jimmy Jones – Good Timin’ as well as a host of great lesser-known tracks.
Country music has never shied away from the dark side of life. The Carter Family, Louvin Brothers and of course Hank, all told stories of hard lives lived in hard times. After Bobbie Gentry’s Ode To Billie Joe became a huge hit this stratum of Country was reopened with a vengeance. Familiar names such as Charlie Rich, Waylon Jennings, Lee Hazelwood, Dolly Parton and the artist who revealed in this vein, Bobbie Gentry, are all present along with lesser-known artists who can carry the same lonesome and blue tales as well as these big names.
Ace records’ Kent subsidiary is the mainstay of any good Soul record collection. Many reissues on this label become collector’s items in their own right. This EP explores the Soul sound of Dore Records. On side 1 we have two fine Girl Group sound heartbreakers; The Big Hurt from the Superbs (and yes, we know there is a geezer in there) and You Never Really Know Til It’s Over from The Vel-Vetts. Two top tunes that will move both Soul lovers and Girl Group groupies. The flip side moves us to the dance floor with Oh How I Love You from Johnny and the Creators and Nothing Lasts Forever from The Natural Resources, and if these two do not get you moving you really need to check you have a pulse.
Unbelievably there are still unreleased Girl Group Soul tunes in the Motown archives and many of them are just as good as the well-known ones. None of the tracks in this CD were released when they were recorded and six tracks have never been released in physical form at all. These tracks are all taken from the original source giving us brilliant sound quality and brilliant music.
OK, so whenever people talk about the Girl Groups and ‘women in rock’ Goldie and The Gingerbreads soon get mentioned. They are generally agreed to be the first self-contained female group and all that. Important historically, trailblazers, etc, etc. But you know what else? They sound bloody great. We think some people get a little carried away with the story and fail to hear how great instrumentally and vocally they were and how they capture or create the sound of their time. Being Ace, of course, you get the full story with interviews with the surviving members and unreleased tracks. A superb collection.