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CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Lesley GoreCalifornia Nights (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Mercury/Ace (UK), Late 60s. New Copy ... Just Sold Out!
One of the best ever albums by Leslie Gore – full of sweet natured girl pop songcraft that's on par with her biggest hit singles – but with an underlying sadness and overall emotional depth that's underappreciated to this day! It might not be as monumental as, say Pet Sounds, but we truly don't understand how the mix of sugar sweet songs and genuinely resonant emotion here never got the critical props it deserves. That's OK – WE get it, and we know you will, too! Production by Bob Crewe and arrangements by Jack Nitzsche – and titles include "California Nights", "Treat Me Like A Lady", "Bad", "I'm Going Out (The Same Way I Came In)", "Maybe Now", "Love Goes On Forever", "Off And Running", "Lilacs And Violets", "The Bubble Broke" and "Cry Like A Baby". This great Ace CD version goes way above the call of duty, with huge number of bonus tracks culled from her previous couple of LPs and rarities from the same mid 60s period – 15 of them, adding up to 25 tracks in all! Bonus tracks include "My Town, My Guy And Me", "Let Me Dream", "Start The Party Again", "I Just Can't Get Enough Of You", "I Can Tell", "That's What I'll Do", "Happiness Is Just Around The Corner", "Hold Me Tight" and more. CD
 
Possible matches: 15
Possible matches2
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Deuce CoupesHotrodder's Choice ... CD
Del-Fi/Warner (Japan), 1963. New Copy ... $13.99
The Deuce Coupes may have a hot-rodder's name – but the sound here is surf instrumental all the way through – that hip, twang-heavy mode that put Del-Fi Records at the top of the heap back in the California scene of the early 60s! There's a nice current of fuzz on the guitar at times – which might help make the transition from cleaner surf modes to the rasp of exhaust from a hot rod – but the overall sound is still plenty clean, as the notes ring out from the low end to brighter spots higher up in the spectrum! Back cover comes complete with a glossary of drag racing terms – but this set would be equally at home on the beaches in Malibu, even though titles include "Smooth Stick", "Gear Masher", "Double-A Fueler", "Dawn Patrol", "Hayburner", and "Nite Prowler". CD

Possible matches3
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Dale HawkinsLA, Memphis & Tyner, Texas ... CD
Rev-Ola (UK), 1969. New Copy ... $8.99
A warm, southern-inflected batch of bluesy sunshine rock from Dale "The Hawk" Hawkins – best known for gifting the world with his Chess original version of "Suzie Q" back in the late 50s – a big step away from the r&b steeped rockabilly he made his name on a decade earlier! LA, Memphis & Tyler, Texas is a catchy title and kind of a good hint at the sound – which has a breezy late 60s California vibe, but it's laid down with Memphis style horn backings and swampy guitars. Dale's vocal delivery is his most effervescent ever – and the players include James Burton, Spooner Oldham, the Memphis horns and even Taj Mahal! Tracks include "LA-Memphis-Tyler", "Heavy On My Mind", "Joe", "Houndog", "Back Street", "La-La La-La", "Candy Man". "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town", "Little Rain Cloud" and more. CD

Possible matches4
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
NirvanaStory Of Simon Simopath (plus bonus tracks) ... CD
Island/Universal (Japan), 1967. New Copy ... $9.99
Tremendous! This album is one of the few relics cut by the British group Nirvana – a late 60s ensemble that is not to be confused with the more famous Seattle one – a really cool combo who are way more than the usual pop psych of the time – and have so many great twists and turns of their own! The set's a brilliant batch of baroque and trippy tunes – presented as a "science fiction pantomime", but coming off more like a series of fab pop tunes that kind of crossup Brit Invasion and California Sunshine Pop sensibilities. The great Syd Dale (of KPM fame) handled the arrangements, so the album's got a nice extra-groovy punch – and titles include "We Can Help You", "Satellite Jockey", "Lonely Boy", "Wings Of Love", "In The Courtyard Of Stars", "You Are Just The One", and "Pentecost Hotel". CD features the full mono and stereo mixes of the album – plus bonus tracks that include "I Believe In Magic", "Life Ain't Easy", "Feelin Shattered", and "Requiem To John Coltrane". CD

Possible matches5
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
VariousTruckers, Kickers, Cowboy Angels – The Blissed-Out Birth Of Country Rock Vol 3 – 1970 ... CD
Bear Family (Germany), 1970. New Copy 2CD ... $26.99 31.98
1970 was a crucial year for country-tinged rock in the US – a time when the style really came into its own, and both found strong support in the mainstream, and an approach that was hardly just a straight rehasing of its roots! This third volume may well be the best so far in this excellent series – as it showcases a range of key artists who drew strongly on the sounds of Nashville and Bakersfield, but really found ways to make those influences their own – expressing a country aesthetic in the younger voice of the time, at a level that would then go back and influence mainstream country in years to come! As with the other volumes, the package is beautiful – a nice heavy book, filled with thoughtful notes on the tracks – and a total of 38 cuts that include "Tell Me A Song" by Morning, "Silver Moon" by Mike Nesmith & The First National Band, "Hurry Up" by Poco, "Delta Mama Blues" by Townes Van Zant, "He Darked The Sun" by Linda Ronstadt, "God's Own Singer" by Flying Burrito Brothers, "Big Bayou" by Swampwater, "Tobacco Road" by David Allan Coe, "Be Real" by Doug Sahm, "Livin In The Country" by Country, "Just A Country Dream" by Eric Anderson, "California" by Rick Nelson, "Right Before My Eyes" by Moby Grape, and "Biloxi" by Jesse Winchester. CD

Possible matches6
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ ChallengersOn The Move (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Vault/Warner (Japan), 1963. New Copy ... Just Sold Out!
The Challengers go surfing around the world – at least as proclaimed by the cover – but they still manage to keep their groove very focused on the sunny sounds of 60s southern California! The music here is surf instrumental, but with a smoother twist – really great guitar lines from Glenn Grey, played with all the twangy brilliance of his contemporaries – but also with a confidence that never needs to overdo things at all, so that the space between the notes becomes every bit as important to the overall sound as the guitar lines themselves. The group also harmonize vocally a bit in the background – in ways that are subtle, but really effective – and although the songs are from a variety of sources, they all come together nicely with this approach. Titles include "Happy Cowboy", "On Broadway", "Foot Tapper", "Adventures In Paradise", and "The Breeze & I". CD features four bonus tracks – "Stick Shift", "Road Runner", "Lead Foot", and "Rev Up". CD

Possible matches7
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
RunawaysQueens Of Noise ... CD
Cherry Red/Mercury (UK), 1977. New Copy ... Just Sold Out!
The second great album by Kim Fowley's pet Runaways – the album with Lita Ford, Joan Jett and the rest of the gals cloaked in fog and straddling polls on the cover – making them look like a cross between Mott The Hoople and the headliners at that seedy club by the airport! Like the debut, the Queens Of Noise album is total ear candy – and this one is actually probably even a little bit more consistent – and might rock a little harder, too. It's not quite as notorious without the illicit wallop of the group's debut single "Cherry Bomb" – but that's probably the only reason it's not as well remembered. They were still underage at this point, too, so the front-to-back innuendo still resonates! Buy this and the debut album, then take your Donna's CDs back to the mall! Tracks include "Queens Of Noise", "Take It Or Leave It", "Midnight Music", "Born To Be Bad", "Neon Angels On The Road To Ruin", "I Love Playing With Fire", "California Paradise", "Hollywood", "Heartbeat", and "Johnny Guitar". This new Cherry Red reissue has new liner notes, plus the original art and notes. CD

Possible matches8
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Ronny & The DaytonasRonny & The Daytonas – The Complete Recordings ... CD
Mala/Real Gone, Mid 60s. New Copy 2CD ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Totally wonderful work from Ronny & The Daytonas – one of the many great groups who grew up in the shadows of The Beach Boys – yet found a way to have something sort of extra special in their sound! The approach is similar here – sunny harmonies and romping surf-styled guitar – but The Daytonas hail from Nashville, not the west coast – and that difference seems to make for a special sort of quality in their music – almost more of a sense of longing and melancholy beneath the polish, as if they'll never be enjoying the sun on the coast, but can only dream about it! The songs are often recorded in a sorrow-tinged harmony mode that strongly echoes the style of Beach Boys numbers like "Warmth Of The Sun" or "The Lonely Sea". The approach is really wonderful – one that makes the album really stand out from the rest of the pack at the time – because it was certainly easy enough to copy The Beach Boys when singing uptempo and surfy, but much more difficult when hitting the more sorrowful notes of the group! Arrangements have some help from Bergen White and Bill Justis – but the real strength of the record is The Daytonas themselves, who sound wonderful along with Ronny – and this smashing 2CD package goes way past any other – with lots of unusual later singles, unreleased tracks and lots of stuff we'd never heard before. 48 titles in all – with tracks that include "Nanci", "If I Had My Way", "Sandy", "No Wheels", "Teenage Years", "Hot Rod Baby", "California Sound", "Hey Little Girl", "Angelina", "Delta Day", "4 Cast She'll Love Me Again", and "Winter Weather". CD

Possible matches9
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Jackie De ShannonMe About You ... CD
Imperial (Japan), 1968. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Sophisticated Jackie at her best – working with great arrangements from Jack Nitzsche and Nick DeCaro – both cats from the California scene we can really trust for "cut-above" pop work like this – music that goes way past the simple sounds of DeShannon's start – into cool adult territory that really makes the album great. Jackie's vocals are surprisingly soulful in the setting – even more so than before – and the tunes include lots of gems, including versions of Van Dyke Parks' "High Coin", John Sebastian's "Didn't Want To Have To Do It", and Tim Hardin's "Baby Close Its Eyes". Also includes "I Keep Wanting You", "Me About You", and "Nicole". CD

Possible matches10
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Mark EricMidsummer's Day Dream (expanded edition) ... CD
Uni/Now Sounds (UK), 1969. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
An incredible fantasy of California pop – recorded too late in the 60s to really strike big, but with a perfect approach to mid-decade Beach Boys at their best! Mark Eric's clearly borrowing plenty of pages from Brian Wilson's bag for this set (and maybe Brian Hyland too) – and the original tunes have the beautiful quality of Wilson's best writing in the pre-Pet Sounds years – dealing with deeper themes, but in a very careful and sometimes guarded way that makes the tunes that much more heartfelt. The arrangements are Wilson-inspired too – but have a more mature style than the lyrics – handled by Vic Briggs with a quality that's similar to the brilliant Surf Symphony album of the same year – almost a dreamy remembrance of the sweeter side of California earlier in the decade, but undercut with some of the bluer, more adult modes of the time. Backings feature swirling strings, ringing vibes, and some groovy guitar – and Mark's vocals are often recorded in a way that harmonizes them against the lead – a one-man vocal group, with echoes of The Four Freshmen at times. Titles include "California Home", "Move With The Dawn", "Laura's Changing", "Lynn's Baby", "Just Passing By", "Sad Is The Way That I Feel", and "Take Me With You". Newly expanded edition features a whopping 16 bonus tracks – mono mixes of some cuts from the album, some very cool airline commercials, and rare tracks that include "Build Your Own Dreams", "Place For The Summer", "No Days No Nights", "Naked Lady", "Goin Native","Summer Goes This Way", and "Hey In The Water". CD

Possible matches11
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ MoganmasondownsMoganmasondowns ... CD
Roulette/Warner (Japan), 1970. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
An obscure trio that we only know from this folksy gem recorded for Roulette at the start of the 70s – a surprisingly down to earth album, given the pop, soul, and psych history of the label – almost more of the sort of nugget you'd find from the Northern California underground of the time! The group's name comes from the last names of the three members – Cass Morgan, Madison Mason, and Stephen Downs – who work together in this simple, stripped-down style that mixes moody vocals with acoustic guitar and a bit of additional instrumentation – all with a dark-tinged vibe that reminds us a bit of the sublime Lambert & Nuttycombe album on A&M. Titles include "Heather Morning", "Daffodil", "Day Of The Fair", "Listen To The Time", "Ah The World Goes Round", and "The Time Is At Hand". CD

Possible matches12
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ VariousSoft Sounds For Gentle People Vol 3 ... CD
Pet Records, Late 60s. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Dreamy dreamy pop from the late 60s underground – a wonderful assortment of rare singles and LP tracks, all hand-picked by the genius crew at Pet Records! The set seems to even top their previous excellent volumes – going beyond even the lesser-known, to come up with 24 tracks that we'd never heard before – but which easily rank with our favorite Sunshine Pop records ever! The package features a great set of notes that gives you details on each track, and really helps put the music into perspective. Loads of great harmonies, catchy tunes, and sweet California production – perfectly summing up the huge amount of untapped genius in the post-Pet Sounds era! Titles include "Where Is The Door" by West Coast Branch, "January Girl" by The Pipe Dream, "My Imagination" by PK Limited, "A Scene In Between" by The Stained Glass, "October Rain" by The Cinnamon Ship, "Floating Downstream On An Inflatable Rubber Raft" by The Second Helping, and "Lovin Day" by The Status Cymbal. CD

Possible matches13
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ FormulaJoik ... CD
Distort-D-Sound, 1999. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
One of the few albums ever cut by this under-discovered California quartet – a cool little group who mix post punk elements with some warmer ideas too – sometimes using jazzy inflections on the guitar and keyboards, at a level that reminds us a bit of some of the more subtle groups from the Brit scene in the early 80s. Singer Julie McBride has a really lovely style – and some of the best cuts mix her vocals with guitar lines at a level that reminds us of Weekend or groups of that nature – but there's also some darker currents at points, although never too overdone. Titles include "See No Evil", "Far Down", "Linda", "Entropy", "Brittle", "Olive", "Flaming June", and "Slide". CD

Possible matches14
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Margo Guryan27 Demos ... CD
Franklin Castle/Oglio, Late 60s/Early 70s. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Really wonderful work from Margo Guryan – an artist who was probably known more as a songwriter than a singer – especially for her groovy late 60s pop tunes! This package is heavy on those gems – presented in these great demo takes that are nice and stripped-down – often with just a bit of rhythm and electric piano in support of Guryan's sweet vocals – which echo the modes of Claudine Longet and some of the other artists of the time who sung her music. The set's an expanded version of a previous collection, and features great work from the late 60s and early 70s – titles that include "I Don't Intend To Spend Christmas Without You", "Sun", "The 8:17 Northbound Success Merry Go Round", "Sunday Morning", "I Love", "I'd Like To See The Bad Guys Win", "California Shake", "Why Do I Cry", "Under My Umbrella", and "Timothy Gone". CD

Possible matches15
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ SagittariusPresent Tense (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Columbia/Rev-Ola (UK), 1968. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A wonderful post-Millenium project from godlike California producers Gary Usher and Curt Boettcher – working together here as Sagittarius, and getting help from a whole host of LA hipsters too! The work has a dreamy Sunshine Pop vibe all the way through – even more gentle and personal than Millenium, with a quality that we might well rank up there with Roger Nichols & The Small Circle of Friends – done with a similar echoey vocal approach that's wrapped around some great little songs that you'll be humming long after the album is over! Titles include "Hotel Indiscreet", "My World Fell Down", "The Keeper Of The Games", "Another Time", "Song to The Magic Frog", "Would You Like To Go", and "I'm Not Living Here". CD also includes 8 bonus tracks – including "Mass 586", "Lonely Girl", "Artificial Light", "Get The Message", and "Love's Fatal Way". CD

Possible matches16
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Tony Joe WhiteComplete Warner Brothers Recordings (Tony Joe White/Train I'm On/Homemade Ice Cream/singles) ... CD
Warner/Real Gone, Early 70s. New Copy 2CD ... Out Of Stock
A trio of tremendous albums from the legendary Tony Joe White – packaged here with bonus singles too! First up is Tony Joe White's terrific self-titled set for Warner in '71 – his swamp rock mastery in full swing by this point, and all the cooler on a record that finds hip working with some occasional horns and lush bits of strings! There was really no finessing the grit out of the Tony Joe show, so the occasional sweeter touches to the production really does make the groove tastier and more soulful. Titles include "They Caught The Devil And Put Him In Jail In Eudora, Arkansas", "My Kind Of Woman", "Black Panther Swamps", "I Just Walked Away", "Voodoo Village" and more. Train I'm On has Tony Joe White working at Muscle Shoals – a great southern combination, and one that makes for one of White's most unique albums! There's a bit grit in the rhythms, and a bit more of that well-rounded Muscle Shoals soul – as Tony works primarily on acoustic guitar, on tunes that get some slight sweetening from Arif Mardin a times, but in a way that never dims his soul at all. White's great vocals still drive the whole show along – with that strong current of soul that made him a surprisingly big crossover act at the time – and titles include "Sidewalk Hobo", "The Migrant", "As The Crow Flies", "300 Pounds Of Hongry", "Beouf River Road", and "If I Ever Saw A Good Thing". Homemade Ice Cream is the last Warner Brother album by Tony Joe White, and a set that mixes the raw feel of his Monument Records years with these great laidback numbers that have a surprising amount of soul, and a nice undercurrent of funk! White's a powerhouse here – completely confident, but also able to relax into a groove even more than before – and the album's got some surprisingly sensitive acoustic guitar work that seems to show a whole new side of his charms. Titles include "Saturday Night In Oak Grove Louisiana", "California On My Mind", "Backwoods Preacher Man", "No News Is Good News", and "Did Somebody Make A Fool Out Of You". Package also features six non-LP singles – "Delta Love", "Lustful Earl & The Married Woman", "That On The Road Look", "Sign Of The Lion", "Don't Let The Door Hit You In The Butt", and "Wishful Thinking". CD
 
Partial matches: 1
Partial matches17
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ VariousShapes & Shadows – Psychedelic Pop & Other Rare Flavours From The Chapter One Vaults 1968 to 1972 ... CD
Grapefruit (UK), Late 60s/Early 70s. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Really great work from an overlooked label – the short-lived Chapter One imprint, from the UK scene at the end of the 60s – a surprising powerhouse of pop psych at the time! The company was headed by Les Reed – who we love for his soundtrack and instrumental records – and although the notes aren't clear on the production credits, we're betting that many of these gems have Reed's helping hand in the studio – in ways that take all the good ideas of these small groups and solo artists, and push them forward with even more focus and flair – a bit like the way that jazzy John Cameron did with other British acts of the time. The music's never all-out fuzz, nor sugary pop – and it's also very different than US Sunshine Pop of the period – with perhaps a bit more masculine swagger and confidence overall. Titles include "Mozart Versus The Rest" and "Lucky Sunday" by Episode Six, "What's It All About" and "Your Turn To Die" by Putney Bridge, "Lifetime" and "Courtyards Of Castile" by The Bliss, "Bother John" by Brother John, "Lover's Congregation" by The Matchmakers, "You've Got Your Troubles" by The Californians, "Sharkey" by Christopher, and "Spring Never Came Twice" by Jason Cord. CD
 
 
 



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