Ace Records rightfully has a reputation for its top-notch collections, and three recent releases are no exception to that rule.
Jon Savage's 1965: The Year The Sixties Ignited follows previous releases compiled for Ace by historian Savage covering the years 1966 and 1967. This latest volume, with 48 tracks on 2 CDs, explores how the various strains of pop music came together to awaken the culture: whether the power of Motown (the label had six number ones) or Bob Dylan (who inspired an onslaught of imitators and cover artists), just to name two of the presences on this collection. While The Beatles themselves aren't heard here, they're represented, too, for their indelible influence over the year's offerings.
Soul music blossomed in 1965, a fact not lost on Savage as he's included favorites from Memphis (Booker T & The MG's "Boot Leg," Wilson Pickett's "In the Midnight Hour"), Detroit (Martha and the Vandellas' "Nowhere to Run," Jr. Walker and the All-Stars' "Shotgun," Edwin Starr's "Agent Double O-Soul," The Supremes' "My World is Empty Without You," Marvin Gaye's "Ain't That Peculiar"), New Orleans (Lee Dorsey's "Can You Hear Me," The Dixie Cups' "Iko Iko"), the Bay Area (the pre-Family Stone Sly's "Buttermilk, Part I") and even North Carolina (James Brown's "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag"). Rock and rollers (Del Shannon, The Everly Brothers, Link Wray) had to find their footing in a new, about-to-be-psychedelicized musical terrain. Even the likes of The Chiffons were freaking out with tracks like "Nobody Knows What's Goin' On (In My Mind But Me)." Folk-rock was on the rise; from the U.K., Marianne Faithfull is heard here doing Jackie DeShannon's beautiful "Come and Stay with Me" and Donovan with "Hey Gyp (Dig the Slowness)." Other U.K. artists were nudging in the direction of heavy rock, such as The Who ("Anyway Anyhow Anywhere"), The Yardbirds ("Heart Full of Soul") and The Animals ("It's My Life"). These songs are just a few addressed on this exemplary anthology of music that hasn't lost any of its power in the past five decades.
It's true that Savage overlooks the pop/MOR tracks that still populated the charts that year, but his selection of soul, rock, garage, funk, and proto-psych is hard to beat. A 28-page booklet with track-by-track annotations makes this set, remastered by Nick Robbins in original mono, an even more invaluable document of a tumultuous year in music.
Ace proves that it's never too late to revisit a great idea with Teen Beat Volume 6. Volume 5 was released in 2000, but eighteen years later, the label has returned to compile another 26 instrumental tracks from the golden era of rock and roll. All of its tracks are drawn from the period of 1959-1966, and the set isn't short on heavy hitters such as The Ventures, Duane Eddy, James Brown, King Curtis, Chet Atkins, and Jerry Reed. There are some more unexpected names, as well. Bobby Vee leads his group The Shadows on his brother Bill's composition "Flyin' High," and Bobby Darin (And His Orchestra!) offers his own "Theme from Come September," arranged by Robert Mersey, conducted by Torrie Zito, and featuring Al Hendrickson on guitar. Drum hero Sandy Nelson's long-lost, withdrawn Imperial single "Drum Shack" makes its long-awaited debut here, with Don Peake playing 12-string. These tracks, compiled by Dave Burke and Alan Taylor (who also provide the informative track-by-track notes in the 24-page booklet), are all "get-off-your-feet-and-dance" energetic, with the youthful spirit of rock-and-roll (not to mention surf, country, and R&B). Duncan Cowell has remastered this altogether enjoyable set.
Lastly, Ace's Beat Girls series has turned its attention to Spain with Beat Girls Español! As the country became more progressive in the early 1960s, so did its music, partly due to the influx of tourists. Hits from the U.K. and the U.S. hit Spanish shores, leading to the growth of ye-ye, coined by the French but also used by the Spanish and Portuguese to describe its beat-based brand of pop. This set of 24 tracks curated by Mick Patrick spotlights Spain's homegrown pop of the 1960s from labels such as Belter, Hispavox, and Zafiro.
A number of tracks may well be familiar to English-speaking listeners, among them Spanish translations of Petula Clark's "Colour My World" (Gelu's "Pinta Mi Mundo"), The Rolling Stones' "Get Off of My Cloud" (Sonia's "Aqui en Mi Nube"), Lulu's "Are You Ready for Love" (Rosalia's "Si Llegara El Amor") and even future Gong Show star Jaye P. Morgan's "Put a Ring on My Finger." Even Janis Ian's provocative "Society's Child" made the journey to Spain, recorded as "El Es Distinto a Ti" by the group Pic-Nic. This set also features Spanish versions of Italian songs introduced by Neil Sedaka and Paul Anka.
These bright pop nuggets (many from single-named teenage girls) with top-notch production values all reveal a vibrant scene that's enjoyable to hear whether one speaks the language or not. Patrick's track-by-track notes provide helpful information as to every artist and the background of each song, and Nick Robbins has superbly remastered these rare records. Linda Mora Curtis has additionally provided an introduction in the colorful 20-page booklet. Beat Girls Español! is also available in a highlights edition on vinyl LP.
Look for all three of these new Ace treasures at the links below, and watch this space for much more Ace coverage very soon!
Various Artists, Jon Savage's 1965: The Year the Sixties Ignited (Ace CDTOP2 1513, 2018) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
- Concrete and Clay - Unit Four Plus Two
- Land of a Thousand Dances, Pt. 1 - Thee Midniters
- Shotgun - Jr. Walker and the All-Stars
- Come and Stay with Me - Marianne Faithfull
- That's the Way It's Got to Be - The Poets
- Fortune Teller - Tony Jackson with The Vibrations
- Twine Time - Alvin Cash and the Crawlers
- Stranger in Town - Del Shannon
- Nowhere to Run - Martha and the Vandellas
- Iko Iko - The Dixie Cups
- Boot-Leg - Booker T & The MG's
- Leaving Here - The Birds
- I'm Alive - The Hollies
- Some Things Just Stick in Your Mind - Vashti
- Anyway Anyhow Anywhere - The Who
- Incense - The Anglos
- The Price of Love - The Everly Brothers
- Boss Hoss - The Sonics
- Nobody Knows What's Goin' On (In My Mind But Me) - The Chiffons
- Heart Full of Soul - The Yardbirds
- Agent Double-O-Soul - Edwin Starr
- In the Midnight Hour - Wilson Pickett
- Too Many People - The Leaves
- See My Friends - The Kinks
- I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better - The Byrds
- Buttermilk, Pt. 1 - Sly
- Anything - The Vejtables
- Can't Seem to Make You Mine - The Seeds
- Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl - The Barbarians
- London Town - The Pretty Things
- You've Got to Hide Your Love Away - The Silkie
- From a Buick 6 -Bob Dylan
- If You Gotta Go, Go Now - Manfred Mann
- Papa's Got a Brand New Bag, Pt. 1 - James Brown & The Famous Flames
- Ain't That Peculiar - Marvin Gaye
- Can You Hear Me - Lee Dorsey
- It's My Life - The Animals
- You Just Gotta Know My Mind -Karen Verros
- Blow Your Mind - The Gas Co.
- The Train from Kansas City - The Shangri-Las
- You've Got What I Want - The Sorrows
- Hey Gyp (Dig the Slowness) - Donovan
- Girl from the North Country - Link Wray
- I've Got Mine - Small Faces
- The Duck - Jackie Lee
- The Story of John Hardy - The Sir Douglas Quintet
- We Sell Soul - The Spades
- My World is Empty Without You - The Supremes
All original mono versions.
Various Artists, Teen Beat Volume 6 (Ace CDCHD 1518, 2018) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
- Peter Gunn - Duane Eddy, His "Twangy" Guitar & The Rebels (Jamie 1168, 1959) (*)
- Reveille Rock - Johnny and the Hurricanes (Warwick 513, 1959)
- Caldonia - The Rondels (Amy 839, 1962)
- Flyin' High - Bobby Vee and the Shadows (Soma 1110/Liberty 55208, 1959)
- The Noplace Special - The Titans (Soma 1411, 1964) (*)
- All American Surfer - The Busters (Arlen 740, 1963)
- Night Ride - The Ramrods (R & H Records 1001, 1963)
- Happy Vacation - Jackie Lee (Swan 4034, 1959)
- Apache - Jorgen Ingmann and His Guitar (Atco 6184, 1960)
- Theme from "Come September" - Bobby Darin & His Orchestra (Atco 6200, 1961) (*)
- Frankie and Johnny - The Mus-Twangs (Smash 1709, 1961)
- Choo-Choo - James Brown & The Famous Flames (King 5739, 1963)
- Nee Nee Na Na Nu Nu - Dicky Doo & The Don'ts (Swan 4006, 1958)
- Path Finder - Teddy & The Rough Riders (Huron 22002, 1961)
- Straight Flush - The Frantics (Dolton 2, 1959) (*)
- One Mint Julep - Chet Atkins (RCA 47-7684, 1959) (*)
- Have You Ever Had the Blues - Travis Wammack (Atlantic 2354, 1966)
- Hully Gully Guitar - Jerry Reed & The Hully Girlies (Columbia 42533, 1962)
- Drum Shack - Sandy Nelson (scheduled for Imperial 66019, previously unreleased)
- (Let's Do) The Hully Gully Twist - Bill Doggett (Warner Bros. 5181, 1960)
- Disk Jockey - The Invaders (Whingding! 950, 1964)
- Beach Party - King Curtis and the Noble Knights (Capitol 4788, 1962)
- Free Flight -Don Cole (Co-Ed 548, 1961)
- A Big Hunk o' Love - The Astronauts (Victor SS-1640, 1966)
- The 2,000 Pound Bee (Pt. 1) - The Ventures (Dolton 67, 1962)
- The 2,000 Pound Bee (Pt. 2) - The Ventures (Dolton 67, 1962)
All tracks mono except (*) stereo
Various Artists, Beat Girls Español! 1960s She-Pop from Spain (Ace CDTOP 1512, 2018) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
- Corazon Contento - Marisol (Zafiro ODX-205, 1968)
- Creo En Ti - Rocio Durcal (Philips 436.856 PE, 1967)
- Ya Veros - Karina (Hispavox HH 17-391, 1966)
- Pinta Mi Mundo - Gelu (La Voz De Su Amo PL 63.156, 1967)
- Molino Al Viento - Los Stop (Belter 51.854, 1967)
- Aqui En Mi Nube - Sonia (Belter 51.666, 1966)
- Si Llegara El Amor - Rosalia (Belter 07-618, 1969)
- Nunca Hay Bastante - Adriangela (Zafiro OO-136, 1965)
- No Se Por Que - Massiel (Novola NV-116, 1966)
- Prima O Poi - Silvana Velasco (Zafiro OO-99, 1965)
- Tendras Que Llorar - Lorella (RCA 3-20967, 1965)
- La Verdad - Soledad Miranda (Belter 51.598, 1965)
- Voy A Pintar Las Paredes Con Tu Nombre - Los Mismos (Belter 07.654, 1969)
- Pon Un Anillo En Mi Dedo - Las Chic (Hispavox HH 117-338, 1965)
- Yo Te Dire - Karina (Hispavox H-720, 1971) (*)
- El Es Distinto A Ti - Pic-Nic (Hispavox H-348, 1968) (*)
- Los Rocas Y El Mar - Massiel (Novola NDX-59, 1968)
- No Me Le Puedo Creer - Ivana (Columbia MD 707, 1969)
- Sor Ye Ye - Rachel (Columbia SCGE 81307, 1967)
- Tiene La Torara - Marisol (Zafiro Z-E 774, 1967)
- Cerca De Ti - Las Chic (Hispavox EP HH 17-364, 1966)
- Ven Con Nosotros - Marta Baizan (Sonoplay SBP-10.002, 19656)
- Quiero Romper Tus Cartas - Ivana (Columbia MO 495, 1968)
- Color - Conchita Velasco (Belter 51.556, 1965)
Mono except (*) stereo
Earl Cambron says
The 1965 collection is great. Unfortunately, I purchased it twice from Amazon and Disc 1 was defective in both cases. So, I gave up.
Joe Marchese says
Did you try contacting Ace directly, Earl? The good people there might be able to help you!
Earl Cambron says
No. I just returned both orders to Amazon and received refunds.
I would still contact the label. They'd probably appreciate the heads up that there might be a problem with the pressings.
Phil O. says
I have enjoyed all 3 of these Jon Savage sets - as much for the detailed liners as the music, really.