phil smee's freakbeat top 50

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by godstar, Aug 16, 2008.

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  1. godstar

    godstar Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    valencia, spain
    this was printed a while back in the now defunct mojo collections magazine. the term 'freakbeat' was coined by smee on the bam caruso comp 'freak beat fantoms'. " freak, as in touched by the hand of mayhem, and 'beat', that British style flourishing between the mersey years and the advent of the underground" - explained smee.

    some questions for the hoffmanites. any essential tracks left off the list? your favourites? is this the one style of music (albeit a style created in retrospect) that the beatles didn't cover?

    from the bottom up:

    50. i am nearly there - denis couldry & next generation
    49. security - thane russal & the thee
    48. i want to live - the mascots
    47. searchin' in the wilderness - allen pound's get rich
    46. grounded - the syn
    45. johnny noooo! - the primitives
    44. in my life - chapter four
    43. it's shocking what they call me - the game
    42. how does it feel to feel? - the creation
    41. get yourself home - the fairies
    40. just a little bit - the act
    39. by my side - elois
    38. atmospheres - wimple winch
    37. you're driving me insane - the missing links
    36. hey gyp (dig the slowness) - the truth
    35. she's a girl - the attraction
    34. unto us - the new breed
    33. one third - majority
    32. you can be my baby - the red squares
    31. no place for lonely people - adam's recital
    30. try to keep it a secret - the loot
    29. on my way - the lee kings
    28. hey gyp (dig the slowness) - keith shields
    27. please please me - the score
    26. buried & dead - the master's apprentices
    25. father's name is dad - fire
    24. i don't care - thor's hammer
    23. mud in your eye - the fleur de lys
    22. get back home - majority one
    21. you break my heart - the talismen
    20. lost girl - the troggs
    19. come on back - paul & ritchie & the shames
    18. from above - q'65
    17. you're holding me down - the buzz
    16. baby i've got news for you - miller
    15. rumble on mersey square south - wimple winch
    14. the ox - the who
    13. one fine day - shel naylor
    12. everything that's mine - the motions
    11. crawdaddy simone - the crawdaddys
    10. oh, how to do now - the monks
    09. it's just a fear - the answers
    08. anymore than i do - the attack
    07. balla balla - pee white & the magic strangers
    06. undecided - the masters apprentices
    05. daddy daddy - birds birds
    04. i don't wanna go - southern sound
    03. ieek! i'm a.... freak - adjeef the poet
    02. i must be mad - the craig
    01. save my soul - wimple winch

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Matthew B.

    Matthew B. Scream Quietly

    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    The Beatles never recorded any freakbeat, because freakbeat has to be obscure. Smee didn't set that out as part of his definition, and neither do many of the aficionados who've followed him, but it's there hanging in the air as an unspoken axiom. The Creation or the Smoke are about as famous as it ever gets. That's why you'll see the Score's cover of "Please Please Me" on his list, but not the Yardbirds' "Shapes of Things," which obviously inspired it.

    That's also why you won't see "Paperback Writer" there, though it'd pretty easily fit. I'm actually surprised Smee let a Who track make the list — but they were such a huge influence on the subgenre that maybe he thought he couldn't ignore them.

    Thanks for posting the list. It looks like most of the acknowledged classics are there. (The most obvious missing-in-action track is the Smoke's "My Friend Jack." I assume Smee meant to credit "Crawdaddy Simone" to the Syndicats, not "the Crawdaddys.") At the same time, there's a lot of stuff I haven't heard, and I look forward to tracking it down.

    I'm not sure offhand what I'd put on my own list. Smee is casting a pretty wide net here — the Monks are minimalist garage punk, Miller is psych bubblegum — and mine might wind up a bit narrower. But I do know what I'd plant right up at the top: "Hold On," from Sharon Tandy with Fleur de Lys. Pure fireworks.
     
  3. godstar

    godstar Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    valencia, spain
    typo on my part! :eek:

    interesting that you'd include paperback writer. i'm not sure it's 'touched by the hand of mayhem', although that could be said for a number of smee's choices!
     
  4. peelmeanemma

    peelmeanemma New Member

    Location:
    Liverpool
    :righton:
    Though I wouldn't put it at the top, it definitely should be included and another of Sharon's singles with Fleur De Lys, "Daughter Of The Sun" would be another worthwhile contender.

    I'd also add 2 more Joe Meek gems - The Riot Squad - "I Take It That We're Through" and David John and The Mood's awesome "Digging For Gold". It's always "Bring It To Jerome" that gets the attention but "Digging For Gold" is far superior IMO. I'd also select "You Said" by The Primitives over the one featured here though it's one of very few tracks I've not heard so don't know for certain if "Johnny Nooo" trounces it or not!

    An interesting list. I do have copies of the majority of these... must dig them out and give this list a thorough aural examination! The Craig's "I Must Be Mad" is an all time fave of mine as is Wimple Winch's "Atmospheres"!
     
  5. Matthew B.

    Matthew B. Scream Quietly

    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    Well, the tight harmonies don't really match the archetypal freakbeat snarl, but still — if that single had come out credited to anybody but the Beatles, it'd be on every freakbeat comp known to man.
     
  6. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Up in T.O. keepin' jive alive

    I'd add 'Can't Ebenezer See My Mind #2' by the Klubs. Wild track.

    Nice to see my beloved Wimple Winch so well represented on this list.:righton:
     
  7. MikeM

    MikeM Forum Resident

    Location:
    Youngstown, Ohio
    My very first thought when I saw the thread title was that "I Must Be Mad" better be on this list! So I was chuffed to see it at #2. What an incredible song.

    Too bad that Palmer guy threw away the rest of his career playing with those other lunkheads!
     
  8. Gazman

    Gazman Active Member

    Location:
    London
    The glaring omission to me is 'She's Got Eyes (That Tell Lies)' by Him & The Others.
    It's almost punk, but the fact it dates from '66 makes it a freakbeat monster!

    (I used to have the 45....but the sale of said 45 is a sorry tale that I endeavour to forget!)

    Baz...I think 'Johnny Nooo' is basically 'East Side Story', the Bob Seger song that St.Louis Union covered to great effect (their version is probably too mod to be considered freakbeat).
     
  9. godstar

    godstar Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    valencia, spain
    great, great, great call, gazman!

    anyone for the selfkick's 'gosh i'm your woman not your wife'?
     
  10. LeftOfTheDial

    LeftOfTheDial Active Member

    Location:
    rhode island
    this would make a hell of a playlist.
     
  11. Raunchnroll

    Raunchnroll Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    Good to see The Attack here, as expected, but I'd add Feel Like Flying from the John DuCann era (just before they broke up). Thats a monster tune.
     
  12. peelmeanemma

    peelmeanemma New Member

    Location:
    Liverpool
    Thanks for that... must try and track that Primitives track down.

    Thanks also for pointing out that Him and The Others track... what a blinder! Can't believe I'd forgotten that one!

    It's some playlist alright... I have 35 of these tracks and am now blasting them out. To hell with my neighbour... time he heard some decent music! :laugh:
     
  13. child of nature

    child of nature dreaming, more or less

    Location:
    Tennessee
    I have that particular Mojo article! I would probably add "Face" by the Koobas (love that bass line) and something by the Eyes to the list. Oh, and I can't forget "Fashion Conscious" by the French Windows.

    (Everything the Attack and Le Fleur de Lys did was killer!!)
     
  14. peelmeanemma

    peelmeanemma New Member

    Location:
    Liverpool
    Almost... I can live well without "Created By Clive"... "Lay Orange Peel" is my personal fave by The Attack.
     
  15. Gazman

    Gazman Active Member

    Location:
    London
    'Face' is a great call. Love that line 'My world's an empty place, I only see one face...and that's my face'.

    These would be in my own freakbeat top 50:

    'Roadblock' by The Wheels
    'When The Night Falls' by The Eyes
    'Keep Me Covered' by The Frays
    'Francis' by Gary Walker & The Rain
    'It's Not True' by The Who
    'Scotch On The Socks' by The Shadows
    'I Can See But You Don't Know' by The Equals
    'Don't Give Me No Lip Child' by Dave Berry & The Cruisers
     
  16. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Up in T.O. keepin' jive alive

    "Touched By the Hand of Mayhem" would make a killer title for a book about Keith Moon.
     
  17. godstar

    godstar Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    valencia, spain
    brilliant call, CoN!
     
  18. ChrisM

    ChrisM Reclusive Enabler

    Location:
    SW Ontario, Canada
    For those that might be interested, Amazon UK has the various Decca "Scene" CDs on sale for 2.98 these days (including The Freakbeat Scene). It's a great collection of 25 tracks compiled by Smee and John Reed. I picked up my copy years ago and it still has the 9.99 price sticker on it from Probe records in Liverpool.

    Cheers,
    Chris
     
  19. peelmeanemma

    peelmeanemma New Member

    Location:
    Liverpool
    I got the Timebox Deram Anthology from there as well as many other CDs and albums and I get my copies of "Ugly Things" from Probe... still clinging on.

    I didn't get any of those Decca "Scene" CDs from there but I second your recommendation. Excellent releases and worth getting them all. Good sound, interesting booklet notes and most importantly, great music!
     
  20. ChrisM

    ChrisM Reclusive Enabler

    Location:
    SW Ontario, Canada
    I bought the Psychedelic, Freakbeat and Beat Scene CDs many years ago (probably all on various visits to Probe, actually). When Amazon UK recently put the series on sale for 2.98 each, I ordered the other 6 titles in the series. All great, too! Sadly (for those who don't already own it) the Psychedelic disc in the series is now out of print.

    I'll be in England for two weeks from the end of September into October. I always make a trip to Liverpool and check out what's in stock at Probe and Hairy Records.

    Cheers,
    Chris
     
  21. child of nature

    child of nature dreaming, more or less

    Location:
    Tennessee
    In March of 1993 Record Collector published a lengthy article about British R&B and freakbeat, written and researched by Dr. Andrew Few and Andy Davis. They compiled a top 200 list, relying more on the monetary value to collectors at that time. I thought this might be of interest, so I scanned the list to post here. I'd be interested in your opinions!

    I can't believe I forgot to mention the Beat Merchants' "Pretty Face" earlier--that would definitely make my list.
     

    Attached Files:

  22. bhazen

    bhazen Fab Fourever

    Location:
    Newcastle, WA
    Call me a thicko, but what's the diff betwixt Freakbeat and garage rock? Is it basically that one was U.S.-based and the other U.K.?
     
  23. mark f.

    mark f. Forum Resident

    I think that's the gist of it but only the creator of the term would know for sure. The list is only British acts. As it was explained to me British bands didn't always have a garage to play in. ;)

    Another distinction is that the term "garage" implies that a band didn't make it far from the garage - a lot of garage bands had private releases or even no official releases. Freakbeat can be practiced by any band even the professional ones with records and tours etc. But again, the folks who create the terms are the ones who know REALLY what they mean.
     
  24. ChrisM

    ChrisM Reclusive Enabler

    Location:
    SW Ontario, Canada
    Here's the description listed at Wikipedia:

    Freakbeat is a rock music genre that peaked approximately between 1966 and 1967.The term was invented in the 1980s by the music journalist Phil Smee, to retroactively describe a music style that has been described as a missing link between the early to mid-1960s mod R&B scene and the psychedelic rock and progressive rock genres that emerged in the late-1960s with bands such as Pink Floyd. Freakbeat music was typically created by four-piece bands experimenting with studio production techniques. Elements of the freakbeat sound include strong direct drum beats, loud and frenzied guitar riffs, and extreme effects such as: fuzztone, flanging, distortion and compression or phasing on the vocal or drum tracks. Often used almost synonymously with garage rock, the term is usually applied to music originating in the UK (unlike garage, which is most commonly used to describe American groups). Early albums by The Who and The Kinks supplied the blueprints for freakbeat bands that followed, such as The Creation, The Sorrows and The Move.
    Cheers,
    Chris
     
  25. Gazman

    Gazman Active Member

    Location:
    London
    Some of those records now go for astronomical sums of money.

    I remember Few and Davis from mod clubs years ago. They only really knew pricey records... stick a rockin' Merseybeats track on and they were lost...too cheap :)
     
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