Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Album: Here Are The Chesterfield Kings - Side 2

Today brings us the original versions of the songs that grace side 2 of Here Are The Chesterfield Kings. The first installment, side 1, can be seen here.

The Chesterfield Kings knew these garage masterpieces intimately and understood the period that gave birth to them, and in compiling this diverse blend of nascent and obscure rock and roll, they created a kind of cross-section garage masterwork that never did, never could, materialize in the heyday of this music. It was the fate of any number of excellent acts that rose to the top and produced an album, such as The Chocolate Watch Band or The Sonics, that their album's integrity would become compromised as a result of some pressure to record a popular song or two, or an overzealous manager with studio musicians on the side, or any of the other multitude of pitfalls that assailed these productions. And the obscure acts, like today's The Mourning Reign or The Exotics or yesterday's Painted Ship or The Rogues, who all released seminal garage creations worthy of close study, had to settle with the publishing one or two singles, if they were lucky. So, with an exceptional ear and uncanny taste, The Chesterfield Kings mined this quarry and infused their findings with craftsmanship and attention to detail -- infused it with their own sound -- and served it all up on Here Are.

I hope you enjoy!

The Chocolate Watch Band - No Way Out

The Exotics - Come With Me

The Shades of Night - Fluctuation

The Mourning Reign - Satisfaction Guaranteed (see more here)

The Moving Sidewalks - 99th Floor

The Harbinger Complex - Time To Kill

Little Phil and the Night Shadows - 60 Second Swinger


  1. Sweeeeet! I'll reiterate, Jack, even in this day and age, to get all of those recordings in one spot is no easy accomplishment. This is a great idea. After my ramblings yesterday, I feel compelled to go through each song again.

    Chocolate Watch Band - No Way Out: Like the Sonics from song of side 1, The Chocolate Watch Band are a Mount Garagemore band known to any collector. But unlike Expo 2000, this is actually the CWB. Producer Ed Cobb gets singular writing credit for this, but I'm more than skeptical. This feels like a pretty organic jam from the band, if you ask me. It's always been one of my faves from the band. In part because I like that infections bass line that never grows old.

    The Exotics - Come WIth Me: Holy crap, what a song. I only recently became aware of this damn fine killer of a song. The organ. The balloon like guitars. The fuzz guitar retort. The organ lead at 1:10 is so loud and out of balance, I love it. This is what the do-it-yourself garage movement was all about. No suits telling you to redo that. No studio musicians to record it "properly". They're from Dallas, right? Former members of the Floyd Dakil Combo?

    The Shades of Night - Fluctuation: How bizarre. I think they are also from Texas. Ive heard both Dallas and San Antonio. When I first heard the Kings version I, was mesmerized by the odd lyrics and the name, fluctuation. What the hell does that mean in this context? I strongly urge everyone here to listen to those lyrics. What the hell was this kid whining about? "Now football and basketball and track, man, just ain't my kinda scene. But when it comes to women...rrrrrrr....sayin' you know what I mean? But you say that women aren't the best thing, this you'll have to admit. Man, I said you show me something better and I'm going to buy a bunch of it. I'll find one that's going to hold me tight. Give me that good love and make it last all night. Fluc-Tu-A-Tion! WOW! Oh, oh, ohhhhh yeah. Now like I said I'm not what you call an all-american boy. When it comes to females, whoooo I sure like to toy. Short, fat and ugly man I just ain't particular at all. when I go out on town you believe I'm going to have a ball. Fluc-Tu-A-Tion! I don't want you to get the wrong idea about what kinda guy I am. I mean I say "yes" and "please" and oh yeah "thank you mam." I don't wear mod clothes, Beatle Boots or even long hair. I mean I like the guys too, but man there ain't no way to compare." WHAT? Brilliant. No, wait. What did he say about liking guys and what does that have to do with a fluctuation?

  2. The Mourning Reign - Satisfaction Guaranteed: Simply a 10 out 10 in the garage hall of fame. From San Jose, Ca. We wrote a big article about them a few years ago.

    The Moving Sidewalks - 99th Floor: This song always gets labeled as a pre-ZZ Top song, but it really is good on it's own. Great Billy Gibbons guitar work (as usual for him). He's got that doubling thing going..and kudos to him for not going fuzz on the lead. And, as usual for garage rock, it's from Texas. This time from La Grange. I mean, Houston. The harp solo at the end is the best.

    The Harbinger Complex -- Time To Kill: Another one not well known to me. Greg's voice really hits this melody well. An odd little song that you wonder what the band was thinking the song would be like when they wrote it. Just odd. People floating by and stealing what they don't know. Aren't they from the East Bay, Jack?

    Little Phil and the Night Shadows - 60 Second Swinger: This is just classic shit. Dressing way out mod, and guys digging the bod bugs dad. I've never quite figured what a 60 Second Swinger is, exactly. I get it. she plays school during the day, she makes love all night. Where does the 60-second thing come from? The organ solo is pushing that VU meter well into the red. These cats were from Georgia. Just goes to show, you never know.

    We'll have to get a Chesterfield Kings song/recording later this week.

  3. Thanks for song by song free association ramblings. Harbinger Complex were from Fremont, CA down by San Jose. So yeah East Bayers. They were featured on Nuggets '98 release with the song I Think I'm Down. Couple singles is all I think, but also on a contemporary compilation.

  4. I totally hear re Come With Me. Do you hear the lead guitar do this little stutter thing under the chorus (at :26 for example)? It's like he's anticipating the lick but can't wait the extra milisecond to play it. Cool effect.