Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Downliners Sect - Glendora

Downliners Sect are one of those bands that didn't make too much of a blip on the radar in their day but have become legends long after their demise as music freaks and record collectors (like us) seek out their rare and unique set of releases. The London band mined the same field of American R&B as The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds and The Pretty Things, but somehow it all sounds different when the Sect set upon a song. Sometimes ragged, sometimes charming, sometimes awkward, sometimes brilliant, sometimes sick. The band was Don Craine, Keith Grant, Johnny Sutton, Terry Gibson and occasionally Ray Sone.

We feature today the band's 10th UK release. It's not a cover of an American R&B number. Nope. It's American alright, but not R&B. The song was more of a novelty crooners ballad originally. The song is Glendora, and it tells the tale of a man who fell madly in love with a mannequin, only to have his heart broken just as the mannequin itself gets broken.  The song was first released by American singer Jack Lewis in 1956 which was promptly covered by Perry Como. UK singer, Glen Mason covered the number the same year for release in the UK. It's probably his version that caught the attention of The Sect.

The Sect, as they so often did, went about the song in a very different way. Their June 1966 release for Columbia Records is a scorching rocker of the first order. Fuzz guitar, gut-bucket vocals, pounding bass and some great female backing vocals that would have made Joe Meek proud. It all makes this version of Glendora one of the all-time great UK releases from the era.
Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!