Monday, October 30, 2006


THIS IS WHAT SONIC BOOM CONSIDERS AS THE MAIN INFLUENCES FOR THE SOUND OF SPACEMEN 3, THE “ROOTS” TO THAT AMAZINGLY RICH MUSICAL TREE. And they were truly eclectics: here you can find ANYTHING from the rural folk-blues of LIGHTNING HOPKINS or JESSE MAE HEMPHIL to the gospel of THE STAPLE SINGERS (whose “Last Time” was likely to be a major influence in Jagger/Richards‘ own “Last Time”), from exotica (Xavier Cugat!!), to Sun Ra’s “Cozmic Blues”...

Plus, ultra-rare English Freakbeat such as The Syndicats -YES’ Steve Howe’s first band, with a huge liking for the feedback of Pete Townshend-, LA psychedelic surf from the Beach Boys-influenced Fantastic Baggies, and first-generation electronic music acts such as WHITE NOISE, or even Detroit High Energy Rock (MC5 with a rare “Rambling Rose” alive at the studio)...

And some unclassifiable acts such as DANIEL JOHNSTON, the mysterious HONOLULU MOUNTAIN DAFFODILS, or ROLF HARRIS, whose 1960’s song “Sun Arise” re-enacts the chants from the Australian aborigines... And many, MANY surprises (including a Christmas carol!). Search deep and enjoy with the music wisdom of Sonic Boom and find the roots to SP3’s musical enlightment!

Spacelines - song by song - album notes by SONIC BOOM

This May Be The Last Time - The Staples Singers
This Gospel gem, I believe written by Bobby Womack, is obviously the root of the Stones hit from '65. Pop Staples remains for me the greatest unsung guitar player. Forget all the Afro '70's late stuff, go for all those classic pre-66 sides -Vee-jay stuff especially... and that 'GREAT DAY' Fantasy recds release.....

You Don't Care - Bo Diddley
Bo Diddley - born Elias McDaniels - afore adopting his pseudonym - based on an old Delta instrument called a Diddley Bo - basically, two nails 2 ft apart on a door-frame, plucked at one end + "bowed" with a bottleneck at the other.
Anyhow - this guy invented more genres than anyone - ever. Scary... This classic from his amazing '50's sessions that somehow brings Africa to Chicago by way of the Delta in one foul tremelo rich swoop.
This track is really called You dont love me -sorry typo...

Sun Arise - Rolf Harris
This was a hit in the UK circa '62. Rolf went on to much fame as an ex-pat Aussie kids programme entertainer here , but this stunning one chord wonder -Rolf imitates Digeridoo -tho' he can play it, to great effect. Unfortunately his other "songs” were kiddie-turkeys... Presumably based on an old Aboriginal folk song. I think it captures so much mood and emotion it deserves a wider audience.

Transparent Radiation - The Red Crayola
Possibly the greatest Psychedelic band ever, almost certainly one of the first to truly understand it and take it somewhere.
This version is the demo Mayo Thompson recorded pre-Parable of Arable Land , and is the version I and Spacemen 3 usually covered .One of the most amazing lyrics and chord progressions ever .What more can I say -this is it!

Angels + Demons - Sun Ra
This is a genius vintage live SUN RA track from their early '60's Chicago club stint . This makes my spine tingle and my feet shuffle every time i hear it. Taken from the Amazing full length CD on Atavistic Records (Chicago), it sees Sun Ra at his best -this is what made him the legend he is.
Buy the LP!

side b

I'm So Glad You Don't Know what's On my mind - SheWolf /Jesse Mae Hemphill
I believe she’s from Tate County -anyways -somewhere in the muddy ol' delta. This song is my idea of the blues. Jim Dickinson has long been a part of this whole scene, and this piece comes from a compilation lp done by Tav Falco -One of Dickinson's sidekicks, back in the Eighties.
God bless 'em all. Respect.

Needed Time - Lightnin' Hopkins
Houston's genius bluesman here, on a recording over 50 years old, which makes me cry almost every listen shows Lightnin' lettin a little religion and gospel shine thru his massive oeuvre of work. Look out for the great stuff he did on the International Artists Compilation I.A.13 back in the late '70's. Plus the I.A. LP backed by 3 Elevators...

Please Stay - Cryin' Shames
Joe Meek's last hit, and one of his saddest. Shortly before splattering his brains across his Holloway rd., London studio, he allegedly berated this poor singer into this performance.Whatever, it's stellar.
I believe the Drifters had the USA hit, but for me the magic in this record is un-equalled on any other version.

Stay - Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs
What can I say. One of the greatest R+B tracks ever. The soundtrack to a million nights of passion. One of my all time favourites of its era. I wanna dance everytime I hear it. This is the sort of sentiment I wanna hear more on records...

She's Coming Home - The Wailers
Not Jamaica's giants, but the Pacific Northwest's compadres of The Galaxies and The Sonics on the Etiquette label.
This is one of my favourite Christmas songs ever -along with a song Dean Wareham turned me on to called Little Toy Trains... and of course that marvellous version of Little Drummer Boy by the Harry Simeone Chorale The Etiquette XMAS lp this came from is well worth sounding out as it also features the Sonics’ Santa Claus masterpiece. To coin a Robyn Hitchcock phrase... Viva Viva Viva Viva Viva Viva SeaTac -they got the best coffee + computers + smack ... No fool that Hitchcock... haha

side c

I Can't Let Go - Evie Sands
This superb song was written by Chip Taylor of Wild Thing and Anyway That You Want Me fame.I believe Evie mighta done his demos... This song is so much better than the Hollies’ insipid hit it's almost a differant track.I used part of the middle 8 of the song to create How You Satisfy Me for SPECTRUM , but here you get the real deal in all its glory.

Crawdaddy Simone - The Syndicats
Again, a Joe Meek classic from his last couple of years - 'circa 65 on this track I think. I believe one of these guys ended up in Yes or summit , whatever , here is the meanest , coolest English Freakbeat around (like US garage punk, but earlier ) Bomp’s c.d.'s of UK Freakbeat are well worth searching out. This song has elements of Rave-up , punk , R+B, Blues -and all sounding punk as fuck... Enjoy.

Elevator Operator - The Rays
Elevator Operator is from the early 50's and it packs so much power, lift and humour into 2 minutes 30, that i'm constantly amazed by it. This vocal based group are so powerful , they practically invent psyche 30 years too soon.This record was a longstay on the jukebox at Liverpool's legendary jukebox. A 70's compilation called Jukebox at Eric's is well worth seeking. Solid gold.

Perfidia - Xavier Cugat
One of the most beautifull songs ever. Xavier Cugat has long performed genius versions of this standard, but this 1950's, almost Lounge-style version of it instrumentallydone, is enchanting. If you know The Tide Is High -you'll be hit by deja-vu. An alltime favourite. Priceless. Cugat, my respect.

It Was I - The Fantastic Baggies
One of the also-ran surf bands from California ... Perhaps most famous for their proto-punk Anywhere The Girls Are -on Bomp's vinyl Surf compilation in the '80's. This song however is more introspective, and a real feat of excellence. It's almost Everly Brothers-like harmonies transport you straight to that summer, with those people... Priceless.

Firebird - The White Noise
A long overlooked classic . White Noise were, along with Silver Apples, the first fully electronic bands. This track, written in '67 by the late Delia Derbyshire, sung by John Whitman + with David Vorhaus accompanying Delia on electronics remains one of the most enchanting pop songs from that era where it seemed ANYTHING might happen. Delia did much more work, mainly for the BBC Radiophonic workshop -check out the Rephlex vinyl LP for some delights... Her work is fascinating + varied.

side d

True Love Will Find You In The End - Daniel Johnston
One of the greatest singer songwriters of the last 2 decades or so. This song, also covered by SPECTRUM, is Daniel Johnston at his most open. You can practically feel the blood running down his sleeve... It's hard to say anything more than please find his '80's lp's -the early ones...

Just One Time - Juicy Lucy
Unfortunately , this is probably their only good song -but what a song.
Spacemen 3 re-worked this as MARY-ANNE, but here we have the original from the early '70's. Glen Cambell -the genius lap steel player from The Misunderstood -an amazing band -comes up trumps here. It almost sounds like some WE WILL FALL type IGGY/Stooges out-take. The mood on this is tangible. A piece of genius.

I Take It That We're Through - The Riot Squad
One of Joe Meeks last recordings , with the unique Riot Squad. As well as having Mitch Mitchel, pre-Hendrix, on drums, this recording belies the myth that all Meek's recordings were muddy. The crazy eastern double-tracked guitar, weird organ, strange vocals are nothing if not a tribute to the fact that Joe had ears. Interesting title for one of his final works.........

Psychic Hitlist Number 8 - Honolulu Mountain Daffodils
Whether they're from Mars or Hawaii , these guys are amazing. I believe they did 2 LPs, but I never saw them. This record is just pure non-stop power pop -like early Hawkwind meets Kraftwerk. Jeesus...

Witchdoctor - John Mayal's Bluesbreakers
A searing piece of blues from the late '60s.
I'm informed this is '65 era Clapton at his rare best? It originally came out on Andrew Loog Oldham's Immediate label.A label worth exploring with Reaction - dont even mention "waltz for a Pig " , by the Graham Bond Organisation...
Not much to say about this, other than i love it...

Ramblin' Rose - The MC5
This is one of the tightest heaviest bands ever. This rare version is devastating. The break near the end is skull crushing. Words fail me how insipid bands like Led Zep could steal their image + ideas -but still be shit?
What’s that about...



Jacob said...

wow this is really cool!

RobTunderVillain said...

great comp. i don't know but i just love all these artist-curated comps that have come out over the last 3 years or so. really cool when these people reveal/share their musical influences. oh yeah, i like Mr. Boom's diss on Led Zep (although i strongly disagree).

Jacob said...

i just noticed there isn't a mention of this track...

Denomination Blues - Washington Phillips

makes me want to track down some more of his recordings.

thanks again for posting this.