Flamin' Groovies - Supersnazz (Classic Debut Album US 1969)

Selasa, 05 Maret 2013

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Supersnazz is The Flamin' Groovies' first studio album, released in 1969 on the Epic label. It was their only album for a major company. Its commercial failure put an end to the group's major-company record career.

The Flamin' Groovies' debut album went almost directly into the cut-out bins within a year or so of its 1969 release. Fortunately, the band survived the neglect heaped on that record, and has survived in one form or another into the 21st century. And in the ensuing years, Supersnazz has achieved an exalted reputation among not just Groovies fans, but lovers of rock & roll in general, having held up extraordinarily well across the decades and still able to make its own case for greatness as an astonishing document of straight-ahead rock & roll circa 1969 -- fully contemporary to its time (and, by extension, almost timeless), with none of the artificial period nostalgia (and parodying) that was already creeping into the "oldies" scene. 

But it's also a lot of fun; in fact, based on the evidence, Supersnazz may well have been the most fun record of 1969. Roy Loney, Cyril Jordan, Tim Lynch, George Alexander, and Danny Mihm run through a quirky mix of Loney and Loney/Jordan originals and standards, encompassing styles from proto-'70s punk (want to bet the Ramones wore out copies of this album?) to '50s New Orleans R&B, country music, and even ragtime, and while a small bit of it is compromised by the presence of some too-prominent clarinet and saxophone, the whole record is a rollicking good time, made even better by the sequencing, which offers a full range of surprises, even on the fourth or fifth listen -- one can never settle in with this record before something weirdly wonderful comes along to draw the listener in yet another direction. 

From the fiery, Brian Jones-era Stones-style, fuzztone-driven opener "Love Have Mercy," the band shows what it can do in everything from straight-ahead boogie to slow ballads ("A Part from That") and '50s rockers ("The Girl Can't Help It," "Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu"), country ("Brushfire"), and R&B, all done with a unique array of stylistic flourishes that made this one of the most original long-players of 1969. 

Billboard November 2 1968
By the ninth track, the pounding, punk-driven "Somethin' Else/Pistol Packin' Mama," the whole album achieves a kind of otherworldly continuum, like something out of a strange and wonderful corner of the universe that -- though none knew it at the time -- pointed the way to a coming decade of achievement by the likes of the Ramones, Jonathan Richman, et al, not to mention the Groovies themselves.

The Flamin' Groovies were an American rock music band of the 1960s and 1970s. They began in San Francisco in 1965, founded by Ron Greco, Cyril Jordan and Roy Loney. They are perhaps best known for their song "Shake Some Action", which was later featured in the 1995 movie Clueless. The group have been called one of the forerunners of punk rock, and they also had a major influence on the power pop genre.

Their first album, 1969's Supersnazz, featured Jordan (guitar, vocals), Loney (guitar, vocals), George Alexander (bass, harmonica, vocals), Tim Lynch (guitar, harmonica, vocals) and Danny Mihm (drums). It contained both re-creations of 1950s rock and roll and more melodic songs that anticipated the power pop movement of the 1970s—a genre to which the Flamin' Groovies would eventually contribute significant work. They then released their second album, 1970's Flamingo. Teenage Head was released in 1971 and is listed in the 2006 book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

US Promo Single 1969
In 1971, Loney left the band and was replaced by singer and guitarist Chris Wilson, who, along with Jordan, began to move the group in a more overtly power-pop direction. Between 1971 and 1976, very little was heard of the group except their 1972 anti-drug song "Slow Death" (co-written by Loney). In 1976, they teamed up with British producer Dave Edmunds, and recorded Shake Some Action.

In 1979, Roy Loney formed the Phantom Movers featuring original Groovie drummer Danny Mihm, former Groovie James Ferrell (guitar), as well as Larry Lea (guitar) and Maurice Tani (bass). The band released a number of well-received albums as well as a greatest hits CD ("A Hundred Miles an Hour 1978-1989" on the Raven label out of Australia). The Phantom Movers (Roy, Larry, and Maurice) continue to play currently, with the addition of John Moremen on drums.

After some re-recordings of their older material featuring only Jordan and Alexander from the original band, the Groovies disbanded in 1992.

The Flamin' Groovies headlined the Azkena rock festival in Mendizabala, Spain, on September 11, 2004. In 2005, Jordan founded a new band, Magic Christian.

Flamin' Groovies 1969
In 2008, Loney and Jordan reunited and embarked on a brief tour, backed by members of The A-Bones and Yo La Tengo.

Another larger-scale reunion appears on the recent Chris Wilson album Love Over Money (2010). Roy Loney, George Alexander, James Ferrell and Mike Wilhelm all appear on the CD, as does Procol Harum’s keyboard legend Matthew Fisher and Barracudas guitarist Robin Wills. The album is available on the French Rock Paradise label. [Wikipedia]

One of America's greatest, most influential, and legendary cult bands, Flamin' Groovies came out of the San Francisco area in 1965 playing greasy, bluesy, rock & roll dashed with a liberal sprinkling of British Invasion panache, in an era soon to be dominated by hippie culture and hyperextended raga-rock freakouts. Caught in a double bind of playing the wrong kind of music at the wrong time (as well as not looking the part), the Groovies were almost completely forgotten as the Fillmore/Avalon Ballroom scenes, dominated by the Dead, the Jefferson Airplane, et al., rendered them anachronistic. The plain truth, however, was that despite not being in tune with the zeitgeist, the Groovies made great music, and managed to sustain a career that lasted for over two decades. 

US Single 1969
What made the Groovies such a formidable band was the double dynamite supplied by guitarist Cyril Jordan and singer/wildman Roy A. Loney. Together they formed an uneasy partnership that guided the band through its most fertile period, from 1968-1971. 

In 1968, for next to nothing, the band recorded a seven-song EP entitled Sneakers. This little bit of DIY ingenuity resulted in a contract with Epic and the huge sum of 80,000 dollars (1968 dollars, mind you) to be spent on their debut recording, Supersnazz. It was a great album that didn't sell, but did get them dropped from Epic. Quickly signing with Kama Sutra, the Groovies closed the '60s and started the '70s with two terrific records (Flamingo and Teenage Head), but public apathy and the increasingly tempestuous relationship between Jordan and Loney led to the latter's departure for a solo career in 1971. Jordan, now free to run the band as a "benevolent" dictator and indulge his passion for a more folk-rock (read: Byrds) focus, hired guitarist/vocalist Chris Wilson, curiously added the apostrophe to their first name, and in 1972 moved the band to England.

Oddly enough, the Groovies had a larger, more enthusiastic following in Europe (especially in England and Germany) than they did in the States, and it seemed perfectly reasonable to assume that if great rewards were to be reaped, it would happen in Europe first. Hooking up with Dave Edmunds, who was keen to produce them, Jordan and company recorded a handful of songs as early as 1972. However, this seemingly natural collaboration yielded little until 1976, when the Groovies released their finest post-Loney effort, Shake Some Action.

US Promo Single 1969
Loaded with ringing guitars, great covers, and Edmunds' spongy, bass-heavy production, Shake Some Action became a well-received album in punk-era Britain, as was the fine follow-up, Flamin' Groovies Now. This new notoriety brought renewed interest in the Groovies in America, but the string of good albums ended abruptly with the mostly covers and mostly forgettable Jumpin' in the Night, in 1979. Clearly, the band had run out of gas. That fact, however, did little to convince Cyril Jordan that Flamin' Groovies in any form were no longer viable.

So, after five or six years of no new music -- there were instead countless repackagings, anthologies, and lousy bootlegs -- the band ended up in Australia, now reduced to Jordan and a bunch of unknowns (with the exception of longtime bassist George Alexander), shamelessly covering '60s material and living off the band's legend. It should be noted that after his departure in 1971, Roy Loney, after a couple of music industry jobs, made some wonderful records with his band the Phantom Movers (with ex-Groovies drummer Danny Mihm). Loney occasionally worked behind the counter at Jack's Record Cellar in San Francisco, and recorded with the Young Fresh Fellows. [AMG]

"Supersnazz" (1969, Epic BN 26487) 
"Flamingo" (Kama Sutra KSBS 2021, July 1970) 
"Teenage Head" (Kama Sutra KSBS 2031, April 1971) 
"Shake Some Action" (Sire Records, June 1976)

"Sneakers" (1968) (Sneakers was a 17:10 long 10" EP) 
"Grease" (1973) 
"More Grease" (1974)

"Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu" b/w "The First One's Free" (Jul 1969) 
"Somethin' Else" b/w "Laurie Did It" (1970) 
"Have You Seen My Baby?" b/w "Yesterday's Numbers" (1971) 
"Teenage Head" b/w "Evil Hearted Ada" (non-USA) (Aug 1971) 
"Slow Death" b/w "Tallahassee Lassie" (Jun 1972) 
"Married Woman" b/w "Get a Shot of Rhythm and Blues" (Dec 1972) 
"You Tore Me Down" b/w "Him or Me" (1974) 
"I Can't Hide" b/w "Teenage Confidential" (1976) 
"Shake Some Action b/w "Teenage Confidential" (non-USA) (1976) 
"Teenage Head" (rerelease) b/w "Headin' for the Texas Border" (Jun 1976) 
"Don’t You Lie To Me" b/w "She Said Yeah"; "Shake Some Action" (30 cm, UK) (1976) 

Roy A. Loney - rhythm guitar, vocals 
Cyril Jordan - guitar, vocals 
Tim Lynch - guitar, vocals, harmonica 
George Alexander - bass, vocals, harmonica 
Mike Lang - keyboards 
Danny Mihm - drums, percussion 

01. "Love Have Mercy" (Roy Loney) 
02. "The Girl Can't Help It" (Bobby Troup) 
03. "Laurie Did It" (Roy Loney) 
04. "Apart from That" (Roy Loney, Cyril Jordan) 
05. "Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu" (Huey Smith, John Vincent) 
06. "The First One's Free" (Roy Loney) 
07. "Pagan Rachel" (Roy Loney) 
08. "Somethin' Else (Sharon Sheeley, Bob Cochran)/ Pistol Packin' Mama" (Al Dexter) 
09. "Brushfire" (Roy Loney, Cyril Jordan) 
10. "Bam Balam" (Roy Loney, Cyril Jordan) 
11. "Around the Corner" (Roy Loney, Cyril Jordan)

1. Link
2. Link
1968 Poster

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