Friday, September 12, 2014

I/You Gotta Move Week, Part III: Special Istanbul or Constantinople? Edition

From 1970, and their misunderstood and perhaps unfairly maligned album Looking On, please enjoy the incomparable The Move -- featuring the first appearance of Jeff Lynne in their saga -- and the remarkably hard rocking "Turkish Tram Conductor Blues."

I've always loved this song, not least because of the coy "Oh yes" Roy Wood interjects just before the guitar solo begins, but also because the combination of Zeppelin riffage and oboes or saxes (or whatever the hell the woodwind instruments are on the track) is just so wonderfully bozoid.

I should also add that, back in the day, my old garage band chums The Weasels used to warm up by playing this as an instrumental, sans the lyrics. It sounded like some kind of mutant surf song, and it always used to crack us up.

We were easily amused, obviously.


cthulhu said...

Wow. Seriously, wow. Now that I've heard this, there are echoes of it in one of my favorite ELO tracks, "Birmingham Blues". And I can see why it wasn't so far-fetched for Lynne to produce Joe Walsh's 2012 pretty-damned-good-and-much-better-than-it-had-any-right-to-be "Analog Man".

Anonymous said...

Love this track. For years I thought Bevan wrote it, but it was Roy throwing him a bone.

Guitars tuned down deliciously. I'm not entirely sure exactly what the song's about, but it rocks nonetheless. Any enlightenment would be appreciated.

Vickie Rock - I can really do the brontosaurus, I can scream the heeby jeeby all night. I can turn the volume up - until you blow your speaker cone. Oh yes.

pete said...

I still remember seeing Roy Wood doing "Brontosaurus" on Top of the Pops in 1970.

Anonymous said...

Re: Something Else - Does anyone have any idea who the vocalist is on "Something Else"? I'm pretty sure it's not Carl Wayne, Roy Wood or Bev Beven.

Capt. Al

steve simels said...

It may have been Kefford -- apparently he was the hardcore rocker of the bunch.

Anonymous said...

...and Kefford definitely could sing.
About 10-12 years ago, British reissue company Castle/Sanctuary put out a "lost" Ace Kefford album from 1968, entitled "ACE THE FACE." There's some good stuff on it; the opening track, "Oh, Girl" (not a cover of the Chi-Lites), I still find addictive whenever I play the CD.

J. Lag

Anonymous said...

Such persistence is admirable Captain Al. Obsession's even better. It's a fine line twixt the two.

The unequivocal answer is written on a note which I've nestled between my breasts. It is right on the tip of my tongue. However, my lips are sealed.

I've got something you want. But useless begging won't do. Work for it baby. Earn it.

You know that I know. But that would be too easy. Wouldn't it? Nobody gets a piece of this puzzle without taking the journey.

You can start with "Unexpected Messages." Then "Roy Wood: The Move, Wizzard and Beyond". Scour them and you may still come up empty handed.

Only I know for sure, as I laugh wickedly:-)

Vickie Rock - reveling in depravity

buzzbabyjesus said...

I remember Steve mentioning the "Oh Yes" in a list of favorite tiny moments in rock n roll for Stereo Review. Funny that it's the only one I remember.

buzzbabyjesus said...

Based on this, I think Ace Kefford is a good guess for Something Else.

steve simels said...

Check out his cover of "For Your Love" on YouTube.

I think we're right about him being the singer on "Something Else."

If that ACE THE FACE cd is still available, I think I need a copy.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately for fans of good-quality, reasonably priced CD reissues, Castle/Sanctuary, which was based in the U.K., went out of business about seven years ago, so it is no longer being manufactured. Nonetheless, I'm sure you can find it on one of those internet-market sites (eg. amazon) for a decent price. If not, I'll check around and - no kidding- I'll make arrangements to get it to you.

J. Lag

steve simels said...

J. Lag --

Just ordered a copy at Amazon -- arrives on Monday!

I am excited.

Anonymous said...

Glad you are getting a copy, and so quickly. By the way, it'll have extensive liner notes.

J. Lag

Anonymous said...

There are at least two unique versions of "Somethin' Else" recorded at the Marquee that have been released officially. And more versions exist. Knowing when the distorted vocals were substituted might help in your efforts to ascertain who it is on lead vox. Or will it?

Here's another version submitted for your approval:

Vickie Rock - aka Dawn Brouhaha - Have a nice blue moss

Anonymous said...

So Vickie, here's a thought:

Since the vocals were overdubbed maybe we'll keep finding versions of each of the five members of The Move taking turns doing the lead vocal. That would be a hoot.

Maybe there could be versions with Jeff Lynne and Rick Price also singing it.

The version you posted is really difficult too tell who the hell is singing with the overlapping vocals by more then one singer. I really opened a can of worms by asking the original question.

Allan R. (Capt. Al)

buzzbabyjesus said...

I finally dug out my Edsel Records cd and read more closely. The original recordings were made at the Marquee on February 27, 1968, and the overdubs mid-March. The only clue afforded checking the dates is that Bev Bevan did not attend the vocal overdubs. Ace Kefford was still in the band for the recordings, but he did not make the photo on the back.
The credits read:
Carl Wayne-vocals
Roy Wood- guitar, vocals
Ace Kefford- bass, vocals
Bev Bevan- drums
Trevor Burton- guitar
If it's not Roy or Carl, it's Ace.
The version shared by Vickie sounds like two takes of the same singer. In fact, I'm fairly sure it's two different mixes superimposed, as they aren't perfectly synched.
Ace is still our man.

Anonymous said...

Ace is the Face! Thank you Detective Squad!

Allan R. (Capt. Al)

Anonymous said...

"She's sure good lookin' man. She's somethin' else." A single vocalist sings this bit on the "second version" which I submitted [where Roy's guitar solos are arguably better and the audience is real]. Compare and contrast that line with the other version. Is it the same singer? Also compare the vocals after the guitar break in each version. Do you hear a traces of another "ghost" vocal in version one at the beginning of this passage? Do you believe it's the same singer in each version? Is BBJ correct about there only being one un-synched singer in the mix? Or did two guys sing this in unison for one of the takes?

It's important to check your work and the work of record companies. You may not be out of the woods yet. Or are you?

Vickie Rock - leaving you with a shadow of a doubt and a tin of wriggling bait:-)

Anonymous said...

Also, for a good time you might want to check this link. Perhaps it contains clues. Perhaps not. Either way, it's free and the second most fun thing you can do for that price.

Vickie Rock - it's always more savory after a vigorous struggle

Anonymous said...

The Beat Club stuff is great, many hours to great viewing.

I know know Roy & Carl sing Fire Brigade.


Capt. Al

Anonymous said...

It's a damn pity there isn't more live 5-piece Move. That was their true strength as a band, cover tunes or not. Balls Galore. Alot of their repertoire never made it to record. "Watch Your Step" is an initial and glaring example.

They did a Cochran tune on the debut. Guess who sang it? Could that be a clue? Or not?

When did Ace slash his wrists? Where and when was his last show? Did he enjoy Roy's looney songs while in the clinic? Did he begin to believe they were written about him? Was Ace really in the studio with his own band in May of 1968? How short of a rest did he take after his breakdown? Does any of this matter given our current topic? Maybe. Maybe not. Are there any wrong trees to bark up? Plenty.

Putting the move on you,

Vickie Rock - Car top down, just ridin' around on the weekend.

Anonymous said...

Well. Have the experts made a definitive determination?

Be advised that what little source material is available is often incorrect. Were those overdubs really performed in Mid-March? Was the EP released in September? Or earlier that summer? Why the wait? Was Ace in the band for their Beat Club performance which aired April 6, 1968? Is the Edsel personnel information correct?

You can get the answer to this burning question the same way that I did. By undoing my bra. Clasp is in the front guys. All will be revealed.

Vickie Rock - Free 'Em

Anonymous said...

Here is the answer:

Your welcome very much. It's been fun.

Vickie Rock - Enjoy your Monday

buzzbabyjesus said...

Gee, Vickie, I don't know. Watching the video, and comparing voices still points me in Ace's direction. His voice seems to go a little earthier.

The lack of synch I heard was not in the voices but in the drums. I'm curious how you came to that conclusion.

buzzbabyjesus said...

I'm curious how you arrived at Trevor being the singer on Something Else, not what was implied above.

And BTW you are Something Else.

Anonymous said...

BBJ: Good morning [well, it's morning for me even if it's past 2:30]. I just jumped from the balcony into the pool. Was up kinda late last night and it was daylight before I konked out. Needed a good cool splash after chopping all that morning wood. Sandy's making breakfast and I can smell that gourmet bacon all the way upstairs. Mmmm, I haven't eaten since yesterday's lunch. Positively ravenous.

BTW, I missed Stephanie this morning.:-(

With regard to Trevor being the vocalist on Something Else: I based my conclusion on print interviews with Trevor and Bev Bevan. Also on people I've spoken with over the years who had seen the act in their heydey.

You're right about Ace having an earthy quality - when he wants [as in his portions of the lead in Night of Fear and Grass Grow]. Ace's soulful voice is Winwood meets a lower registered Marriott by way of Skip Spence [fitting in more ways than one] when he sings in that style.

But he can also be poppish, as in his lead vox on Yellow Rainbow (yes, I know, Roy sings the middle section etc.) and Don't Throw Stones At Me.

At 2:30 on this clip is Don't Throw Stones at Me with Ace lead vox in a more pop style.

For the version of "Somethin Else" which Steve presented, the one that ended up on the EP, Trevor handles the lead vox. He also sang lead on Cochran's "Weekend" which appeared on the debut LP. Wikipedia will tell you it's Carl Wayne on lead on that one, but it's dead wrong. It's totally Trevor.

Here's "Weekend":

With regard to the version that I presented, it's a whole new bed of snakes ready to rhumba. And I love me some morelia spilota slithering up and around my legs. So cool, soft, sensual and loving. It's as delicious as the caress of Satan. Been into 'em since the days of drug trade when my ex introduced them into the boudoir.

Vickie Rock - The aroused serpent dwells in my lusty spine. He slithers in my loins and infuses my blood with the intoxicating venom of guiltlessness and liberation. I am more than happy to worshipfully serve, feed and milk him. I long for him to raise his sweet head and strike me with his honeyed kisses. Ooh yess.

buzzbabyjesus said...

Interesting he's not credited for vocals, yet the liners say everyone but Bev attended the overdubs. That he made the back cover picture suggests you are correct. That someone fired (Ace) would sing lead on the title track doesn't quite wash.
That you annoy the shit out of some here doesn't bother me as your passion and knowledge is undeniable.
Keep rocking the boat.

Anonymous said...

The Move traded off on vocals a lot. The fact that Trevor and Ace could vary their voices makes identifying the singers somewhat difficult. I don't know of many rock bands who have three guys swapping lead vox during one song. Well, there's Three Dog Night, but Cory, Chuck and Danny are pretty easy to pick out.

US audiences had no opportunity to ever see the original five-piece Move, which also contributes our difficulties. When I go to England next month, I'm gonna try to hit up a few old geezers who can give me reliable eyewitness accounts of the early band's gigs. Guys that don't mind being recorded. I have a few peripheral dudes in mind already. Who knows what I'll learn.

Also, one of these days I'm gonna go to my storage facility and pull out my complete runs [1962-1982] of NME, Melody Maker and other UK trade papers. Those are terrific sources of weekly information which transport you through time. But I have to have the time and perseverance to make that journey and still have it be fun. When the mood strikes .... I'm there.

Free time and fun is the name of the game. That's been the driving goal in my life for my loves, my kids and anyone I feel like "turning on" along the path. Livin'.

Vickie Rock - Headin' to the Harbor House in Sunset Beach to hang with my daughter Volupta and her boyfriends.