tisdag 7 juni 2016


Originally issued in UK with band name Billy Pepper & the Pepperpots as "Merseymania". Ad hoc combo set up by Pye employee Bill Shepherd, previously responsible for a couple of uncredited easy listening albums. Non of the musicians have been positively identified so far, though rumours have flourished Lou Reed, John Cale or even Pete Best may have been involved. I don't think so. If there has to be some kind of famous connection my best guess is members of the band Gaylords before they became Marmalade. The record clearly a trial to cash in on the then fluorishing Beatlemania, mixing two Beatles covers with a couple of standards and self-penned songs mimicking the Fab Four style. Seen them described as bad clones and the album as a hoax and maybe so, but as part of the early sixties beat scene it's not all bad. Many aspiring bands back then were Beatles sound-alikes and the performance here isn't the worst I've heard from a sixties beat LP. Vocals a little impersonal but the playing totally OK with a fine period feeling. The stereo label says it's "In AuthentiPhonic Stereo Process". Just another euphemism for fake or rechanneled, still the balance and audio here isn't very disturbing, most of all sounding like wide mono. Not an album I'd chose for close listening, but a fitting moodsetter to any sixties related conducts. Originally issued on a number of labels including Hurrah Records in UK and US, Rondo and Design in US, Allegro in UK and Barclay in France. Not sure how this stereo Design issue corresponds in time and place to the mono since the labels differ. In any case I guess this is the first stereo, having gold label as shown here and thick matt cover. (YZÄ*)

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