Sunday, September 07, 2008

Music: 45 hard inches of groovy black love!

There's a curious subculture of YouTube posters that makes web films of their old record players spinning 45 singles. Sometimes they paste some montage of stills over the song. Sometimes they just show a static shot of the record info. The best, in you humble horror host's humble horror hopinion, actually show the record spinning. Regardless, they're awesome. While other folks are cutting anime flicks into rock videos, creating dance tunes from sound clips of Senators who think the Internet is a series of tubes, doing Internet karaoke, or pirating music videos off the ol' Philco, these retro-medium die-hards lovingly record the static-filled whirl of some (occasionally deservedly) forgotten gems. I find this mix of Internet distribution and purposefully low-fi music reproduction fascinating, especially given the fact that these vinyl loyalists post up some truly obscure and wonderful stuff. Such as Sutch . . .

The late, great Screaming Lord Sutch – proto-type of a million make-up besplattered shock/schlock rock acts and former MP candidate and founder of the UK's Official Monster Raving Loony Party – is not only the dude "all dressed up just like a Union Jack" in the Rolling Stone's classic "Get Off of My Cloud," he's also responsible for what a 1998 BBC poll listed as the single worst rock album of all time: 1970's Lord Sutch and Heavy Friends. Interestingly, Jimmy Page, John Bonham, Jeff Beck, Noel Redding, and Nicky Hopkins all appear on the album, meaning Sutch managed to drag some real rock royalty down with him.

Speaking of royalty, the "Lord" in Sutch's name wasn't just a stage gag. Exploiting a sort of loophole in English peerage laws, Sutch got himself named the 3rd Earl of Harrow even though he had no connection to the title.

The following song is not off the infamous Heavy Friends album. Released as a single in 1964 (backed by "Come Back Baby") by Oriole Records, here's Screaming Lord Sutch's cover of the vampire novelty tune "Dracula's Daughter."

Dipping even further back into Screaming Lord Sutch's back catalog, here's 1961's single "'Til the Following Night." The misspelling is Sutch's and not mine (for once). Before you listen, reflect on the fact that Sutch's wailing delivery and fuzzed out sax are recorded here a full two years before the Beatles got relatively sloppy on "Twist and Shout." Though it seems a bit quaint now, its pretty raw stuff for its time.

Now, from Sutch to the Moontrekkers . . .

The Moontrekkers are now mostly remembered by surf instrumental fanatics. This mid-1960s London group was produced by the legendary Joe Meeks (who also produced "Telestar" by the Tornadoes, the first instrumental rock song to go to #1 in both the UK and the US), who was working his effects-laden magic on this, the Moontrekkers' only substantial UK hit: "Night of the Vampire."


Tenebrous Kate said...

What a way to kick off my Monday morning! Thanks for sharing these awesome Screamin' Lord Sutch clips. I guess it just goes to show how utterly un-with-it *I* am that I was completely unaware of this type of video on YouTube till now. Thanks for schoolin' me--I'm off to run a search of my own now :)

John W. Morehead said...

I didn't find an email but wanted to get in touch, so on something totally unrelated to your post, Finn Ballard, the author of the article on road-horror that I discussed on my website has tracked down the post and left comments. He's seeking further feedback. If you'd care to log on and read his response and share your thoughts that would be helpful for him. Thanks!