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Monday, May 2, 2011

Remo Four - Smile (1967-68 uk, great Tony Ashton in a verygood mersey beat, with mod, jazzy funky pshych groovie feeling, remastered with bonus tracks)



The Remo Four had started out at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, playing country music. It was originally called Johnny Sandon And the Remo Four. When Sandon left the group decided to recruit a keyboard player and the line up included Ashton (piano), Phil Rogers (bass), Colin Manley (vocals, guitar) and Roy Dyke (drums).

The Remo Four was sent to the Star Club in Hamburg to take over from The Beatles, which was as close as Tony got to join the Fab Four. “We were a completely different band. More jazz based” recalled Tony later. While they were in Hamburg they were approached by Polydor Records and they recorded their first album ‘Smile’ (1966) in just two days with Tony using the studio’s Hammond organ.

The Remo Four were such a hit in Hamburg they stayed there for two years appearing on TV and at clubs. On returning to the UK they were set to working backing Billy J.Kramer in cabaret. Rebelling against the pop tunes they had to play, Ashton and drummer Roy Dyke contrived to get the sack and set about forming their own group. Before the Remo Four split however, they backed George Harrison on his solo album ‘Wonderwall’.
by Chris Welch

 Tracks
1. Heart Beat - 4:14
2. Skate - 3:54
3. No Money Down - 4:21
4. Rock Candy - 3:36
5. 7th Son - 2:42
6. Roadrunner - 3:27
7. Brother Where Are You - 4:35
8. Jive Samba - 6:56
9. Nothin's Too Good For My Baby - 2:41
10.Peter Gunn - 2:26
11.Mickey's Monkey - 2:11
12.Live Like A Lady - 2:31
13.Sing Hallelujah - 3:37
14.Dancing And Singing - 2:11
15.Sing Hallelujah Alternate Take - 4:05
16.Live Like A Lady Alternate Take - 2:30
17.Live Like A Lady Instrumental Version - 2:26

Remo Four
*Tony Ashton - Vocals, Piano, Hammond Organ
*Phil Rogers - Bass
*Colin Manley - Vocals, Guitar
*Roy Dyke - Drums

Free Text

9 comments:

adamus67 said...

Hi Marios
I admit that I really like this album Yep,amazing music I'm really happy, my heart is beating fast, I'm shaking.....gosh... I love this period in history.
the Remo Four were lost to the darkest corners of Merseybeat history, with only See For Miles 1992 compilation The Best of Tommy Quickly, Johnny Sandon, Gregory Phillips & The Remo Four - a disc featuring singers the group backed, along with a handful of their tracks - being the only reissue to surface until Bear Family's 2010 Smile!, Peter Gunn.And More. Only one of the songs on that '92 disc - a cover of "Peter Gunn" - is on this '10 CD, which contains the entirety of their 1967 LP Smile!, released only in Germany, and singles surrounding the album. The Remo Four were in something of a time warp in '66 and '67. While their contemporaries were enjoying the fruits of swinging London, the quartet were stuck in Hamburg playing the Star Club, working off an enormous debt to their management company NEMS along with a tax bill. They were working hard, playing upwards of four times a night, delivering Merseybeat with a hard, jazzy R&B edge. In a sense, they hadn't moved forward from the glory days of Merseybeat, relying on driving crowd-pleasing floor-filling covers, but the constant playing gave the group a deep, muscular groove and jazz chops credible enough that they could play Oscar Brown Jr's "Brother Where Are You" and Cannonball Adderly's "Jive Samba" as convincingly as they could pound out Chuck Berry's "No Money Down" or stomp along with Stevie Wonder's "Nothin's Too Good For My Baby." This makes Smile! and its accompanying singles rather unique: ostensibly this is generic British R&B, but the Remo Four swing with an authority that no other British Invasion band had, probably because they never would have had the chance to stretch out the studio the way the group did here, cutting the entire LP in an afternoon between one of those never-ending club gigs. Add to that a really nifty gender-bending original in "Live Like a Lady" - its growling guitar sweetened by organ - and this is an unexpected delight, one of the better undiscovered British rock artifacts of the `60s.
*(Single for track from the 1969 psychedelic movie 'Wonderwall' that George Harrison did the soundtrack to. A prime slice of British psych that George produced, it features Colin Manley and Tony Ashton with Harrison also playing (and also possibly on backing vocals). Contains two versions of 'In The First Place' (Original Abbey Road Mix & Movie Mix), both produced by Harrison. Slimline jewelcase. 1999 Pilar release.)
Thanks a lot for reviving this beauty!
Yours sincerely...Adam

lif said...

Thank you for this .Always been a fan of their backing work so I'm Sure this will be wonderful.
Thankyou for all your hard work

DanP said...

Well the historical connections here are pretty interesting!

mscmichael said...

Great album. I've never the bonus tracks. Thanks very much...

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this album.
[tutemachine]

Piotr Kosecki said...

Hey, can I ask for re-up? Thanks ^^

chico said...

Nice one stuff,thanks for re-up.

Marios said...

.....Smile....

Piotr Kosecki said...

Thanks! :)