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Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Feminine Complex - Livin' Love (1969 us, excellent all girl teenagebeat, rev ola remaster with bonus tracks)

The Feminine Complex formed 1966 while the girls were attending Maplewood High School in Nashville, Tennessee. They released two singles and one album, "Livin' Love". There was even a rumour that they were a fictional band, and the material had been recorded quite recently by various American indie luminaries! This despite the original 1969 Athena Records album undoubtedly existing, and fetching astronomical figures

In fact, The Feminine Complex were an all-girl garage band, a rarity in Nashville, to be sure. They were even heavily featured on various TV shows including the nationally-syndicated "Showcase '68" and the local "Nashville Now". The Feminine Complex made one of the few genuine girls-in-the-garage albums (all original songs too!) in a time when the 45 was king (queen?), and an extraordinary album it is too, as extraordinary indeed as the story of the band.

Livin' Love is a breathtaking album of raw passion and energy. Astonishingly, it contains all original Feminine Complex songs, penned mostly by Mindy Dalton. Recorded in 1968, there is a strong sense of mind-altering musing displayed throughout Dalton's prose, which she denied carried with it any drug connotations. Even though the record is a polished outing, due mainly to the experienced backing-band brought in, there is no question that Dalton's songs demonstrated a considerable emerging talent, deserving of an "A-list" ranking in the league table of late-sixties' female rock stars. Sadly, Livin' Love came and went unnoticed; the original all-girl roster of the Feminine Complex disbanded amicably, and that was that.

Collecting valuable collector's points over the years by reaching a 'very-rare' status, Livin' Love has finally been re-released on compact disc by saviours-of-all-reissues Rev-Ola, and they have bestowed upon us a fabulous package that expertly extends the Feminine Complex appreciation.

The original album featured eleven songs, and yet this reissue contains a further eleven bonus tracks which greatly extend Livin' Love's charm. The album's opening three numbers are delicately alluring, with a brooding seductiveness that betrays Livin' Love's punch on later numbers. Now I Need You is a swirling cry of desperation, whilst the refraining Are You Lonesome Like Me? possesses a startling songwriting maturity from Dalton; the song could feature on any of Dusty Springfield's better albums and you'd believe it were penned by Lieber & Stoller.

I Won't Run powers up the tempo scales with dashing freneticism and powerful rhythm chords. Exemplary throughout the album are the backing vocals - drenched in reverb, which add a very welcome leftfield edge. Run That Through Your Mind, I Don't Want Another Man and the powerhouse I've Been Working On You signal the very best late-sixties Aretha, suggesting the band’s versatility. It's Magic has a psychedelic ambiance that is ripped apart by a delicious chorus, complete with off-kilter vocal backing. Only the Jean Williams songForgetting shows its age, with too much twee emphasis.

The Feminine Complex would have been better advised to replace Forgetting with another Williams song, Love Love Love, which was more fitting to the musical tones of the album and has thankfully been included as a bonus track on this reissue. Time Slips By is certainly the most experimental song on the original album lineup, and yet the overt panning of shimmering sound effects and the rhythmic borrowings of Love’s The Daily Planet form an especially interesting closer to Livin’ Love.

The original eleven songs on Livin’ Love do enough to justify high praise, and yet this expanded Rev-Ola package pushes the boundaries even further. The eleven bonus tracks comprise of unreleased songs by the Complex and some worthy stripped-down demos. Many of them deserve a place on the original Livin’ Love, particularly Hold My Hand. The stark two-track demos, featuring vocals on one channel and a sole electric guitar on the other, are simplistic, unrefined beauty and demonstrate a splendid raw talent that sadly was not given the chance to develop.

At least the album is “out there” again, back in the public awareness section where it undoubtably belongs. From late-sixties bands such as Jefferson Airplane to modern bands across the Atlantic such as Electrelane, there are traces of The Feminine Complex’s sound. Whilst they never were allowed to be influential, they certainly showed that they were one of the most innovative. Livin’ Love is easily one of the best reissues we have yet to see from Rev-Ola.
by Raphael Pour-Hashemi

1. Hide And Seek - 3:46
2. Now I Need You - 3:36
3. Are You Lonesome Like Me? - 2:59
4. I Won't Run - 3:24
5. Six O'Clock In The Morning - 3:28
6. Run That Through Your Mind - 2:35
7. It's Magic - 2:40
8. I Don't Want Another Man - 2:34
9. Forgetting (Jean Williams) - 2:17
10. I've Been Workin' on You - 2:40
11. Time Slips By - 4:25
Bonus Tracks
12. Hold My Hand - 3:45
13. Love Love Love (Jean Williams) - 2:32
14. I've Been Workin' on You (Demo) - 2:52
15. Hold Me  (Demo) - 3:38
16. Now I Care - 3:06
17. Summer Morning - 2:37
18. Warmth of Your Smile - 2:02
19. Are You Lonesome Like Me?  (Demo) - 2:38
20. Time Slips By  (Demo) - 2:26
21. Is This a Dream? - 2:57
22. Movin' - 2:08
All Songs Written by Mindy Dalton, except where indicated.

The Feminine Complex
*Mindy Dalton - Guitar, Vocals
*Judi Griffith - Tambourine, Vocals
*Lana Napier - Drums, Vocals
*Pame Stephens - Organ, Vocals
*Jean Williams - Bass, Vocals

Free Text


justme said...

This is one spectacular album for sure. I got this a year ago and have played it many times. It is absolutely amazing that a group of high school girls could write, sing and play all the instruments to make this album. The original ripper of my copy is Mook45. I didn't download yours to see if it is the same rip. This is a very nice blog Marios. If I had any computer skills I might would give one a try. I'm too old and senile to learn anything new. Take care man!!

Nagle said...

Incredible post!!! An all girl garage band that played their own instruments & wrote all their own material!!! And it's not just a novelty record either, they sound really good! I'm really learning a lot here. Thanks a lot for sharing & turning me on to some new sounds... I really appreciate it!

trismegistos said...

Ευχαριστώ Μάριε, σπάνιο κομμάτι.

Marios said...

Hi my friend Justme,
it's never too late, thanx for your good words, unfortunately this isn't your rip (I didn't find anywhere written Mook45) I wish it could be.

justme said...

I don't think Mook45 puts anything in his rips to show that he ripped them but I can't remember for sure. And it really doesn't matter anyway. Once it is shared on a site it finds it way around. I ripped and posted a 3cd set and 2 days later it was on dozens of sites. lol

This particular album is really one of my favorite. I like all the tracks. I had a mp3 copy of a vinyl rip and played it quite a few times before Mook45 posted his lossless rip. I looked on ebay a few times for a vinyl but haven't looked lately.

btw, a couple of days ago I got a vinyl copy (still sealed!!) of Robin McNamara - Lay A Little Lovin' On Me (1970) that I bought on ebay. That album is so popular that I was the only person that bid on it. Yep. It's in such demand that it has never been released on cd and you can't give away a LP unless I'm online. It is so good that the original owner didn't even open it! lol

btw, I posted quite a few things at avax. Lots of my cd rips, a few vinyl rips, and lots of cd rips that I found on the net. I plainly marked which ones are my rips and which are not. Stop by and see me sometime.

Best wishes!

Marios said...

in case you have also uploaded the artwork scan as a PDF format, then could possible be your upload and i would be glad to Thank you for that,
also if there are any other your uploads
that posted here please inform me.
Thank you for everything.
PS. I do feel grateful for the original uploaders but with all these sources (torrents etc) I'm losing it a bit.

justme said...

No sir Marios! You have misunderstood me! I did not rip this cd! I meant that my "COPY" came from Mook45 and you thanked the original uploader. I was just saying that your copy may have also came from him. He did do the artwork in PDF or PNG. You had a choice from him in the original post. I thought that you may know of Mook45 and not been aware that he was the original ripper. Yes, it is impossible to keep up with the rippers. It gets ripped and shared, shared again, put on torrents, and then someone finds it and doesn't even realize the original ripper is someone he knows. I thought there was a chance you knew of Mook45 (real name is Mike). That is all I was saying.

If you check out my posts at Avax and see anything you are interested in, well, that's why I posted it. If it is my rip or not it doesn't matter. Feel free to post anything I have shared on your blog. My rips have been put on many blogs without my permission and I don't care. I'm sure your rips have too. That's what happens. I don't mind if people I don't know put my rips on their blogs, I certainly don't mind if someone I do know does it. But again, this is not my rip!

But is is one fantastic album imho. I just love it!

It's almost 4 in the morning here so I am going back to bed. My connection is so slow that I have the computer running all the time and make adjustments whenever I wake up. lol I had it uploading and I woke up so I checked and it had finished. I surfed a minute and put it to downloading and now back to bed. Take care man!

ARGS said...

Mάριε τι δισκάρα είναι αυτή? To "It's magic" είναι όντως μαγικό! Χίλια ευχαριστώ φίλε!!!

Mr. Clem said...

Marios, just thought I'd mention this had the Cue sheet for a mp3 file. Just had to edit the end of the 3rd line of the cue to read:

(1969)flac" wave

and all worked out well.

Marios said...

Mr. Clem,
Thank you for the tip, I've just checked my saved files and had no problem with the cue sheet, I suppose you saying that was some fault in zipping and uploading procedure? I'll download the links to see what's wrong.
Thank you.
PS. i didn't analyze the files but to my ears they seem to be lossless.

Mr. Clem said...

The file was indeed lossless (FLAC). The Cue file I downloaded (I'm doing this from memory as I overwrote the original when I edited) had line 3 as:

FILE "The Feminine Complex - Livin Love (1969)mp3" mp3

so ImgBurn could not find the target file as it was FLAC. I just posted my solution in case anyone else had a problem.

Once again, thanks for all the hard work you do here.

mscmichael said...

I've been looking for this wonderful album. Thanks very much for this expanded edition...

Marios said...

......Girls are back in town.....