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Plain and Fancy

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Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Action - The Ultimate Action (1964-1990 uk, pleasant soul oriented mod beat)

The Action hailed from Kentish Town in London. Formed in 1963, they were originally a quartet known as The Boys, and were a back-up band for singer Sandra Barry. Under this guise, they released tow 45's, one with Barry and one as The Boys - both unsuccessful - before changing their name in 1965. At that time Reggie King was the lead guitarist. Following the change of the groups' name came a change in personnel when Watson joined as lead guitarist, allowing King to concentrate on his vocal duties. (Watson would be replaced by Martin Stone in 1966).

In 1965, they were spotted and signed by the Beatles' producer, George Martin and the group built up a strong following among the mods in the clubs. In live performance they were good enough to be serious rivals to The Who and The Small Faces. But despite having this in their favour, the recordings they issued, although strong enough, mysteriously failed to reach the charts.

They were the most soul-oriented of the mod groups, favouring guitar-driven covers of Motown tunes and standard R&B dance numbers of the day such as "Land Of 1,000 Dances". Under Martin's guidance, emphasis was placed on Reggie King's blue-eyed soul voice and the group's harmonies. Their later original material shows an increased sophistication in both songwriting and production.

The Action's sound was something akin to a more soul-oriented version of the Small Faces.  In 1967 Reggie King left to pursue a solo career with keyboardist Ian Whitman replacing him. This led to another change of name, this time to Azoth, before they evolved into Mighty Baby and eventually disbanded altogether in the early 1970s.

1. I'll Keep Holding On (Ivy Jo Hunter, William Stevenson) - 3:41
2. Harlem Shuffle (Bob Relf, Earl Lee Nelson) - 3:14
3. Never Ever (Alan King, Mike Evans, Reg King, Roger Powell) - 2:22
4. Twenty Fourth Hour (Alan King, Mike Evans, Reg King, Roger Powell) - 2:38
5. Since I Lost My Baby (Smokey Robinson, Warren Moore) - 3:42
6. My Lonely Room (Brian Holland, Edward Holland, Jr., Lamont Dozier) - 2:41
7. Hey-sah-lo-ney (Bernie Lane, John Linde, Mickey Lee Lane) - 2:28
8. Wasn't It You (Carole King, Gerry Goffin) - 2:51
9. Come On, Come With Me (Alan King, Mike Evans, Reg King, Roger Powell) - 2:23
10. Just Once In My Life (Carole King, Gerry Goffin, Phil Spector) - 2:56
11. Shadows And Reflections (Larry Marks, Tandyn Almer) - 2:52
12. Something Has Hit Me (Nick Jones, Reg King) - 3:28
13. The Place (Jack Hammer) - 2:33
14. The Cissy (Alan King) - 2:22
15. Baby You Got It (Maurice McAlister, Terry Vail) - 2:42
16. I Love You (Yeah) (Curtis Mayfield) - 3:19
17. Land Of 1,000 Dances (Chris Kenner, Fats Domino) - 2:51

The Action
*Reggie King - Vocals
*Peter Watson - Lead Guitar
*Alan "Bam" King - Rhythm Guitar
*Mike Evans - Bass
*Roger Powell - Drums

Free Text


Remy said...

This is a terrific compilation. I snagged it at the greatly missed (still there but evidently inactive) Oldish Psych and Prog blog earlier this year.

Difficult to believe this is the same band that morphed into Mighty Baby, although I suppose the change was no greater than that experienced by many other bands during the same time span.

Nagle said...

Thanks again Marios for another wonderful post! I have this on cd, & was actually listening to it the other week... but may pick up this flac version. The Actions music was genuine & heartfelt. The vocals are incredible, so much soul & the instrumentation is tight! They sang & played with such conviction. I didn't know about how the band evolved, so that was nice to read. Excellent post!

Brain Police said...

Thank you, Marios for this great album, thanks to your blog I just discovered Mighty Baby!!

Marios said...


Memphis said...

Thank you. I can't believe how good these guys were.