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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Various Artists - The IKON Records Story (1964-66 us, cool cryptic garage pearls, double disc set)



Sacramento-based Ikon Records is one of those labels that makes obsessive garage collectors squirm and sweat, stammering phrases to each other like "only three known copies, dude" or that most dreaded, tear-choked revelation: "there's only one known copy!" Because of their scarcity, even by local indie garage label standards, Ikon 45s have largely eluded the garage compilation-makers, so the label's output has been something of a secret shared by just a few elite high rollers and clued-in Sacramento locals. 

No hype, my friends: YES! This is hands-down the best '60s garage reissue of the year, filling the requirements of both historical significance and, more importantly, musical excitement. The Madd, Inc provide the immediate standout with the jaw-dropping "I'll Be the One." It's got an assertive lead vocal, two cool, locked-in guitar parts, a tight, rhythmic groove, and a dangerously tense mood snapped apart by a killer fast-fingered Drake Levinesque guitar break. No two ways about it: it's a frickin' MONSTER. While not in the same league as "I'll Be the One," the same band's secret agent themed "Sooperspy" and the wiry instrumental "Batman A Go Go" are also rather good.

More fantastic garage band thrills are drummed up by the Mergers ("Love, You Funny Thing"), the Kee-Notes (a great arrangement of "St James Infirmary"), the Styx ("My Girl"; not the Temptations song), the Knightsmen ("Daddy Was A Rolling Stone"; not the Temptations song either), the Denny & Kenny Duo (the ultra rockin' "Meet My Little Sweety"), the Sons of Sound ("I'm Coming Home"), and the Prophets (the up-tempo but oddly plaintive "You Wonder Why"). Bluesier fare is dished out by the Parish Hall Blues Quintet ("Smokestack Lightning" and a decent cover of the Pretty Things' "I Can Never Say") while solid surf/instro sounds are provided by the Nervous Kats, the Cautions, the Avanti's and the Marauders.

Those looking for minor key magic will be well-pleased too when they get a load of jewels like the Yo Yoz' exceptional, Zombies-flavored "Leave Me Alone," the Bristols' "She's Gone Away," the Shondells "It's True" and the Mergers' "I'll Be On My Way." This two-disc set come with a 28-page booklet jammed with full-color photos, label shots and abundant liner notes by Alec, Joey and others.


Artists - Tracks
Disc 1
1.Ikon - Intro - 0:47
2.Madd Inc. - I'll Be The One - 2:38
3.Shondells - Something's Got A Hold Of Me - 2:39
4.Eirik Wangberg - Every Night I Dream A Little - 2:25
5.Nervous Kats - Surf Express - 2:05
6.Bristols - She's Gone Away - 2:14
7.Mergers - Love, You Funny Thing - 2:44
8.Avanti's - Countdown - 1:48
9.Bobbies - Truck - 2:19
10.Yo Yoz - Leave Me Alone - 3:11
11.The Knightsmen - Fever - 2:55
12.Styx, The - My Girl - 2:32
13.Kee-Notes - St. James Infirmary - 2:53
14.R.C. And The Tambourines - Quirk - 2:23
15.Shondells - I Cried Last Night - 1:54
16.Cautions - Surfer's Beach - 2:18
17.John Rosasco Quartet - Come Running To Me - 2:15
18.Townsmen - High Heel Sneakers - 2:36
19.Moss And The Rocks - There She Goes - 4:46
20.Nervous Kats - Simba - 2:05
21.Prophets - It's All Over Now - 3:28
22.Parish Hall Blues - Smokestack Lightning - 4:09
23.Versatiles - Pretty Girls - 3:01
24.Unknown Artist - Gloria - 2:40
25.Russ Olson - Sorry About That - 2:09
26.Denny And Kenny Duo - I Love You So - 2:49
27.Madd, Inc. - Batman - 2:49
28.Avanti's - Too Much - 2:37
29.Marauders - Intro-Surf Jam - 2:24
30.Marauders - Carol - 2:56


Disc 2
1.The Knightsmen - Daddy Was A Rolling Stone - 2:51
2.Denny And Kenny Duo - Meet My Little Sweety - 2:53
3.Prophets - You Wonder Why - 2:58
4.Madd, Inc. - Sooperspy - 2:59
5.Unknown Artist - Searching - 2:32
6.Nervous Kats - Chong - 2:16
7.Parish Hall Blues Quintet - I Can Never Say - 2:58
8.Shondells - It's True - 2:51
9.Eirik Wangberg - You Woman - 2:33
10.Townsmen - Leaving Me - 2:30
11.John Rosasco Quartet - The Shift - 1:47
12.Sons Of Sound - I'm Coming Home - 3:16
13.Cautions - Groovin' - 2:26
14.Yo Yoz - Stay With Me - 2:36
15.Avanti's - What's Wrong With Me - 2:12
16.Sel-Sync - The Fire Is Gone - 2:13
17.Beau Jesse - Tell Her That You Love Her - 1:55
18.Kee-Notes - Please Don't Tell Me No - 2:31
19.Eirik And The Secret Agents - Sorry About That - 2:33
20.Townsmen - What Have I Done - 3:23
21.Fabulous Futuras - When You Ask About Love - 1:47
22.Dirk Hamilton - Happiness - 3:24
23.Bobbies - Orangutang - 2:04
24.Mergers - I'll Be On My Way - 2:32
25.Mymes - You Lose Girl - 2:20
26.Moss And The Rocks - Please Come Back - 3:23
27.Styx, The - Stay Away - 2:56
28.Madd, Inc. - Batman A Go Go - 2:42
29.Checkmates Ltd. - Do It To Deff - 4:06
30.Ikon - Outro -  0:39

Free Text

12 comments:

Remy said...

Thanks so much Marios, I can barely wait to hear this!

sorogan said...

Thank you VERY MUCH Cudawaver + Marios !!

sparkler said...

Awesome! Thank you so much Cuda and Marios! A fantastic comp and I'm thrilled for this upgrade!

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot !

Chris

sfdoomed said...

Such a killer comp! A huge "Grazi!" to Marios and Cudawaver!

aldo said...

Superb comp!
One of the best for my money of the last few years, when it comes to US Garage...another fantastic one is the Fenton records story, Scream Loud!

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much Marios!

Anonymous said...


Super posting Marios

All the best, Albert

Robinthehood said...

Hi any chance you could repost the links in flac as they've been removed, Awesome blog by the way you've posted some really cool tunes :)

Marios said...

......Ikon...Story...Fixed......

Robinthehood said...

Thanks

Dirk Hamilton said...

The first song I ever wrote was the horrible TRUCK for THE Bobbies ('sacramento's only english beat' according to the fruitridge drive in where we opened for John Wayne in 'In Harms Way'. And TIME and HAPPINESS were my second and third offerings recorded at IKON under my own name both equally dreadful. I got better. Just released my 19th album this month.