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Monday, February 1, 2016

The Mickey Finn - Garden Of My Mind (1964-67 uk, awesome mod freak beat with blues flame, 2015 issue)

This British cult band with Mod leanings, The Mickey Finn only put out a handful of singles, and it’s the first time that these (plus a couple of previously unavailable demos) have all been collected together. They were arguably the first British band to try their hands at ska- with their cover version of Bo Diddley’s Pills, included here. A very different interpretation to the rock & roll version by New York Dolls a few years later, this is also the band’s true debut, credited to Mickey Finn and The Blue Men, and also featuring a pre-Zeppelin Jimmy Page on harmonica on both sides of the single. (Although Page played some live dates with the band and was photographed with them, he was never an official member).

Before it was abbreviated, the same band name was also used for their false debut, the instrumental Tom Hark, another ska number (which was made famous a decade and half later by Piranhas, who added lyrics to it). It’s false because the band claim they had no involvement in the making of this record. Despite this, it is still included in the collection, probably because their name is on the original record. Elsewhere we have the R&B stomp that is I Still Want You, the cracking Mod-psych banger that’s the title track of this set, and my personal highlight, the freakbeat head-spinner, Time To Start Loving You.

The Mickey Finn covered a lot of musical ground in their short-lived career, and despite their modest vinyl output. It’s a shame they didn’t record more. An album would have been nice, but they never got around to actually making one: so in the absence of this, it’s good to have the singles all in one place. And the sleeve notes feature an insightful interview with the surviving members of the band. 
by Arash Torabi

1. Pills (Ellas McDaniel) - 2:37
2. I Still Want you (Mickey Waller, Alan Mark) - 2:28
3. Garden Of My Mind (Mickey Waller, Alan Mark, Bernard Jory) - 2:32
4. Night  Comes Down (Shel Talmy, Jon Mark) - 2:12
5. Hush Your Mouth (Jimmy Reed) - 2:38
6. Time To Start Loving You (Mickey Waller, Alan Mark, Bernard Jory, Richard Brand, Fluff Cooke) - 2:41
7. Ain't Necessarily So  (Ira Gershwin, George Gershwin, DuBose Heyward) - 3:19
8. If I Had You Baby (Lori Burton, Pam Sawyer) - 1:51
9. The Sporting Life (Chris Radmall, Shel Talmy) - 2:32
10.Because I Love you (Mis-Credited As I Do Loveyou) (Billy Stewart) - 2:09
11.Reelin' And A'Rockin' (Chuck Berry) - 2:23
12.Stagger Lee  (Lloyd Price, Harold Logan) - 2:28
13.Poverty  (Dave Clark, Pearl Woods) - 3:20
14.Miss Jane  (Bernard Jory) - 2:59
15.God Bless The Child (Billie Holiday, Arthur Herzog) - 2:32
16.Tom Hark (Rupert Bopape) - 2:20
17.Please Love Me (Alan Hawkshaw) - 2:19

*Mickey Waller - Guitar
*Richard Brand - Drums
*John Buckett - Bass
*John Cooke - Keyboards
*Alan Mark - Vocals
*Mick Stannard - Bass
*Rod Clark - Bass
*Bernie Joy - Bass
*Jimmy Page - Harmonica

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