Just received this cd today.
A new cd mainly of posthumous recordings for a unreleased album in 1967 by the band Living Daylights,who in their own lifetime only managed 2 UK 45s and a October 67 French EP release,before they became just another band who got a record deal but sadly faded,with members going onto other things like the band Greatest Show On Earth who subsequently issued 2 prog albums in 1970.
There it seems was only one acetate copy of those recordings,and so we have here 55 years after their initial recording,THAT album.Albeit not in superior sound quality we selfishly expect in the 2000s,what does one expect from a 55 year old sole acetate?
I will say Grapefruit have done a SPLENDID job of rescuing this album,and have miracalously managed to make this sound on par with many other posthumous vintage recordings like The Onyx,Mandrake Paddlesteamer,The Action,The Attack,The Late,Angel Pavement et al.
A small mention of a back story,the group where signed to Dick James Music,who had publishing rights for The Beatles and the song"Lets Live For Today",hence the Beatles covers,and the liners also cover the long convoluted saga concerning THAT song,from The Rokes Italian lyrical version,to a rewrite of the lyrics,and its eventual release by Living Daylights,but no matter what,it was Dick James who would benefit if it became a big hit.
It is well worth paying the £11 for,as the album itself,in mono and stereo by the way,contains some smashing commercial sounding mod into psychedelia.
"Let's Live For Today"-Was already in the can,before the band recorded the other songs that feature on the acetate album,their version is good,but again,not straying too far from The Rokes in musical terms.
"It's Real"(aka I'm Real)-Maybe a lazy comparison,but this has a certain Who quality or in fact early Mirage,but certainly lighter in sound than The Who,so yes a lazy comparison,but its a bouncy 66 sounding mod pop affair,with little sign of the psychedelia that was becoming the "in" thing.with nice Byrdsian guitar lines in there!
"Cos I'm Lonely"-A Caleb Quaye song,and sounds better in stereo than mono,this could be called a psych ballad,it's a rather neatly arranged number,but the stereo version does sound more compressed and more lysergic in vibe.
"Up So High"which is awash with fuzzed up guitar,fab drumming and an overall modpsych vibe,with excellent guitar solos,this is a great find in the canon of 67 UK psychedelia.A real highlight of this cd.
"Say You Dont Mind"is a Denny Laine song that was a single for him at the time,is given a more roughly shewn treatment with high pitched vocals at times,and a real bass heavy hard and noisy rendition,which i reaaly like.
"Jane"is top class mod gone odd,and veering into psychedelia with a nice chorus and refrain,and a fab 67 studio sound,and a rather tasty guitar solo,this really could've been a chart heading piece of 67 swinging london quainty popness.
"What'cha Gonna Do About It"is ok,nothing spectacular as a cover,sticks to the tried sand tested version we all know,and really adds nothing to the original.Low point of the cd.
"Getting Better"a cover from at the time the newly released Beatles album Sgt Pepper,is given a near photocopy musically of The Beatles version,but with less polish and expense,but they do an agreeable and an early cover from THAT album.
"I'll Be Back"is a strange choice to cover as it comes from the Beatles A Hard Days Night,which seems a miles away from dayglo and kaleidodscopic London,but they do a good job,but c'mon how you going to beat The Beatles at their own game?Or maybe this is another Dick James suggestion or order?
"If I Had My Way"is another psych period topper,again this feels like a mix of pop,mod and veering on commercial psych,with trebley wobbly guitar parts,but again this is good and saleable 67 period bendy pop.
"Always With Him",one of the best numbers on this cd,a tough commercial sounding mod psycher,with plenty of groove,and again that wobbly guitar making an appearance,it's great to know that fab uk psych numbers like this are still unknown to me.
The April 67 UK single Let's Live For Today/It's Real(mistitled as I'm real)Did nothing commercially as it lost out to The Grass Roots hit.
The October 67 UK single Baila Maria/Always With Him,did nothing,but Baila Maria is like something Howard/Blaikely would write for DD,D,B,M &T,its not bad,it's just not what Living Daylights seemed to be about.
In essence the numbers written by the band members are the BEST things on this cd,they are It's Real,Up So High,Jane,If I Had My Way and Always With Him.Unfortunately like many unknown bands at this time,they were supplied with covers,which just may benefit the publisher who had just signed them,compared to their own written songs and sound,some off those covers may have nothing in common with their own sound,which really is so unfortunate as i'd loved to have heard more of their own songs,and wish they were left to their own devices as the 5 songs they do provide are top notch period pieces.
A for the package,it's a digipak,with informative and indepth liners replete with 45 sleeves,45s record labels and unfortunately only 3 photos of Living Daylights,but theres a fab
promo poster shown in the booklet,but as usual with Grapefruit ,its another winner in looks and content.