Green Fuz

Rare and obscure music from all sorts of neet-o genres that i like. Garage rock, psychedelic, hard rock, metal, punk. What ever dude.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

The Smoke - ...It's Smoke Time (1967)

I had always thought this band was German, or Dutch. I guess it there were a number of factors including the fact that they are pretty well known, but artn't huge. With a single like "My Frind Jack" I can't see how thay could slip under the rader unless thay were from out side of England. The band members names are Mick Rowley, Geoff Gill, Mal Luker, and Zeke Lund. I figued that with names like Geoff, Mal, and Zeke thay had to be dutch. Also the repressing I have is all in dutch (or German, whatever).

Well it turns out The Smoke were Brittish, but only scored a hit it Germany. How this happend is beyond me becasue aside from their big hit "My Frind Jack" with its mind-warp oscilating fuzz-guitar sound and its none-too-subtle lyrics ("My frind Jack eats shugar lumps"!), many of the other tracks on this album are right up there with The Creation's "Makin' Time" in terms of guitar sound hacking. And they say Pete Townsend "invented" this?


The songs have a fairly standard 60's modish sense of melody, a few fillers, but more than enough fuzz-pop hits. Not all the songs feature knuckle-blistering guitar lines, but if thats what your looking for check out, "You Can't Catch Me", "High In a Room", but don't skip over the rest 'cuz songs like "Wake Up Cherylina" or "It's Just Your Way Of Lovin'" get by on song craft alone.

I have a few of their other singles like "Have Some More Tea" and "Sydney Girl" which are a real shame thay didn't make it onto the album. Maybe I'll put them up too someday, if you ask nicely.

- overview by Denez

Tracklist:
  1. My Friend Jack
  2. Waterfall
  3. You Can't Catch Me
  4. High In A Room
  5. Wake Up Cherylina
  6. Don't Lead Me On
  7. We Can TAke It
  8. If The Weather's Sunny
  9. I Wanna Make It With You
  10. It's Getting Closer
  11. It's Just Your Way Of Lovin'
  12. I Would If I Could But I Can't
128 kbps, ripped from vinyl.

Get it Here.

Download itHere.

NEW LINK! Yippity-Skippity! It works! Now leave a comment on how much you love me!

Brand Spanking NEW LINK! It works. Now leave a comment thanking me. Is complaining about broken links all you can do?

20 Comments:

At 4:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,

Is there any way you can re-up The Smoke LP?


I wanted to get it from you for the longest time but my hardrive crashed and I guess I missed the oppurtunity.

I lost all of my records in a home invasion last year and I'm trying to salvage what I can from the internet and great sites like yours.

I'd really appreciate it if you wouldn't mind uploading it again.

If you'd like to send me a link, my email address is : ecoopinteriors@sympatico.ca


Thanks and great blog!

 
At 7:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could you re-up this please?

 
At 8:43 AM, Blogger NewmRadio said...

This album is really good... proves to me that they were much more than just "My Friend Jack."

 
At 11:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like, good day, eh?
Thanks for the smoke....

 
At 10:59 AM, Anonymous Reno said...

Sugarlump!

Fanx for the great stuff.

Reno

 
At 1:30 PM, Anonymous Rubik said...

What a beautiful album ! Thank you ever so much.

 
At 10:03 AM, Blogger Closed For Private Party said...

thank you thank you thank you! you rule!

 
At 11:31 AM, Anonymous big a said...

can't wait to hear it thanks!! i love your blog brother!

 
At 1:13 PM, Anonymous AIF said...

Hello Rick,
I just stumbled across your comments on The Smoke. Since you asked so nicely to leave a comment I copy+paste a bit of the band's history for your information:

"More than any other band, the Smoke epitomized the groove of Swinging London — which was especially ironic when one considers that, at the height of their success, they sold more records in Europe than England. Their sound fell somewhere between mod and the Beatles — their instrumental attack was somewhat Who/Small Faces-like, yet they delighted in cheerful vocals and infectious harmonies and melodies. Only slightly popular on their home turf, and unknown in the U.S., their biggest success was in Germany (oddly enough, for such a British-sounding group). The band hailed from York, where bassist Zeke Lund and lead guitarist Mal Luker began playing together in a band called Tony Adams & the Viceroys, whose lineup eventually came to include drummer Geoff Gill. Though the band was successful locally, enjoying a decent fan base with a solid, basic rock & roll sound, built on early-'60s songs, Lund, Luker, and Gill could hear the changes going on around them in music, with the rise of Merseybeat and the blues, R&B, and soul-based music coming out of London. They eventually decided to strike out on their own, playing a more ambitious repertory. They linked up late in 1964 with singer Mick Rowley and rhythm guitarist Phil Peacock, refugees from a band called the Moonshots. The resulting band, the Shots, played a hard brand of R&B, similar to what the Small Faces were doing — they were taken on as clients by Jack Segal and Alan Brush, a pair of London-based agents (Segal had the know-how, Brush the financing), who fronted them money for rehearsals and equipment, and got them signed up with independent producer and music publisher Monty Babson, who cut four sides with the group, two of which were issued as a single under license to EMI-Columbia. It was at just about that time that events began breaking against the band — they lost Phil Peacock, who wasn't comfortable with the more complex sounds the rest of the band were interested in generating, and they lost their financing. They gamely decided to carry on as a quartet, the single-guitar configuration lending itself to an edgier sound, and sought new backing.

That was how they ended up in a bizarre management situation, when they were offered a seeming rescue by a pair of twin London-based entrepreneurs, Ron and Reg Kray. Renowned today the world over as notorious gangsters, the Kray brothers have been immortalized in books, including Profession of Violence and Reg's own autobiography Born Fighter, and one feature film (The Krays), and were even memorably satirized in one Monty Python sketch ("The Piranha Brothers"). They were among the top crime kingpins in London at the time, and among their other enterprises, they had an interest in a few clubs, and thought at one point that a more direct participation in the entertainment business might prove lucrative. (And yes, it sounds funny to read it, or even to write it, but that is exactly how Morris Levy, an American gangster and club owner, came to go into the record and publishing business in New York, and ended up founding Roulette Records). Thus, they signed the group and became the Shots' managers, but were never able to do anything with them in terms of bookings — strong-arming clubs for "protection" money was more their specialty than lining up engagements. The band decided to abandon the contract, and when they were served with an injunction, they were left unable to perform.

As luck would have it, however, they still had a publishing and recording contract with Babson and access to his studio, and so they took advantage of their ban on performing by writing and making records. Indeed, thanks to the fact that they were barred from performing as a band, the Shots probably had more free time to write and record than any working group in England (even the Beatles were touring in those days, though not for much longer). It was during this period that they also decided to change their name, dropping the Shots — no one remembered the Moonshots by this time, anyway — in favor of the Smoke. One of the songs they came up with was "My Friend Jack," a mod-flavored psychedelic number authored by Rowley and Gill. With its march beat and mix of shimmering and crunchy reverb-laden guitar, it was a catchy, striking, aggressively trippy work — in America, it would've been called psychedelic punk — that now seems like the most delightfully subversive piece of freakbeat, somewhere midway between the Who's power-chord-drenched teen anthems and the trippy cheerfulness of, say, "Dr. Robert" by the Beatles. Its drug references were so potent that the song had to be rewritten before EMI would touch it; released in February of 1967 — a period in which "Penny Lane" and "Strawberry Fields Forever" were as challenging or ambitious as the label wanted to be — the single only made it to number 45 before being banned by the BBC, limiting it to three weeks on the U.K. charts. In Europe, however, the record soared; the group were also fortunate enough to appear on an installment of the German television show Beat Club, alongside Jimi Hendrix, the Who, and Cliff Bennett & the Rebel Rousers. "My Friend Jack" ended up riding the German pop charts to the top, and earned the Smoke a place on a tour with the Small Faces and the Beach Boys.

They were now stars, although not in the place they'd expected to be. The single charted high in Switzerland, France, and Austria as well, and suddenly there was demand for a Smoke LP in Germany. They delivered this in the form of It's Smoke Time, comprised of the best of the year-old tracks recorded for Babson in the spring, summer, and fall of 1966. The band actually relocated to Germany, while continuing to release records in England — their recording contract was sold to Chris Blackwell in late 1967, and he soon took over their management as well; they were free of their obligations to the Krays by then (who had, in any case, been distracted by a gang war and a prosecution). They cut some fine psychedelia and crossed paths with the members of Traffic in the studio during this period. The end came out of a degree of weariness, after five years of work and perhaps the sincere belief that they'd already enjoyed most of the fruits of their brief pop stardom — they declined to obey a Blackwell summons to return to England for a recording session, and that marked the effective end of their history, at least as a classic British beat/freakbeat outfit. Mick Rowley remained in Germany, where, as the voice and frontman for the band, he had a natural following. Luker, Gill, and Lund did finally return home and went to work for Babson's Morgan Studios, working in various bands within Babson's orbit, including Blue Mink, Orange Bicycle, and Fickle Pickle. A latter-day version of the Smoke — principally organized around Zeke Lund — surfaced in a distinctly '70s mode early in the ensuing decade but made no great impression on anyone. Meanwhile, "My Friend Jack" lingered in the memory of music mavens for its cheerful brand of psychedelic punk, and even It's Smoke Time — an incredible obscurity outside of Germany — enjoyed a reputation as one of the most cheerful records ever made."

(AIF: Unfortunately I can't remember who wrote these comments, nor where I found them.)

 
At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

reup once more please? :)

 
At 9:29 PM, Blogger zen said...

the link is dead, that's so pity. Can you post its link again? -Smile-

 
At 11:44 PM, Blogger nick beef said...

Ok, I'm uploading the file again and there will be a new link in tomorrow.

later,
denez!!

 
At 9:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wooo! I love "The Smoke". And I ask me... If you can upload "Have some more tea" ? Thanx so much.

 
At 8:22 PM, Anonymous Child of the Desert Sun said...

The love keeps rolling in.
Thank you from a child of the desert. Onward, towards the next revolution.

 
At 1:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the new link. Buddyhead just put this on a top 50 list, by the way.

 
At 12:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks a lot!

 
At 11:54 AM, Anonymous Kamagra said...

men thanks for the list and the name of the disc and all the information, you complete the final piece, now I have all the need information to end my collection,

 
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