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Let Them Show You: RPM Highlights 1960s’ International Acts with Four New Releases

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ShanesRPM Records has recently released four CDs charting the history of three acts that might not have gained much international attention outside of their home countries, but are still worthy of attention.  From Sweden, RPM has an anthology for The Shanes and two expanded editions of The Mascots’ only two LPs; from France comes the complete recordings of the chanteuse known as Pussy Cat.  Each of these releases is designed to bring greater attention to these little-known artists.

The Shanes hailed from the town of Kiruna in the northern part of Sweden.  The band was made up of members Tommy Wahlburg (vocals, guitars), Svante Elfgren (bass), Tor-Erik Rautio (drums) and Staffan Berggren (vocals, guitars).   Taking their name from the 1953 Alan Ladd western Shane, the group began as an instrumental outfit first hitting the charts in 1963 with “Gunfight Saloon.”  Their direction changed after opening for the Beatles in 1964 in Stockholm.  Moving away from instrumentals they morphed into a rougher R&B direction, eventually akin to The Animals or Manfred Mann while also writing almost all of their material.  This new direction paid off when the single “Let Me Show You Who I Am” hit the top of Sweden’s Tio I topp charts.  After that release, the group became a quintet when vocalist Lennart Grahn joined.   An LP entitled Let Us Show You! was released to capitalize on the single’s success.  In April, 1965, the single “I Don’t Want Your Love” hit the charts and went to No. 6 in Sweden.  It was released in the U.K., but, alas, failed to gain any chart traction.  The band itself would go to London to record the single “Chris-Craft No.9” at Abbey Road Studios.  The memorable February 1967 single would hit No. 2 on the Swedish charts; it was much later included by Now Sounds on the label’s first Book a Trip: The Psych Pop Sounds of Capitol Records collection.  Amidst some personnel changes, the band began to move in a more pop direction and most of its members were called in military service in late 1967 for 10 months.  Against a changing musical scene in Sweden, the group eventually broke up in 1969.  RPM’s Let Them Show You: The Anthology 1964-1967 provides a look at the group’s heyday covering material from five LPs and various singles.

Your MascotsThe Beatles also had a large influence on another group to hit the Swedish charts in the mid-60s:  The Mascots.  Seeing John, Paul, George and Ringo at their first Stockholm appearance in October of 1963 spurred the group into a direction which would make them a success.  The Mascots had gone through several names and permutations before that 1963 date but firmed up a line-up consisting of Anders Forsslund (vocals, bass), Rolf “Boffe” Adolfsson (vocals, drums), Gunnar Idering (vocals, guitars) and Stefan Ringbom (vocals, guitars).  The group was quite young with the members ranging in ages from 14-16; they were students at Adolf Fredericks Musikklasser, a Swedish music school.  The band began writing their own material in English and Swedish and won a competition in 1964 which led to radio airplay and eventually to a contract with Decca Records.   They even got to perform with their idols, The Beatles, at the same 1964 show as The Shanes!   The Mascots continued releasing singles, evolving to a sound closer to that of The Zombies.  Their first LP was released in 1965 entitled Your Mascots.  It included twelve tracks, six of which had previously been singles.  RPM has expanded this record with an additional nine single sides, including one which was withdrawn at the time.  Later in 1965, the song “Words Enough to Tell You” was released on a flexi-disc for Swedish teen magazine Bild journalen and was voted the winner among the disc’s contents (including beating out a song by The Shanes).

After the jump: more on The Mascots, plus, we ask: What’s New, Pussy Cat?  We also have full track listings with discography for all releases!

EllpeeContinuing to release singles while their sound was developing with different influences, such as psychedelia and the hard mod sound of The Who, The Mascots released their second LP in 1966, entitled Ellpee.  It had fourteen songs, five of which had appeared before on 45.  After that release, things began changing for the band.  While they still released singles and tried to have hits while moving between record labels, they became more politically charged to reflect the changing culture in Sweden.  Eventually they moved into a more progressive direction before retiring the name Mascots in 1969.  Going through several name changes, the group became Fria Proteatern in 1971.  RPM’s expanded Ellpee contains the original LP on the first disc and singles from slightly before that record all the way up to when the group changed its name on the second disc.

Pussy CatBorn in Paris in 1947, Evelyne Courtois had formed France’s first all-female rock band by the time she was 17 in 1964.  Signed to RCA, Les Petites Souris (The Little Mice) recorded a single EP of original material in 1965.  However, the band soon broke up and by 1966, Courtois was a solo act under the name of Pussy Cat, taken from the Tom Jones song “What’s New Pussycat?”  (She would later tour in support of Jones!).  Between 1966 and 1969, she released four EPs and three singles, a reflection of the EP’s status as the preferred model of release in France at the time.   Amidst the sound of mod-beat, Pussy Cat’s recordings mixed originals with French language versions of songs by The Small Faces, The Hollies, The Zombies, The Raiders and Herman’s Hermits, among others.  After 1969, Courtois gave up the stage name and moved into songwriting and behind-the-scenes work.  RPM’s new release collects her complete recordings from 1966-1969, including the Les Petites Souris EP and two unreleased tracks.

These four releases from RPM all feature new liner notes by Kieron Tyler.  The Shanes CD features a new interview with Tommy Wahlberg and the Mascots CDs feature a new interview with Stefan Rinbom.  All of the CDs have been remastered by Simon Murphy and feature discographical information on the back covers.  If you would like to explore a little-known part of the international pop scene from the mid-to-late 1960s, these releases are for you!

The Shanes, Let Them Show You: The Anthology 1964-1967 (RPM CD Retro950, 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

  1. Let Me Show You Who I Am
  2. Say You Want Me
  3. Come On Sally
  4. The Shanegang
  5. My Lover Baby
  6. I Don’t Want Your Love
  7. Crazy Country Hop
  8. It’s Allright Babe
  9. Roadrunner
  10. Don’t Try to Make A Fool of Me
  11. I Won’t Untie You
  12. She’s Ashamed of Me
  13. A Young Man
  14. People Don’t Like Me
  15. Where Can She Be
  16. Blue Feeling (Single Version)
  17. Like Before
  18. Why Should I Cry
  19. When Love is Gone
  20. Chris Craft No. 9 (Single Version)
  21. You’ll Never Know
  22. I’ve Got It Bad

Tracks 1-5 from Let Us Show You! Columbia SSX1011, 1964
Track 6 from Columbia single DS2264, 1965
Track 7 from Columbia single DS2271, 1965
Track 8 from Columbia single DS2278, 1965
Track 9 from Shanes-Moonlighters Live! Columbia EP SEGS138, 1965
Tracks 10-15 from The Shanegang Columbia SSX1020, 1965
Track 16 from Columbia single DS2295, 1966
Track 17 from Columbia single DS2327, 1966
Tracks 18-19 from Shanes Again! Columbia SSX1022, 1966
Track 20 from Columbia single DS2295, 1966
Tracks 21-22 from SSSS-Shanes Columbia SSX1026, 1967

Mascots, Your Mascots (Decca LP LK4704, 1965 – reissued RPM CD Retro951, 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

  1. Goodbye
  2. What Can I Do
  3. Tip of My Tongue
  4. My Very Best
  5. When I Return
  6. A Sad Boy
  7. Stones Fell
  8. From My Love
  9. For Him
  10. Too Much Monkey Business
  11. I Feel Ashamed
  12. Walking With My Angel
  13. I Like My Bike (Decca single F44412, 1964)
  14. Yes I Know (Decca single F44412, 1964)
  15. Lyckan (Decca single F44416, 1964)
  16. Lessen (Decca single F44416, 1964)
  17. Baby Baby (Decca single F44420, 1964)
  18. Call Me Your Love (Decca single F44420, 1964)
  19. Too Much Monkey Business (withdrawn A-side, Decca single F44442, 1965)
  20. Stones Fell (Single Version) (Decca single F44442, 1965)
  21. From My Love (Single Version) (Decca single F44442, 1965)

Mascots, Ellpee (Decca LP SKL4806, 1966 – reissued RPM CD RetroD52, 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

CD 1

  1. The Winner
  2. This Proud Crowd
  3. I Close Your Eyes
  4. Things Are Turning Out
  5. Every Way I Think of You
  6. Droopy Drops
  7. Nobody Crying
  8. Did You Ever Think
  9. I Won’t Let You Down
  10. That’s You
  11. I Want to Live
  12. I Don’t Like You
  13. This Time Girl
  14. A Different Mind

CD 2

  1. Words Enough to Tell You (Decca single F44508, 1966)
  2. Woman (Decca single F44512, 1966)
  3. Meet Me (Decca single F44512, 1966)
  4. We Should Realize (Decca single F44514, 1966)
  5. The Girl That You Are (Decca single F44521, 1966)
  6. Since You Broke My Heart (Decca single F44525, 1966)
  7. Stewball (Hep House single HS09, 1967)
  8. So Sad About Us (Hep House single HS09, 1967)
  9. You Could Be My Friend (Hep House single HS11, 1967)
  10. Dave’s Idea (Hep House single HS11, 1967)
  11. Tell Me Lady (Hep House single HS15, 1967)
  12. Aaah, I Love You (Hep House single HS15, 1967)
  13. If I Had A Ship (Polydor single NH59748, 1967)
  14. Everyone Knows for Sure (Polydor single NH59748, 1967)
  15. Hade Jag En Bat (Polydor single NH59750, 1967)
  16. Sag Mej Var Ar Blommorna (Polydor single NH59750, 1967)
  17. Moreen (Parlophone single SD6035, 1968)
  18. Baby, You’re So Wrong (Parlophone single SD6035, 1968)
  19. Whooee (You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere) (Parlophone single SD6051, 1968)
  20. Black and White (Parlophone single SD6051, 1968)
  21. You’re Never Gonna Find Me (Parlophone single SD6064, 1969)
  22. A Life Like That (Parlophone single SD6064, 1969)

Pussy Cat, Boof!: The Complete Pussy Cat 1966-1969 (RPM CD Retro948, 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

  1. Ce N’Est Pas Une Vie
  2. Stop!
  3. Mais Pourquoi…
  4. Les Temps On Change
  5. La La Lu
  6. Moi Je Prefere Ma Poupee
  7. Ba Ba Ba…Boof
  8. Ne N’Ai Pas Pleure
  9. Vive La Mariee
  10. Mais La Vie Continiuait
  11. Si Vous Avez Deja Aime
  12. Je Te Dirai
  13. Arret D’Autobus
  14. J’Avais Jure
  15. Dans Ce Monde Fou
  16. Aucune Fille Au Monde
  17. Chance
  18. On Me Dit
  19. Cette Nuit
  20. Te Voila
  21. On Joue
  22. Hymme Au Soleil
  23. Adieu My Baby
  24. Le Plus For
  25. Ce N’Est Past Triste
  26. Cette Melodie Que L’Orchestre Jour
  27. Joue
  28. On Te Le Dit, Il T’Aime

Tracks 1-4 from RCA Victor EP 86148, 1966
Tracks 5-8 from RCA Victor EP 86161, 1966
Tracks 9-10 from RCA Victor Single 48.000, 1966
Tracks 11-14 from RCA Victor EP 86169, 1967
Tracks 15-16 from RCA Victor Single 49019, 1968
Tracks 17-18 from RCA Victor Single 49041, 1968
Tracks 19-22 from RCA Victor EP 87084, 1969
Tracks 23-24 Unreleased at the time
Tracks 25-28 by Les Petites Souris from RCA Victor EP 86089, 1965

Written by Joe Marchese

December 4, 2014 at 11:27

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