Saturday, January 14, 2012

Thee Sixpence - Step By Step (1967)


Thee Sixpence was a garage rock/psych band that released a few singles in 1966-7 before recording "Incense And Peppermints", changing their name to Strawberry Alarm Clock, and achieving a fluke #1 hit. Most of the key musicians in the latter band were members at least part of the time in Thee Sixpence.Thee 


Thee Sixpence are most noted by collectors as the group that, with some lineup changes, evolved into Strawberry Alarm Clock. Before that, they issued four singles in 1966-1967 on the tiny All-American label. These were above-average, though not outstanding songs in the typical raw, foreboding Los Angeles garage-verging-on-psychedelia mode, sounding close in respects to better-produced efforts during the same era by the Chocolate Watch Band, the Seeds, and the Standells. They had the good taste to cover a couple of Love songs, "My Flash on You" and "Can't Explain," and were one of several L.A. bands to take a shot at a hard rock version of "Hey Joe" (which, as it happened, Love had also put on their debut album). Their best song that was not a cover of a well-known tune was "Heartful of Rain," with its characteristic pained snarled vocal, snaky guitar lines, piercing organ, and minor-keyed background harmonies. Just before they released "Incense and Peppermints," their name was changed to Strawberry Alarm Clock; when that single was picked up by Uni, it went to number one and started a whole new career for the band. All of the material from their rare All-American singles (including the "Incense and Peppermints"/"The Birdman of Alkatrash" 45 released under the Strawberry Alarm Clock name and picked up by Uni) was assembled for the CD reissue Step By Step. ~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi


01. Long Days Care 
02. Can't Explain 
03. Fortune Teller 
04. My Flash On You 
05. In The Building 
06. Hey Joe 
07. Heartfull Of Rain 
08. First Plane Home 
09. Incense And Peppermints 
10. Birbman Of Alkatrash 
11. The World's On Fire 


Thee Sixpence are most noted by collectors as the group that, with some lineup changes, evolved into Strawberry Alarm Clock. Before that, they issued four singles in 1966-1967 on the tiny All-American label. These were above-average, though not outstanding songs in the typical raw, foreboding Los Angeles garage-verging-on-psychedelia mode, sounding close in respects to better-produced efforts during the same era by the Chocolate Watch Band, the Seeds, and the Standells. They had the good taste to cover a couple of Love songs, "My Flash on You" and "Can't Explain," and were one of several L.A. bands to take a shot at a hard rock version of "Hey Joe" (which, as it happened, Love had also put on their debut album). Their best song that was not a cover of a well-known tune was "Heartful of Rain," with its characteristic pained snarled vocal, snaky guitar lines, piercing organ, and minor-keyed background harmonies. Just before they released "Incense and Peppermints," their name was changed to Strawberry Alarm Clock; when that single was picked up by Uni, it went to number one and started a whole new career for the band. All of the material from their rare All-American singles (including the "Incense and Peppermints"/"The Birdman of Alkatrash" 45 released under the Strawberry Alarm Clock name and picked up by Uni) was assembled for the CD reissue Step By Step. ~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi


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