Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Game - It's Shocking What They Call Us' (1965-1967)






The Game were a rock & roll unit formed out of the remnants of an earlier Surrey-based band, The Secrets, in which lead guitarist Terry Spencer and bassist Allen Janaway had previously played. Tony Bird, who was 14 at the time, played rhythm guitar. Their big problem was the fact that they went through several changes in sound. Their rock & roll debut, "Gotta Keep Movin' Baby" (co-authored by Kenny Lynch, who was their manager for a time) on Pye Records in 1965 didn't sell, and the band changed labels and image, jumping to Decca and transforming themselves to a mod look and sound, on "Gonna Get Me Someone." That single appeared a year after their Pye debut, and the delay and the change in sound led to another stiff on the charts. The group then moved to Parlophone, which decided to withdraw their next single, "The Addicted Man" (co-authored by Alan Gowing), following a negative reaction on the program Juke Box Jury. At the company's behest, they cut a psychedelic number, "It's Shocking What They Call Me" -- the constant change of sound and image put the group into an impossible situation, what public they had developed being unable to keep up with these shifts. Their real sound featured flashy guitar with lots of power chords, strongly reminiscent of The Creation, best represented on their final single B-side, "Help Me Mummy's Gone," from 1967.
The Game broke apart in 1967-1968, guitarist Tony Bird later joining Kind Hearts & English, while Terry Spencer and Stan Decker formed Lavender Grove, and then a group called Grail. The original band appears to have retained a core of fandom, however, based on the fact that they reunited in the '90s with the original core members all present.


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