The sounds of ’68 on the Marble Arch record label…
If Electric Ladyland by The Jimi Hendrix Experience is my album of the year for 1968 then here’s my choice for compilation. Recently acquired from a secondhand shop in my home city, it is a fascinating mix on a record label which also holds some interest to me.
Marble Arch was an off-shoot of Pye, the label owned by The Kinks and was created to offer music fans a kind of mini album, a cheaper option for those who couldn’t afford a full-length album and a way of showcasing the labels own stars. Better known for their Chartbuster collections, this is an interesting mix of associated artists to say the least with Status Quo’ Pictures of Matchstick Men alongside the master crooner, Val Doonican and his renditions of If the Whole World Stopped Lovin’ and You’re the Only One.
The all-girl trio The Paper Dolls are also featured with their debut Something Here in My Heart (Keeps a Tellin’ Me No) From Northampton in England, ‘Tiger’ ‘Copper’ and ‘Spyder‘ were the mini-skirted forerunners to the girl groups of the eighties onwards, forming in 1966 they signed to Pye and later RCA but struggled to make the big time and split up in 1970.
The Foundations had a UK #18 hit on Pye with Back on My Feet Again, a soul group from London, they were known for their recreation of the ‘Motown Sound’ and enjoyed reasonable success during the sixties including a number one in the UK with Baby Now That I’ve Found You. followed, in December 1968 by the huge selling Build Me Up Buttercup.
Also featured is the UK #20 song Susannah’s Still Alive by Dave Davis, brother of The Kinks lead singer, Ray Davis and the man who created the glorious guitar intro to The Kinks first hit, You Really Got Me. The album is not easy to track down, granted there are few stand-out tracks apart from Status Quo but the songs are all very listenable and it is a great piece of 1968 history.
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