Box Of Surprises - Dana Gillespie

Box Of Surprises
In 1964 Dana Gillespie recorded her first single for Pye, with Donovan on guitar and became a regular on the folk circuit along with friends Donovan and David Bowie. She recalls: "I was doing folk because I couldn't afford a band and I hadn't found my musical niche".

In those early years Dana got to know many of the top bands and people in the music business, appearing on Ready Steady Go and other cool TV shows of the era along with the legends of the British pop explosion. Following up our classic reissue of Dana's US-only album, Foolish Seasons, here is the UK only counterpart, 1968's Box Of Surprises! Again featuring the same cast of 1960s Brit Pop legends and morphing seamlessly from her baroque pop and freak-beat styles to sophisticated blues, this album is a perfect companion piece to Box Of Surprises, and is a Long overdue reissue!
Our Price: £9.95
Code: CRREV245
Weight: 200
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Box Of Surprises / Like I'm A Clown / Taffy / When Darkness Fell / For David, The Next Day / If You're Dreaming / Foolish Seasons / Grecian Ode By Chasing Dreams / I Was A Book / Describing You / I Would Cry / Bonus Tracks - Original Pye Singles / Donna Donna / It's No Use Saying It / Thank You Boy / You're A Heartbreak Man / Pay You Back With Interes / Adam Can You Beat That
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After scoring a national US hit in mid-1966 with their garage band classic Hey Joe, seminal LA folk-rockers The Leaves moved from local label Mira to Capitol Records. Recorded in the autumn of 1966, All The Good That’s Happening was their major label debut album. However, it proved to be their last recording, with the group splitting up early the following year when founder member Jim Pons quit to join the Turtles.

Unavailable in CD format for nearly two decades, and previously unreleased outside of America, All The Good That’s Happening is now finally given wider exposure. Boasting such lysergic weird-outs as Lemmon Princess and the Byrdsish On The Plane alongside superb, spooked covers of Codine and Donovan s To Try For The Sun, the album can now be seen as a fascinating signpost towards the emerging West Coast sound as, aided by the use of certain chemical substances, the LA folk-rock scene of the mid-1960s slid uneasily into psychedelic territory.

With a lavish 16-page booklet that includes rare photos and a new essay on the band, this Grapefruit label issue is the definitive release of a largely overlooked but pivotal folk-into-psych album.
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Halfbreed
Keef Hartley came to prominence as a member of the British R&B group The Artwoods before joining John Mayall'sBluesbreakers in 1967. He contributed to the album Crusade before leaving in 1968 to form the first line-up of his own band. With Gary Thain (bass), Peter Dines (keyboards), Spit James (guitar) and horn section that was a whos who of British jazz (Henry Lowther, Chris Mercer, Lyn Dobson and Harry Beckett), Hartley recorded his first album for Decca'sDeram label in March 1969. Now regarded as a classic of the genre, Halfbreed is a fine example of the fusion of rock, jazz and blues. Our Price: £10.95

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The Battle Of North West Six
Keef Hartley came to prominence as a member of the british R&B group the artwoods before joining John Mayall'sBluesbreakers in 1967. He contributed to the album crusade before leaving in 1968 to form the first line-up of his own band. He recorded his first album, Halfbreed (also re- released this month) for Decca'sDeram label in March 1969. Regarded as a classic of the fusion of rock, jazz and blues, Hartley went one better later in the year by changing the lineup of his band to include gifted guitarist, vocalist and writer Miller Anderson. This new band recorded the wonderful battle of north west six for decca later that year, around the same time they performed at the legendary Woodstock Festival. Unavailable for many years, Esoteric Recordings are pleased to reissue the album with liner notes by Keef Hartley. Our Price: £10.95

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Andy Warhol
Dana Gillespie is nowadays known as a blues/R&B/jazz singer, but in her younger years she had two brief (but impressive) alternative careers. In 1967/68 she made two albums of folk pop, Foolish Seasons and Box Of Surprises. A long time friend and lover of David Bowie, she sang backing vocals on Ziggy Stardust and was signed to Bowie’s management company Mainman. For that company, she made two LPs, the superb Weren’t Born A Man (1973) and Ain’t Gonna Play No Second Fiddle (1974). Despite production from David Bowie, Mick Ronson and Robin Cable, and the support of the best studio musicians of the day, neither album was a hit and Gillespie concentrated on her sex-bomb film career before reinventing herself as a bawdy blues mama in the 1980s. Our Price: £9.95

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Foolish Seasons
Dana Gillespie was a music lover from an early age: "I discovered the blues when I went to the American Folk Blues Festival in 1962 and also to see the Yardbirds at the Marquee Club. I was in my early teens and hadn't heard anything like it before." In 1964 she recorded her first single for Pye, with Donovan on guitar and became a regular on the folk circuit along with friends Donovan and David Bowie. She recalls: "I was doing folk because I couldn't afford a band and I hadn't found my musical niche". In those early years Dana got to know many of the top bands and people in the music business, appearing on Ready Steady Go and other cool TV shows of the era along with the legends of the British pop explosion. In 1967, she made this album, Foolish Seasons, a Psychpop/Swinging London/Folkrock masterpiece. Featuring the rare Donovan song, "You Just Gotta Know My Mind," which should have been a smash mod hit, (and also includes the guitar of JIMMY PAGE!!!), and two fantastic Billy Nicholls covers from his much celebrated and legendary Psych/Softpop gem, 'Would You Believe.' Arranged by the great Mike Vickers and produced by Wayne Bickerton (World of Oz, Jackie Lomax, Pete Best Four, The Rubettes), this is one of THE great missing links of 1960s pop....Dana was to make one more album for Decca, morphing seamlessly into a more blues based style, before becoming a star of London's West End theatre: the first run of Jesus Christ Superstar (playing Mary Magdalene), The Who's "Tommy" (playing the Acid Queen) and the rock Othello, "Catch My Soul". She also appeared with Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and Kenneth Willams in the film "The Hound Of The Baskervilles" and starred in Ken Russell's "Mahler". A number of roles in latter-day Hammer films and more experimental arthouse movies are also fondly remembered. As a singer she moved to RCA Records and made ‘Weren’t Born A Man’ and ‘Ain’t Gonna Play No Second Fiddle’, under the aegis of David Bowie, whose management, Mainman, also took care of her career. A period in the US was spectacularly ended when Bob Dylan invited her to appear on his 1997 UK tour. Dana continues recording recording successfully today, specialising in her first love, emotionally expressive blues music. This sumptious reissue of her classic first album is LONG overdue!!
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