Dick’s Picks: A vintage slice of doo-wop-flavoured-rock’n’roll from the Hollywood Flames has had Dick cutting a rug around the office this week…..
The Hollywood Flames
A hugely popular US vocal group who regularly hit the R&B and pop charts, they peddled a neat line in Doo-Wop style close harmonies with a rock ‘n’ roll flavour. Forming as the Flames in 1949 at a Watts, L.A. (the same Watts that would later act as a catalyst for the Watts riots/rebellion in ’65), the group had a ‘fluid’ line-up that featured members Bobby Byrd (no not that one) and David Ford.
So what’s so great about ‘Much Too Much’?
Although not their biggest hit (that would be ‘Buzz, Buzz, Buzz’ fact fans) this vintage slice of doo-wop flavoured rock ‘n’ roll/R&B was a real ‘dancer’ in the cool UK clubs of the early ‘60s, getting spins from Guy Stevens (nuff said) amongst others, to these 2016 ears the records close harmony vocal, Sam Cooke stylings, replete with wild sax breaks functions like some mini-time-travel portal, immediately transporting YOU the listener back to a world of all-nite diners, gas guzzling motorised behemoths, soda-pop, ice-cream, hamburgers, polka-dot dresses, quiffs, leather, and just about anything else that signifies ‘50s teen America.
What a great little ’45!! That’s not where the fun ends though, flip it over and you have the slow, brooding ‘In The Dark’, a heartfelt paean to a new love – it oozes soul and points the way to the music of the ’60s, just around the corner.
If you like this you might want to check some other late ’50s/early ’60s R&B/Rock ‘n’ Rollers just landed at eil.com